Mobile-Realite Augmentee

Yes, Alexa is recording mundane details of your life, and it’s creepy as hell

Since last year I’ve had a smart speaker in my living room—an Echo Dot. My family uses it mostly to ask Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa, to play music. But after I saw a report that an Alexa-enabled speaker owned by a family in Portland, Oregon,…

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Now playing: a movie you control with your mind

Usually when you watch a film, you sit back in your chair, eyes trained on a screen, as the story unfolds. It’s a lot different when you watch one of Richard Ramchurn’s latest films. Ramchurn, a graduate student at the University of Nottingham in Nottingham,…

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Why emotionally intelligent bots are the future of AI

From booking systems to customer and feedback services, chatbots are ubiquitous in business. But in areas, such as health or the home, people seem less willing to engage with what is effectively a computer running smart software or a machine that “learns” thorough artificial intelligence…

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Video games could be serious tools for historical research

One of the extraordinary consequences of computer modeling techniques is that they make it possible to simulate various real-world phenomena in fantastic detail. Computer fluid dynamics, for example, has largely replaced the use of wind tunnels in many applications. Social-network simulations have changed the way…

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Ubiquity6 lets your friends visit your augmented reality

  If you look in a corner on the 20th floor of an office tower in the middle of downtown San Francisco, you might find a digital cat and mouse waiting for you. I put them just inside the offices of an augmented-reality startup, Ubiquity6,…

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Let’s destroy Bitcoin

  In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto served the world an entirely new kind of currency. It was one that people could move over the internet instantaneously and nearly free of charge. Issued and distributed not by a central bank but by its own users, it drew the…

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When the cryptocurrency bubble pops, these tokens are built to survive

Being in a cryptocurrency bubble is not entirely a bad thing. At least according to crypto’s true believers. The argument goes like this: Sure, lots of people lost money when the dot-com bubble burst, but the technological innovation and human capital that survived became the…

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Researchers have created a battery-free phone that is powered by sunlight

Instead of batteries, a new cell phone harvests the few microwatts of power it needs from a different source: ambient radio signals or light. Researchers were also able to make Skype calls using the battery-free phone, demonstrating that the prototype—made of commercial, off-the-shelf components—can receive…

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How much screen time is too much?

In today’s media-rich world (or media-saturated, depending on your view), one rarely has to look far to find parents concerned about the ways that kids engage with technology. Recently, managing “screen time” seems to be on everyone’s mind – particularly during these summer months when…

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Your smartphone could soon translate your thoughts into text

  Breakthrough A new system developed by a team of researchers from Japan’s Toyohashi University of Technology can read people’s minds using brainwaves. To test the technology, participants in a study of the system were asked to say numbers out loud and used a robot…

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