International Business Times


Driverless Cars Offer New Forms Of Control – No Wonder Governments Are Keen

International Business Times

Imagine a state-of-the-art driverless car is zipping along a road with a disabled 90-year-old-passenger. The car must make a decision: drive into the mother and child and kill them, or career into a wall and kill the passenger. This is a variation of the trolley problem, which dominates academic and popular thinking about the ethics of driverless cars. The problem is that such debates not only dismiss the complexity of the system in which driverless cars will exist, but are really moral red herrings. The real ethical issues lie in the politics and power concerns with driverless cars.


Amazon Employees To Jeff Bezos: Stop Selling Facial Recognition Tech To ICE

International Business Times

Amazon's operation has grown well beyond merely delivering items to people's homes. Jeff Bezos's massive corporation is now involved in everything from grocery shopping to fashion, but the recent revelation that Amazon technology assists law enforcement is a bridge too far for some employees. A group of Amazon employees (referred to as Amazonians) penned a letter to Bezos on Thursday asking the billionaire CEO to halt the sale of facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies, The Hill reported. The software, called Amazon Web Services Rekognition, has been linked to government agencies like the controversial Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. The letter cited the United States government's history of injustice towards minorities in calling for Amazon to stop assisting ICE.


Russia Developing Super-Autonomous Robotic Submarine That Will Not Run On Nuclear Power

International Business Times

Russian scientists are developing an advanced automated submarine that will be powered by an external combustion engine, Igor Denisov, deputy director of the Foundation for Advanced Studies (FPI), revealed in an interview with Interfax, a Russian news agency. "We are planning to create an apparatus that will pass through the Northern Sea Route without floating up and without the use of nuclear power, including under the ice," Denisov said. "In order for this device to accomplish such a'feat,' its autonomy should be at least 90 days, which is already commensurate with the autonomy of modern submarines." The decision to forego the nuclear option to power the underwater vehicle was a conscious one, Denisov said, in order to make it increasingly safe. While a nuclear installation helps power submarines for uninterrupted movement throughout the world's oceans, it also puts its operational capabilities at risk.


Uber Driver Was Streaming Hulu Show Just Before Self-Driving Car Crash

International Business Times

Police in Tempe, Arizona said evidence showed the "safety" driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber was distracted and streaming a television show on her phone right up until about the time of a fatal accident in March, deeming the crash that rocked the nascent industry "entirely avoidable." A 318-page report from the Tempe Police Department, released late Thursday in response to a public records request, said the driver, Rafaela Vasquez, repeatedly looked down and not at the road, glancing up just a half second before the car hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was crossing the street at night. According to the report, Vasquez could face charges of vehicle manslaughter. Police said that, based on testing, the crash was "deemed entirely avoidable" if Vasquez had been paying attention. Police obtained records from Hulu, an online service for streaming television shows and movies, which showed Vasquez's account was playing the television talent show "The Voice" the night of the crash for about 42 minutes, ending at 9:59 p.m., which "coincides with the approximate time of the collision," the report says.


Watch: Robot Being Controlled, Corrected With Brainwaves And Hand Gestures

International Business Times

If we want to see robots thrive in different fields, it is important to establish appropriate ways or techniques that can be used to control or correct them whenever required. Normally, engineers prefer advanced programming or language processing techniques for a task like that, but all those methods do not provide enough flexibility, especially when there are multiple tasks at hand. This is why a group of researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory developed a new system, one that allows robots to be controlled by our brains and gestures. Though the idea of controlling a machine with our mind may sound too farfetched, the researchers demonstrated the system successfully and are actually bringing it closer to real-world applications. A system developed at MIT allows a human supervisor to correct a robot's mistakes using gestures and brainwaves.


7 Years After Watson, IBM's AI Turns Heads Again

International Business Times

Watson, an artificial intelligence system built by International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), made headlines in 2011 by beating two champions on the game show Jeopardy! This initial version of Watson was built for answering Jeopardy!-style questions, backed by a vast database of information. Since then, Watson has been adapted to a wide variety of business applications, in industries such as healthcare and financial services. This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool. Soon after Watson's debut, IBM began work on another AI project.


Toyota, Pressed To Innovate, Is Cutting Marketing Costs To Fuel Research

International Business Times

BEIJING (Reuters) - Toyota has begun slashing costs, starting with sales and marketing, and shifting resources into research that will help it keep up with new competitors, four people familiar with the matter said. One of the company's first moves was to cancel contracts with the China unit of its long-term communication and advertising agency, Dentsu Inc, the sources said. Chief executive Akio Toyoda and chief financial and risk officer Koji Kobayashi want to follow the example of Tesla, Google and Tencent - all of which rely heavily on cheaper, often more innovative non-traditional marketing. They say the savings should be plowed into investment in emerging technology such as autonomous vehicles. "We may be posting record profits, but we don't think we are keeping up with their pace of investments," one of the sources, a senior Toyota official, told Reuters.


Google Podcasts App Is Now Available Worldwide For Android Devices

International Business Times

Google has released its standalone Podcasts app for Android and is available worldwide in the Play Store. The Google Podcasts app will have Assistant integrated so that the app will be able to provide personalized recommendations. "Integrated with the Google Assistant across your devices and packed with personalized recommendations, Google Podcasts is designed to make it easier than ever for Android users to discover and listen to podcasts," Google said in its blog post. "We're also announcing a partnership with industry experts to improve diversity in podcast creation, and sharing a peek at how AI can help transform podcasting for the better." The Google Podcasts app for Android features a home screen that will display a carousel of shows that the user is already subscribed to.


American Airlines Suffers The Latest Airline IT Meltdown

International Business Times

Within the span of a month during the summer of 2016, two of the top four U.S. airlines suffered crippling IT failures. Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) were each forced to cancel thousands of flights during the peak season, leading to lost revenue and reputational damage. This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool. The summer 2018 peak season is just getting started, but there has already been a major airline IT failure. In the past week, flight cancellations have rapidly mounted at American Airlines' (NASDAQ:AAL) regional subsidiary PSA Airlines, due to problems with the carrier's crew scheduling system.


Investors Are Overlooking This Shareholder-Focused Chipmaker

International Business Times

Chipmakers have been a red-hot sector for what now seems like forever. In the last five years, the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index has advanced nearly 200%, versus the S&P 500's total return of 90%. Perhaps the most notable chipmaker during this period is GPU-maker NVIDIA, as its stock increased 1,800%. This article originally appeared in The Motley Fool. Against that backdrop, you can forgive investors for overlooking other companies in the sector, which is exactly what has happened to Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN).