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

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 the worst decision the website had made for years. But YouTube defended its experiment.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: May 29th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44279189

Discussion

1) YouTube provides its services for free and allows people to monetize that free service for their own personal profit and enrichment.  Is it appropriate for someone who does this to complain about how YouTube operates?

2) Should platforms like YouTube have to inform users of the platform when they are experimenting with algorithms?

 

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 suspicions or disturbing their natural habitat.

The un-tethered robot can use its camera to record behaviors of anything from sharks and whales to schools of tiny damselfish.

Source: CNN Technology News

Date: May 22nd, 2018

Link: http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/21/technology/mit-fish-robot/index.html

Discussion

1) How might you put SoFi to other applications underwater?

2) This is an example of biomimicry, where scientists copy nature.  Do you know of any other examples of biomimicry?

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

Red Hydrogen One

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 view the images from the sides and behind, and interact with them using special hand gestures. It will also include cameras for capturing the custom 3D images.

Source: CNN Technology

Date: May 22nd, 2018

Link: http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/18/technology/holographic-phone-red-hydrogen-one-release/index.html

Discussion

1) Is 3D holography a “killer app”?

2) For what sorts of things might 3D holography be really useful?

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, enabling law enforcement to track individuals.

“Amazon’s Rekognition raises profound civil liberties and civil rights concerns,” the group said in a statement. “Today, the ACLU and a coalition of civil rights organizations demanded that Amazon stop allowing governments to use Rekognition.”

Source: Bloomberg Technology News

Date: May 22nd, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-22/amazon-criticized-by-civil-rights-group-over-facial-recognition

Discussion

1) Does Amazon have a duty to protect individuals privacy for every piece of software it develops and sells?

2) What sorts of services could you sell using Amazon’s Rekognition system platform?

Posted by & filed under Amazon, IT and Politics.

It was, as the local public radio station said, the day “Seattle Nice” died. On May 2, the residents of Seattle were hit with a one-two punch. For months, the city council had been debating a new tax on large employers to raise $75 million for new affordable housing and services for the homeless, whose growing population had burst out of shelters and into tents around the city.

In the late morning, just before a council hearing, a columnist for the Seattle Times broke the news that Amazon.com Inc., the city’s largest employer, was playing hardball. The typically hermetic company said it paused expansion plans for buildings that would house about 7,000 employees pending the outcome of the upcoming tax vote.

Source: Bloomberg Technology News

Date: May 16th, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-15/behind-seattle-s-amazon-tax-seething-tensions-livid-neighbors-and-rising-rents

Discussion

1) “each new tech job creates four to five non-tech jobs over the next decade.”  Why do tech jobs help the economy so much?

2) Does it make sense to levy an additional tax on tech companies that create so many jobs?

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 same augmented reality app as I am. Their faces are circled on my screen as I pass them physically in the street.”

Source: BBC Technology Insights

Date: May 16th, 2018

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/d342e05c-58a4-493d-92c7-c77bbc872ab5

Discussion

1) What might be the ethical issue of using or deploying this sort of app?

2) How might you use this sort of technology more usefully than just for dating?

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 they would to another person, without having to adapt to a machine.

One of the key research insights was to constrain Duplex to closed domains, which are narrow enough to explore extensively. Duplex can only carry out natural conversations after being deeply trained in such domains. It cannot carry out general conversations.

Source: Google AI

Date: May 16th, 2018

Link: https://ai.googleblog.com/2018/05/duplex-ai-system-for-natural-conversation.html

Discussion

1) Listen to both of the Google AI calls right at the top of this post.  Discuss how amazing it is that you really can’t tell this is a computer making the call.

2) Google is clear to make sure that people know that this is a “closed domain”.  What does that mean?  How “closed” is the call to the restaurant where the person at the restaurant does not follow what the call is about almost at all.

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Consumer Technology.

Bike-sharing bikes in Shanghai

Cycling around cities may have been pioneered by the Dutch, but a new high-tech way of hiring bicycles is bidding to bring a pedal power revolution to cities around the world.

The key innovation is the dockless hire bike. Found and unlocked with a few taps on a smartphone, they can be hired for an hour, day, or week – then locked up and left wherever the journey ends, rather than a special docking area.

These now make up the majority of the 18 million self-serve, public-use bikes around the world, in 1,608 cities.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: May 16th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-44066083

Discussion

1) Is this something you could introduced at your university, and what considerations would you need to make it happen?

2) What other things could be loaned using this system?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Civil Liberties, Consumer Technology, Ethical issues, Microsoft.

Microsoft is launching a $25 million initiative to use artificial intelligence to build better technology for people with disabilities.

CEO Satya Nadella announced the new “AI for Accessibility” effort as he kicked off Microsoft’s annual conference for software developers. The Build conference in Seattle is meant to foster enthusiasm for the company’s latest ventures in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, internet-connected devices and virtual reality.

Source: The Associated Press

Date: May 9th, 2018

Link: https://apnews.com/73e45d8e5bc544248ff39fac89cd8fce

Discussion

1) The CEO of Microsoft says here  “privacy is a human right.”  What does this mean for people involved with information systems and technology?

2) The CEO of Microsoft also “warned of the dangers of building new technology without ethical principles in mind”.  What does this mean?

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Drones.

A who’s who of technology and aviation companies won U.S. approval to push the edge of the envelope in drone flights, from testing people’s tolerance for delivery devices hovering over their rooftops to ensuring farmers’ drones won’t hit crop dusters.

Source: Bloomberg Technology News

Date: May 9th, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-09/drone-tests-from-deliveries-to-farming-unveiled-by-government

Discussion

1) What sort of company could you start that uses drones as the main way to deliver the service or product?

2) How might you run a test and what sorts of questions might you ask to see how people feel about having drones delivering goods and services in a residential neighborhood?