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 »

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 »

Will Robots Take My Job?

Posted by & filed under Automation, Career.

In 2013 Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne of Oxford University published a report titled “The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?”. The authors examine how susceptible jobs are to computerisation, by implementing a novel methodology to estimate the probability of computerisation for 702 detailed occupations, using a Gaussian process classifier. According… Read more »

Wanted: Robot wrangler. No experience required.

Posted by & filed under Automation.

How about this for a future job advert? “Wranglers wanted for growing fleets of robots. Your responsibilities will include evaluating robot performance, providing real-time analysis and support for problems.  “You must be analytical, detail-oriented, friendly – and ready to walk. No advanced degree required.”  Even if this particular advert has not yet appeared, some are already carrying… Read more »

Under the hood: How Chrome’s ad filtering works

Posted by & filed under Automation, Career, Emerging Technologies, Ethical issues, Google.

While most advertising on the web is respectful of user experience, over the years we’ve increasingly heard from our users that some advertising can be particularly intrusive. As we announced last June, Chrome will tackle this issue by removing ads from sites that do not follow the Better Ads Standards. Source: Chromium Blog Date: February 23rd, 2018 Link: https://blog.chromium.org/2018/02/how-chromes-ad-filtering-works.html Discussion… Read more »

Self-Driving Cars Will Kill People. Who Decides Who Dies?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Emerging Technologies, Ethical issues, IT and the law, Self-driving vehicles.

To understand the trolley problem, first consider this scenario: You are standing on a bridge. Underneath you, a railroad track divides into a main route and an alternative. On the main route, 50 people are tied to the rails. A trolley rushes under the bridge on the main route, hurtling towards the captives. Fortunately, there’s… Read more »

Self-driving garbage trucks would cut wasted time

Posted by & filed under Automation, Self-driving vehicles.

Source: CNN Date: May 30th, 2017 Link to video: http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/future/2017/05/18/self-driving-garbage-trucks-would-cut-wasted-time.cnnmoney/ Discussion 1) Garbage/trash trucks seem like a very logical move for self-driving automation:  they follow a set route at a slow speed and have a human outside the truck.  This is almost like the beginning of when cars first came out and each car had to have a… Read more »

From cowboys to robots: truckers eye uncertain future

Posted by & filed under Automation, Self-driving vehicles.

Kings of the road are by turns dismissive and wary of the technology revolution that might one day remove them from their cabs. Source: Toronto Star / Washington Post Date: May 30th, 2017 Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/tech_news/2017/05/26/from-cowboys-to-robots-truckers-eye-uncertain-future.html Discussion 1) “Anything that’s run by a computer is going to get messed up,” Spell said. “They don’t have no bulletproof software.”   Do… Read more »

Sorry, But Amazon Isn’t Actually Annihilating Retail Jobs

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Automation, E-Commerce.

There is a problem with much of the current rhetoric claiming that the automation of industry is leading to the annihilation of jobs and/or the enslavement of humanity. Source: Wired Magazine Date: March 1st, 2017 Link: https://www.wired.com/2017/03/sorry-amazon-isnt-actually-annihilating-retail-jobs/ Discussion 1) “By 2016 e-commerce comprised just 8.3 percent ($102.7 billion) of the total retail market ($1.2 trillion). While that’s a big… Read more »