TechCrunch: Saudi Arabia bestows citizenship on a robot names Sophia
That’s right, Saudia Arabia, infamous for denying females basic rights, just granted citizenship to a robot developed by Hanson Robotics. Many view this as no more than a PR stunt out of the Future Investment Initiative summit that was held in Riyadh; however, others, including Elon Musk fear the worst coming from the rapid advancements made in AI, envisioning outcomes that compromise the well being of the human race. Who knows what’s next to come, but anyhow Sophia is a groundbreaking advancement for AI and an ironic decision made by Saudi Arabia.
Mashable: Walmart looks to undercut Amazon with new robotic employees
Walmart, a company that already utilizes robots in specific locations, has plans to expand their usage of “retail robots” to over 50 stores. Walmart claims the robots are not in aim to reduce employees, but instead are in hopes to allow employees, “more time to serve our customers, something they tell us is the best part of working in retail”. These robots are designed to focus on simple, but time-consuming tasks, such as scanning for mislabeled items. Walmart is surely not the first to utilize robots in their workforce, some people believe this expansion is an effort by Walmart to speed up their infrastructure and beat back Amazon. This addition is nothing out of the ordinary, but surely incentives the fear of employee cuts due to the continual growth of the presence of automation in the workforce.
Mashable: Facebook launches a marketplace for cars with dealers and blue book pricing
Facebook’s wide realm of features, now includes a marketplace for cars. Now you will be able to use search filters to find specific vehicles from both people and car dealerships. Facebook does not take a cut from any marketplace transaction, but instead is bound to accumulate great wealth by their ability to sell valuable ads that will be able to target specific car buyers; additionally, it is another feature that is sure to draw in even more new Facebook users. This is an exciting addition to the dominant social media platform, and I am excited to see what is to come from it.
Engadget: Google partners with fact-Checking network to fight fake news
Fake news is not a new concept, but it is a term that has been thrown around more than ever lately. Google has recently taken a strong leap towards solving this issue of the prevalence of misleading information on the internet. Google plans to work with the International Fact Checking Network in three main ways: increasing the number of verified fact checkers in the world, expanding the code of principles into new regions, and offering free fact-checking tools. In the past, Google has joined forces with other organizations in hopes to resolve the issue of fake news, but now, with the inclusion of other powerful companies taking action, the battle to destroy fake news is reaching its climax.
Engadget: India passes US to become second largest smartphone market
The US is now the third largest smartphone market in the world. Growing 23 percent in the third quarter of this year, India has passed the US, making it the second largest market for smartphones in the world, behind China. Samsung and Xiaomi account for almost half of the market, collectively shipping over 18 million smartphones to India. This benchmark reached by India indicates a bright future for Xiaomi, a low-cost smartphone maker predicted to soon overtake Samsung.