Ai-Da, the humanoid robot artist, gears up for first solo exhibition

Wearing a white blouse and her dark hair hanging loose, Ai-Da looks like any artist at work as she studies her subject and puts pencil to paper. But the beeping from her bionic arm gives her away – Ai-Da is a robot.


Reuters: Arts

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China’s robot censors working overtime as Tiananmen anniversary nears

BEIJING – It’s the most sensitive day of the year for China’s internet, the anniversary of the bloody June 4 crackdown on pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Square and with under two weeks to go, China’s robot censors are working overtime. Censors at Chinese internet companies say tools to detect and block content related to the…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post

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5.1.19 Getting a mortgage if you are self-employed; New-style payday lenders; Robot baristas are on the way

Getting a mortgage is getting easier for self-employed folks; Clark warns against using apps that will advance you cash before your paycheck comes in; Robot baristas are making their way into high-traffic areas like airports

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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The post 5.1.19 Getting a mortgage if you are self-employed; New-style payday lenders; Robot baristas are on the way appeared first on Clark Howard.

clark.com

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Toyota’s new robot may be the world’s best 3-point shooter

TOKYO — It can’t dribble, let alone slam dunk, yet Toyota’s basketball robot hardly ever misses a free throw or 3-pointer. The 207-centimeter (six-foot, 10-inch) tall machine made 5 of 8 3-point shots in a demonstration in a Tokyo suburb Monday, a ratio its engineers say is worse than usual. Toyota Motor Corp.’s robot, called…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post

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This Robot Protects Diverse Groups from Western Culture – SXSW

A robot designed to complete a unique task was unveiled at this year’s SXSW. The Preservation Robot protects global cultural diversity by automatically placing images of diverse groups from around the world into open spaces on the Internet.

The robot is the brain child of photographic artist Jimmy Nelson. He says that technology is rapidly spreading Western culture around the globe and threatens diversity.

“The decline of cultural diversity would perhaps seem a less urgent problem than some of our other global issues. However, the erosion of cultural identity throughout the planet and the loss of traditions and customs has far-reaching and profound effects on all of us. Indigenous culture is visually underrepresented – and often misrepresented. I’m taking a stand by launching The Preservation Robot. Using technology to invert homogenization,”said Nelson at the unveiling of the robot at SXSW.

diverse groups

Examples of the images spread across the Internet by The Preservation Robot.

One of the co-creators of The Preservation Robot, Bas Korsten, creative partner at J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam, joined Nelson at the unveiling. According to Korsten, the robot’s goal is to help release Western culture’s “stranglehold” on the world.

“We, the people working in tech and advertising, are propagating that same culture. If not as the agents – then certainly as the enablers. This is why the idea of using technology – the very thing that threatens cultural diversity – against itself to promote cultural diversity is so compelling. This is the aim of The Preservation Robot. A robot to help humans preserve their cultural identity,” Korsten said at SXSW.

The Ongoing Threat to Diverse Groups

Technology and industrialization have been taking a toll on indigenous peoples worldwide. In 2012, The Guardian put a spotlight on the decimation of an indigenous Amazon tribe, the Awa, by logging companies.

diverse groups

Isolated, indigenous people under threat came into the news recently after John Allen Chau, an American Christian missionary, was killed by the Sentinelese people. Chau had made several attempts to engage with members of the tribe who gave him several warnings to keep away from them, before he was killed.

[Watch: The Preservation Robot]:



And Survival International wrote about the threat to the Bushmen, the indigenous people of South Africa who were displaced from their homeland by the diamond industry. They also had their water supply destroyed.

diverse groups

Nelson sees The Preservation Robot as a way to halt the decline of indigenous populations. According to a statement in a press release; “[Nelson] believes that exposing the world to the richness and range of indigenous peoples is the way to safeguard not only their traditions and ways of life, but also to bolster one of humanity’s greatest values: cultural diversity.”

 

 

 

The post This Robot Protects Diverse Groups from Western Culture – SXSW appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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This cute robot is programmed to make us feel loved

If you’re tired of struggling to make human connections, a Japanese startup is putting a price tag on the robotic variety — and it’s pretty steep. GROOVE X launched a companion robot Tuesday that’s programmed to make lonely humans feel the love. The Lovot, which resembles a cuddly children’s toy and comes in a rainbow…
Entertainment | New York Post

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Postmates reveals its cute, automated delivery robot

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Meet Serve.

Serve is Postmates’ new automated delivery robot, developed to help make the company’s on-demand deliveries more efficient.

It’ll ride along sidewalks and can carry up to 50 lbs, traveling 25 miles on a single charge. There’s dynamic lighting in the eyes and a light ring up top to indicate movement, while customers can interact with Serve using a touchscreen and cameras mounted on top of the robot. 

Serve will launch first in the Los Angeles area, and will gradually rollout to the other U.S. cities its over the next 12 months.  Read more…

More about Tech, Postmates, Automation, Delivery Robots, and Tech


Tech

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This human-like robot wants you to open up

LONDON – Furhat tilts his or her head, smiles, exudes empathy and warmth and encourages us to open up. The robot, a three-dimensional bust with a projection of a human-like face, aims to build on our new-found ease talking to voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, by persuading us to interact with it as if…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post

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This news anchor is actually an AI-powered robot

There’s a reason this news anchor seemed a bit robotic. China’s state news agency this week unveiled the world’s first virtual newsman. The English-speaking “artificial intelligence” anchor for China’s Xinhua News Agency made its debut at the fifth World Internet Conference in east China’s Zhejiang Province — which began Wednesday and runs until Friday. At…
Media | New York Post

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Hello? It’s I, Robot, And Have I Got An Insurance Plan For You!

“Anna” will not stop calling. She really, really wants to sell you health insurance.

What a lot of consumers really, really want is to smack Anna upside her robocalling head.

As health insurance open-enrollment season gets underway in California and nationwide, automated phone calls offering Affordable Care Act or other health plans are spiking — and driving many consumers to the brink. California residents may have it worst, because its open-enrollment period is twice as long as in other parts of the country.

“It’s at epidemic levels at this time of year,” said Aaron Foss, founder of Nomorobo, who estimates his spam call-blocking service, based in Long Island, N.Y., headed off more than 850,000 health-related robocalls in October alone — nearly five times their interceptions for September, Foss said.

Nomorobo tracked about 820 different robocall pitches for health insurance in the last week of October. More than 100 of them were from the robot Anna.

Almost all of these calls are illegal, according to rules published by the Federal Trade Commission in 2009. Many offer skimpy health plans that don’t cover what you might need, insurance regulators and consumer advocates say. Others, they say, are downright fraudulent, with unscrupulous insurance “brokers” taking payment and promising insurance that never comes through.

Alice Cave, 62, a retired data analyst from Alexandria, Va., who spends winters in Tucson, said she’s gotten so many of these calls that she typically won’t answer her phone unless she recognizes the number. On Monday, expecting a call from a California reporter, she answered her cellphone.

It was “Anne.” (Anna’s robot cousin? Other relatives include “Jordan,” “Allison” and “Mandy,” though variants on Anna remain most prevalent.)

“She was saying, ‘I really need to talk to you — we’ve got deals on health insurance.’ I thought, ‘God, what a crock,’” Cave said. “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Anything that comes in on the phone, I’m going to be skeptical. Why would they offer me this deal? I already have great insurance. It’s crazy.”

Some fed-up consumers try to stymie robocallers, with amusing results. Twitter user Jon Heise in June confounded his robot by insisting, after whatever it said, that he was a “meat popsicle.” Eventually, it hung up.

It’s not all fun and games. In California, the Department of Insurance is investigating health insurance robocalls, said Janice Rocco, deputy commissioner for health policy and reform. In late August, the agency filed a court order against Health Plan Intermediaries Holdings LLC, accusing the Florida company of deceptive and misleading practices in selling “Obamacare” plans that didn’t comply with the health law. The company could face fines of up to $ 10,000 per violation, Rocco said.

In this case, the company’s robocalls featured “Anne,” according to the court order. In its legal response, the company did not admit to the agency’s allegations and denied responsibility. A hearing date has not yet been set, Rocco said. (Arkansas’ insurance commissioner issued a cease and desist order against the company in 2016.)

Under federal law, calls using prerecorded messages are legal only for such things as doctor appointment reminders, flight cancellations, credit card fraud alerts and political candidates. Calls to sell products and services are not.

In a typical robocall sales pitch, a friendly female voice comes on the line. Sometimes the call appears to originate from major insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield or Aetna or from a local number a caller might suppose is a school or neighbor.

Often, the voice will ask the consumer to dial “1” to enroll or “2” to opt out of future calls. Both options can be a trap, experts say.

“If you pick up, you become a lead that’s sent to health insurance agents or brokers,” Nomorobo’s Foss said. And option 2 doesn’t put you on a do-not-call list; it merely lets the spammers know they’ve hit a working number, he added.

A reporter from Kaiser Health News connected with one of the insurance brokers behind one of these robocalls by pressing the dreaded “1.”

A man identifying himself as “Ray Khan” said he’s a licensed insurance broker and provided a National Insurance Producer Registry number. The reporter was unable to locate Khan in that national registry with that number, which was not assigned to anyone.

Khan asked for the reporter’s Social Security number and other personal information. He said he did not have an office and that enrollment needed to be done over the phone. He referred the caller to a website that does not provide information about plans offered but is a platform for consumers to be contacted by brokers.

“It’s a legitimate company. We work for different insurance carriers,” Khan said. “You have to trust someone if you want to do it.”

That’s exactly what you shouldn’t do — trust folks who call you out of the blue, according to the Department of Insurance’s Rocco. “Someone selling a comprehensive medical plan is not going to be reaching you via a robocall,” Rocco said.

Most of what’s sold through these automated calls are so-called skinny plans that don’t comply with Affordable Care Act requirements, or are short-term insurance plans, which typically offer coverage for only a few months and often don’t cover preexisting conditions or prescription drugs. Such plans have been outlawed in California, starting Jan. 1.

Despite state and federal crackdowns — some involving multimillion-dollar fines — robocalls aren’t going away anytime soon. So the best thing for consumers to do when they receive one is to just hang up or, like Virginia resident Cave, not respond to unfamiliar numbers, advises the Federal Communications Commission.

Instead, check out the federal Obamacare exchange, healthcare.gov, or your state’s marketplace.


This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation.

Kaiser Health News

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Robot inspects package sent to former DNC chair

Associated Press

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