WhatsApp temporarily suspends sharing European user data with parent company Facebook

The Independent - Tech

WhatsApp has temporarily suspended giving parent company Facebook information about users in Europe for ad targeting, responding to concerns there over privacy, a source close to the matter said Tuesday. Conversations with officials in Europe over the past few months resulted in the social network deciding to only tapping into WhatsApp user data there for purposes such as fighting spam, according to the source. The break was described as an effort to give regulators time to share privacy concerns and for Facebook to consider ways to address them. German data protection authorities in September cited privacy concerns when they blocked Facebook from collecting subscriber data from WhatsApp there. "It has to be (the users') decision whether they want to connect their account with Facebook," Hamburg's Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Johannes Caspar said at the time.


With a big donation for a new neuroscience institute, Caltech dives deeper into brain research

Los Angeles Times

Sometimes the biggest gifts arrive in the most surprising ways. A couple in Singapore, Tianqiao Chen and Chrissy Luo, were watching the news and saw a Caltech scientist help a quadriplegic use his thoughts to control a robotic arm so that -- for the first time in more than 10 years -- he could sip a drink unaided. Inspired, Chen and Luo flew to Pasadena to meet the scientist, Richard Andersen, in person. Now they've given Caltech $115 million to shake up the way scientists study the brain in a new research complex. Construction of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech will begin as early as 2018 and bring together biology, engineering, chemistry, physics, computer science and the social sciences to tackle brain function in an integrated, comprehensive way, university officials announced Tuesday.


Robot Babies From Japan Raise Questions About How Parents Bond With AI

#artificialintelligence

Driven by a declining population, a trend for developing robotic babies has emerged in Japan as a means of encouraging couples to become "parents". The approaches taken vary widely and are driven by different philosophical approaches that also beg a number of questions, not least whether these robo-tots will achieve the aim of their creators. To understand all of this it is worth exploring the reasons behind the need to promote population growth in Japan. The issue stems from the disproportionate number of older people. Predictions from the UN suggest that by 2050 there will be about double the number of people living in Japan in the 70-plus age range compared to those aged 15-30.


Parents told to destroy baby doll because of spying fears

The Independent - Tech

An official German watchdog has told parents to destroy an internet-connected doll because hackers can use it to spy on children. My Friend Cayla was found to be equipped with an insecure Bluetooth device, which cybercriminals could hijack, in order to steal personal data and listen and talk to the child playing with it. Germany's Federal Network Agency, the regulatory office for electricity, gas, telecommunications, post and railway markets, has now warned parents to destroy it. The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session A man looks at an exhibit entitled'Mimus' a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar. Japan's On-Art Corp's CEO Kazuya Kanemaru poses with his company's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' and other robots during a demonstration in Tokyo, Japan Japan's On-Art Corp's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' performs during its unveiling in Tokyo, Japan Singulato Motors co-founder and CEO Shen Haiyin poses in his company's concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China A picture shows Singulato Motors' concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China Connected company president Shigeki Tomoyama addresses a press briefing as he elaborates on Toyota's "connected strategy" in Tokyo.


Robot babies from Japan raise all sorts of questions about how parents bond with AI

#artificialintelligence

Driven by a declining population, a trend for developing robotic babies has emerged in Japan as a means of encouraging couples to become "parents". The approaches taken vary widely and are driven by different philosophical approaches that also beg a number of questions, not least whether these robo-tots will achieve the aim of their creators. To understand all of this it is worth exploring the reasons behind the need to promote population growth in Japan. The issue stems from the disproportionate number of older people. Predictions from the UN suggest that by 2050 there will be about double the number of people living in Japan in the 70-plus age range compared to those aged 15-30.