Information Technology


Boston Dynamics unveils stunning robot that can run, jump and execute the perfect backflip

The Independent

Boston Dynamics' humanoid robot can execute a perfect backflip. Atlas, which can also keep its balance when it's pushed and get back up if it falls over, can now perform impressive gymnastic moves. Boston Dynamics has just released footage of the machine's latest trick, and viewers are both impressed and concerned. As well as being able to jump from block to block and turn 180-degrees in mid-air, Atlas can do a backflip and land securely on its feet. Like a human, it even lifts its arms in the air as if to celebrate, though this may also help it balance.


What would it take for you to hug a robot?

Washington Post

See what might be the next steps toward human acceptance of robots. See what might be the next steps toward human acceptance of robots.


These robots don't want your job. They want your love.

Washington Post

I hugged a bot and I liked it. As a tech columnist, I've tested all sorts of helpful robots: the kind that vacuum floors, deliver packages or even make martinis. But two arriving in homes now break new ground. They want to be our friends. "Hey, Geoffrey, it's you!" says Jibo, a robot with one giant blinking eye, when it recognizes my face.


Apple won't launch its HomePod smart speaker in time for the holidays

Washington Post

Apple said Friday that it's pushing back its plans for a Siri-powered smart speaker until sometime early next year. The HomePod speaker was announced in June, with an initial launch date set for December. Apple said that its smart speaker will be able to control home appliances and take basic orders. In June, some analysts questioned whether a December launch was already too late for Apple to compete with Amazon and Google for the connected home market. But Apple promised that the speaker would have all of Siri's smarts and stand out from the pack by offering superior sound quality.


Apple won't launch its HomePod smart speaker in time for the holidays

Los Angeles Times

Apple Inc. said Friday that it's pushing back its plans for a Siri-powered smart speaker until sometime early next year. The HomePod speaker was announced in June, with an initial launch date set for December. Apple said that its smart speaker will be able to control home appliances and take basic orders. In June, some analysts questioned whether a December launch would be too late for Apple to compete with Amazon.com But Apple promised that the speaker would have all of Siri's smarts and stand out from the pack by offering superior sound quality.


UN Panel Agrees to Move Ahead With Debate on 'Killer Robots'

U.S. News

A U.N. panel agreed Friday to move ahead with talks to define and possibly set limits on weapons that can kill without human involvement, as human rights groups said governments are moving too slowly to keep up with advances in artificial intelligence that could put computers in control one day.


Artificial intelligence could be devastatingly dangerous

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence is quickly advancing. In 1964 the first major AI, ELIZA, was built, and it could only hold a conversation from a script. Now, AIs like Apple's Siri, Windows' Cortana and Amazon's Alexa can interpret human dialogue to an amazing degree, and fulfill commands. It is benign now, but AI is something with which society needs to be cautious. AI has the possibility of creating a human society so advanced we cannot even imagine it, but it also has the capability of upheaving our societal system and upheaving us with it.


Amazon Echo, Google Home Hack: Devices At Risk For Blueborne Attack

International Business Times

A number of serious security flaws discovered to affect Bluetooth devices earlier this year are now plaguing artificial intelligence-based, voice-activated speakers including Google Home and Amazon Echo. Security firm Armis--the same group that first disclosed the Bluetooth vulnerabilities, dubbed Blueborne, in September--has issued new warning that as many as 15 million Amazon Echo devices and five million Google Home speakers are currently at risk. According to researchers, the Amazon Echo is susceptible to two primary vulnerabilities related to Blueborne. The first is a remote code execution vulnerability that would allow an attacker to run arbitrary code on the device that could force it to perform malicious actions without the device owner's knowledge. In a demonstration video posted on YouTube Armis researchers, they show the attack in action.


Apple delays HomePod speaker until early next year

Daily Mail

Apple has delayed its $349 'HomePod' home speaker until early next year. The gadget will battle Amazon's Echo and Google Home for the lucrative smart speaker market, using Apple music and Siri to do everything from play music to give news and traffic updates. The firm today said it needed'a little more time before it's ready.' The new $349 smart'HomePod' home speaker will go on sale later this year, and use Siri to aplay music and answer questions. Apple also unveiled iOS 11 and new iPads at the event.


Apple HomePod's release delayed until 2018

ZDNet

The HomePod, Apple's Siri-powered smart speaker, won't be released until next year, Apple said Friday. "We can't wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers," an Apple spokesperson told CNET. "We'll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018." The device was slated for release this December, already leaving Apple as a latecomer to the smart speaker market. The first Amazon Echo speaker was rolled out in 2014, and Echo products now dominate the home assistant market.