Amazon.com Inc. is willing to team up with competitors Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google if it would help improve customers’ experience with its Alexa voice-activated virtual assistant, an executive working on the platform said. The online retailer, which is already working with Microsoft Corp. on productivity features for Alexa such as calendar interactions, will put the user first in pursuit of any other partnerships, said Toni Reid, Amazon’s vice president of Alexa and Echo devices, who has been on the team since 2014. Just a few weeks ago, Apple was hiring brand new software engineers in Cambridge to help improve its Siri service. Sensing
Richard Branson has backed the introduction of a universal basic income and said it is crucial to tackling the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). The billionaire said it could help protect people whose jobs will be lost as a result of new technology. Another reason the world should look to the Nordics, according to Branson, is its experiments with universal basic income — which can help counter the effects of AI. “In Finland you are experimenting with it in at least one city at the moment,” says Branson, who recently announced his support for the idea. “Basic income is going to be all the more important. If a lot more wealth is created
Silicon Valley graphics chipmaker Nvidia, announced a new, more powerful computing platform for use in autonomous vehicles. The company claims its new system, code named Pegasus, can be used to power Level 5, fully driverless cars without steering wheels, pedals, or mirrors. Deutsche Post DHL Group, the world’s largest mail and logistics company, and ZF [ZFF.UL], a top automotive parts supplier, plan to deploy a fleet of autonomous delivery trucks based on the new chips, starting in 2019, NVIDIA said for Reuters. The third generation of NVIDIA’s Drive PX automotive line is a multi-chip platform the size of car license plates with datacenter-class processing power.
Robot classroom assistants and virtual reality learning could see “celebrity teachers” make millions, experts claim. Technology is set to play a vital role in helping the 263 million children globally who are not in school, delegates at the annual Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) heard. Mark Steed, the director of Dubai private school Jess, said the format was already being used by some teachers to offer global internet-based seminars, earning millions of pounds in the process. He pointed to a Korean teacher who offers online lessons on “cramming” learning and made $8m (£6m) in one year. Teachers in the Middle East , Egypt and UAE
Ford has started equipping its designers with Microsoft’s HoloLens, the augmented reality technology Microsoft is rolling out for commercial and industrial applications. While the companies are purchasing $5,000 HoloLens Commercial Suite headsets, the components themselves are subject to change for specific customers. We’ve heard stories of customers that bought HoloLens Commercial Suite and received (now cancelled) 2nd generation. Then again, all of this is a warm-up for the 3rd generation HoloLens, planned for a commercial market launch as early as next year. This is not new in the world of car industry since HoloLens headset has been slowly pivoting towards commercial markets over the past year. NASA, Volvo, Lowe’s, Audi, and
Amazon, hoping to replicate the success of its Echo device, is poised to extend its eyes and ears into every part of your life with the launch of new voice-controlled and camera-equipped Alexa devices designed for bedrooms, living rooms and even your car. Amazon prides itself on its almost pathological focus on what its customers want, rather than what its competitors are doing. But its new Alexa products are clearly a response, at least in part, to new smart speaker offerings from Google and Apple. Amazon is betting that it can defend its franchise by using an old trick – aggressive pricing – and by finding ways