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Study Finds That Majority Of Drivers Distrust Hands-Free Driving Systems


Automakers are jumping into the field of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) with both feet, trying to stuff as many features into their new cars as they can. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, though, wanted to find out what consumers actually want. The survey shows that the majority of consumers are pretty conservative when it comes to ADAS systems. After surveying 1,000 drivers on three partially automated driving systems (lane centering, automated lane changing, and driver monitoring), the IIHS found that consumers prefer systems where they are more in control that have more safeguards. Although consumer interest in ADAS technologies is strong, they are suspicious the more hands-free the technologies become.

GM Cruise takes first fares for paid driverless taxi in San Francisco


GM's autonomous driving division, Cruise, has begun its paid driverless taxi service in San Francisco and officially took its first fares last night. Cruise has been operating a free driverless taxi service in the area since earlier this year (and got pulled over once), but last night it began charging for this service. Both Cruise and its rival Waymo, a division of Google's parent company Alphabet, have been hoping for some time to start charging for autonomous taxi rides in California. Waymo got permission in February but has not yet started charging fares. Cruise's program is still quite limited, only covering about a third of San Francisco with 30 cars.

Hey, Air Taxi! Why You Will Soon Hail a Cab to the Sky


The air taxi, much like self-driving cars and delivery drones, is one of those futuristic dreams that seem forever three years away. But recent progress made by leading industry players suggests the concept is finally, slowly, maturing to commercialization. The idea of an urban air taxi is pioneered by Silicon Valley startups that make eVTOLs--electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicles. But compared to electric cars, battery-powered aircraft face bigger challenges on both technical and regulatory fronts, let alone the public's acceptance. On June 21, Archer Aviation, a California-based eVTOL startup traded on the New York Stock Exchange, said it had recently begun testing a prototype called Maker with a new configuration that supports "transition flight"--the transition between an aircraft being lifted by vertical propellers and being carried by the wings for horizontal movement.

CornerNet : Detecting Objects as Paired Keypoints


CornerNet is a different object detection technique where we detects the objects bounding box by a paired key-points, the top-left corner and the bottom-right corner using a single convolution neural network. By detecting the key points, it eliminates the need of different anchor boxes commonly used in single stage detectors. In this paper by Hei Law and Jia Deng from Princeton University, they have introduced a new approach to object detection which outperforms all the single stage detectors. CornetNet introduces a new type of pooling layer called Corner Pooling, that helps localizing the corners. The Net achieves 42.2% AP on MS COCO dataset.

The Uncanny Valley -- Chatbot & CRM


A chatbot is software that simulates human-like conversations with users via text messages on chat. Its key task is to help users by providing answers to their questions. If we dive deep, chatbots are pieces of conversational software powered by artificial intelligence that have the capability to engage in one-to-one chat with customers on their preferred chat platform such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Instagram, Telegram, Slack and many more conversational platforms. Chatbots, run by pre-programmed algorithms, natural language processing and/or machine learning and conversed in ways that mimicked human communication. Unlike other automated customer service solutions such as IVRS systems that were universally disliked for their robotic nature, Chatbots are seen to get closer to passing the Turing Test convincingly simulating a human conversational partner so well that it was difficult to sense one was chatting with a machine. British Al pioneer Alan Turing in 1950 proposed a test to determine whether machines could think. According to the Turing test, a computer could demonstrate intelligence if a human interviewer, conversing with an unseen human and an unseen computer, could not tell which was which. Although much work has been done in many of the subgroups that fall under the Al umbrella, critics believe that no computer can truly pass the Turing test.

If We're Living in a Simulation, the Gods Might Be Crazy


A professor of philosophy responds to David Iserson's "This, but Again." That we're living in a computer simulation--it sounds like a paranoid fantasy. But it's a possibility that futurists, philosophers, and scientific cosmologists treat increasingly seriously. Oxford philosopher and noted futurist Nick Bostrom estimates there's about a 1 in 3 chance that we're living in a computer simulation. Billionaire Elon Musk says it's a near-certainty.

Juul Survives a Blow From the FDA--for Now


Can you Currently buy a Juul e-cigarette? That depends on what day of the week it is. Earlier this week the FDA denied marketing authorization for Juul, which first started selling its e-cigarettes in 2015 (though it has operated under various company names since 2007). The FDA said the reason for the denial was that Juul "failed to provide sufficient toxicology data to demonstrate the products were safe," ArsTechnica reports, and as such the agency could not complete its toxicology assessment. The FDA specifically pointed to "potentially harmful chemicals leaching from the company's proprietary e-liquid pods" as a concern.

Healthcare AI in a year: 3 trends to watch


Between the COVID-19 pandemic, a mental health crisis, rising healthcare costs, and aging populations, industry leaders are rushing to develop healthcare-specific artificial intelligence (AI) applications. One signal comes from the venture capital market: over 40 startups have raised significant funding--$20M or more --to build AI solutions for the industry. But how is AI actually being put to use in healthcare? The "2022 AI in Healthcare Survey" queried more than 300 respondents from across the globe to better understand the challenges, triumphs, and use cases defining healthcare AI. In its second year, the results did not change significantly, but they do point to some interesting trends foreshadowing how the pendulum will swing in years to come.

Google's powerful AI spotlights a human cognitive glitch: Mistaking fluent speech for fluent thought


When you read a sentence like this one, your past experience tells you that it's written by a thinking, feeling human. And, in this case, there is indeed a human typing these words: [Hi, there!] But these days, some sentences that appear remarkably humanlike are actually generated by artificial intelligence systems trained on massive amounts of human text. People are so accustomed to assuming that fluent language comes from a thinking, feeling human that evidence to the contrary can be difficult to wrap your head around. How are people likely to navigate this relatively uncharted territory?

Hot Robotics Symposium celebrates UK success


An internationally leading robotics initiative that enables academia and industry to find innovative solutions to real world challenges, celebrated its success with a Hot Robotics Symposium hosted across three UK regions last week. The National Nuclear User Facility (NNUF) for Hot Robotics is a government funded initiative that supports innovation in the nuclear sector by making world-leading testing facilities, sensors and robotic equipment easily accessible to academia and industry. Ground-breaking, impactful research in robotics and artificial intelligence will benefit the UK's development of fusion energy as safe, low carbon and sustainable energy source in addition to adjacent sectors such as nuclear decommissioning, space, and mobile applications. Visitors to UKAEA's RACE (UK Atomic Energy Authority / Remote Applications in Challenging Environments) in Oxfordshire, the University of Bristol facility in Fenswood Farm (North Somerset), and the National Nuclear Laboratory in Cumbria, were treated to a host of robots in action, tours and a packed speaker programme. A combination of robotic manipulators, ground, aerial and underwater vehicles along with deployment robots, plant mock-ups, and supporting infrastructure, were all showcased to demonstrate the breadth of the scheme.