NPR


R.I.P. HAL: Douglas Rain, Voice Of Computer In '2001,' Dies At 90

NPR

Douglas Rain, a Shakespeare actor who provided the eerie, calmly homicidal voice of HAL in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, has died at the age of 90. The Canadian actor died Sunday morning, according to the Stratford Festival, where Rain spent 32 seasons acting in such roles such as Othello's Iago and Twelfth Night's Malvolio. He was also a founding member of the company. The Winnipeg-born actor had dozens of theater, film and television credits. However, Rain's biggest mark on pop culture was less Shakespearean, but perhaps just as much a classic: as 2001's HAL 9000, a sentient, rogue computer in a film written in collaboration with science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke and widely regarded as Kubrick's masterpiece.


AI News Anchor Makes Debut In China

NPR

China's Xinhua News Agency has introduced an artificial intelligence news anchor. China's Xinhua News Agency has introduced an artificial intelligence news anchor. "This is my very first day at Xinhua News Agency," says a sharply dressed artificial intelligence news anchor. "I look forward to bringing you the brand new news experiences." China's Xinhua News Agency has billed the technology as the "world's first artificial intelligence (AI) news anchor," unveiled at the World Internet Conference in China's Zhejiang province.


The Tinder-Bumble Feud: Dating Apps Fight Over Who Owns The Swipe

NPR

Match says its lawsuit is anything but baseless -- detailing, in hundreds of pages of court documents, numerous similarities between the two apps. In the process, Match has accused Bumble of "almost every type of [intellectual property] infringement you could think of," says Sarah Burstein, a professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law whose research focuses on design patents. One of the central questions revolves around Tinder's patented system for connecting people over the Internet. The matching is based on mutual interest, as expressed through a swiping motion.


In Major Acquisition, IBM Will Acquire Open-Source Software Company Red Hat

NPR

Tech giant IBM announced Sunday that it will acquire open source software company Red Hat. The company's logo is seen here at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in February. Tech giant IBM announced Sunday that it will acquire open source software company Red Hat. The company's logo is seen here at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in February. In what may be the most significant tech acquisition of the year, IBM says it will acquire open-source software company Red Hat for approximately $34 billion.


Should Self-Driving Cars Have Ethics?

NPR

New research explores how people think autonomous vehicles should handle moral dilemmas. Here, people walk in front of an autonomous taxi being demonstrated in Frankfurt, Germany, last year. New research explores how people think autonomous vehicles should handle moral dilemmas. Here, people walk in front of an autonomous taxi being demonstrated in Frankfurt, Germany, last year. In the not-too-distant future, fully autonomous vehicles will drive our streets.


A.I. Produced 'Portrait' Will Go Up For Auction At Christie's

NPR

Edmond de Belamy, created using artificial intelligence, will be auctioned at Christie's on Thursday. Edmond de Belamy, created using artificial intelligence, will be auctioned at Christie's on Thursday. A new portrait that is vaguely reminiscent of something painted by an old master is headed to Christie's New York auction block later this week, making it the first computer-generated artwork up for sale at a prestigious art house. The print, called Edmond de Belamy, is a blurry depiction of what could be a "man of the church" against a dark background, floating in the upper left corner of a gilt frame. It was created by Obvious, a Paris-based art collective that has been using artificial intelligence to make a series of "paintings" since they began the project last year.


This Portrait Is Reminiscent Of A Rembrandt But Artificial Intelligence Created It

NPR

NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with art appraiser Erin-Marie Wallace about how a piece of art that was created by an algorithm, but looks like a Rembrandt can be appraised.



The Robots Are Coming To Las Vegas

NPR

Robotic arms wait to make drinks at The Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas. Robotic arms wait to make drinks at The Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas. At the Vdara Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas, robots are at the front line of room service. "Jett" and "Fetch" are delivery robots, designed to look like dogs, each about three feet high. They can bring items from the hotel's cafe right to your room.


China Makes A Big Play In Silicon Valley

NPR

A year ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping stood before the 19th Communist Party Congress and laid out his ambitious plan for China to become a world leader by 2025 in advanced technologies such as robotics, biotechnology and artificial intelligence. It was seen as a direct challenge to U.S. leadership in advanced technology. James Lewis, a specialist in China and technology at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says China recognizes that technological superiority helps give the United States an edge in national security and wants in on it. "The Chinese figured out that technology is the key to wealth and power, and the source of technology is still the West for China," says Lewis. The question is: "How do they get their hands on that Western technology?"