ZDNet


How Fortnite approaches analytics, cloud to analyze petabytes of game data

ZDNet

Fortnite processes 92 million events a minute and sees its data grow 2 petabytes a month. And when you have the most popular game in the world, you need an analytics architecture to match. Chris Dyl, director at platform at Epic Games, outlined the company's analytics architecture and how it has built its system on Amazon Web Services. What serverless architecture actually means, and where servers enter the picture Business analytics: The essentials of data-driven decision-making What is machine learning? Dyl, speaking at the AWS Summit in New York, outlined how Epic has moved to be all-in on AWS as well as extend usage via machine learning tools such as Amazon SageMaker, which has a bevy of built-in algorithms for developers to use.


Meet the robot snakes and bugs that will repair your car's engine

ZDNet

Ripping apart the engines of planes and road vehicles to diagnose and fix issues can be a costly and time-consuming process. However, Rolls-Royce has come up with a new idea to fix hard-to-reach places: the use of snake and insect-inspired robotics. The engineering firm and automaker believes that robotics could pave the way for a revolution in engine maintenance, and as part of the IntelligentEngine project, the company has brought to life a pair of snakes which are flexible enough to travel through engines to carry out patch repairs to damaged thermal barrier coatings. In partnership with the University of Nottingham and company Metallisation, Rolls-Royce says the robots act like an endoscope, slithering their way through the critical vehicle part to perform maintenance without causing any further damage. At the Farnborough Airshow this week, Rolls-Royce also demonstrated miniature robots for plane maintenance which were inspired by insect swarms.


All the right moves: Fly jacket turns your body into an intuitive joystick

ZDNet

If you want a chuckle, find some serious drone racers using first-person view (FPV) googles and keep an eye on them as they navigate a tough course. The goggles, which afford a bird's-eye view and virtually place the pilot in the drone's cockpit, have become popular with enthusiasts. The effect can be startling. Viewing the world from the perspective of a drone seems to trick the brain after a while. Though the pilots are using normal handheld controllers, their whole bodies begin to squirm and wriggle, as if they've taken flight themselves.


How police are using voice recognition to make their jobs safer

ZDNet

Speech recognition tools are changing the way people work and live their lives, bringing assistants like Alexa into their daily routines and transcribing meetings more accurately than a human could. When it comes to policing, speech recognition tools can help uniformed officers and detectives with critical note-taking and even possibly help prevent life-threatening situations. ZDNet spoke with Mark Geremia of Nuance Communications and Chief Joseph Solomon of the Methuen, Mass. Police Department to talk about the way police work is evolving thanks to voice recognition, cloud computing and other new technologies. The Methuen PD is one of the police departments now using Dragon Law Enforcement, Nuance's voice recognition product designed specifically for first responders.


The best programming language for data science and machine learning

ZDNet

Video: What programming languages do you need to know to earn more? Arguing about which programming language is the best one is a favorite pastime among software developers. The tricky part, of course, is defining a set of criteria for "best." With software development being redefined to work in a data science and machine learning context, this timeless question is gaining new relevance. Let's look at some options and their pros and cons, with commentary from domain experts.


The ethical challenges of artificial intelligence

ZDNet

One of the issues that arises when people are discussing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) is how to ensure that decisions based on AI are ethical. The next wave of IT innovation will be powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. We look at the ways companies can take advantage of it and how to get started. "While AI is by no means human, by no means can we treat it like just a program," said Michael Biltz, managing director of Accenture Technology Vision at consulting firm Accenture. "In fact, creating AIs should be viewed more like raising a child than programming an application.


Does Amazon need a smartphone to win the smart home battle?

ZDNet

Alexa wants to runs the smart home - should she be on your phone, too? The European Commission's antitrust complaint against Google, over how it used Android to strengthen the dominance of its search engine, also shed some light on Amazon's thwarted plan to persuade manufacturers to make devices using its own version of Android, Fire OS. One of the EC's complaints against Google concerned how it prevented device manufacturers from using any alternative version of Android that were not approved by Google -- so-called Android forks. According to the EC, in order to be able to pre-install Google's apps, including the Play Store and Google Search on their devices, manufacturers had to commit not to develop or sell even any device running on an Android fork. The EC said that this reduced the opportunity for devices running on Android forks to be developed and sold.


IBM Watson Health extends partnership with US to help vets with cancer

ZDNet

IBM on Thursday said it's extending its partnership with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to apply artificial intelligence to cancer treatments for veterans. The VA and IBM Watson Health first partnered to help cancer patients in 2016, as part of then-Vice President Joe Biden's cancer moonshot initiative. The partnership uses the Watson cognitive computing platform to help the VA's precision oncology department deliver individualized treatment plans. So far, the VA has used IBM Watson to help more than 2,700 veterans with cancer. To prepare an individualized treatment plan, teams of scientists and clinicians must sequence a patient's DNA to pinpoint the likely cancer-causing mutations and determine what treatments would target those specific mutations.


Defence backs Saber Astronautics with AU$1.2m contract for space security

ZDNet

The Australian government has handed out its latest round of Defence Innovation Hub contracts, investing a total of AU$3.07 million in four local companies that will be developing "innovative" solutions for Defence. Sydney-based Saber Astronautics will walk away with a AU$1.2 million cash injection to continue the development of machine learning technology for autonomous identification and modelling of electronic threats. According to Defence, the proposed innovation could provide an ability to quantify signal threat characteristics that could be used to help protect its systems. The space engineering company said the work to detect degraded electronic signals is the second of a potential three-phase project using Saber Astronautics' advanced machine learning capability. "The application adds significant capabilities to Australian Defence and also has potential spinoffs for commercial space operations by autonomously protecting the quality of satellite data during solar storms," the company explained.


Robotics in business: Everything humans need to know

ZDNet

One kind of robot has endured for the last half-century: the hulking one-armed Goliaths that dominate industrial assembly lines. These industrial robots have been task-specific -- built to spot weld, say, or add threads to the end of a pipe. They aren't sexy, but in the latter half of the 20th century they transformed industrial manufacturing and, with it, the low- and medium-skilled labor landscape in much of the U.S., Asia, and Europe. You've probably been hearing a lot more about robots and robotics over the last couple years. That's because for the first time since the 1961 debut of GM's Unimate, regarded as the first industrial robot, the field is once again transforming world economies. Only this time the impact is going to be broader.