UK driverless vehicle tests begin in London

The Independent

Driverless pods have started started carrying members of the public around in North Greenwich, London, as part of the GATEway Project. The autonomous vehicles aren't fitted with a steering wheel or a brake pedal, and instead use a collection of five cameras and three lasers to detect and avoid obstacles on a two-mile route near the O2. They can see up to 100m ahead and are capable of performing an emergency stop if necessary, though they have a top speed of just 10mph. The prototype pods being used in Greenwich can carry four passengers at a time, but each of them will have a trained person on board during the three-week trial. The I.F.O. is fuelled by eight electric engines, which is able to push the flying object to an estimated top speed of about 120mph.

The case for cloud-based AI -- GCN


Meagan Metzger is the founder of Dcode42, an accelerator program for companies with innovative technology products for which there is a current or potential future government need. Dcode42 recently partnered with Amazon Web Services to help speed the adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning for problem solving in government. GCN spoke with Metzger about the role of AI in government and ways cloud-based AI can help government solve challenges. The interview has been edited for length and clarity. GCN: What government challenges do you see AI solving?

Fetch Robotics Introduces Burly New Freight Robots

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

It's a good sign for the robotics industry that more and more robotics companies are starting to make major announcements at specialized events and trade shows, indicating that their robots are ready for tough, real-world applications. This week at ProMat, "the premier showcase of material handling, supply chain, and logistics solutions," Fetch Robotics is showing off two very new, and very large, stuff-transporting robots. This video shows the Freight 500, which can handle 500 kilograms of payload, or generally something about the size of a "case," which I guess is a standard unit in the area of "material handling, supply chain, and logistics solutions." The Freight 1500 weighs just under 470 kg all by itself, but it's only 35.5 centimeters (14 inches) tall, which is the same height as its smaller siblings. It has lidar sensors front and back, a forward-looking RGBD camera, and can run for up to 9 hours while recharging itself to 90 percent in just an hour.

Multi-university effort will advance materials, define the future of mobility

MIT News

Three MIT-affiliated research teams will receive about $10M in funding as part of a $35M materials science discovery program launched by the Toyota Research Institute (TRI). Provided over four years, the support to MIT researchers will be primarily directed at scientific discoveries and advancing a technology that underpins the future of mobility and autonomous systems: energy storage. MIT's Martin Bazant, joined by colleagues at Stanford University and Purdue University, will lead an effort to develop a novel, data-driven design of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. These energy storage workhorses, used in cellphones and hybrid cars, are practical, but complicated due to the fundamental complexity of their electrochemistry. Leveraging a nanoscale visualization technique that revealed, for the first time, how Li-ion particles charge and discharge in real time, in good agreement with his theoretical predictions, Bazant will use machine learning to develop a scalable predictive modeling framework for rechargeable batteries.

Detroit Is Stomping Silicon Valley in the Self-Driving Car Race


If you're betting on Silicon Valley stars like Google, Tesla, and Uber to free you from your horrorshow commute with autonomous driving technology, don't. That's the key takeaway from a new report that finds Ford--yes, the Detroit-based, 113-year-old giant--is winning the race to build the self-driving car, with General Motors running a close second. Meanwhile, Waymo--aka Google's driverless car effort--sits in sixth place, with Tesla in twelfth. Uber languishes in sixteenth, behind Honda and barely ahead of startup Nutonomy and China's Baidu. That may sound all kinds of wrong to anyone who has seen Uber, Waymo, and Tesla flaunt their tech, and regards Detroit's old guard as ill-prepared for the robotic future.

The UK's first online dating profile photographer

BBC News

"Does the world really need another wedding photographer?" That was the thought that ran through Saskia Nelson's mind when, having spontaneously resigned from her office job at a London Olympics legacy project, she was thinking of her next move. An amateur photographer, she decided four years ago, aged 43, that she was going to go professional. But she hadn't really worked out how, and so she used her three-month notice period to consider her options, one of which was to join the army of wedding snappers. "But I thought, 'I'm not married, it's not my bag, I don't really know anything about it,'" says Saskia.

Will AI Create as Many Jobs as It Eliminates?


A new global study finds several new categories of human jobs emerging, requiring skills and training that will take many companies by surprise. The threat that automation will eliminate a broad swath of jobs, across the world economy is now well established. As artificial intelligence (AI) systems become ever more sophisticated, another wave of job displacement will almost certainly occur. But here's what we've been overlooking: Many new jobs will also be created -- jobs that look nothing like those that exist today. In Accenture's global study of more than 1,000 large companies already using or testing AI and machine-learning systems, we identified the emergence of entire categories of new, uniquely human jobs.

26 Experts On How AI Will Change The Way We Do SEO


Things change pretty much on a daily basis in the world of SEO. Since the announcement of Google's AI machine learning algorithm – RankBrain – in 2015, one of the most discussed topics in SEO galleries is: With Google admitting RankBrain being one of the top three ranking factors, these discussions have become even more worthwhile. In past 3-4 months, we also saw a spike in the number of SERPed members asking the same question. And, multiple posts claiming 2017 as the year of AI and Voice Search, we think it is the right time to dive deeper to understand more about it. To get more clarity on this topic, we decided to go straight to the big guns and find out what they think about it. The responses from each expert are compiled below. Fasten your seat belts and get ready for an awesome ride. Albert Mora is the CEO and co-founder of Seolution, an SEO agency for Shopify e-commerce sites. He has been doing SEO from 1997 and has around 20 years of experience. Follow Albert on Twitter here. Since the beginning of the Internet, artificial intelligence has played a relevant role in the operation of search engines. Logically, the algorithms have been evolving, but the fundamental underlying principle remains the same: search engines want to deliver quality search results to the users. For this reason, if you want a long term sustainable SEO results, you must think about the users first, not about the search engines. Alex has more than 15 years of experience in Digital Marketing, and he is working online since 2002.

Google and other tech giants grapple with the ethical concerns raised by the AI boom


With great power comes great responsibility--and artificial-intelligence technology is getting much more powerful. Companies in the vanguard of developing and deploying machine learning and AI are now starting to talk openly about ethical challenges raised by their increasingly smart creations. "We're here at an inflection point for AI," said Eric Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft Research, at MIT Technology Review's EmTech conference this week. "We have an ethical imperative to harness AI to protect and preserve over time." Horvitz spoke alongside researchers from IBM and Google pondering similar issues.

Machine learning proves its worth to business


Machine learning couldn't be hotter. A type of artificial intelligence that enables computers to learn to perform tasks and make predictions without explicit programming, machine learning has caught fire among the hip tech set, but remains a somewhat futuristic concept for most enterprises. But thanks to technological advances and emerging frameworks, machine learning may soon hit the mainstream. Consulting firm Deloitte expects to see a big increase in the use and adoption of machine learning in the coming year. This is in large part because the technology is becoming much more pervasive.