Artificial intelligence-powered robots seem to intimidate all kinds of intelligent people, from Stephen Hawking to Elan Musk. But how scary are pieces of machinery? They can be powered down. They are programmed by humans. As far as we know the robots at work in the world today, and not the ones of science fiction, aren’t greedy, or vindictive, or even ethically benign. They are inanimate. On another level, robots aren’t able to navigate space very well. Even autonomous cars rely on the vehicle to attain motion. There doesn’t seem to be much of a threat. However these physical limitations also impede the potential for robots to adapt to environments and solve physical problems. A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is about to change that.
Nikhil Chaven-Dafle, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, is developing ways for robotic arms to manipulate objects and make use of their environment. For example, we humans take for granted our ability to screw a light bulb into a socket with one hand, while tightly gripping a ladder with the other. We are able to adapt our grip, orient objects and correct mistakes, like threading the light bulb incorrectly, and starting over. We interact with our environment and we use our environment to assist us in manipulating objects.
Certainly robots are capable of performing physical tasks. Car manufacturing assembly lines prove that robotic arms are highly efficient and capable of completing repetitive tasks. What Chaven-Dafle is developing is something new. He is working on ways for robotic arms to solve physical, not virtual, problems. Chaven-Dafle explained his project to TechCrunch saying, “We basically developed a formulation that allows robots to estimate how the forces and motions and contacts are going to be involved, and use this underlying model, it can predict how the object is going to move in the grasp.”
No word yet on whether robots are capable of manipulating objects in space, or even if that skill poses a threat to humanity. But robots have been safely handling all kinds of tools for quite some time in limited and highly fixed ways.
What was just being experimented with and considered science fiction only a decade ago has begun to slowly find its place in the modern video game and entertainment market and some business applications. Virtual Reality devices are all the rage right now, allowing users to directly interface with their games, movies, or training and testing programs for a fully interactive experience. Below, we’ll examine a few Virtual Reality products available now and give you some specs, pro, cons, and prices to help you decide the best Virtual Reality device for you.
The Best Virtual Reality Experience for You
Many different Virtual Reality devices have been launched already for use with mobile devices but Samsung’s official Samsung Gear VR is one of the best and most inexpensive on the market at only $99. Offering amazing experiences with different movies as well as a plethora of different Virtual Reality games and applications, Samsung Gear VR allows you to fully immerse yourself in your ‘virtual living room’ where you can use apps like Netflix and Hulu. For the price tag and capabilities this is a great option for Virtual Reality use on your mobile device. You can view specs, trailers, and purchase on Samsungs website at http://www.samsung.com/us/explore/gear-vr/
If you’re looking for a more immersive and professional Virtual Reality outfit then the VisionStation by Virtual Realities LLC may be more your reality. With the capability to mimic a desktop of up to 1920×1080 the VisionStation can run tasks like no other Virtual Reality device available on the modern market. The VisionStation can be used in business applications such as reviewing buildings or aerospace and automotive design as well as allowing for kicking back with full immersion in your favorite PC games or as a driving simulator. Your real world budget for a VR device better be high though as the Vision Station runs around $24,500.00 on Virtual Realites LLC’s website https://www.vrealities.com/products/featured/visionstation, though educational discounts are available.
At E3 this year Sony announced PlayStation’s own Virtual Reality Device, the PlayStation VR. This device allows for total immersion in your favorite new games and some select classics from the PlayStation Archive. Sony’s launch of the PlayStation VR marks the biggest advancement in VR use with console video gaming and has pushed other gaming companies into their own development of VR products. The PlayStation VR can be yours for around $500 and is available for order now on Sony’s website at https://www.playstation.com/en-us/explore/playstation-vr/.
Though the writers of science fiction books and movies have long foretold of the dangers or artificial intelligence, it seems that the tech world is eager to introduce more products that make use of this cutting edge technology. Yes, the Age of Artificial Intelligence Software has officially begun, and if developers have anything to say about it, this age will last for some time to come.
Recently, Salesforce.com, a site that sells software to sales/marketing companies, made the announcement that Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) technology would officially be making its way into their products. The company is known for its Einstein system, and the plans are for this system to make use of A.I. to help businesses better understand which leads to follow for sales and which products it should focus on developing in the future.
Salesforce.com is not the only big company that recently made announcements about A.I. driven software. Oracle – the biggest software company in the world – announced that it will bundle new technology into its systems which allow up-to-date analysis of huge amounts of data. This new features is built upon A.I. technology and is named, aptly enough, “Oracle A.I.)
General Electric is also getting in on the Artificial Intelligence software craze. IBM calls its A.I. line “Predix.” Many are already familiar with this new software offering because of commercials that feature GE’s Watson having conversations with musician Bob Dylan.
Nearly every industry, from agriculture to manufacturing, are beginning to demand software solutions that have some sort of A.I. features. While it may still be some time before we see Artificial Intelligence take off the way it does in Sci-Fi movies (and no one really wants to see most of those scenarios play out in real life, anyway) it does look like A.I. features are going to soon be common in lots of new software products that are poised to hit the market in the near future. Many of these programs are going to essentially comb through data to help companies make the most of trends, but new uses for A.I. are sure to come to fruition as it becomes more commonplace.
Uber ATC Director, Raffi Kirkoviana tested Uber’s self-driving cars on September 13th, 2016 to collect data involving its advanced technologies and riding experience. It took the Robotic Center at Carneige Mellon University 18 months to research and develop Uber’s latest autonomous technology. A small group of spectators were invited to observe the test drive of 14 Ford Fusions cars stimulated by cameras and radar equipment. The test started at Uber’s Advanced Technologies Campus near Downtown Pittsburgh and extended throughout the city and the Strip District. Kirkoviana shared his experience as a passenger and driver to TechCrunch.
The demostration began by an employee giving Kirkoviana a phone to use to request a ride on the Uber app. When Kirkoviana was positioned in the back seat of the Ford Fusion, he was instructed to select the ready-to-go button on a tablet that displayed a live view surrounding the automobile. He road with an engineer driver and front engineer passenger through Lawrence neighborhood, downtown, Strip District, and over 9th Street Bridge. The drive had good responses and encountered a few struggles when other automobiles were backing up or parked in a lane. The self-driving Ford Fusion also experienced a struggle while positioning on the bridge and approaching a truck.
The engineer driver had to change lanes manually when a big truck was parked in the same lane of the self-driving car and a city worker unexpectedly darted from in front of the truck. The self-driving cars received positive reviews involving its surroundings of stopped transportation, traffic lights and traffic laws. If there was a bus turning or picking up passengers, the Ford Fusion would automatically stop. The Uber’s advanced technology and intelligent software reads the red, blue and yellow traffic lights.
Kirkorian shared his experience driving autonomously back to the Uber Advanced Technologies Campus. He pressed a silver button on the console when a blue light turned-on on the dashboard. The front seat driver is able to return the self-driving back to the control of the driver by pressing a red button, the brake pedal, or accelerator pedal. He had to use the function to avoid a stopped van parked on a lane. After the test drive was over, Kirkorian described the ride as gentle with occasional stops.
Introducing Talk Fusion: The 2016 WebRTC Product Of The Year
Talk Fusion is still growing quickly in popularity and has earned a spot on the list of the world’s top 10 video content creation sites. This innovative company boasts a versatile suite of video marketing products and services. It was founded by CEO Bob Reina. The wheels were started in motion for the idea in 2004 when he wanted to send a short video to friends using email. At the time, everyone said that it was impossible. He made it work. The idea for Talk Fusion came to fruition in 2007, and the company has now expanded into well over 80 countries.
Review Of Products And Services
Talk Fusion is ideal for any size or type of business. With its WebRTC technology, it operates smoothly. Overall, the different features are easy to learn and use. These are the main services and features:
For someone building a business online, Talk Fusion’s features cover the essentials for starting a solid foundation. From building your initial customer base to maintaining contact, the features make every task simpler. Let’s look at some important factors for an email marketing program.
Content Creation Interface
The main feature on the interface is the video creator. It is simple enough to use that you will not need a lengthy tutorial. After you record a video, you upload it to your library on your account. All of your videos are stored and organized, which makes it easy to insert them into presentations or correspondence when you need them. For example, you can create a how-to video if you want to market a new product that will grab the attention of your subscribers.
After you make the video, use the text creation feature to design a newsletter and add the video to it. Another benefit is the library of Talk Fusion’s pre-made videos. If you lack the time to make your own videos thanking customers for their purchases, welcoming a new customer or following up after feedback, Talk Fusion already offers you options for several topics.
Video Chat Compatibility
One of the most valuable features of Talk Fusion’s video chat feature is that you can talk to anyone regardless of what device they use. If you have spent time video conferencing in the past, you probably know the frustration of a delayed meeting due to technical difficulties and incompatibility issues with software programs. Being able to contact anyone when you need to is a relief and a time-saving business tool in today’s competitive world. The video chat app is available from iTunes or Google Play.
Useful Presentation Features
The video chat, live meeting and video creation features are all intuitive, which makes this program much easier to become comfortable with quickly. It is flexible in its scalability with live meetings. With capacity for up to 500 viewers, you can easily set up for a small or large audience. Talk Fusion’s live meeting feature integrates well with PowerPoint, live video streaming programs and other features to customize your meeting.
Compensation Plan Review
Like all high-quality services that make business operations simpler, Talk Fusion comes with a price. Before you write it off as another expense to face every month, it pays to learn about the unique silver lining. Talk Fusion offers a great compensation plan if you join, which gives you the chance to let the program pay for itself and possibly earn you some extra money.
Two of the most attractive features of the compensation plan are instant payments instead of quarterly or monthly payments and a global potential market. You become part of a team and can even build your own, which gives you more chances to earn with team bonus commissions. With these perks, you earn every time one of your team members makes money.
With any communication or marketing service, two of the most important things to look for in a company are quality customer service and a support department that shows how well the company backs its services. In both areas, Talk Fusion measures up. You can contact the company through inquiry on the site, call during business hours or send them an email. Support requests are handled promptly if you have any technical issues or questions about the services.
Another bonus of joining and becoming part of a team with Talk Fusion is a wide network of support. Since your success is also their success, your team members and mentors are always ready to help you. Team members may be based in many countries across the globe, which also gives you valuable insight on foreign markets.
Pricing Structure Review
Most people are satisfied with the pricing structure for Talk Fusion. This is especially true for people who join and become team members. Several pricing plans are under $100 per month. You can choose a custom package, a competition package, a basic bundle or another option that fits your needs.
The custom package for $75 per month is one of the better values if you have moderate needs or a smaller business. A favorable bonus is that you get 5,000 email contacts with most packages to help you get started or expand an existing operation. Also, you can upgrade whenever you wish, and there are no long-term contracts required when you choose a plan.
Overall, Talk Fusion is a good value for the benefits it yields and the time it saves. Also, the company’s supportive structure is a win for entrepreneurs who want to lead a team and stay on an upward spiral. The company is also accredited with DSA and DSEI.
Watch the Talk Fusion educational YouTube video below:
The phenomenon of driverless cars is taking the automobile industry by storm. In fact, scientists and software engineers are still trying to decide how they should make the driverless cars more intelligent. Perhaps, a California startup, drive.ai has the answer. The new company will use deep learning as part of ongoing tests to make driverless car learn from their environment.
Deep learning is an advanced form of artificial intelligence. Actually, its not new because researchers at the Stanford University are already using it to test different technology. However, this is the first time that a company will use deep learning as a tool to train driverless cars.
Interestingly, the company only reveled its plan to test the driverless vehicles because it had to get the test license from the Government of California. According to sources, the license will allow driver.ai to use driverless car for the training purposes. Accordingly, the company has recently hired high-profile automobile executives that includes former General Motors director Steve Girsky. It is also able to obtain nearly $12 million in funding, which indicates future potential.
According to Drive.ai president and co-founder Carol Reiley, deep learning in automobiles will work by allowing the care to decide from millions of test cases. For instance, engineers can offer thousands of different scenarios for the driverless car to learn in matter of days. The amount of and data that modern computers are able to store will help the computer to evolve with the passage of time. As more unique circumstances are presented, the artificial intelligence will reach new levels of coordination. Carol also revealed that deep learning is not limited to driving the car. Instead, the technology will enable the computer to make instant decision on what is best for other drivers, pedestrians and environment. Overall, it means that Drive.ai is building a computer that will not only save the driver, but is also concerned about the safety of others. If true, other companies can also learn from Drive.ai.
As of now, the deep learning will continue to be in a Beta mode. As co-founder of the company, Sameep Tandon, sees it, deep learning requires continuous learning process. The learning cycle continues because it is impossible to make a guide for a computer that is always facing new scenarios.
In recent news, Pay TV is losing a lot of customers which is resulting in cord cutting form a lot of companies. People are turning away from pay services that were traditionally offered through the use of cable and Satellite television. While a lot of those companies are probably reeling from this development. This is something that is to be expected with the internet providing a lot of entertainment. Less people are using satellite services in order to watch some of their favorite shows in this changing climate of entertainment. As technology advances, some services are going to become obsolete.
One of the major factors in people cutting their services is internet services like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and plenty of other services that offer people the chance to watch some of their favorite shows. Another factor in this is that these services allow people to watch their favorite shows at anytime they want as opposed to having to wait until the next time slot that it airs. People can also binge watch some of their favorite shows at anytime in a similar fashion to marathons. The convenience that people can get from online entertainment goes way beyond the entertainment value that is offered on television. In fact, some of the premium channels are offering similar services where people can watch some of their favorite shows or new shows at anytime they want.
Another factor in the changing industry of television is the cost. A lot of these services are offered at a very low price. Compared to the large amounts of money that come with cable and satellite TV, many people would rather get rid of their pay TV services in order to save money on their entertainment. Companies like DirecTV and Dish Network are faced with the need to adapt with the changing market or else close down. People are enjoying their online streaming services that are being offered to them with the online entertainment services.
Self Driving Cars by Ford Planned for 2021
Over the last few years, we have seen lots of information come to light about the self-driving cars. These cars are being programed to make decisions, much like a human driver, to get its human occupants to their destination safely. There has been some controversy over whether or not these self driving automobiles are safe. That is why companies like Ford have been working hard to iron out all the kinks to have these cars safe and available as soon as possible.
On Tuesday Ford announced a series of investments going into these self driving cars. These investments show how diligently they are working to make hands free driving available. Ford has said that they are planning on having self driving cars available in 2021 for the use of parcel delivery and ride-hailing work (much like Uber or Lyft). In the later half of that decade, they are hoping to have them available for customer and pedestrian use.
There has been no word on what Ford plans to do for its ride-hailing. It appears they have not decided if they will make their own company or joining with a preexisting one like Uber. All the investments Ford has recently made show that they are trying to match the pace of companies already working toward automatic transportation. Google and Tesla have been working hard on mastering self-driving technology as well.
Ford hopes that the self-driving car will be as revolutionary as “The Ford assembly line was” according to Raj Nair, Ford’s Chief technical officer. It appears that it could be. With this technology mastered there would be a large change to driving as we know it. Americans each drive thousands of miles each year, so it is a major part of our lives. It would give the people more choices on how to get to point A to point B and could revolutionize public transportation. Having the technology to be able to have a machine drive for us, gives us even more transportation choices.
Entertainment is always in a state of change. Back in the earlier decades such as the 70s and 80s, people considered cable to be the best offer. People were content with waiting for their favorite shows to come on at the time slot. Also, the closest thing people had to binge watching their favorite shows was watching marathons. Often times, the marathons were followed by a new episode of the series. Later on, satellite TV was introduced. People were able to get plenty of other channels where they could discover some new shows. However, these packages tend to cost a good amount of money.
People that didn’t have Pay TV often had to put up with bad reception which presented people with a distorted and discolored image that could be received through the antenna. Also, Pay TV was the only way that people could watch movies uninterrupted without having to rent or buy a videocassette or Laserdisc. Even though things were good enough with Pay TV, technological advancements have brought forth greater quality in entertainment as well as convenience. The internet has advanced to the point that people could watch high quality videos such as trailers, TV shows and even movies in high quality stereo as well.
As a result of the growth of companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu among other services, Pay TV has started to see declines in their customer base. More people are faced with the decision of letting of Pay TV or letting go of Netflix. The choice was obvious. Given that services like Netflix, Hulu, and other similar services were less expensive than Pay TV services, Pay TV was going to be the one to go. For one thing, people no longer feel the need to pay in order to put up with shows they don’t like in order to catch the shows they do like when they could catch their favorite shows and all of the episodes for a fraction of the price they paid.