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Software Engineering / ‘Smart farming’ plows ahead in Japan
« on: April 16, 2019, 07:30:06 PM »
“Smart farming,” which utilises cutting-edge robotics and artificial intelligence, could hold the key to an agricultural resurgence in a nation of graying farmers and a general population reluctant to toil in the soil.

Major agricultural machinery makers are already pouring resources into developing new equipment, and the Japanese government is planning experiments to test self-driving tractors and other technologies at about 50 model farms starting next fiscal year.

Building a better tractor

A new robotic tractor was unveiled Jan. 15 at a research firm run by the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, a state research and development institute based in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture. With no one in the driver’s seat, a worker standing off to the side used a tablet computer to make the tractor stop and go. When the tractor reached the edge of the field, it made a rapid U-turn. In no time at all the field was plowed.

The tractor’s motions can be monitored on a screen, which allowed the worker to operate two tractors simultaneously. Kubota Corp. has started test-marketing of a tractor that can plow both wet and dry fields. It uses satellite location data to move automatically at a high level of precision, with only a few centimeters of error.

“In the future, we will achieve ‘unmanned farming,’ in which AI will comprehensively analyze satellite, meteorological and other data so robot farm machines can operate automatically,” said Yuji Tomiyama, a Kubota managing executive officer.Yanmar Co. and Iseki & Co. are already marketing self-driving tractors.Another area of progress is in the use of small drones.

For details:

A text-generating "bot" nicknamed Tobi produced nearly 40,000 news stories about the results of the November 2018 elections in Switzerland for the media giant Tamedia -- in just five minutes.

These kinds of artificial intelligence programs -- available for nearly a decade -- are becoming more widespread as news organizations turn to them to produce stories, personalize news delivery and in some cases sift through data to find important news.

Tobi wrote on vote results for each of Switzerland's 2,222 municipalities, in both French and German, for the country's largest media group, according to a paper presented last month at the Computation + Journalism conference in Miami.

A similar automated program called Heliograf has enabled The Washington Post daily to cover some 500 election races, along with local sports and business, since 2014.

"We've seen a greater acceptance of the potential for artificial intelligence, or robo-journalism, in newsrooms around the world," said Damian Radcliffe, a University of Oregon professor who follows consumer trends and business models for journalism.

"These systems can offer speed and accuracy and potentially support the realities of smaller newsrooms and the time pressures of journalists."

News organizations say the bots are not intended to displace human reporters or editors but rather to help free them from the most monotonous tasks, such as sports results and earnings reports.

Jeremy Gilbert, director of strategic initiatives at The Washington Post, said Heliograf was developed as a tool to help the newspaper's editorial team.

"The Post has an incredible team of reporters and editors and we didn't want to replace them," Gilbert told AFP.

'Is this something we can automate?'                 
Gilbert said the bot can deliver and update stories more quickly as they develop, allowing reporters to concentrate on other tasks, and that reaction has been generally positive.

"The surprise was that a lot of people came up and said, 'I do this story every week; is this something we can automate?'" Gilbert said.

"These weren't stories that anyone wanted to do."

Similar conversations are going on in newsrooms around the world. The Norwegian news agency NTB automated sports reports to get match results delivered within 30 seconds.

The Los Angeles Times developed a "quakebot" that quickly distributes news articles on temblors in the region and also uses an automated system as part of its Homicide Report.

The Associated Press has been automating quarterly earnings reports for some 3,000 listed companies, allowing the news agency to expand from what had been just a few hundred, and this year announced plans with its partner Automated Insights to deliver computer-generated previews of college basketball games.

Rival news agency Reuters last year announced the launch of Lynx Insight, which uses automated data analysis to identify trends and anomalies and to suggest stories reporters should write.

Bloomberg's computerized system called Cyborg "dissects a company's earnings the moment they appear" and produces within seconds a "mini-wrap with all the numbers and a lot of context," editor-in-chief John Micklethwait wrote last year, noting that one-fourth of the agency's content "has some degree of automation."

France's Le Monde and its partner Syllabs deployed a computer program that generated 150,000 web pages covering 36,000 municipalities in the 2015 elections.

One advantage of using algorithmically generated stories is that they can also be "personalized," or delivered to the relevant localities, which can be useful for elections and sports coverage.

Investigative robo-reporter?
While news professionals acknowledge the limits of computer programs, they also note that automated systems can sometimes accomplish things humans can't.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution used a data journalism team to uncover 450 cases of doctors who were brought before medical regulators or courts for sexual misconduct, finding that nearly half remained licensed to practice medicine.

The newspaper used machine learning, an artificial intelligence tool, to analyze each case and assign a "probability rating" on sexual misconduct, which was then reviewed by a team of journalists.

Studies appear to indicate consumers accept computer-generated stories, which are mostly labeled as such.

A report prepared by researcher Andreas Graefe for Columbia University's Tow Center said one study of Dutch readers found that the label of computer-generated "had no effect on people's perceptions of quality."

A second study of German readers, Graefe said, found that "automated articles were rated as more credible," although human-written news scored higher for "readability."

Robot apocalypse?           
Even though journalists and robots appear to be helping each other, fears persist about artificial intelligence spinning out of control and costing journalists' jobs.

In February, researchers at the nonprofit center OpenAI announced they had developed an automatic text generator so good that it is keeping details private for now.

The researchers said the program could be used for nefarious purposes, including to generate fake news articles, impersonating others online, and automate fake content on social media.

But Meredith Broussard, a professor of data journalism at New York University, said she does not see any immediate threats of robots taking over newsrooms.

She said there are many positive applications of AI in the newsroom, but that for now, most programs handle "the most boring" stories.

"There are some jobs that are going to be automated, but overall, I'm not worried about the robot apocalypse in the newsroom," she said.


Need a summary sir. However informative. Thanks for sharing.

Working on a real environment can make understand in these topics.

Thanks sir. Informative.  :)

Research Ideas / Re: Inviting Research Ideas from Faculty Members
« on: April 01, 2019, 10:13:11 PM »
Good initiative, Sir. All will be motivated towards research.

You can now play the classic game Snake in the Google Maps app, just by hitting the top left menu button in the app, and selecting the option to play. If the option doesn't show up for you, try closing and reopening the Maps app.

Once you're inside the easter egg, you can select between different cities you'd like to play on, including Cairo, London, San Francisco, São Paulo, Sydney, and Tokyo.

A neat touch is that each city features a snake which is coloured like the trains from that particular location (except San Francisco, which is a tram), and objectives which are shaped like famous tourist destinations.

Informative. Thanks for sharing, Sir.

The increasing popularity of wearable devices has researchers concerned about the security of the internet of the body. Purdue University professors and students of electrical and computer engineering are working on a device that could provide a safer solution.

Google has been gradually adding and, more quietly, removing features from Gmail over the past few weeks. That momentum continued on Monday when Google announced some extensions to the popular email ciient's Smart Compose feature.
Desktop and Google Pixel 3 users know Smart Compose as the Gmail feature that completes sentences for you on occasion. Google is enhancing it so it can supposedly emulate your writerly voice, meaning it can better adapt to informal ways of greeting email recipients now.

It will even suggest subject lines now, according to Google. In addition to that, Smart Compose will now work in Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese alongside English.

Robotics and Embedded Systems / Tokyo 2020 Robot Project
« on: April 01, 2019, 09:56:30 PM »
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will use robots to make it the most innovative games ever.

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games announced its new “Tokyo 2020 Robot Project.” Toyota’s Human Support Robot and Delivery Support Robot are being deployed to assist spectators in wheelchairs, carry food and other goods, guide people to their seats, and provide event information.

Nissan teamed up with DeNA to launch an on-demand, self-driving taxi service. 'Easy Ride' is a robo-vehicle mobility service that features concierge services on an in-car tablet. Use the accompanying app to request a ride, or schedule one in advance. The companies are currently testing out the service in Japan and plan to launch it as early as 2020.

Machine Learning/ Deep Learning / Re: Evolution of machine learning
« on: April 01, 2019, 09:48:33 PM »
Good to know

To begin, there's zero evidence it's aliens.

  Mobile logo 2d675f03bcc8a93a7d09335159bda85a2cfee1e67a8649cd4a0bc639803afedc Share  Tweet
Scientists detect a repeating signal from deep space, but its origin is a mystery
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 The uniquely shaped CHIME telescope in British Columbia.
The uniquely shaped CHIME telescope in British Columbia.
JAN 10, 2019
To begin, there's zero evidence it's aliens.

But for just the second time, a team of astronomers detected a flash of repeating of radio waves emanating from beyond our Milky Way galaxy. Using a new, sprawling Canadian telescope dubbed CHIME — which is the size of six hockey rinks — scientists identified the short, repeating burst in the summer of 2018 and published their results Wednesday in the journal Nature. 

The source of these super distant signals, from some 1.5 billion light years away, is still largely a mystery. What's agreed upon is that for these radio waves to travel millions of light years and arrive at Earth as strong signals, they must have a profoundly potent origin — perhaps a powerful explosion in another galaxy.
"We don’t know what can cause an emission that is that powerful," Shriharsh Tendulkar, an astrophysicist at McGill University and study coauthor, said in an interview.

"We really don’t know what they are," added Marc Kamionkowski, a professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University who had no involvement in the study, in an interview. "There is good evidence they’re coming from outside the Milky Way."
While scientists have detected more than 60 instances of fast radio bursts — which last just milliseconds — this is just the second known signal coming from the same location.

Lots of things in space produce radio waves, and many of these signals hit Earth. "There are all sorts of radio waves arriving at all times," said Tendulkar. The sun is constantly sending radio waves through the solar system. And there's a number of powerful phenomena in the deep universe that blast radio waves into the cosmos — like black holes.

Scientists are certainly deep in thought about where these distant, quick bursts might come from.

"There is a lot of speculation in the astrophysical transient community about the origin of these events and a number of theories have been put forward to explain how they are formed," Kate Maguire, a researcher at the Astrophysics Research Center at Queen’s University Belfast who had no involvement in the study, said over email.

Software Engineering / Facebook is about to start investing in local news
« on: January 21, 2019, 08:51:26 PM »
Over the next three years, Facebook intends to donate $300 million to aid journalists and newsrooms in smaller U.S. cities.

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