san francisco

Robot Wages War on the Homeless, the Homeless Fight Back


The fleet of laser-equipped robots patrolling parking lots and company campuses in San Francisco has met resistance from the city's homeless population, after one machine was deployed to prevent tent encampments from forming. According to the San Francisco Business Times, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals began using one of the robots in its parking lots and along the sidewalks around its premises in early November to prevent homeless people from settling there. But within a week, people attempting to set up a camp took offense at the robot and attacked it. SPCA President Jennifer Scarlett told the publication that the people "put a tarp over [the robot], knocked it over and put barbecue sauce on all the sensors." Scarlett added, "I can understand being scared about a new technology on the street, and we should be asking questions about it, but we should probably be a little bit angry that a nonprofit has to spend so much on security at the same time."

Google Brain co-founder teams with Foxconn to bring AI to factories


Consumers now experience AI mostly through image recognition to help categorize digital photographs and speech recognition that helps power digital voice assistants such as Apple Inc's Siri or In many factories, workers look over parts coming off an assembly line for defects. Ng showed a video in which a worker instead put a circuit board beneath a digital camera connected to a computer and the computer identified a defect in the part. Ng said that while typical computer vision systems might require thousands of sample images to become "trained,"'s Ng said had been approached by investors but had not accepted outside capital yet.

Microsoft updates Bing search to highlight results

Daily Mail

Microsoft has revealed a major overhaul of its Bing search engine using AI to try and take on Google. The firm hopes the new features will make it far more trustworthy than it's arch rival. New features include the ability to summarize the two opposing sides of contentious questions, and another that measures how many reputable sources are behind a given answer. Harry Shum, executive vice president of Microsoft's Artificial Intelligence and Research, speaks at a Microsoft event in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. Microsoft rolled out new features on its Bing search engine powered by artificial intelligence, including one that summarizes the two opposing sides of contentious questions, and another that measures how many reputable sources are behind a given answer.

In Ed Lee's San Francisco, Utopia and Dystopia Are Neighbors


From the tall windows of WIRED's offices in San Francisco's South-of-Market neighborhood I've watched almost a decade of radical change made physical in concrete and glass. The city's forest of new skyscrapers is at least in part the legacy of Mayor Ed Lee, who died early Tuesday morning after almost seven years in office. San Francisco is rolling into the second quarter of the 21st century with the purposeful but cautious stutter-step speed of a first-generation self-driving car--the wealthiest, youngest, smartest people on earth live alongside some of the poorest; utopia and dystopia are barely a few blocks apart. That's the city Ed Lee built. It's a cliché to say upon a politician's death that he or she had a complicated legacy, but here we are. Lee was a housing advocate who presided over a city in a deepening housing crisis, facing massive gentrification, displacement, and homelessness.

Robot 'police' are used to shoo away homeless people

Daily Mail

A security robot is shooing away homeless people from outside smart office buildings as it patrols the streets of San Francisco. The non-profit organisation that occupies the office block has been warned by officials they will be fined $1,000 (£750) a day if they continue to use the robot without a permit. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) say the security robot - dubbed K9 - was hired to deal with the growing amounts of crime related to homeless people on the sidewalks. The crime-fighting robots rely on cameras, Lidar, thermal-imaging to navigate the streets. Laser scanning can detect changes in an environment, while odour detectors can also detect other changes in the area and monitor air pollution.

San Francisco bans delivery robots in most of the city


In the latest turn in the long-running saga between tech companies and San Francisco's municipal legislators, the city has voted to ban delivery robots on most of its sidewalks and severely restrict their use in areas where permitted. The new rules are the strictest in the nation and a departure from the approach of states like Idaho, where new rules actively encourage robot delivery. Proponents say delivery robots relieve congestion and reduce accidents on city roads. But some pedestrians in San Francisco have complained that they crowd sidewalks and present a hazard to humans. Autonomous delivery robots began toting food to waiting customers in San Francisco earlier this year after a company called Marble partnered with Yelp Eat 24 to test its flagship delivery bot.

Open Data Science Conference 2018: The Future of AI is Here


ODSC brings together some of the brightest minds shaping the future of AI and data science at conferences around the world, including Boston, London, and San Francisco. Artificial intelligence and data science are poised to dominate the technology market over the next few years. Data scientists and AI experts are leveraging this technology to make autonomous machines, conversational AI, machine vision and many related technologies ubiquitous. Companies moving quickly to exploit the competitive advantages made possible by these technologies will undoubtedly dominate their industries. However, unlike some of the technologies of the past, much of AI and data science does not lend itself easily to turn-key solutions.

Robot restaurants put a new spin on fast casual


This is part of CNET's "Dining Redefined" series about how technology is changing the way you eat. When someone says "robot restaurant," I first think of an LED and laser show at a Tokyo venue where remote-controlled robots dance with bikini-clad girls in a sensory show that accompanies dinner. But the reality of robot restaurants is generally way more pedestrian and low-key. One example is Eatsa, the San Francisco-based restaurant company that takes orders through iPads and dispenses meals through automated machines. Until now, Eatsa has been using this tech to serve up quinoa bowls to health-food fans in its own restaurants.

San Francisco Police Department Crime Incidents: Part 3-Categorical Data Analysis


The City and County of San Francisco had launched an official open data portal called SF OpenData in 2009 as a product of its official open data program, DataSF. The portal contains hundreds of city datasets for use by developers, analysts, residents and more. Under the category of Public Safety, the portal contains the list of SFPD Incidents since Jan 1, 2003. In Part 1 of this series of analysis, I performed an exploratory time-series analysis on the crime incidents data to identify any patterns. In Part 2 of this series, I performed an exploratory geo analysis on the crime incidents data based on the San Francisco Police Department District classification to identify any patterns.

Hedge funds embrace machine learning--up to a point


ARTIFICIAL intelligence (AI) has already changed some activities, including parts of finance like fraud prevention, but not yet fund management and stock-picking. That seems odd: machine learning, a subset of AI that excels at finding patterns and making predictions using reams of data, looks like an ideal tool for the business. Yet well-established "quant" hedge funds in London or New York are often sniffy about its potential. In San Francisco, however, where machine learning is so much part of the furniture the term features unexplained on roadside billboards, a cluster of upstart hedge funds has sprung up in order to exploit these techniques. These new hedgies are modest enough to concede some of their competitors' points.