... includes all of the major AI methods for (a) representing knowledge about a task or a problem area, and (b) reasoning about a problem.
This week brought a bunch of deals on new gadgets, including Amazon's rotating Echo Show 10 and Google's Nest Hub. The former dropped to a new all-time low while the latter remains 20 percent off at various retailers. AirPods Pro are more than $50 off right now, and Amazon Prime members can snag the Fire TV Stick Lite for only $20. Here are the best tech deals from this week that you can still get today. The Nest Audio smart speaker is still $20 off across the web, bringing to down to $80.
When Amazon first introduced Alexa and the Echo speaker six years ago, the idea of talking to a digital assistant wasn't totally novel. Both the iPhone and Android phones had semi-intelligent voice controls -- but with the Echo, Amazon took its first step toward making something like Alexa a constant presence in your home. Since then, Apple and Google have followed suit, and now there's a huge variety of smart speakers available at various price points. As the market exploded, the downsides of having a device that's always listening for a wake word have become increasingly apparent. They can get activated unintentionally, sending private recordings back to monolithic companies to analyze. And even at the best of times, giving more personal information to Amazon, Apple and Google can be a questionable decision. That said, all these companies have made it easier to manage how your data is used -- you can opt out of humans reviewing some of your voice queries, and it's also less complicated to manage and erase your history with various digital assistants, too. The good news is that there's never been a better time to get a smart speaker, particularly if you're a music fan.
Voice control, using either Alexa or Google Assistant, is the U by Moen smart faucet's star attraction, but after testing this kitchen tool for several months, I've concluded that its gesture control feature is far more useful. Voice control is no gimmick, as you'll see when I dig all the things you can do with voice commands. But the tasks for which I use a faucet most often--washing my hands, rinsing dishes, filling a watering can for my houseplants, and the like--waving my hand over the faucet to start the flow of water, and again to stop it is all the technology I need. I love my handmade farmhouse sink, but it seriously complicates changing out the faucet. But that could be because I live in a rural area and draw my water from a well.
If you have ever used Google Maps on your phone without fiddling with the location settings, it goes without saying that the tech giant knows everywhere you've been. The really bad news is that even if you have previously tried to stop Google tracking your every movement, the company may have done so anyway. On Friday the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) won a legal action in the federal court, which ruled that, thanks to a peculiar set-up that required a user to check "No" or "Do Not Collect" to both "Location History" and "Web & App Activity" on some Android and Pixel phones, someone who ticked "No" to just one would still end up being tracked. We asked Dr Katharine Kemp, a legal academic from the University of New South Wales whose focus is consumer law, and the Australian cryptographer Vanessa Teague for their thoughts on the significance of the decision and how a person might go about securing their devices. Kemp, an Apple user herself, says that for many consumers, today's decision may not actually mean much, as the decision only related to Android users and Google has since updated the settings that formed the basis of the ACCC's complaint.
Parsons Corporation (NYSE: PSN) is developing and deploying artificial intelligence (AI) across a wide array of federal solutions and critical infrastructure projects to solve our customer's most challenging problems, produce actionable intelligence, and improve the user experience. Data analytics, AI, and edge computing are ingrained in company offerings across all business units. For example, the company developed an AI-enabled weapon-target pairing algorithm, with initial tests showing outstanding accuracy and speed results; produced an electronic warfare (EW) planning optimization tool-set named TEMPO (Tactical Electronic Warfare Machine Learning Planning Optimization); and recently won a classified research and development contract to develop constellation task scheduling algorithms based on organically developed AI technology. "Parsons' artificial intelligence capabilities align with our customer's vision by improving situational awareness, decision-making, the safety of operating equipment, streamlining business processes, and protecting critical infrastructure," said Ricardo Lorenzo, chief technology officer for Parsons. "By combining our AI technical expertise with our operational understanding of the all-domain environment and critical infrastructure markets, we're working closely with our customers to develop leap-ahead technology that empowers operators at the tactical edge and beyond. We're also developing differentiated capabilities that ensure the efficiency and security of existing energy and water networks."
With the proliferation of female robots such as Sophia and the popularity of female virtual assistants such as Siri (Apple), Alexa (Amazon), and Cortana (Microsoft), artificial intelligence seems to have a gender issue. This gender imbalance in AI is a pervasive trend that has drawn sharp criticism in the media (even Unesco warned against the dangers of this practice) because it could reinforce stereotypes about women being objects. But why is femininity injected in artificial intelligent objects? If we want to curb the massive use of female gendering in AI, we need to better understand the deep roots of this phenomenon. In an article published in the journal Psychology & Marketing, we argue that research on what makes people human can provide a new perspective into why feminization is systematically used in AI.
Save $34.99: Get the all-new Amazon Echo (4th Gen) bundled with an Amazon Smart Plug for just $89.99 at Amazon as of April 15. Your options for advanced, high-end smart speakers are no longer lacking these days. Nearly every tech brand has their own model on the market, but Amazon is still the top choice for most of us. But you need more than just a smart speaker for an automated home, and Amazon comes through once again with a special smart home bundle to get you started. This bundle includes the all-new Amazon Echo (4th Gen) and one Amazon Smart Plug for a total of $89.99. That's a total discount of $34.99 compared to buying each separately at their regular prices.
As part of Microsoft's research into ways to use machine learning and AI to improve security defenses, the company has released an open source attack toolkit to let researchers create simulated network environments and see how they fare against attacks. Microsoft 365 Defender Research released CyberBattleSim, which creates a network simulation and models how threat actors can move laterally through the network looking for weak points. When building the attack simulation, enterprise defenders and researchers create various nodes on the network and indicate which services are running, which vulnerabilities are present, and what type of security controls are in place. Automated agents, representing threat actors, are deployed in the attack simulation to randomly execute actions as they try to take over the nodes. "The simulated attacker's goal is to take ownership of some portion of the network by exploiting these planted vulnerabilities. While the simulated attacker moves through the network, a defender agent watches the network activity to detect the presence of the attacker and contain the attack," the Microsoft 365 Defender Research Team wrote in a post discussing the project.
Artificial Intelligence may well be the most potentially transformative technology since the Cloud, but it's clearly become the reigning champion for Tech hype and media buzz. IBM's Watson – a "cognitive" computer capable of answering natural language questions - was developed to compete on Jeopardy, a popular quiz show. In 2011, Watson competed against world champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings before a TV audience of millions…and beat them. At the end, Jennings remarked: "I for one welcome our new computer overlords". In fact, the Watson that won Jeopardy was an outcome of decades of research in "Symbolic AI".
Artificial Intelligence shapes a lot of things we do in our day-to-day lives. The Netflix show you're binge-watching while on quarantine, the compulsive purchases you make on Amazon, and even the things you search on the internet come to us courtesy of AI. Investments in AI and its key subset – machine learning, are increasing more than ever. The total global investments by private businesses on AI accumulated to a total of $70 Billion in 2020. A survey by McKinsey reported that 82% of enterprises using AI and machine learning across their organizational activities have received a significant return on investment.