Mightier is helping calm kids down through mobile games

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Learning how to regulate your emotions is a fundamental skill, but it can be tough for kids, especially those with challenging behaviors, oppositional disorder, ADHD and autism. Mightier, by Neuromotion Labs, is a gaming platform that teaches kids a…
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Google Is Helping the Air Force Analyze Drone Footage With AI

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News has emerged that Google is helping the Department of Defense use artificial intelligence to analyze military drone footage. Information about the project was shared among company employees last week, and later shared by Gizmodo.

The initiative, known as Project Maven, was launched in April 2017. Its goal is to provide the U.S. Air Force with a means of sorting through the massive amount of imagery produced by its autonomous drones, to figure out which items require human analysis.

Google has been providing its TensorFlow application programming interface (API) to the Department of Defense in order to help machine learning algorithms recognize particular objects. A statement from the company submitted to Gizmodo stresses that the technology was used for non-offensive purposes.

However, there’s apparently some unrest among employees regarding the project. Some are upset that Google is dedicating resources to the military’s usage of surveillance technology, while others are arguing that Project Maven raises important questions about the ethical implementation of machine learning.

There’s resistance on the other side of the issue, too. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is a part of the Pentagon that’s responsible for analyzing images collected from satellites and drone footage. It’s currently in the process of introducing new technology into its capabilities, and some analysts are worried that too much reliance on automated systems instead of human experts will result in less effective intelligence.

Machine learning certainly has a role to play in military surveillance – Project Maven has apparently been employed in the fight against ISIS since December 2017, according to a report from The Bulletin. The question is how to use these tools ethically, and how much oversight is appropriate, given the nature of military operations.

The post Google Is Helping the Air Force Analyze Drone Footage With AI appeared first on Futurism.

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Google is helping US military train AI to study drone footage

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

The US military's Project Maven is getting some help using AI to interpret drone footage from a not-entirely-unexpected source: Google. The company has confirmed a Gizmodo report that it's offering TensorFlow programming kits to the Defense Departm…
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How the IoT and Related Tech Are Helping to Update the Energy Sector

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Energy sector improvements have the capacity to affect almost every other industry. We all recognize the importance of a reliable energy system — after all, no business runs without electricity. As DataRPM, a Progress company that uses anomaly detection and prediction to provide a stable energy supply, notes in its recent e-book, “Since energy literally drives everything in the industrial world, the energy and utilities industry itself is under constant pressure…to tackle efficiency problems and perform 24/7 without disruptions.”

Another thing we all know is that electricity costs money. Thankfully, the Internet of Things is empowering companies to better understand their energy consumption and adapt, so as to reduce both their consumption and their costs.

Industry represents a huge proportion of U.S. energy consumption – about a third of the total — and that figure is projected to increase further. With consumption on the rise, energy companies are incentivized to improve efficiency in order to decrease their total operating costs, and opportunities for these improvements are abundant.

According to independent studies, U.S. industry could introduce measures that cut energy consumption by between 14 and 22 percent. IoT technologies that either exist or are being developed are among the tech-based solutions that promise to address efficiency and security issues for the energy sector.

Startups are exploring IoT-oriented solutions

Entrepreneurs often look for areas to make a difference, and the energy sector represents a substantial opportunity. Companies such as WIFIPLUG, which produces a smart plug that currently works with four IoT platforms, are helping both businesses and consumers reduce energy consumption by learning their routines and making it easier for them to adjust their energy usage. The company was part of the 2017 cohort of the Ameren Accelerator, which is currently accepting applications for its second annual cohort in hopes of finding other energy solution-focused startups.

BlocPower, a tenant at the Urban Tech Hub in New York City, is another promising project. The company is utilizing the IoT to build a platform meant to grow clean energy usage in the nation’s inner cities, which it feels are often overlooked by large companies.

See Also: How startups can work with cities to innovate for a smarter future

Energy-demand forecast data is improving

Renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly capable, but they’re not always easy to incorporate into the grid. In addition, weather has a big impact on the success of these energy sources, making them less reliable than those based on fossil fuels. Right now, renewable sources can’t always meet peak demand on their own.

Scientists at the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites-North Carolina (CICS-NC) are taking steps to improve data analysis and create more accurate forecasts of energy demand. Knowing the demand for a specific area is an important part of determining how best to meet its need. As artificial intelligence and the IoT further develop, the predictive capabilities of both will aid the energy sector as it seeks to balance the grid and meet industry and consumer demands.

Industrial companies are using tech to increase efficiency

Industrial companies wanting to improve their operations naturally turn to tech solutions. In the case of Honeywell, the New Jersey-based company is improving its IIoT abilities in oil and gas by partnering with air emissions firm Aereon of Austin, Texas, with the goal of helping its customers increase the efficiency of their supply chains and decrease unplanned downtime.

In addition, the IoT and AI are obvious partners when it comes to achieving energy efficiencies. Google’s DeepMind technology — the same AI that taught itself to play Go and beat the best players in the world — has helped the company predict increased demand on cooling systems at its data centers. That information helped Google reduce its energy usage by 40 percent, which will save it hundreds of millions of dollars over the next several years. The U.K.’s National Grid is in the preliminary stages of talks with Google about putting DeepMind to work as well.

There’s no denying it — the IoT has had an impact on the energy sector, and its influence will continue to grow. Tech innovations promise to bring the grid into the 21st century and create a safer, more efficient system while reducing costly reliability issues. By making investments in a smart grid and fully utilizing the IoT, we’ll be able to take full advantage of renewable technologies such as solar and wind power and create a brighter future, both literally and figuratively.

See Also: Industrial IoT and energy efficiency will slash carbon emissions

The post How the IoT and Related Tech Are Helping to Update the Energy Sector appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Tesla is helping South Australia build what will be the world’s largest virtual power plant

The South Australian government will build what it says is the world’s largest virtual power plant by rolling out solar panels and Tesla batteries to at least 50,000 homes. Installation is planned over the next four years, and those households will combine to create the 250MW virtual power plant. Energy generated from the solar panels will be stored in the Tesla batteries, and any excess energy will be fed back to the grid, which will be centrally controlled and provide energy to the rest of the state when required.

In an initial trial, which has already commenced, a 5kW solar panel system and a 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 battery will be installed in 1,100 public housing properties for free, with the sale of electricity to cover costs….

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Microsoft is helping developers make cloud-connected games

Microsoft has acquired PlayFab, a game development startup that offloads the burdens associated with cloud-connected gaming for developers, allowing them to focus squarely on creating games. The terms of the deal haven't been disclosed, but Microsoft…
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Apple video content push reportedly helping increase actors’ salaries in negotiations with TV networks

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Apple’s drive for video content is seemingly having a wider effect on how much actors get paid, with a report claiming Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman bolstered their pay from HBO for a project following after Witherspoon made a similar high-value deal for an Apple-commissioned drama.
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How robots are helping create drought-resistant crops

How robots are helping create drought-resistant crops

A robotics project in Missouri, USA is looking to tackle world hunger by using autonomous vehicles to collect data that will aid the development of drought-resistant crops.

For every story on how robots threaten the future of humanity, there’s scope for another that shows how they will save us. The fact is, like any technology, the humanitarian benefits and value of robotics to future generations will stem from our choices around their application and the regulations that govern them.

For now though, we can take heart in research at the Vision-Guided and Intelligent Robotics (ViGIR) Laboratory, undertaken in partnership with the University of Missouri in the US and other scientific bodies.

Population increases, climate change, the loss of arable land, pests and disease all play their part in undermining the world’s food supply. The internet of things (IoT) is rising to the occasion and striving to meet global demand but the effect of drought on many regions of the world remains potentially devastating.

Read more: Real-time disease monitoring unearths power of IoT in agriculture

Laying the groundwork for drought-resistant crops

What started as a collaboration with the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, creating 3D images of root growth in the laboratory, has flourished into the development of robotics that is helping to create similar images of corn shoots out in the field.

This new robotic architecture for plant phenotyping (an organism’s observable physical or biochemical characteristics) consists of two platforms – an autonomous ground vehicle, known as Vinobot, and a mobile observation tower, or Vinoculer.

As the ground vehicle navigates crop rows, collecting data from individual plants, the tower oversees a 60ft radius of the surrounding field, identifying specific plants for the Vinobot to inspect.

The Vinobot, meanwhile, has multiple sensors and a robotic arm to collect temperature, humidity and light intensity at three different heights on the corn plant. This allows it to assess growth, development, yield and other aspects, such as tolerance and resistance to environmental stressors, by correlating these to the physiology of the corn shoots.

Read more: Italian start-up Evja launches smart agriculture platform for salad growers

The importance of autonomous crop phenotyping

The neat teamwork between Vinobot and Vinoculer has a threefold advantage. Firstly, the system can assess large areas of a field at any time, night or day, while identifying biotic or abiotic stresses in individual regions.

Secondly, this can be focussed to allow high-throughput plant phenotyping, with either selective or comprehensive data acquisition – from groups or individual plants. And finally, the method does away with the need for the expensive aerial vehicles or confined field platforms that are commonly used today. The research’s report claims, the proposed system is cost effective, reliable, versatile and extendable.

Most significantly, the use of 3D models supplied by the robots expands the traditional measurements of leaf angels, areas and number of leaves to enable the potential discovery of new traits. This could provide the means to give scientists the data needed to develop new genotypes of drought-resistant crops.

Read more: Tarzan robot swings above crops for automated agriculture

The post How robots are helping create drought-resistant crops appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Aptiv on helping automakers create an autonomous world

Automakers don't build every component in their vehicles. It's a complex combination of in-house parts and third-party components working in tandem to make things like autonomous vehicles a reality. One of the main players is first-tier supplier Apti…
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