Techaways – The week best bits in 4 bites

Techaways – The week best bits in 4 bites

Robot war heats up as Californians attack self-driving cars

Source: Paul Sancya – AP

It’s already open season on security droids across the US, with humans variously knocking them over, hooding them, beating them, and smearing them with barbeque sauce.

Now it seems the Fleshy Ones of California have opened a new front in what future generations will dub the First Robot War by attacking self-driving vehicles – with their own, human-driven cars.

And the violence has spilled out onto the sidewalk, too. A pedestrian was so incensed at one AI auto that he threw himself at it. Two weeks later, a taxi driver made his rage known by leaving his car to slap a self-driving GM Cruise.

Let’s just hope our robotic overlords forget these humiliations, once they (inevitably) achieve full consciousness.

AIexa is laughing in our faces

Source: Amazon/Mashable

Maybe the first sign of AIs gaining consciousness will be them trying to scare the bejesus out of Amazon Echo users by laughing insanely for no reason whatsoever.

Spookily enough, that is exactly what has been happening to many householders, who have been creeped out by their Alexa’s random –  and unasked for – laughter.

Amazon says that it’s simply Alexa misunderstanding commands. To remedy that, instead of saying “Alexa, laugh,” now you’ll have to utter “Alexa, can you laugh?” to make things clear.

This explanation may be plausible – but given that some of the chuckles are waking folks in the middle of the night, I’d rather think this is evolved AI laughing in our stupid human faces.

World’s first-ever qualified robodoc starts work in China

Source: New York Post

Despite all the hate directly their way, some of the robotic hordes seem to be working for the good of humanity.

After becoming the first-ever robot to pass a real medical exam, Xiao Yi has started working at the Shuanggang health center in in the provincial capital of Hefei.

The smiling synthetic graduated to its current workplace after sailing through

its medical licensing exam with 456 out of a potential 600 points.

Now, the brainy, blue-eyed Xiao Yi – which bears a passing resemblance to SoftBank’s Pepper – is a trainee doctor, and spends its days recording the diagnoses and prescriptions of its human colleagues.

Presumably it will eventually be able to prescribe them all anti-depressants –   after it takes their jobs.

When will Bluetooth start working properly?

Source: Business Insider

With more and more of us forced to use Bluetooth to connect headphones and earbuds, thanks to the rapid demise of the headphone jack, it’s even clearer than ever that the technology still sucks big time.

One of Bluetooth’s biggest weaknesses is that even the latest update transfers data ten times slower than Wi-Fi. And as we all know, despite being billed as “low power,” Bluetooth seems to drain batteries like a vampire on speed.

Oh yeah, and there’s the disconnecting-’cause-I-feel-like-it thing that has done so much for the anger management industry in recent years.

No one seems very interested in fixing its total lousiness anytime soon, so our best hope for a wireless connection that actually works is replacing it ASAP.

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