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Postmates cute robot will help to automate its deliveries

On-demand delivery company Postmates has unveiled an autonomous delivery robot called Serve that it’s planning to put to work in 2019.

The adorable wheel-based bot can carry items weighing up to 50 pounds and operates with a battery that gives it a range of 30 miles, which should be enough for around 12 deliveries a day, Postmates said.

The initial aim is to be able to make deliveries much more quickly by avoiding traffic by traveling on the sidewalk. Ultimately, it hopes to cut out the emissions of the cars and motorcycles that many of Postmates’ 350,000 couriers currently use.

Serve uses Velodyne LIDAR sensors and a Nvidia Xavier processor to navigate and avoid obstacles as it makes deliveries directly to people’s homes. It’s also able to make visual cues to help it weave between pedestrians on the sidewalk and vehicles as it crosses roads. A light ring on its top acts as a set of turn signals, while a pair of eyes on its front aims to give more subtle hints to passersby about which direction the robot might be heading in next. If things go wrong, a small touchscreen on the top of the bot can be used to make a video call for assistance, although the robots will also be supervised remotely.

WORKING ALONGSIDE HUMANS, NOT INSTEAD OF

Postmates is keen to point out that Serve won’t be putting any of its current delivery personnel out of a job. Instead, it should allow the company to make more deliveries, with the robot taking on a range of tasks that could include not only direct delivery to the customer, but also, say, item collection in busy areas where personnel might otherwise waste time looking for parking. “Serve could instantly pick up orders and transport them a few blocks to a Postmate away from occupied parking spaces and traffic,” the company suggested.

Obstacles to such autonomous delivery robots include trouble from thieves and vandals (remember HitchBot?), as well as jokers who might find it fun to confuse the robot by throwing a blanket over it. Most importantly, though, regulators have to be confident of their safety before they allow them onto the city streets, though a growing number of states have been willing to greenlight trials.

In the delivery world, robots have come to represent both a holy grail and an inevitability. Replace some or all of the human labor and you get faster drop-offs, more pick-ups per hour, and cheaper goods for everyone. Big companies, like Uber, Amazon, and Alibaba, have each invested heavily in developing such technologies, from delivery drones to autonomous bots; venture capitalist have poured millions into delivery robot start-ups like Marble, Boxbot, and Dispatch, all of which want their piece of the robo-delivery future. By some estimations, sidewalk bots like Serve will make up 85 percent of last-mile deliveries by 2025. Whichever company gains a foothold now will have a huge advantage in the future on-demand economy.

As for Serve, Postmates plans to put it to work first in Los Angeles, with more cities welcoming the delivery bot over the next 12 months.

Sources:

https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/13/18139394/postmates-serve-autonomous-delivery-robot-los-angeles

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/say-hello-to-serve-postmates-cute-autonomous-delivery-robot/

https://www.wired.com/story/postmates-delivery-robot-serve/

 

Touching the sky with Rirchard Branson

 

A project Virgin Galactic which have been around for 14 years almost hits commercial market.  Sir Richard Branson spent over 1 bn dollars of his own and 300 mln dollars from investors to finally reach an important milestone. Virgin Galactic spaceship 2 reached altitude of over 80 km  which is consider a boarder of space in United States.

Entrepreneur claims he will use his vehicle to get to the space within 3-4 test flights. Over 600 people are already waiting for commercial use of Branson’s project which probably will start in 1 year.

The spaceship (first picture) will take 8 people to the boarder of space 2 pilots and 6 passengers. it will be uplifted thanks to Whiteknight two ( second picture) at the altitude of 15 km and then little spacecraft will start it trusters and get customers to the edge of space.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania virgin galactic

Despite the fact Virgin galactic haven’t started yet it already have competition thanks to another giant company which is Amazon. Jeff Bezos have the same ambition of taking people to the edge of space but to the international one which is Karman line (around 100 km). On the other hand Branson accepts that and claims that this area of bussines will have enough space for both of them but not anyone else.

This will change change definitly the turistic market forever and will bring it closer to interplanetar travels.

 

Reference:

https://www.ft.com/content/09ca18e8-ff69-11e8-aebf-99e208d3e521

https://www.ft.com/content/5fab59be-fe99-11e8-aebf-99e208d3e521

https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/13/18138279/virgin-galactic-vss-unity-spaceshiptwo-space-tourism

The first minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers in New York City

Devember 4, historical Tuesday, New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission decides to adopt a pay rise for ride-hail drivers working for companies such as Uber or Lyft. This makes New York the first city in U.S. which implemented a minimal wage for app-based drivers, using the algorithm to carry passengers. After passing the rule, they will receive $27.86 per hour, $17.22 after expenses, which is about $5 more per hour than the current average of $11.90. This change is about to be implemented starting next year and and will make the average earnings of drivers increase by $9,600 per year.

Voting on this law was caused by many protests of the application drivers. As they are not considered as regular employees, but independent contractors, the right to minimum hourly wage does not include them. What is more, the drivers have accused companies of incorrect treatment of employees, cutting their salaries and earnings disproportionate to the amount of work. Along with the uncontrollable development and demand for such services ( in May 2018 there were 18 million Uber rides registered in New York City, which makes it almost six times more than 3 years ago), drivers were loaded with heavy financial burdens and they were unable to live a decent life. Difficult competition and stressful working conditions undoubtedly transformed their lives into a very hard time. The situation was additionally intensified by the news about six suicides committed by professional drivers during the year in 2017-2018.

“Today we brought desperately needed relief to 80,000 working families,” Jim Conigliaro Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, said in a statement. “All workers deserve the protection of a fair, livable wage and we are proud to be setting the new bar for contractor workers’ rights in America.

The formula considers the non-driving time as well as the time spent traveling to the designated place. Additional remuneration for courses outside the city is also planned to compensate drivers for the extra kilometers. What is more, they will receive a “shared ride” bonus, which was set by TLC for picking up and dropping off carpool riders. What may be the possible results of such decision? The representatives of app-based companies, who arent sarisfied with the outcome of the case, claim that the increase of drivers’ salaries will lead to the overload of traffic on the Manhattan’s streets, unfair competition and unnecessary increase in tolls. The question however; is whether New York should become an example for other cities in terms of regulating ride-hail companies? Undoubtedly, New York’s events will very likely change the perception of application-based companies and can lead to slow implementation of legal obligations in other places.

References

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/07/03/nyregion/03uber1/merlin_140646561_e5c2b430-ad88-42f6-bb16-d50c97e77700-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale

https://www.washingtonpost.com/gdpr-consent/?destination=%2ftechnology%2f2018%2f12%2f04%2fnew-rules-guarantee-minimum-wage-nyc-uber-lyft-drivers%2f%3fnoredirect%3don%26utm_term%3d.b9b6b27e0e5d%26fbclid%3dIwAR2BN9lcZHA2vumQYOClfpmSDJy8xs6AgaKAoYdLyVCWQLRDi88mdie4yUo&fbclid=IwAR2BN9lcZHA2vumQYOClfpmSDJy8xs6AgaKAoYdLyVCWQLRDi88mdie4yUo&noredirect=on&utm_term=.8df9e5907c0f

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/04/tech/nyc-minimum-wage-uber-lyft/index.html?fbclid=IwAR1C8Bt_cU2xIiiiMQJ67nIRv8TVkJNo26rNXZGI04noxbzks3FAyflErbY

https://www.vox.com/2018/8/8/17664424/new-york-uber-taxis-driver-law?fbclid=IwAR0YTrWDWUVsLkBTYBpl2DA5Y_b2Qhi7vrywT4rfxk3oLHhCWw3aqM-eBB0

https://www.businessinsider.com/nyc-sets-minimum-wage-for-uber-and-lyft-drivers-2018-12?IR=T&fbclid=IwAR1Q0B77ei8Yi4zZVER1vChQklP8VS1-Jh-bRXYgM-Ztgv0I36D0bTjv0SQ

NYPD Drones

Technology is moving forward constantly and police departments don’t want to fall behind. That’s why New York Police Department recently announced that they bought 14 drones equipped with a cameras. The unmanned aerial vehicles will be controlled by officers after various trainings. New UAV’s are going to be used in large events such as parades or concerts. Of course they can also be used in more dangerous scenarios, like hostage situations, search and rescue missions or even crime scene analysis. Drones are very convenient, they can cover large sections of land in short amount of time, they can even be equipped with thermal cameras to spot humans  at night.

Of course usage of drones in large cities is strictly forbidden because of privacy issues. Authorities are above this law, it raises a lot of controversy and questions. What are the regulations? How can we distinguish police operations from our privacy violation? Who has the access to the materials recorded by drones? The Police Department said that drones will not be used to enforce traffic laws or surveil citizens but to be honest, there are no meaningful restrictions just yet.

Drones are a game changer, they are a chance to make a step ahead in means of enforcing law. But with great power comes great responsibility. UAV’s can be easily converted into futuristic surveillance objects. Are citizens ready to sacrifice their privacy in favour of street’s safety? Will someone even ask them? Let me know what do you think about this topic below.

Sources:

https://www.dronefly.com/police-drone-infographic

https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/4/18125725/nypd-drones-police-new-york-city-advocacy-groups

http://www.govtech.com/policy/Fire-Police-Drones-Caught-Between-Public-Safety-and-Privacy-Concerns.html

 

Lets build an experience instead of another chatbot!

"Research across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories shows the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level."

– Harvard Business Review

If you need to make an insurance claim, you use an online form for that. In the case of opening new accounts, you simply fill in the form, then benefit from the quick mail response. Maybe you would like to take out a loan? Oh, it should be a piece of cake to speak with a chatbot briefly and learn everything about everything. Do you recognize yourself in the lines above?

The answer is unequivocally yes. We are constantly connected to a network. The companies improved efficiency as well as cut their costs by shifting to the digital contact with customers. But on the other side of the coin – for many businesses the emotional bond has been violated by digital strategy and efficiency that directly affected the cost of the brand, revenue growth, and outflow. This backdrop sets the scene for incredible innovation, as it became pretty complicated for clients to differentiate the values of the brand of two different companies. It’s all about digital commoditization.

Результат пошуку зображень за запитом "faceme"

FaceMe is a world-leading provider of Digital Humans via its Intelligent Digital Human Platform, created on the AI basis, which expands the brand opportunities to build reliable interaction with clients in the real time, based on customized content and unforgettable personalities, which build an emotional connection using the power of the human face. IBM Cloud technologies are used together with high-capacity of IBM Cloud bare metal servers in order to provide endless scalability of this technology for hundreds of simultaneous conversations. It’s such an organization that – to put it in a nutshell – enables organizations to reduce the cost to serve at the same time as enabling opportunity for growth and improving customer experience. The company now operates in New Zealand, the US, Australia, and Europe, working for global brands such as Vodafone and UBS. It’s available for customers through browsers, mobile phones or kiosks.

Результат пошуку зображень за запитом "faceme"It is estimated by analytics that within the next decade nearly 85 % of communication with customers will be implemented only via digital channels. Mobile applications, web-portals, and chatbots will become even faster and more convenient, but the companies might have a difficult time building bridges with the clients in such a competitive environment.

I’m pretty sure that our future reality will draw a lot of eyeballs. At least for the reason that Digital Humans will process question in just 100 milliseconds, during which they will converting text from a chatbot into key human qualities through both the ability to respond with speech, facial expression or gestures and also apply dynamic reaction based on customers behavior and emotion. The client, in turn, perceives almost immediate response that means that conversation flows good, and feels as comfortable as talking with the real agent.

 Emma Lavelle talks to “Vai” who was set up at New Zealand’s Auckland Airport to answer biosecurity questions from travellers in a bid to reduce the workload of biosecurity officers.

Bringing emotional connection to the digital world is as crucial in the context of business as in solving pressing issues, related to health and well-being, education, environment, and many other spheres. Take the example of psychological health. You know, the first important step is just to make patients talk. As studies have shown, 63 % of people would prefer talking about problems of their psychological health with Digital Humans. Therefore, there is a great opportunity to make a valuable contribution to society. FaceMe also works with the Centre for Digital Business to create digital reading instructors, who can help children with reading problems, for whom there is a shortage of qualified teachers. One more potential use case is a provision of consultations and emotional support for patients, recovering after heart surgeries.

Technologies of IBM and FaceMe represent a powerful combination, which intends to change the customer’s experience all over the world. Remember, there is no restriction in our ambitions and ability to make a positive contribution in the society by introducing emotional connection in the digital world.

Links:

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Artificial intelligence faithfully recreates paintings with a 3D printer

What is it?

Museums and art exhibition are a magic places where you can immersed into ancient cities life, explore the vision of painters by looking on their pictures and learn something for your overall development. But usually people do not take into consideration have difficult is it to for museums to get pictures made by that well-known artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Michelangelo. Even the production of a good copy cost a lot.

 

Recently, scientists at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Massachusetts introduce their new invention. It is a system that make a good reproduction of wonderful artists work using just a photo of them. That make possible the production of any kind of painting for museums or for an individual users. So with a help of this technology everyone has the opportunity to enjoy any kind of paintings even at home. [1]

 

What is it for?

 

Have you ever consider have much the paintings may cost. For example Salvator Mundi that attributed to Leonardo da Vinciwas sold for $450.3 millions, which is quitea lot. So the tool may be used for saving money, also it is just an aesthetic pleasure for each particular individuals.

 

Who can use it?

 

It can be used by different institutions for examples local art galleries that are not so big and well-known to get the access and sufficient amount of money to buy those paintings, also buy every individual that wont to decorate their home, office or that ever.

 

 

How is it working?

Pictures of the original works of art are first analyzed by a deep-learning artificial intelligence algorithm, which selects the right combination of inks to be used. Each of the 10 transparent inks is then carefully deposited by a 3D printer, with colors often being stacked on top of one other. Gradients are reproduced through well-known techniques such as half toning (the use of dots of various size and spacing to simulate a continuous tone).[2]

 

Problems

One of the minuses that technology has is the inability to reproduce almost  same texture. Because the inc can not give the same effect that acryl or oil give.[3]

Interesting feature

The light play an important role. The picture that you have at home can look completely different than the one that you are enjoying on the art exhibition.

The technology is able to reproduce the same colors even when the current light conditions are different.[4]

 

 

Criticism

In this part I want to identify some negative aspects of the issue. First idea that come to the mind when you become more familiar about the technology is the possibility of devaluation of famous paintings. There is actually exist such perspective that in the future such great amount of money will not be spend on paintings, because, obviously, that will not be no more such a unique thing. However, the original may be appreciated, but it will be quite difficult to distinguish which one was made by the artist and which one with the help of technologies. Another aspect that need to be taken into consideration is the possibility of complete disappearance of art galleries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1]https://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/research-news/better-copies-paintings-using-ai-3d-printing-2018-11/

[2]https://newatlas.com/3d-printed-painting-replicas/57473/

[3]https://www.valuewalk.com/2018/11/ai-paintings-using-a-3d-printer/

[4]https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/11/29/famous-paintings-could-3d-printed-hung-around-world/

Instagram becoming as Ad-driven as Facebook?

Businesses using Facebook as a big advertising platform is nothing unusual for ordinary internet user, but as targeted marketing is developing, the social media giant is restructuring their other platforms in order to push paid traffic even more.

Kamil Podworski

 

At first, Instagram didn’t have any marketing capabilities, it even wasn’t connected to Facebook’s Business Manager. Then slowly, Zuckerberg’s company started to notice its potential, which eventually led to adding simple options of getting paid traffic and pushing stuff in front of people. Stories were the most noticeable advertising move that Facebook added recently – try looking through your friends stories without seeing at least one paid campaign. Advertisers could also use simple options such as adding “Buy Now” links underneath promoted posts.

 

 

Now Instagram is testing out new feature, it was spotted this week on Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach post. A big “Book Now” button which is a direct link to hotels booking site, appeared below the picture. This feature is widely used on facebook and it’s called “call to action”, Facebook has many of different options available to Pages, for example the ability to book services, make purchases, download apps or contact a business.

 

 

 

Current options that Instagram gave to businesses weren’t as useful as those on Facebook, platform allowed to add various types of purchase options, implementing new features might be a good call for non-retail companies such as hotels.

This might be a sign that Instagram will sooner or later become as ad-driven platform as its bigger brother, which eventually might cause people discouragement.

 

 

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Can AI eradicate Alzheimer’s disease?

What if we are able to cure a disease 6 years before it will occur…


Currently in the USA approximately 5.7 Million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and it is a 6th leading cause of death in this country. Based on Alzheimer’s association report number of affected by disease can raise to 14 Million by 2050.

A normal brain of a 70-year-old (left slice), compared with the brain of a 70-year-old with Alzheimer’s disease.Credit: Jessica Wilson/Science Photo Library

The team from University of California, Berkeley  and UCSF led by Benjamin Franc took data about 1,002 people living with AD from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). A deep learning algorithm used given brain images to learn how the brain looks 6 years before the AD activates.

The learning algorithm processed more than 2,100 FDG-PET brain images. On 90 percent of dataset it was trained by researchers to recognise the differences between the healthy brain and the one affected by AD. Then algorithm tested “his knowledge” on the remaining 10 percent. Furthermore the researchers made an independent test in which it was given 40 FDG-PET of 40 people which were unknown to him before.

For those uninitiated FDG-PET is “18-F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography”. In practice it is a test which shows metabolic activity. The radioactive glucose compound is put into the blood, then the PET scan shows the uptake of FDG in brain cells. The disability of metabolic activity of a brain is one of the first damages caused by AD.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090714085812.htm

The results of the research showed that the algorithm had 95% confidence on predicting the final diagnosis also on average it could predict  AD 75.8 months before the final diagnosis. The algorithm focused on known areas of the brain but it also did pay attention to the rest of a brain.

In the future researchers would like to teach algorithm to recognise outcomes of other tests using different biomarkers specific to AD. Also the development of early diagnosis can help create preventative drugs.

https://www.radiologybusiness.com/topics/artificial-intelligence/ai-tool-predicts-alzheimers-ahead-diagnosis

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07735-w

https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/10/05/ai-could-spot-alzheimers-five-years-major-symptoms-appear/

https://pubs.rsna.org/doi/10.1148/radiol.2018180958

Hyperloop = trip from Warsaw to Poznan in 20 minutes

 

At first I would like to introduce a bit how does it work. It is a train placed in low pressure tube, moving with incredible speed. Here is a film that explains main features of this technology:

 

Alright we know more-less about the technology, but does this really need a tube to work, instead of tracks that super fast trains are using at speed of 430 km/h ? Yes. If it comes to speed around 1000 km/h ( final aspiration of hyperloop), it is necessary.

Retorical question – Why do you think planes are flying at the average height of 10 kilometers.

Yes! You have a good intuition, there the air has much lower density and it is easier for plane to go through it.

Now, if you want to go with similar speed as plane, but closer to the ground you need similar conditions. That’s way they are using tubes with lower pressure.

The way how hyperloop can increase the comfort of travelling is enormous. Can you imagine travelling from Warsaw to Poznan in 20 minutes?  To be honest, I can not imagine such a speed. Here is a map of potential routes, that Hyperloop Poland suggested.

Unfortunately, chances that such a map would became a reality In the closest future is rather small. It is because hyperloop technology requires a huge amounts of money. First place where hyperloop can became a something real is middle east, where sheikhs are truly interested in this idea and ready to invest. Second such a place is of course US where have placed a competitions by SpaceX of hyperloop teams projects from countries all around the globe. The film you have watched at the begging comes from US team ,,HyperOne”.

Therefore Polish team offers step by step solution of implementing hyperloop’s technologies into Polish and generally European reality. It is mainly about renewal existing trucks, and it’s modernization into pre-hyperloop tubes. Such approach has real chance to became true, that’s why even polish government has started to look at the idea of hyperloopization of Poland.

In my opinion those guys got really great ideas and I am really cheering up this team. I like their approach of small steps and here I would like to present you a project of hyperloop poland’s  station, in a long term perspective.

 

 

This idea really got a potential to become true and it may be good choice for investements, that’s why I invite you to familiarize with the topic.  Here: https://cleantechnica.com/2017/04/03/poland-best-place-hyperloop-says-inventor/

https://www.transport-publiczny.pl/wiadomosci/hyper-poland-stworzy-wspolny-standard-dla-hyperloopa-58955.html

 

 

 

_References___________________________________________________

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1WHiBCfsOk

https://www.hyperpoland.com/pl/

Machine Learning fighting cryptocurrency frauds

Internet gives us infinitely many opportunities and benefits but it is also the home for various threats. Online frauds are continuously more creative and becoming more and more popular, spreading on the new levels. With constantly growing capabilities of internet this has become major problem for financial sector. Alongside with increasing number of global online transactions the number of dangers rises. 

Cryptocurrency and blockchain are relatively new in financial sector but they are exposed on the same level to the scams that were performed on paper market and even some new ones.The most common variety of scam are so-called pump-and-dump. But what are they ? 

“Pump and dump” (P&D) is a form of securities fraud that involves artificially inflating the price of an owned stock through false and misleading positive statements, in order to sell the cheaply purchased stock at a higher price.

As Bitcoin has a huge market capitalization so it would be hard to manipulate the price but the smaller altcoins are very vulnerable for this type of fraud.

Machine learning facing online frauds

Now the machine learning and artificial intelligence can face the online frauds and help with fighting against them. Machine learning algorithm has been developed by Jiahua Xu and Benjamin Livshits who studied cryptocurrency pump and dump schemes and published the work about details of given scam. 

After studying more than 260 pump and dump frauds, they came to the conclusion that very often this scams had been preceded with unusual activity in given currency. Thanks to the fact they started to look for an unexpected trades in order to spot next targets. To confirm their theory, they developed a machine learning algorithm and trained it to look for signs proving that scam is about to occur. The machine learning algorithm was right in 5 of 6 cases which is quite good outcome.

 

The criminality in internet is constantly rising but thanks to this kind of algorithms we have a chance to fight with them. This two researchers emphasize that their algorithm will not eliminate the pump and dump schemes it will only allow to weaken it.

Xu and Livshits say that on average there are two pump-and-dump scams every day and that these generate about $7 million worth of trading volume a month. This shows how big the issue is. I personally think that machine learning and AI can be a major benefit in terms of reducing all kinds of cybercrime and thanks to them we will be able to implement a lot more efficient and secure online systems. What are your thoughts about it? Do you think AI and machine learning will be a breakthrough in cybersecurity or criminals will find a way to omit these systems? 

 

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