Intel’s new AI helps you get just the right amount of hate speech in your game chat

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The Intel microprocessor company was founded in 1968. It’s bushwhacked a trail of technology and innovation in the decades since to become one of the leading manufacturers of computer chips worldwide. But never mind all that. Because we live in a world where Kodak is a failed cryptocurrency company that’s now dealing drugs and everyone still thinks Elon Musk invented the tunnel. Which means that here in this, the darkest timeline, we’re stuck with the version of Intel that uses AI to power “White nationalism” sliders and “N-word” toggles for video game chat. Behold ‘Bleep,’ in all its stupid glory: What…

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What would an autonomous Apple Car mean for Tesla?

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I’m not sure what podcasts Elon Musk listens to. But I hope he caught Kara Swisher’s “Sway” today, because it definitely concerns him. Apple CEO Tim Cook joined Swisher and the two discussed, among other things, the mysterious Apple Car. Details are scarce and I’ll be right up front: Cook didn’t give away anything big or make any firm statements. But he did dance around the topic enough to leave a few impressions behind. For starters, speaking about the Apple Car, Cook told Swisher: The autonomy itself is a core technology, in my view. If you sort of step back,…

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Scientists will test the world’s first nuclear fusion reactor this summer

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The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) will, if things go according to plan, move one step closer to becoming the world’s first functioning nuclear fusion reactor this summer when scientists conduct its inaugural test runs. Nuclear fusion has, traditionally, been used as the core scientific principle behind thermonuclear warheads. But the same technology that powers our weapons of mass destruction could, theoretically, be harnessed to power our cities. This would be the first fusion reactor capable of producing more energy than it takes to operate. If we can build and operate fusion reactors safely, we could almost certainly solve the…

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Researchers propose ‘ethically correct AI’ for smart guns that locks out mass shooters

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A trio of computer scientists from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York recently published research detailing a potential AI intervention for murder: an ethical lockout. The big idea here is to stop mass shootings and other ethically incorrect uses for firearms through the development of an AI that can recognize intent, judge whether it’s ethical use, and ultimately render a firearm inert if a user tries to ready it for improper fire. That sounds like a lofty goal, in fact the researchers themselves refer to it as a “blue sky” idea, but the technology to make it possible is…

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NASA: We should look for polluted planets if we want to find smart ETs

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And you shall know them by the pollution in their skies: A team of NASA-funded researchers may have developed a new method for sussing out intelligent extraterrestrial life. TL;DR: It’s nitrogen-dioxide. Up front: Finding evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life in an infinite universe is, perhaps, the most monumental undertaking a scientist can endeavor to. In order to narrow the field down from trillions of stars, we need search filters. The NASA-funded team decided to look for signs of technology using our own planet’s unique atmospheric condition as inspiration. According to the researchers: The history of life on Earth provides a…

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Devs need open source skills, new survey from IBM and O’Reilly indicates

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A recent survey commissioned by IBM and conducted by O’Reilly highlights the need for open source skills in the competitive field of hybrid cloud development. Up front: Enterprise-scale IT solutions for hybrid cloud implementation more often than not rely on an open-source backbone these days. Unfortunately, an overwhelming majority of hiring managers report difficulties in finding talent with complementary open-source skills. This is good news for those seeking to enter or re-enter the jobs market with an eye towards the future, so long as they’re willing to learn open source solutions. Hybrid cloud-based technology underpins just about every major business…

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IBM rolls out an all-new Elite Hybrid Cloud Build team for AI partners

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IBM today announced the formation of its Elite Hybrid Cloud Build Team. According to Big Blue, this group of AI and cloud computing experts was assembled to help bring its partners into the cutting edge of hybrid solution systems. What? While Elite Hybrid Cloud Build Team might sound like a crack squad of futuristic Airborne Seabees, the reality is almost just as cool. Per IBM: The elite engagement team consists of over 100 cloud architects, data scientists, cloud developers, security specialists, and developer advocates who work on the agile co-creation of advanced technology solutions for partners and their clients. With…

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How playing the hardest games I could find helped me take back my mental health

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Disclaimer: nothing in this article should be constituted as mental health advice. This is anecdotal evidence from a technology journalist. I’ve been a gamer since the early 1980s. I cut my teeth on Tempest and Donkey Kong in the local arcade. Gaming is my solace. When big things happen in my life or in the world, and I need to wrap my head around them, my go-to coping mechanism is to play a game until I can think clearly and focus. This is how I’ve always blown off mental steam (for lack of a better way to put it). But…

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The youngest AI programmer in the world is a 7-year-old Guinness record holder

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Kautilya Katariya, a computer whiz from the UK, became the youngest qualified computer programmer in the world last year at just six-years-old after taking a series of computer lessons including AI courses from IBM. When I was six, I thought action figures with Kung-Fu grip were the epitome of technology. Katariya currently has at least six different certifications across AI and data science and what’s sure to be a sky’s-the-limit career in the STEM world. Per an IBM blog post: Leading up to his world record, Kautilya began reading IBM’s course materials to help him understand computer programming and Python…

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What real AI developers and Black Mirror both get wrong about digital resurrection

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One day we’re all going to die. Science and technology can put it off for awhile, but the march of time stops for no human. Sadly, most of us will be forgotten. It’s a bleak prognosis but that’s how things have always been. And that’s unlikely to change, despite the best efforts of the AI community. There’s a new tech trend (that’s actually a dumb old trope) sweeping through big tech, little tech, and South Korean TV stations: digital resurrection. The premise is simple. A person living in the modern world leaves tiny traces of who they are in everything…

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