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Xero expands small business offering with Planday acquisition

ZDNet

Xero has announced it will buy out Denmark-based workforce management platform Planday in a move to further grow its position in the small business market. Planday is cloud-based platform that's been designed to provide businesses with a real-time view of staffing needs and payroll costs, alongside business performance metrics. "The acquisition of Planday aligns with our purpose to make life better for people in small businesses and their advisors," Xero CEO Steve Vamos said. "Planday's workforce management platform helps small businesses to respond to the rapidly changing nature of work. Planday also addresses the growing need for flexibility and rising compliance demands within the workplace."


EU report warns that AI makes autonomous vehicles 'highly vulnerable' to attack

#artificialintelligence

The dream of autonomous vehicles is that they can avoid human error and save lives, but a new European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) report has found that autonomous vehicles are "highly vulnerable to a wide range of attacks" that could be dangerous for passengers, pedestrians, and people in other vehicles. Attacks considered in the report include sensor attacks with beams of light, overwhelming object detection systems, back-end malicious activity, and adversarial machine learning attacks presented in training data or the physical world. "The attack might be used to make the AI'blind' for pedestrians by manipulating for instance the image recognition component in order to misclassify pedestrians. This could lead to havoc on the streets, as autonomous cars may hit pedestrians on the road or crosswalks," the report reads. "The absence of sufficient security knowledge and expertise among developers and system designers on AI cybersecurity is a major barrier that hampers the integration of security in the automotive sector."


Andrei Papancea, CEO at NLX – Interview Series

#artificialintelligence

Andrei Papancea, is the CEO at NLX a comprehensive SaaS platform for building and managing AI-powered conversational applications at scale. Previously, he built the Natural Language Understanding platform for American Express, processing millions of conversations across AmEx's main servicing channels. You grew up in Romania and started programming when you were 10 years old. What attracted you to programming at such a young age? It started off as curiosity: I've always been intrigued about how things worked and since my family has just gotten a computer, I wanted to figure out how it worked.


New research indicates the whole universe could be a giant neural network

#artificialintelligence

The core idea is deceptively simple: every observable phenomenon in the entire universe can be modeled by a neural network. And that means, by extension, the universe itself may be a neural network. Vitaly Vanchurin, a professor of physics at the University of Minnesota Duluth, published an incredible paper last August entitled "The World as a Neural Network" on the arXiv pre-print server. It managed to slide past our notice until today when Futurism's Victor Tangermann published an interview with Vanchurin discussing the paper. We discuss a possibility that the entire universe on its most fundamental level is a neural network.


Judgement Day - J. Michael Collins

#artificialintelligence

If you follow VO discussion groups on social media, it's hard to miss the urgent and sometimes panicked tone among VOs when it comes to the subject of AI, or Artificial Intelligence voice overs. There seems to be a pervasive fear that we are all about to be replaced….sent Well, you may indeed go bald. There's nothing I can do about that. But, I can give you reassurance that the age of AI voiceover may in fact be to the benefit of serious professional voice actors.


Eagle-inspired robot flies by flapping its feather-covered wings

New Scientist

A robotic bird with flapping wings covered in real feathers has flown for the first time. It could be used to provide insight into how real birds fly, or create stealthy drones that appear to observers as normal wildlife. Researchers at Guangxi University in China and Chinese firm Bee-eater Technology built a carbon fibre skeleton linked with aluminium joints and some 3D-printed plastic parts. It was covered in a thin foam and then layered with real goose feathers in a pattern that mimicked the way they would lay on a real bird.


AI Council advises government to do artificial intelligence moonshots

#artificialintelligence

The AI Council has published a "roadmap" of advice for government in respect of developing a UK state strategy for artificial intelligence (AI). Eye-catchingly, it advocates what it calls "moonshots" that "could tackle fundamental challenges such as creating'explainable AI' and developing smart materials for energy storage". The council is a non-statutory body chaired by Tabitha Goldstaub, consisting of 20 people from academia and industry, including Wendy Hall, professor of computer science at the University of Southampton, Marc Warner, the CEO of AI consultancy firm Faculty, and Adrian Smith, chief executive of The Alan Turing Institute. The council was launched in 2018, on the back of the government's response to a House of Lords AI report that recommended the UK pick ethics as a realistic niche in the related fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning. It was bolstered in 2019 with recruits from online retailer Ocado and the Independent Commission on Freedom of Information.


How battery swapping could reduce EV charge time to just 10 minutes

Mashable

The fastest electric vehicle charging stations currently get an empty battery to 80 percent full in about 30 minutes. But a new company is working on swapping out empty battery packs for fully charged ones. That would get an electric vehicle to 100 percent full in about 10 minutes. Ample, which officially launched this week at two sites in San Francisco and another Oakland, builds and operates battery-swapping stations that use a robot to pluck out dead battery packs from under the car and replace them with packs fully charged and ready to go. The Ample stations can be set up anywhere close to a power source so that the robot machine can get under the belly of the car and also charge a waiting supply of replacement batteries. The stations are completely autonomous and you don't even have to get out of the car while the batteries are switched.


A submersible soft robot survived the pressure in the Mariana Trench

New Scientist

This silicone rubber robot can withstand the pressures in the ocean's deepest abyss A silicone robot has survived a journey to 10,900 metres below the ocean's surface in the Mariana trench, where the crushing pressure can implode all but the strongest enclosures. This device could lead to lighter and more nimble submersible designs. A team led by Guorui Li at Zhejiang University in China based the robot's design on snailfish, which have relatively delicate, soft bodies and are among the deepest living fish. They have been observed swimming at depths of more than 8000 metres. The submersible robot looks a bit a manta ray and is 22 centimetres long and 28 centimetres in wingspan.


Drones With 'Most Advanced AI Ever' Coming Soon To Your Local Police Department

#artificialintelligence

Three years ago, Customs and Border Protection placed an order for self-flying aircraft that could launch on their own, rendezvous, locate and monitor multiple targets on the ground without any human intervention. In its reasoning for the order, CBP said the level of monitoring required to secure America's long land borders from the sky was too cumbersome for people alone. To research and build the drones, CBP handed $500,000 to Mitre Corp., a trusted nonprofit Skunk Works that was already furnishing border police with prototype rapid DNA testing and smartwatch hacking technology. They were "tested but not fielded operationally" as "the gap from simulation to reality turned out to be much larger than the research team originally envisioned," a CBP spokesperson says. This year, America's border police will test automated drones from Skydio, the Redwood City, Calif.-based startup that on Monday announced it had raised an additional $170 million in venture funding at a valuation of $1 billion.