Thursday, December 08, 2016
Microsoft is about to turn a phone into a real PC - The Verge
Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Tuesday, December 06, 2016
"When I contemplate the future impact of artificial intelligence on humanity, African roads come to mind. Giant locally made humanoid robots are already policing the streets of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The solar-powered, eight-foot-tall robots are stationed at the center of a handful of intersections where they keep traffic down and drivers and pedestrians safe.
These robot traffic cops work around the clock, are beloved by locals, and they don’t accept bribes. Created by Thérèse Izay Kirongozi, a Kinshasa engineer, the robots have rotating chests that enable them to do the job of four traffic lights. They’re also equipped with cameras that record and monitor drivers. These robot traffic cops work around the clock and are beloved by locals -- and they don’t accept bribes.
There is already talk of bringing robot cops to other African intersections. Once they’re installed in traffic-crippled cities like Lagos and Cairo, the next logical step would be to upgrade them with artificial intelligence so they can perform their complex tasks better. The roads of Africa’s greatest cities will unclog, paving a way for efficiency to take over on a broader scale."
Sunday, December 04, 2016
"Deep in the heart of Williamsburg, one of America's premier hipster haunts, Apple was preparing to open its very first Brooklyn retail store.
Housed in a rebuilt two-story brick warehouse echoing the industrial vibe of the neighborhood, this new location brought displays full of gleaming iPhones and MacBooks to the 2.6 million residents of New York's most populous borough.
It was July 2016, and just across the East River in Manhattan, one of New York's oldest and best-known independent computer shops was closing its doors forever."
Saturday, December 03, 2016
"Since the election, there seems to be little recognition on the part of the tech industry as to what sort of role it's played in making people angry enough to vote for Donald Trump.
Somehow, tech CEOs are far too convinced they're making the world a better place to notice that, for many, they haven't.
It's bracing, then, to see one of our era's foremost scientists doing their dirty work for them.
In an opinion piece in The Guardian, Stephen Hawking continues with his usual portents of fear and gloom, even though he claims to be optimistic. He also confesses, however, how isolating it can be to live in what he calls the "extraordinarily privileged bubble" that is being a Cambridge scientist.
He views the Brexit vote and the election of Trump as a rejection of elites. It is, he says, "surely aimed at me, as much as anyone."
The anti-Hawking faction is, indeed, strong in certain areas of northern England and Ohio.
The danger he now sees is that the elites dismiss the results and the people who voted. Technology and globalization are affecting many people adversely, he says.
"The automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining," he says.
Yes, robots are now better salespeople than humans. Allegedly.
What happens when there are even fewer human jobs left? Even greater inequality. This is progress that, to him, is "socially destructive." More so, he says, because the internet allows poorer people to have far greater awareness of the lifestyles of the rich and dunderheaded, which generates resentment.
The problem, of course, lies in finding a solution to the madness that we're creating. Hawking sees people working together as the only option.
"We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans," he says.
But as we increasingly become selfie-centered, selfish beings, how much do we really care about all that, as long as our stock options vest? Hawking believes we have to look outward to save the species.
"With not only jobs but entire industries disappearing, we must help people to retrain for a new world and support them financially while they do so," he says."
Stephen Hawking says technology will devastate the middle class - CNET