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Robots learn to grab and scramble with new levels of agility

Robots are amazing things, but outside of their specific domains they are incredibly limited. So flexibility — not physical, but mental — is a constant area of research. A trio of new robotic setups demonstrate ways they can evolve to accommodate novel situations: using both “hands,” getting up after a fall, and understanding visual instructions they’ve never seen before. The robots, all developed independently, are gathered together today in a special issue of the journal Science Robotics dedic...
Tags: TC, Gadgets, Science, Hardware, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Ikea, Robotics, Berkeley, Eth Zurich, Goldberg, Ken Goldberg, ETHZ, Science Robotics, Ikea Assembly


Why AI can’t solve everything

The hysteria about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere. There seems to be no shortage of sensationalist news about how AI could cure diseases, accelerate human innovation and improve human creativity. Just looking at the media headlines, you might think that we are already living in a future where AI has infiltrated every aspect of society. While it is undeniable that AI has opened up a wealth of promising opportunities, it has also led to the emergence of a mindset that can...
Tags: Startups, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Syndication


AlwaysAI Adds $4M to Bring Deep Learning to Embedded ‘Edge’ Devices

Many of our devices, from wearables to medical instruments to drones, can capture reams of images. Using algorithms to analyze those images on the devices, in turn, generally takes loads of computing power and energy—sometimes more than is feasible.AlwaysAI says it is getting ready to sell its software for enterprise developers looking to make applications that use deep learning to better process the immense amount of data from embedded devices, such as cameras, drones, wearables, and robots—an...
Tags: Deals, Cloud Computing, Trends, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Software, SaaS, Venture Capital, San Diego, Blackberry, Network, Ai, Financing, Deep Learning, Computer Vision, Edge


How do you fight an algorithm you cannot see?

That question in the headline was the challenge posed by a group of open knowledge junkies in Germany who wanted to understand how a person’s Schufa was calculated. Schufa is a credit bureau that generates financial scores for potential borrowers in Germany, and it is roughly equivalent to a FICO score in the United States. Schufa is not an open algorithm, and so important financial decisions are mediated by an unknown process that can be quite capricious in its scoring. So the activists created...
Tags: Google, Europe, Government, Germany, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Policy, United States, Kim, Algorithms, Deep Learning, Eric Eldon, Andrew, Danny, Richard Rothstein, Arman


IBM Vets Launch Sonrai Security, Eyeing Multi-Cloud “Complexity”

Businesses racing faster and faster to put their data and applications into multiple cloud services will soon have to figure out how to keep an eye on it all. Start thinking about the hundreds of users, the dozens of accounts, and the handful of different cloud services that don’t always speak the same language, and the job of monitoring and securing it all quickly gets complicated.This is the problem that Brendan Hannigan and Sandy Bird are attacking with their New York-based company Sonrai Se...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Deals, Startups, Open Source, Cloud, New York, Microsoft, Identity, Azure, Trends, Tech, Cisco, It, Cybersecurity, Vc


Stop worrying about AI taking over the world — it won’t

Should we be afraid of artificial intelligence? For me, this is a simple question with an even simpler, two letter answer: no. But not everyone agrees – many people, including the late physicist Stephen Hawking, have raised concerns that the rise of powerful AI systems could spell the end for humanity. Clearly, your view on whether AI will take over the world will depend on whether you think it can develop intelligent behavior surpassing that of humans – something referred to as “super intellige...
Tags: Startups, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, Syndication


2019: The year Nvidia gets serious about robots

Nvidia threw open the doors on its new robotics laboratory in Seattle last week, ushering in a new era for the company. In doing so it’s put the competition on notice. The 13,000-foot Seattle facility is an innovation center designed for a staff of 50. Among its first projects is a joint-endeavor with IKEA featuring a domestic robot designed to assist humans in the kitchen. The competition may be creating contraptions that can perform incredible acrobatics: Or sweet dance moves: But we think the...
Tags: Startups, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Ikea, Nvidia, Seattle


Computer vision startup AnyVision pulls in new funding from Lightspeed

While there have been a few massive surveillance startups in China that have raised funds on the back of computer vision advances, there’s seemed to be less fervor outside of that market. Tel Aviv-based AnyVision is aiming to leverage its computer vision chops in tracking people and objects to create some pretty clear utility for the enterprise world. After announcing a $27 million Series A in mid-2018, the computer vision startup is bringing Lightspeed Venture Partners into the raise, closing o...
Tags: Startups, China, Tel Aviv, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Ai, Computer Vision, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Lightspeed, Anyvision, Recent Funding, Raviraj Jain, TechCrunch Right


Salesforce Commerce Cloud updates keep us shopping with AI-fueled APIs

As people increasingly use their mobile phones and other devices to shop, it has become imperative for vendors to improve the shopping experience, making it as simple as possible, given the small footprint. One way to do that is using artificial intelligence. Today, Salesforce announced some AI-enhanced APIs designed to keep us engaged as shoppers. For starters, the company wants to keep you shopping. That means providing an intelligent recommendation engine. If you searched for a particular jac...
Tags: TC, Cloud, Ecommerce, Enterprise, Developer, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Salesforce, Einstein, APIs, Demandware, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Commerce Cloud


Apple HomePod comes to China at $400 amid iPhone sales woes

Apple is finally launching HomePod in China, but the timing is tricky as the premium device will have to wrestle with local competitors and a slowing economy. The firm said over the weekend that its smart speaker will be available in Mainland China and Hong Kong starting January 18, adding to a list of countries where it has entered including US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico and Spain. The Amazon Echo competitor, which launched in mid-2017, is already available to Chinese...
Tags: Iphone, Apple, Google, Amazon, Asia, Hong Kong, Hardware, China, Siri, Tech, Spain, Artificial Intelligence, Alibaba, Xiaomi, Tencent, Baidu


Nefarious AI creates images of delicious food that doesn’t exist

A team of researchers from Tel-Aviv University developed a neural network capable of reading a recipe and generating an image of what the finished, cooked product would look like. As if DeepFakes weren’t bad enough, now we can’t be sure the delicious food we see online is real. The Tel-Aviv team, consisting of researchers Ori Bar El, Ori Licht, and Netanel Yosephian created their AI using a modified version of a generative adversarial network (GAN) called StackGAN V2 and 52K image/recipe combina...
Tags: Startups, Tel Aviv, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Tel Aviv University, Gan, Ori Bar El Ori Licht, Netanel Yosephian


IBM teaches AI to debate humans by crowdsourcing arguments

IBM sent its AI to Las Vegas this week to argue with people. And, since arguing is something humans do well, the company wants your help. ‘Project Debater – Speech by Crowd,’ as IBM calls it, is a “new and experimental cloud-based AI platform for crowdsourcing decision support.” It solicits arguments for and against a specific topic from as many humans as possible and then uses them to create debate speeches. The project is a work in progress for IBM, but the company hopes to eventually unveil a...
Tags: Startups, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Ibm, Las Vegas


Daily Crunch: Bing has a child porn problem

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here: 1. Microsoft Bing not only shows child pornography, it suggests it A TechCrunch-commissioned report has found damning evidence on Microsoft’s search engine. Our findings show a massive failure on Microsoft’s part to adequately police its Bing search engine and to prevent its suggested searches and images fr...
Tags: Social, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Cloud, Apps, Asia, Hardware, Microsoft, Developer, Entertainment, Government, Halo, Samsung, Tech, Nasa


Highlights From CES 2019

At the annual event we found health-improving tech, mobility-driven innovation and everything between This year at the Consumer Electronics Show—CES—there was significant chatter about acclimating the public to the future of technologies like virtual assistants and autonomous vehicles. But, while it seems that nearly every company in the industry is working on, integrating or supporting one or the other, there was plenty of technology on display …
Tags: Cooking, Design, Technology, Tech, Health and Wellness, Ces, Artificial Intelligence, Innovation, Las Vegas, Best Of, Smart Homes, Fintech, Biotechnology, Consumer Electronics Show, Mixed Reality, Virtual Assistants


Don’t overestimate AI’s understanding of human language

This article is part of Demystifying AI, a series of posts that (try to) disambiguate the jargon and myths surrounding AI. It’s very easy to misread and overestimate achievements in artificial intelligence. And nowhere is this more evident than in the domain of human language, where appearances can falsely hint at in-depth capabilities. In the past year, we’ve seen any number of companies giving the impression that their chatbots, robots and other applications can engage in meaningful conversati...
Tags: Google, Startups, Artificial Intelligence, Sophia, Syndication, Duplex Hanson Robotics


World’s most valuable AI startup SenseTime unveils self-driving center in Japan

The world’s highest-valued artificial intelligence startup SenseTime has set foot in Japan. The Beijing-based firm announced on Friday that it just opened a self-driving facility in Joso, a historic city 50 kilometers away from Tokyo where it plans to conduct R&D and road test driverless vehicles. The initiative follows its agreement with Japanese auto giant Honda in 2017 to jointly work on autonomous driving technology. SenseTime, which is backed by Alibaba and last valued at more than $4.5 ...
Tags: Transportation, Asia, Japan, China, Softbank, Tech, Bloomberg, Artificial Intelligence, Beijing, Automation, Alibaba, Transport, Tokyo, Self-driving Cars, Baidu, Honda


IBM thinks outside of the lab, puts quantum computer in a box

IBM unveiled the world’s “first universal approximate quantum computing system installed outside of a research lab” at CES earlier this week — and with it, the next era of computing. The 20-qubit IBM Q System One represents the first major leap for quantum computers of 2019, but before we get into the technical stuff let’s take a look at this thing. All we can say is: wowzah! When can we get a review unit? The commitment to a fully-functional yet aesthetically pleasing design is intriguing. Espe...
Tags: Startups, Science, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Ibm


Meet Caper, the AI self-checkout shopping cart

The Amazon boogie-man has every retailer scrambling for ways to fight back. But the cost and effort to install cameras all over the ceiling or into every shelf could block stores from entering the autonomous shopping era. Caper Labs wants to make eliminating checkout lines as easy as replacing their shopping carts while offering a more familiar experience for customers. The startup makes a shopping cart with a built-in barcode scanner and credit card swiper, but it’s finalizing the technology to...
Tags: Travel, Amazon, Food, Fundings & Exits, Startups, TC, Ecommerce, Apps, Hardware, NYC, Funding, Tesla, Artificial Intelligence, Jp Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Payments


Badi gets $30M for AI-aided room rentals

Should you let AI help you pick your roommates? Barcelona-based urban room rental startup Badi thinks so, and it’s just closed a $30M Series B funding round less than a year after a $10M Series A — suggesting algorithm-aided matchmaking is resonating with its target Millennial(ish) ‘Generation Rent’ demographic, as they hunt for their next flatmate. The 2015 founded startup has now raised circa $45M in total, while its platform has passed 12M rental requests. Badi also tells us it passed one ...
Tags: Fundings & Exits, Startups, Apps, Europe, Real Estate, UK, London, France, Tech, Spain, Barcelona, Rome, Artificial Intelligence, United Kingdom, Paris, Italy


Put Alexa and a JBL speaker in your ceiling with this clever LED downlight

This light makes the smarthome even more accessible. Installed as any other ceiling downlight,the June AI downlight features Amazon Alexa through an integrated JBL speakers. There’s a light in there too. The idea is great: make the smarthome invisible. Instead of having an Amazon Echo sitting on a table, this device sits in a person’s ceiling doing the job of a normal light. But when called upon, it can play music, control devices or anything else possible with an Echo. “This integration of t...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Gadgets, Publishing, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Software, Computing, Residential, Bing, Amazon Echo, Lighting, Alexa, Online Music Stores, Jbl, Amazon Alexa


How to be a good parent to artificial intelligence

Until we can design a mind that's superhuman and flawless, we'll have to settle for instilling plain old human values into artificial intelligence. But how to do this in a world where values are constantly evolving?Many of our life choices today would be considered immoral by people in the Middle Ages — or even the 1970s, says Ben Goertzel, whose family personally experienced the sad state of LGBTQ acceptance in Southern New Jersey 50 years ago.Raising an A.I. is a lot like raising kids, says Go...
Tags: Technology, Future, Computers, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Innovation, Ai, Morality, Ben Goertzel, Southern New Jersey, Goertzel Kids


It’s the golden age of traditional retail, not its end days

A lot of people that will say that traditional retail is dying. They’ll point to the rising prominence of e-commerce, which accounts for under 10% of total retail in the U.S. and a whopping 15% or more of total retail in China, as diminishing opportunities for traditional retail. But the reality is that, thanks to technology, the future of traditional retail has never been brighter. Today, brick-and-mortar retailers not only have unprecedented insight as to what is happening in their stores – fr...
Tags: TC, Business, China, Marketing, Supply Chain, Tech, E-commerce, Economy, Artificial Intelligence, Online Shopping, United States, Retail, Logistics, Merchandising, Inventory


This cool tool deletes the background from images so you don’t have to use Photoshop

If you’re tired of firing up Photoshop for lightweight image editing tasks, this little tool is good news for you. Called Remove.bg, it can clear out the background of an image in seconds, no lassoing or any other editing hassle required. Because it uses AI trained on images of people, Remove.bg only works on photos of humans for now, immediately separating subject from background and leaving your image clean and ready for whatever you plan to do with it. While Remove.bg has attracted a bit of a...
Tags: TC, Photography, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Matt Haughey, Image Editing Tool


Amid a legal fight in LA, IBM’s Weather Company launches hyperlocal weather forecasts globally

While IBM is getting sued by the city of Los Angeles, accusing it of covertly mining user data in the Weather Channel app in the US, it’s testing the waters for another hyperlocal weather feature that — coincidentally — relies on data that it picks up from sensors on app users’ smartphones, among other devices, combined with AI at IBM’s end to help model the information. Today at CES, the company announced new service called the Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting System — GRAF for...
Tags: Apps, Weather, Enterprise, La, India, US, Los Angeles, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Kenya, Kansas, Ibm, Sierra, US Department of Energy, National Center for Atmospheric Research NCAR, Ginny Rometty


Daily Crunch: The age of quantum computing is here

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here: 1.  IBM unveils its first commercial quantum computer The 20-qubit system combines the quantum and classical computing parts it takes to use a machine like this for research and business applications into a single package. While it’s worth stressing that the 20-qubit machine is nowhere near powerful enou...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, Startups, TC, Gadgets, Mobile, Verizon, Apps, Enterprise, Entertainment, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Automotive, Virtual Reality, Ibm, Santa Clara


Miku watches your baby (and your baby’s heartbeat) while you relax

Using technology that sounds like it comes straight out of Predator, Miku is a new baby monitor that watches and senses your baby’s vitals in real time. The system not only broadcasts a secure feed of your baby’s sleep time but it also analyzes the heart rate and breathing without wearables. The system uses military technology to sense the baby’s vitals and it will store video even if the Wi-Fi goes out. The Miku Baby Monitor uses patent-pending AI and machine learning technology called SensorFu...
Tags: TC, Gadgets, Internet Of Things, Technology, Wi-fi, Tech, Department Of Defense, Ceo, Smartphones, Artificial Intelligence, Computing, White, Real-time, Wearable Devices, Miku, Baby Monitor


We need an ‘AI sidekick’ to fight malicious AI

“Now that we realize our brains can be hacked, we need an antivirus for the brain.” Those were the words of Yuval Noah Harari, famous historian and outspoken critic of Silicon Valley. The sentence, which was part of a recent interview by Wired’s Nick Thompson with Harari and former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris, was a reference to how tech companies use AI algorithms to manipulate user behavior in profitable ways. For instance, if you’re watching NBA game recap videos, YouTube will recom...
Tags: Google, Security, Startups, Artificial Intelligence, Nba, Silicon Valley, Yuval Noah Harari, Harari, Nick Thompson, Syndication, Tristan Harris


Nvidia dives into a new business segment with Drive AutoPilot

Nvidia’s automotive ambitions seemed targeted solely on creating a platform to enable fully autonomous vehicles, notably the robotaxis that so many companies hope to deploy in the coming decade. It turns out that Nvidia has also been working a more near-term product that opens it up to a different segment in the automotive industry. The company announced Monday at CES 2019 that it has launched Nvidia Drive AutoPilot, a reference platform that automakers can use to bring more sophisticated automa...
Tags: Startups, Transportation, Technology, Tesla, Artificial Intelligence, Automotive, Automation, Transport, Nvidia, Drive, Autonomous Machines, Driver, Continental, Self-driving Car, Emerging-technologies, Autopilot


Judge Penalizes Lawyers For Not Using Artificial Intelligence

It may not be the most significant opinion, but it may be a sign of things to come.
Tags: Technology, Law, Artificial Intelligence



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