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Articles written by Matt O-brien

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Dreams of ubiquitous social robots still aren't coming true

Hopes that the tech industry was on the cusp of rolling personal robots into homes are dimming now that several once-promising consumer robotics companies have shut down. The latest casualty was San Francisco startup Anki, maker of the playful toy...

 

Democrats want feds to target the 'black box' of AI bias

Congress is starting to show interest in prying open the "black box" of tech companies' artificial intelligence with oversight that parallels how the federal government checks under car hoods and audits banks. One proposal introduced Wednesday and...

 

Apple vs. Netflix: Why turf wars are flaring in big tech

Apple's ambitious leap into streaming video illustrates an escalating trend: Tech's biggest companies, faced with limits to their growth, are encroaching on each other's turf. Apple is taking on Netflix by launching a subscription TV service with...

 

Microsoft workers protest use of HoloLens headsets for war

A group of Microsoft workers is demanding the company cancel a contract supplying the U.S. Army with HoloLens headsets that they say would turn real-world battlefields into a video game. Microsoft's head-mounted HoloLens displays use augmented realit...

 

14-year-old's FaceTime bug discovery could rattle Apple

At the heart of Apple's shocking FaceTime bug, which allowed just about anyone to turn an iPhone into a live microphone, stands a 14-year-old boy who stumbled upon the eavesdropping flaw more than a week before Apple took action. "The thing that...

 

Will robots take your job? Quarter of US workers at risk

Robots aren't replacing everyone, but a quarter of U.S. jobs will be severely disrupted as artificial intelligence accelerates the automation of existing work, according to a new Brookings Institution report. Thursday's report from the Washington...

 

Grocery robots detect spills - with some far-off human help

SEEKONK, Mass. (AP) — A wheeled robot named Marty is rolling into nearly 500 grocery stores to alert employees if it encounters spilled granola, squashed tomatoes or a broken jar of mayonnaise. But there could be a human watching from behind its...

 

CES 2019: "Family tech" gadgets appeal to parental anxiety

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Every year, the CES gadget show brings more devices promising to make life a little bit easier for harried parents. Sure, the kids might love them too: who wouldn't want a computerized Harry Potter wand that also teaches coding?...

 

CES 2019: A high-tech spin for the old-school peephole

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The CES 2019 gadget show is revving up in Las Vegas. Here are the latest findings and observations from Associated Press reporters on the ground. DING-DONG, THE PEEPHOLE IS RINGING Ring is giving the old-school peephole a...

 

Microsoft surpasses Apple as most valuable public company

Microsoft's big bet on cloud computing is paying off as the company has surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable publicly traded company. The software maker's prospects looked bleak just a few years ago, as licenses for the company's Windows...

 

Microsoft's anti-hacking efforts make it an internet cop

Intentionally or not, Microsoft has emerged as a kind of internet cop by devoting considerable resources to thwarting Russian hackers. The company's announcement Tuesday that it had identified and forced the removal of fake internet domains...

 

Microsoft uncovers more Russian hacking ahead of midterms

Microsoft has uncovered new Russian hacking efforts targeting U.S. political groups ahead of the midterm elections. The company said Tuesday that a group tied to the Russian government created fake websites that appeared to spoof two American...

 

Robots are getting more social. Are humans ready?

BOSTON (AP) — Personal home robots that can socialize with people are starting to roll out of the laboratory and into our living rooms and kitchens. But are humans ready to invite them into their lives? It's taken decades of research to build...

 

Social media plays whack-a-mole with Russia interference

Facebook is spending heavily to avoid a repeat of the Russian interference that played out on its service in 2016, bringing on thousands of human moderators and advanced artificial intelligence systems to weed out fake accounts and foreign...

 

AP Explains: How computers "see" faces and other objects

Computers started to be able to recognize human faces in images decades ago, but now artificial intelligence systems are rivaling people's ability to classify objects in photos and videos. That's sparking increased interest from government agencies...

 

How much all-seeing AI surveillance is too much?

BOSTON (AP) — When a CIA-backed venture capital fund took an interest in Rana el Kaliouby's face-scanning technology for detecting emotions, the computer scientist and her colleagues did some soul-searching — and then turned down the money....

 

IBM computer proves formidable against 2 human debaters

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An argumentative computer proved formidable against two human debaters as IBM gave its first public demonstration of new artificial intelligence technology it's been working on for more than five years. The new skills show...

 

Boston Dynamics' scary robot videos: Are they for real?

BOSTON (AP) — If you've ever watched a YouTube video of a Boston Dynamics robot , you probably remember it. But you may not know what the videos leave out. Millions of people have watched the humanoid Atlas jogging through a field , or the...

 

Tech leaders push for more White House focus on AI

President Donald Trump hasn't said much, if anything, about artificial intelligence, but his administration is warming up to the idea of investing more in the technology and finding ways to build new skills for the U.S. workers it replaces. "The...

 

What happens when the robots sound too much like humans?

Artificial intelligence has a new challenge: Whether and how to alert people who may not know they're talking to a robot. On Tuesday, Google showed off a computer assistant that makes convincingly human-sounding phone calls , at least in its...

 

Robot fast-food chefs: Hype or a sign of industry change?

BOSTON (AP) — Robots can't yet bake a souffle or fold a burrito, but they can cook up vegetables and grains and spout them into a bowl — and are doing just that at a new fast casual restaurant in Boston. Seven autonomously swirling cooking pots...

 

Microsoft Windows adapts as its business importance declines

For Microsoft, Windows is no longer a core business so much as a complement to the company's other offerings. The company still makes money from Windows, the computer operating system that helped catapult the Microsoft brand to success more than...

 

Distracted by technology? Microsoft tries to help

Technology companies whose devices and constantly scrolling online services have driven us to distraction are beginning to acknowledge that their products can be a waste of time. Some of them now say they're trying to help. Microsoft is rolling out...

 

YouTube overhauls kids' app after complaints about content

YouTube is overhauling its kid-focused video app to give parents the option of letting humans, not computer algorithms, select what shows their children can watch. The updates that begin rolling out Thursday are a response to complaints that the...

 

Behind the smart gadgets, Amazon and Google are waging war

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The flash of the CES technology show in Las Vegas is all about robots, drones and smart gadgets. But its subtext is all about Google versus Amazon. Both companies usually shun conventions like CES, preferring to debut gadgets at...

 

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