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If you stay at a hotel during the pandemic, a robot may deliver wine to your door or clean your room

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Picture this: You use your hotel's app on your phone to ask for extra towels. Your phone rings and you hear that your delivery is ready. Open the door and you find a 3-foot-tall bellhop has arrived with your linens. Were you picturing a robot? Because at certain Hilton and Marriott hotels across California, a robot is what you'd find.

AI Startup Aims to Extinguish Wildfires


Based on the last two wildfire seasons, including 2018 when an entire California town was destroyed, utilities blamed for recent wildfires need all the help they can get maintaining aging grids. AI technologies may provide new monitoring tools. Paradise, Calif., population of about 27,000, was destroyed by the Camp Fire. The 2018 inferno claimed at least 84 victims. In June, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) was ordered to pay a $3.5 million fine for causing the Camp Fire.

The Pandemic Is Proving the Bar Exam Is Unjust and Unnecessary


Twice a year, recent law school graduates nationwide prepare for the bar examination, the biggest test of would-be attorneys' lives. "Bar prep," the shorthand for the two months of exhausting 12-hour days of study, costs upward of $3,000 and culminates in thousands of applicants filing into convention and conference centers in major cities for two days. The spread of COVID-19 has made this traditional arrangement unsafe and, frankly, unethical. Nonetheless, 23 states are still opting for in-person bar exams next week, placing applicants at risk for contracting COVID-19 while mandating that applicants sign liability waivers releasing state bars of all legal culpability should the applicant become ill as a result of an in-person exam. The sad reality is that many will need to risk their lives to take an exam that some have called "an unpredictable and unacceptable impediment for accessibility to the legal profession" that does nothing to protect the public.

9+ Best Breast Cancer Startups In The Healthcare Industry 2020 - STARTUPS TIPS


Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women, worldwide. Statistical data suggests the potential risk of cancer is 1 in every 8 women, just in the U.S. However, this type of cancer incidence rate varies from country to country. Genetic history and family history are also two very important factors that influence this cancer rate. In this technologically driven era, a lot of breast cancer startups are making waves in the healthcare industry by pioneering novel diagnosis and treatment methods to help fight against breast cancer.

Alibaba-Backed AutoX Wins Permit to Test Fully Driverless Car in California


AutoX has obtained a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to test a self-driving vehicle without a human driver behind the wheel, becoming the first Chinese company to receive such a driverless testing permit in the U.S. state. The permit allows the Alibaba-backed self-driving startup to test its autonomous vehicle on designated streets in San Jose, AutoX said in a statement on Saturday. The car is allowed to run under fair weather conditions and light precipitation with a speed of up to 45 miles per hour. In order to qualify for a driverless testing permit, companies must provide proof of insurance or a bond equal to $5 million, verify the vehicles are capable of operating without a driver, meet federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or have an exemption from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to DMV. AutoX founder and CEO Xiao Jianxiong hailed the DMV permit as recognition of his company's autonomous driving expertise, which he said has reached "Level 4" autonomy, which allows a vehicle to run almost completely independent of human intervention.

Machine Learning Cybersecurity: How It Works and Companies to Know


In May of 2017, a nasty cyber attack hit more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries over the course of just a few days. Dubbed "WannaCry," it exploited a vulnerability that was first discovered by the National Security Agency (NSA) and later stolen and disseminated online. It worked like this: After successfully breaching a computer, WannaCry encrypted that computer's files and rendered them unreadable. In order to recover their imprisoned material, targets of the attack were told they needed to purchase special decryption software. Guess who sold that software? The so-called "ransomware" siege affected individuals as well as large organizations, including the U.K.'s National Health Service, Russian banks, Chinese schools, Spanish telecom giant Telefonica and the U.S.-based delivery service FedEx.

Report: Agencies Should Turn to AI Before Disaster Strikes


NASA-funded researchers applied artificial intelligence to Facebook user location data captured as two fires wrecked northern California in 2018 and gained new insight into people's evacuation movements and behaviors when disaster strikes, which could strengthen future response. The Defense Innovation Unit and Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute are collectively crafting datasets to teach AI tools to assess buildings and structures after natural crises occur, and ultimately augment and increase the accuracy of damage estimates. These are two of many examples detailed in a new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Microsoft that explores how the maturing technology can improve disaster resilience and response, and considerations and actions governments should pursue when adopting AI to boost preparedness, recovery and relief. The report suggests agencies improve data collection and access, make proactive instead of reactive moves, collaborate with other organizations--and more. "While some governments, companies and universities have already used AI in this field, most are still in the early stages of use," officials wrote in the report.

Elon Musk's Boring Company hosts contest to find a machine that digs a tunnel faster than a snail

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Elon Musk envisions tunnels deep in the ground to solve'soul-destroying traffic' โ€“ but now he needs your help. The billionaire is hosting a competition through The Boring Company that challenges the public to dig a 98-foot deep tunnel with a circular opening of 19.7 inches. According to The Boring Company's site, the main objective of the contest is to dig faster than a snail, which is 14 times faster than its own machine. Three winners are set to be chosen in spring 2021 for fastest to complete the tunnel, along with one that has a driving surface that a Tesla remote controlled car can drive through. Elon Musk envisions tunnels deep in the ground to solve'soul-destroying traffic' โ€“ but now he needs your help.

These 7 robotic delivery companies are racing to bring shopping to your door


By 2020, people thought the autonomous car would whisk you to the office while you read the paper and tackle your emails, then taking you home from the bar on a Friday evening. That remains lodged somewhere in the pipeline for now. But another slice of science fiction is on the way โ€“ robots that deliver your food -- and it's already knocking at the door. Robotic food delivery (or, increasingly, the delivery of anything that fits into a robot) is being tackled by a wide range of companies, from garage startups to retail giants. Many use six-wheeled robots designed to drive themselves along the sidewalk and the pathways of business parks and college campuses.

66 data science teams compete in challenge to help reopen Los Angeles


California is one of the hardest-hit states when it comes to coronavirus with more than 200,000 total cases. Data scientists seeking ways to help the state reopen the economy participated in a two-week 2020 COVID-19 Computational Challenge (CCC) in mid-June. The challenge was to provide guidance for risk mitigation for Los Angeles County. Additionally, the solution "must incorporate the ethical protection of individual data and respect data privacy norms." The winning teams revealed location-based COVID-19 exposure at different L.A. communities, developed apps for people to calculate their potential for infection, and delivered applicable data-driven recommendations along with L.A.'s reopening stages, officials said.