The Guardian


Chatterbox: Wednesday

The Guardian

Wednesday 20 September 2017 02.00 EDT Last modified on Wednesday 20 September 2017 02.02 EDT


iOS 11: the eight best new features for your iPhone and iPad

The Guardian

Apple's iOS 11 will be available to download on iPhones and iPads everywhere from today, adding various new features including the ability to customise Control Centre for the first time. Control Centre, the widget-filled settings screen that is found by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, has been redesigned to fit more on screen at once. Siri gets a few new features under iOS 11, including the ability to translate phrases into Chinese, French, German, Italian or Spanish. The ad industry calls it "sabotaging the economic model for the internet"; Apple calls it protecting user privacy.


robots-could-take-4m-private-sector-jobs-within-10-years

The Guardian

Research by the University of Oxford and Deloitte last year predicted more than 850,000 public sector jobs could be lost by 2030 through automation. Asda operates a fully automated distribution warehouse in west London; white-collar tasks are being automated by PwC, the accountancy firm, and Linklaters, the law firm, which have been developing software robots that use artificial intelligence to learn to do research tasks usually undertaken by junior accountants and lawyers. The RSA warns that artificial intelligence and robotics will "undoubtedly cause the loss of some jobs, whether it is autonomous vehicles pushing taxi drivers out of business or picking and packing robots usurping warehouse workers". A care company in London, Three Sisters Home Care, will soon trial the use of robots for lifting people so only one care worker will be needed rather than two.


Max Tegmark: 'Machines taking control doesn't have to be a bad thing'

The Guardian

We're in a situation where something truly dramatic might happen within decades – that's a good time to start preparing With his friend the Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, and funding from the tech billionaire Elon Musk, he set up the Future of Life Institute, which researches the existential risks facing humanity. Life 2.0, or the cultural stage, is where humans are: able to learn, adapt to changing environments, and intentionally change those environments. But if trends continue apace, then it's not unreasonable to assume that at some point – 30 years' time, 50 years, 200 years? Yet if we're looking at creating an intelligence that we can't possibly understand, how much will preparation affect what takes place on the other side of the singularity?


Chatterbox: Monday

The Guardian

Monday 18 September 2017 02.00 EDT Last modified on Monday 18 September 2017 02.02 EDT


Why did Ford build a 'fake driverless car' using a man dressed as a seat?

The Guardian

Local news publication ARLnow caught the ghostly vehicle on camera and speculated that it was part of Virginia Tech's autonomous driving research. The "seat suit" stunt was the brainchild of Ford and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute research exploring how self-driving vehicles can communicate their intent to pedestrians, human drivers and cyclists. Ford and Virginia Tech wanted to test how people would react to light signals replacing some of this communication. "We needed to try out this new lighting to communicate the intent of the vehicle, but if you've got a driver behind the seat you still have natural communication between humans like eye-to-eye contact," said Andy Shaudt, who headed the research at Virginia Tech.


Chatterbox: Friday

The Guardian

Friday 15 September 2017 02.00 EDT Last modified on Friday 15 September 2017 02.02 EDT


Elon Musk: Tesla electric lorry to be unveiled in late October

The Guardian

The commercial trucking industry appears interested in Musk's proposed battery-powered heavy-duty vehicle, which can compete with conventional diesels and travel up to 1,000 miles on a single tank of fuel. Tesla's plans for new electric vehicles, including a commercial truck called the Tesla Semi, were announced last year, and in April Musk said the release of the semi-truck was set for September. In August, leaked correspondence with vehicle regulators revealed Tesla's plan to test long-haul, electric lorries that move in so-called platoons, or road-trains, that automatically follow a lead vehicle driven by a human. The Department for Transport announced last month that platoons of self-driving lorries will be trialled on England's motorways.


Fury at 'Bodega' tech startup that aims to put corner shops out of business

The Guardian

A tech startup called Bodega that hopes to replace mom-and-pop shops with unmanned boxes that rely on an app and artificial intelligence is facing a massive backlash from immigrant business owners and skeptics across Silicon Valley. "The vision here is much bigger than the box itself," co-founder Paul McDonald, a former Google product manager, told Fast Company. McDonald told Fast Company he was unveiling 50 new locations on the west coast and plans to spread across the country, with more than a thousand "Bodegas" in place by the end of 2018. Even if Bodega rapidly grows, many shoppers won't want to abandon their local stores, said Trisha Chakrabarti, senior program and policy manager at Mandela MarketPlace, a nonprofit that supports local grocery stores and is based in Oakland, California, where Bodega is headquartered.


Chatterbox: Wednesday

The Guardian

Wednesday 13 September 2017 02.00 EDT Last modified on Wednesday 13 September 2017 02.02 EDT