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Use these first principles to succeed with robotic process automation In 2020


Let's just say that one measure of the hype that surrounds any emerging technology is the amount of new (and largely superfluous) jargon that it generates. The market for robotic process automation (RPA) has been in hyper-growth for a while now. RPA and its extension into intelligent automation (IA) is an important market because it forms the tip of the spear for broader enterprise automation. We've previously estimated that IA technologies will release $134 billion in labor value by 2022. Meanwhile, the hype surrounding them is incessant, with vendors and pundits racing each other to create new words to describe capabilities.

Scientists led by AI scholar Yoshua Bengio urge privacy, opt-in approach for COVID-19 contact tracing


Scientific reports continue to emphasize the importance of testing the population for COVID-19on a regular basis. But surveillance in broad terms raises numerous concerns about privacy. This TechRepublic Premium ebook compiles the latest on cancelled conferences, cybersecurity attacks, remote work tips, and the impact this pandemic is having on the tech industry. Those issues are front and center with contact tracing, the practice of trying to document the interactions between people infected with COVID-19, and those with whom they've been in touch. For anyone to scrutinize how another person moves through life, including their social interactions, strikes many as an invasion of privacy, especially when that scrutiny comes from a central authority.

Harvard shrank its insect-inspired microrobot to the size of a penny


Harvard researchers have made the tiny Harvard Ambulatory Microrobot (HAMR) even tinier. The next-gen, cockroach-inspired robot is about the size of a penny, and it can run at speeds of 13.9 body lengths per second. That makes it one of the smallest and fastest microrobots to date. The team also believes it's the most dexterous robot of its size. Dubbed HAMR-JR, the robot is a half-scale version of its predecessor, which researchers taught to swim and walk underwater.

IIHS study finds self-driving cars may only avoid a third of crashes


Self-driving cars are theoretically ideal for safety. Take human limitations out of the mix and no one gets hurt, right? A new IIHS study (via Autoblog) suggests that completely switching to autonomous technology would only prevent about a third of crashes if the systems "drive too much like people" -- that is, focus on speed and convenience. Only 24 percent of crashes come down to sense or perception errors, while about 10 percent comes down to incapacitation (such as driving drunk). The rest comes down to errors in decision making, predictions and performance, and a self-driving system won't automatically fix those.

Own an Echo Look? It stops working on July 24.


In 2017, Amazon unveiled one of its most unusual Echo-branded smart devices in the form of the fashion-focused Echo Look. Three years later, the Look is being discontinued and they will all stop working on July 24. The Echo Look was launched in April 2017, but the $200 device could only be purchased by way of invitation until that restriction lifted in June the following year. The Alexa-enabled camera was designed to act as your personal stylist, working in sync with the Look's companion app and offering suggestions on what to wear while also allowing you to share photos and videos on social media. As The Verge reports, the Echo Look becomes a useless device on July 24.

Labeling Tesla’s Autopilot system as ‘semi-autonomous' can be dangerous


The language we use is important, even when talking about robocars. That became apparent last week when the Associated Press updated its style guide to avoid the term "semi-autonomous" for systems like Tesla's Autopilot, General Motor's Super Cruise, and Nissan's ProPilot Assist. Avoid the term semi-autonomous because it implies that these systems can drive themselves. At present, human drivers must be ready to intervene at any time. Instead, the style guide suggests those systems should be labeled as "partially" automated or as an advanced driving assistant.

Games Don't Do Enough to Combat Toxicity at Launch


"I do not use voice chat if I'm going in alone," says Valorant's executive producer, Anna Donlon. Playing games like the first-person shooter Valorant, Donlon has always received comments about her gender. "It was a huge wake-up call for me when I experienced it in my own game. In early May, when Valorant was in closed beta, publisher Riot Games said it would make an effort to curb toxicity after several of the company's female developers spoke out about harassment they'd received in-game. On Twitter, a UX designer for another Riot game, Teamfight Tactics, posted a video of a teammate calling her a "thot" after she turned down his advances over voice chat. Wrote one senior game designer in the replies to the tweet, "It's fucked up, but this is why i added the #RIOT tag to my handle.

Study: Autonomous Vehicles Won't Make Roads Completely Safe

U.S. News

The IIHS studied over 5,000 crashes with detailed causes that were collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, separating out those caused by "sensing and perceiving" errors such as driver distraction, impaired visibility or failing to spot hazards until it was too late. Researchers also separated crashes caused by human "incapacitation" including drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs, those who fell asleep or drivers with medical problems. Self-driving vehicles can prevent those, the study found.

Interim director takes over Joint Artificial Intelligence Center – IAM Network


As he departs, the Department of Defense's top artificial intelligence official says the foundation is set for the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center--now it has to deliver. "The foundational elements are now in place. What we have to do in the course of the next one to two years is deliver. This is about delivery first and foremost," said Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan at a virtual Mitchell Institute event June 4. "What we have to do is show that we're making a difference."

5 Deep Learning Challenges To Watch Out For


From your Google voice assistant to your'Netflix and chill' recommendations to the very humble Grammarly -- they're all powered by deep learning. Deep learning has become one of the primary research areas in artificial intelligence. Most of the well-known applications of artificial intelligence, such as image processing, speech recognition and translations, and object identification are carried out by deep learning. Thus, deep learning has the potential to solve most business problems, streamlining your work procedures, or creating useful products for end customers. However, there are certain deep learning challenges that you should be aware of, before going ahead with business decisions involving deep learning.