A battery pioneer has invented a new kind of battery that is 90 per cent cheaper to produce than standard lithium-ion batteries, and potentially much safer. Hideaki Horie – who has worked on battery technology since 1990 and led Nissan's development of the Leaf electric car – discovered a way to replace the batteries basic components in order to speed up and simplify the manufacturing process. "The problem with making lithium batteries now is that it's device manufacturing, like semiconductors," Mr Horie told The Japan Times. "Our goal is to make it more like steel production." Manufacturing the new batteries is significantly simplified by replacing the metal-lined electrodes and liquid electrolytes typically found within lithium-ion units with a resin construction.
Is the future of artificial intelligence, human-like robots? Among the most famous lines of 19th-century English poet Joseph Merrick is, "If I could reach from pole to pole or grasp the ocean with a span, I would be measured by the soul; the mind's the standard of the man." A person who believes in the soul often measures their concept of such on the collective understanding of the group with which they most identify. Suzanne Gildert, founder of Sanctuary AI, does not intend to challenge one's belief in or understanding of the soul, but she does want to create human-like robots indistinguishable from organic humans. Sanctuary AI seeks to create "ultra human-like robots and try and create human-like minds for those robots using various kinds of AI techniques," says Gildert.
An artificially intelligent humanoid robot has nabbed the leading role in a $70 million (£56.4 million) upcoming Hollywood sci-fi movie, titled'b'. Erica, the eerily human-like android actress, will play the role of a genetically-modified superhuman who goes on the run with the scientists who created her. The electric leading lady is understood to have shot her first scenes for the movie in Japan last year -- with the rest of the film scheduled to be shot next year. An artificially intelligent humanoid robot has nabbed the leading role in a $70 million (£56.4 million) upcoming Hollywood sci-fi movie, titled ' b '. Erica -- who made her public debut back in 2015 -- is the brainchild of roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro of Japan's Osaka University, who calls his creation the world's'most beautiful and human-like android.'
Samsung has partnered with London-based fintech startup Curve to launch a digital payments card later this year. The Samsung Pay Card will allow users to link all of their bank and loyalty cards to a single digital card on their phone, the tech giant said. It will also allow people with Samsung smartphones to control their money and view all their spending from a single place. The company is also working with Mastercard to launch the new feature. The announcement continues a growing trend of technology firms such as Google and Apple offering a variety of digital payment solutions on their smartphones – last year Apple launched its own credit card for the first time through its Apple Wallet payments app.
Google will start automatically deleting users' data as part of a plan to increase privacy on its services. The new change is just one of a wide number of alterations intended to show the company's commitment to privacy, according to chief executive Sundar Pichai. It will also allow people to more easily turn on incognito mode, invest in better technology to protect privacy, and more easily perform checks that alert users if their password is caught up in large breaches. Perhaps the largest of the changes is the switch so that activity gathered about people's physical location as well as about their behaviour on the internet is automatically deleted after 18 months. That option has been available for users since last year, but has been turned off by default.
Scientists have created the fastest computer ever. The Japanese supercomputer named "Fugaku" now sits at the top of official rankings of how quickly they can do certain real-world tasks. Fugaku was awarded the top spot on the Top500 list, which ranks the world's fastest supercomputers, its creators said. It is also now at the top of other rankings that test how quickly it would perform in real-world applications, how well it can conduct certain artificial intelligence tasks, and how well it can perform with data-intensive processes. No supercomputer has ever scored at the top of the three rankings – known as Top500, HPCG, and Graph500 – before, the creators said.
Apple has unveiled a new software update for its AirPods, bringing a host of new features. It includes a "spatial audio" feature, which uses filters and other technology to allow the sound to feel like it is coming from around the person despite using only two headphones, Apple said. The feature uses motion sensors in the earphones and the device to keep the sound static even when a person's head or iPad is moving around, Apple said. That feature will only be available on the newer AirPods Pro, Apple said. The new software also includes "automatic switching", which means that the AirPods will connect to whichever device is being used, rather than their owners having to manually change between their iPhone and iPad, for instance.
Apple has unveiled iOS 14, its new operating system for the iPhone. The update includes a number of major changes to the way the operating system works, as well as new features and updates for apps within the operating system such as Messages. Instead of seeing their apps spread across a variety of screens, they will instead see an "App Library", which is intended to stop people having to search through their various pages. It also includes new widgets, which are dramatically more rich and adaptable than they currently are on the iPhone. As well as showing more information and options, those widgets can be dropped onto the home screen, alongside the list of apps.
Google has said that it will begin fact-checking images that appear from its search results. Starting today, a'Fact Check' label will start appearing under thumbnails. Clicking on the thumbnail will show a quick summary of the fact check, including the claim and a rating from a fact-checker such as Politifact. This tool is organised using ClaimReview, which is a method used by publishers to indicate fact-checked content to search engines, which are already used by Google Search and Google News. Fact-checkers have to meet Google's criteria before they can be used as the source.
The Segway is dead, its makers have announced. The company – which is also called Segway, and officially refers to the famous rolling vehicle as the "Segway PT" – said that it will "retire" the machine from next month. "This decision was not made lightly, and while the current global pandemic did impact sales and production, it was not a deciding factor in our decision," Segway said in a statement. As well as meaning that no new versions of the vehicle will be created, 21 people will be laid off next month with twelve others being kept on for the next year. The Segway was much-hyped – and sometimes mocked – as the future of personal transportation when it was first unveiled nearly 20 years ago.