Google's Duplex, which calls businesses on your behalf and imitates a real human, ums and ahs included, has sparked a bit of controversy among privacy advocates. Doesn't Google recording a person's voice and sending it to a data center for analysis violate two-party consent law, which requires everyone in a conversation to agree to being recorded? The answer isn't immediately clear, and Google's silence isn't helping. Let's take California's law as the example, since that's [...]
Fri, May 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
If you haven't taken part in the yanny/laurel controversy over the last couple of days, allow me to sincerely congratulate you. But your time is up. The viral speech synth clip has met the AI hype train and the result is, like everything in this mortal world, disappointing. Sonix, a company that produces AI-based speech recognition software, ran the ambiguous sound clip through Google, Amazon and Watson's transcription tools, and of course its own. Google and Sonix [...]
Fri, May 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The complexity and cost of packing an array of sensors and power inside a small amount of space has opened the door to a wider and wider variety of use cases for internet-connected devices beyond just smart thermostats or cameras — and also exposed a hole for getting those ideas into an actual piece of hardware. So there are some startups that are looking to address this hole by providing developers a path to creating the [...]
Fri, May 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
According to new reporting from The Washington Post, President trump personally pushed United States Postal Service head Megan Brennan to jack up shipping prices on Amazon and and other firms. The story comes from unnamed sources, who suggest that, thus far, the Postmaster General has held out against pressure from the President. If enacted, the new pricing structure would likely cost the online retailer and others billions. g Amazon has been in Trump's crosshairs from [...]
Fri, May 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
There's confusion about whether a meeting between Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the European Union's parliament — which is due to take place next Tuesday — will go ahead as planned or not. The meeting was confirmed by the EU parliament's president this week, and is the latest stop on Zuckerberg's contrition tour, following the Cambridge Analytics data misuse story that blew up into a major public scandal in mid March. However the discussion with [...]
Fri, May 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
AWS is adding a new kind of virtual machine to its growing list of EC2 options. These new machines feature local NVMe storage, which offers significantly faster throughput than standard SSDs. These new so-called C5d instances join the existing lineup of compute-optimized C5 instances the service already offered. AWS cites high-performance computing workloads, real-time analytics, multiplayer gaming and video encoding as potential use cases for its regular C5 machines and with the addition of this faster [...]
Fri, May 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
All around the world, hip young people are competing to see who can live in the tinest, quirkiest, twee-est house. But this one has them all beat. Assembled by a combination of origami and nanometer-precise robot wielding an ion beam, this tiniest of houses measures about 20 micrometers across. For comparison, that's almost as small as a studio in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It's from the Femto-ST Institute in France, where the tiny house [...]
Fri, May 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
A number of people are complaining about Sinemia not delivering them their movie membership cards within the seven-day timeframe the company said it would. Although Sinemia has charged people for their memberships, the company has not been able to deliver the membership cards in a timely manner. “We have seen strong demand for our new Sinemia membership plans and, while our processing operations have increased production, delivery times can be expected to be longer than [...]
Fri, May 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Baidu's stocks took a hit earlier today after the company announced that its Qi Lu is stepping down his job as President/COO after just a year and a half. In a press release tied to the news, the executive cited personal reasons for his decision to “transition” to a lesser role. “Baidu is a great company with strong talent and deep technologies,” Lu said in the statement. “I am highly optimistic on Baidu's future and [...]
Fri, May 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
The highlight of Google's I/O keynote earlier this month was the reveal of Duplex, a system that can make calls to set up a salon appointment or a restaurant reservation for you by calling those places, chatting with a human and getting the job done. That demo drew lots of laughs at the keynote, but after the dust settled, plenty of ethical questions popped up because of how Duplex tries to fake being [...]
Fri, May 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source