Some Uber drivers in New York City want to see a decrease in the commission taken by the company. SAN FRANCISCO -- Gig economy workers are increasingly ubiquitous, shuttling us to appointments and delivering our food while working for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and others. Thanks in large part to the app-based tech boom emanating from this city, 36% of U.S. workers participate in the gig economy, according to Gallup. But not all gigs are created equal, Gallup adds, noting that so-called "contingent gig workers" experience their workplace "like regular employees do, just without the benefits of a traditional job -- benefits, pay and security." California lawmakers are weighing what is considered a pro-worker bill that, if passed into law, would set a national precedent that fundamentally redefines the relationship between worker and boss by forcing corporations to pay up.
Elon Musk's secretive "brain-machine interface" startup, Neuralink, stepped out of the shadows on Tuesday evening, revealing its progress in creating a wireless implantable device that can – theoretically – read your mind. At an event at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Musk touted the startup's achievements since he founded it in 2017 with the goal of staving off what he considers to be an "existential threat": artificial intelligence (AI) surpassing human intelligence. Two years later, Neuralink claims to have achieved major advances toward Musk's goal of having human and machine intelligence work in "symbiosis". Neurolink says it has designed very small "threads" – smaller than a human hair – that can be injected into the brain to detect the activity of neurons. It also says it has developed a robot to insert those threads in the brain, under the direction of a neurosurgeon.
Summary: Despite our concerns about China taking the lead in AI, our own government efforts mostly through DARPA continue powerful leadership and funding to maintain our lead. Here's their plan to maintain that lead over the next decade. Think all those great ideas that have powered AI/ML for the last 10 years came from Silicon Valley and a few universities? Hard as it may be to admit it's the seed money in the billions that our government has spent that got pretty much all of these breakthroughs to the doorway of commercial acceptability. Dozens of articles bemoan the huge investments that China is making in AI with the threat that they will pull ahead.
Elon Musk, the futurist billionaire behind SpaceX and Tesla, outlined his plans to connect humans' brains directly to computers on Tuesday night, describing a campaign to create "symbiosis with artificial intelligence." He said the first prototype could be implanted in a person by the end of next year. Arriving at that goal "will take a long time," Musk said in a presentation at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, noting that securing federal approval for implanted neural devices is difficult. But testing on animals is already underway, and "a monkey has been able to control the computer with his brain," he said. Musk founded Neuralink Corp. in July 2016 to create "ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers."
Intelligent, learning, autonomous machines are about to change the way we do business forever. But in a world where corporations or even executives may be liable in a civil or even criminal court for their decisions, who is responsible for decisions made by artificial intelligence (AI)? In the United States, courts are already having to wrestle with this science fiction scenario after an Arizona woman was killed by an experimental autonomous Uber vehicle. The European Commission recently shared ethical guidelines, requiring AI to be transparent, have human oversight and be subject to privacy and data protection rules. This sounds really good, but how will any of this be applied in practical situations?
Fifty years is a long time by human standards, and an eon by technology standards. In 1969, not many organizations even knew what a computer was, let alone used one. Though it's trivial, revisiting and comparing the compute power of then to what we have now can help us realize the effort it took to realize the achievement that the moon landing was. The scale of our compute and storage capabilities has changed dramatically as Moore's law has been in full effect. Like many "laws," Moore's law is more like a rule of thumb, stating that the number of transistors in dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years.
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced July 10 the appointment of Gil Alterovitz, PhD, as its first director of artificial intelligence, a position that will be based in the VA's Office of Research and Development. He has already launched a "sprint" to find partner organizations to apply AI technology to the VA's data. More articles about AI: 6 hospital applications for machine learning: algorithms to predict patient violence, HIV risk & more Viewpoint: The AI revolution will leave us'struggling to understand' Michigan Medicine, Atomwise launch research collaboration for AI-driven drug discovery
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) has announced what it claims is a world first: a partnership with Amazon's Alexa to offer health advice from the NHS website. Britons who ask Alexa basic health questions like "Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?" The partnership does not add significantly to Alexa's skill-set, but it is an interesting step for the NHS. The UK's Department of Health (DoH) says it hopes the move will reduce the pressure on health professionals in the country, giving people a new way to access reliable medical advice. It will also benefit individuals with disabilities, like sight impairments, who may find it difficult to use computers or smartphones to find the same information.
BOULDER, COLORADO - As the United States races to put humans back on the moon for the first time in nearly 50 years, a NASA-funded lab in Colorado aims to send robots there to deploy telescopes that will look far into our galaxy, remotely operated by orbiting astronauts. The radio telescopes, to be planted on the far side of the moon, are among a plethora of projects under way by the U.S. space agency, private companies and other nations that will transform the moonscape in the coming decade. "This is not your grandfather's Apollo program that we're looking at," said Jack Burns, director of the Network for Exploration and Space Science at the University of Colorado, which is working on the telescope project. "This is really a very different kind of program and very importantly it's going to involve machines and humans working together," Burns said in an interview at his lab on the Boulder campus. Sometime in the coming decade, Burns' team will send a rover aboard a lunar lander spacecraft to the far side of the moon.
Brainworks is combining artificial intelligence and simple smartphone camera images to automatically detect someone's heart rate or breathing rate. And that's just one of the avenues the Emeryville, California-based company is pursuing in its work to use intelligent ambient biometric sensors to improve health care. Brainworks CEO Phillip Alvelda spoke at our VB Transform AI event on Thursday, and he demoed the technology in real time, both onstage and in an interview. He said health care should be more preventative than reactive. With that in mind, the company's technology is contactless and always-on, though it only works if users have opted in for the constant monitoring, which -- unlike most medical equipment -- is physically non-invasive.