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Why our fears of job-killing robots are overblown

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The more general point is that computer algorithms will have a devil of a time predicting which jobs are most at risk for being replaced by computers, since they have no comprehension of the skills required to do a particular job successfully. In one study that was widely covered (including by The Washington Post, The Economist, Ars Technica, and The Verge), Oxford University researchers used the U.S. Department of Labor's O NET database, which assesses the importance of various skill competencies for hundreds of occupations. For example, using a scale of 0 to 100, O*NET gauges finger dexterity to be more important for dentists (81) than for locksmiths (72) or barbers (60). The Oxford researchers then coded each of 70 occupations as either automatable or not and correlated these yes/no assessments with O*NET's scores for nine skill categories. Using these statistical correlations, the researchers then estimated the probability of computerization for 702 occupations.


China Roundup: Kai-Fu Lee's first Europe bet, WeRide buys a truck startup – TechCrunch

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Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch's China Roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world. Despite the geopolitical headwinds for foreign tech firms to enter China, many companies, especially those that find a dependable partner, are still forging ahead. For this week's roundup, I'm including a conversation I had with Prophesee, a French vision technology startup, which recently got funding from Kai-Fu Lee and Xiaomi, along with the usual news digest. Like many companies working on futuristic, cutting-edge tech in Europe, Prophesee was a spinout from university research labs. Previously, I covered two such companies from Sweden: Imint, which improves smartphone video production through deep learning, and Dirac, an expert in sound optimization.


An AI-Controlled Drone Racer Has Beaten Human Pilots For The First Time

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Drone racing is an increasingly popular sport with big money prizes for skilled professionals. New control algorithms developed at the University of Zurich (UZH) have beaten experienced human pilots for the first time – but they still have significant limitations. In the past, attempts to develop automated algorithms to beat humans have run into problems with accurately simulating the limitations of the quadcopter and the flight path it takes. Traditional flight paths around a complex drone racing course are calculated using polynomial methods which produce a series of smooth curves, and these are not necessarily as fast as the sharper and more jagged paths flown by human pilots. A team from the Robotics and Perception Group at UZH has developed a trajectory planning algorithm to calculates the optimal route at every point in the flight, rather than doing it section by section.


Russia's Cutting-edge Drone Unveiled at MAKS 2021 - ELE Times

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Zala Aero, a Russian UAV manufacturer, presented its state-of-the-art vertical takeoff and landing drone – the ZALA VTOL – at the MAKS 2021 International Aviation and Space Salon, the company told reporters during the air show. "The ZALA VTOL combines the properties of an airplane type drone and a tilt-rotor aircraft. The flight configuration changes depending on the assigned mission. The electric propulsion system enables the aircraft to be in the air for up to 4 hours, providing a range of up to 200 km in aircraft configuration," the company said. The built-in on-board computer ZX1 based on artificial intelligence makes it possible to process Full HD format data and transmit HD videos and photos over encrypted communication links to a ground control station.


Global IoT subscriptions trends point to slow but steady progress - Verdict

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GlobalData predicts cellular IoT subscriptions will grow in the range of 12-16% CAGR, depending on region, over the next five years, as remote working, autonomous vehicles, robotics, and other advanced use cases accelerate. There are many recent examples of IoT deals and alliances that signify traction. GlobalData's Q2 mobile trends report provides insights into subscriptions for mobile networks; among many other key findings, it offers a clue to the progress of IoT uptake in different regions. North America: Cellular IoT subscriptions will reach 151.5 million at year-end 2021, and will make up 26.5% of total mobile subscriptions in the region. GlobalData expects the number of North American IoT connections to increase at a CAGR of 15.6% from 2021-2026, reaching 312.3 million at the end of the period.


Scientists 3D-print ears and noses for facial reconstruction

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Scientists in Wales are 3D-printing cartilage for people born without body parts or who have missing facial features due to facial scarring. Using human cells and plant based materials, the experts say they are able to print ears, noses and other parts to help with facial reconstruction. The technology would benefit those who have had facial scarring as a result of burns, cancer and other types of trauma. The Scar Free Foundation has launched a three-year £2.5 million programme of'regenerative research' into the technology based at Swansea University with the aim to progress to clinical trials involving humans. A three-year ££2.5 million research programme funded by the Scar Free Foundation and Health and Care Research Wales at Swansea University will aim to advance the development of 3D bioprinted facial cartilage According to the Scar Free Foundation, patients living with the loss of facial features have told researchers that existing plastic prostheses didn't feel'part of them' and would prefer their own tissue to be used for reconstruction.


New algorithm flies drones faster than human racing pilots

Robohub

To be useful, drones need to be quick. Because of their limited battery life they must complete whatever task they have – searching for survivors on a disaster site, inspecting a building, delivering cargo – in the shortest possible time. And they may have to do it by going through a series of waypoints like windows, rooms, or specific locations to inspect, adopting the best trajectory and the right acceleration or deceleration at each segment. The best human drone pilots are very good at doing this and have so far always outperformed autonomous systems in drone racing. Now, a research group at the University of Zurich (UZH) has created an algorithm that can find the quickest trajectory to guide a quadrotor – a drone with four propellers – through a series of waypoints on a circuit.


New Algorithm Flies Drones Faster than Human Racing Pilots - ELE Times

#artificialintelligence

To be useful, drones need to be quick. Because of their limited battery life, they must complete whatever task they have--searching for survivors on a disaster site, inspecting a building, delivering cargo--in the shortest possible time. And they may have to do it by going through a series of waypoints like windows, rooms, or specific locations to inspect, adopting the best trajectory and the right acceleration or deceleration at each segment. The best human drone pilots are very good at doing this and have so far always outperformed autonomous systems in drone racing. Now, a research group at the University of Zurich (UZH) has created an algorithm that can find the quickest trajectory to guide a quadrotor--a drone with four propellers--through a series of waypoints on a circuit.


Intel's Mobileye takes its autonomous vehicle testing program to New York City – TechCrunch

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Mobileye, a subsidiary of Intel, has expanded its autonomous vehicle testing program to New York City as part of its strategy to develop and deploy the technology. New York City joins a number of other cities, including Detroit, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo, where Mobileye has either launched testing or plans to this year. Mobileye launched its first test fleet in Jerusalem in 2018 and added one in Munich in 2020. "If we want to build something that will scale, we need to be able to drive in challenging places and almost everywhere," Mobileye president and CEO Amnon Shashua said during a presentation Tuesday that was streamed live. As part of the announcement, Mobileye also released a 40-minute unedited video of one of its test vehicles equipped with a self-driving system navigating New York's city streets.


LiDAR - Lighting The Path From IoT To AoT (Autonomy Of Things)

#artificialintelligence

Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor unveils their new violin-playing robot at the company's showroom in ... [ ] Tokyo, 06 December 2007. Toyota unveiled three mobile robots, one called a "partner robot", one that plays the violin and a third which can transport a passenger with two wheels. IoT or the Internet of Things has been widely deployed in the past decade as sensors became smarter, machine learning proliferated and advanced, access to WiFi, Bluetooth and other wireless communications became prevalent, and cloud storage and computing technologies matured. In general, IoT achieved intelligent networking of "things" that were typically static or stationary, through movement of data. The ongoing and imminent revolution is in the Autonomy of Things or AoT - which for purposes of this article is defined as autonomous movement of "things" or robots, either in public (mostly uncontrolled), semi-public (somewhat controlled, includes outer space) or private (highly controlled) spaces.