Hopes that the tech industry was on the cusp of rolling personal robots into homes are dimming now that several once-promising consumer robotics companies have shut down. The latest casualty was San Francisco startup Anki, maker of the playful toy robot Cozmo, which upon its release in 2016 seemed like the start of a new […]
Army Looks for a Few Good Robots, Sparks Industry Battle
The Army is looking for a few good robots. Not to fight—not yet, at least—but to help the men and women who do. These robots aren’t taking up arms, but the companies making them have waged a different kind of battle. At stake is a contract worth almost half a billion dollars for 3,000 backpack-sized […]
How Much All-Seeing AI Surveillance Is Too Much?
When a CIA-backed venture capital fund took an interest in Rana el Kaliouby’s face-scanning technology for detecting emotions, the computer scientist and her colleagues did some soul-searching—and then turned down the money. “We’re not interested in applications where you’re spying on people,” said el Kaliouby, the CEO and co-founder of the Boston startup Affectiva. The […]
Explainer: How Computers “See” Faces And Other Objects
Computers started to be able to recognize human faces in images decades ago, but now artificial intelligence systems are rivaling people’s ability to classify objects in photos and videos. That’s sparking increased interest from government agencies and businesses, which are eager to bestow vision skills on all sorts of machines. Among them: self-driving cars, drones, personal robots, in-store […]
Intel CEO: Fixes On The Way For Serious Chip Security Flaws
Intel has big plans to steer toward new business in self-driving cars, virtual reality and other cutting-edge technologies. But first it has to pull out of a skid caused by a serious security flaw in its processor chips, which undergird many of the world’s smartphones and personal computers. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich opened his keynote […]
Self-Driving Cars Could Ease Traffic, But Increase Sprawl
A new study inspired by Boston’s early experiments with self-driving cars finds that the technology could ease congestion, but might also lead to more cars on the road and further encourage urban sprawl. The report, released Tuesday by the Boston Consulting Group and the World Economic Forum, is a mostly optimistic take on how autonomous vehicles could change cities. Three companies […]
For Driverless Cars, A Moral Dilemma: Who Lives or Dies?
What if the brakes go out in a driverless car? Does it mow down a crowd of pedestrians or swerve into a concrete wall and sacrifice its passenger? Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are asking humans around the world how they think a robot car should handle life-or-death decisions. They’re finding that many […]