Facebook's Chat Bot Patent Is Its Latest E-Commerce Play


A newly published Facebook patent allows users to pay for goods through messaging bots on its app, highlighting the company's continued expansion into commerce. Facebook wants users to order their morning lattes via chat. The company's patent application published last week entitled "Processing Payment Transactions Using Artificial Intelligence Messaging Services," outlines a messaging bot that interprets and responds to users' purchase requests. Instead of opening a merchant's app to search for and buy products, users could visit the company's Facebook page, engage a messaging bot, and place orders within the chat. The patent adds further context to Facebook's support for payments in Messenger, a version of which is currently in closed developer beta.

Walmart patents surveillance tool to listen to employees conversations

Daily Mail

Walmart has raised the ire of privacy advocates with a new patent for an audio surveillance tool. The freshly filed patent describes the need for'sounds sensors' and'listening to the frontend' technology in its stores that can pick up on conversations between employees and customers. Using these recordings, Walmart would identify employees in the audio and study it to measure their performance at the company. Walmart has raised the ire of privacy advocates with a patent for an audio surveillance tool. 'A need exists for ways to capture the sounds resulting from people in the shopping facility and determine performance of employees based on those sounds,' Walmart explains in the patent, which was filed April 20, 2017 but only made public this week.

Amazon patents robot conveyor belts that can roll around its warehouses

Daily Mail

The tech giant recently filed a patent for a concept device that's equipped with a conveyor belt capable of sorting and transferring items. It could help Amazon tackle many problems related to delays and inefficiency in traditional warehouses. Amazon filed a patent for a concept device that's equipped with a conveyor belt capable of sorting and transferring items. The contraption includes two separate robotic devices that each require separate controllers that can communicate back and forth. A controller for the first device communicates with a controller for the second device, sending signals as to where the robotic instrument should go next.

Fiske's Reading Machine was a pre-silicon Kindle


E-readers have become one of the most pervasive pieces of tech for many reasons. They survive alongside tablets because they're accessible -- Amazon's entry-level Kindle is just $80 -- and don't require daily charging. E-ink displays don't strain your eyes nearly as much as backlit screens, nor do they keep you up at night. Above all else, though, they can hold the entire works of Shakespeare countless times over while being thinner and lighter than any paperback. But this idea of portability, of condensing the written word into a format only a device can understand, is older than The Great Gatsby.

Microsoft Wants to Fight Cheating with Artificial Intelligence - Cheat Code Central


Published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, a patent application filed by Microsoft surfaced this week related to a new method of cheat detection in games. Microsoft believes it can leverage technology outside of a game to detect cheating, since current platforms like Xbox Live aren't capable of doing so in their current forms. To this end, Microsoft is working with artificial intelligence. As stated in the patent, platforms that host games aren't necessarily equipped to handle cheating, and they can even reward cheaters through automatic systems, such as achievements. Through artificial intelligence, player activity can be tracked externally, which would allow for more accurate analysis and detection of abnormal behavior.

Amazon patents hijack-proof delivery drones


Amazon just received a patent for hijack-proof delivery drones. The company filed a patent titled "Hostile takeover avoidance of unmanned vehicles" two years ago, and it was finally approved last week. The patent is specifically designed for delivery vehicles, and its aimed at preventing "nefarious individuals" from taking over the company's drones. Although there's no guarantee that this patented technology will ever see the light of day, it's still considered a major development -- especially for an e-commerce giant like Amazon -- since it could revolutionize the company's delivery capabilities. Amazon discussed the possibility of having drones deliver people's goods within an hour, so this is one step closer to that goal.

Teledildonics gave me the gift of long-distance sex with a stranger


On an otherwise normal Friday afternoon in late March, I found myself sitting on my bed, completely naked in front of my laptop. It was a position I'd been in many times before, but today was different: I was getting ready for the most awkward tech demo of my career. NSFW Warning: This story may contain links to and descriptions or images of explicit sexual acts., one of the world's largest adult-camming networks, was about to announce two-way sex-toy integration for live webcam performances and I'd been given exclusive access ahead of its debut. Over the past two years, I've found myself on the fringes of a perceived sexual revolution.

Ray Kurzweil on How To Create A Mind: Be Who You Would Like To Be


Ray Kurzweil's impact on my life in general but especially on what I have been doing for the past 3 or 4 years is hard to exaggerate. It is a simple fact that, if I haven't read his seminal book The Singularity is Near, I would be neither blogging nor podcasting about exponential technologies, not to mention going to Singularity University. And so it was with great excitement and some trepidation that I went to interview Dr. Kurzweil in his office in Boston. Part of my trepidation came from some technical concerns: I wish I could buy a better camera. I wish I could hire a team of audio and video professionals so that I can focus on the interview itself.

Microsoft wants artificial intelligence to catch cheaters on Xbox Live


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application filed by Microsoft that describes a method of cheat detection for games on a platform level using machine learning. The idea is to bring cheat detection outside the game itself given platforms like Xbox Live and PlayStation Network can't detect any wrongdoings within the game. To do this, Microsoft proposes using artificial intelligence. "A platform that hosts third-party games may not be able to detect cheating that occurs in third-party games, even where achievements in third-party games are managed at the platform level," the patent states. "When the third-party game notifies the game platform of the improperly awarded achievement, the game platform may award the player an item in response to the achievement, thereby rewarding the cheating behavior."

Uber Files Patent for AI System That Can Tell When Passengers Are Drunk


Uber has filed a patent for technology that would detect drunk passengers. The patent outlines using machine learning to spot passengers who are behaving'abnormally'. While the patent doesn't go into details about what exactly abnormal behavior is, the language of the report implies drunkenness and fatigue. The system would work by tracking the way users walk and at what speed in addition to the way they are using the app, their typing speed, the accuracy of typing and angle of the phone. This data is pushed into an algorithm alongside additional information about the user such as when and where they requested their ride.