Years ago, waiting for a haircut, dental appointment, or psychological evaluation meant thumbing through a paperback filled with local listings of automobiles you had convinced yourself you might be in the market for. While primarily an exercise for wasting one’s time, there was always a chance you’d run to a payphone or whip our your Nextel to contact the seller so you could begin the delicate dance of commerce.
BMW art cars debuted today, using artificial intelligence (AI) software to generate new works of art. In conjunction with Frieze New York, the fair takes place in Manhattan from May 5 – 9, 2021.
Frieze New York has works of art from over 60 galleries, mainly located in New York. A viewing room with over 160 exhibitors runs through May 14, bringing together galleries worldwide, and audiences who can’t travel.
Starsky Robotics is shutting down, ending whatever prospects it had at becoming the world’s premier self-driving company for long-haul trucking. The business has hit a snag with funding, with CEO Stefan Seltz-Axmacher announcing the fundraising it scheduled for November worked out rather badly.
Lacking capital was what ultimately killed Starsky Robotics, though Seltz-Axmacher claims the issue is quite a bit more complicated than that. Despite making significant progress with his own company, he now feels Starsky and the rest of the world has been incredibly naive in how it handled autonomous vehicles. He also believes there’s something deeply wrong with the burgeoning AV industry — it’s becoming bloated, progress has been slower than promised, investors don’t understand anything about the technology, and artificial intelligence is deeply flawed.
Automakers are obsessed with promoting high-tech concepts in an effort to prove to investors and the general public that they aren’t falling behind the times. While artificial intelligence remains the gold standard, what constitutes A.I. can get a little foggy. However, in the present, the term can be used to describe any machine that effectively mimics cognitive behaviors, like the ability to learn or create.
Car manufacturers want to fine tune specific A.I. examples to be implemented in autonomous driving hardware and high-end, modern infotainment systems. For example Mercedes-Benz wants to use the technology to build a more serious relationship between drivers and its cars by allowing future vehicles to “learn” about the driver. Meanwhile, General Motors decided to branch out to see how such a system would handle marketing by linking up OnStar Go with IBM’s Watson, an A.I. which famously beat Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings.
Watson is now working with Lexus and taking things a step further. The automaker just released a new advertisement it claims was written by IBM’s machine and directed by Kevin Macdonald.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has been a longtime proponent of artificial intelligence, saying it has applications that far exceed his autonomous car projects. But he’s also issued numerous warnings, stating that it must be handled safely and responsibly. Now he’s heralding it as a humankind’s great destructor.
Speaking Saturday at the National Governors Association in Rhode Island, Musk told the crowd A.I. is a “fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.” Urging the gathering to implement effective governmental regulation to ensure public safety. “Right now the government doesn’t even have insight,” Musk said. “Once there is awareness people will be extremely afraid, as they should be.”
Uber must be feeling somewhat confident in its legal battle with Waymo over stolen autonomous tech, because it’s assembling a new artificial intelligence team in Canada.
The group will serve as part of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, which has found itself at the core of the lawsuit, and focus on enhancing the company’s autonomous vehicle software.
Honda wants to up its software game and encourage creative uses for ones and zeros at its new research and development center. With ASIMO — the company’s adorable robot mascot — almost old enough to smoke, Honda hasn’t developed a super-high-profile gizmo in nearly 17 years.
Recently, the company took a distinctive back-to-basics approach to address slipping quality, though CEO Takahiro Hachigo confessed that rekindling the R&D “spirit” would be the other half of building a better Honda Motor Co.
With those goals in mind, Tokyo’s Honda Innovation Lab opened its doors to the press on Tuesday as the company announced it will be forming a specific unit to focus on the development of software-laden technology for its next generation of vehicles.
Yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show, Toyota debuted its Concept-i — an adorable and attentive little cutie pie of a self-driving car.
While it’s too impressive to make it to production anytime remotely soon — especially since Toyota recently disavowed impending autonomy — it’s sweet to see a company embracing fun as a central design concept. It’s a major departure from the super-serious, steering-wheel-absent “driving solutions” hypothesized by other manufacturers. The Concept-i works with drivers, keeping traditional driving controls and offering a “chauffeur mode” when you’re not interested in using them.
The Toyota Motor Corporation is a little skeptical of the imminency of self-driving vehicles. It plans on continuing production of designs where human operators are saddled with the bulk of the driving responsibilities for years to come.
The automaker is openly dubious that tech-focused companies like Waymo and Tesla are sufficiently far enough along to hint at delivering self-driving cars. However, Toyota’s problem with handing the keys to a computer has as much to do with leaving companies open to litigation and criticism as it does with the technology simply not yet being ready.
North America expects millions of traffic accidents every year, but is much less willing to accept computer-controlled chaos at even a fraction of that scale.
On the surface, it seems creepy and/or pathetic, but it could be a healthy new revenue stream for Toyota.
The automaker plans to begin offering a small, talking robot to Japanese customers this winter — a strategic product for an aging population with a low birthrate, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Kirobo Mini is designed to replace family members you don’t have, which might explain why it will criticize your driving habits.
News Round-up: Auto Payola Continues, Naturally Aspirated Engines Are Dead, and BMW Is Getting in Touch With Your Feelings
In a business that hocks products worth tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars, you’d hope the professionals reviewing those products would provide facts and honest, valuable personal opinions to readers.
Those hopes have never fully panned out in the automotive industry, as we learned most recently with CleanMPG’s Wayne Gerdes a few months ago and a scathing story that detailed an OEM paying a social media influencer $300,000 for a few photos.
But how pervasive is the payola problem in automotive journalism? And do you even care?
That, Mercedes proclaims turbochargers are the future, and woke bae BMW wants to build your safe space … after the break!
Toyota will open a new artificial and robotics R&D company to be called Toyota Research Institute, Inc. (TRI) with an initial investment of $1 billion to open two locations in the United States, the automaker announced Friday.
TRI, which will make its headquarters in Palo Alto, California and establish another office in Cambridge, Massachusetts near MIT, will be led by Dr. Gill Pratt, a former academic in the field of engineering and program manager at DARPA.
“The investment is in addition to the $50 million investment over the next five years with MIT and Stanford to establish joint fundamental artificial intelligence research centers at each university,” said the automaker in a release.
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