According to mainstream video games, modern warfare is all about cyborg arms, laser shields and jarheads blowing up baddies under the guidance of recognisable character actors. However, the frenetic antics of the Call of Duty series and its ilk are behind the times. The drone pilot protagonist of 2012's free indie game Unmanned is a more accurate representation of a modern soldier: a man who plays video games with his son every weekend, and who has also killed countless foreigners from a grey-walled cubicle in Nevada. You play an American warrior, square of jaw and beefy of build, who works from an office out in the desert. A click of his mouse sends tons of missile plummeting from anonymous drone planes with an eerie blank space where you'd expect to see a cockpit.
Companies in all industries must stay up to date with the latest tech to survive in this digital world. This is especially true in the case of machine learning (ML), which has the potential to transform the way businesses process and use their data. While ML has a number of useful applications in the business world, applying it to business intelligence (BI) insights can help you optimize your processes and make even better decisions. Thirteen members of Forbes Technology Council shared some creative ways to combine business intelligence with machine learning to produce the best results for your company. One of the most unique ways to combine business intelligence and machine learning is the identification of fraud indicators.
Facebook wants to be invited into your living room. The company has revealed details about its Amazon Echo competitor, a voice-controlled, webcam-equipped smart screen named Portal. Arriving in the US in November, Facebook Portal is a $199 (£152) 10-inch screen, with two speakers and a high-quality webcam attached, which the company hopes users will put in their living rooms and kitchens and use to launch video chats with friends and loved ones. The device, which also comes in a larger model, Portal, for $349, can play music from Spotify, videos from Facebook Watch, and act as a photo frame when not in use. It is controlled using voice commands, although Facebook has eschewed the personal approach of competitors such as Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa in favour of a more disembodied presence: users initiate instructions with: "Hey Portal."
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.
If your robotics lab has a quadruped, it's become almost a requirement that you post a video of the robot not falling over when walking across some kind of particularly challenging surface. And quadrupeds are getting quite good at keeping their feet, even while negotiating uneven terrain like steps or rubble. One way to do this is without any visual perception at all, simply reacting to obstacles "blindly" by positioning legs and feet to keep the body of the robot upright and moving in the right direction. This can work for terrain that's continuous, but when you start looking at more dangerous situations like gaps that a robot's leg could get stuck in, being able to use vision to plan a safe path becomes necessary. Vision, though, is a real bag of worms, kettle of fish, bushel of geese, or whatever your own favorite tricky metaphor is.
The Indian government plans to decongest its airports by introducing facial recognition technology next year - a proposal that may once again raise privacy concerns in the South Asian country. India's ministry of civil aviation on Thursday said passengers on domestic flights will be able to choose to use their biometric authentication system and go paperless. "Security will benefit from the ability of the technology to verify the passenger at every checkpoint in a non-intrusive way," ministry secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey said in a statement. The proposal says passengers would be verified by being photographed at every stage of the check-in process - from entering the airport to proceeding through security and boarding the plane. The India government statement said the biometric technology will be introduced first at Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports by February next year, followed by Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune and Vijayawada by April.
Lately the fact-checking world has been in a bit of a crisis. Sites like Politifact and Snopes have traditionally focused on specific claims, which is admirable but tedious; by the time they've gotten through verifying or debunking a fact, there's a good chance it's already traveled across the globe and back again. Social media companies have also had mixed results limiting the spread of propaganda and misinformation. Facebook plans to have 20,000 human moderators by the end of the year, and is putting significant resources into developing its own fake-news-detecting algorithms. Researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) believe that the best approach is to focus not only on individual claims, but on the news sources themselves.
Cruise, the self-driving car arm of General Motors, has an unexpected new ally in its bid to keep its corporate master at the forefront of an industry enduring its greatest period of change in generations: Honda. In a deal announced today, the Japanese automaker will help San Francisco-based Cruise and its Detroit owner develop and mass produce a new sort vehicle for a world in which human drivers are no longer needed. Honda is opening its checkbook too, pledging to spend $2 billion on the project over 12 years, and immediately putting a $750 million equity investment into Cruise. For Honda, the partnership offers entree into a self-driving space where it has thus far spent little time and effort. For Cruise and GM, the newcomer adds engineering know-how, especially with regard to interior design.
Self-driving car company Cruise Automation is rushing to create a new autonomous vehicle with the help of one of the largest names in the automotive industry. Honda said it will invest $2.75 billion into Cruise's autonomous vehicle operations over the next 12 years, an infusion that arrives several months after the Japanese firm SoftBank announced a $2.25 billion investment in the company. Both investments bring the four-year-old company's valuation to a whopping $14.6 billion, General Motors said in a news release Wednesday. Cruise Automation -- which is already building a fleet of autonomous vehicles that could hit American streets as early as next year -- is a subsidiary of GM. The Detroit automaker's stock was up nearly 2 percent Wednesday.