Science & Technology

False Positives: Self-Driving Cars and the Agony of Knowing What Matters

May 31, 2018

Now, fresh details from Uber’s fatal self-driving car crash in March underscore not just the difficulty of this problem, but its centrality. According to a preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board last week, Uber’s system detected pedestrian Elaine Herzberg six seconds before striking and killing her. It identified her as an unknown object, then a vehicle, then finally a bicycle.

23andMe Is Suing Ancestry Over Some Pretty Ancient IP

May 31, 2018

Heredity is so hot right now. In 2017, the number of people who who’ve had their DNA analyzed for the purposes of tracing their genealogy doubled to more than 15 million. The largest of these direct-to-consumer companies, Utah-based Ancestry, tested two million people in the last four months of 2017 alone.

There's Nothing Noble about Science's Nobel Prize Gender Gap

May 31, 2018

What causes the STEM pipeline to leak female minds so egregiously?Perhaps it’s the drain of potential female role models who deserve to win the Nobel Prize, but fail to receive science’s ultimate accolade. Children yearn for role models. In music and movies, sports and politics, heroines (and heroes) can catalyze early interests and spark lifelong ambitions.

Eric Schmidt says Elon Musk is 'exactly wrong' about AI

May 30, 2018

When former Google CEO Eric Schmidt was asked about Elon Musk’s warnings about AI, he had a succinct answer: “I think Elon is exactly wrong.” “He doesn’t understand the benefits that this technology will provide to making every human being smarter,” Schmidt said. “The fact of the matter is that AI and machine learning are so fundamentally good for humanity.”

How Close Are We to a Self-Driving Car?

May 30, 2018

Just about every major automaker is working on some level of self-driving technology. Of course, some companies are much further along than others with technological progress and monetary investments. Regardless of these initiatives, government regulations will have a major impact on timelines and deployment. Automotive insurance, liability concerns, and recent tragic incidents may also stall adoption.

Trump announces tariffs on China, tech crackdown ahead of key trade meeting

May 30, 2018

President Trump said Tuesday that he would proceed with tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports and introduce new limits on Chinese investment in U.S. high-tech industries as part of a broad campaign to crack down on Chinese acquisition of U.S. technology.

Which Countries Will Win the Global AI Race?

May 29, 2018

The U.S., China, and Russia, are only a few of the countries that have announced they are ready to invest in research and in industries to keep pace with a technology that some say is changing the world. Smaller countries, such as the U.K., are exploring ways to become leaders in niche areas, while others such as South Korea see artificial intelligence as a way of maintaining their sovereignty by offsetting potential military threats.

U.S. and China clash over 'technology transfer' at WTO

May 29, 2018

Chinese and U.S. envoys sparred at the World Trade Organization on Monday over U.S. President Donald Trump’s claims that China steals American ideas, the subject of two lawsuits and a White House plan to slap huge punitive tariffs on Chinese goods.

Amazon Echo secretly recorded a family's conversation and sent it to a random person on their contact list

May 29, 2018

The Echo device in your room could be secretly recording your conversation -- and in some cases, could send it to a random person, according to a report from local Seattle TV network KIRO7. That's what happened to a family in Portland, who had their conversation at home recorded and sent to a random person on their contact list.

General Motors CEO: We have to earn our right to exist

May 28, 2018

General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra joined Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein in a conversation about the future of the automobile industry as part of the bank’s “Talks at GS” series. GM, the biggest carmaker in the U.S., is also the largest female-led company in the world, ranking No. 10 on the Fortune 500 and employing 180,000 people. Barra, who started at GM in 1980 doing part-time work as a student, took over as CEO in January 2014 and was elected the company’s board chairman in 2016.

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