6 futuristic tech gifts for under $500

AITopics Original Links

NEW YORK -- This year you can purchase a bit more of the sci-fi future. Hoverboards aren't quite what the name implies, but there's bona fide virtual reality, a droid you should be looking for and a basketball that improves your free throw, all one shopping-click away. These tech gadgets make the pocket-sized computer that talks to you and dials your friends seem quaint. But don't worry, there are plenty of smartphones on sale, too. Sphero's new $150 BB-8 droid is expected to be one of the hottest Star Wars gifts this holiday season.

Human-Powered Transformation Through Artificial Intelligence


Humans are amazing creatures – driven by curiosity, intellect, ambition. The Olympic Games this month and the Nobel Prize Awards are examples of how our society reveres those who push their limits to achieve the seemingly impossible in both work and life. Digital advancements and new technologies are quickly redefining what is possible by accelerating human potential beyond the physical and intellectual capabilities of just a few years ago. But what can humans achieve with a little help from artificial intelligence? According to Erik Brynjolfsson, economist at MIT and the co-author of The Second Machine Age, "The accumulated doubling of Moore's Law, and the ample doubling still to come, gives us a world where supercomputer power becomes available to toys in just a few years, where ever-cheaper sensors enable inexpensive solutions to previously intractable problems, and where science fiction keeps becoming reality."

Yelling at Amazon's Alexa

The New Yorker

The first time I met Alexa, the A.I. robot voice inside the wine-bottle-size speaker known as the Amazon Echo, I was at my friends' house, in rural New England. "Currently, it is seventy-five degrees," she told us, and assured us that it would not rain. This was a year ago, and I'd never encountered a talking speaker before. When I razzed my friend for his love of gadgetry, he showed me some of Alexa's other tricks: telling us the weather, keeping a shopping list, ordering products from Amazon. This summer, Alexa decided again and again who the tickle monster's next victim was, saying their children's adorable nicknames in her strange A.I. accent.

Artificial Intelligence: A Free Online Course from MIT


That's because, to paraphrase Amazon's Jeff Bezos, artificial intelligence (AI) is "not just in the first inning of a long baseball game, but at the stage where the very first batter comes up." Look around, and you will find AI everywhere--in self driving cars, Siri on your phone, online customer support, movie recommendations on Netflix, fraud detection for your credit cards, etc. To be sure, there's more to come. Featuring 30 lectures, MIT's course "introduces students to the basic knowledge representation, problem solving, and learning methods of artificial intelligence." It includes interactive demonstrations designed to "help students gain intuition about how artificial intelligence methods work under a variety of circumstances."

Developing Semantic Classifiers for Big Data

AAAI Conferences

When the amount of RDF data is very large, it becomes more likely that the triples describing entities will contain errors and may not include the specification of a class from a known ontology. The work presented here explores the utilization of methods from machine learning to develop classifiers for identifying the semantic categorization of entities based upon the property names used to describe the entity. The goal is to develop classifiers that are accurate, but robust to errors and noise. The training data comes from DBpedia, where entities are categorized by type and densely described with RDF properties. The initial experimentation reported here indicates that the approach is promising.