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Will we be able to control the killer robots of tomorrow?

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Fully autonomous weapons capable of selecting, identifying and engaging with targets of their own choice without human input (think Terminators) have not yet been fielded by any nation, despite what Russia is claiming. As such, now is the time to devise a regulatory framework, the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC) argued before a United Nations "Meeting of Experts" in 2014. "We've debated with the US about this and they won't say what they mean by'appropriate control'," Noel Sharkey, professor of AI and robotics at the University of Sheffield and chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, told Engadget. What's more, Just Security's Paul Scharre argues that world militaries have good reason to maintain human control: the ability to re-target these multi-million-dollar munitions mid-fight should the situation on the ground change while the weapon is in transit.


google-ai-helps-make-safer-baby-food

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Japanese food producer Kewpie Corporation has revealed that it's using Google's TensorFlow to quickly inspect ingredients, including the diced potatoes it uses in baby food. The result was an inspection system with "near-perfect" accuracy, culling more defective ingredients than humans alone -- even with a conveyor belt shuttling potatoes along at high speed. The TensorFlow system handles the initial removal, but there are still people waiting to inspect the potatoes afterward. The tech is currently limited to Kewpie's baby food, but the company expects to spread it to other foodstuffs before long.


Alexa will now order you a Domino's pizza in the UK

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There are many ways to order a pipin' hot Domino's pizza. To get started, you'll first need an Easy Order account, which is set up through the Domino's website. Next, you'll have to enable the Domino's skill through the Alexa app and link your Domino's and Alexa accounts. Absolutely, but then so is ordering pizza.


Musk and Zuckerberg bicker over the future of AI

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Everyone's favorite eccentric billionaire Elon Musk is the latest example of this, publicly slamming Mark Zuckerberg with a tweet stating that the Facebook CEO's understanding of AI "is limited." Musk hasn't exactly been shy on the topic, previously proclaiming that artificial intelligence is "the biggest risk we face as a civilization." Meeting with US governors earlier in the year, he went on to say that "AI is a rare case where we need to be proactive in regulation instead of reactive because if we're reactive in AI regulation it's too late." Rodney Brooks, the founding director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence recently questioned Musk's AI knowledge in much the same way Elon did about Zuckerberg.


Stanford built a '4D' camera for cars, robots and VR

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It relies on light field photography for the additional info to make its results four dimensional. As a result, the team's robot eye has the ability to refocus images after they're taken, which is light field photography's most popular feature. That small device can adjust the focus of an image, because it also uses light field imaging tech. A rugged robot can use its light field features to refocus images as it makes its way through the rain.


India will ban driverless cars in order to protect jobs

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As self-driving cars are being tested everywhere from the US to South Korea, Germany to Australia, reports today make it clear that it won't be happening in India. The country's transport and highways minister, Nitin Gadkari told reporters today, "We won't allow driverless cars in India. Rather, the minister's rejection of self-driving vehicles is about the jobs they would take away from drivers in the country. "We won't allow any technology that takes away jobs.


Roomba maker iRobot plans to sell digital maps of your home

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While iRobot may have originated as a bomb-disposal robot maker at MIT in 1990, the company is probably better known as a robot vacuum company. The CEO of iRobot, Colin Angle, tells Reuters that the "smart" home lighting, thermostats and security cameras currently on the market are all still pretty dumb when it comes to knowing what your home layout is. He also said that his company is working to sell the data in the next few years. In addition, it's believable that some consumers won't like the idea of iRobot selling their data to other companies who don't have the same commitment to user data security.


Orii smart ring turns your fingertip into a Bluetooth earpiece

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Hong Kong startup Origami Labs thinks it has an alternative solution to this problem: why not repackage the Bluetooth earpiece as a ring, and then use bone conduction to transmit audio to the fingertip? The main body on the latest working prototype came in at roughly 30 mm long, 20 mm wide and 12 mm thick. Much like some of the latest Bluetooth earpieces these days, Orii supports both iPhone's Siri and Android's Google Assistant, meaning you can simply wave your hand up, stick your fingertip to near your ear and start talking to your voice assistant right away. To ensure each Orii fits well before it ships in February next year, Origami Labs will be sending out a ring sizing gauge to all backers for measurements, as well as gathering final color requests: matte black, sandblasted silver, metallic dark gray or armor red.


At the Mercedes museum, your rental car parks itself

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The key is the combination of Mercedes' self-driving tech with Bosch's smart car park grid. This ultimately amounts to a tech showcase for Daimler and Bosch, but it's notable that this is an honest-to-goodness commercial offering and not just a tech demo. Even if fully autonomous on-demand cars are still years away, you could see the rise of in-between offerings where the cars park themselves. You could spend less time marching through car parks and more time enjoying your trips.


The next HoloLens will use AI to recognize real-world objects

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We're all excited about the gaming potential of HoloLens, but Microsoft is also fixated on enterprise AR, much like Google now is with Glass. During a talk at the CVPR (Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition) conference in Hawaii, Microsoft Research VP Harry Shum revealed that it will be boosted by an AI co-processor on its holographic processing unit (HPU). Computer vision and voice recognition have gaming and entertainment potential, and Shum showed off the new chip with a hand tracking and segregation demo. At the same event, Microsoft revealed the potential of HoloLens to help the blind "see" by recognizing objects and describing them.