As Elon Musk promises "full self-driving," experts worry Tesla is "using consumers as guinea pigs"

Washington Post

Tesla's cars will in August suddenly activate "full self-driving features," the company's chief executive Elon Musk tweeted on Sunday, three days after federal investigators said a Tesla SUV driving semi-autonomously had accelerated over 70 mph and smashed into a highway barrier. Musk's promotion to his millions of followers -- that the fantastic future of self-driving cars might only be a few months away -- appeared to give the company a leg-up in the auto industry's most competitive technological race. Tesla's stock price jumped Monday by more than 4.5 percent. A Tesla spokesperson on Monday said the cars would only start offering a limited number of as-yet-undisclosed features, not full autonomy itself. But safety experts worried the grand promises of full self-driving capabilities could lull drivers into a false sense of security for technologies that are still largely unproven on the road.

The State Of The ARt At AWE 18

Forbes Technology

The 9th annual Augmented World Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center, May 29th to June 1st, 2018, was a celebration of AR's progress. Watershed events, like the introduction of ARKit from Apple in September 2017, have spurred innovation. Mobile AR is very hot. Most of the glasses look dorky, though some are slimming down. The dorky ones were by far the most popular. The bigger story, however, is how fast the enterprise segment is growing as applications as straightforward as schematics on a head-mounted monocular microdisplay are transforming manufacturing, assembly, and warehousing. Tom Emrich, Programmer of AWE and a partner in Super Ventures, delivered his dramatic keynote AWE using motion capture technology. For AWE's co-founder and Executive Producer, Ori Inbar, the Conference was nothing less than a victory lap. With Microsoft and Qualcomm among the Gold Sponsors, there was a palpable smell of vindication in the air.

Google Prepares Google Home Multi-Language Support For Multiple Markets

International Business Times

Google is planning to bring support for more languages to its Google Assistant AI, so that its Google Home speaker could appeal to more consumers. Digitimes Research reported late last week that Google is planning to push sales of its Google Home speakers to more markets this 2018. With this in mind, the search engine giant is aiming to bring support for up to 30 languages to its voice assistant. Amazon's Alexa only supports three languages at present. To take advantage of the situation, Google wants to enable Google Assistant to support up to 30 languages with the use of its deep research in multi-language and semantics.

Watch real football matches in miniature played on your desk

New Scientist

The football World Cup is almost upon us. Many millions will watch the tournament unfold on TV screens around the globe. But what if you could enjoy a mini virtual reconstruction of each match on your dining table instead? To create such an experience, Konstantinos Rematas and colleagues at the University of Washington trained a machine learning algorithm to convert 2D YouTube clips into 3D reconstructions. They began by gathering footage from the football videogame FIFA.

NASA robot finds 'building blocks for life' on Mars

Al Jazeera

A NASA robot has found more building blocks for life on Mars, the most complex organic matter yet from 3.5 billion-year-old rocks on the surface of the red planet, the US space agency said on Thursday. The unmanned Curiosity rover has also found increasing evidence for seasonal variations of methane on Mars, indicating the source of the gas is likely the planet itself, or possibly its subsurface water. The data, collected through drilling into the lowest point of the red planet's Gale crater, is part of the US space agency's newly widened search for organic molecules that could indicate past life on the surface of Mars. Additional data from the robotic probe confirms the detection of "seasonal patterns" in methane levels, NASA geophysicist Ashwin Vasvada said in the live-streamed announcement. NASA scientist Chris Webster confirmed that water has been found on the martian surface and has been present for "a very long time," which points strongly toward a "habitable environment".

Feds: Tesla Accelerated, Didn't Brake Ahead of Fatal Crash

U.S. News

The National Transportation Safety Board also says crash data shows the SUV did not brake or steer away from the barrier in the three seconds before the crash. The agency says it now will examine whether the Tesla Autopilot system performed as designed.

We Need to Talk About Robots Trying to Pass as Humans


Westworld is a hell of a show, but the sense of dread it elicits is nothing new. Pygmalion sculpted a woman who came to life. Same goes with the Golem, only with mud. The amalgamated Frankenstein jolted awake to get all murderous. Humans creating life in their own image is a cornerstone of the realm of fiction.

Apple's Plans to Bring Artificial Intelligence to Your Phone


Apple describes its mobile devices as designed in California and assembled in China. You could also say they were made by the App Store, launched a decade ago next month, a year after the first iPhone. Inviting outsiders to craft useful, entertaining, or even peurile extensions to the iPhone's capabilities transformed the device into the era-defining franchise that enabled Uber and Snapchat. Craig Federighi, Apple's head of software, is tasked with keeping that wellspring of new ideas flowing. One of his main strategies is to get more app developers to use artificial intelligence tools such as recognizing objects in front of an iPhone's camera.

We Built A Powerful Amazon Facial Recognition Tool For Under $10

Forbes Technology

The democratization of mass surveillance is upon us. Insanely cheap tools with the power to track individuals en masse are now available for anyone to use, as exemplified by a Forbes test of an Amazon facial recognition product, Rekognition, that made headlines last month. Jeff Bezos' behemoth of a business is seen by most as a consumer-driven business, not a provider of easy-to-use spy tech. But as revealed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) last week, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is shipping Rekognition to various U.S. police departments. And because Rekognition is open to all, Forbes decided to try out the service.

US government to use facial recognition technology at Mexico border crossing

The Guardian

The US government is deploying a new facial recognition system at the southern border that would record images of people inside vehicles entering and leaving the country. The pilot program, scheduled to begin in August, will build on secretive tests conducted in Arizona and Texas during which authorities collected a "massive amount of data", including images captured "as people were leaving work, picking up children from school, and carrying out other daily routines", according to government records. The project, which US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed to the Guardian on Tuesday, sparked immediate criticisms from civil liberties advocates who said there were a host of privacy and constitutional concerns with an overly broad surveillance system relying on questionable technology. Already the largest and most funded federal law enforcement agency in its own right, the border patrol is part of the umbrella agency US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP's approximately 60,000 employees are split in four major divisions: officers who inspect imports; an air and marine division; agents who staff ports of entry – international airports, seaports and land crossings; and the approximately 20,000 agents of the border patrol, who are concentrated in the south-west, but stationed nationwide.