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) …
A number of serious security flaws discovered to affect Bluetooth devices earlier this year are now plaguing artificial intelligence-based, voice-activated speakers including Google Home and Amazon Echo. Security firm Armis--the same group that first disclosed the Bluetooth vulnerabilities, dubbed Blueborne, in September--has issued new warning that as many as 15 million Amazon Echo devices and five million Google Home speakers are currently at risk. According to researchers, the Amazon Echo is susceptible to two primary vulnerabilities related to Blueborne. The first is a remote code execution vulnerability that would allow an attacker to run arbitrary code on the device that could force it to perform malicious actions without the device owner's knowledge. In a demonstration video posted on YouTube Armis researchers, they show the attack in action.
Apple promised to release the HomePod in December, but the company now says it won't start shipping them until next year. Apple revealed the HomePod at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June and had said it would come out for the holiday season, but that won't be the case anymore. "We can't wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers. We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018." The delayed release date means that people who wanted to buy the HomePod for the holidays won't be able to anymore.
The robot apocalypse is almost upon us, if this video of a robot practicing its jumping skills is any indication. Robotics company Boston Dynamics shared a video of Atlas, a humanoid robot, limbering up with some vertical jumps and twists and then capping off its display with a backflip. At the end of the video, when the robot completely sticks the landing, Atlas puts up its arms in a sign of victory. Hopefully robots won't one day use these skills to hunt down humans. If you are worried about the quick progress of these humanoids, there are still kinks to work out -- the video includes two outtakes of messier backflip attempts in which the robot does not land steadily on its feet.
Widespread devastation in Athens, Greece, was depicted Thursday in new drone footage following heavy flooding and violent storms. The destruction has left many surrounding areas underwater in what Mandra Mayor Yianna Krikouki called a "biblical" flood. Several regions in Greece have faced inclement weather for about a week. The situation escalated when heavy rain resulted in severe flooding Wednesday night. The death toll has risen to at least 16, and at least four civilians are reportedly still missing.
A team of scientists in the United Kingdom and the U.S. recently reported the discovery of pathological signs of Alzheimer's disease in dolphins, animals whose brains are similar in many ways to those of humans. This is the first time that these signs – neurofibrillary tangles and two kinds of protein clusters called plaques – have been discovered together in marine mammals. As neuroscience researchers, we believe this discovery has added significance because of the similarities between dolphin brains and human brains. The new finding in dolphins supports the research team's hypothesis that two factors conspire to raise the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in dolphins. Those factors are: longevity with a long post-fertility life span – that is, a species living, on average, many years after the child-bearing years are over – and insulin signaling.
Ahead of the live unveiling of the Tesla semi truck, Elon Musk and his company have been tweeting teaser photos of the newest vehicle to be added to the fleet. The semi has been in the works for quite some time and the general public will finally get a look at it Thursday evening. The debut of the truck is schedule for 8 p.m. PST Thursday and there will be a live stream for anyone looking to follow along who can't be there in person. But before Musk and Tesla bring out the massive all electric truck, the two have shared some silhouetted photos and video of the truck. In a tweet Wednesday Musk bragged about his newest accomplishment, saying, "It can transform into a robot, fight aliens and make one hell of a latte," along with a photo of the truck's silhouette.
Researches have made a breakthrough discovery about the impulsive electron loss that happens in the Earth's upper atmosphere. A paper on the research was published in the Geophysical Review Letters on Wednesday and details the scientific discoveries two spacecraft made about the loss and its cause, according to NASA. The Cubesat FIREBIRD II was one of those craft that recorded the electron microburst when it happened. The craft observed the microbursts from its place orbiting 310 miles above Earth while one of the Van Allen Probes that orbits a bit higher up was able to capture a rising-tone lower band chorus. That chorus of waves had the duration and cadence highly similar to those of the microburst that the FIREBIRD had captured.
Robotics and technology company Boston Dynamics unveiled their newest creation Monday in a teaser trailer. The video shows the new "SpotMini," a robot dog, bounding up to the camera and peering directly at the viewer. The four-legged yellow robot then bounds away and the words "coming soon" appear on the screen. Exactly what is coming soon is a mystery. The company made no announcement beyond the video and had not yet responded to International Business Times' request for comment.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in warfare has been growing rapidly. Several weapons now use integrated AI software to slowly reduce the number of soldiers in direct mortal peril. These weapon systems can target and attack anyone without human intervention. But, the growth of this technology is raising a few eyebrows. Several prominent scientists have already questioned the future of AI machinery simply because of the unpredictability.
A short film made by campaigners and scientists shows tiny drones hunting and killing with ruthless precision and without human guidance. The movie, released by the campaign group Stop Autonomous Weapons, highlights the perils of autonomous weapons falling into the wrong hands. It shows students in a school classroom being attacked by drones, armed with explosives. The drones identified and neutralized targets and did not need any instructions during the mission. This gruesome reminder of the destructive potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-integrated weapons displays autonomous drones that can find, follow and fire at targets independently.