When I woke up this morning, I didn't imagine I'd spend part of my day inside a massive shipping container on a parking lot right under the Brooklyn Bridge. But that's exactly what happened earlier today. Adidas invited members of the media to an event where it showcased its latest running shoe, the AM4NYC, a New York City-inspired silhouette that was designed using sensor data and feedback from local runners. Not just that, but the sneaker was actually made at the company's robot-staffed Speedfactory in Atlanta, an automated assembly line that combines craftsmanship with speed to create custom footwear. For the Adidas Made For New York City, the company worked with runners around the Big Apple to figure out what would make the perfect shoe for them.
Today, Facebook released its Q1 earnings, which showed the company can still make more money and attract more users year-on-year despite staggering controversy. During a Q&A session after with Mark Zuckerberg and other executives, the CEO fielded a question on artificial intelligence's role in automatically detecting harmful content on the platform. Its AI isn't so good at catching hate speech, but has done a great job intercepting terrorist content. "It's much easier to build an AI system to detect a nipple than it is to detect hate speech," he said. It shouldn't be a surprise that Facebook's AI can spot nipples given the platform's history of banning, then begrudgingly allowing, breastfeeding and nudity in iconic photos.
If there was any doubt that the auto industry is rapidly changing, Ford just delivered proof. The industry pioneer is scaling back its North American small car lineup in North America to just two vehicles, the Mustang and the unrevealed Focus Active crossover, in the "next few years." The rest of its range will be limited to SUVs, trucks and commercial vehicles. Ford isn't shy about its reasons: "declining consumer demand and product profitability" make it impractical to develop other sedans. You'd better act quickly if you've been looking at a brand new Fusion or Taurus.
Toyota has slowly been entering the modern era with full smartphone integration in its cars, and now it's time for the company's upscale Lexus badge. Lexus has revealed that the 2019 ES sedan is its first-ever vehicle to support Apple CarPlay, giving iPhone owners familiar apps and Siri while they ride in style. There's still no Android Auto support, sadly, but you do get Alexa voice control both in and outside of the car. The ES is a tech-laden car even if you don't care for voice assistants. The standard model includes an 8-inch center display, but you can spring for a navigation package that gives you an ultra-wide 12.3-inch screen and a mobile Verizon hotspot.
Amazon has unveiled the Echo Dot Kids Edition with a custom version of Alexa that will read to kids, play music, answer questions and do other chores. It uses a new flavor of its FreeTime app called FreeTime for Alexa that includes parent controls and family-friendly features that run on any Echo device. It will give kids a different experience than adults; for instance, when they say "please," it will reply "thanks for asking so nicely" to reinforce their politeness. FreeTime for Alexa (available in free or subscription versions) will also answer questions differently. The regular version will merely reply "eight" if you ask how many planets are in the solar system, but the kids version will name each planet and explain why Pluto is no longer in the club.
Most image editing tools aren't terribly bright when you ask them to fix a photo. They'll borrow content from adjacent pixels (such as Adobe's recently demonstrated context-aware AI fill), but they can't determine what should have been there -- and that's no good if you're trying to restore a decades-old photo where you know what's absent. NVIDIA might have a solution. It developed a deep learning system that restores photos by determining what should be present in blank or corrupted spaces. If there's a missing eye in a portrait, for instance, it knows to insert one even if the eye area is largely obscured.
Whether you're listening to the newest installment of a daily podcast you're subscribed to or binging the latest true crime series, being able to pause a podcast on one device and pick it back up on another is a useful feature. And according to Pacific Content, it's a feature that Google offers right now. If you start an episode on your Android phone, for example, you can finish it with your Google Home, and Zack Reneau-Wedeen, Google's podcasts product manager, says this "device interoperability" will eventually expand to everything on which you use Google. We asked Google about the feature and were told that it's "not new" but it's unclear how long the ability has been around. Though Apple launched its podcast app in 2012, Google still doesn't have a dedicated app for podcasts.
We review the best Android phone you'll probably never get to buy, the wonderful game mash-up of Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time and Google's podcast app -- which was apparently there all along. Amazon is also looking to build a domestic robot we've been dreaming of. It won't be the first. We're upgrading Engadget's daily newsletter and want to hear from you. Tell us exactly what you think by emailing us at themorningafter(at)engadget.com.
Last June, Facebook described how it uses AI to help find and take down terrorist content on its platform and in November, the company said that its AI tools had allowed it to remove nearly all ISIS- and Al Qaeda-related content before it was flagged by a user. Its efforts to remove terrorist content with artificial intelligence came up frequently during Mark Zuckerberg's Congressional hearings earlier this month and the company's lead policy manager of counterterrorism spoke about the work during SXSW in March. Today, Facebook gave an update of that work in an installment of its Hard Questions series. Facebook defines terrorism as, "Any non-governmental organization that engages in premeditated acts of violence against persons or property to intimidate a civilian population, government or international organization in order to achieve a political, religious or ideological aim." And it notes that governments aren't included due to a "general academic and legal consensus that nation-states may legitimately use violence under certain circumstances."
While drivers experience most of the stress of a drive, it's important to remember that passengers are also prone to anxiety. After a long day at work (or fighting Twitter trolls) it can be tough to unwind even when you're being chauffeured home. Volvo's S90 Ambience Concept vehicle aims to help those tensions melt away while sitting in the back seat. Unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show, the specially built S90 has "seven visual themes synchronized with audio and scent." A pampered passenger would lean back and watch a relaxing scene projected on the ceiling of the vehicle while they listened to an audio track and was surrounded by "one of four bespoke scents" which would be emitted by a specially built portal in the center console.