Google's Waymo expands to Atlanta to test self-driving cars


Google-owned Waymo on Monday announced it will expand its test program of self-driving minivans to Atlanta. Google's self-driving cars involved in 11 crashes Google comes clean on the number of accidents its driverless cars have been in over the past six years. Waymo didn't detail when the rollout in Atlanta will begin or how many vehicles will be used for testing. "Now that we have the world's first fully self-driving vehicles on public roads in AZ, we're looking to take our tech to more cities," Waymo tweeted. According to The Verge, Google began mapping downtown Atlanta last week to have an accurate accurate 3D map for its self-driving fleet.

AI and robots are displacing science and tech workers. The question is: How quickly?


There is little debate that there are huge benefits and risks to AI, both for agencies and their clients. Instead, industry discussions have now turned toward how to maintain the balance: embracing the day-to-day convenience machine intelligence can provide, while at the same time, walking the thin line of fear that society still feels for any kind of artificial intelligence. This unknown is the source of widespread industry debate, generating countless misconceptions along the way, the biggest of which is that AI is ready to replace humans to perform very complex tasks like UX or UI design. This is compounded by Adobe's recent launch of numerous AI-driven design and development tools. However, agencies have nothing to worry about yet and there a few important reasons why....

AI-powered robot finds common soap ingredient may combat malaria


Around half of the world's population is at risk of contracting malaria and it causes around half a million deaths each year. However, the parasites that cause malaria are becoming more resistant to the drugs we currently use to combat them, meaning the global malaria risk stands to increase if we don't develop new drugs quickly enough. Well new research published recently in Scientific Reports finds that a common chemical used in everything from soap and toothpaste to clothing and furniture might be an effective treatment, and it was done with the help of AI. Many popular antimalarial drugs target a specific enzyme found in malaria-causing parasites, an enzyme important for the parasites' growth.

Waymo adds Atlanta to its self-driving car roadmap


See how self-driving cars prepare for the real world inside a private testing facility owned by Google's autonomous car company, Waymo. Google's Waymo is the widely acknowledged leader in self-driving technology. SAN FRANCISCO -- Atlanta could be next up for a full-fledged self-driving car program, following in the footsteps of Phoenix where Google-owned Waymo is poised to debut a commercial autonomous ride-hailing service later this year. Waymo tweeted Monday that it has targeted the Big Peach for evolving series of self-driving car tests. While details are scarce -- Waymo only said that it has begun mapping the city -- its plans could echo those following in Arizona, where a fleet of minivans without drivers has been picking up selected passengers since November.

How AI and robotics can transform CSR


In his 2011 book charting the history of corporate social responsibility, the academic and futurist Wayne Visser divided CSR into five ages: greed, philanthropy, marketing, management, and responsibility. Each age related to a particular stage for companies: defensive, charitable, promotional, strategic, and systemic. As we enter 2018 I am convinced that a new age of CSR has begun. It is known as the intelligence age and the corresponding stage is the cognitive era, when machines are deployed to radically transform and improve CSR processes. While ethics, sustainability, the multi-stakeholder model, and CSR have gained in popularity, problems with the management, effectiveness, need, and efficacy impede progress.

Facebooks head of Artificial Intelligence actually hates Sophia


Sophia, the robot is a bit of non-persona non grata in the AI community. The creators of Sophia, Hanson robotics, regularly exaggerate the robots abilities and pretend that it's basically human and alive rather an a form of unnerving automation. For researchers in the AI field, this has been an annoyance for a long time. However, since artificial intelligence is currently a hot topic globally, Sophia is getting worldwide coverage. Researchers are angry that the Hanson Robotics team is misleading the people about what AI can and cannot do.

Waymo starts testing its autonomous cars in Atlanta


Waymo started offering free autonomous rides in Phoenix last April as a way to promote its self-driving cars. The Alphabet-owned company has been trying to ramp up its own ride-sharing service to compete with Uber and Lyft, offering a driverless taxi service Waymo hopes to use in covering a region larger than London. Now, Waymo is expanding beyond Arizona, launching a test program set to launch in Atlanta, Georgia. Hello ATL! Metro Atlanta is the next stop for Waymo's test program. Now that we have the world's first fully self-driving vehicles on public roads in AZ, we're looking to take our tech to more cities.

Q&A: Max Bittker's Twitter Bot Tracks New Words in The New York Times

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

On 11 January, U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly used a choice word during an Oval Office meeting about immigration. Just like that, a term that's usually not part of respectable public vernacular had been splashed on the front pages of newspapers and media websites. That evening, a twitter bot called New New York Times, running under the handle @NYT_first_said, tweeted the word: "shithole." The bot scans The New York Times for words that the esteemed newspaper uses for the first time. That tweet went viral and the Twitter account gained a bunch of new followers.

Useful and Timely Delivery Drone Drops Life Preserver to Australian Swimmers

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Late last year, we wrote about how Australia was paying a stupendous amount of money to try using drones and artificial intelligence to detect sharks off of popular beaches. We were skeptical, mostly because it's hard to make a convincing argument that shark attacks are actually that big of a problem, in Australia or anywhere else, compared to other, bigger problems that we might want to address first. One of those bigger problems, in Australia and in many other places, is drowning--in Australia in 2016, about 120 people drowned on the Australian coast, 60 times more people than were fatally attacked by sharks. Fortunately, the drones doing the shark spotting also happen to carry life preserver pods along with them, and last week, a drone being used for training managed to save a pair of struggling swimmers 700 meters off the coast of New South Wales. Here's a video from the drone's point of view: According to the Sydney Morning Herald, lifeguards were using the drone during a training session when "a call came through of two distressed swimmers."

Uber nearing autonomous cars without human backup driver


DETROIT – Uber plans to carry passengers in autonomous vehicles without human backup drivers in about the same time frame as competitors, which expect to be on the road at the latest sometime next year, the service's autonomous vehicle chief said Wednesday. FILE – In this Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, file photo, the Waymo driverless car is displayed during a Google event in San Francisco. A federal criminal investigation into alleged espionage at Uber has indefinitely delayed a trial over whether the beleaguered ride-hailing service stole self-driving car technology from Waymo, a spinoff from Google. Advanced Technology Group leader Eric Meyhofer wouldn't give a specific start date but he said Uber won't deploy the driverless cars without human backups unless they are proved safe. "Once we can check that box, which we call passing the robot driver's license test, that's when we can remove the vehicle operator," Meyhofer said in an interview at an auto industry investors conference Detroit.