Posts Tagged ‘technology’

A Gender-Neutral Voice

April 19, 2019

Siri, Cortana, Alexa. Female voice assistants do our digital bidding. Sexist, no? Meet Q, the genderless voice of AI.

More:

“The world’s first genderless voice assistant is challenging gender stereotypes,”Cara Curtis, TheNextWeb

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The Web Is Ancient

March 13, 2019

The Web Is Ancient

The World Wide Web is 30 years old this week. That’s three millennia in computer years.

On March 12, 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee designed the Web, and he published the first website two years later.  Sir Tim unleashed the first public World Wide Web server on August 6, 1991. It was a NeXT cube on his desk at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

CERN went on to produce the Large Hadron Collider. The Web produces memes.

More:

“The World Wide Web Turns 30. Where Does It Go From Here?” Tim Berners-Lee, Wired

“The World Wide Web is 30 years old — and its inventor has a warning for us,” Farnoush Amiri, NBC News

“The World Wide Web Turns 30: Our Favorite Memories From A to Z,” The Verge

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Robot-Made Pizza

November 29, 2018

Robot-Made Pizza

“Zume, the robotic pizza maker, is now valued at more than US $2 billion, thanks to its latest round of investment. According to The Wall Street Journal, this latest infusion of funds—$375 million—came entirely from SoftBank; and the Japanese conglomerate apparently has another $375 million at the ready should Zume need it. The valuation, in Silicon Valley terms, makes the new company a unicorn, one of the rare breed of startups thought to be worth over $1 billion.

This is just wrong. Because it’s just not good pizza.”

— “Zume, the Robotic Pizza Company, Makes Pies Only a Robot Could Love,” Tekla S. Perry, IEEE Spectrum

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Self-Driving Pizza

June 29, 2018

Self-Driving Pizza

Self-driving Domino’s Pizza vehicles now roam the streets of Miami:

“Consumers will soon be able to opt to order their pies, groceries, and on-demand rides to be conveyed via robot (with backup drivers behind the wheel in case of emergency). The county, meanwhile, hopes that the experiment can be a learning opportunity and a signal to other self-driving technology leaders.

‘We want to learn from Ford what it is we need to do to get ready for these vehicles, so that when AVs become a reality, fully, we’ll be one of the first communities to get them,’ said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Giménez. ‘We want to let the world know that Miami is ready to be a testbed.’”

— “Self-Driving Pizza Just Hit Miami,” Laura Bliss, CityLab

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Top image (yes, it’s a Bentley) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Breakfast Cereal: Shot From Guns

May 10, 2018

Dave Arnold and the staff of the Museum of Food and Drink demonstrate the breakfast cereal puffing gun, which débuted at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.

Produced by Sky Dylan-Robbins and Matt Buchanan for The New Yorker.

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Robot Swans

April 6, 2018

Robot swans are gliding across Singapore’s reservoirs, monitoring water quality. The buoyant birdbots, which automatically return to shore bases when their batteries weaken, look a bit less swan-like when the water gets choppy.

More:

“Singapore recruits swanbots to test water quality,” BBC

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How Martin Luther Went Viral

September 6, 2017

How Martin Luther Went Viral

500 years ago a disgruntled Catholic priest named Martin Luther is said to have nailed his handwritten 95 Theses to a church door in Wittenberg. Well, maybe he did, but that 1517 parchment blog post, with the clickbait title Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum, was picked up by the cool kids of the day, nerds who translated it from Latin to German, coded it into moveable type and spread it across Europe with their newfangled printing presses.

More:

“How Technology Helped Martin Luther Change Christianity,” Tom Gjelten, NPR

“Long Before Twitter, Martin Luther Was a Media Pioneer,” New York Times

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Image (“Martin Luther with His iPad, after Lucas Cranach the Elder”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Job Deletion: A Feature, Not a Bug?

September 4, 2017

Job Deletion: A Feature, Not a Bug?

Happy Labor Day.

“We are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not yet have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come – namely, technological unemployment. This means unemployment due to our discovery of means of economising the use of labour outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labour.” — John Maynard Keynes, 1930

“Today we’re living in those years to come, and it’s hard to go a week without some story about how all the jobs will soon belong to artificial intelligence or machine learning or however else we’re describing the automatons. Keynes was right to see it coming, but he didn’t exactly nail the implications.” — Malcolm Harris, 2017

More:

“A Jobless Future Everyone Can Love,” Malcolm Harris, Pacific Standard

“AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs,” Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Pieria

“Jobs aren’t the solution to America’s problems—they’re the cause,” James Livingston, Quartz

“A robot tax rises from American center of tech industry,” Janie Har, Associated Press

“What the Industrial Revolution really tells us about the future of automation and work,” Moshe Y. Vardi, The Conversation

“Work In The Digital Society,” Social Europe

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Image (“John Maynard Keynes Blogging, after Duncan Grant”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Google Wind

April 1, 2017

Google Wind, starting April 1st. Tour the repurposed windmills of the Netherlands on a self-driving bike.

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Google Gnome

April 1, 2017

Google Gnome, available April 1st.

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