By Tim Higgins Tim Higgins The Wall Street Journal BiographyTim Higgins @timkhiggins [email protected] June 5, 2018 5:30 a.m. ET 0 COMMENTS Some Phoenix-area residents have been hailing rides in Waymo minivans with no drivers and no human safety operators inside. But that doesn’t mean they’re on their own if trouble arises. From a command center, employees at Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGL 1.59% driverless-car unit monitor the test vehicles on computer screens, able to wirelessly peer in through the minivan’s cameras. If the robot brain maneuvering the vehicle gets confused by a situation—say, a car unexpectedly stalled in front of it or closed lanes of traffic—it will stop the vehicle and ask the command center to verify what it is seeing. If the human confirms the situation, the robot will calculate how it should navigate around the hazard. Computers may be poised to take control of driving in the future, but humans will be backing them … [Read more...] about Who Does a Driverless Car Call When It Needs Help? A Human
Democracy Dies in Darkness Sections Home Try 1 month for $1 Username Sign In Account Profile Newsletters & Alerts Gift Subscriptions Contact Us Help Desk Subscribe Account Profile Newsletters & Alerts Gift Subscriptions Contact Us Help Desk Accessibility for screenreader The Switch by Drew Harwell by Drew Harwell Email the author May 8 at 6:29 PM Email the author Sundar Pichai, Google's chief executive, speaks Tuesday during the Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, Calif. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News) Google's artificial-intelligence assistant sounds almost exactly like a human when it calls the salon to book a woman's hair appointment. It responds to questions, negotiates timing and thanks the receptionist for her help. It even says “um” and “mm-hmm.” What it doesn't say, however, is that it's a machine — and the receptionist doesn't show any … [Read more...] about A Google program can pass as a human on the phone. Should it be required to tell people it’s a machine?
Helena Area Habitat for Humanity raised the walls on the first of six houses the organization is building in the Mountain View Meadows subdivision in 2018.The organization was joined by Mayor Wilmot Collins at the construction site on Wednesday to kick off a building season that will allow the Helena Area Habitat for Humanity to build six times the homes it typically builds in a year.“The city is very appreciative of your endeavors,” Collins said.Habitat for Humanity operates around the world and builds, renovates and repairs affordable homes. The Helena organization has built over 30 homes since 1992.Jacob Kuntz, executive director of Helena Area Habitat for Humanity, said there’s a desperate need for housing in Helena and a grant through the USDA program Mutual Self-Help will provide Habitat with funding to pay for staff, tools and resources to complete five homes.The sixth home, which was started on Wednesday, is being built by about 30 people in the YouthBuild … [Read more...] about Habitat for Humanity starts work on first of six Helena homes
Tech & Science robotics Despite how human-like they may act and appear, giving rights to robots may not be the best move. That was the consensus of 150 experts who weighed in on the discussion on Thursday, in light of the European Parliament's recent question of whether or not robots need special rights. A team of 150 experts in robotics, artificial intelligence, law, medical science and ethics wrote an open letter to the European Union advising that robots not be given special legal status as "electric persons," CNN reported. The letter says that giving robots human rights would be unhelpful. “From an ethical and legal perspective, creating a legal personality for a robot is inappropriate whatever the legal status model,” the letter states. The experts go on to claim that public perception of a robot is distorted by “Science-Fiction and a few recent sensational press announcements.” One of the reasons listed for denying robots … [Read more...] about Humans Vs Robots: Don’t Give Advanced Machines Rights, AI Experts Warn
Last Updated Aug 5, 2010 9:26 PM EDT While Facebook, Mint (INTU), Amazon (AMZN), and eBay (EBAY) figure out ways to leverage backend information about what people buy, a whole other class of startups like Swipely and Milo are offering services that put the same kind of raw data front and center for users themselves to play with. So why is Ask.com (IACI) trying to put a human being between me and my precious information? The venerable search engine reinvented itself last week: no longer a purely algorithmic search, it has morphed into a human-powered question-and-answer service, joining a handful of like-minded competitors like ChaCha, Squidoo and Mahalo. The reinvention comes at a time when the smartphone has (at least, in theory) rendered a lot of searching unneccessary. If you have apps shortcut straight to your mobile banking, your Google (GOOG) maps, and your hyperlocal information (like, say, Yelp reviews), then what's the use of asking a question? According to Doug Leeds, Ask's … [Read more...] about Ask.com Asks: Is It Finally Time for Human-Answered Search?