Robot co-workers? 7 cool technologies changing the way we work


Technology is poised to change the workplace. Soon you may have a robot for a co-worker or a microchip embedded under your skin that's a work ID. Some innovations are already making an impact. Virtual reality, for example, is going beyond gaming to serve as a powerful workplace training tool. One of the biggest areas where VR training can be useful is safety, according to J. P. Gownder, vice president at research firm Forrester.

Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot shows off its agility for the scouts


While the NFL draft is already over, the Boston Dynamics Atlas robot is angling for a free agent workout with its latest highlight video. We've already seen one backflipping, but considering the abilities necessary, it's nearly as impressive to see a robot running untethered across open terrain, and easily clearing a small obstacle. The stats on its 40 time and vertical aren't world-class yet, but a glance at older PETMAN walking demos from 2009 show how far the technology has come in just a few years. We're betting the next DARPA competition will look a little different from the last one. Richard's been tech-obsessed since first laying hands on an Atari joystick.

Monetizing And Optimizing Content Distribution With Machine Learning And Blockchain


A generation ago, media conglomerates tightly controlled content production and distribution, deciding when, where, and how content was consumed. Gone are the days of linear television channels and a single-television household. Today's consumers decide when and where to consume content across multiple platforms. With the average attention span of an adult hovering at eight seconds, down from 15 seconds in 2000, the media industry is fighting for increasingly smaller slivers of consumer attention. Media companies need a solution for monetizing content and delivering the right content to the right consumer at the right moment.

Using R to Forecast the NFL Draft: What Combine Results Tell Us About Future Success


It's also hugely popular among football fans because it provides a single set of familiar benchmarks for them to compare the new class of college players with current stars and historic greats (who's faster, Saquon Barkley or Ezekiel Elliott? Check out their "simulcam" 40 times). Nonetheless, many analysts are critical of Combine events--often derided as the "Underwear Olympics" due to the athletes' ensembles--as predictors of future NFL success, noting that players are unlikely to run 40 yards in a straight line (the 40-yard dash), repeatedly lift 225 lbs. So that begs the question--just how well does Combine performance predict NFL success? To test the usefulness of using only Combine results for forecasting a player's future performance, we've created two models to predict two different measures of players' football "quality": Approximate Value (AV score) and draft quintile.

How 5G will power innovations in VR and artificial intelligence


Manish Vyas, president of business communication at Tech Mahindra, spoke with TechRepublic's Dan Patterson about innovations that will be enabled by the arrival of 5G. Patterson: Help us understand, Manish, 5G we hear a lot of hype about. Vyas: The reality is that it does promise us to transform. You very rightly use the word digital, but my translation of digital is it promises to change the way people would live, work, and play going forward in a more significant fashion than what you saw with the previous generations. If I could just expand on that a bit, 5G is not just about the throughput and the speed and the power and the latencies, but 5G is about exciting, exciting propositions that will come our way both in the enterprise space and in the consumer domain.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos says Amazon Prime members top 100 million

USATODAY CEO Jeff Bezos tours the facility at the grand opening of the Amazon Spheres in Seattle on Jan. 29, 2018. Amazon's Jeff Bezos said it counts more than 100 million paying members for Amazon Prime, the delivery and content business that's at the heart of its sales growth. The CEO and founder, in his annual letter to shareholders, said last year more members joined Prime than in any previous year. Prime subscribers spend a lot more on Amazon -- $1,300 per year on average -- compared to about $700 for non-Prime members, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. "One thing I love about customers is that they are divinely discontent. Their expectations are never static – they go up," said Bezos. We didn't ascend from our hunter-gatherer days by being satisfied. People have a voracious appetite for a better way, and yesterday's'wow' quickly becomes today's'ordinary'. I see that cycle of improvement happening at a faster rate than ever before. It may be because customers have such easy access to more information than ever before – in only a few seconds and with a couple taps on their phones, customers can read reviews, compare prices from multiple retailers, see whether something's in stock, find out how fast it will ship or be available for pick-up, and more. These examples are from retail, but I sense that the same customer empowerment phenomenon is happening broadly across everything we do at Amazon and most other industries as well.

Local firm Stats bets big on artificial intelligence to gather sports data


Have you ever wondered how a baseball announcer can quickly call up your favorite player's batting average with two outs and runners on first and third? Chances are those numbers came from Stats, a Chicago-based sports data and technology company. Stats, which gathers data from sporting events around the world for more than 650 customers, says it has inked five deals this year worth a total of more than $70 million. The most recent deal, a $10 million agreement announced last week, extended and expanded a relationship with a global broadcast and telecommunications conglomerate. Stats plans to invest some of the money into advancing its use of artificial intelligence to capture game data, said Chief Revenue Officer Richard Henderson, who declined to name the other parties involved in the deals.

Feeding Frenzy for AI Engineers Gets More Intense

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

In December, Bloomberg reported that desperate demand for software engineers who know how to build artificial intelligence systems turned a previously low-key academic event "into a recruiting frenzy more akin to the National Football League's draft day."