iRobot CEO says the company won't share your Roomba home mapping data without your OK


In a recent interview with Reuters, Angle indicated iRobot might want to sell home mapping data collected by its Roomba robot vacuums to third party smart home product companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon in the future. In the interview, Angle told Reuters that he could make a deal to start sharing, through partnerships, the collected home mapping data to a company like Amazon, Google, or Apple within a couple of years. Colin Angle: iRobot takes privacy and security of its customers very seriously. So what percentage of iRobot customers actually have products collecting this home mapping data?

As your Roomba cleans your floors, it's gathering maps of your house

Los Angeles Times

Those intimate maps, the company hopes, could soon be sold as personalized, data-rich products to giant tech companies, seizing a bigger role in the burgeoning market for "smart" devices in the Web-connected household. Angle said the spatial information generated by Roombas would enable connected devices to function better. In IRobot's vision, the Roomba will become a kind of machine mediator, improving other key features of the future connected home, including "music, TV, heat, blinds, stove, coffee machine, fan, gaming console, smart picture frames or robot pet," Angle said. In the future, with your permission, this information will enable the smart home and the devices within it to work better."

Inside Microsoft's Plan to Bring AI to its HoloLens Goggles


Microsoft Corp. says it has the answer with a chip design for its HoloLens goggles--an extra AI processor that analyzes what the user sees and hears right there on the device rather than wasting precious microseconds sending the data back to the cloud. "For an autonomous car, you can't afford the time to send it back to the cloud to make the decisions to avoid the crash, to avoid hitting a person. But the rapid development of artificial intelligence has left some traditional chip makers facing real competition for the first time in over a decade. More recently, in an effort to take on Google and Inc. in cloud services, the company used customizable chips known as field programmable gate arrays to unleash its AI prowess on real-world challenges.

What happens to your marketing effort when Google search goes away?


While it won't likely replace existing screen-based search, voice search is already enough of a factor that businesses need to understand strategies for being found this way. Another important finding is that smart speaker owners are using the devices to manage their homes. Owners who make their home "smart" say they most often connect smart speakers to control home lighting, the thermostat, home security systems, and outdoor lighting and sprinklers. Will one part of our home be controlled by Google, another part by Amazon, while an Apple device plays out TV and music?

Amazon set to enter US drug store market

Daily Mail

There is speculation that such a move could see the online retailer selling prescription medicines direct to consumers. 'I wouldn't be surprised to see them partner with a pharmacy home delivery company first. The company has tried to enter the health care market previously in the late 1990s when it partnered up with, Rumours about Amazon having its sights set on health care began earlier this year when its voice-enabled personal assistant, Alexa, was heavily showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show. Amazon made a deal made earlier this year with WebMD which saw Alexa gain the ability to provide peer-reviewed medical information when asked by an Echo, Echo Dot and Fire TV user.


International Business Times

A new report claims Facebook is planning to release a smart speaker in 2018. Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo Show does feature a touchscreen display, but that only measures 7 inches. Richardson also worked for Amazon's Lab126 as its principal technical manager, and is believed to have worked on Amazon's Echo smart speakers. Research firm Strategy Analytics reported that worldwide smart speaker shipments reached 5.9 million back in 2016, 4.2 million of those were shipped during the fourth quarter of the year.

Roomba vacuum maker iRobot betting big on the 'smart' home


Amazon declined to comment, and Apple and Google did not respond to requests for comment. Low-cost Roomba rivals were the subject of a report by short-seller Ben Axler of Spruce Point Capital Management, which sent the stock down 20 percent to $84 at the end of June. The company's smart home vision has helped bring around some former critics. Short-seller Axler's June report caused a stir mostly with its prediction that value-priced appliance maker SharkNinja Operating LLC could launch a robovac by year's end.

Your Roomba could be selling maps of your home to Google, Amazon, and Apple


"There's an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared," said Colin Angle, iRobot's CEO. If the idea of a device spying on your flooring plan -- along with other data about your home -- and then selling that info to companies to help them improve their targeted ads seems particularly creepy to you, that's because, well, it is creepy. The privacy policy indeed states iRobot could share the users' personal data with other companies owned by iRobot, third party vendors and affiliates, the government, and "any company transaction, such as a merger, sale of all or a portion of company assets or shares." However, this is not necessarily personal data as protected under data protection law.

Grasping how neural nets work


Deep learning, an advanced machine learning technique, uses layered (hence "deep") neural networks (neural nets) that are loosely modelled on the human brain. Two years ago, a team of computer-vision researchers from MIT's computer science and Artificial Intelligence laboratory (Csail) described a method for peering into the black box of a neural net trained to identify visual scenes. While the previous paper reported the analysis of one type of neural network trained to perform one task, the new paper reports the analysis of four types of neural networks trained to perform more than 20 tasks, including recognizing scenes and objects, colouring grey images, and solving puzzles. In both papers, the MIT researchers doctored neural networks trained to perform computer-vision tasks to ensure they disclosed the strength with which individual nodes fired in response to different input images.

Work Kill Sex eBook: Pochassic: Kindle Store


"Work Kill Sex" offers a radically different perspective on the artificial intelligence, one that I have never seen in a short story, but found it a pleasure to read. I thought this would be a simple story of robot versus human but it turned out to be more interesting than that. It challenged my conceptions of how we, as humans, are using technology. Pochassic's story puts the reader in the mind of an artificially intelligent being and allows us to see things from her point of view.