IPSV


Identifying optimal product prices

MIT News

Within six months of implementing the algorithm, it increased Rue La La's revenue by 10 percent. Simchi-Levi's process involves three steps for generating better price predictions: The first step involves matching products with similar characteristics to the products to be optimized. The second step requires testing a price against actual sales, and adjusting the product's pricing curve to match real-life results. For deals with fewer bookings per day than the median, the average increase in revenue was 116 percent, while revenue increased only 14 percent for deals with more bookings per day than the median.


World's first talking sex robot is ready for her close-up

#artificialintelligence

That's when a San Marcos company will unveil Harmony, an anatomically correct sex doll with a patented animatronic talking head with programmable personality and memory. News of creator Matt McMullen's latest invention -- he's been making lifelike silicone sex dolls for 20 years -- has created international media interest and a firestorm of criticism from ethicists and futurists who see a dark side to a sex doll that becomes more "human" with each technological innovation. McMullen grew up drawing, painting and working in mixed-media art until in his 20s he discovered a passion for sculpting, specializing in creating lifelike female figures 12 to 18 inches tall. But when a flood of customers asked him to make the dolls anatomically correct for sexual purposes, he went with the flow.


Tesla's Autopilot Trouble, the Mercedes-Benz Hypercar, NHTSA Guidelines, and More Car News From This Week

WIRED

After years of hearings, investigations, and states doing whatever they like in the absence of federal decision-making, self-driving car decrees flowed out of Washington, DC, this week like your data from Equifax. The Department of Transportation updated its policy on automated vehicles. The National Transportation Safety Board released the results of a yearlong investigation into a deadly Tesla Autopilot crash. Please tip your local transportation reporters: @adavies47, @stewart_jack and @AarianMarshall.


Drone Strike Kills 3 Militants in NW Pakistan, Say Officials

U.S. News

ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Two Pakistani officials say a suspected U.S. drone strike has targeted a compound in a northwestern tribal region along the Afghan border, killing three suspected militants. If confirmed, it would be the first U.S. drone strike on Pakistan since President Donald Trump announced his new strategy for Afghanistan. The officials said apparently Afghan Taliban, including member Abdul Salam, were targeted but it was unclear whether they were present at the time. NASA's Cassini spacecraft will make a final dive into Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15.


Artificial skin lets robot hand feel hot or cold

USATODAY

A robot hand with artificial skin reaches for a glass of ice water. Researchers at the University of Houston have created an artificial skin that allows a robotic hand to sense the difference between heat and cold. The discovery of stretchable electronics could have a significant impact in the wearables market, with devices such as health monitors or biomedical devices, says Cunjiang Yu, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Houston and the lead author for the paper. When the stretchable electronic skin was applied to a robotic hand, it could tell the difference between hot and cold water.


Why 500 Million People in China Are Talking to This AI

MIT Technology Review

Some also use it to send text messages through voice commands while driving, or to communicate with a speaker of another Chinese dialect. But while some impressive progress in voice recognition and instant translation has enabled Xu to talk with his Canadian tenant, language understanding and translation for machines remains an incredibly challenging task (see "AI's Language Problem"). In August, iFlytek launched a voice assistant for drivers called Xiaofeiyu (Little Flying Fish). Min Chu, the vice president of AISpeech, another Chinese company working on voice-based human-computer interaction technologies, says voice assistants for drivers are in some ways more promising than smart speakers and virtual assistants embedded in smartphones.



Amazon has developed an AI fashion designer

#artificialintelligence

The effort points to ways in which Amazon and other companies could try to improve the tracking of trends in other areas of retail--making recommendations based on products popping up in social-media posts, for instance. For instance, one group of Amazon researchers based in Israel developed machine learning that, by analyzing just a few labels attached to images, can deduce whether a particular look can be considered stylish. An Amazon team at Lab126, a research center based in San Francisco, has developed an algorithm that learns about a particular style of fashion from images, and can then generate new items in similar styles from scratch--essentially, a simple AI fashion designer. The event included mostly academic researchers who are exploring ways for machines to understand fashion trends.


Face-reading AI will be able to detect your politics and IQ, professor says

#artificialintelligence

Michal Kosinski – the Stanford University professor who went viral last week for research suggesting that artificial intelligence (AI) can detect whether people are gay or straight based on photos – said sexual orientation was just one of many characteristics that algorithms would be able to predict through facial recognition. Kosinski, an assistant professor of organizational behavior, said he was studying links between facial features and political preferences, with preliminary results showing that AI is effective at guessing people's ideologies based on their faces. That means political leanings are possibly linked to genetics or developmental factors, which could result in detectable facial differences. Facial recognition may also be used to make inferences about IQ, said Kosinski, suggesting a future in which schools could use the results of facial scans when considering prospective students.


Tesla Autopilot 'partly to blame' for crash

BBC News

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has found that Tesla's Autopilot system was partly to blame for a fatal accident in which a Model S collided with a lorry. The NTSB found that both Mr Brown and the lorry driver had sufficient sight distance to afford time for either party to have acted to prevent the collision. The investigation found that Mr Brown's inattention and the lorry driver's unwillingness to give way were both primary factors of the crash. Following the meeting, the NTSB's report includes seven safety recommendations requiring car manufacturers to add safeguards to prevent automated vehicle control systems from being used outside the conditions for which they were designed.