Home / Tag Archives: development

Tag Archives: development

Facebook reportedly hires AI chip head from Google

Facebook is continuing to devote more resources to the development of AI-focused chips, bringing aboard a senior director of engineering from Google who worked on chips for Google’s products to lead its efforts, Bloomberg reports. We’ve reached out to Google and Facebook for confirmation. Shahriar Rabii spent nearly seven years at Google before joining Facebook this month as its VP and Head of Silicon according to his LinkedIn profile . Facebook’s work on AI-focused custom silicon has been the topic of rumors and reports over the past several months. It’s undoubtedly a bold direction for the company, though it’s unclear how interested Facebook is in creating custom silicon for consumer devices or if they’re more focused on building for their server business as they also look to accelerate their own research efforts. Rabii’s work at Google seemed to encompass a good deal of work on chips for consumer devices, specifically work on the Pixel 2’s Visual Core chip, which brought machine learning intelligence to the device’s camera. Facebook has long held hardware ambitions, but its Building 8 hardware division appears to be closer than ever to shipping its first products as the company’s rumored work on an Echo Show competitor touchscreen smart speaker continues. Meanwhile, Facebook has also continued building virtual reality hardware built on Qualcomm’s mobile chipsets. As Silicon Valley’s top tech companies continue to compete aggressively for talent amongst artificial intelligence experts, this marks another departure from Google. Earlier this year, Apple poached Google’s AI head .

Read More »

Become a UX/UI master with these online design courses – Mashable

Mashable Become a UX/UI master with these online design courses Mashable You'll explore the process of creating a responsive website for desktops, tablets, and mobile screens, and discover how to design elegant apps via meaningful font pairing. You'll even get nifty freelancing tips, in case you want to start venturing into ...

Read More »

Is insurance a rich enough game to disrupt?

Martha Notaras Contributor Martha Notaras is a partner at XL Innovate . For the last decade, the largest technology companies have increasingly looked outside of tech to grow their operations. From automotive to retail to groceries, these companies use massive competitive advantages in the form of data, consumer relationships and software engineers to fundamentally change markets. Now, companies like Apple and Google and Amazon are eyeing innovation across the insurance landscape. For example, Amazon is teaming with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway to create a new way to approach health insurance, focusing first on the group’s own employees. On the retail side, Amazon is selling product insurance and extended warranties at the point of sale and  investing  in insurtech startups. Meanwhile, Tesla is  developing  an insurance product specific to the Model S. Waymo, Uber and Lyft are certainly having similar conversations internally. Obviously, these are all preliminary steps. Insurance is a complex, multifaceted and, yes,  risky  business. In the end, whether or not companies like Amazon become insurers themselves depends on their appetite for risk, their ability to innovate and the potential pay off. To start, let’s look at the reasons why tech giants are well-suited to upend the space. They have direct consumer relationships Like many businesses, a large aspect of a successful insurance business is distribution. Just look at brokers, which are a major means of distribution for insurers today — their cut can be up to 30 percent of the cost of an insurance policy. Brokers also see better margins than insurers themselves, usually around 10 percent net margins. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google (FAAMG) possess direct relationship with billions of consumers and could, over time, disrupt the broker business.

Read More »

In the public sector, algorithms need a conscience

Brian Brackeen Contributor Share on Twitter Brian Brackeen is the chief executive officer of the facial recognition software developer Kairos . More posts by this contributor Facial recognition software is not ready for use by law enforcement In a recent MIT Technology Review article , author Virginia Eubanks discusses her book Automating Inequality. In it, she argues that the poor are the testing ground for new technology that increases inequality— highlighting that when algorithms are used in the process of determining eligibility for/allocation of social services, it creates difficulty for people to get services, while forcing them to deal with an invasive process of personal data collection. I’ve spoken a lot about the dangers associated with government use of face recognition in law enforcement, yet, this article opened my eyes to the unfair and potentially life threatening  practice of refusing or reducing support services to citizens who may really need them — through determinations based on algorithmic data. To some extent, we’re used to companies making arbitrary decisions about our lives — mortgages, credit card applications, car loans, etc. Yet, these decisions are based almost entirely on straight forward factors of determination — like credit score, employment, and income. In the case of algorithmic determination in social services, there is bias in the form of outright surveillance in combination with forced PII share imposed upon recipients. Eubanks gives as an example the Pittsburgh County Office of Children, Youth and Families using the Allegheny Family Screening Tool (AFST) to assess the risk of child abuse and neglect through statistical modeling. The use of the tool leads to disproportionate targeting of poor families because the data fed to the algorithms in the tool often comes from public schools, the local housing authority, unemployment services, juvenile probation services, and the county police, to name just a few — basically, the data of low-income citizens who typically use these services/interact with them regularly. Conversely, data from private services such as private schools, nannies, and private mental health and drug treatment services — isn’t available. Determination tools like AFST equate poverty with signs of risk of abuse, which is blatant classism— and a consequence of the dehumanization of data. Irresponsible use of AI in this capacity, like that of its use in law enforcement and government surveillance, has the real potential to ruin lives. Taylor Owen, in his 2015 article titled  The Violence of Algorithms , described a demonstration he witnessed by intelligence analytics software company Palantir, and made two major points in response — the first being that oftentimes these systems are written by humans, based on data tagged and entered by humans, and as a result are “chock full of human bias and errors.” He then suggests that these systems are increasingly being used for violence. “What we are in the process of building is a vast real-time, 3-D representation of the world.

Read More »

Lodgify, the SaaS for vacation rentals, books $5M in Series A funding

Lodgify , the Barcelona-based SaaS for property owners to manage vacation rentals, today announced it has secured $5 million in Series A funding. Existing backers Nauta Capital, Howzat Partners, and a number of angels participated, in addition to new investor Intermedia Vermögensverwaltung. It brings total funding for the Spanish startup to $7.3 million yo date. Primary pitched as a way for property owners to grow their direct vacation rental bookings, as opposed to solely relying on platforms like Airbnb or Booking.com, the Lodgify SaaS enables the creation of a mobile-friendly website for each property. Crucially, this includes the ability to accept online bookings and take payment. “Just like Shopify became the decentralised platform for businesses by democratizing access to e-commerce technology, Lodgify is empowering lodging operators with direct channel technology,” the company’s co-founder and CEO Dennis Klett tells me. “That allows them to build their own booking channel to generate more direct bookings”. To help support this, Lodgify is attempting to fully automate the booking workflow for hosts: from booking management, to guest communication, to payment scheduling and refunding in case of refundable cancellations. “All these steps basically run on autopilot, empowering our hosts to be instantly bookable and eliminating time-consuming tasks for them,” Klett says. As part of these efforts, the company is keeping an eye on the development of crypto currencies and “smart contracts. Perhaps somewhat optimistically, Klett says this would allow for “self-executing and risk-free bookings”. He is also bullish on the potential for direct bookings to continually grow, noting that a number of vacation booking sites, such as Housetrip, Roomoroma and 9flats, have either consolidated or disappeared over the the last couple of years.

Read More »

Monster Hunter World PC Requirements Leaked Online – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Monster Hunter World PC Requirements Leaked Online Ubergizmo Capcom announced Monster Hunter World last year much to the delight of fans. It confirmed that the title would be released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One while there's also going to be a PC version which would arrive later. The Monster Hunter World PC ... and more »

Read More »

Apple May Not Use Intel’s 5G Modems For iPhones – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Apple May Not Use Intel's 5G Modems For iPhones Ubergizmo If a new report is to be believed, Apple has informed Intel that it won't be using the company's radio chips starting 2020. Apple was reportedly the main customer for Intel's combined 5G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth chip. Intel is now said to have halted the ... and more »

Read More »

Warner Bros. Says No Bethesda Code Used For Westworld Mobile – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Warner Bros. Says No Bethesda Code Used For Westworld Mobile Ubergizmo Warner Bros. recently cashed in on the popularity of its Westworld TV series by releasing a game for smartphones called Westworld Mobile. Those who downloaded the game were quick to notice that it had some similarities to Fallout Shelter, a mobile-only ... Warner Bros. Says That No Bethesda Code Was Used For Westworld Mobile Geeky Gadgets all 92 news articles »

Read More »

Facebook prototypes tool to show how many minutes you spend on it

Are you ready for some scary numbers? After months of Mark Zuckerberg talking about how “Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits,” Facebook is preparing to turn that commitment into a Time Well Spent product. Buried in Facebook’s Android app is an unreleased “Your Time on Facebook” feature. It shows the tally of how much time you spent on the Facebook app on your phone on each of the last seven days, and your average time spent per day. It lets you set a daily reminder that alerts you when you’ve reached your self-imposed limit, plus a shortcut to change your Facebook notification settings. Facebook confirmed the feature development to TechCrunch, with a spokesperson telling us, “We’re always working on new ways to help make sure people’s time on Facebook is time well spent.” The feature could help Facebook users stay mindful of how long they’re staring at the social network. This self-policing could be important since both iOS and Android are launching their own screen time monitoring dashboards that reveal which apps are dominating your attention and can alert you or lock you out of apps when you hit your time limit. When Apple demoed the feature at WWDC, it used Facebook as an example of an app you might use too much. Images of Facebook’s digital wellbeing tool come courtesy of our favorite tipster and app investigator Jane Manchun Wong . She previously helped TechCrunch scoop the development of features like Facebook Avatars, Twitter encrypted DMs and Instagram Usage Insights — a Time Well Spent feature that looks very similar to this one on Facebook. Our report on Instagram Usage Insights led the sub-company’s CEO Kevin Systrom to confirm the upcoming feature, saying “It’s true . .

Read More »

Messenger Kids expands outside the U.S., rolls out ‘kindness’ features

Facebook’s kid-friendly messaging app, Messenger Kids, is expanding to its first countries outside the U.S. today, with launches in Canada and Peru. It’s also introducing French and Spanish versions of its app, and rolling out a handful of new features focused on promoting respect and empathy, including a “Messenger Kids Pledge” and something called “Kindness Stickers,” which are meant to inspire more positive emotions when communicating online. The stickers say things like “MY BFF” or “Well Done!” or “Best Artist,” and are designed to be placed on shared photos. Also helpful is the new “Messenger Kids Pledge,” which is designed for both parents and children to read together, and includes some basic guidelines about how to be behave online. For example, it reminds everyone to “be kind when you communicate,” and to “be respectful,” explaining also that when someone doesn’t respond right away, they may just be too busy. “Be safe” and “have fun” are also a part of the guidelines. This seems like a small addition, but it’s the kind of thing parents should already be doing with their kids when they introduce new technology – and many do not. Some parents don’t even know what apps kids are using, which has allowed those less secure apps to become hunting grounds for predators. Messenger Kids works differently , as it requires parental involvement. Kids can’t add any friends without parental approval, and the app can be managed directly from parents’ Facebook. While it’s understandable that people have a hard time trusting Facebook these days, there isn’t any viable alternative that allows kids to “practice” communicating or socializing online in a more controlled environment. Kids instead beg for apps aimed at adults and older teens, like Snapchat, Instagram, and Musical.ly – apps I personally won’t install for a “tween.” Messenger Kids at least gives kids a way to privately socialize with approved people – kids whose parents you know and trust, and family members on Facebook. They’re at an age where you can still look over their shoulder, and correct bad behavior as it arises.

Read More »

BitTorrent is selling for $140M to Justin Sun and Tron

BitTorrent , an early mover in concept of building a business around decentralised computing architecture to distribute and store data, is being sold for $140 million in cash to Justin Sun and his blockchain media startup Tron, TechCrunch has learned. Variety yesterday reported that a sale of the company to Sun closed last week, without naming a price, following rumors that circulated for at least a month  that the two were in negotiations. TechCrunch understands that shareholders have now been sent the paperwork to sign off on the deal. Some are, we understand, still disputing the terms because more than one person claims to have made the introduction between Sun and BitTorrent, and the one who facilitated the deal will get an extra payout. A source says it’s unlikely that the disputes will actually kill the acquisition, given how long BitTorrent has been looking for a buyer. BitTorrent most recently said  it has about 170 million users of its products. Currently, these include its main client and BitTorrent Now . The latter is focused on video, music and other creative content. BitTorrent claims that its protocols move as much as 40 percent of the world’s Internet traffic on a typical day. Tron is one of the new kids on the block in the wide world of blockchain startups. Founded by Sun, who previously had worked for Ripple (a settlement system built on blockchain tech), Tron says its mission is to build “a truly decentralized Internet and its infrastructure,” which has included (no surprises here) the creation of its own cryptocurrency, the TRX. TRX, loosely, appears to be a cryptocoin for the entertainment industry. Tron has plans to use TRX as a way to pay for content on its network, according to this whitepaper . Tron is also just intended for trading.

Read More »

Block.one finally launches EOS blockchain but many in the crypto community remain skeptical about project’s centralization and its prospects (Muyao…

Muyao Shen / CoinDesk : Block.one finally launches EOS blockchain but many in the crypto community remain skeptical about project's centralization and its prospects   —  After a messy weeks-long process, CoinDesk broke the news yesterday that the EOS blockchain is officially live.  —  To some, it's already an event for the cryptocurrency history books.

Read More »