Technology


Q&A: Why business leaders should -- yes -- ask questions

MIT News

Should business leaders spend more time asking questions? Hal Gregersen has a firm answer to that: Yes. Gregersen, the executive director of the MIT Leadership Center and a senior lecturer on leadership and innovation at the MIT Sloan School of Management, has been studying executives for decades. Time and again, he has noticed, the most successful managers are among the most inquisitive people in business. Now Gregersen has synthesized his observations on the subject in a new book, "Questions Are the Answer: A Breakthrough Approach to Your Most Vexing Problems at Work and in Life," published by HarperCollins.


Self-driving car drove me from California to New York, claims ex-Uber engineer

The Guardian

Anthony Levandowski, the controversial engineer at the heart of a lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, claims to have built an automated car that drove from San Francisco to New York without any human intervention. The 3,099-mile journey started on 26 October on the Golden Gate Bridge, and finished nearly four days later on the George Washington Bridge in Manhattan. The car, a modified Toyota Prius, used only video cameras, computers and basic digital maps to make the cross-country trip. Levandowski told the Guardian that, although he was sitting in the driver's seat the entire time, he did not touch the steering wheels or pedals, aside from planned stops to rest and refuel. "If there was nobody in the car, it would have worked," he said.


How to protect your digital privacy from new Christmas presents

The Guardian

Jeff Bezos knows when you've been sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows when you've been bad or good, because you didn't change the default privacy settings on the Amazon smart speaker you set up in your bedroom, for goodness' sake. This Christmas, families will be unwrapping various internet-connected devices, and, knowingly or not, wiring up their homes for levels of surveillance rarely seen outside the Soviet bloc. But you still have a bit of control. Here are the best tips to protect your digital privacy, without resorting to Christmas gifts whittled from wood. When you set up an Echo (Amazon's voice-controlled speaker), it will ask for your address book, to set up the Alexa voice-calling feature.


Google to 'shut down plans' for censored Chinese search engine

Daily Mail

Google has been forced to abandon its specialist Chinese search engine that censors results in line with the strict government, reports have claimed. The firm is believed to have shut down an internal data analysis system which was being used to develop the search engine, known as Dragonfly. According to a report from The Intercept, this has'effectively ended' the entire project. Members of Google's privacy team raised concerns about the project back in August and it is now extremely unlikely the search engine can be built without the system, according to sources close to the project. Google has been forced to abandon its plan to launch a specialist Chinese search engine that censors results in line with the strict government.


Kroger starts use of unmanned vehicles for delivery in...

Daily Mail

U.S. supermarket chain Kroger Co said on Tuesday it has started using unmanned autonomous vehicles to deliver groceries Scottsdale, Arizona in partnership with Silicon Valley startup Nuro. The delivery service follows a pilot program started by the companies in Scottsdale in August and involved Nuro's R1, a custom unmanned vehicle. The R1 uses public roads and has no driver and is used to only transport goods. Kroger's driverless grocery delivery vehicles are finally hitting the road. The firm said it will start testing the self-driving cars on Thursday at a Fry's Food Store in Scottsdale, Arizona Kroger's deal with Nuro underscores the stiff competition in the U.S. grocery delivery market with supermarket chains angling for a bigger share of consumer spending.


SoftBank alum unveils 'affectionate' companion robot in...

Daily Mail

Japanese startup Groove X, founded by an alumni of SoftBank Group Corp's robotics unit, unveiled its first creation on Tuesday - a companion robot designed to make users happy. The Lovot, an amalgam of'love' and'robot', cannot help with the housework but it will'draw out your ability to love,' Groove X founder and CEO Kaname Hayashi told reporters at the launch in Tokyo. Using artificial intelligence (AI) to interact with its surroundings, the wheeled machine resembles a penguin with cartoonish human eyes, has interchangeable outfits and communicates in squeaks. Groove X's Lovot robots are displayed at their demonstration during the launch event in Tokyo. Using artificial intelligence (AI) to interact with its surroundings, the wheeled machine resembles a penguin with cartoonish human eyes, has interchangeable outfits and communicates in squeaks.


Creepy AI can now create '100 per cent lifelike' human faces from scratch

Daily Mail

Can you tell who is real and who is not? Artificial Intelligence is now able to create lifelike human faces from scratch. Researchers at NVIDIA have been working on creating realistic looking human faces from only a few source photos for years. For many people it's difficult to tell the difference between one of the faces generated below and an actual human face, can you spot which is which? The source image - the top row - are the only legitimate photographs of real people, the rest have been computer generated.



Elon Musk to unveil first 'Boring Project' tunnel under LA

Daily Mail

Elon Musk is set to unveil the first underground tunnel he hopes will revolutionise commuting. Musk also plans to show off the autonomous cars that will carry people through the test tunnel, which runs about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) under the streets of Hawthorne, California, Musk's SpaceX headquarters. He's also planning to unveil elevators he says will bring users' own cars from street level to the tunnel. On Saturday, Musk also shared a teaser for the launch event with a poster of one of the Boring Company's tunnels and a light at the end. The test tunnel runs about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) under the streets of Hawthorne, California, Musk's SpaceX headquarters.


Engineer at the center of Uber row claims to have completed self-driving trip across America

Daily Mail

The controversial engineer at the center of Uber's multi-year row with Waymo claims he has completed the longest coast-to-coast trip in a self-driving car across the U.S. Anthony Levandowski, a former Uber engineer, told the Guardian that he didn't touch the autonomous vehicle's steering wheel or pedals during the four-day, 3,099-mile trip from San Francisco to New York City, aside from the occasional rest stop. While the Guardian didn't confirm the details of his trip, if it occurred as Levandowski described, it marks the longest recorded trip by a self-driving car without a human taking over. Levandowski rode in a modified Toyota Prius for the 3,099-mile trip from San Francisco to New York City. The car operates using a semi-autonomous driver-assistance system, named Co-Pilot. Co-Pilot is a level two autonomous system.