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Hyundai rolls out adorable customer service robot for its showrooms

Engadget

In an effort to offer assistance without any unnecessary human interaction, Hyundai has unveiled the DAL-e, a new customer service robot that is both adorable yet functional. It debuted today in a Hyundai Motor showroom in southern Seoul in a pilot operation. The company says part of the purpose behind DAL-e is to accommodate customers who'd like to reduce human contact during the COVID-19 pandemic. The DAL-e is an acronym for "Drive you, Assist you, Link with you-experience," and the robot is equipped with "state-of-the-art artificial intelligence" designed to deliver a friendly customer service experience. It has facial recognition plus a language-comprehension platform that should allow it to communicate with potential customers.



First commercial autonomous bus services hit Singapore roads

ZDNet

Commercial autonomous bus services have been rolled out for the first time in Singapore, running two routes at Singapore Science Park 2 and Jurong Island. They will operate during a three-month trial during which data will be collected to assess the viability of the on-demand service as well as passenger safety and service reliability and efficiency. Development of the project involved multiple organisations and government agencies, with the aim to drive and accelerate sustainable deployment of robotics in the country. Led collectively under the Alliance for Action (AfA) on Robotics, the initiative also was facilitated by the Economic Development Board and Land Transport Authority. The AfA itself was brought together by the Emerging Stronger Taskforce, established by the government to review how Singapore could stay economically resilient and tap new areas of growth amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.


How Biden and Harris could refocus the White House on science

Engadget

In each of its annual budget requests, the Trump administration made deep funding cuts to federal research spending, in spite of Congress' consistent refusals. However, the administration's 2021 proposal actually sought to promote AI and quantum computing research. It asked for double funding to those departments in the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, Darpa, and the Joint AI Center to $2 billion annually. While decried as wholly inadequate to address the field's rate of technical advance, that funding bump would come at the expense of funding other basic sciences in those same agencies, as well as an overall reduction in research and development spending by 9 percent over 2020, to $142.2 billion. "I find it disappointing and concerning that funding for basic research is down," Martijn Rasser, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, told Wired in 2020.


That cute robot cop can instantly work out who you are

ZDNet

They don't have a gun. They roll around shopping malls and parking lots, like futuristic Blarts, offering you a sense of modern reassurance. Originally, Knightscope's robot cops were the source of neighborhood humor. They'd fall in fountains and then proclaim they weren't dead. Yet we should have worried, perhaps, that these were Trojan ponies, ready to trot into our lives and recount our movements to the powers-that-be.


Competition among human females likely contributed to concealed ovulation

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Competition for mates between prehistoric human women may have contributed to'concealed ovulation' – a lack of any notable physical clues that a woman is fertile, experts say. Using computational models, US researchers found evidence that concealed ovulation in humans – which is unusual in the animal kingdom – evolved to allow women to hide their fertility status from other females. This would have helped avoid female conflict, perhaps driven by aggression towards potential rivals for male mates. Previously, scientists have thought women evolved to conceal ovulation from males to encourage them to help with looking after children. The new research shows that the origin of concealed ovulation might have actually have been much more female-oriented than previously thought. 'The study of human evolution has tended to look at things from a male perspective,' said senior study author Athena Aktipis, associate professor of psychology at Arizona State University in the US.


Jenners department store to close after 183 years trading in Edinburgh

BBC News

A Frasers spokesman said: "Despite the global pandemic, numerous lockdowns and the turbulence caused for British retail, the landlord hasn't been able to work mutually on a fair agreement, therefore resulting in the loss of 200 jobs and a vacant site for the foreseeable future, with no immediate plans.


COVID-inspired touchless tech and innovations to help keep your home germ-free

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

COVID-19 has forced us all to think about new ways to avoid germs at work, while in public places like grocery stores and even in the privacy of our own homes. Fortunately, interior designers and manufacturers are responding to the demand and offering solutions for our homes that are aimed at reducing the spread of germs, viruses and other particles that may be harmful to our health. Industry professionals and home-goods retailers shared some of the more helpful ideas, new technologies and innovations currently available with NorthJersey.com, Smart home technology -- voice and motion-activated appliances and other features -- has grown tremendously in the recent past, and touchless options have expanded since COVID-19 to meet the demand. "Since May 1, the term'touchless' has been the GROHE website's number one searched term," says Stephany Osmas, a spokesperson for the manufacturer of kitchen and bathroom fixtures.


Radical AI podcast: featuring Meredith Ringel Morris

AIHub

Hosted by Dylan Doyle-Burke and Jessie J Smith, Radical AI is a podcast featuring the voices of the future in the field of artificial intelligence ethics. In this episode Jess and Dylan chat to Meredith Ringel Morris about ability and accessibility in AI. What should you know about Ability and Accessibility in AI and responsible technology development? Meredith is a computer scientist conducting research in the areas of human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), social computing, and accessibility. Her current research focus is on accessibility, particularly on the intersection of accessibility and social technologies.


'Exquisitely preserved' skull of tube-crested dinosaur found in New Mexico

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Scientists have found an'exquisitely preserved' skull of a herbivorous dinosaur species in New Mexico, known for its weird head adornment. The skull belongs to the iconic tube-crested dinosaur Parasaurolophus, which lived during the Late Cretaceous Period, about 76.5 million to 73 million years ago. The huge herbivorous reptiles sported trumpet-like nasal passages which they blew air into through the so-called tube on their head. This particular skull belonged to one particular species of the Parasaurolophus genus – Parasaurolophus cyrtocristatus. Despite its extreme morphology, details of the specimen show that the crest is formed much like the crests of other, related duckbilled dinosaurs. Tube-crested dinosaurs, known as Parasaurolophus, lived during the Late Cretaceous Period, about 76.5 million to 73 million years ago.