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With lower launch costs, Japan's next-gen H3 rocket aims for global success

The Japan Times

Japan's mainstay next-generation H3 rocket, developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), is now in the final stages of preparation for its first launch, to be conducted by the end of March 2022. By keeping the launch cost of each rocket at half the conventional price, at ¥5 billion, developers aim to attract a wide range of commercial demand, including launching satellites for organizations overseas. But with foreign companies such as U.S.-based SpaceX ahead of the game in offering low-cost rocket transport, some are asking whether there are opportunities for Japanese rockets to compete against their overseas rivals. On March 17, the first test model of the H3 rocket made its debut at the launch site at the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, as it was assembled, received fuels and underwent checking procedures down to the countdown just before the rocket launch. JAXA celebrated the milestone, saying it had overcome one of the "biggest mountains."


AUTOSHOW Baidu expects to supply self-driving system to 1 mln cars in 3-5 years

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Chinese technology giant Baidu Inc (9888.HK) expects to supply its Apollo autonomous driving system to 1 million cars in the next three to five years, a senior company executive said on Monday. Li Zhenyu, senior corporate vice president at Baidu, made the remarks at the 2021 Shanghai motor show. Baidu established its autonomous driving unit Apollo in 2017. The unit mainly supplies technology powered by artificial intelligence and works with automakers such as Geely (GEELY.UL), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and GAC (601238.SS). In January, Baidu said it would set up a company with Geely to make smart electric vehicles (EV), which will count on Baidu's intelligent driving capabilities and Geely's car manufacturing expertise.


Volvo partners with China's DiDi Chuxing to build fleet of self-driving cars

Mashable

Volvo is partnering with DiDi Chuxing's Autonomous Driving division to build a fleet of self-driving vehicles, the companies announced Monday. DiDi, a Chinese Uber competitor with more than 550 million users and tens of millions of drivers, is providing its self-driving hardware platform called Gemini, which will be deployed into Volvo's XC90 SUVs. The companies expect for these vehicles to eventually be driverless robotaxis. "In expanding partnerships with global automotive industry leaders, we believe shared, electric and autonomous vehicle networks will be crucial for future urban transport systems to achieve the highest safety and sustainability standards," Bob Zhang, CEO of DiDi Autonomous Driving and CTO of DiDi Chuxing, said in a statement. SEE ALSO: Volvo announces C40 Recharge crossover and says it's going all electric by 2030 Volvo already provided its smaller, XC60 SUVs for DiDi's robotaxi pilot program in Shanghai in 2020.


IBM to acquire myInvenio with an eye on AI-enabled automation

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During the coronavirus pandemic, digital transformation and automation efforts have accelerated as organizations look to streamline workflows and reduce operational costs. On Thursday, IBM announced a definitive agreement to acquire Italy-based process mining software company, myInvenio. "Digital transformation is accelerating across industries as companies face increasing challenges with managing critical IT systems and complex business applications that span the hybrid cloud landscape," said Dinesh Nirmal, general manager, IBM Automation. The move highlights IBM's investments to provide an AI-enabled automation suite "one-stop shop" for organizations, the company said, with capabilities such as robotic process automation, document processing and process mining among others. IBM said the acquisition will provide companies with "data-driven software" in areas such as sales, production and accounting and could help organizations identify processes for potential AI-enabled automation.


The Place for Artificial Intelligence in Education

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Technology's impact on the educational world strengthens with each year. Among many other developments, artificial intelligence seems to be an up-and-coming trend. It is clear that great changes are coming, and machines will take a direct role in them. Schools and universities will never return to the original format. Many wonder whether robots will replace professors, whether the effects of progress will be positive or negative and what should be done to improve current teaching approaches.


Boston Dynamics' latest robot doesn't do backflips -- and that's a smart move

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Boston Dynamics has made a name for itself through fascinating videos of biped and quadruped robots doing backflips, opening doors, and dancing to Uptown Funk. Now, it has revealed its latest gadget: A robot that looks like a huge overhead projector on wheels. It's called Stretch, it doesn't do backflips, it doesn't dance, and it's made to do one task: moving boxes. But this could, in fact, become the most successful commercial product of Boston Dynamics and turn it into a profitable company. Stretch has a box-like base with a set of wheels that can move in all directions.


Quadruped robot automatically adapts in unstructured outdoor environments

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The four-legged robot Dyret can adjust the length of its legs to adapt the body to the surface. Along the way, it learns what works best. This way it is better equipped the next time it encounters an unknown environment. The name Dyret (Norwegian for "The Animal") is an acronym for Dynamic Robot for Embodied Testing. "We have shown the benefits of allowing a robot to continuously adapt its body shape. Our physical robot also proves that this can easily be done with today's technology," says senior lecturer Tønnes Nygaard at UiO's Department of Informatics.


Two die in Tesla car crash in Texas with 'no one' in driver's seat – police

The Guardian

Two men died after a Tesla vehicle, which was believed to be operating without anyone in the driver's seat, crashed into a tree north of Houston, authorities said. "There was no one in the driver's seat," Sgt Cinthya Umanzor of the Harris County Constable Precinct 4 said of the crash on Saturday night. The 2019 Tesla Model S was traveling at high speed when it failed to negotiate a curve and went off the roadway, crashing to a tree and bursting into flames, local television station KHOU-TV said. After the fire was extinguished, authorities located two passengers, with one in the front passenger seat while the other was in the back seat of the Tesla, the report said, citing Harris County Precinct 4 police officer Mark Herman. Tesla and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Random Number Generator Tutorial with Python

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This tutorial's code is available on Github and its full implementation as well on Google Colab. Towards AI is a community that discusses artificial intelligence, data science, data visualization, deep learning, machine learning, NLP, computer vision, related news, robotics, self-driving cars, programming, technology, and more! Random numbers are everywhere in our lives, whether roulette in the Casino, cryptography, statistical sampling, or as simple as throwing a die gives us a random number between 1 to 6. In this tutorial, we will dive into what pseudorandomness is, its importance in machine learning and data science, and how to create a random number generator to generate pseudorandom numbers in Python using popular libraries. Check out our neural networks from scratch tutorial.


Ghost in the Shell: Will AI Ever Be Conscious?

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Imagine you undergo a procedure in which every neuron in your brain is gradually replaced by functionally-equivalent electronic components. Let's say the replacement occurs a single neuron at a time, and that behaviorally, nothing about you changes. From the outside, you are still "you," even to your closest friends and loved ones. What would happen to your consciousness? Would it incrementally disappear, one neuron at a time?