Lawmakers, child development experts, and privacy advocates are expressing concerns about two new Amazon products targeting children, questioning whether they prod kids to be too dependent on technology and potentially jeopardize their privacy. In a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Friday, two members of the bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus raised concerns about Amazon's smart speaker Echo Dot Kids and a companion service called FreeTime Unlimited that lets kids access a children's version of Alexa, Amazon's voice-controlled digital assistant. "While these types of artificial intelligence and voice recognition technology offer potentially new educational and entertainment opportunities, Americans' privacy, particularly children's privacy, must be paramount," wrote Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) and Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas), both cofounders of the privacy caucus. The letter includes a dozen questions, including requests for details about how audio of children's interactions is recorded and saved, parental control over deleting recordings, a list of third parties with access to the data, whether data will be used for marketing purposes, and Amazon's intentions on maintaining a profile on kids who use these products. Echo Dot Kids is the latest in a wave of products from dominant tech players targeting children, including Facebook's communications app Messenger Kids and Google's YouTube Kids, both of which have been criticized by child health experts concerned about privacy and developmental issues.
The British chip design firm ARM came up with the processors used in virtually all the world's smartphones. Now it plans to add the hardware that will let them run artificial-intelligence algorithms, too. ARM announced today that it has created its first dedicated machine-learning chips, which are meant for use in mobile and smart-home devices. The company says it's sharing the plans with its hardware partners, including smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm, and expects to see devices packing the hardware by early 2019. Currently, most small or portable devices that use machine learning lack the horsepower to run AI algorithms, so they enlist the help of big servers in the cloud.
Nvidia has announced a new partnership with Bosch to sell its Drive PX 2 driver-assist platform to automakers. In effect, the deal gives Nvidia a go-to-market strategy for its self-driving hardware and software platform. Bosch joins ZF as the two so-called tier-one suppliers that will sell Nvidia's technology to automakers. Nvidia's technology uses "deep learning" artificial intelligence, which is a fancy way of saying its computer brain learns like a human does: instead of needing to be programmed for every possible driving scenario, it learns what the appropriate behavior is, even for unexpected situations. Theoretically, a car company looking to make its car capable of autonomous driving will also be able to go to Bosch or ZF and buy that technology to integrate into their cars, and sell those to consumers.
Genpact (NYSE:G), a global professional services firm focused on delivering digital transformation for clients, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Rage Frameworks, a leader in knowledge-based automation technology and services providing Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the Enterprise. Terms of the deal are not disclosed. As part of its strategy to drive both digital-led innovation and digital-enabled intelligent operations for its clients, Genpact is investing in leading technologies, such as AI, that are transforming the way companies in many industries compete. Genpact will embed Rage's AI in business operations and apply it to complex enterprise issues to allow clients to generate insights and drive decisions and action, at a scale and speed that humans alone could not achieve. "As advanced technologies such as AI fundamentally change the definition of work, the ability for CXOs to find and leverage new solutions that combine the best elements of human expertise and machine intelligence, will be critical to their ability to gain and sustain competitive advantage," said NV'Tiger' Tyagarajan, president and CEO, Genpact.