AI-Alerts


Tesla's autopilot tricked into driving on the wrong side of the road

New Scientist

All you need to fool Tesla's autopilot into changing lane is a handful of stickers. Tesla's autopilot uses cameras to detect lane markings, so that it can position itself in the middle of the road and automatically change lanes when required. A team at Keen Security Labs, run by Chinese technology giant Tencent, managed to confuse the system onboard a Tesla Model S with just three stickers placed on the road. The car's autopilot system incorrectly classified the stickers, which were placed over road markings to make a jagged, rather than straight-edged. This caused the Tesla to move onto the wrong side of the road.


UPS Drones Are Now Moving Blood Samples Over North Carolina

WIRED

If you're inclined to puns, you might say medical samples are the lifeblood of hospital systems. But if you actually work with them, you know they're more of a headache. Because the same road traffic that keeps you from getting home keeps the couriers charged with moving these tissue and blood samples, collected by the millions daily and often in urgent need of analysis, from completing their missions. So it makes a lot of sense that when the FAA decided to sanction the first revenue-generating drone delivery scheme in the US, it went with one that promises to speed up that process, run by UPS and autonomous drone technology firm Matternet. It makes sense from the tech perspective, too: The cargo is extremely lightweight and compact, allowing the companies involved to focus on the delivery processes and mechanisms rather than trying to manage unwieldy payloads.


Toyota Robot Can't Slam Dunk but Shoots a Mean 3-Pointer

U.S. News

The maker of the Camry sedan, Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury models has shown off various robots, including one that played a violin. Another, resembling R2-D2 of Star Wars, slides around and picks up things. At Monday's demonstration, it handed the basketball to Cue 3.


Machine Learning for March Madness Is a Competition In Itself

WIRED

This year, 47 million Americans will spend an estimated $8.5 billion betting on the outcome of the NCAA basketball championships, a cultural ritual appropriately known as March Madness. Before the tournament starts, anyone who wants to place a bet must fill out a bracket, which holds their predictions for each of the 63 championship games. The winner of a betting pool is the one whose bracket most closely mirrors the results of the championship. For most people, making a bracket is a way to flex their knowledge of collegiate basketball and maybe make a few bucks by outguessing their colleagues in the office betting pool. But for the mathematically inclined, accurately predicting March Madness brackets is a technical problem in search of a solution.


UK, US and Russia among those opposing killer robot ban

#artificialintelligence

The UK government is among a group of countries that are attempting to thwart plans to formulate and impose a pre-emptive ban on killer robots. Delegates have been meeting at the UN in Geneva all week to discuss potential restrictions under international law to so-called lethal autonomous weapons systems, which use artificial intelligence to help decide when and who to kill. Most states taking part – and particularly those from the global south – support either a total ban or strict legal regulation governing their development and deployment, a position backed by the UN secretary general, António Guterres, who has described machines empowered to kill as "morally repugnant". But the UK is among a group of states – including Australia, Israel, Russia and the US – speaking forcefully against legal regulation. As discussions operate on a consensus basis, their objections are preventing any progress on regulation.


Boston Dynamics' newest robot is a massive birdlike machine that works in a warehouse

Washington Post

In its quest to develop functional -- and sometimes terrifying -- robots, Boston Dynamics has unleashed a veritable petting zoo of futuristic-looking machines. In recent years, the tech company, owned by Japan's SoftBank Group, has released videos showing dog-like robots unloading dishwashers and climbing stairs, galloping Bovidae-like creatures that can run move faster than Usain Bolt, and a mesmerizing humanoid robot that leaves some YouTube viewers convinced that a robot takeover is imminent. In its latest video, the first to surface in about five months, a Boston Dynamics robot has acquired a new form, one that resembles an emu. Despite its large size -- it's six feet tall and weighs 231 pounds -- the wheeled machine glides across a warehouse floor with ease, demonstrating its ability to pick up and move large boxes using what appear to be suction cups at the end of a long neck. It's referred to as "Handle" and, according to the company, was designed to carry up to 33 pounds while maneuvering in tight spaces.


Hey, Google and Alexa: Parents worry voice assistants can listen in on kids, survey finds

USATODAY

You're cool chatting up Amazon Alexa, the Google Assistant and Siri and having each come alive when you utter the "Alexa," "Hey, Google" or "Hey, Siri" wake words. But your kids are also engaging with the popular digital voices inside the smart speakers in your home and your big concern has mostly to do with privacy. Amazon and Google really cornered the smart speaker market. That's the chief takeaway from a new study, exclusive to USA TODAY and conducted in February, by Common Sense Media and SurveyMonkey Audience. Robocall crackdown: FTC continues robocall crackdown, stops groups responsible for'billions' of calls More than 4 in 10 of the 1,127 parents of children ages 2 to 8 who participated in the survey say their family uses a smart speaker such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home.


Driverless car learns to perform high-speed turns without crashing

New Scientist

A self-driving car has learned to make high-speed turns without spinning out. The skill could come in useful during emergency manoeuvres. J Christian Gerdes and colleagues at Stanford University used a type of artificial intelligence algorithm called a neural network, which is loosely based on the neural networks in our brains, to create the self-driving system. They trained the neural network on data from more than 200,000 motion samples taken from test drives on a variety of surfaces, including on a mix of snow and ice at a track near the Arctic Circle. The team equipped a Volkswagen GTI with the algorithm and tested it on an oval-shaped race track.


Soft Robots Look to New Environments

Communications of the ACM

The Octobot is fabricated by combining soft lithography, molding, and 3D printing. In a laboratory at Yale University, a soft toy horse with prosthetic coverings around its foam-stuffed legs has taken its first tentative steps. Despite its stiff and not entirely coordinated gait, the toy demonstration may point the way toward helping space agencies put lighter, more versatile robots into space. Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio, assistant professor at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science, says she was wrestling with the problem of how to allow robots to handle a wider variety of jobs than current approaches, which often focus on performing a single function well, when the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a request for novel robot designs based on lighter, plastic approaches. Rather than attempt to lift many single-task robots into orbit, the space agency wants a single reconfigurable machine to be able to handle different tasks and, occasionally, to act as prosthetics for human astronauts.


Smart talking: are our devices threatening our privacy?

The Guardian

On 21 November 2015, James Bates had three friends over to watch the Arkansas Razorbacks play the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Bates, who lived in Bentonville, Arkansas, and his friends drank beer and did vodka shots as a tight football game unfolded. After the Razorbacks lost 51–50, one of the men went home; the others went out to Bates's hot tub and continued to drink. Bates would later say that he went to bed around 1am and that the other two men – one of whom was named Victor Collins – planned to crash at his house for the night. When Bates got up the next morning, he didn't see either of his friends. But when he opened his back door, he saw a body floating face-down in the hot tub. A grim local affair, the death of Victor Collins would never have attracted international attention if it were not for a facet of the investigation that pitted the Bentonville authorities against one of the world's most powerful companies – Amazon. Collins' death triggered a broad debate about privacy in the voice-computing era, a discussion that makes the big tech companies squirm.