A Swiss weedkiller robot could curb our dependence on herbicides

Posted by & filed under Automation, Robotics.

  Some $26 billion is spent on herbicides each year. These chemicals are often indiscriminately sprayed over entire fields of crops that have been genetically modified to resist the chemical onslaught. And it’s agrochemical giants like Bayer, DowDuPont, and Syngenta that usually create both the genetically modified seeds and the chemicals that are sprayed on them.  The… Read more »

How to make sure your Amazon Echo doesn’t send secret recordings

Posted by & filed under Amazon, App Economy.

It was Alexa’s equivalent of a pocket dial. A woman in Portland, Oregon, claimed her Amazon Echo smart-speaker secretly recorded a private conversation, then sent the audio file to an acquaintance. She told her story to a local news outlet and it spread, stoking fears about always listening devices invading privacy. Amazon confirmed the incident and claimed it was… Read more »

YouTube stars’ fury over algorithm tests

Posted by & filed under Entertainment, Ethical issues, YouTube.

Some of YouTube’s most popular stars have criticised the website for “experimenting” with how their videos are delivered to their fans. Unannounced, YouTube started testing an algorithm that changed the order videos appeared in users’ subscription feeds. The experiment came to light when some users complained on social media. One YouTube star said it was… Read more »

Can this robotic fish fool real fish into revealing their secrets?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Biomimicry.

SoFi isn’t like other fish, but they don’t seem to notice. Pale and plump with a tail that swishes side-to-side, the one-eyed robotic fish was built by scientists at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). It is designed to swim naturally alongside other fish in open water and spy on them without raising… Read more »

The first holographic smartphone will be released later this year

Posted by & filed under 3D, Consumer Technology, Emerging Technologies.

AT&T and Verizon announced this week they will start selling a holographic smartphone later this year. The Red Hydrogen One smartphone is the first phone from video equipment company Red. The Android phone’s killer feature is a “holographic display” that projects 3D images that can be viewed without special glasses. You will be able to… Read more »

Civil Rights Group Criticizes Amazon Over Facial Recognition

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Amazon, Civil Liberties.

Amazon.com Inc. drew the ire of the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday over a facial-recognition system offered to law-enforcement agencies that the advocacy group says can be used to violate civil rights. In marketing materials obtained by the group, Amazon Web Services said its Rekognition system uses artificial intelligence to quickly identify people in photos and videos,… Read more »

I tried to get a date using augmented reality

Posted by & filed under App Economy.

“I open the app on my phone and scan the camera across the busy London street. Like in Pokémon Go, I’m looking at the scene in front of me through my phone, and bubbles are popping up in real-time. But these aren’t Pikachu or Poké Balls – they’re single, attractive strangers who are using the… Read more »

An AI System for Accomplishing Real-World Tasks Over the Phone

Posted by & filed under Augmented Reality, Automation.

Google recently announced Google Duplex, a new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out “real world” tasks over the phone. The technology is directed towards completing specific tasks, such as scheduling certain types of appointments. For such tasks, the system makes the conversational experience as natural as possible, allowing people to speak normally, like… Read more »