SAN FRANCISCO — Until recently, Robyn Ewing was a writer in Hollywood, developing TV scripts and pitching pilots to film studios.
Now she’s applying her creative talents toward building the personality of a different type of character — a virtual assistant, animated by artifical intelligence, that interacts with sick patients.
The class of wealthy entrepreneurs who have turned their childhood space passions into emerging companies has been dominated by some of the biggest names in technology and business–Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Paul Allen. But now another wealthy, if lesser known, entrepreneur is about to join them on the public stage, unveiling his plans for how humans will finally spread out into the stars to stay.
Opening the doors to his space company to the media for the first time last month, Jeff Bezos said he had kept the company so quiet and secretive for a simple reason: “We’ll talk about Blue Origin when we have something to talk about.”
Intense interest surrounds Tesla’s new Model 3, which chief executive Elon Musk unveiled to the public last night. If you missed the event, you can watch it above. But for a quick rundown of the key highlights, here are the top seven features of the Model 3.
It has a range of 215 miles.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk is poised to reveal his newest creation, the Model 3, at an event on Thursday. Starting at $35,000, the car represents Tesla’s first electric vehicle aimed at price-conscious, mainstream consumers. And how it fares is going to have a major impact on Tesla’s long-term future as a company — and the future of electric cars more broadly. That’s why this unveiling is an incredibly important moment.
Many people can already buy TV and Internet service from Google Fiber. Now, the company that brought gigabit speeds to Austin and Kansas City is moving deeper into the telecom industry by offering its own bundled telephone service.
It’s finally happening: After years of promises about virtual reality for the everyday person, this year will actually bring shoppers a variety of options.
In truth, there are probably a lot of people who have no interest in these headsets — which is totally understandable with a new technology. But if you are interested in being an early adopter, here’s a quick guide of the basics, plus a little input from my experiences with these products.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — John Hayes, cleareyed and wild-haired, stood before his silent creation. Big as a slim refrigerator, it held 16 petabytes of data, roughly equal to 16 billion thick books.
“People are going to have to think about things to put into this,” he said, surrounded by the clutter of his office at a Silicon Valley company called Pure Storage. “But that won’t take long — there’s a demand for data that nobody was ready for.”
Let this be said at the outset: I’m a virtual reality convert. And it’s been a rough couple of weeks for me.
The trouble started here, with this picture from the Mobile World Congress of Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg walking by a crowd of people seemingly lost in their own little virtual realities.
Google’s self-driving car knows how to run yellow lights.
But unlike regular humans, it doesn’t have to guess whether it’ll beat the countdown. Instead, it turns what for many of us is a split-second decision based on experience and guts into a heavily calculated dance of probability, speed and trajectory. Roughly 230 feet before it hits an intersection, it scans the light with its cameras and, based on the thousands of other data points it’s tracking in its surroundings, the car will make the right call.
Rupandeep Kaur, 20 weeks pregnant, arrived at a medical clinic looking fatigued and ready to collapse. After being asked her name and address, she was taken to see a physician who reviewed her medical history, asked several questions, and ordered a series of tests including blood and urine. These tests revealed that her fetus was healthy but Kaur had dangerously low hemoglobin and blood pressure levels. The physician, Alka Choudhry, ordered an ambulance to take her to a nearby hospital.
KENT, Washington—The company has been secretive so long that even the spokesperson who greeted the media for a tour here Tuesday said, “You’re not dreaming… you are really at the Blue Origin headquarters.”
On a tour of the facility, Jeff Bezos, who founded the company in 2000, and who talks about the day “when millions of people are living and working in space,” showed off the expansive manufacturing site—and the space collection he has amassed over the years.
The robotic cockroach was called Zeus, and it came into the world knowing only two things. First, it hated light. Second, it could move its body—though it didn’t know how, or what parts it had.
Within five minutes, Zeus had learned to walk. Within 15, it could walk backward. The little robot, searching for darkness, learned that backing up is sometimes more efficient than making a forward turn.
Zeus’ tiny steps backward were an enormous step forward for its creator, James Crowder, one of Raytheon’s experts in the field of artificial intelligence. Their work in creating things that think, learn and reason includes mechanical versions of insects and octopuses, simulated emotions, cultural coaches and computerized versions of schoolteachers.
Sitting cramped in coach on a long flight can be unbearable. And NASA feels your pain. The agency is funding early efforts to build a plane so fast it could whisk you to any city on the planet in six hours or less.
NASA is giving Lockheed Martin about $20 million in a preliminary design contract to demonstrate a “low boom” aircraft.
Apple on Thursday filed a motion to vacate the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s order that it help unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.
In the 65-page document, Apple outlined many reasons why it felt it shouldn’t comply with the government’s request. One of these is that doing so would violate its rights under the First Amendment.
“This amounts to compelled speech and viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment,” the filing said. In other words, the government’s request that Apple write and authorize a program that circumvents iPhone security would essentially force Apple to say, in code, something with which it fundamentally does not agree.
A robot’s nimble steps in a snowy forest have wowed the world’s robotics industry. Boston Dynamics, the secretive, Google-owned company, released video of its latest human-like robot tromping through a field — slipping occasionally on uneven terrain — but always catching its balance.
“They’ve set a new bar,” said Aaron Ames, a Georgia Tech robotics professor. “It’s a huge step towards getting robots that can actually operate in our world in unstructured environments on uneven terrain.”
After Sony Pictures Entertainment was hacked shortly before Thanksgiving of 2014, the attackers – who dubbed themselves the “Guardians of Peace” – went quiet.
Or so it seemed.
But now researchers say they’ve linked the attackers – whom the U.S. government has said were directed by North Korea — to a chameleon-like group active since at least 2009 and still on the digital warpath, attacking systems in South Korea and elsewhere in Asia.
As diagnostic tests rely on ever-tinier amounts of blood, some scientists are striking a note of caution. As it turns out, not every drop of blood is identical.
Bioengineers at Rice University recently found that different drops from single fingerpricks on multiple subjects varied substantially on results for basic health measures like hemoglobin, white blood cell counts and platelet counts.
A new, multiyear competition to build the world’s coolest artificial intelligence could win you $5 million.
The prize for the challenge comes from IBM, TED and the X Prize Foundation, who want to stimulate research on AI “to tackle some of the world’s grand challenges.”
Anyone frustrated with telemarketers may have a new best friend. A Los Angeles man with an unusual passion for phone systems created a new robotic answering service that wastes telemarketers’ time.
Roger Anderson started the Jolly Roger Telephone, which lets users start a three-way call with the service so they can listen gleefully as the bot rambles on. It’s designed to provide entertainment and empowerment for everyone who has grown weary of the phone calls. Its first question of the telemarketers is often, “Is this a real person?”