Mind-reading device uses AI to turn brainwaves into audible speech

New Scientist

Electrodes on the brain have been used to translate brainwaves into words spoken by a computer – which could be useful in the future to help people who have lost the ability to speak. When you speak, your brain sends signals from the motor cortex to the muscles in your jaw, lips and larynx to coordinate their movement and produce a sound. "The brain translates the thoughts of what you want to say into movements of the vocal tract, and that's what we're trying to decode," says Edward Chang at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He and his colleagues created a two-step process to decode those thoughts using an array of electrodes surgically placed onto the part of the brain that controls movement, and a computer simulation of a vocal tract to reproduce the sounds of speech. In their study, they worked with five participants who had electrodes on the surface of their motor cortex as a part of their treatment for epilepsy.

Tesla investigates video of Model S car exploding

The Guardian

Tesla has sent a team to investigate a video on Chinese social media which showed a parked Tesla Model S car exploding, the latest in a string of fire incidents involving the company's cars. The video, time stamped Sunday evening and widely shared on China's Twitter-like Weibo, shows the parked EV emit smoke and burst into flames seconds later. A video purportedly of the aftermath showed a line of three cars completely destroyed. The video comes as Tesla is preparing to unveil its "full self-driving" tech at a conference in Palo Alto, California, on Monday. The video is likely to overshadow the company's unveiling of its latest autonomous driving software and hardware.

Video of parked Model S spontaneously exploding adds to Tesla woes ahead of earnings results

The Japan Times

SHANGHAI - Video of a parked Tesla Model S exploding and a Wall Street downgrade of the electric carmaker's stock pushed shares down 4 percent Monday, just as it prepared to issue results for a troubled first quarter. Brokerage Evercore cut its recommendation for shares of the Silicon Valley company to "sell," becoming the 12th brokerage to ask investors to abandon billionaire Elon Musk's venture and raising bearish sentiment to its highest level ever. Musk and Tesla Inc. have faced a range of challenges over the past year as one of the leaders in electric vehicle technology sought to ramp up production, deliveries and sales of the Model 3 sedan seen as crucial to its long-term profitability. The company, which is struggling with deliveries of its higher-priced Model S and X luxury cars, said it has sent a team to investigate the video on Chinese social media apparently showing the latest in a string of fires involving its cars. The video, time stamped Sunday evening and widely shared on China's Twitter-like Weibo, shows the parked vehicle emitting smoke and bursting into flames seconds later.

Elon Musk claims Tesla has created 'the best chip in the world' for autonomous vehicles

Daily Mail

Elon Musk has given a rare glimpse into the underpinnings of his electric car company's futuristic autonomous vehicle technology. At Tesla's first-ever Autonomy Day with investors, the firm revealed it has developed what it says is the'best chip in the world' that will allow its cars to achieve full self-driving capabilities without the need for human intervention. The new chip has allowed Tesla to make strides in bringing fully autonomous software to its fleet of vehicles, so much so that Musk predicts Tesla will have more than one million fully self-driving cars on the road by 2020. Elon Musk has given a rare glimpse into the underpinnings of his electric car company's futuristic autonomous vehicle technology. How could it be that Tesla, who has never designed a chip before, would design the best chip in the world?' Musk said on stage at the event, which was hosted at Tesla's Palo Alto, California headquarters.

Tesla will launch its first fleet of autonomous robotaxis by 2020

Daily Mail

Elon Musk said he's'very confident' that Tesla will have autonomous robo-taxis on the road as soon as next year. The billionaire tech mogul showed off a Tesla ride-sharing app at the company's Autonomy Day with investors at its Palo Alto, California headquarters on Monday. Not long after Tesla's robo-taxis are operational, Musk also predicts the firm will eliminate the steering wheel and pedals from its vehicles by 2021. Elon Musk said he's'very confident' that Tesla will have autonomous robo-taxis on the road as soon as next year. Pictured is a mock up of Tesla's ride-sharing app, shown at Autonomy Day'I feel very confident predicting autonomous robo-taxis for Tesla next year,' Musk said on stage.

Tesla unveils the 'best chip in the world' for self-driving cars at its autonomy day event


Tesla's "autonomy day" kicked off on Monday morning at the electric-vehicle maker's headquarters in Palo Alto, California, where executives including CEO Elon Musk were expected to give investors more details about the company's self-driving technology, known as Autopilot. "Tesla is making significant progress in the development of its autonomous driving software and hardware, including our FSD computer, which is currently in production and which will enable full-self driving via future over-the-air software updates," the company said when it announced the event. Attendees were given red, Tesla-branded badges with sequential numbers, assumably for test rides of the full self-driving functionality. Musk took the stage just before noon alongside Pete Bannon, the vice president of Autopilot engineering, as more than 40,000 people watched remotely via the company's live YouTube stream. Bannon explained how Tesla designed a new chip for its Autopilot software, noting that the company was able to leverage expertise from multiple teams across the business.

Tesla CEO Plans to Hand the Car Keys to Robots Next Year

U.S. News

From Musk's vantage point, Tesla has a huge advantage over autonomous vehicle competitors because it gathers a massive amount of data in the real world. This quarter, he said Tesla will have 500,000 vehicles on the road, each equipped with eight cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar gathering data to help build the company's neural network, which will serve as the digital equivalent of the self-driving cars' consciousness.

Microsoft denied police facial recognition tech over human rights concerns


Microsoft has said it turned down a request from law enforcement in California to use its facial recognition technology in police body cameras and cars, reports Reuters. Speaking at an event at Stanford University, Microsoft president Brad Smith said the company was concerned that the technology would disproportionately affect women and minorities. Past research has shown that because facial recognition technology is trained primarily on white and male faces, it has higher error rates for other individuals. "Anytime they pulled anyone over, they wanted to run a face scan," said Smith of the unnamed law enforcement agency. "We said this technology is not your answer."

Apple settles dispute with Qualcomm, potentially allowing new features to come to the iPhone

The Independent

Apple has settled a major argument with chip maker Qualcomm that could help change the future of the iPhone. The two companies were locked in a bitter and worldwide international dispute about the technology that iPhones use to connect to the internet. The pair had been expected to try and resolve the dispute in legal hearings in San Diego, in a case that involved Apple's key iPhone suppliers. But just as that case began, the surprise truce was announced, with few details of the settlement being revealed. We'll tell you what's true.

RMIT partners with NAB and Palo Alto Networks for new cybersecurity course


The smartest companies now approach cybersecurity with a risk management strategy. Learn how to make policies to protect your most important digital assets. The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) has announced a new online course on cybersecurity in a bid to address Australia's cybersecurity skills shortage. As part of the course, RMIT Online has partnered with the National Australia Bank (NAB) and Palo Alto Networks, with both organisations to provide mentors for the course. The course, called Cyber Security Risk and Strategy, will cover topics such as the fundamentals of cybersecurity and how to apply cybersecurity risk mitigation strategies to an organisation.