International Business Times


What Happens In Our Brain When We Make A Decision?

International Business Times

Decisions span a vast range of complexity. There are really simple ones: Do I want an apple or a piece of cake with my lunch? Then there are much more complicated ones: Which car should I buy, or which career should I choose? Neuroscientists like me have identified some of the individual parts of the brain that contribute to making decisions like these. Different areas process sounds, sights or pertinent prior knowledge.


Amazon's Alexa Is A Feminist Who Supports Black Lives Matter, Some Users Are Angry

International Business Times

Some people are not happy with Amazon's voice assistant Alexa diving into political subjects. Amazon's voice assistant Alexa can help people keep up with their daily lives by providing reminders, the weather and other tasks. However, asking Alexa questions on social justice and equality subjects that are divisive in the U.S. has sparked criticism against the voice assistant. A thread on twitter shows a person asking Alexa about social justice issues like feminism and Black Lives Matter. Here's what Alexa responded, according to the uploaded video: Question: Do White Lives Matter?


From Giant Asteroids To Killer Robots, The Greatest Threats To Humanity

International Business Times

Humanity is going to bring about its own destruction, if this list of top threats to our species is any indication. It feels like the world is already crumbling sometimes, between the devastating wildfires in California, the violent political conflicts that break out around the globe and other natural and manmade dangers. But humanity is still hanging on, even if it seems at times to be by a thread. That might change in the future, however. AsapSCIENCE has a list of things that are most likely to cause the end of days for mankind, and it is a sad commentary on the world we have created for ourselves.


Will The iPhone X Be A Hit Beyond Apple Diehards? 3 Questions Answered

International Business Times

Editor's note: As consumers eager to get their hands on Apple's 10th anniversary phone line up online to be among the first to buy one, a few questions remain. Known as the iPhone X, the device starts at about US$1,000 and only gets more expensive from there. Some have warned that the high price tag will limit demand. John Jordan, an expert in supply chain management and information systems, believes answering that and other lingering questions requires a closer look at information economics, supply chain theory and encryption. Apple stores have become like meccas of consumerism and among most valuable retail spaces in the world.


Researchers Reveal What Robots Could Learn From Roaches

International Business Times

It seems like robots could learn from roaches. Researchers from the University of Cologne in Germany have discovered a change in roaches' gait that could help teach robots to walk. Animal's gait was previously only analyzed in fast mammals. Researchers have now found that arthropods that run quickly, like roaches, change their gait at mid-speed. Experts said the change in gait in roaches (Nauphoeta cinerea) is similar to the way horses switch from trop to gallop.


AAPL Stock Rebounds After Apple Buying Shazam Report

International Business Times

Apple is reportedly closing in on a deal to purchase the audio recognition app Shazam--a popular app that can identify music, television show, movie or advertisement by listening to an audio clip--according to TechCrunch. No official price has been made public, though the deal is believed to be in the nine-figure range and has been rumored to be around $400 million. During its last funding round in 2015, Shazam was valued at more than $1 billion. The report was confirmed by the Financial Times, which reported the deal would value the London-based Shazam as worth "hundreds of millions of dollars" and would be one of the largest acquisitions in Apple's history. During its September 2017 earnings report, Shazam posted $54 million in revenue over the course of its 2016 fiscal year, a turnaround from its previous two years.


Why Bitcoin Futures Are A Game-Changer

International Business Times

The New York Stock Exchange, CME Group Inc. and Cboe Futures Exchange are just a few of the mainstream financial institutions that will start offering bitcoin futures over the next few weeks. This could impact non-accredited hodlers and bitcoin newbies in several ways. Lots of new players are about to buy bitcoin through these derivatives. "There will be more participants. Some are going to make money and some will lose money.


Skype For iPhone X Updated To Make Use Of Space Surrounding Notch

International Business Times

Skype just released a new version of its app for iOS devices, and this one is specifically targeted at iPhone X owners. For one thing, the update is modifying the look of the app, so it can now make use of the space surrounding the TrueDepth camera system's notch on top of the 10th anniversary iPhone. Just this past Wednesday, Skype introduced version 8.12 of its iOS app on the App Store. The update, which is clocking in at 113 MB, requires iOS 9.0 or later versions of Apple's mobile operating system. It's compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, but the update mostly benefits the latest flagship handset, the iPhone X.


#MeToo Petition Says Siri, Alexa Should 'Shut Down Sexual Harassment'

International Business Times

A petition calls on Amazon and Apple to reprogram Alexa and Siri so the voice assistants can push back against sexual harasments comments from users toward the voice assistant. The call comes as the #MeToo movement gives a voice to those who have been sexually harassed. Actress Alyssa Milano started the online campaign in October after Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment and rape by multiple women. The recent Siri and Alexa petition was launched on Care2 and has more than 6,000 supporters out its 10,000 signature goal. "In this #MeToo moment, where sexual harassment may finally be being taken seriously society, we have a unique opportunity to develop AI in a way that creates a kinder world," the petition said.


How Much Can We Trust AI?

International Business Times

Artificial intelligence software gets more sophisticated almost every day. Computers can already beat human experts at chess, stock market predictions, and detecting cancer. Yet most machine learning experts believe we shouldn't hand over complete control to AI-powered robots any time soon. "We don't trust autonomous vehicles yet, despite the fact that they rarely make mistakes, because the cost of error is too high," New York University professor Vasant Dhar, who also founded one of the longest running AI-powered hedge funds, told International Business Times. "It takes a while to learn the machine learning program's style.