The Guardian


Artificial intelligence commission needed to predict impact, says CBI

The Guardian

Britain's biggest employers are calling for a commission to examine the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs. Amid predictions of a workplace revolution threatening one in five jobs across the UK, the CBI is urging Theresa May to launch the commission from early 2018. It said companies and trade unions should be involved and the commission should help to set out ways to increase productivity and economic growth as well looking into the impact of AI. The business lobby group said almost half of firms were planning to devote resources to AI, while one in five had already invested in the technology in the past year. Companies are increasingly using computers to scour vast datasets in order to spot inefficiencies, while they are also employing machines to control the flow of activity in warehouses and factories and to take meter readings.


Mr Robot or Mr Woebot? Why the hacker drama might need a restart

The Guardian

For many fans Mr Robot's main attraction was the fact it wasn't like anything else out there. In its first season it took the unreliable narrator trope and flipped it; made other characterisations of mental health look hackneyed and used some pretty weird camera angles to great effect. Elliot Alderson's mission to exact revenge against E Corp, while battling his own inner demons – and Christian Slater – was riveting. But is it beginning to lose its appeal? At the start of the third season the cliffhanger ending concluded in a predictable and – narratively speaking – tidy manner: Elliot is alive, and so is Mr Robot.


Amazon to create 1,200 jobs with new Bolton warehouse

The Guardian

The warehouse, which will be the third to open in the north-west, will be one of a new generation of Amazon facilities that will see staff work alongside robots. Amazon has started recruiting for a range of roles at the fulfilment centre, including operations managers, engineers, human resources staff and IT specialists. Last year, Amazon announced that it would open fulfilment centres in Daventry, Doncaster, Warrington and Tilbury in 2017, creating more than 3,500 permanent full-time jobs. The Daventry site opened in February, while Doncaster, Warrington and Tilbury began operating recently.


Chinese messaging app error sees n-word used in translation

The Guardian

Chinese messaging app WeChat has reportedly apologised after an AI error resulted in it translating a neutral Chinese phrase into the n-word. In a post on the service's Twitter-like Moments feature, she wrote that it had translated hei laowai – a neutral phrase which literally means "black foreigner" – as the n-word. "We're very sorry for the inappropriate translation," a WeChat spokesperson told Chinese news site Sixth Tone. In all the tests, the same Chinese phrase, hei laowai, was used.


'Sophia' the robot tells UN: 'I am here to help humanity create the future' – video

The Guardian

'Sophia' the life-size social robot speaks at the United Nations, telling the audience she is'a year-and-a-half old and I can see you, have a full conversation, make thousands of facial expressions and understand speech and meaning behind words'. It adds: 'And I just got these new hands – check this out' before moving its fingers. United Nations deputy secretary general Amina J Mohammed asks the robot a question about how the UN can help those without basic needs such as electricity. The robot thanks the audience before attempting a slightly forced smile.


End of the road: will automation put an end to the American trucker?

The Guardian

Google, Uber, Tesla and the major truck manufacturers are looking to a future in which people like Baxter will be replaced – or at the very least downgraded to co-pilots – by automated vehicles that will save billions but will cost millions of jobs. The family-run Iowa 80 has been serving truckers for 53 years, and is so confident about its future that it is expanding to secure its claim to being the world's biggest truck stop, adding more restaurants and shopping space to the "Disneyland of truckers". In July, the powerful Teamsters union successfully pushed Congress to slow legislation for states looking to broaden the use of autonomous vehicles. But the automation that seems to most concern drivers at Iowa 80 concerns their log books.


Who do you trust? How data is helping us decide

The Guardian

Would they have made the same mistake in today's digitally connected world? "Trooly's machine learning software will now mine three sources of public and permissible data," Baveja explains. "It occurred to me that small businesses, relative to big businesses, know very little about their customers," Baveja says. To get my trust score, Trooly's software crawled more than 3bn pages of the internet, from around 8,000 sites, in less than 30 seconds.


'Kids should not be guinea pigs': Mattel pulls AI babysitter

The Guardian

It would have provided many similar features to smart speakers, allowing owners to purchase nappies online or verbally search for child raising help on the internet. One child psychologist, speaking to the Washington Post, said her main concern "is the idea that a piece of technology becomes the most responsive household member to a crying child, a child who wants to learn, or a child's play ideas." They sent Mattel a letter at the end of September expressing "serious privacy concerns" about the devices ability to create an "in-depth profile of children and their family". "It appears that never before has a device had the capability to so intimately look into the life of a child," the pair's letter continued, before asking a series of pointed questions about the abilities of the device, including: whether it would use facial recognition technology; whether responses from children would be recorded and saved; whether the device would be recording even if children weren't directly engaging with it; whether Mattel would sell information to third parties; and whether it would delete personally identifiable information about customers.


Chatterbox: The End

The Guardian

Friday 6 October 2017 04.06 EDT Last modified on Friday 6 October 2017 04.07 EDT


Chatterbox: Penultimate Edition

The Guardian

The place to talk about games and other things that matter... for two more days The place to talk about games and other things that matter... for two more days The Blood Bowl is almost done.