Uber's Kalanick says he appoints former Xerox, Merrill bosses to board

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] co-founder Travis Kalanick on Friday said he had appointed two new board members, challenging Uber shareholders who have asked a court to stop the former chief executive from naming directors.

Directors of the ride services company have been fighting over the future role of Kalanick, who was pressured to step down as CEO early this year in the wake of several company scandals.

Kalanick said in a statement he had appointed former Xerox Chief Executive Ursula Burns and former Merrill Lynch Chief Executive John Thain as directors in the face of proposals to dramatically restructure the board.

Investor Benchmark Capital filed a lawsuit in August to force Kalanick off the board and rescind his ability to fill three board seats, accusing him of concealing a range of misdeeds. Other Uber investors responded by asking Benchmark to divest its shares and step down from the board.

A Delaware judge later that month sent the Benchmark lawsuit to arbitration.

Uber and Benchmark did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reporting By Liana B. Baker; Writing by Peter Henderson; Editing by David Gregorio

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tech

Chinese AI team plans to challenge Google’s AlphaGo at board game

The world's top Go player Lee Sedol (R) puts his first stone during the last match of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match against Google's artificial intelligence program AlphaGo in Seoul, South Korea, in this handout picture provided by Google and released by Yonhap on March 15, 2016. REUTERS/Google/Yonhap

BEIJING (By Paul Carsten, Reuters) – A team from China plans to challenge Google’s AlphaGo, the artificial intelligence (AI) program that beat a world-class player in the ancient board game Go, the state-owned Shanghai Securities News reported on Thursday.

Scientists from the China Computer Go team will issue a challenge to AlphaGo by the end of 2016, said attendees at an event in Beijing organized by the Chinese Go Association and the Chinese Association for Artificial Intelligence, according to the report. It did not elaborate on the nature of the challenge.

The event was ‘The Forum for Understanding the AlphaGo War between Man and Machine and Chinese Artificial Intelligence’, Shanghai Securities News reported on its website.

AlphaGo, developed by Google subsidiary DeepMind, shocked audiences when it beat South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol in Seoul earlier this month.

The program made history last year by becoming the first machine to beat a human pro player, but 33-year-old Lee, one of the world’s top players, was seen as a much more formidable opponent.

Go, most popular in countries such as China, South Korea and Japan, involves two contestants moving black and white stones across a square grid, aiming to seize the most territory.

Until AlphaGo’s victory last year, experts had not expected an artificial intelligence program to beat a human professional for at least a decade.

Also on Thursday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai visited one of China’s top Go training schools, according to the China Daily.

A spokesman at Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, said Pichai was in China to develop his understanding of Go and of the country.

Chinese companies like Baidu Inc, the country’s nearest equivalent of Google, are also working on developing AI.

Baidu in 2014 hired former Google engineer Andrew Ng, who had helmed the U.S. search giant’s Google Brain AI efforts.


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