Sci-fi has shaped the direction of real-life science – so what happens now reality is catching up with fiction?


It's no understatement to say that the science fiction stories that we've told ourselves in well-thumbed paperbacks, cult movies and beloved TV series have changed the world. For years they've led the way for real scientific advances, providing the creative vision that has inspired engineers and scientists. But in an age where reality is starting to catch up with fiction… well, what happens next? "We're really starting to catch up with those ideas now in the real world," says futurologist and artificial intelligence (AI) expert Dr Ian Pearson. And it's true, science is making fiction a reality.

Google Home app features improved interface and search


Google Home is becoming all sorts of useful. You can already use the family of smart speakers along with Chromecast to control your Spotify and Netflix accounts, watch CBS All Access and CW television shows, and manage YouTube's live TV service. Now, Google is updating the Google Home app with a new, more useful layout, recommended streaming content, a better search system, redesigned controller interfaces and even movie trailers. The updated app is available today in the Google Play store; the iOS app was apparently updated a few days back. The updates are all aimed at making the Home experience just a bit more intuitive, like putting important navigation buttons at the bottom of the app's screen.

Amazon developing free version of video streaming service

Daily Mail

Amazon is developing a free, ad-supported video streaming service, it has been claimed. The retail giant is believed to be planning to share ad revenue with TV networks in return for shows, according to Ad Age. The company is talking with TV networks, movie studios and other media companies about providing programming to the service, it says. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has shared some of the secrets of his success, hot on the heels of becoming the world's richest man. Ad Age says it wants to dive into back catalogs of TV and movie studios for the service, and is also going after lifestyle, travel, cooking and other shows that are a good fit for an e-commerce platform.

'Westworld' Season 2 Spoilers: This Theory Suggests Dr. Ford Is Still Alive

International Business Times

Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) was shot in the head during the finale episode of "Westworld" Season 1, and show creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy later confirmed that he is indeed dead. But Futurologist Dr. Ian Pearson told Express that there's still a huge chance Ford is alive, and it is all thanks to the technology he has created. "It's been established that [humans] can put their mind inside a robot before their die and then they can carry on," he said. "This was Ford's plan to give the robots purpose. Who was and who wasn't?" Pearson added that Ford made "electronic immortality" possible.

Apple TV 4K review: The high price of polish


The Apple TV 4K probably shouldn't cost $179. That's $110 more than several other 4K HDR streaming devices, including the Roku Streaming Stick, Fire TV, and Chromecast Ultra, all of which do a decent job of playing much of the same content. But just like the regular Apple TV, which remains available for $149, the Apple TV 4K nails the little details in ways its competitors often don't. Its apps are universally best-in-breed, its voice search is speedy and sophisticated, and its home screen is refreshingly free of advertisements. The fact that Apple's streaming box is the only one to support Dolby Vision--a proprietary enhancement over the HDR-10 standard--is just icing.

Tonight Showbotics: Snakebot, Sophia, eMotion Butterflies


Jimmy Fallon demos amazing new robots from all over the world, including an eerily human robot named Sophia that plays rock-paper-scissors. Watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Weeknights 11:35/10:35c Get more Jimmy Fallon: Follow Jimmy: Get more The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Follow The Tonight Show: NBC/posts The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon features hilarious highlights from the show including: comedy sketches, music parodies, celebrity interviews, ridiculous games, and, of course, Jimmy's Thank You Notes and hashtags! You'll also find behind the scenes videos and other great web exclusives.

Machine Learning 101 – Blog


The business headlines are dominated with buzzwords like machine learning, data analytics, and predictive analytics. You hear about case studies like "Chase uses predictive analytics to predict credit worthiness in customers", "Netflix uses machine learning to recommend movies to its subscribers", "Amazon segments customers using AI [artificial intelligence]", and, fantastic as it sounds, "Most hedge funds allow machine learning algorithms to pick and trade stocks… with better success than the experts." Machine learning and artificial intelligence are everywhere. It's pervasive in every aspect of life from you're your big store purchases, to Google search recommendations, to Amazon delivery logistics, to Netflix movie recommendations. It's also everywhere you're not seeing.

AI binges on CSI crime shows and learns to guess whodunnit

New Scientist

THE set-up in an episode of the TV show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is nearly always the same. There is a body, some forensic evidence and one question: who did it? But the formula is gripping because the answer is rarely obvious. Cracking the case before the big reveal not only requires an ability to pay attention to the clues, but also to navigate plot twists and red herrings. It is even harder for a computer to solve.

Wednesday's TV highlights: 'Mr. Robot' on USA

Los Angeles Times

Riverdale When an article written by Alice (Madchen Amick) sparks tensions, Jughead (Cole Sprouse) steps into the role of peacekeeper. Also, Betty (Lili Reinhart) turns to Archie (KJ Apa) for support when she gets a threatening ultimatum. Empire Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and others try to cover for Lucious' (Terrence Howard) memory problem. Nature A cheetah mother raises five newborns, teaching them how to hunt on the African plains. Dynasty The growing rivalry between Fallon and Cristal (Elizabeth Gillies, Nathalie Kelley) intensifies when they compete to be on the cover of a magazine, while Steven's (James Mackay) former boyfriend suddenly shows up.

Machine Learning Meets Fashion – Towards Data Science – Medium


Training a model with the MNIST dataset is often considered the "Hello world" of machine learning. That's been done many times over, but unfortunately, just because a model does well on MNIST, doesn't necessarily mean it is predictive of high performance on other datasets, especially since most image data we have today are considerable more complex than handwritten digits. Zalando decided it was time to make MNIST fashionable again, and recently released a dataset called fashion-mnist. It's the exact same format as'regular' MNIST except the data is in the form of pictures of various clothing types, shoes, and bags. It is still across 10 categories and the images are still 28 by 28 pixels.