Posts in category Emerging Tech


Emerging Tech

The Rise of AI: Give Me That New Time Religion?

Anthony Levandowski, known for his work developing self-driving auto technology, reportedly has started the world’s first artificial intelligence-based religion. Levandowski, who has been at the center of a legal dispute between Google’s Waymo self-driving unit and Uber, has cast himself as the frontman for the Way of the Future church. The mission of this “technotheistic” movement is spelled out in documents filed with the IRS.

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Emerging Tech

AI Ripples Through Google’s New Product Lineup

Google on Wednesday launched a bevy of new products into its growing hardware and software ecosystem at its Made by Google event. Many of the new devices are infused with artificial intelligence capabilities. “Since last year and since Google I/O, we’ve been working hard, continuing our shift from a mobile-first to an AI-first world,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the gathering.

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Emerging Tech

Who’s Right About AI? Musk’s Dire Warnings Meet Zuckerberg’s Cheerful Optimism

Two of Silicon Valley’s most influential visionaries, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, this week engaged in a public spat over the future of artificial intelligence and whether the government should take the wheel to counter the threat this emerging technology might pose to mankind. Musk, a longtime advocate of AI, has expressed fears that intelligent machines could pose a risk to civilization.

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Emerging Tech

Cortana Makes Smart Thermostat a Glas Act

Microsoft and Johnson Controls have unveiled Glas, a smart thermostat that runs on Microsoft’s Windows 10 IoT Core, a special OS designed specifically for smaller devices. Glas also utilizes Microsoft’s smart voice assistant Cortana and its Azure Cloud to help users save energy while monitoring air quality in the home. Heating and cooling account for around 48 percent of residential energy use.

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Emerging Tech

New AI Assistant Digs Up Specialized Info for Makers

Avnet last week unveiled a beta version of Ask Avnet, an automated virtual assistant that combines artificial intelligence with on-demand access to industry experts. Ask Avnet targets “engineers, designers, hobbyists, makers and purchasing specialists across the electronics supply chain — which includes the product manufacturing chain,” said Kevin Yapp, SVP for digital transformation at Avnet.

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Emerging Tech

Elon Musk Plans to Build a Human-AI Interface

Tech visionary Elon Musk has launched a startup, Neuralink, dedicated to developing technology that will connect human brains directly to a computer. This venture is in its very early stages, Musk confirmed. Neuralink, which Musk is funding privately, is a medical research firm that aims to develop “neural lace” — a technology that could allow the implanting of small electrodes into the brain.

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Emerging Tech

Autonomous Delivery Robots to Hit Virginia’s Streets

Autonomous delivery robots will be able to travel on sidewalks, crosswalks and shared-use paths throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia this summer. Gov. Terry McAullife recently signed a law permitting the use of Starship Technologies’ Personal Delivery Devices. The six-wheeled robots, which resemble coolers, are designed to deliver parcels, groceries and food within a two-mile radius.

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Emerging Tech

3 Teams Qualify for Tube Test in Hyperloop Pod Competition

Elon Musk’s hyperloop dream began to take shape in reality last weekend as 27 teams, including six from outside the U.S., participated in a competition to create the mass transit vehicle of the future. The competition in Hawthorne, California, sponsored by SpaceX, which Musk founded, attracted teams made up mostly of students who created pods designed to run on hyperloop transportation systems.

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Emerging Tech

Apple Formally Joins High-Powered AI Partnership

The Partnership on AI has announced that Apple, well known for its culture of secrecy, has joined the organization as a founding member. The other founding members are Amazon, Facebook, Google/Deep Mind, IBM and Microsoft. The group also announced the final composition of its inaugural board of trustees. The group plans to announce additional details sometime after the board’s Feb. 3 meeting.

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Emerging Tech

Pentagon Battle-Tests Micro Drone Swarm

The U.S. Department of Defense on Monday announced a successful demonstration of one of the world’s largest micro drone swarms at China Lake in California. Three F/a-18 Super Hornet combat jets launched 103 Perdix drones in the exercise, which took place last fall. The micro drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing.

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Emerging Tech

Nvidia Lays Out Bold Strategy at CES

Nvidia offered a bold new strategy at this week’s International CES in Las Vegas. The company, which has been a leader in hardware graphics technology for decades, recently has expanded into the realms of artificial intelligence, deep learning and automotive tech. Graphical support and video delivery will however remain a key component of the company’s strategy, according to Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang.

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Emerging Tech

MIT’s Nightmare Machine Churns Out AI-Generated Horror

In honor of Halloween, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab launched the Nightmare Machine website, which allows visitors to vote on AI-generated horror images created via an open source deep neural network algorithm developed last year. Scientists from the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization collaborated on the project.

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Emerging Tech

Toyota Positions Kirobo Mini as Tiny Traveling Companion

Gearing up for this week’s CEATEC trade show in Tokyo, Toyota on Monday announced that its compact-sized Kirobo Mini, pitched as a “communication partner,” will go on sale early next year in Japan. The Mini is a smaller version of the astronaut robot Kirobo, which visited the International Space Station in 2013. The Kirobo Mini is meant to take part in more down-to-earth affairs.

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Emerging Tech

Google AI Gives More Context to Chinese-to-English Translations

Research at Google on Tuesday launched Google Neural Machine Translation system, now in production with Chinese to English — “a notoriously difficult language pair,” according to Quoc V. Le and Mike Schuster, research scientists on the Google Brain Team. GNMT already is powering the Google Translate mobile and Web apps for 18 million or so Chinese to English translations daily.

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Emerging Tech

Teal Pushes Drone Speed Limits

Teal Drones on Wednesday introduced what it billed as the world’s fastest production drone. Aside from its drone’s capabilities, the company is drawing attention because George Matus Jr., its founder and CEO, is an 18-year-old recent high school graduate.
The drone can fly at 70 mph in all weather conditions and has reached a top speed of 85 mph. It can withstand 40 mph winds.

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Emerging Tech

Apple Patents Tech to Foil Concert Pirates

A patent for an infrared system that could be used to shut off iPhone cameras and microphones at live performances is one of dozens recently awarded to Apple. The system could assist the music and movie industries by automatically disabling camera functions at movies or concerts. It could have other applications as well — for example, turning an iOS device into a museum or city tour guide.

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Emerging Tech

The Rise of Drone Racing, Part 2

With lucrative broadcast deals and cup competitions now crowding calendars, drone racing has become one of the primary factors driving the surge in demand for consumer drones. Mountain Dew and DR1 Racing earlier this month announced a special DR1 Invitational presented by Mountain Dew. The one-hour broadcast will air on Discovery Communication’s Discovery and Science channels in August.

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Emerging Tech

The Rise of Drone Racing, Part 1

Tearing through open spaces and timing each turn to burst out of them, a seeming continuum of drones weaves through a set of obstacles lap after lap, until the stutter of a pilot’s joystick breaks the cadence of this competitive concert and destroys the illusion. It’s the drama — anticipating and reacting to those human moments — that has propelled drone racing to the spotlight.

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Emerging Tech

Hyperloop Dreams Are Getting Real

The Hyperloop — the high-speed transportation concept Elon Musk has promoted heavily — is edging closer to becoming a reality. Russia plans to develop a Hyperloop network for freight transportation, the country’s transport minister announced Friday. MIT last week unveiled its Hyperloop Pod, a prototype of its award-winning design concept intended for human travelers.

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Emerging Tech

Google Patents Tech to Limit Injuries in Vehicle-Pedestrian Accidents

The United States Patent and Trademark Office earlier this week granted Google a patent for “Adhesive Vehicle Front End For Mitigation of Secondary Pedestrian Impact.” The patent application, filed a year and a half ago, credits Google employees Alex Khaykin and Daniel Lynn Larner as the inventors of the new technology. This latest patent grant is for “a system for protecting a colliding object from a secondary impact.”

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