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Combining News Media and AI to Rapidly Identify Flooded Buildings

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has sped up the process of detecting flooded buildings immediately after a large-scale flood, allowing emergency personnel to direct their efforts efficiently. Now, a research group from Tohoku University has created a machine learning (ML) model that uses news media photos to identify flooded buildings accurately within 24 hours of the disaster. Their research was published in the journal Remote Sensing on April 5, 2021. "Our model demonstrates how the rapid reporting of news media can speed up and increase the accuracy of damage mapping activities, accelerating disaster relief and response decisions, said Shunichi Koshimura of Tohoku University's International Research Institute of Disaster Science and co-author of the study. ML and deep learning algorithms are tailored to classify objects through image analysis.


Walmart Joins A Multibillion-Dollar Investment In Self-Driving Cars

International Business Times

Declaring "it's no longer a question of if...but when" autonomous vehicles are used in retail, President and CEO of Walmart (NYSE:WMT) U.S. John Furner announced the retail titan's intention to invest in General Motors' (NYSE:GM) Cruise self-driving car company in a press release today. Furner said the move will "aid our work toward developing a last mile delivery ecosystem that's fast, low-cost and scalable." The Walmart investment brings the total of Cruise's most recent funding round to $2.75 billion, though neither GM nor Cruise provides specifics on how much each individual company contributes to the whole, CNBC reports. Other investors in the subsidiary include GM itself, Microsoft, Honda Motor, and institutional investors. Among other projects, Cruise intends to roll out self-driving taxis in Dubai within the next two years.


Living in busy city doesn't increase chances of catching Covid, says Iran contact-tracing app data

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Living in a busy city doesn't increase the chance of getting Covid-19, but overcrowding does, a new study reveals. AC-19, which was withdrawn from Google's app store last year over alleged concerns of government spying, tracks positive cases and deaths by geographic location. After investigating the link between density and virus transmission in the city, the researchers found that'density alone cannot be considered a risk factor'. The experts stress the difference between high urban density – a high number of people inhabiting an urbanised area – and overcrowding. The right figure shows the state of pandemic spread at the city level and the left one depicts the status at the national level.


Tesla settles with ex-employee over Autopilot code theft accusations

Engadget

Tesla has settled with a former employee that it sued for downloading data related to its Autopilot feature, Reuters has reported. Tesla filed the lawsuit against Cao Guangzhi back in 2019, accusing its former engineer of copying data to an iCloud account and taking it to his new employer, China's XMotors (owned by Xpeng). Cao reportedly made a monetary payment to Tesla as part of the terms of settlement, but the amount and other details were not disclosed. Cao's legal representative confirmed the settlement, saying he never provided Tesla information to XMotors or any other company. XMotors was not a party in the case, and said it developed its own self-driving technology in-house and respected intellectual property rights.


Is AI the Secret Behind Indian Start-ups Making it into Unicorns Club?

#artificialintelligence

India is a breeding ground for many industries. The increase in educated population and the run towards growth has unraveled technology into the country. Today, technology is a core element of growth in the Indian ecosystem. While well-established companies are embracing artificial intelligence for further improvement, Indian start-ups are ballooning like never before. Fortunately, technology-based Indian start-ups landscape has evolved to become the 3rd largest in the world.


Drone attack targets Iraqi base that houses US troops

FOX News

'The Ingraham Angle' host examines the president's approach to diplomacy and foreign policy A drone reportedly dropped explosives at a U.S.-led base near the Erbil airport in Iraq on Wednesday night. There were no reports of injuries, Reuters reported, citing Kurdish officials. It was the first known drone attack believed to be targeting U.S. service members but rocket attacks have hit U.S. bases in the country. A Turkish soldier was reportedly killed in a separate rocket attack Wednesday, Turkish officials said, according to Reuters. A group thought to be aligned with Iran praised the drone attack but no one has explicitly claimed responsibility for it. The U.S. has blamed the attacks on Iran-backed militias, which have called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops, according to Reuters.


Autonomous-Truck Developer TuSimple Plans Driverless Road Test This Year

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

After opening at $40.25, the stock stumbled, slipping about 20%. But it regained much of its loss to close at $40. "I guess it was a rough awakening to life as a public company for a few hours, but we are optimistic," Chief Financial Officer Pat Dillon said. Top news and in-depth analysis on the world of logistics, from supply chain to transport and technology. Chief Executive Cheng Lu said the company is planning to conduct a "driver-out" pilot program without anyone at the wheel in the fourth quarter on a roughly 100-mile run between Tucson and Phoenix. The company has a fleet of 50 trucks it is testing in the U.S. Southwest and approximately 20 more in China, running with two people in the cab.


Standard digital camera and AI to monitor soil moisture for affordable smart irrigation

#artificialintelligence

Researchers at UniSA have developed a cost-effective new technique to monitor soil moisture using a standard digital camera and machine learning technology. The United Nations predicts that by 2050 many areas of the planet may not have enough fresh water to meet the demands of agriculture if we continue our current patterns of use. One solution to this global dilemma is the development of more efficient irrigation, central to which is precision monitoring of soil moisture, allowing sensors to guide'smart' irrigation systems to ensure water is applied at the optimum time and rate. Current methods for sensing soil moisture are problematic – buried sensors are susceptible to salts in the substrate and require specialised hardware for connections, while thermal imaging cameras are expensive and can be compromised by climatic conditions such as sunlight intensity, fog, and clouds. Researchers from The University of South Australia and Baghdad's Middle Technical University have developed a cost-effective alternative that may make precision soil monitoring simple and affordable in almost any circumstance.


Microsoft's Acquisition of Nuance Communications: A Second Go at Language Processing

#artificialintelligence

Welcome to the Capital Note, a newsletter about business, finance, and economics. On the menu today: the history of Nuance's Dragon brand, J&J vaccine halted, Jack Ma capitulates, and W. Brian Arthur on "Economics in Nouns and Verbs." To sign up for the Capital Note, follow this link. Dragon 2.0 Yesterday, Microsoft announced a $16 billion acquisition of language-processing firm Nuance Communications, the latest in a string of big-ticket deals closed by CEO Satya Nadella, who spearheaded the purchases of LinkedIn and Github, among others. With the addition of Nuance's cutting-edge language-processing technology (the lion's share of which is in the health-care sector), Microsoft hopes to beef up its enterprise cloud offering.


Israel's first digital bank begins operations, heralding 'artificial intelligence revolution'

#artificialintelligence

The digital bank founded by Prof. Amnon Shashua, among the founders of the self-driving auto-tech company Mobileye, officially began operations on Sunday, promising to shake up the Israeli banking sector and inject badly needed competition. First Digital Bank, Israel's first new banking institution in 43 years, aims to use artificial intelligence and other technology to create a personal ambiance without the actual human contact that comes with neighborhood branches. "Netflix killed off Blockbuster, Spotify disrupted the music industry and Tesla has left Ford and Mitsubishi in the dust. Banking is one of the few industries that hasn't undergone a revolution. Big, long-standing names control the market with too little competition and offer exactly the same products," said First Digital Bank's CEO, Gal Bar-Dea.