Enrique Dans

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Banks and Tech Firms Battle Over Something Akin to Gold: Your Data

SAN FRANCISCO — The big banks and Silicon Valley are waging an escalating battle over your personal financial data, including the amount you spent on dinner last week and how much you are paying for your mortgage.<p>Technology start-ups like Mint and Betterment have been building services that pull …

Banking

This Is Your Brain on GPS Navigation

Parts of the brain that are used to navigate and plan routes aren’t active when directions are fed to us.<p>We’ve all come to rely on smartphones and …

The Brain

Customer Service Chatbots Are About to Become Frighteningly Realistic

A startup gives chatbots and virtual assistants realistic facial expressions and the ability to read yours.<p>Soul Machines made this chatbot for the …

Chatbots

Three Weeks with a Chatbot and I’ve Made a New Friend

It’s not quite Her, but an artificially intelligent chatbot from an app called Hugging Face elicits surprisingly real emotions.<p>I’ve got this friend, …

Relationships

Augmented reality will become a $50 billion business in 5 years, analysts say

Plenty in tech are convinced augmented reality is What Comes Next after smartphones. We know Microsoft and Magic Leap are working on headsets that transplant computer images into the real world, and it’s strongly suspected that other giants like Facebook and Apple are doing something …

Augmented Reality

Are vehicles the mobile sensor beds of the future?

When people think of a car, they think of the thing that gets them from one place to the next. Traditionally they have been just that: a tool with a single function – to get someone, or something, from one place to another.<p>With the advent of new vehicle designs and the addition of new technology, …

Machine Learning

Why are there no good bots?

Why are there no good bots? This is a question I get asked on a regular basis. Probably on average of about twice a week.<p>What are you defining as “good”? If you’re defining “good” as some magical creation that enables you to have a conversation with a machine, and makes it feel like you are totally …

Chatbots

We need a software revolution for the greater social good

Silicon Valley has failed to fill the massive unmet needs of the social sector on issues ranging from poverty and education to human rights and the environment.<p>Five years ago, tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen famously wrote, “Software is eating the world.” It’s hard to think …

Silicon Valley

Apple has acquired Workflow, a powerful automation tool for iPad and iPhone

Apple has finalized a deal to acquire Workflow today — a tool that lets you hook together apps and functions within apps in strings of commands to automate tasks. We’ve been tracking this one for a while but were able to confirm just now that the ink on the deal is drying as we speak.<p>I haven’t been …

iOS

Trump Says Regulations Impede. Perhaps Not in the Electric Car Business

President Trump is not fond of regulations. Within weeks of taking office, he and his appointees began to roll back rules that govern the financial industry, guns, the energy business and broadband internet providers.<p>Last week was the auto industry’s turn. In a speech in Ypsilanti, Mich., Mr. Trump …

Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware - Motherboard

To avoid the draconian locks that John Deere puts on the tractors they buy, farmers throughout America's heartland have started hacking their equipment with firmware that's cracked in Eastern Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums.<p>Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular …

Agriculture

No surprise: Millennials have the most trust in self-driving cars

Millennials have the most trust in self-driving out of all the age demographics, according to a new AAA survey. Only 69 percent would be afraid of driving an autonomous vehicle, compared to 82 percent of Baby Boomers.<p>The younger age group also show more acceptance of semi-autonomous technology, …

Driverless Cars

Industry split on when first commercial self-driving vehicle will be ready

Industry opinion on when we will have the first commercial self-driving car is divided, with some, mostly automakers, gunning for 2020, while others expect it to take more than 10 years.<p>Ford and BMW have both said 2020 – 2022 is the goal for at least Level 4 autonomous vehicles, which should be …

Driverless Cars

Controlling VR with Your Mind

The startup Neurable thinks its brain-computer interface will be fast and accurate enough for playing games in VR.<p>Virtual reality is still so new …

Virtual Reality

Who's liable for decisions AI and robotics make?

Reuters news agency reported on February 2017 16 that "European lawmakers called [...] for EU-wide legislation to regulate the rise of robots, …

Artificial Intelligence

The Like Button Ruined the Internet

How “engagement” made the web a less engaging place<p>Here’s a little parable. A friend of mine was so enamored of Google Reader that he built a clone when it died. It was just like the original, except that you could add pictures to your posts, and you could Like comments. The original Reader was …

Google Reader

Self-Driving Cars’ Spinning-Laser Problem

Progress toward practical autonomous vehicles requires improvements to the sensors that map a vehicle’s environment in 3-D.<p>Many components go into …

Driverless Cars

Alphabet nabbed a new VP as it gears up for government battles over self-driving car regulation

Its self-driving car unit, Waymo, poached a government affairs guru from eBay.<p>Alphabet isn’t just readying fora legal war against Uber over self-driving cars: It’s also arming itself for a few policy battles with Washington and state governments around the country.<p>To that end, its self-driving car …

Transportation

These are the most important chatbot metrics to track

The chatbot market is changing and growing rapidly. Bots are constantly improving, and people are relying on them more frequently. As bots become more believable and human, smartphone apps continue to dwindle. In the month of June 2016, for example, 49 percent of smartphone users in the U.S. did …

Chatbots

Facebook will never take responsibility for fake news

M<p>ark Zuckerberg is displeased. It’s been more than four months since election night, but Facebook still finds itself in the hot seat over the spread of fake news on the platform, and what role (if any) it played in the election.<p>As part of a nationwide tour, Zuck expressed that Facebook doesn’t <i>want</i> …

Facebook

The Invisible Selling Machine

<b>From the ­unlikely setting of Ottawa, Shopify has ­quietly been powering an e-commerce revolution.</b><p>Shopify has done a pretty good job hiding itself …

Ruby on Rails

The Entrepreneur with the $100 Million Plan to Link Brains to Computers

Tech big shots are charging into neuroscience, but do they even have a clue?<p>Entrepreneur Bryan Johnson says he wanted to become very rich in order to …

Innovation

We’re Building a World-Size Robot, and We Don’t Even Realize It

Last year, on October 21, your digital video recorder — or at least a DVR like yours — knocked Twitter off the internet. Someone used your DVR, along …

Niles is a Slack bot that learns your team’s questions and answers them so you don’t have to

Most chat bots are dumb. No one wants to message a soulless stack of if-then statements just to order a pizza when a half-decent app or website interface can do the same job in half the time.<p>Chat <i>assistants</i> are a different matter. Rather than actively bugging you for information in a back-and-forth …

Automation

In 2010, The Social Network was searing — now it looks quaint

‘Creation myths need a devil’<p><i>Does It Hold Up</i> <i>is a chance to re</i><i>-</i><i>experience childhood</i><i>-</i><i>favorite books, movies, TV shows, video games, and other cultural phenomenon</i><i>,</i> <i>decades a</i><i>fter release</i><i>. Have they gotten better like a fine wine, or are we drinking cork?</i><p>When David Fincher’s Oscar-winning movie <i>The Social</i> …

Facebook

20,000 unfairly deleted UC Berkeley lectures are now available for free

Earlier this week, the University of California at Berkeley purged some 20,000 lectures from various academic fields from its YouTube channel following a less-than-sensible ruling from the US Department of Justice. But it seems not all content might be lost.<p>In an effort to preserve the material, …

UC Berkeley

Microsoft is infesting Windows 10 with annoying ads

File Explorer ads and bundled apps are the final straw<p>I’ve sat back and witnessed the development of Windows 10 and appreciated the speed of new feature releases, but it seems there’s a price to pay for this new “Windows as a service” world. Microsoft has gradually been infesting Windows 10 with …

Microsoft

Amazon brings Echo-free Alexa to your iPhone because Siri ain’t shit

Amazon is getting Siri-ous about Alexa. The ecommerce giant announced it has began rolling out an update of its iOS app that brings its voice-enabled virtual assistant straight to your iPhone – no Echo required.<p>This means you can now use your iPhone to speak directly to Alexa and hit up the …

Automation

Germany to use voice analysis software to help determine where refugees come from

Migration officials will begin trialling the technology in two weeks, though some doubt its reliability<p>Germany plans to use speech analysis technology to help determine asylum seekers’ countries of origin, according to a report from <i>Die Welt</i>. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) will …

Immigration

Facebook’s AI Is Learning to Predict and Prevent Suicide

For years, Facebook has been investing in artificial intelligence fields like machine learning and deep neural nets to build its core …

Machine Learning