AI & Your Family: The Wows and Potential Risks McAfee Blogs


When I hear or see the word Artificial Intelligence (AI), my mind instantly defaults to images from sci-fi movies I've seen like I, Robot, Matrix, and Ex Machina. There's always been a futuristic element -- and self-imposed distance -- between AI and myself. But AI is anything but futuristic or distant. AI is here, and it's now. And, we're using it in ways we may not even realize.

Victoria to allow trial of driverless cars on country roads

The Guardian

Victoria has sanctioned a trial of driverless cars on rural roads in a bid to improve the dramatically more dangerous conditions outside urban areas. People are five times more likely to be killed on a Victorian country road than in the city. The automated vehicle technology is being developed by Bosch as part of a $2.3m state government grant and will be tested on high-speed rural roads later this year. "This trial is an exciting step towards driverless vehicles hitting the road," the acting premier, Jacinta Allan, said. Bosch has been granted the state's first permit to allow automated vehicles for on-road testing, with other successful applicants to be announced soon.

Uber is hiring robotics teams to work on bikes and scooters


Uber is only gradually resuming its self-driving car program, but it's already thinking about expanding that technology to its two-wheeled services. The Telegraph has discovered that Uber is hiring for a "micromobility robotics" team that would bring "sensing and robotics technologies" to shared bikes and scooters. While the exact plans aren't clear, the newspaper believed this would lead to rides that park themselves -- important when carelessly parked scooters are a plague in some cities. Given that the company is only just starting to hire for the new team, it's going to be a while before you see the fruits of whatever Uber is planning. It wouldn't be shocking if self-parking bikes and scooters are in the cards, mind you, and not just for tidiness reasons.

"AI" Of Human-Kind


Several years ago, you may recall a publication describing our growing dependency upon machines, devices, and "AI." On several occasions, I've attempted to bring awareness to this phenomenon of artificial intelligence's abilities in creating and/or re-creating itself... over and over again. What once was a'science-fiction' story has been brought to bear, in living color, a scientific fact. The article, "Device Machine Dependent," has described instances and descriptions where robots or robotics have been designed to emulate the actions, abilities, and appearance(s) of mankind... "Human-Like"; "The Image of Its' Creator!" How many times have you been in your car and engaged in a shouting match or argumentative interaction with your'GPS' or "onboard interface?" Aw, c'mon now... haven't you gotten angry and screamed at the device when the voice behind it gives you screwed up or wrong directions?

HP Labs teams robotics with machine learning


"Machine learning and robotics are a perfect match," suggests HP Fellow Will Allen. Although experts in the one field rarely stray into the other, Allen says, their potential synergies are real. "Machine learning is very applicable to robotics, and robotics--by which I mean working with physical robots--needs some of the things that machine learning is good at," he argues. Now Allen, who has a background as a distinguished innovator in imaging and printing technologies, is co-leading a research team with colleague David Murphy in HP's Emerging Compute Lab that aims to understand, and potentially harness, those synergies to create a new generation of what the team are calling "Smart Machines." One of the main challenges in robotics--where you want electro-mechanical machines to perform specific tasks with some degree of autonomy--is to have the machines move both precisely and efficiently in 3D space.

Analysis The Technology 202: Venture capitalists balk at proposed export limits on AI, quantum computing


A live demonstration uses artificial intelligence and facial recognition in dense crowd spatial-temporal technology at the Horizon Robotics exhibit at the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES 2019 in Las Vegas on January 10, 2019. Venture capitalists are warning the Trump administration not to overly restrict the export of new technology such as artificial intelligence -- insisting that could make it much harder for American start-ups to sell their products abroad. The Commerce Department is considering whether to slap tighter export controls on a long list of new technologies, including AI and quantum computers, to prevent U.S. technology from falling into the hands of foreign adversaries. But the National Venture Capital Association, in public comments on the potential rule last week, voiced concerns that the list of technology the government defines as critical to national security is far too broad. The venture capitalists only want to see the department limit the export of technology specific to defense -- not a whole category of technology so broad it could include consumer products such as self-driving cars and voice assistants.

People are brutally assaulting robots. Experts want to know why


"You have an agent, the robot, that is in a different category than humans," Italian cognitive psychologist Agnieszka Wykowska told the paper. "So you probably very easily engage in this psychological mechanism of social ostracism because it's an out-group member. That's something to discuss: the dehumanization of robots even though they're not humans." Wykowska blames anti-robot violence on what she calls "Frankenstein syndrome" -- the fear of unknown things that are somewhat like us, but different in uncanny ways. Wykowska told the Times about an incident, for instance, in which a colleague introduced robots to a kindergarten class.

As fintech faces more automation, clients should still come first


While much of today's fintech debate focuses on the potential applications of the technology to financial services, just as important are the underlying reasons why the industry is pursuing innovation so aggressively right now. To a large extent, it reflects the realities of the current environment – the need to reduce costs, to achieve regulatory compliance, to protect against new forms of risk and to stay relevant in a fast-moving and uncertain environment. Every fintech discussion should start and end with the same question: how can we use technology to enhance the client experience? To answer this, we need to understand which technologies will have the greatest impact and deliver the most client value today, tomorrow and in the future. Of all the current innovations, robotic process automation (RPA), or bots for short, are the most ubiquitous in financial services today – and they're already improving the client experience, both in our personal and professional lives.

Amazon Is Rolling Out a 'Robotic Tech Vest' to Keep Workers From Getting Hit by Robots


Amazon has begun rolling out a "new worker safety wearable" to over 25 of its locations over the past year, TechCrunch reported on Friday--namely, a "Robotic Tech Vest" that alerts robots to the location of workers within a facility in order to prevent workplace accidents. The vest in question has built-in sensors that allow Amazon robots to detect obstacles (in this case, humans) and manoeuvre around them. "All of our robotic systems employ multiple safety systems ranging from training materials, to physical barriers to entry, to process controls, to on-board," Amazon Robotics VP Brad Porter told TechCrunch. "In the past, associates would mark out the grid of cells where they would be working in order to enable the robotic traffic planner to smartly route around that region. What the vest allows the robots to do is detect the human from farther away and smartly update its travel plan to steer clear without the need for the associate to explicitly mark out those zones."

Tesla's Cost-Cutting Layoffs and More This Week in Car News


If the denizens of the tech world are grumpy about spending the energy reserves they built up over the holidays to survive CES, they should try working in the auto industry. For the folks creating and covering the future of cars, the Vegas show is merely the nose-bloodying jab that sets up the jaw-clacking undercut: the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Both shows, however, were unusually quiet this year, at least compared to the overhyped displays of the recent past. Because while major changes are on the horizon, other problems are already within firing range. The auto industry is hunkering down amid predictions of slowing sales: GM and Ford are reworking their lineups to suit American tastes.