10-Year-Old Wins Summer Fellowship for Computer Scientists

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A 10-year-old girl has won a place on a summer fellowship designed for computer scientists. She’ll be helped to make robots to cheer up the people of Paris. The Paris Summer Innovation Fellowship offers two weeks of funding and practical assistance to help “city problem solvers” find ways to improve the French capital. The company […]

AI Beats Professional Fighter Pilot In Dogfights

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An AI system that could run on a Raspberry Pi computer has comprehensively beaten a former fighter pilot in simulated air combat. The system, ALPHA, appears to triumph over human abilities with two of the most common advantages of computers over people: speed and endurance. The system is said to be able to figure out […]

Chatbot Beats Parking Tickets

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A free chatbot has reportedly helped 160,000 people overturn parking tickets. The man behind DoNotPay now plans to create similar services for other legal complaints. Joshua Browder, a student at Stanford University, created the bot to help inform people of their rights when challenging parking tickets. While it appears to the user as if it […]

$4 Smartphone Continues To Raise Eyebrows

Credit: Screenshot from Gadgets 360 video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGe9Hr_9YEU)

An Indian company says it will start shipping a $4 smartphone this month. The move comes despite serious scepticism about the economics involved. The phone, the Android-based Freedom 251, is far from exactly top-spec, but sounds perfectly serviceable for very basic use. It has a 4 inch, non-HD screen, 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of […]

Study Asks If Self-Driving Cars Should Make Moral Choices

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Most people questioned in a study say self-driving cars should aim to save as many lives as possible in a crash, even if that means sacrificing the passenger. But they also said they wouldn’t choose to use a car set up in such a manner. The study was conducted by three academics in the Department […]

KFC Box Meal Includes Phone Charger

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KFC is offering a free powerbank in box meals for Indian customers to charge their phones. It’s a great deal, but is merely a promotional offer. The Watt-a-Box is a limited edition version of an existing box meal and costs the usual price of 150 rupees (around US$2.20.) As well as the usual five food […]

Boston Dynamic’s New SpotMini Robot is Incredibly Agile! (And Cute!)

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Just wait until you see it slipping on a banana peel! :) SpotMini is a new smaller version of the Spot robot that weighs 55 lbs dripping wet (65 lbs if you include its arm.) SpotMini is all-electric (no hydraulics) and runs for about 90 minutes on a charge, depending on what it is doing. […]

FAA To Drone Operators: Get Out Of Town

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The US government has given a thumbs up to commercial drones but with some potentially crippling restrictions for would-be delivery firms including an effective ban on flying over urban areas. The new rules follow a lengthy consultation process by the Federal Aviation Administration into what it formally calls “small unmanned aircraft systems.” The FAA first […]

GPS Navigation Takes Turn For The Better

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A crowd-sourced navigation app will soon help drivers avoid left-turns and difficult intersections. Waze is also getting a test feature to avoid high-crime areas. The Google-owned app combines traditional mapping and live traffic data with user reports of crashes, temporary road closures and other factors that may affect the optimum route at a specific time. […]

Minibus Offers 3-For-1 On Tech Trends

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Think of some recent tech trends and you might name self-driving cars, 3D printing and artificial intelligence. All three have now been combined in an electric vehicle. Olli is a 12-seater self-driving minibus that’s partially operated by IBM Watson, the artificial intelligence system that famously beat two Jeopardy! champions and has since been used for […]

Cable Industry Holds Out On Set Top Box Changes

By Andrew Currie [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Cable operators say they are willing to compromise in the dispute over third-party cable boxes, but are holding out on letting customers make recordings on such boxes. The proposal comes after a meeting with the Federal Communications Commission, which recently threatened to introduce tighter regulation. The FCC says in principle cable companies should let customers […]

“First Law” Robot Acts Like A Prick

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A robot that can “decide” to harm humans is the latest attempt to provoke debate about artificial intelligence. But it’s debatable whether there’s any intelligence involved. The “First Law” robot is the work of Alexander Reben, a designer at University of Berkely, California who “designs robots and novel interfaces to explore ourĀ evolving relationship with technology.” […]