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In pursuit of the perfect AI voice

April 21st, 2018 at 11:19 am » Comments Off

How developers are humanizing their virtual personal assistants. The virtual personal assistant is romanticized in utopian portrayals of the future from The Jetsons to Star Trek. It’s the cultured, disembodied voice at humanity’s beck and call, eager and willing to do any number of menial tasks.



Robo-bees and drone-seeded forests: can technology mend our broken relationship with the natural world?

March 22nd, 2018 at 9:40 am » Comments Off

A drone offers a unique bird’s eye view as part of a forest fire surveillance system in the Landes region, France. I’ve tried many ways to free my brain from my iPhone. I’ve invented rules, bought books, deleted apps, installed other apps. But the only thing that reliably works is to leave the phone at […]



Cross a John Deere with a Roomba, and you get this crop-monitoring robot

March 21st, 2018 at 10:16 am » Comments Off

Farms are a hotbed for automation. Robots, drones, and artificial intelligence have been assisting in agriculture for years and 2017 showed they could farm an acre and a half of barley, from planting to tending and harvesting, without a human stepping foot on the field. Now there is a small but robust robot that could […]



The Latest XPrize Is For Building Remote-Controlled Humanoid Robots

March 14th, 2018 at 10:53 am » Comments Off

From caring for distant parents to entering burning buildings, there are lots of ways that people might use robot avatars to be in places they can’t go themselves. The XPrize Foundation is offering $8 million if someone can build one by 2021.



Disney has begun populating its parks with autonomous, personality-driven robots

February 18th, 2018 at 8:46 am » Comments Off

The process of making a Disney park feel alive is most easily encapsulated in animatronic figures. These hydraulic, pneumatic and now electric figures have been a fixture at Disneyland since the 60s. Since then, massive advancements have been made in control systems, movement architecture and programming. The most advanced animatronic figures like the Na’Vi Shaman […]



‘Don’t think a robot could do this’: Warehouse workers aren’t worried for their jobs

January 28th, 2018 at 4:35 pm » Comments Off

The wheels of a tall, metal cart squeak as Chris Beatty, 26, pulls it through a maze of aisles inside a cosmetics warehouse in Burlington, N.J.



Robots won’t take as many human jobs as you may think

January 24th, 2018 at 8:45 am » Comments Off

Automation will upend life as we know it. But that doesn’t mean all of our jobs will be completely eliminated. If anything, technology has not liberated people from the drudgery of work. It has created new constraints.



Old dog, new tricks : Sony unleashes ‘intelligent’ robot pet

January 11th, 2018 at 9:46 am » Comments Off

As Japan celebrates the year of the dog, electronics giant Sony on Thursday unleashed its new robot canine companion, packed with artificial intelligence and internet connectivity.



Finally, here’s the ‘Jetsons’ looking robot you’ve always wanted

January 9th, 2018 at 11:01 am » Comments Off

Sometimes you just want a robot to bring you an ice cold beverage. Or vacuum your house. Or put away all that random shit you left on the floor following an all-night bender precipitated by the realization that you just dropped several thousand dollars on a robot.



Japan is embracing nursing-care robots

December 9th, 2017 at 11:30 am » Comments Off

Around 5,000 nursing-care homes across the country are testing robots.



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