After Musk Remark, Zuckerberg Shares One Reason Why He’s So Optimistic About AI

Hours after billionaire Elon Musk made a public aspersion about Mark Zuckerberg’s knowledge, by saying Facebook chief executive’s understanding of artificial intelligence is “limited,” Zuckerberg has reaffirmed why he is so optimistic about the nascent technology. To recall, Musk was responding to Zuckberberg’s comments made during a Facebook Live broadcast, where the Facebook CEO called out naysayers.

In a public post, Zuckerberg congratulated his company’s AI research division for winning the best paper award at the “top” computer vision conference for research in “densely connected convolutional networks” subject.

In the same post, Zuckerberg shared “one reason” why he is so optimistic about AI. These efforts, he said, could bring “improvements in basic research across so many different fields — from diagnosing diseases to keep us healthy, to improving self-driving cars to keep us safe, and from showing you better content in News Feed to delivering you more relevant search results.”

After Musk Remark, Zuckerberg Shares One Reason Why He's So Optimistic About AI“Every time we improve our AI methods, all of these systems get better. I’m excited about all the progress here and it’s potential to make the world better,” Zuckerberg said, whose company already uses a range of AI-powered tools to, among other things, serve relevant posts to around two billion people on the planet.

Zuckerberg’s remarks comes merely hours after Tesla and Space X founder and CEO Elon Muskcriticised Zuckerberg’s inability to foresee the evil side of artificial intelligence. Musk believes that all these AI efforts need to be regulated by the government, as otherwise there is a chance one day these AI-powered robots would kill humans, in what he describes as the “doomsday” scenario.

Over the weekend, in a Facebook Live session, Zuckerberg without calling out Musk, said “naysayer’s” predictions about “doomsday scenarios” were “irresponsible.” When a user asked about Musk’s views on Zuckeberg’s remarks, Musk tweeted Tuesday that he has spoken to Mark Zuckerberg and reached the conclusion that his understanding of AI is limited.

InstantCAD Tool Promises to Make 3D Design Easier and Faster

To make computer-aided design (CAD) programmes process easier and faster, researchers have developed a new tool called “InstantCAD” that lets designers interactively edit, improve and optimise CAD models using a more streamlined workflow.

Developed by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Columbia University, “InstantCAD” integrates with existing CAD programmes as a plug-in.

“From more ergonomic desks to higher-performance cars, this is really about creating better products in less time,” says Adriana Schulz, lead author of the study.

“We think this could be a real game changer for automakers and other companies that want to be able to test and improve complex designs in a matter of seconds to minutes, instead of hours to days,” Schulz said in a paper that will be presented at SIGGRAPH computer-graphics conference in Los Angeles this month.

With “InstantCAD”, the process of improving and optimising the design can be done in real-time, saving engineers days or weeks, the research said.

InstantCAD Tool Promises to Make 3D Design Easier and FasterAfter an object is designed in a commercial CAD programme, it is sent to a cloud platform where multiple geometric evaluations and simulations are run at the same time.

Users can instantly improve and optimise the design in two ways with this precomputed data.

With “interactive exploration”, a user interface provides real-time feedback on how design changes will affect performance, like how the shape of a plane wing impacts air pressure distribution.

With “automatic optimisation”, users can simply tell the system to give a design with specific characteristics, like a drone that’s as light in weight as possible while still able to carry the maximum amount of weight.

“‘InstantCAD’ could be particularly helpful for more intricate designs for objects like cars, planes, and robots, particularly for industries like car manufacturing that care a lot about squeezing every little bit of performance out of a product,” said Wojciech Matusik, Associate Professor at MIT.

IBM Develops Tape Cartridge That Stores 330TB of Uncompressed Data in the Palm of Your Hand

In an interesting development, scientists at IBM have managed to develop a prototype magnetic tape drive that fits in the palm of your hand and can store a whopping 330TB of uncompressed data. IBM Research worked alongside Sony Storage Solutions for years to achieve increased areal recording densities and develop this magnetic tape.

If you are wondering about the recording density, the prototype comes with an unprecedented 201Gb per inch density. “Tape has traditionally been used for video archives, back-up files, replicas for disaster recovery and retention of information on premise, but the industry is also expanding to off-premise applications in the cloud,” said IBM Research fellow Evangelos Eleftheriou in a statement.

“While sputtered tape is expected to cost a little more to manufacture than current commercial tape, the potential for very high capacity will make the cost per terabyte very attractive, making this technology practical for cold storage in the cloud,” he said.

IBM Develops Tape Cartridge That Stores 330TB of Uncompressed Data in the Palm of Your HandIn its release about the magnetic tape cartridge, Sony said that this achievement was made possible by bringing together it’s “new magnetic tape technology employing lubricant with IBM Research – Zurich’s newly developed write/read heads, advanced servo control technologies and innovative signal-processing algorithm.” It further pointed out that closing the gap between the magnetic tape and magnetic head is critical to achieving high-density recording capabilities for tape storage media.

Interestingly, IBM has also said that this achievement is also reflective of the viability of scaling up storage on tapes continuously for another decade.

Our storage needs have been growing for years with advancement in technology sector and if you didn’t realise this till now, just imaging how iPhones with 8GB base storage would feel in this day and age. This sort of achievement gives hope that our data requirements will be met with advancement in technology and we won’t be ill-equipped to tackle the situation going forward.

Man Disguised as Car Seat Teaches Driverless Cars How to Communicate

The man in the seat-cushion costume got all the attention. What appeared to be a driverless vehicle actually had a researcher sitting in the front seat, disguised to make it look like he wasn’t behind the wheel.

But the strip of white lights on the top of the windshield offered a clue to the semi-clandestine study Virginia Tech is running on the streets of suburban Arlington County, Virginia.

The news site ARLnow, with an assist from NBC Washington’s Adam Tuss, videotaped the van tooling around Arlington and unmasked the presence of the rolling experiment. Tuss knocked on the van’s window when he saw it Monday, but the costumed man declined to answer questions.

“We’re trying not to dirty the data and make sure people aren’t keeping their eyes peeled,” said Mindy Buchanan-King, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

The video shows a white strip of windshield lights on the van flickering more or less around crosswalks. Researchers are working to ensure the robocars can emit some kind of replacement for the subtle cues that drivers and pedestrians rely on to stay safe.

Developers have taught driverless cars to stay in their lanes, steer around obstacles and follow traffic laws. More and more passengers are being ferried around in test vehicles and getting comfortable giving up the wheel. Now the focus is on “external communication.”

“It’s basically the next big topic we need to tackle,” said Myra Blanco, a senior autonomous vehicle researcher at Virginia Tech. From eye contact to little waves, communication between humans is a vital part of what happens on the roads, she said.

When a pedestrian is ready to cross the street, “there’s usually that looking at the driver: Is he going to let me go? Should I wait? Is he paying attention or not?” Blanco said.

Same thing with cars at an intersection. “If you have a stop sign, are you going or am I going? OK, you go ahead first. You kind of do a wave.”

Blanco declined to answer questions about the research with the silver van because she doesn’t want to foul up work being conducted by colleagues. Buchanan-King would not say whether the costumed researcher in the front seat was there as backup, as is customary in driverless testing, or was driving himself.

Virginia Tech released a statement saying that “the driver’s seating area is configured to make the driver less visible within the vehicle, while still allowing him or her the ability to safely monitor and respond to surroundings.”

Man Disguised as Car Seat Teaches Driverless Cars How to CommunicateThe study “is investigating the potential need for additional exterior signals on automated vehicles. This research is relevant for ensuring pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers are accommodated,” said the statement, which eventually will be made public.

But researchers from Virginia Tech, Ford Motor Company, the University of Leeds and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology outlined more details about the questions being considered in such research at symposium this summer. Among them: How should cars communicate with others on the road while they’re moving, stopped or transitioning? And would it make sense to standardize such communication?

In addition to eye contact and gestures, people on the road communicate with “turn signals, horns, and even the control of their movement to show intent (e.g. easing vehicle forward),” according to a summary of the researchers’ discussion at the Automated Vehicles Symposium held in San Francisco last month.

It’s unclear whether driverless cars “will be able to perceive and communicate intent in the same ways that a human can,” according to the summary, so designing them “to signal their intent in ways other roadway users can reliably understand” is critical.

Buchanan-King said the Arlington van was taken off the road temporarily to check in with the driver, given all the attention. “He was fine,” she said. “As far as I know the study will continue as planned.”

Microsoft Using AI to Train Autonomous Gliders How to Make Decisions in the Air

As its rivals get busy in developing self-driving cars, Microsoft is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to empower autonomous gliders take decisions while they are aloft and has conducted a successful flight test in the US state of Nevada.

According to a report in The New York Times late on Wednesday, Ashish Kapoor, an Indian-origin Principal Researcher at Microsoft, is leading a project in which his team tested two gliders designed to navigate the skies on their own.

“Guided by computer algorithms that learned from onboard sensors, predicted air patterns and planned a route forward, these gliders could seek out thermals – columns of rising hot air – and use them to stay aloft,” the report added.

Microsoft plans to build an autonomous aircraft that can eventually ride the air for hours or even days at a time while consuming very little power and help scientists track weather patterns, monitor farm crops or even deliver the internet to places where it is otherwise unavailable.

According to Mykel Kochenderfer, Stanford University professor of aeronautics and astronautics, Microsoft’s project is a step towards self-driving vehicles “that are nimble enough to handle all the unexpected behavior that human drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians bring to public roads”.

“With a glider, you can test these algorithms with minimal risk to people and property,” Kochenderfer was quoted as saying.

In the Nevada desert, the team led by Kapoor launched two gliders with help from a hand-held remote control.

Microsoft Using AI to Train Autonomous Gliders How to Make Decisions in the AirOnce airborne, the gliders were left to their own devices. They were forced to fly with help from the wind and other air patterns.

With the help of algorithms, the gliders analysed the activities surrounding them and then changed directions as need be. They learned from their environment and made educated guesses.

Microsoft wanted to set record with the flight but after two days of trial, due to problems with radios and other equipment, it did not happen.

Using similar methods, Google has built high-altitude Internet balloons that can stay aloft for months on end.

Several companies, including Tesla, Google, Uber and Apple are designing cars that can not only drive on their own but also keep people in the surrounding safe.

Amazon Echo Dot, Prime Music Are Coming Soon to India

As Amazon extends its reach in India, in part betting on millions of smartphones it sells through its platform every year, the e-commerce giant is prepping to broaden its hardware strategy in the country.

Amazon India plans to launch Echo Dot and Prime Music in the country later this year, people familiar with the matter have told Gadgets 360 in recent weeks. The launch, where the company would unveil both the Echo Dot and Prime Music, could happen as soon as Diwali (mid-October), one of these people said.

The company has been testing the Echo Dot at its office in Bangalore for at least one month, another person familiar with the matter said. The Amazon Echo, the larger, more expensive smart speaker, won’t be available in the country at the time of the launch, one of the people cited above said. Amazon India declined to comment last month.

The Echo Dot, available at present in the United States and several other markets, supports a range of music integrations and other skills. But most of the music services it supports — including Spotify and Pandoro — in Western markets are not available in India. Despite media reports to the contrary, Gadgets 360 understands Spotify has no plans to launch its service in India this year.

In India, the Echo Dot will support Prime Music and Gaana, people said. The Amazon Fire TV Stick, which the company launched in India in April, already supports Gaana on its platform. A person with direct knowledge of the matter said that several of the partners of Amazon for the Fire TV Stick will be onboard with the Echo Dot speaker launch as well. Apple Music and Google Play Music, both of which are available in India, are not available via Amazon’s Echo devices internationally, and that will be the case in India as well.

The company plans to sell the Echo Dot at a price that is affordable to much of the Internet-savvy population of the country. News outlet FactorDaily reported on Wednesday about Amazon’s plan to launch Echo Dot and the Echo in India during Diwali. The report claimed that the Echo Dot would be priced between Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 6,000. A source familiar with the matter told Gadgets 360 that the price of Echo Dot, available at $50 in the United States, will be under the Rs. 3,000 mark in India.

According to an estimation from investment banking advisory firm Evercore, the Echo Dot is sold at a price between 10 and 20 percent less than the cost of the hardware. But for Amazon, which failed to attract enough customers to its Fire phone smartphone in 2014, hardware remains a major desire, company executives have said at several quarterly earnings call.

Prime Music, which the company is planning to launch alongside the Echo Dot in India this year, is likely to be part of the Prime subscription service, which Amazon launched in India last year and has been offering at a discounted price of Rs. 499, which may be increased soon.

The Echo Dot will enable Amazon to find more diverse audience dataset for Alexa, the company’s digital AI assistant, which rivals Apple’s Siri, Google’s Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana. The company has been pouring extravagant resources in Alexa. It lost about $330 million on Alexa-powered devices and other associated expenditure last year, a figure that could run north of $600 million this year, according to Evercore.

Amazon Echo Dot, Prime Music Are Coming Soon to IndiaOne analyst was not surprised by the company’s move. “Prime and Echo have been used as subsidised ways to suck people into the ecosystem elsewhere too, and although the economics of that subsidy may be a little more dramatic in India, it’s the same fundamental strategy,” Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research told Gadgets 360.

“The big challenge with Echo will be language support, since it’s basically only worked in English so far, and they’ll need to localize for Indian pronunciations and idioms (not to mention other local languages eventually too).”

Amazon began hiring people in India for Alexa and Echo device late last year, according to job postings on the website. Furthermore, it has been offering developers several incentives such as free t-shirts and other goodies to write Alexa-enabled skills. India is the only market where Amazon hasn’t launched the Echo Dot but it is still running the contest.

In the meanwhile, Google Home, the smart speaker from the Android-maker has been unofficially available in India for a while via Amazon India and other sources. A Google spokesperson told Gadgets 360 last month that the device wasn’t officially available in the country. The Echo Dot is available too, in that sense, from eBay India, where it can be purchased for about Rs. 3,000.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 Leak: Star India Partner Says Leak Was ‘Not a Hack’

An India-based media technology company said Wednesday that it regrets the recent leak of an episode of the popular HBO series Game of Thrones by four of its current and former employees.

Indian police have detained the four suspects, but said their motive for leaking the episode titled The Spoils of War was unclear. The fourth episode in the television series’ seventh season leaked three days before its planned August 6 air date and quickly circulated online.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4 Leak: Star India Partner Says Leak Was 'Not a Hack'Though not related to the hack of HBO computer systems just days earlier, the episode leak compounded problems for the network in trying to keep information from the fantasy show under wraps.

Prime Focus Technologies, a subsidiary of the global entertainment services company Prime Focus, said in a statement Wednesday that the leak “was not a system hack, but an illegal breach of obligations by the concerned persons despite PFT’s continual internal emphasis on protocols of content security and ethical practices.”

Police are investigating possible charges against the four suspects, including criminal breach of trust and violation of India’s information technology act.

Neo-Nazi Website Daily Stormer Moves to Dark Web After GoDaddy, Google Ousting

Neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer, which helped organise a gathering in Virginia on Saturday that turned violent, moved to the so-called Dark Web on Tuesday because its registration to use the open Internet was revoked.

GoDaddy and Alphabet Inc’s Google cancelled Daily Stormer’s Internet registration on Monday, saying the group had violated terms of service, which prohibit clients from using their sites to incite violence.

Andrew Anglin, the founder of Daily Stormer, did not respond to requests for comment.

Supporters of Daily Stormer took to Twitter on Tuesday to tell people they could gain access to the website on the Dark Web, a portion of the Internet that is not indexed by popular search engines. It can only be seen with a special browser, which hides the identity and location of the users.

Neo-Nazi Website Daily Stormer Moves to Dark Web After GoDaddy, Google OustingA 32-year-old woman was killed and 19 other people injured when a man rammed his car into a group of people objecting to a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The man has been charged with murder.

The violence presented President Donald Trump with one of his biggest domestic political challenges so far in how he has responded to right-wing groups that are a segment of his political base.

Internet companies have increasingly found themselves in the crosshairs over hate speech and other volatile social issues, with politicians and others calling on them to do more to police their networks while civil libertarians worry about the firms suppressing free speech.

Twitter, Facebook, Google’s YouTube, and other platforms have ramped up efforts to combat the social media efforts of Islamic militant groups, largely in response to pressure from European governments. Now they are facing similar pressures in the United States over white supremacist and neo-Nazi content.

Apple’s iCloud Facility in China to Be Overseen by Guizhou Province

China’s Guizhou province, where Apple has set up its first data centre in the country, plans to create a working committee chaired by communist party members to oversee the US company’s iCloud facility.

China has started to police the Internet more closely and introduced a new cyber-security law on June 1 that imposes tougher controls over data than in Europe and the United States, including mandating that companies store all data within China and pass security reviews.

The Guizhou government said on its website (www.gzgov.gov.cn) that the Apple iCloud working committee would be made up of around 10 members, such as Guizhou’s Executive Vice Governor Qin Rupei, Deputy Secretary-general Ma Ningyu and other officials.

Apple's iCloud Facility in China to Be Overseen by Guizhou Province“The provincial government has decided to form a development and coordination working committee to quicken the setting up of Apple’s iCloud project,” it said in a Chinese language statement.

An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In July, Apple said it had set up its first data centre in China, in the southern province of Guizhou, in partnership with a local Internet services company, to comply with tougher cyber-security laws. The data centre forms part of Apple’s planned $1 billion investment in the province.

China is a key market for Apple, though the US tech group has come under pressure from Chinese regulators in recent months to comply with strict local data laws and assist in curtailing access to overseas content.

In late July, Apple said it was removing virtual private network (VPN) services from its app store in China, a move that drew criticism from VPN service providers, who accuse the US company of bowing to pressure from Chinese cyber regulators.

DreamHost Fights US Government Over Trump Protestor Data

A Web hosting firm is fighting a demand by US prosecutors for data on visitors to a site organising a protest during the inauguration of President Donald Trump in a fresh clash over digital privacy rights.

The firm DreamHost said it was challenging a warrant seeking to identify the visitors of the protest site DisruptJ20, which organised a demonstration against Trump at the time of his swearing-in on January 20.

DreamHost said in a statement Monday that US Justice Department was asking for more than 1.3 million visitor IP addresses, along with email addresses and other data “in an effort to determine who simply visited the website.”

DreamHost said the government’s request violated the principle of free speech and other rights.

“That information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment,” the statement said.

“That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyones mind.”

The clash is the latest between US tech firms and law enforcement over user data, and comes one year after a showdown between Apple and the US government over efforts to access the iPhone of the assailant in the San Bernardino attacks.

DreamHost Fights US Government Over Trump Protestor DataCivil liberties and digital rights groups rose to defend DreamHost’s stand.

Mark Rumold of the Electronic Frontier Foundation warned in a blog post of the “staggering overbreadth of the search warrant,” and called the move an unconstitutional effort to prosecute Trump’s political opponents.

“No plausible explanation exists for a search warrant of this breadth, other than to cast a digital dragnet as broadly as possible,” Rumold said.

“But the (constitution) was designed to prohibit fishing expeditions like this.”

DreamHost’s legal brief said the company previously turned over data in response to a subpoena on the organizer of the website, but that the additional information sought would “endanger the First Amendment interests of the innocent third parties who viewed or communicated with the website.”