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Rise of the robots: Automating factories creates $100 billion Japan corporate giant

The Japan Times

It's the rise of the robots: Japan's second-largest company is now a maker of industrial automation systems, highlighting the rising importance of a less visible sector to a nation long associated with consumer-facing brands. Keyence Corp., a maker of machine vision systems and sensors for factories, has jumped 17 percent this year to become Japan's second-largest company by market value. At a valuation of almost ¥11 trillion ($100 billion), it has overtaken telecommunications giants SoftBank Group Corp., and NTT Docomo Inc., which have jostled for the honor to sit behind Toyota Motor Corp. over most of the past decade. Keyence is famed for its dizzying profitability with an operating profit margin of more than 50 percent, among the country's highest. That's enabled by its "fabless" output model, according to analysts, with production of its array of pressure sensors, barcode readers and laser scanners outsourced to avoid high capital costs.


Google in $5bn lawsuit for tracking in 'private' mode

BBC News

Google has been sued in the US over claims it illegally invades the privacy of users by tracking people even when they are browsing in "private mode". The class action wants at least $5bn (£4bn) from Google and owner Alphabet. Many internet users assume their search history isn't being tracked when they view in private mode, but Google says this isn't the case. The search engine denies this is illegal and says it is upfront about the data it collects in this mode. The proposed class action likely includes "millions" of Google users who since 1 June 2016 browsed the internet in private mode according to law firm Boies Schiller Flexner who filed the claim on Tuesday in federal court in San Jose, California.


Supreme Court to rule on 'paedophile hunters' case

BBC News

A convicted paedophile who was snared by a vigilante group is to have his case examined at the UK Supreme Court. Judges at the UK's highest court will consider whether prosecutions based on the covert operations of "paedophile hunters" breach the right to privacy. Mark Sutherland, 37, believed he was communicating with a 13-year-old boy on the dating app Grindr. But in reality it was a 48-year-old man who was part of a group called Groom Resisters Scotland. The Supreme Court will hold a virtual hearing to consider the case and will issue its judgement later.


AI breathes new life into a classic '80s synth

Engadget

Musicians in the 1980s had a love-hate relationship with Yamaha's DX7 synthesizer. Its digital sound engine was unlike the analog synths that came before it, and created a unique timbre, but the thing was a beast to program. This led most users to simply stick with the presets. A new AI tool could help DX7 fans move beyond those basic sounds, though. This DX7 Cartridge Does Not Exist uses machine learning to generate new patches based on a sample pool of hand-crafted ones, and creates a file that can be loaded either onto a genuine unit or the popular Dexed emulator.


Apple releases iPhone update to patch 'Unc0ver' zero-day hack

The Independent - Tech

Apple has released a new version of its operating system, iOS 13.5.1, in order to provide "important security updates [that are] recommended for all users." It means Apple has patched the infamous "Unc0ver" jailbreak which allowed even the most recent iPhones to be compromised. Apple's security page states that the update was pushed out in order to stop software from "execut[ing] arbitrary code with kernel privileges" – which is how jailbreaking works. To "jailbreak" an iPhone means to remove the usual restrictions imposed by Apple, allowing users more control such as loading apps that are not available in Apple's App Store at the risk of lower device security. It was discovered that the Unc0ver jailbreak has been circulating on the internet since at least February, with some speculating that hackers and researchers had the code since December 2019.


Overjet raises $7.85M for its dental-focused AI tech – TechCrunch

#artificialintelligence

Overjet, a startup focused on using AI to help dentists and insurance companies understand dental scans, today announced that it has raised $7.85 million in what it describes as a seed round. According to Overjet's CEO Wardah Inam (an MIT PhD in electrical engineering and computer science), the company raised the funds from Crosslink Capital, which led its round, and E14 Fund, which "only invests in MIT startups," Inam said. The MIT-E14 connection is not surprising, given that Overjet has been supported by two different MIT groups. Continuing the Boston-area educational links, the startup was incubated by the Harvard Innovation Lab, which Inam told TechCrunch that it is "growing out of" in terms of space. Inam told TechCrunch that Overjet was interested in raising from Crosslink thanks to its prior investments into Weave, a startup whose software is often used in a dental context.


Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: A Post-Pandemic Prescription

#artificialintelligence

In what now seems a distant pre-pandemic period, excitement about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare was already escalating. From the academic and clinical fields to the healthcare business and entrepreneurial sectors, there was a remarkable proliferation of AI -- e.g., attention-based learning, neural networks, online-meets-offline, and the Internet of Things. The reason for all this activity is clear -- AI presents a game-changing opportunity for improving healthcare quality and safety, making care delivery more efficient, and reducing the overall cost of care. Well before COVID-19 began to challenge our healthcare system and give rise to a greater demand for AI, thought leaders were offering cautionary advice. Robert Pearl, MD, a well-known advocate for technologically advanced care delivery, recently wrote in Forbes that because technology developers tend to focus on what will sell, many heavily marketed AI applications have failed to elevate the health of the population, improve patient safety, or reduce healthcare costs.


Variations of Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

According to an unofficial consensus, the birth of artificial intelligence as an independent research project can be dated to the summer of 1956, when John McCarthy at Dartmouth College, where he belonged to the Mathematical Department, was able to persuade the Rockefeller Foundation to finance an investigation " The study is to proceed on the basis of the conjecture that every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it". In addition to McCarthy (who was a professor at Stanford University until 2000 and is responsible for the coining of the term "artificial intelligence"), several other participants took part in the historical workshop at Dartmouth: Marvin Minsky (former professor at Stanford University), Claude Shannon (inventor of information theory); Herbert Simon (Nobel Prize winner in economics); Arthur Samuel (developer of the first chess computer program at world champion level); furthermore half a dozen experts from science and industry, who dreamed that it might be possible to produce a machine for coping with human tasks, which, according to the previous opinion, require intelligence. The Manifesto of Dartmouth (written at the dawn of the AI age) is both irritating and blurred. It is not clear whether the conference participants believed that one-day, machines would think or behave as if they could imagine. Both possible interpretations allow the word "simulate."


Government presses ahead with Cummings' data science revolution

#artificialintelligence

A British artificial intelligence firm involved in the Vote Leave campaign has been handed a £400,000 contract to tap data from places such as social media sites to help steer the Government's response to Covid-19. Official documents from the Government show Faculty Science was awarded the contract by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in April to provide data scientists who could set up "alternative data sources (e.g. They would, the contract said, apply data science and machine learning to the data, which could help identify trends, and then develop "interactive dashboards" to inform policymakers. It is understood the contract, awarded through the Government's G-Cloud framework, was designed to address an urgent need for the department to analyse real-time data and monitor the effect of Covid-19 on local communities. Faculty's AI technology can be used to process vast amounts of data and in the past was used for polling analysis by the Vote Leave campaign, run by Boris Johnson's adviser Dominic Cummings.


BBC releases first beta of its Beeb voice assistant to UK Windows Insider members – TechCrunch

#artificialintelligence

Back in August 2019, the BBC made some waves with the news that it was developing a voice assistant called Beeb, an English language "Alexa" of its own that could interact with and control its array of radio and TV services, and its on-demand catalogue, and able to understand the array of accents you find in across the BBC's national footprint to boot. Ten months on, it's releasing its first live version of the service in the form of a beta to a select group of early adopters: UK-based members of the Windows Insider Program, a beta-testing, bug-seeking, early-adopter group popular in the Windows community, with over 10 million users globally. The idea with the limited release beta -- according to Grace Boswood, COO of BBC Design and Engineering -- will be to get Insiders to try out various features and stress test Beeb in the early beta, while at the same time giving the BBC a trove of usage data that can help it continue to train Beeb further, ahead of a wider release. The BBC is not naming a date yet for the general release. When you are a member in the UK, you have to be using the latest release of Windows 10, and then you download Beeb BETA form the Windows App Store.)