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How big tech got so big: Hundreds of acquisitions

Washington Post - Technology News

You're probably reading this on a browser built by Apple or Google. If you're on a smartphone, it's almost certain those two companies built the operating system. You probably arrived from a link posted on Apple News, Google News or a social media site like Facebook. And when this page loaded, it, like many others on the Internet, connected to one of Amazon's ubiquitous data centers. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google -- known as the Big 4 -- now dominate many facets of our lives. But they didn't get there alone. They acquired hundreds of companies over decades to propel them to become some of the most powerful tech behemoths in the world.


This $400 smart robot vacuum is on sale for under $170 at Walmart

Mashable

Usually $399.99, the Ecovacs Deebot 711 is on sale at Walmart for just $169 as of March 29 -- an impressive 58% savings. This National Cleaning Week (March 28 through April 3), stay humble. Instead of losing several hours to brushing dust bunnies around your floors, defer to a better-equipped robot vacuum that can tackle the mess itself, and probably in a fraction of the time. The Ecovacs Deebot 711 is a great option if you want to go the "smart" route to make cleanings even more convenient, especially now that Walmart has it on sale for just $169 -- that's a whopping 58% off its $399.99 Added to the Ecovacs Deebot family in early 2019, the Deebot 711 is smart in a couple of different ways: It's got Smart Navi 2.0 Mapping Technology that creates a systematic cleaning pattern; it charges itself automatically when its battery gets low, and it supports Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant for voice control.


Formulating and solving integrated order batching and routing in multi-depot AGV-assisted mixed-shelves warehouses

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This process is called order picking, which may constitute about 50-65% of operating costs. Therefore order picking is considered the highest-priority area for productivity improvements (see De Koster et al. (2007)). In a traditional manual order picking system (also called a picker-to-parts system), the pickers spend 50% of their working time on the task of walking (see Tompkins (2010); for an overview of manual order picking systems see De Koster et al. (2007)). The unproductive working times require the picker-to-parts system to have a large workforce, especially for companies which have millions of small-sized items in large warehouses, such as the retailers Amazon, Alibaba, Zara, Zalando and Walmart. Many of them provide both brick-and-mortar stores and online shops to create a seamless shopping experience for customers (omnichannel flexibility). Due to the diversity of online shops, we concentrate on both single-line and multi-line small-sized orders. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, online grocery sales are growing threefold faster (see Fabric (2020)). There are increasing demands for alternative warehousing systems to increase the efficiency of order picking, for example, robot-based compact storage and retrieval systems and robotic mobile fulfillment systems (see more details in Azadeh et al. (2019)). Here we consider a relatively new warehousing concept that does not use expensive fixed hardware and can be easily and quickly implemented, called AGV-assisted picking (see Boysen et al. (2019), Azadeh et al. (2019)).


These iRobot vacuums and mops are still on sale from Cyber Weekend

Mashable

Select iRobot robotic vacuums and mops are on sale on Amazon for up to 43% off as of Dec. 2: OUR TOP PICK: iRobot Roomba i7 -- save $300.99 BEST BUDGET PICK: iRobot Roomba 675 -- save $100.99 BEST ROBOTIC MOP DEAL: iRobot Braava Jet M6 -- save $100.99 Need a new vacuum, but missed out on this year's Cyber Weekend sales? Don't worry about it-- Consumer Reports' 2020 Best Time to Buy Things list says the whole month of December is one of the few times of the year where we see deep discounts on vacuums across most major retailers. Indeed, Amazon still has kept several iRobot robotic vacuums and mops on sale at their Black Friday and Cyber Monday prices as of Dec. 2, with discounts as high as 43% on select models. You didn't really miss out at all.) Here's the lowdown: Boasting ten times the suction of iRobot's popular 600-series models, the Roomba i7 is a powerful and sleek robot vacuum with some brains to match: It comes equipped with adaptive navigation and Smart Mapping technologies on top of virtual assistant compatibility.


These Black Friday deals at Kohl's are going to be tough to beat

Mashable

Here are the best Black Friday deals at Kohl's as of Nov. 18: BEST AUDIO DEAL: Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones -- save $70 and get $50 in Kohl's Cash BEST SMARTWATCH DEAL: Fitbit Charge 4 -- save $50 and get $20 in Kohl's Cash BEST KITCHEN DEAL: Keurig K-Duo Plus -- save $30 and get $30 in Kohl's Cash BEST VACUUM DEAL: iRobot Roomba 677 -- save $195 with code SAVE15 and get $50 in Kohl's Cash Kohl's is this year's Black Friday sleeper. Though the department store released its 2020 Black Friday ad preview a little later than usual -- weeks after we got scans for Walmart and Dell, actually -- it's managed to scrounge up some of the holiday season's top deals on headphones, smart home devices, Fitbits, kitchen appliances, robot vacuums, and much more. Kohl's is even participating in Nintendo's special system offer where you can bundle a Switch, a digital copy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and a three-month Nintendo Switch Online membership for the price of the console itself -- don't miss that deal when it goes live Nov. 22. And speaking of: While the six-day Kohl's Black Friday Week Sale will kick off online at midnight EST and in-stores at 8 a.m. For one thing -- and this is key -- you've got the chance to earn Kohl's Cash to spend later during the official event.


The Growing Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Business

#artificialintelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become the semiconductor equivalent of software -- pervasive, intangible, and capable of transforming the fiber of society and business. It is integrated into a growing number of applications and systems today in a manner that is both seamless and transformational. From Amazon's Alexa to self-driving vehicles, the development of AI has been revolutionary to the point that it seems to mimic human features, intelligence, and behavior. Although experts and scientists have warned against the dangers and hazards associated with highly mature AI machines, the market is expected to expand rapidly. According to Forbes, AI is a strategic priority of 83% of businesses today and is expected to drive global sales from nearly $8 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion by 2020.


Artificial Intelligence: Research Impact on Key Industries; the Upper-Rhine Artificial Intelligence Symposium (UR-AI 2020)

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The TriRhenaTech alliance presents a collection of accepted papers of the cancelled tri-national 'Upper-Rhine Artificial Inteeligence Symposium' planned for 13th May 2020 in Karlsruhe. The TriRhenaTech alliance is a network of universities in the Upper-Rhine Trinational Metropolitan Region comprising of the German universities of applied sciences in Furtwangen, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, and Offenburg, the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Loerrach, the French university network Alsace Tech (comprised of 14 'grandes \'ecoles' in the fields of engineering, architecture and management) and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. The alliance's common goal is to reinforce the transfer of knowledge, research, and technology, as well as the cross-border mobility of students.


The Future of AI Part 1

#artificialintelligence

It was reported that Venture Capital investments into AI related startups made a significant increase in 2018, jumping by 72% compared to 2017, with 466 startups funded from 533 in 2017. PWC moneytree report stated that that seed-stage deal activity in the US among AI-related companies rose to 28% in the fourth-quarter of 2018, compared to 24% in the three months prior, while expansion-stage deal activity jumped to 32%, from 23%. There will be an increasing international rivalry over the global leadership of AI. President Putin of Russia was quoted as saying that "the nation that leads in AI will be the ruler of the world". Billionaire Mark Cuban was reported in CNBC as stating that "the world's first trillionaire would be an AI entrepreneur".


Get over 50 hours of training in machine learning for under £30

Mashable

TL;DR: The Machine Learning Master Class bundle is on sale for £29.85 as of August 4, saving you 91% on list price. Thanks to developing artificial intelligence technologies, computer are smarter than ever before. Along with those technologies has come a relatively new category of computer science called machine learning, or ML. Similar to statistics, ML involves computer systems that utilise algorithms to automatically learn about data, recognise patterns, and make decisions, all without outside intervention or explicit directions from human beings. In the real world, you can find it being used in smart assistants like Siri and the Amazon Echo, in online fraud detection services, in the facial recognition feature that identifies photos of you on Facebook, and more recently, in Tesla's self-driving car.


GPT-3 Creative Fiction

#artificialintelligence

What if I told a story here, how would that story start?" Thus, the summarization prompt: "My second grader asked me what this passage means: …" When a given prompt isn't working and GPT-3 keeps pivoting into other modes of completion, that may mean that one hasn't constrained it enough by imitating a correct output, and one needs to go further; writing the first few words or sentence of the target output may be necessary.