Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference is always full of surprises. USA TODAY's Jefferson Graham previews what we can expect in Talking Tech. The new iPhone X is seen on display at the Apple Union Square store on Nov. 3, 2017, in San Francisco. The iPhone X's lush screen, facial-recognition skills and $1,000 price tag are breaking new ground in Apple's marquee product line. Now, the much-anticipated device is testing the patience of consumers and investors as demand outstrips suppliers' capacity.
For the next seven weeks, anyone who's inclined can go to 205 Hudson Street in New York City and take over someone else's apartment. Smart devices like the kettles, lighting and speakers of four homes connect directly to laptops in the corner of an art gallery. Cameras are trained on bathrooms, kitchens and living areas. Visitors can sit down and become a human Alexa, playing music, eavesdropping on conversations through microphones and communicating with the inhabitants via text-to-speech. Each home -- three in Brooklyn, one in San Francisco -- will be "live" for two hours a day.
We'll be talking about everyone's favorite topic at the moment: facial recognition. First San Francisco, Somerville ... now Oakland: California's Oakland has become the third US city to ban its local government using facial recognition technology, after its council passed an ordinance this week. Council member Rebecca Kaplan submitted the ordinance for city officials to consider earlier this year in June. The document describes the shortcomings of the technology and why it should be banned. "The City of Oakland should reject the use of this flawed technology on the following basis: 1) systems rely on biased datasets with high levels of inaccuracy; 2) a lack of standards around the use and sharing of this technology; 3) the invasive nature of the technology; 4) and the potential abuses of data by our government that could lead to persecution of minority groups," according to the ordinance.
With images aggregated from social media platforms, dating sites, or even CCTV footage of a trip to the local coffee shop, companies could be using your face to train a sophisticated facial recognition software. As reported by the New York Times, among the sometimes massive data sets that researchers use to teach artificially intelligent software to recognize faces is a database collected by Stanford researchers called Brainwash. More than 10,000 images of customers at a cafe in San Francisco were collected in 2014 without their knowledge. OKCupid and photo-sharing platforms like Flickr are among for researchers looking to load their databases up with images that help train facial recognition software. That same database was then made available to other academics, including some in China at the National University of Defense Technology.
Ng announced Tuesday that he raised money from venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates, Sequoia Capital and Greylock Partners as well as SoftBank Group Corp. Under Ng, Baidu released a voice-based operating system that users can talk to - much like Amazon's Alexa voice assistant or Apple's Siri - and also started working on self-driving cars and face recognition technology to open things like transit turnstiles when users approach. I think it's a more systematic, repeatable process than most people think," said Ng, who also taught artificial intelligence courses at Stanford University. The first company to receive money from the fund will be Landing.ai,