A new wheelchair may give people with severe mobility challenges another reason to smile about artificial intelligence--that grin might literally help them control their wheelchair. Sao Paulo, Brazil-based Hoobox Robotics has teamed up with Intel on the Wheelie 7, a kit that leverages AI to let a disabled person drive a motorized wheelchair through any of 10 facial expressions, from raising an eyebrow to sticking out one's tongue. Motorized wheelchairs these days are typically controlled with a user's hands, a joystick or via sensors attached to the body. The Wheelie learns the user's smile and other gestures automatically--there is no special training that is required. Through an app, a caregiver or family member can assign which facial expressions would be tied to which way the wheelchair moves or stops: left, right, forward, backwards.
Creating a virtual environment that looks realistic takes time and skill. The details have to be hand-crafted using a graphics chip that renders 3D shapes, appropriate lighting, and textures. The latest blockbuster video game, Red Dead Redemption 2, for example, took a team of around 1000 developers more than 8 years to create--occasionally working 100-hour weeks. That kind of workload might not be required for much longer. A powerful new AI algorithm can dream up the photorealistic details of a scene on the fly.
DeepMind Technologies is a British artificial intelligence company founded in September 2010, currently owned by Alphabet Inc.. The company is based in London, but has research centres in California, Canada, and France. Acquired by Google in 2014, the company has created a neural network that learns how to play video games in a fashion similar to that of humans, as well as a Neural Turing machine, or a neural network that may be able to access an external memory like a conventional Turing machine, resulting in a computer that mimics the short-term memory of the human brain. The company made headlines in 2016 after its AlphaGo program beat a human professional Go player for the first time in October 2015 and again when AlphaGo beat Lee Sedol, the world champion, in a five-game match, which was the subject of a documentary film. A more generic program, AlphaZero, beat the most powerful programs playing go, chess and shogi (Japanese chess) after a few hours of play against itself using reinforcement learning.
General Motors has given itself a deadline of 2019 to roll out a self-driving car service, a feat it would achieve though Cruise, a startup it acquired in 2016. And now Cruise has a new CEO in Dan Ammann, who is leaving his role as president of GM to take the full-time position. Founder Kyle Vogt will become the company's CTO, effective January 1. In the tech world, this is a common move, because founders are not always the best suited to take their companies from startups to behemoths. And while Cruise has offered no details yet on where, when, or how its commercial robo-car service will work, it has grown quickly in the past two years, from 40 to more than 1,000 employees.
This appears to be the first confirmed use of drones by an extremist group in Africa, according to the World of Drones project run by the Washington-based New America think tank. Its section on non-state actors notes that Libyan rebels are reported to have used drones for surveillance in that chaotic North African nation.
It's been predicted that robots will increasingly be implemented in new building construction. More focused precision can lead to better structure quality, offering longer-lasting residential and commercial buildings. For instance, building information modeling (BIM) allows architects, builders and designers to digitize coded information about building structure and functions. By layering BIM tech with property-based machine communication, sensors in walls can signal if there are any signs of building depreciation and at which stage. Robots can then inspect and repair structural damage without the chance of human workers getting hurt, making construction and maintenance safer for everyone.
Virtual assistants such as Amazon's Alexa and Google Home have the capacity to analyse how happy and healthy a couple's relationship is, research has found. In-home listening devices will soon be able to judge how functional relationships are as well as interrupt an argument with an idea for how to resolve it, the study said. The research, by Imperial College Business School, stated that within the next two to three years, digital assistants could predict with 75 per cent accuracy the likelihood of a relationship or marriage being a success. The technology would reach a verdict through acoustic analysis of communication between couples – examining everything from everyday encounters to arguments. The virtual assistants would then be able to provide relationship advice and what researchers refer to as democratising counselling.
This is how a pathologist could save your life. Imagine you're coughing up blood, and a chest scan reveals a suspicious mass in your lungs. A surgeon removes a small cylindrical sample from the potential tumor, and the pathologist places very thin slices of the tissue on glass slides. After preserving and staining the tissue, the pathologist peers through a microscope and sees that the cells have the telltale signs of lung cancer. You start treatment before the tumor spreads and grows. And this is how a pathologist could kill you: The expert physician would just have to miss the cancer.
Cargill calls the robotic cattle driver "a first in the industry," and hopes that it will improve worker safety. Cargill calls the robotic cattle driver "a first in the industry," and hopes that it will improve worker safety. Brad Churchill, a slaughter operations manager at Cargill Meat Solutions, has worked in the cattle industry for more than 30 years -- and has seen many employee injuries caused by livestock. "A young man did nothing to provoke this 1,600-pound Angus steer who turned on him in an instant," Churchill said of one incident last year. The man crawled through an escape hatch, and ended up with a dislocated shoulder and few fractured ribs.