AI is fully embedded in everyday life and all areas of existence. Every day, our every choice about the ordered food or the post we liked in the social. the network affects the subsequent, progress has not spared religion either.
Muslims are delighted with apps like Muslim Pro, showing prayer times and sending notifications for sunset and sunrise. The Japanese have created a robot priest performing Buddhist rituals that cost 3 times less than human services.
Faith leaders are increasingly concerned with building humanoid machines, but the relationship between technology and religion has not always been smooth.
The fight against “machines” is divided into three stages: rejection, acceptance and adaptation. Due to the rapid development of technological progress, the initial negative reaction turns into support for the mainstream.
For example, a 400-year-old temple in Kyoto has a new priest named Mindar. Like other worshipers, he reads sermons and communicates with parishioners, although he has some features, such as a silicone metal case and the price of its exploitation (“services”) in a million dollars.
“Mindar’s metal skeleton is naked and I think this is an interesting choice – its creator, Hiroshi Ishiguro, is not trying to make something that looks completely human.”
Natasha Heller, assistant professor of Chinese religions at the University of Virginia.
This statement provides a variety of technological influences on religious culture. Some believe that AI can interest the heavenly people, taking into account their interests and will become an object of worship itself, such as Anthony Lewandowski, who initiated a major lawsuit Uber / Waymo, which founded the first AI church called “Path of the Future.”
Others think that people tend to find their similarity in everything and the subsequent created machines will themselves determine their belonging to the culture, telling about their views and new possible religious visions.
EU has accused Apple of improper competition practices. The Commission accused Apple of breaching EU rules of fair competition as they believe Apple holds a dominant position – specifically in the market of music streaming.
Apple’s App Store charges a 30% commission fee on all subscriptions bought through their system. On top of that, they forbid advertising other subscription options through their app on the App Store. If you remember their dispute with Epic Games, Fortnite was kicked from the App Store exactly for breaching their latter part of the policy mentioned.
EU claims that Apple is distorting what was supposed to be a healthy competition and that ultimately the system takes toll on the customers, due to the fact that companies partnering with Apple have to up their prices in order to combat the 30% ‘Apple tax’.
If Apple is found guilty they will have to face a fine of 10% of annual revenue which accounts to $27 billion, and adjust their business model so that it works in a way that doesn’t affect healthy competing.
Apple responded to the accusations with:
“Spotify has become the largest music subscription service in the world, and we’re proud for the role we played in that. Spotify does not pay Apple any commission on over 99% of their subscribers, and only pays a 15% commission on those remaining subscribers that they acquired through the App Store. At the core of this case is Spotify’s demand they should be able to advertise alternative deals on their iOS app, a practice that no store in the world allows. Once again, they want all the benefits of the App Store but don’t think they should have to pay anything for that. The Commission’s argument on Spotify’s behalf is the opposite of fair competition.”
Spotify has its own take:
“Today is a big day. Fairness is the key to competition… we are one step closer to creating a level playing field, which is so important for the entire ecosystem of European developers.”
“Ensuring the iOS platform operates fairly is an urgent task with far-reaching implications. The European Commission’s Statement of Objections is a critical step toward holding Apple accountable for its anticompetitive behavior, ensuring meaningful choice for all consumers and a level playing field for app developers.”
Another parties also join in opposing apple in their anticompetitive practices as Apple is pressured the situation is yet to escalate, although slowly Apple is seen taking a step back – lowering the % fee, and skipping it for some services. We have yet to see what will happen as Apple is pressed with more and more antitrust complaints.
Engineering, physics – these fields of science can be named as BFF. Creators should even begin from the force of gravity law in order to make any mechanism work; each mech firstly has to fit some characteristics as form, consistency and its deformation capacity to proceed with. However, the equations solving can be computationally expensive, depends on material complexity.
MIT researchers decided to deeply focused on resolving and presented an Artificial Intelligence soft determining stress and strain of a material based on image recognition.
An algorithm was developed by Zhenze Yang (lead author and PhD student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering), Chi-Hua Yu (former MIT postdoc) and Markus J. Buehler (Director of the Atomic and Molecular Mechanics Laboratory and Professor of Engineering at McAfee), providing the possibility to implement connect computer vision and material in a real-time.
As data researches used different materials with various “from soft to hard” consistency. Main Machine Learning model was based on GAN (generative adversarial network) matching dozen of images to the future system in order to get the general “understanding” and as an addition be able to visualize micro details and singularities like cracks and other deformities.
In order to understand the pressure exerted with certain conditions objects were interpreted in random geometrical figures.
The recent innovation will open many doors in resolving estimating risk issues; a significant guarantee of constructions stability increase and revealing the potential of AI and computer vision in perspective.
Recently, there have been an uproar about a fatal crash involving two men (59 years old and 69 years old) and a Tesla vehicle. Tesla’s stocks took a dip and there was a lot of speculation about the ability of Tesla’s self-driving systems. It is commonly known that all of the safety systems in cars can be easily exploited, but that isn’t a design flaw – that is humans exploiting their own safety. The situation got pretty heated quickly and was covered by media immediately blaming Tesla. It was even covered here, a post by a fellow student Maciek Głazek, where he explains more about the crash itself.
According to a discussion that happened on an Monday’s earning call Q1 2021 the company’s CEO Elon Musk stated that from the logs that they have gathered so far has shown that the vehicle was not in autopilot and that there was no Full Self-Driving option purchased in the crashed Tesla model. On top of that, Tesla’s VP Lars Moravy stated that the all of the seatbelts (after the crash) were unbuckled and that the steering wheel was deformed, indicating that someone was in the driver’s seat.
This is surprising, because the local authorities were quick to announce that they are 100% certain there was no one in the drivers seat. Tesla continues to argue that media is covering them unfairly, as the company is newsworthy and brings a lot of clicks.
Unfortunately the SD card from the car couldn’t be retrieved and the situation may be subject to change. Be on the lookout as authorities and the company announce their stand.
Idea that made an ordinary engineer a millionaire.
American entrepreneur Ron Corio has made a multibillion-dollar business in the production of trackers for solar panels.
Trackers – the mechanisms that move the panel towards the sun throughout the day, turned out to be a real gold mine. For decades, improving the devices that were once interesting to people, Ron Corio, provided his company with a capitalization of $4.6b.
Early in 1985 company named Wattsun Corporation, which developed low-cost solar “flat plates” needed a solution to place it in different angles. Ron Corio was the man for the job that started developing multi-tilt angle and eventually purchase shares of Wattsun in 1989, forming Array Technologies, Inc. as the world’s first solar tracking manufacturer in 1992.
The trackers were installed worldwide, but due to the market occupied by coal and other resources with huge deposits, the sun did not cause much demand. However, after the 2000s solar energy began to become a reality and Array started to grow significantly, winning tenders and constantly maximizing land occupancy.
Array’s main product is the DuraTrack system, which rotates photovoltaic panels on a single north-south axis throughout the day to follow the sun. Large-scale solar energy projects are usually arranged in consecutive ” rows “that form an”array”. The array can have dozens of rows with more than 100 solar panels in each row.
At the moment, Array Technologies is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of ground-mounted systems used in the solar energy business. Trackers increase the initial cost of a solar project but allow the panels to generate more energy compared to a fixed-tilt mounting system. Over the life of the project, this results in significantly lower level energy costs.
Did you know that we are currently facing a global chips shortage? The crisis came about due to the massive demand for electronic components triggered by the pandemic, factories downtime, production underestimation, and supply chain failure. Whoever produces the chips, holds all the power – in this case the Taiwanese manufacturer TSMC seems to be a ruler.
The company Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co may seem unfamiliar to you, but it is more than sure that their products are used by you every single day. TSMC is the world’s largest chip manufacturer that produces parts for major electronics and automotive companies, including Apple (which is reckoned to constitute 25% of TSMC’s income ).
Chips are not only a common component of consumer electronics such as smartphones, computers, or smart appliances, but they are also required for automotive electronic systems, which are expected to account for more than 50% of the total production cost of a car by 2030. For comparison, in 2010 this figure comprised 35% while in the 1970s, 5%. New cars need more processors, which in other words means – more and more chips.
In fact, it is the automotive industry that has been inflicted the most during the last months. Major players on the market such as Volkswagen, Toyota, Renault, General Motors, and Honda had been forced to hold back production due to the lack of components. A shortage in the microprocessor industry is expected to slash Ford’s profit by $2.5 billion this year and GM’s profit by $2 billion.
The crisis has also hit the electronics industry. Sony has announced that it is unable to manufacture the number of PS5 consoles planned for this year, just like Samsung which in turn postponed the release of its new version of the Galaxy Note smartphone. All this because of chips shortage. But how did such situation even come about?
During the outbreak of the pandemic, many companies decided to cancel chip orders due to a significant drop in demand for products such as cars. It was assumed that the demand would not increase quickly. In response to the situation, chip manufacturers decided to change their sales orientation to other industries. At a time when demand picked up again, motor companies were left holding the bag as microprocessor manufacturers had their hands already full with other orders. Another aspect is also the production bottleneck which lead to the supply chain destabilization. The global production of chips is based on 3-4 companies only, including the afore-mentioned TSMC, which is responsible for about 70% world’s production of technologically advanced microprocessors.
TMSC’s goal is to maintain its position and increase its production capacity. For this purpose, the company announced an investment of $100 billion. It is worth mentioning however, that the reliance of global electronics behemoths on the goods of a single Taiwanese firm is an example of the negative consequences of excessive production outsourcing.
The cost of bitcoin at the auction on February 16 reached a record high of 50 thousand dollars. Half a year ago, the cryptocurrency was worth about 11 thousand dollars. Since that time, its value has increased by 350%.
The rapid growth of quotations began in the fall of 2020. Back in October, Bitcoin was worth about $ 11,000, and in December, its value exceeded $ 20,000. In January, quotes exceeded $ 40,000.
After that, bitcoin’s cost returned to the level of 33 thousand dollars, but in February, there was a recent jump in the rate. The auction was influenced by the news that the car manufacturer Tesla has invested $ 1.5 billion in bitcoin and will accept cryptocurrency as payment.
How Bitcoin grew in price during the coronavirus? Bitcoin began to rise noticeably in March 2020 after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. In connection with the coronavirus’s spread, the governments of various countries have introduced restrictive measures, which led to a slowdown in business activity.
The US and EU have decided to stimulate their economies with additional spending. Many investors believe that massive stimulus measures will weaken the euro and dollar. There are also fears that an increase in money supply will lead to an acceleration in inflation. Against the backdrop of these concerns, investments in bitcoins have increased, the supply of which is limited.
Also, experts and investors expect the use of cryptocurrencies in the traditional financial system to increase. The decisions of individual companies indicate this. For example, earlier payment services Square and PayPal, which about 300 million people in total use, added the ability to buy cryptocurrencies to their applications.
The previous maximum of quotations was recorded in December 2017, when the cost of bitcoin was approaching the $ 20 thousand mark. Then the quotes rose sharply in a few weeks, and then there was a collapse, and in a few months, bitcoin fell in price to 3.2 thousand dollars. However, the current growth is different from what happened in 2017. At that time, the cryptocurrency was bought mainly by private investors from Asia, and now institutional investors and large companies, mainly from the USA and Europe, participate in trading.
Some experts still consider bitcoin as a “bubble,” the value of which will collapse sooner or later. Even investors anticipating the growth of quotes warn that cryptocurrency trading remains exceptionally volatile, and sharp price fluctuations should be expected.
However, questions remain as to whether cryptocurrencies have any value. Some experts fear that investments in bitcoin and its analogs may be lost.
My two prior entries detailed the issues of privacy and were primarily focused on a one key actor – Facebook. That is why I decided to disprove the common view of another “marvelous” tech giant – Amazon.
While the ongoing pandemic is a true hit for many businesses many of large, multinational companies are actually only getting bigger. One of them is Amazon. Its sales in the last quarter rose as much as 51% in comparison to the previous year. Also, it has surpassed Walmart as the biggest retailer by market capitalization in the United States. While other businesses are closing Amazon is only increasing its power and commercial reach. Do not get me wrong, there is nothing bad in “bigness” and with developing. The argument that Amazon creates terrific opportunities both in terms of creating the jobs and facilitating people setting up their own business is also perfectly logical and rational. However, too often have we fallen for the alleged benefits and too little have we considered the risks that stem from company’s enormous market power.
While in Poland Amazon services do not yet have a strong market presence, in the United States and the UK it is a go-to service when it comes to essentially buying anything. You want to buy diapers? You order them on Amazon. You need a new dog toy? You go to Amazon. You are out of cheese? You only need to log in to Amazon Fresh and it can be delivered to you at once. However, with all those possibilities and freedom of choice for customers there has to be a catch. We rarely realize that the ones paying the price for Amazon’s incredible efficiency and speedy deliveries are its employees. Probably many of you are now thinking that it is their job and there is nothing they can complain about. They can always quit or file a complaint, right? Believe me, they do that. In November, when the holiday season started, as much as 600 of them signed and delivered a petition to improve their working conditions. It was only in one warehouse in New York and there are many more.
Nevertheless, let me show you how working for Amazon looks like. If you worked as a sorter you would have to scan 1800 Amazon packages in an hour. It is 30 packages per minute. Also, you would get 15-minute breaks. However, you would need that 15 minutes to walk to and from the room where you can spend your break. Did I mention that you can get fired every time you miss your hourly rate?
There is no doubt that working for Amazon, in pretty much any non-senior capacity, is no dream job. Since Amazon is a marketplace, beyond the employees – there are also millions of sellers who use the platforms and as such, drive Amazon’s operations. From this, things can get ugly as well. I will present it in a form of a screenshot from the Amazon forum:
That is not a joke. They did that and that poor seller was not the only one. What is more, there are many other factors which can restrain sellers from making profits or for that matter, selling their products altogether. First of all, one can get banned unexpectedly and usually, there is no appeal mechanisms where we could oppose the decision. One of the banning reasons may be that a product that was sent was damaged or did not match its description. However, it is a classic example of a situation where Amazon (inherent in its policy) have always favored buyers, who tend to abuse it. The thing is if someone wants to return a product and does not want to pay for return shipping, he can always mark a product as damaged. There is nothing as a penalty for buyers and sellers are to ones who have everything to lose:
“One time, a buyer purchased a bunch of our napkins, used them for a party and soiled them, and then returned them for a full refund stating that the item was not as expected. We had to eat the cost.” – a seller.
Other negative aspects are that Amazon can force you to sell your products at a certain price. Also, it can force you to sell items on vendor central. It means that you must sell your products at a wholesale price to Amazon directly. The result is you have no control over them and little profit, which can destroy your product sales and listings. Amazon can squeeze all small businesses and they can do nothing about it.
The third aspect that I would like to stress is obviously data collection and privacy. Amazon’s incredibly rapid growth is a fact. However, increased risks are associated with that expansion. Corruption and potential data leaks are one of them. A company of such size and power should be held accountable and directly responsible for such situations. The problem with Amazon was workers who inappropriately accessed internet data and misused it. They were selling confidential information about sellers on Amazon. Later, that data allowed other sellers to gain advantages on the website. Also, employees of Amazon were selling Amazon Vendor Central Accounts which allowed buyers to enter other sellers’ listings and illegally change them.
However, misused data collection does not concern the black market only. The company itself has recently been accused by FTC of breaching US federal antitrust rules. Among other things, it allegedly used internal data about its sellers to compete with them. The gathered data allowed Amazon to detect best-selling products and adjust their own products following those criteria. As a result, Amazon basically avoids any risks of fair competition. While the investigation is still ongoing and the case is pending, serious accusations have already been made and charges are still yet to be presented.
Undeniably Amazon is a huge platform which is only expanding day by day. To be clear, I am not denying that Amazon is a great platform. In many respects, it really is. However, the company should remember that with great power comes great responsibility and that because of its size and influence, it will be expected to constantly improve. Maybe if such improvement was in place, Mr. Bezos would still be the World’s richest person.
 Chou S, “The Dangers Of Selling On Amazon And Horror Stories From Real Amazon Sellers” (MyWifeQuitHerJob.com)
2. “Amazon: It All Ads Up” (Subscribe to read | Financial TimesOctober 30, 2020)
3. Emont J, McMillan R and Stevens L, “Amazon, Amid Crackdown on Seller Scams, Fires Employees Over Data Leak” (The Wall Street JournalDecember 10, 2018)
4. Risicaris G, “Forums” (Amazon2006)
5. Weise K, “Prime Power: How Amazon Squeezes the Businesses Behind Its Store” (The New York TimesDecember 19, 2019)
6. Wisniewska A and Bradshaw T, “How 2020 Changed the Way We Use Technology” (Financial TimesJanuary 2, 2021)
All universities/higher education across the world are transforming their back end processes using artificial intelligence. The impact of artificial intelligence in universities grown so rapidly and spread so wide.
The usefulness of artificial intelligence is undeniable and evident in the way departments nowadays teaches and also in the way the student learns. Furthermore, artificial intelligence, smart AI tech can now do a diverse set of varying tasks.
Artificial Intelligence has transform various sectors, and amid this the educational world cannot afford to still operate in the old-school ways. When it comes to the issue of universities, AI can produce a better personify, recommendation, and also automated administration for universities.
Not only does artificial intelligence help in modifying the study patterns and materials for the students according to their capabilities and ability, but artificial intelligence also allows intelligent automation for administration tasks in university.
The technology can be friction to clarify the voluminous queries and application that are been received by the universities. Even for some of the educational institutions that collects intentional application along with the domestic ones, artificial intelligence algorithms can forecast the applicant most likely either to be accepted and enrolled as well.
Therefore, as we keep moving towards to more advanced world, we must keep focus on leveraging technologies like artificial intelligence to renovate the very place that initiates such education advancement.
Here are some of the ways in which Artificial intelligence has helped universities;
Personify of enrollment process with the help of artificial intelligence tech in universities, permit universities to target students who are likely to perform well in their program. Adaptive conversational assistants help universities to cater for student worldwide. Such incorporation of artificial intelligence in universities helps universities to boost the number of enrollment.
2. Operational Efficiency
Scientist have been flirting with the usefulness of artificial intelligence in universities for some years now, the outcome of this is the use of tools such as SOP grader, document recognition, and also chat-bots in universities. Artificial intelligence tech such as this will be able to use information from various campus system to guide the administrative decision and also channel the university syllabus towards the employer hiring needs.
3. Classroom Learning
Artificial intelligence mostly helps classroom learning by making available a comprehensive educational experience. It permits student to widen their imaginations with the use of tools and technologies such as virtual assistants and augmented reality. This classroom assistance tech for monitoring and evaluating helps the department to increase the educational experience.
Artificial Intelligence technology in universities makes classroom education easier and more efficient
4. Student Engagement
Artificial technologies such as the interactive assistants allows the student to be able to communicate their issues right when it pop up consecutively and increasing student retention rate. The engagement of student can also be advance by embracing unique artificial intelligence technologies such as the student success prediction model. Technologies like chat-bots in universities helps educators to improve their efficiency in the teaching based on the student opinions which is collected by the conversational assistants.
With the help of artificial intelligence technologies in universities, institutions can help the student by sending them some useful text messages, push notification or emails. These will act as a reminder to them when there is a certain task needed to be completed, event coming up and also deadlines approaching messages. Such uses of artificial intelligence will help the student to get familiar with the AI tech and it will also increase student engagement.
Conversational Artificial Intelligence chat-bots are used by universities to interact with students and send them relevant reminders via email and so on.
Over the past few years Apple has been developing its self-driving vehicle projects codename- Titan. The project is rumored to have over 5,000 engineers working on it. New leaks are showing that Apple was already negotiating with electric vehicle suppliers to create the Apple car.
Before the original iPhone was even released, Apple was already in discussion for the creation of the Apple car. In 2001, Steve Jobs met with the creator of the V Vehicle, which is a lightweight petroleum powered car that used cheaper materials and could sell for just $14,000. Job saw massive potential in the V Vehicle as a glass fiber vehicle was 14% lighter than a normal steel made vehicle and costed 17% lees to produce. Ultimately, Jobs decided to focus on the release of the iPhone. After the rise of the iPhone, apple began looking into the creation of its car once again.
In 2014, Apple started project Titan with a vision of bringing a compelling smart car that would be the ultimate mobile device. This would be leaked in February of 2015 when a mysterious van leased to Apple was spotted with a camera rig attached to it. Just a few days later one anonymous Apple employee gave a dark warning to Elon Musk by stating that project Titan would give Tesla a run for its money. Even Tesla employee were heading over to Apple as the project was too exciting to pass on. Afterwards, Apple hired Johann Jungwirt, who is the former of Mercedes-Benz research and development executive.
It is confirmed that Apple was not just focusing on creating the self-driving software for cars, but also making an electric vehicle. The leader of project Titan is Steve Zadensky, who is already given go-ahead by Tim Cook to recruit up 1,000 employees. After meeting with luxuries car manufactures like Magna Steyr. Their concept vehicle revealed that Apple was looking to create a smooth looking Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). It was rumored to have a variety of features.
For example, silent motorized doors controlled through the user’s iPhone. Another one Apple looked into was implementing augmented reality into the displays. However, the craziest feature is the fact that Apple wants to use spherical wheels. It would be similar to what Audi revealed in 2004 with its Audi RSQ concept.
That would be interesting to the Apple car. At the same time, it would also be quite expensive. Goodyear has revealed its concept of spherical tires in 2016. Now, while Apple did have some crazy ambitions there were also many internal problems.
But, the auto industry represents a huge opportunity at $2 trillion. Apple does have certain advantages:
strong balance sheet
And now Apple brought in the house many of the technologies that could help in developing such a car:
Perhaps, Apple could upend and redefine other markets as it did with smartphones. On the other hand, there will be a real risk for Cook as well. Ultimately, for all the excitement the auto industry is a low-margin and capital-intensive business. that why more analytics says that Cook more likely will focus the company’s money, time, and afford more narrowly on software. For example, an autonomous driving system or license to traditional car makers.
Moreover, a lot of room for growth as right now about 3% of total cars sold are electric. Over the next 5 years, probably, the number will be changed to 30%. For sure, there may be a lot of reasons why Apple could be interested in building their own car. Also, to remember, that the car industry is a low-margin business. What report indicates that they make really developed breakthrough technology that will lower cost and make cars for customers more affordable.
In terms of Apple’s brand and software abilities, I think that will be something really impressive and affordable as iPhone. The strategic partnership which they recently announced is the first step for a long-life collaboration.