If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
It's been 30 days since Susan Fowler blogged about her experience working as an engineer for the poster child of Silicon Valley bro culture, Uber. I bet Travis Kalanick, the ride-hailing company's hard-charging CEO, would cough up a sizable chunk of his $6.3 billion net worth to stuff that genie back in the bottle. Sunday's surprise resignation of Jeff Jones – who was recruited just six months ago as president of ride sharing and head of global marketing – capped a month-long executive exodus in the wake of Fowler's accusations of organizational chaos, sexual harassment and brazen misbehavior by Uber management. If the revelations are true (the company is still investigating), then under the hood of Uber's brilliant innovation and stellar growth lies what can best be described as an out- of-control mess. The question is, can Kalanick navigate the crisis or will he be forced out?
The most futuristic car you'll see this week is a minivan. Waymo, Google parent Alphabet's recently announced self-driving automobile technology company, has unveiled its new autonomous Chrysler Pacifica. Fiat-Chrysler worked with Waymo to integrate its bulky suite of Radar, Lidar and camera equipment into the Pacifica Hybrid, along with all of the gear needed for it to drive itself. One hundred of the augmented people carriers have been built and will be hitting the road next year. Waymo says that it has already put prototypes of the vehicles through their paces on closed test tracks and exposed them to over 200 hours of extreme weather conditions.
Uber might be one of the best ways to hail a taxi in many cities around the world, but it's also a controversial service that has been plagued by scandals. The company has said it couldn't access ride data information for its users. A former Uber security expert, however, claims that employees have been able to track people using the app, including high-profile customers. Uber employees helped ex-boyfriends stalk ex-girlfriends, and were even able to access trip information for celebrities like Beyonce, Reveal News explains. These revelations come from the company's former in-house forensic investigator Ward Spangenberg.
Uber rolled out its much anticipated self-driving car service for a group of selected customers in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The ride-hailing firm became the first to offer the futuristic technology to the public in the United States, and Fox News went for a spin. It's still a work in progress, so the vehicle has a specially-trained human being in the driver's seat who can take control of it if something goes wrong, and an engineer taking notes on the passenger side. Although in the early stages of development, the cars are impressively autonomous: a spinning LIDAR on the roof takes in 1 million points of data per second, creating a visual field of everything around the car. There are also 20 cameras detecting everything, including red lights, stop signs and pedestrians.