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Waymo vs. Uber: 8 Things I Learned From Anthony Levandowski Taking the 5th

Waymo vs. Uber: 8 Things I Learned From Anthony Levandowski Taking the 5th

The questions he was asked spoke volumes about Uber’s suppliers, the secret Spider lidar, Google’s early suspicions, and more Photo-illustration: IEEE Spectrum; Photo: Andrej Sokolow/AP Photo In February, Google’s self-driving car spin-out Waymo accused Anthony Levandowski of stealing 14,000 confidential files about the laser-ranging lidars developed while he was working there and taking them to Uber.(…)

AI Learns Gender and Racial Biases from Language

AI Learns Gender and Racial Biases from Language

Machine learning algorithms that readily pick up cultural biases may pose ethical problems Image: iStockphoto Artificial intelligence does not automatically rise above human biases regarding gender and race. On the contrary, machine learning algorithms that represent the cutting edge of AI in many online services and apps may readily mimic the biases encoded in their(…)

Video Friday: Pepper’s Fish Mode, Deep Learning in the Warehouse, and Stealing From a Delivery Robot

Video Friday: Pepper’s Fish Mode, Deep Learning in the Warehouse, and Stealing From a Delivery Robot

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos Image: SoftBank Robotics via YouTube Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We’ll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next two months; here’s what we have so far (send us your events!): ITU Robot(…)

Nanostructures Move From Water Purification to Uranium Extraction

Nanostructures Move From Water Purification to Uranium Extraction

Stanford researchers are getting a lot of mileage from nanomaterials by analyzing market needs Photo: Dexter Johnson Last August, we reported on work out of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University in which the nanomaterial molybdenum disulfide was used to kill 99.999 percent of bacteria in water within just(…)

How to Protect Your House From Water Leaks—Without the Internet of Things

How to Protect Your House From Water Leaks—Without the Internet of Things

An Arduino and a few modifications to off-the-shelf equipment are all you need to guard against plumbing disasters Photo: David Schneider Photo: David Schneider When Appliances Attack: A single stuck valve led to a leak that slowly but relentlessly damaged my home so thoroughly it had to be gutted and rebuilt. You’ve seen it in(…)

Hackers Try to Steal Self-Driving Tech From China’s Baidu

Hackers Try to Steal Self-Driving Tech From China’s Baidu

Robocar IP gets the most sincere complement of all: people are stealing it Photo: Baidu Robocar technology has received perhaps the most honest compliment mankind can bestow: Hackers tried to steal it. Even more extraordinary was the willingness of the targeted company, China’s Baidu, to acknowledge the attempted heist. “It’s very difficult to know who employs them(…)

This Self-Poofing Fabric Transforms from T-Shirt to Parka

This Self-Poofing Fabric Transforms from T-Shirt to Parka

Otherlab’s self-fluffing fabric changes its insulation in response to temperature Evan Ackerman A small team at Otherlab, which does all kinds of weird things, has been using ARPA-E funding to develop what they’re calling “thermally adaptive materials.” We’ll call it self-poofing fabric, for its ability to dynamically change its insulation in response to temperature. The idea is that the fabric(…)