Technology today is evolving at such a rapid pace, enabling faster change and progress, causing an acceleration of the rate of change, until eventually it will become exponential. However, it is not only technology trends and top technologies that are evolving, a lot more has changed this year due to the outbreak of COVID-19 making IT professionals realize that their role will not stay the same in the contactless world tomorrow. And an IT professional in 2020-21 will constantly be learning, unlearning and relearning (out of necessity if not desire). What does this mean for you? It means staying current with new technology trends.
Having invented the video doorbell market, Ring now has an astounding seven models to choose from. The Ring Video Doorbell Wired, reviewed here, is the company's entry-level product and is a strong offering at $60. It's a budget camera to be sure, but it delivers all the essentials you need to keep an eye on your front porch. At this price, Ring is surely eyeing Wyze Labs, which introduced its own budget video doorbell priced at $30. But when we checked Wyze's website just before we set this review to publish, we discovered that product was out of stock, and its price tag had risen from $30 to $45.
The face of American character actor Richard Kind – melancholy, hangdog, a little dyspeptic – is exactly right for this high-concept midlife satire from director and co-writer Matt Kane. It's a variation on a familiar theme the time is the near future and Kind plays Felix, an architect in his 60s who has been pushed out of the firm he helped build and is now at home grumpily adjusting to unwanted retirement. His busy wife and grownup daughter have no great need of him these days so poor, emasculated Felix takes comfort in his hi-tech retirement gift: a pair of "Auggie" glasses, through which the wearer can see an "augmented reality companion", a virtual-reality hologram of exactly the kind of submissively understanding person your subconscious wants to see – in Felix's case, an extremely attractive young woman (played by newcomer Christen Harper). Felix understands that this is just a projection, a geisha hallucination programmed to respond with the right answers and expressions. But inevitably he begins to fall in love with her, and toys with the "extra" that Auggie owners are invited to purchase: a pair of hi-tech underpants that will allow him to feel his Auggie companion intimately, while his wife is out all day at her prestigious job. This is a movie comparable to Spike Jonze's Her, in which Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with the Siri-type computer voice played by Scarlett Johansson, and Alex Garland's Ex Machina, in which Domhnall Gleeson is entranced by the AI robot played by Alicia Vikander; and like those films it creates a dreamy mood of indulgent comedy.
It was a windfall for online proctoring companies, but thrust the pitfalls of the practice into the spotlight. Being watched by a faceless stranger or artificial intelligence provokes anxiety or worse, according to some students and teachers. Educators and privacy advocates raised concerns about the software's efficacy, invasiveness and potential to discriminate against some disabled candidates. Online proctoring companies are now updating their user experiences, partly to address some of the critiques. "In 2020 we were like a train going 100 miles an hour, and we couldn't stop it," said Proctorio Inc. founder and chief executive Mike Olsen, noting that the number of exams proctored by the company in April 2020 rose 900% from a year earlier.
Scientists in the US have brought the structure of a spider web to life by translating it into music – a technique that could help us communicate with spiders, they say. They assigned different frequencies of sound to strands of the web, creating'notes' that they combined in patterns, based on the web's 3D structure, to generate melodies. The eerie piece of music, which lasts just over a minute, sounds like the soundtrack for an eerie dystopian sci-fi horror film. It was created by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with laser scanning technology and image processing tools. The experts say spider webs could provide a new source for musical inspiration and provide a form of cross-species communication.
Increasingly we use machine learning to build interactive systems that learn from past actions and the reward obtained. Theory suggests several possible approaches, such as contextual bandits, reinforcement learning, the do-calculus, or plain old Bayesian decision theory. What are the most theoretically appropriate and practical approaches to doing causal inference for interactive systems? We are particularly interested in case studies of applying machine learning methods to interactive systems that did or did not use Bayesian or likelihood based methods, with a discussion about why this choice was made in terms of practical or theoretical arguments.
TechRepublic's Karen Roby spoke with Jon Friis, CEO and founder of Miiskin, about how the Miiskin app is helping prevent skin cancer. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. Karen Roby: We understand how technology can help change things in medicine, such as robots are in the operating room, and we're just seeing all kinds of really innovative things going on. Observing your moles is one of those things on our skin that I would never think technology would play a role in. Tell us before we get to the technology part of this, the augmented reality and machine learning.
Before March 2020, in-person events vastly outnumbered virtual meetings, and the sudden reversal of those fortunes has yielded new information about best practices. In "the before times," skilled trainers, speakers and facilitators could look directly at participants, read their body language and see if the messages were resonating. In-person meetings encouraged participants to stay focused and engaged. Now presenters talk to their own face on a screen, and participants mute themselves and turn their cameras off. Two-way communication is critical in professional development experiences.
Sony's latest trick for Bravia TVs is something called "cognitive intelligence" that can enhance parts of an image depending on what's going on. The first 4K TVs it released with the tech were high-end OLED models, but those started at $2,999 and went up from there. Now, Sony has unveiled its first LED models with the Cognitive Processor XR, and they're a lot more reasonably priced. The X90J is the top-end OLED model and it's available in 50-, 55- and 65-inch sizes at $1,299, $1,499 and $1,799, respectively. These offer the Cognitive Processor XR, though cinephiles will likely want to turn that off to see the content as the creators intended.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, 60, revealed to he does not see himself running the tech firm in 10 years. The CEO spoke with Kara Swisher for The New York Times Monday about Apple's upcoming technologies, specifically AR and an autonomous car, along with his own future. But I can tell you that I feel great right now. And the date's not in sight,' he told Swisher. Along with the announcement, Cook also augmented reality is'critically important' to Apple's future and said it could be used to enhance conversations.