The Independent


CBI calls for special commission to look at the impact of AI on UK businesses

The Independent

The Confederation of British Industry is calling on the Government to establish a joint commission tasked with examining the impact of Artificial Intelligence on people and jobs across all sectors of the UK economy. Based on research it conducted into the way that technology is changing the way we live and work, the CBI said on Friday that it had identified three technologies -- AI, Blockchain and the Internet of Things – that are set to move from the fringes to the mainstream within the next five years. It also found, however, that only a third of businesses currently have the skills and capabilities needed to adopt AI technologies, and that more therefore needs to be done to help prepare those companies for the future. The aim of the commission, the CBI said, would be to examine the impact of AI on people and jobs, and to subsequently set out plans for action that will "raise productivity, spread prosperity and open up new paths to economic growth". "The UK must lead the way in adopting these technologies but we must also prepare for their impacts," said Josh Hardie, deputy director-general of the CBI.


Google creates AI that can teach itself and isn't 'constrained by the limits of human knowledge'

The Independent

Google has developed a computer program that teaches itself. The company's AI division, DeepMind, has unveiled AlphaGo Zero, an extremely advanced system that managed to accumulate thousands of years of human knowledge within days. DeepMind says it's the most powerful program it has created, because it isn't "constrained by the limits of human knowledge". AlphaGo Zero is the latest evolution of AlphaGo, the first computer program to ever defeat a world champion at the ancient Chinese game of Go. Unlike previous versions of AlphaGo, however, Zero was only provided with the rules of the game.


Sonos One review: A speaker that music lovers will finally enjoy talking to

The Independent

Voice assistants seem to represent the best of what films offered us in the future: the ability to control your home, your music and everything else about your life simply by talking to a digital butler. But science fiction never had them sounding quite so bad. Despite all the hype around voice assistants, they have mostly been confined to things that make them sound terrible when they speak. Siri mostly comes out of your phone speakers, for instance, and the best the Google Assistant can do is the little rounded Google Home. The Sonos One represents the first time that you can talk to a voice assistant and actually have its voice – and anything else it does – sound good.


Huawei Mate 10 hands-on review: An artificially intelligent phone designed to think like a human

The Independent

Chinese powerhouse Huawei makes smartphones, smartwatches and the hardware that powers mobile phone networks around the world. Today, in Munich, the company revealed its latest high-end mobile, the Mate 10. Get past the branding, both of the company's name which can sound like you've sneezed (Hwah-way!), and the idea that the phone in your pocket can be considered your mate, and you find a capable, glossy handset from a manufacturer reaching its greatest level of confidence. Like Google, which recently announced its Pixel 2 handset, Huawei is betting the farm on artificial intelligence (AI) with a powerful processor, called the Kirin 970. It boasts eight cores and a neural processing unit (NPU).


WeChat translates 'black foreigner' into the N-word

The Independent

WeChat, the Chinese messaging app, has apologised for translating "black foreigner" into the N-word. When Ms Jones translated their Chinese response into English using WeChat's translation feature, it read: "The [N-word] is late." It found that in some sentences the phrase "black foreigner" was translated neutrally, but when the phrase was used in a negative context, the app translated it into the N-word. It learns how to use language in context by analysing huge volumes of material, which is why it may choose insulting language to translate negative sentences.


Google Assistant: Incredibly useful features that can make your life easier

The Independent

To add an account to Home, open the Google Home app, make sure your phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Google Home you want to connect to, tap the Menu icon, Devices and find the device card of the Google Home you'd like to link to your voice. To invite other people to link their Google Account & voice for tailored results, tap Invite. To add an account to Home, open the Google Home app, make sure your phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Google Home you want to connect to, tap the Menu icon, Devices and find the device card of the Google Home you'd like to link to your voice. To invite other people to link their Google Account & voice for tailored results, tap Invite.


google-home-mini-spying-listening-disable-touch-panel-update-stop-recording-a7996396.html

The Independent

A serious issue with the voice assistant's touch panel meant a "small number" of them went rogue, and kept monitoring their users even when they weren't supposed to. The Google Home Mini had originally been programmed to record you when you either said "Okay Google" or "Hey Google", or tapped and held a touch panel on it. "We've decided to permanently remove all top touch functionality on Google Home Mini," said Google. The Home Mini, a miniature version of Google Home, the company's smart voice assistant, will come out on 19 October, costing £49.


Google Home Mini secretly recorded everything its owner said

The Independent

Google's new Home Mini voice assistant has been spying on some of its users, due to a "phantom" issue. The company said in a statement: "The Google Home team is aware of an issue impacting a small number of Google Home Mini devices that could cause the touch control mechanism to behave incorrectly. Google told Android Police that the Home Mini's touch panel had been registering "phantom" touches, which caused it to keep activating and recording everything going on around it. "We've removed any activity/queries that were created by long pressing the top of a Google Home Mini between October 4 and October 7, when the software update was rolled out.


The 14 craziest things Elon Musk believes right now

The Independent

Just this Friday Musk shared his plan to use a SpaceX rocket to transport people to points around the world in just 30 minutes. Musk made those remarks in October 2016 when he criticized the media's coverage of accidents involving Tesla vehicles using Autopilot. "One thing I should mention that is, frankly, it's been quite disturbing to me, is the degree of media coverage of Autopilot crashes," he said, adding that it "is basically almost none relative to the paucity of media coverage of the 1.2 million people that die every year in manual crashes. But when he's not planning to send humans to Mars, Musk said he regularly debates whether humans actually exist in another civilization's video game "I've had so many simulation discussions it's crazy," he said at Vox Media's Code Conference last year.


Google's new headphones translate foreign languages in real time

The Independent

Google has built a pair of headphones that can translate foreign languages in real time. They both translate and enable you to speak in foreign languages, and worked incredibly impressively in a demo at Google's launch event this week, enabling an English speaker to hold a smooth conversation with a Swedish speaker. As you talk, your Pixel phone's speaker will play the translation in Italian out loud. There are several other language translation earphones available on the market, such as Waverly Labs' Pilot Translating Earpiece and the Translate One2One, but the Pixel buds have a huge advantage over those because Google Translate is trusted, and has an enormous user base.