Google sibling Waymo launches fully autonomous ride-hailing service

The Guardian

Waymo, formerly known as Google's self-driving car, is launching a fully autonomous Uber-like ride-hailing service with no human driver behind the wheel, after testing the vehicles on public roads in Arizona. Waymo, which is owned by Google parent Alphabet, said members of the public will begin riding in its fleet of modified Fiat Chrysler Pacifica minivans outfitted with self-driving technology in the next few months. Passengers will initially be accompanied in the back seat by a Waymo employee, but will eventually travel alone in the robotic car. The service will first be available to those who are already part of the company's public trial already under way in Phoenix. Rides will be free to start with, but Waymo expects to begin charging for journeys at some point.

Google Assistant Can Now Recognize Songs

International Business Times

Google Assistant is now able to identify songs that are currently playing out loud. The new feature was made available this Tuesday through a software update and should work on any Android smartphone that has Google Assistant enabled. Google also promised during the Pixel 2 launch that a similar feature would be made available to other Android smartphones through Google Assistant. Now, it looks like the search engine giant has delivered on it promise as the feature appears to be already available on some Android smartphones, as first discovered by 9To5Google. Google Assistant will also provide users with links to access the song on YouTube, Google Play Music and Spotify.

Why Montreal Has Emerged As An Artificial Intelligence Powerhouse


Yoshua Bengio is one of the foremost thinkers in a field within artificial intelligence known as artifical neural networks and deep learning. Although significant progress has been made in recent years due to (among other factors) the combination of the proliferation of data, the decreasing cost of compute, and the tremendous amount of money and talent now devoted to artificial intelligence, Bengio chose this as a field of study during the 1980s, in the throes of what some referred to as the AI winter, seeing through a period when money and enthusiasm for artificial intelligence had dried up. Bengio is the co-author (with Ian Goodfellow and Aaron Courville) of Deep Learning, a book that Elon Musk referred to as "the definitive textbook on deep learning." On top of his growing influence in this field, he has also been enormously influential in shaping Montreal to become a hotbed for artificial intelligence. Bengio co-founded Element AI in 2016, which has a stated mission to "turn the world's leading AI research into transformative business applications."

Why Daimler Researchers Used VR to Become Self-Driving Cars


You're lying on your stomach, with your arms draped forwards, almost like you're going to get a shoulder massage. Except this is not a moment for relaxation. Through a VR headset, you see flashes of color, an unfamiliar view of the world, a group of red lines that looks something like a person. And now you have to make a decision, because you're rolling forward, head first, and your right hand is wrapped around the joystick that determines which way you're going. Do you continue forward, and risk hitting that blob that might be a human being?

'We need to worry about artificial stupidity'


However, Prof Alan Winfield, a world renowned professor of robot ethics from the Bristol Robotics Lab, told BBC Hardtalk's Stephen Sackur the bigger danger was "artificial stupidity".

Google's Hinton Outlines New AI Advance That Requires Less Data

U.S. News

Hinton, an academic whose previous work on artificial neural networks is considered foundational to the commercialization of machine learning, detailed the approach, known as capsule networks, in two research papers posted anonymously on academic websites last week.

Google and AutoNation partner on self-driving car program


See how self-driving cars prepare for the real world inside a private testing facility owned by Google's autonomous car company, Waymo. A Chrysler Pacifica hybrid outfitted with Waymo's suite of sensors and radar is displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Google is partnering with AutoNation, the country's largest auto dealership chain, in its push to build a self-driving car. AutoNation said Thursday, Nov. 2, that its dealerships will provide maintenance and repairs for Waymo's self-driving fleet of Chrysler Pacifica vehicles. FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Google is partnering with AutoNation, the country's largest auto dealership chain, in its push to produce self-driving cars for wide use.

Workers Displaced by Automation Could Become Caregivers for Humans


Sooner or later, the US will face mounting job losses due to advances in automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Automation has emerged as a bigger threat to American jobs than globalization or immigration combined. A 2015 report from Ball State University attributed 87 percent of recent manufacturing job losses to automation. Soon enough, the number of truck and taxi drivers, postal workers, and warehouse clerks will shrink. What will the 60 percent of the population that lacks a college degree do?

Rochester Area High School Opens New STEM Center

U.S. News

WHAM-TV reports McQuaid Jesuit High School held a ceremony Wednesday for the new Wegman Family Science and Technology Center. The 36,000-square foot center includes advanced robotics rooms and state-of-the-art science labs. McQuaid's robotics and Lego robotics teams will also have their own spaces in the STEM wing.

AI Has Learned to Spot Suicidal Tendencies from Brain Scans


Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 15 and 34 in the United States, and clinicians have limited tools to identify those at risk. A new machine-learning technique documented in a paper published today in Nature Human Behaviour (PDF) could help identify those suffering from suicidal thoughts. Researchers looked at 34 young adults, evenly split between suicidal participants and a control group. Each subject went through a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and were presented with three lists of 10 words. All the words were related to suicide (words like "death," "distressed," or "fatal"), positive effects ("carefree," "kindness," "innocence"), or negative effects ("boredom," "evil," "guilty").