Apple Is Trying to Build a Self-Driving Car

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook recently gave an interview where he admitted that the company is hard at work trying to develop the world’s first self-driving car. Cook admitted that the A.I. required for such a project would have to be incredibly sophisticated. Companies like Google have made headlines in their attempt to create self-driving cars. However, Apple is the world’s biggest company. Therefore, the fact that they have entered this industry raises the stakes considerably. Cook did not give any indication as to how long Apple has been involved in this project. He also did not say how far along the company is. He did say that this project is one of the top priorities for the company.

 

Google and Apple are not the only big players in this game. The American auto makers have already made it very clear that they are very serious about developing driverless cars in the future. Ford has already spent $1 billion on a driverless software company. General Motors has also made a significant investment into developing this sort of technology. It remains to be seen which of these companies will have investments that actually pay off. The race to be the first company to get a self-driving car on the market has never been more competitive than it is now.

 

Apple is always very secretive about the various projects they are working on. The self-driving car project is no different. Tim Cook was very stingy with the info that he would reveal. He would basically only confirm that the project is indeed underway. He also said that people have been hired for various positions of importance on the project. He would not confirm who those people are or what their positions will be. Apple just recently opened their new headquarters building in CA that is shaped like a flying saucer. It took several years to build. The self-driving car is the first major project to be announced since the building opened.

 

 

 

Recent news article about funny viral internet trends

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Horsey McHorseface Takes the Gold

Many of you may remember awhile back when the British government used an internet poll to name their new research vessel, then got their collective crumpets in a twist when the winning entry was “Boaty McBoatface.” They then went on give it the slightly less amusing name of the RRS Sir David Attenborough. Now, the internet has a new champion, a race horse named Horsey McHorseface. Well, if you can’t have a boat, the obvious next best choice is to get a horse.

 

 

The owners, who bought horse who would become Horsey McHorseface back in 2015, thought the name would be a good way to generate some positive media buzz. In an interview with CNN, the horse’s manger discussed the events leading up to picking the name “We had a laugh about it in the office and thought, ‘Hey, why not.'”

 

 

Getting your name out there is great, but victories are that much better. So, imagine the excitement when the three-year-old gelding whose name helped it became a cult figure amongst the racing crowd (not to mention having 24-million Twitter followers), proved it’s not just a one trick pony by winning his first race. Horsey took a trip from his home in New Zealand to the pull a last second victory at the Cessock Racetrack in New South Wales, Australia beating the less amusingly named “The Big Dreamer” and “Lucky Starlet”

 

 

Coming out this massive victory it does raise the rather pertinent question of have we reached the peak of the trend Something McSomethingface? Or, with this new victory for funny names, will this only encourage others to run this trend straight to the glue factory?

Xbox, Minecraft, and What’s New in Tech

Modern technology had made it feasible for nearly every consumer to get their hands on a personal virtual reality device. Virtual reality is a hot topic, as everyday consumers are just now readily obtaining such technology. Despite virtual reality being so popular, Xbox One X’s new release said nothing about virtual reality on the upcoming console.

 

Some gamers had expected Microsoft to release news regarding a virtual reality headset with the Xbox One X, because of Microsoft’s increased attention to virtual reality hardware. These VR headsets are expected to be produced by partners Dell, HP, and Acer, among others, with selling points lower than those of HTC and Oculus. Microsoft did say that they expected to further simulated reality on computers, not necessarily on the upcoming Xbox One X.

 

Microsoft has, however, announced some good news. The upcoming Xbox One X will feature backwards compatibility all the way back to original Xbox games.

 

Not all news is Microsoft-related, however. Minecraft has recently been granted the ability of multi-console availability, allowing players to save the same worlds across all devices.

 

Electronic Arts recently announced the upcoming release of Star Wars Battlefront 2. This game will allow players to game from the view of multiple popular, recognizable characters such as Darth Maul and Luke Skywalker. EA will also be releasing Madden 18.

 

Madden 18 is more than just another football game — players have the option of playing a story-based game mode called “Longshot.” The new mode is similar to a movie in which you, the player, controls what paths the character takes. Madden 18’s new Longshot mode will showcase Mahershala Ali as its featured actor.

 

Accelerators Continue Funding AI for Business

Artificial intelligence is most often seen as a consumer-driven innovation. AI-powered home assistants are available through numerous platforms and are designed to make life efficient. However as more businesses are struggling to make sense of their data, artificial intelligence is prepping to take on a new role in the office. From bots to analysis, AI for business is gaining accelerator funding.

 

Marketing, sales and customer service are the areas most likely to see a rise in AI powered bots. Already, customers interact with AI powered customer service, but start-ups are now developing virtual agents that can replace live-chat agents and others. These bots aren’t entirely innovative in the sense that they merely extend the kind of artificial intelligence consumers use at home into their daily interactions with other services. But start-ups, like Clair, test consumer products and ads without having to engage with consumers at all. This establishes Clair as a true AI tool for business. Scribe, another recently seeded startup, uses AI to identify new leads. The tech can potentially replace sales reps, or at least take over one area of their job.

 

Analysts predict that AI-powered technologies are likely to pivot in the upcoming months. The current use of bots, for instance, might be one stepping stone toward other technologies that will be used in other settings. So instead of customer service, marketing and sales bots, organizations might start applying these tools in numerous ways and settings. The most recent commercials from IBM come to mind. In the ads, Watson helps basketball coaches run predictive analytics on player performance; Watson assists IT professionals faced with security issues and finally, Watson shortens the time it takes to complete tedious tasks. Watson may speak like a bot, but it doesn’t think like one.

 

Considering AI’s potential in an enterprise setting, it is no surprise that accelerators are backing AI business technologies. Bots might seem small right now, but they aren’t the end of the line.

 

2 Ways The Technology World Will Change In The Next Ten Years

Technology is always changing all around us. The pace at which it changes is incredibly fast and only getting faster. This is why many are excited to look ahead to the future and try to guess where it will go next. There are some saying that the next ten years are going to bring a lot of exciting changes to the technology realm. Network World has detailed some of these potential futures.

 

The Technology Industry Will Become More Diverse

 

One thing that some are very excited about is that it is expected that the technology industry itself will become more diverse. Right now it is primarily dominated by white men, but that is finally starting to change.

 

Silicon Valley has had to come to grips with the issue that there are not enough women and minorities in their ranks. It means that they are missing out on particular perspectives and they are not able to serve as broad of a market as they possibly could.

 

One tech company (Intel) even recently put out its diversity numbers and vowed to make them more accurately reflect the American public by 2020. That is a promising sign for us all.

 

Cloud Computing Will Be Everywhere

 

You could still confuse some people with the term “the cloud” in recent years, but that is starting to change. Cloud computing is already taking up an increasing amount of our technology life, but it is going to become exactly what we do with most things in the technology realm ten years from now if not sooner.

 

Cloud computing will make our lives easier because it will help to automate a lot of the processing that we have to do manually today. This is highly important because even a few seconds saved can make a big difference in the lives of the average person. This is an exciting element of the future that seems almost guaranteed to happen in technology.

Apple Shares Continues to Drop

Technology stocks in the US are on the plunge since Friday last week. Among the companies that have been affected most is Apple whose shares fell by 4 percent today. This happens to be the second day running as Apple had recorded a stock fall of 3 percent on Friday. This means that the technology giant has recorded a 7 percent decline in the last two business days. However, experts say that the Monday decline was as a result of the action carried out by Mizuho. Mizuho decided to downgrade their stocks to neutral which resulted in Apple’s shares dropping from $160 to $150. However, the managing director of Mizuho said that they believed that things are about to change and the stocks will pick in the coming days.

 

On Friday morning at around 10: 40 am, Apple stocks had dropped by 2.9 percent and they were worth $144.65. Correctively, the stocks fell by a margin of 2.9 percent on Friday. Apple stocks finished the day on Thursday at a high of $154.99. However, experts say that Apple gains in the coming weeks will be limited by the expectation that iPhone 8 will be bought by many customers across the globe. Since consumers are expecting the release of iPhone 8, they will not buy any iPhone in the coming months until the new model is released. Customers are also hopeful that the new iPhone will incorporate the new OLED display technology. However, customers do not expect to incur any extra cost on this feature.

 

Experts also say that Apple expansion in China will remain weak. At the same time, sales in India are expected to remain low as many people in the country cannot afford Apple devices. However, the company will experience growth in revenue in the coming two years. At the moment, Apple is estimated to have overseas cash holdings of $170 billion. The hard economic times facing the company is a sign that the market is currently characterized by volatility.

 

Snapchat to Improve Its Advertising Services

Snapchat needs advertisers to support its hefty valuation. But, Facebook and Google are tough competitors. So, to lure in advertisers, Snapchat has improved the way advertising platform works, TechCrunch reports. The social media company has come up with new Snap Publisher tool, self-serve Ad Manager, and Snapchat Certified Partners program.

 

With Snap Publisher, advertisers won’t need to use expensive software to create campaigns in vertical video format. As of July, Snapchat will provide a publishing tool that turns horizontal videos into vertical ones, offers templates, adds motion to pictures, and does other useful things.

 

The Ad Manager is a self-service system that allows advertisers to purchase, manage, and optimize their ads, as well as see analytics. Advertisers will now be able to pay for ads with credit cards instead of lines of credit, and there will be no minimums. With Mobile Dashboards, it will become possible to track and manage campaigns on the go.

 

The company is also launching Snapchat Certified Partners program. They will select top tech partners and give them tools to optimize ads. These partners will also be favored when clients are referred.

 

In the first quarter of this year, Snapchat had a huge loss of $2.2 billion on a rather small revenue of $150 million. Snapchat needs to get its business going as its stock has fallen to $18 from a recent high of nearly $30. It seems many investors aren’t happy.

 

The company’s market capitalization is over $20 billion, making many analysts and investors question such high value.

 

To win business, Snapchat is trying hard, but can they make it and justify this valuation? Facebook is already entering Snap’s turf with the “Stories” format. As a result, Snapchat’s user growth has slowed.

 

 

Snap’s Spectacles Look to Be Getting an Upgrade to AR

The popularity of Snapchat has continued to snowball over the past few years, with the introduction of Spectacles just seven months ago. That allowed for easy recording of anything that interests an individual user. When it comes to the second generation of this technology, the expectation is that the concept of augmented reality (AR) will be one of the most integral aspects involved.

 

The company itself has been extremely quiet about the innovation, which was only discovered after a website researching patents came across one from Snap that was filed in November 2015. That patent focused on the concept of being able to detect where a user is and then broadcast digital material with the dual-glass setup.

 

The idea of broadening the scope of Spectacles has been evident from some of Snap’s public moves, which have included the purchase of a drone-based company. Yet the aforementioned patent also indicates that other components that also deal with AR are in the pipeline. These include both a visor and a helmet that work in conjunction with the technology, with other reports indicating that the inclusion of a camera that shoots from a 360-degree perspective is also on the horizon.

 

The merging of Spectacles and AR for Snap isn’t surprising, with the first example of that taking place just a few months ago. That was when World Lenses was released, which

involved providing app users the ability to walk around three-dimensional items for a short period of time, usually just a few seconds.

 

Given the secrecy surrounding this project, the price for this item remains in question. However, given the upgrades involved, it’s expected to be higher than the $130 that Spectacles buyers paid for their product. The company has sold close to 100,000 of those devices, with nearly 35,000 of them being purchased in time for last year’s holiday season. While Snap itself is still losing money, the company is betting on the bottom line getting better.

Amazing Gadgets to Hit the Market

This summer is going to see some amazing new tech gadgets hit the stores. One of them is a Wonderboom, which is a compact speaker that can be dropped in a swimming pool and function properly. It is produced by Ultimate Ears and costs $100, CNN Tech reports.

 

Another amazing and useful gadget is Prynt Pocket. It is a tiny printer that can be attached to an iPhone. It costs $150 and comes with an app allowing for image editing.

 

For those who love selfie sticks, there are selfie drones coming. A company named Zero Tech has produced a pocket-sized drone they named Dobby. It costs $350 and contains a 13 megapixel camera.

 

Fitbit’s newest device, the $150 Alta HR, is a hi-tech wristband that can track steps, calories, distances, and heart rates. It also alerts when calls or messages arrive.

 

If you don’t like to do the yard work, you can get a robot to do to it for you. Automower, a product of Husqvarna, is a low mower that can handle various obstructions and recognize walls. It can be controlled from a smartphone and can be pre-programmed, so it can stay in your yard rather than sneak away to mow your neighbor’s yard. At this point, its price is unknown.

 

Now, it is becoming easier to keep an eye on a house when outside. The $99 camera made by Blink Indoors has motion detection features that, if necessary, get activated and send alerts.

 

And if you don’t like to carry heavy luggage, but like to read, then consider getting Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite e-reader. It retails for $120 a piece. It also comes with a great battery that lasts for several days should you get lost in the woods.

 

Driverless Cars Coming Soon

The car and auto industry has been one of the largest and most profitable industries in the world for the past fifty years. While cars on the road have always gone through periods of innovation, style improvements, and innovation, the industry appears set to be ready for another major improvement in terms of innovation in the next few years (https://futurism.com/driverless-autonomous-cars-will-be-on-us-roads-in-the-next-2-months/).

 

For the past few years, the concept of driverless cars has slowly been incorporated into modern driving. A few different popular cars has been built with the ability to be set to auto-drive while the car is on the highway. However, the ability to use it is still limited to just a few basic scenarios and is not meant to be a permanent option for driving. While self-driving cars seem to be going through a very slow period of development, it is believed that driverless cars could soon be much more common on the road.

 

Today, there are at least four different car manufacturers that are trying to be the first to unveil and sell a fully driverless car. These include both Tesla and Uber, both of which will have to go through a range of different regulatory and quality control inspections before a driverless car is allowed on the road.

 

Once these cars are allowed, there will be a lot of different issues that drives and owners will have to deal with. To start, it has yet to be determined what the laws will require out of drivers that are looking to have a driverless car. Since driverless cars will not be flawless, it may take an additional level of licensure to ensure a driver is able to override a system to take control of a car. A more concerning issue about driverless car is what could happen if the cars are hacked. Technically, a good hacker will be able to take over control of the car, which could be very dangerous if it happens.

 

 

Artificial Intelligence: From Air Combat to Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder affects at least six million Americans each year, or roughly 4 percent of U.S. adults. Treatment typically involves some combination of mood-stabilizing or anti-psychotic medications and psychotherapy. However, recent discoveries in the field of artificial intelligence may prove revolutionary for individuals suffering from this condition.

 

Artificial intelligence, commonly known as “AI,” refers to intelligence exhibited by computerized machines. The idea revolves around a perceived need to create machines that can perform tasks previously limited to humans, such as those that involve decision-making. Essentially, the more technologically advanced we become, the more important it is to ensure that we can minimize human error.

 

One area where AI has shown great promise is in military applications. In air-to-air combat simulations, it has been known to outmaneuver even highly-skilled Air Force pilots. This same technology has now demonstrated a similar ability to predict how patients with bipolar disorder might respond to lithium treatment. Accurate predictions are difficult because of frequent fluctuations between periods of mania and depression. These fluctuations necessitate changes in treatment approaches, as they occur.

 

A new study conducted by the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine has shown that using AI can dramatically improve treatment effectiveness and efficiency. Various models have been employed by UC to predict how a particular patient might respond to lithium. The best of these models was known to be accurate 75 percent of the time. By comparison, the model employing AI was found to be accurate 100 percent of the time. Furthermore, it was 92 percent accurate in predicting when a patient’s manic symptoms were likely to decrease.

 

Artificial intelligence programs arrive at their conclusions based on generalizations, rather than specific definitions. They continuously refine their answers in a manner analogous to Darwin’s natural selection. Essentially, AI provides a way for doctors to use “fuzzy logic” to help them battle a notoriously difficult medical problem.

 

While it might seem as though air combat and medicine have little in common, they both involve an orderly process to arrive at the best possible decisions. While these new algorithms are clearly not sentient beings, as might be imagined in the world of science fiction, they are valuable tools that can be adapted to suit a large number of different applications.