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Sex Tape Satire 'Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn' Wins Berlinale Golden Bear

International Business Times

Romanian sex tape satire "Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn" by Radu Jude won the 71st Berlin film festival's Golden Bear top prize Friday. Israeli director Nadav Lapid announced the award, saying the movie had the "rare and essential quality of a lasting artwork". The festival, which was held entirely online, also awarded its first-ever "gender neutral" best acting prize to Germany's Maren Eggert for her performance in the sci-fi comedy "I'm Your Man". In the film by "Unorthodox" director Maria Schrader, Eggert is a museum researcher who signs up to test a humanoid robot, played by British actor Dan Stevens from "Downton Abbey", as a romantic partner. The runner-up best film gong went to Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi whose "Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy" is made up of three stories of women looking for connection in modern Japan.


Honda will sell 100 of its level 3 self-driving Legend sedans in Japan

Engadget

Late last year, Honda made a big pledge to become the first automaker to mass produce cars with level 3 self-driving. It's now making good on that promise by selling 100 of its Legend sedans that pack its Sensing Elite autonomous driving features, which allow the vehicle to take over the wheel to navigate congested highways, starting March 5 in Japan. But access to the latest tech won't come cheap: The limited-edition model will cost a cool 11 million yen ($103,000). With the car in control in heavy traffic, Honda says you'll be be able to kick back and watch TV or a DVD on the navigation screen, helping to ease the "stress" or "fatigue" that comes with navigating gridlock. The so called "level 3 Traffic Jam Pilot" option has the capabilities to control acceleration, braking and steering in certain conditions.


Honda to start offering world's first level-3 autonomous car on Friday

The Japan Times

Honda Motor Co. said Thursday it will start offering from Friday the revamped Legend sedan in Japan equipped with "level-3" autonomous technology as the auto industry faces intensifying competition to develop driverless vehicles and a collision-free society. It is the world's first vehicle to hit the market that allows the driver to engage in different tasks such as reading and watching TV when the car is in certain conditions such as congested traffic on expressways, the Japanese transport ministry said. But in the case of an emergency the driver needs to take full control of the vehicle. "Autonomous technology has the potential to reduce the driver's burden while eliminating human errors that cause traffic accidents," Yoichi Sugimoto, executive chief engineer of Honda R&D Co., said in an online press conference. Honda plans to offer 100 units domestically for a suggested retail price of ¥11 million ($103,000) that will only be available on a three-year lease.


Robot pets help ease virus isolation in Japan

The Japan Times

Nami Hamaura says she feels less lonely working from home thanks to her singing companion Charlie, one of a new generation of cute and clever Japanese robots whose sales are booming during the pandemic. Smart home assistants such as Amazon's Alexa have found success worldwide, but tech firms in Japan are reporting huge demand for more humanlike alternatives, as people seek solace during coronavirus isolation. "I felt my circle became very small," said 23-year-old Hamaura, a recent graduate who has worked almost entirely remotely since April 2020. With socializing limited, life in her first job at a Tokyo trading company was nothing like she had imagined. So she adopted Charlie, a mug-sized robot with a round head, red nose and flashing bow-tie, who converses with its owner in song.


Here's how opinions on the impact of artificial intelligence differ around the world

#artificialintelligence

As with AI, Asian publics surveyed stand out for their relatively positive views of the impact of job automation. Many Asian publics have made major strides in the development of robotics and AI. The South Korean and Singaporean manufacturing industries, for instance, have the highest and second highest robot density of anywhere in the world. Singapore is also pursuing its goal of becoming the world's first "smart nation," and the government has identified AI as one of many key development areas necessary to reach that goal. Japan has also long been a world leader in robotics manufacturing and development, and robots and AI are increasingly integrated into everyday life there to help with tasks ranging from household chores to elder care.


Japanese companies ramping up use of artificial intelligence, report says

#artificialintelligence

Fox Business Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on FoxBusiness.com. TOKYO - Japanese companies are ramping up the use of artificial intelligence and other advanced technology to reduce waste and cut costs in the pandemic, and looking to score some sustainability points along the way. Disposing of Japan's more than 6 million tonnes in food waste costs the world's No.3 economy some 2 trillion yen ($19 billion) a year, government data shows. With the highest food waste per capita in Asia, the Japanese government has enacted a new law to halve such costs from 2000 levels by 2030, pushing companies to find solutions.


Suzuki Motor chairman to retire after leading firm for over 40 years

The Japan Times

Suzuki Motor Corp. Chairman Osamu Suzuki will retire after leading the Japanese automaker for more than 40 years and making it into a global player with an overwhelming dominance in the Indian car market, the firm said Wednesday. The 91-year-old chairman will leave the post at a shareholders meeting slated for June and become an adviser, it said. Suzuki has served as either president, chairman or CEO of the company, known for its minivehicles and motorcycles, since 1978. "I decided to give way to successors to promote a midterm business plan," which the Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture-based company released the same day, Suzuki said during an online news conference. He added that the company's 100-year anniversary last year also prompted his decision to step down from the chairman's post.


What we can learn from Japan's adoption of robots in the service sector

#artificialintelligence

Robots hold polar extremes in economic narrative and popular imagination. One narrative depicts a looming dystopian future with robots and other forms of automation increasingly replacing human workers, depressing wages (Brynjolfsson and McAfee 2014), feeding inequality, and contributing to further'deaths of despair' (Case and Deaton 2020, Mulligan 2021). In counter-imaginations, robots embody innovative technology spurring productivity and freeing workers from repetitive, strenuous, monotonous work while helping to relieve labour shortages arising from ageing populations. Such demographic challenges are salient particularly in higher-income countries farther along in the demographic transition, such as the OECD nations, where populations in 18 out of the 36 countries are projected to decline by 2055. These nations face rising old-age dependency ratios, declining employment-to-population ratios, and challenges in providing services to the growing number of frail older adults.


Toyota begins construction of smart city near Mount Fuji

The Japan Times

NAGOYA – Toyota Motor Corp. on Tuesday began construction of a smart city at the foot of Mount Fuji in central Japan as a testing ground for new technologies including robotics and artificial intelligence. About 360 people including Toyota employees will initially move to the so-called Woven City to be built at the 70.8-hectare former Toyota factory site in Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture. It will be powered by electricity from fuel cells, which derive power from a hydrogen-oxygen reaction, in addition to solar panels. Toyota describes the city -- run with partner companies such as telecommunications giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. -- as a "living laboratory" where it will test autonomous vehicles, robots and artificial intelligence in a real-world environment. The automaker has commissioned Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, who designed the 2 World Trade Center in New York City and Google's headquarters in California, to plan the layout of the city.


Honda appoints Japan R&D chief Toshihiro Mibe as new CEO

The Japan Times

Honda Motor Co. is promoting its current head of research and development Toshihiro Mibe to chief executive, the latest in a number of bold moves the automaker is taking to step beyond its more than half-a-century-long reliance on selling gasoline-powered cars. Mibe, 59, will also assume the president role effective April 1, the company said in a statement Friday. Honda's current CEO Takahiro Hachigo, who helmed the firm for six years, will become a director as of that date and then retire from the company at its general meeting in June. Honda's new chief is taking the top job as the Japanese carmaker pushes to stay abreast of the two great shifts hitting the auto industry: automation and electrification. Since joining Honda in 1987, Mibe has occupied various roles, including as the chief of Honda's R&D subsidiary, where he was central to driving the company's electric vehicle technologies and autonomous driving strategies.