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Ticker: Amazon adds jobs in Boston; Lottery sales, profits rising during pandemic

Boston Herald

Amazon's 2020 hiring spree does not appear to be slowing in the new year with the company announcing 3,000 new jobs in the city in coming years. The hires announced Tuesday will double the workforce in Amazon's Boston tech hub, with new jobs spread across Alexa, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Robotics and Amazon Pharmacy. In its most recent quarter which ended in September, Amazon hired more than 250,000 permanent full-time and part-time workers, Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said during a conference call with industry analysts. In October, the start of this quarter, it hired another 100,000. The jobs announced Tuesday in Boston include technology positions in software development, artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as new jobs in product management, human relations, finance and other areas.


Tesla's dominant autonomous EV leadership, ride-hailing services, and the Boring Company

ZDNet

ARK Invest focuses solely on offering investment solutions to capture disruptive innovation in the public equity markets. ARK believes that the world is rapidly changing and passive investment strategies are counterproductive. ARK also believes that innovation is causing disruption and the risks associated with the traditional world order are rising. Therefore ARK invests at the pace of innovation. ARK's analysts are organized by a cross-sector innovation theme to capitalize on technological convergence across markets and industries.


Qualcomm aims to consolidate auto systems, expands GM, Amazon Alexa partnerships

ZDNet

Qualcomm on Tuesday outlined a broad strategy to advance its Snapdragon platform in the auto industry as it aims to expand in the cockpit as well as a bevy of subsystems. The Qualcomm playbook for the automotive industry rhymes with its plans for IoT, artificial intelligence and compute. That strategy revolves around using 5G and the Internet of everything to consolidate compute platforms. In an event dubbed Automotive Redefined, Qualcomm outlined a new software defined architecture called E/E (electronic/electrical) that aims to put its platforms in everything from the cockpit to autonomous driving to sensors to electric charging infrastructure. As automobiles become more connected via 5G enabled C-V2X technology, Qualcomm ultimately sees cars as the "ultimate mobility platform" with new experiences updated over the air.


Technological Responses to COVID-19

Communications of the ACM

Pratt Miller demonstrated its LAAD disinfecting robot at Gerald R Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, MI, in July 2020. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to be felt for years to come, regardless of the presence and availability of a vaccine. Physical measures adopted by humans, such as social distancing or wearing masks, are likely to be utilized for years to come, along with technological developments deployed in both public and private spaces that are focused on enforcing social distancing, enabling more efficient cleaning and disinfecting of spaces, and driving more automation and intelligence to reduce humans' direct physical interaction with each other. Some companies and individuals feel the best way to avoid COVID-19 or other viruses is to simply avoid all unnecessary human contact. As such, many companies have introduced or fast-tracked the use of automation to lessen their reliance on human workers, as well as to enhance their responsiveness to customer queries.


This AI Could Go From 'Art' to Steering a Self-Driving Car

WIRED

You've probably never wondered what a knight made of spaghetti would look like, but here's the answer anyway--courtesy of a clever new artificial intelligence program from OpenAI, a company in San Francisco. The program, DALL-E, released earlier this month, can concoct images of all sorts of weird things that don't exist, like avocado armchairs, robot giraffes, or radishes wearing tutus. OpenAI generated several images, including the spaghetti knight, at WIRED's request. DALL-E is a version of GPT-3, an AI model trained on text scraped from the web that's capable of producing surprisingly coherent text. DALL-E was fed images and accompanying descriptions; in response, it can generate a decent mashup image.


Kali Linux hands-on: A look at the installation options

ZDNet

Anyone involved in or even significantly interested in cybersecurity has probably heard of Kali Linux. Since its early days as BackTrack, it has been considered the standard in penetration testing and security analysis platforms. In my opinion, it also happens to be one of the best Debian GNU/Linux distributions available. SEE: An IT pro's guide to robotic process automation (free PDF) (TechRepublic) It is based on Debian stable (currently 10/buster), but with a much more current Linux kernel (currently 5.9 in Kali, compared to 4.19 in Debian stable and 5.10 in Debian testing). Kali is available for installation in a number of different formats, for a number of different systems, and that variety can sometimes be a bit intimidating.


IEEE RAS Soft Robotics Podcast with Ali Khademhosseini: Biomaterials, soft robotics and the Terasaki Institute

Robohub

Prof. Ali's journey from Harvard and UCLA to the Terasaki Institute is truly inspiring. What does the institute do to bring a product to the real world? You can also listen to this podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and explore support options on Patreon.


AI helps this Koda social robot dog sense human emotions

#artificialintelligence

If you can't adopt a real dog, why not opt for this robot dog from Koda that uses artificial intelligence? Man's best friend has always been the domesticated dog, but mutts around the world could end up with some serious competition in the form of Koda's AI-powered robot dog. Unlike other robot dogs on the market, the Koda artificial intelligence dog is meant to interact socially with its human owners. The robot's AI helps it sense when its owner is sad, happy or excited so it can, over time, respond in an appropriate manner to human emotions. Get the latest science stories from CNET every week.


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.