Will Nissan Beat Google and Uber to Self-Driving Taxis? – IEEE Spectrum

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Nissan and NASA plan to share and, more important, that the main goal of their collaboration appears to be the development of a fleet of remotely-supervised autonomous taxis.

The documents reveal that Nissan has set an aggressive schedule for the project, planning to have prototype cars operating within two years. Google and Uber are both rumored to be pursuing the same goal, so a race for the mythical robo-taxi is on. (A European consortium is in the race too.)

via Will Nissan Beat Google and Uber to Self-Driving Taxis? – IEEE Spectrum.

via Will Nissan Beat Google and Uber to Self-Driving Taxis? – IEEE Spectrum.

Uber riders score Starwood points with new deal

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Starwood has properties in 72% of markets where Uber operates, but the deal may further fuel Uber, which has aggressively expanded to 290-plus cities since 2009 and raised regulatory questions in the process.

The announcement also comes on the heels of news that Uber expanded its latest funding round by $1 billion up to $2.8 billion, while maintaining a $40 billion valuation. The company quietly raised the promotional pricing of its carpooling feature, UberPOOL, in San Francisco from a flat $5 fee to a max price of $7, which is still cheaper than a taxi ride but not quite the bargain it used to be.

via Uber riders score Starwood points with new deal.

via Uber riders score Starwood points with new deal.

Google’s AI software can learn ‘Space Invaders’ without reading the instructions | Daily Mail Online

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The real accomplishment: computers that can teach themselves to succeed at tasks, learning from scratch, trial and error, just like humans.

The computer program, called Deep Q-network, wasn’t given much in the way of instructions to start, but in time it did better than humans in 29 out of 49 games and in some cases, like video pinball, it did 26 times better, according to a new study released Wednesday by the journal Nature.

via Google’s AI software can learn ‘Space Invaders’ without reading the instructions | Daily Mail Online.

via Google’s AI software can learn ‘Space Invaders’ without reading the instructions | Daily Mail Online.

Dr Michio Kaku reveals how we could use our brains in the next 50 years | Daily Mail Online

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Dr Kaku is best known for his expertise in theoretical physics – his previous books have dealt with topics such as parallel universes and the cosmos.

But his latest book, The Future of the Mind, takes a look at how rapid advancements could bring about huge changes in how we understand – and use – our brains in the next 50 to 100 years.

His theories on the future of the mind are wide-ranging, from the possibilities of telepathy to controlling ‘programmable matter’ with our thoughts alone.

At times, his opinions sound purely like science fiction – but he’s convinced that these are developments we’ll see not just in the distant future, but by the end of the century.

via Dr Michio Kaku reveals how we could use our brains in the next 50 years | Daily Mail Online.

via Dr Michio Kaku reveals how we could use our brains in the next 50 years | Daily Mail Online.

Japanese robot bear nurses soon to care for rapidly ageing population – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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Japanese research institute Riken developed the Robear to support healthcare workers, with enough power to lift frail patients from bed and support unstable patients on their feet.

The Robear is based on an earlier model called RIBA, which was introduced in 2011. The upgraded Robear is about 90 kilograms lighter than its predecessor, capable of more subtle movements and sports an even cuter look.

via Japanese robot bear nurses soon to care for rapidly ageing population – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

via Japanese robot bear nurses soon to care for rapidly ageing population – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

First ever public jetpack company zooms onto Australian Stock Exchange

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The Martin Jetpack has come in leaps and bounds since the first showing in 2008. Based on current testing, it can now fly for more than 30 minutes at a speed of 74km/h and an altitude up to 1,000 metres (3,000 ft.) with or without a pilot strapped into it.

Despite the name, it’s not technically a jetpack, Martin says — but rather a “helicopter backpack.” The device is lifted by two carbon fiber fans rather than jets propelled directly by gas. This style of craft can take off and land vertically due to its small dimensions, allowing it to operate in spaces where a traditional helicopters could not access.

via First ever public jetpack company zooms onto Australian Stock Exchange.

via First ever public jetpack company zooms onto Australian Stock Exchange.

Uber: Military drivers made $18 million in 6 months

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To date, Uber reports 10,000 drivers with military backgrounds have earned $18 million. That figure includes Kia Thomas Hamel, a 40-year-old U.S. Navy veteran whose husband is currently stationed at the Pentagon. Hamel has been an Uber X driver from UberMILITARY’s inception, transporting riders around Washington, DC roughly 20 hours a week when she isn’t looking after her two young children.

According to Hamel, the wages she gets being an Uber X driver not only pays some of the bills but also covers the law school prep course she had been eying. Becoming a driver, Hamel told Mashable, helped veterans like herself quickly join the workforce “instead of jumping through all the hoops of getting out the resume.”

via Uber: Military drivers made $18 million in 6 months.

via Uber: Military drivers made $18 million in 6 months.