IBM, Microsoft Execs Promote the Ethical Development of AI

Many in the artificial intelligence community have called for ethical guidelines for the burgeoning field, and IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty is the latest to add her voice, which she did at the World Economic Forum in Davos. MIT, Harvard and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman have established a $27 million fund to analyze the impact and implications of AI; the IEEE has proposed ethical guidelines; the Obama administration issued a report on AI’s impact on jobs; and Carnegie Mellon studies the future of AI. Continue reading IBM, Microsoft Execs Promote the Ethical Development of AI

CTA Chief Economist Identifies Tech Trends to Watch in 2017

CES always opens with CTA chief economist Dr. Shawn DuBravac’s revelation of the consumer electronics market numbers for the past year, and predictions for the coming year. This year — CES’s 50th anniversary — was no exception. DuBravac identified five trends to watch in the coming year: the new voice of computing; artificial intelligence’s infusion in our lives and businesses; connections and computations; transportation transformation; and digitizing the consumer experience. Continue reading CTA Chief Economist Identifies Tech Trends to Watch in 2017

Intel Acquires Movidius, Plans Next Wave of RealSense Tech

Intel announced it is acquiring Movidius, the Irish computer vision company that builds processors for drones, robots, VR systems and more. Movidius was an early partner with Google and was responsible for Project Tango’s 3D sensor technology. Intel is planning to move beyond PCs; the Movidius deal is expected to help it expand its artificial intelligence portfolio and build upon its RealSense platform. According to Intel, with Movidius the company “gains low-power, high-performance SoC platforms for accelerating computer vision applications.” Continue reading Intel Acquires Movidius, Plans Next Wave of RealSense Tech

As 5G Tests Begin, Providers Gear Up for Internet of Things

This summer, Verizon and AT&T will start testing 5G, the fifth-generation mobile network likely to speed up adoption of the Internet of Things, from autonomous vehicles to smart homes and more. Unleashing the Internet of Things — projected to double to 50 billion connected ‘things’ globally by 2020 and 500 billion by 2030 — will also enrich the companies that create these new IoT networks, potentially including Cisco Systems, Nokia, Oyj, Ericsson, Qualcomm and Intel. Bottom line: 5G is the most profound expansion of the Internet ever. Continue reading As 5G Tests Begin, Providers Gear Up for Internet of Things

Coming This Year: AI, VR, IoT, Robots and Self-Driving Cars

The Internet, digital medical devices, blockchain, gene editing, drones and solar energy all found their tipping point in 2015. What will 2016 bring? Some experts predict we’ll see “the inflexion point” in virtual reality and holodecks, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous cars, robots and space exploration. Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt has publicly stated that AI will solve the world’s hard problems, including population growth, climate change, human development and education. Continue reading Coming This Year: AI, VR, IoT, Robots and Self-Driving Cars

CES: Augmented Reality Getting Ready in the Green Room

While companies prepare to release virtual reality experiences into the consumer market, an increasing flow of money and effort is going toward developing and buying augmented reality (AR) technology and ideas. Augmented reality is any situation where your personal experience with the world around you is enhanced, supplemented, or added to via personally worn technology. The AR space is getting busy and increasingly crowded as companies position themselves to secure a piece of a new media ecosystem that is projected to yield $120B in revenue by 2020. Continue reading CES: Augmented Reality Getting Ready in the Green Room

Tech Leaders and Researchers Call for Ban on Military Robots

Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are among thousands of individuals pushing for a worldwide ban on autonomous weaponry and military robots. They warn that while use of such weapons could reduce military causalities, they could also set off a global arms race and end up in the hands of terrorists and warlords. Military robots are viewed as more dangerous than drones because they can search for and engage targets without remote direction from people, and are easier and cheaper to mass produce than nuclear weapons. Continue reading Tech Leaders and Researchers Call for Ban on Military Robots

Pepper: SoftBank to Launch its Sophisticated Consumer Robot

SoftBank has plans to release a line of consumer robots in Tokyo this summer. The humanoid robot, known as Pepper, stands four feet tall, rolls around on wheels and effectively engages in simple conversations with people. The company predicts that robots will one day emerge as the next mass-market technology assisting people in a wide variety of applications. Pepper, developed by French subsidiary Aldebaran Robotics, will be connected to SoftBank’s mobile network in Japan that currently has about 37 million subscribers.  Continue reading Pepper: SoftBank to Launch its Sophisticated Consumer Robot

CEA Predicts Record Year for Consumer Electronics Revenue

Consumer Electronics Association president and CEO Gary Shapiro projects that the CE industry is on course to generate an all-time high of $223.2 billion in sales in the U.S. this year. Shapiro told CES attendees that emerging technologies including 3D printers, Ultra HD televisions, connected appliances, drones, robots, cameras and wearables are likely to grow 108 percent in revenue in 2015. Other areas projected to experience more modest growth include smartphones, tablets and automotive technology. Continue reading CEA Predicts Record Year for Consumer Electronics Revenue

Amazon Wheels Out Robots to Meet Holiday Shipping Demands

Two years ago, Amazon acquired robot manufacturer Kiva Systems for $775 million. The orange, wheeled robots have been used by a number of retailers in warehouses across the country. In an effort to improve efficiency, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced plans to deploy thousands of these robots across Amazon warehouses. The robot army is designed to bring stocked shelves to employees, reducing the time workers would have spent looking for items on their own.  Continue reading Amazon Wheels Out Robots to Meet Holiday Shipping Demands

New Image Recognition Technology Can See More Than Faces

Breakthroughs in image recognition technology may drastically improve image searches when machines can recognize people, objects, actions, and even the quality of photographs. Researchers at Google and Stanford University recently unveiled new software that can teach itself to identify the characters, actions, and settings of a scene in photos and videos. Photo sharing startup EyeEm has fine-tuned algorithms that rate photographs based on aesthetics. Continue reading New Image Recognition Technology Can See More Than Faces

Harvard University Researchers Create Biggest Kilobot Swarm

Harvard University researchers have programmed a robot swarm of more than 1,000 bots that can self-assemble into two-dimensional shapes. The “Kilobots” are roughly the size of a penny, and cost $14 in parts. It takes only a few minutes to put a Kilobot together. In order to program them at the same time, the roboticists use an infrared light from an overhead controller, which gives instructions. Infrared signals also help the robots communicate with each other to create formations. Continue reading Harvard University Researchers Create Biggest Kilobot Swarm

IBM’s SyNAPSE Chip Mimics the Workings of a Human Brain

IBM recently unveiled the second generation of a new type of computer chip that consumes less power and performs faster than traditional chips based on Von Neumann architecture. The SyNAPSE chip, which is still in development, was designed to function like the human brain, using more than a million “neurons” communicating through electrical spikes. This new technology requires a new type of programming language as well, but the performance gains are massive. Continue reading IBM’s SyNAPSE Chip Mimics the Workings of a Human Brain

Disney Accelerator Program Announces its First 11 Startups

Disney has named the first 11 startups to participate in its 15-week Accelerator program. The diverse first class of tech-driven media and entertainment startups will be mentored by top Disney execs and receive up to $120,000 in seed funding. Mentors will include leaders from ABC, ESPN, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and Walt Disney Imagineering. The companies will be advised how to best develop effective business plans, product launches and marketing campaigns. Continue reading Disney Accelerator Program Announces its First 11 Startups

E3 2014: Nintendo Unveils New Games, Experimental Robots

In the wake of Wii U struggles, Nintendo hopes its E3 announcements this week will please company loyalists and possibly help generate new fans. The company introduced new figurines with NFC chips that will work with its video games. It also announced integration of custom Mii avatars for the upcoming “Super Smash Bros.” fighting game, a new “Legend of Zelda” game coming to the Wii U in 2015, a kid-friendly shooting game called “Splatoon,” and a variety of other new and experimental game titles. Continue reading E3 2014: Nintendo Unveils New Games, Experimental Robots

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