SF Technotes

Top 10 SF TECHNOTES Posts of 2019

By Michael Castelluccio
December 16, 2019
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Looking over the web traffic for SF TECHNOTES this year, posts about robotics or AI gathered the most attention. Each subject claimed three of the top 10 places. “Understanding Machine Behavior” could also fit in both of those subject categories, so, overall, we seem to share a preoccupation with our emerging smart machines.

 

1. Best Robotics in 2018

In the mind of a design engineer, a robot can be a collection of mechanical and digital systems that can install wallboard like a human, or it can be a piece of fabric that has embedded intelligence, or even a shiny plastic puppy. Here’s a look at Electronic Engineering Times’s “Top 10 Robots of 2018.”

 

2. Top 10 Emerging Technologies in 2019

Reviewing the most significant developments in technology this year, the World Economic Forum selected 10 technologies from energy, medicine, manufacturing, data storage, utility-scale electrical storage, and a kind of collaborative telepresence that borders on teleporting yourself through your computers.

 

3. Google’s Vanishing AI Ethics Board

Google announced the formation of an Advanced Technology External Advisory Council that would “consider some of Google’s most complex challenges that arise under our AI principles, like facial recognition and fairness in machine learning.” The AI ethics board lasted just 10 days. What happened?

 

4. Beware the Triton Sabotage Malware

The Triton industrial sabotage malware is a spreading security threat. The code is designed to disable safety systems that are in place to prevent catastrophic industrial accidents. It’s potentially “the world’s most murderous malware…[and] the hackers are targeting companies in North America.”

 

5. Debut of the Urban Parcel Robots

Start-up company Quadrobot Inc. will be rolling out its robotic delivery trucks in Detroit, Mich., and China in late 2019. The QUADROBOT U1 is a four-wheel-drive, autonomous, all-electric vehicle designed for urban environments and neighborhoods to provide “last-mile” delivery service.

 

6. Google’s Own AI Scorecard for 2018

Jeff Dean, Google artificial intelligence lead, reviews 17 AI topics, from ethical principles for AI research to applying machine learning to clinical healthcare. Google’s legacy will rest on what it has discovered, developed, and distributed in AI as a source for good in the world.

 

7. WIPO: U.S. and China Lead the World in AI Innovation

A study from the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) documents “a massive recent surge in artificial intelligence-based inventions, with U.S.-based companies IBM and Microsoft leading the pack, as AI has moved from the theoretical realm toward the global marketplace.”

 

8. Understanding Machine Behavior

In April 2019, MIT’s Media Lab published a paper titled “Machine Behavior,” a call for a new field of scientific study into machine behavior. A blend of computer science and the behavioral models applied to biological agents, the research would examine machine algorithms and their social environments.

 

9. Apple’s Daisy Robot on Earth Day

In 2018, Apple announced that a new recycling robot called Liam would join its global recycling programs and recover reusable elements from old iPhones. This year, the company issued a follow-up Earth Day message and welcomed Daisy, a faster, more efficient version of the robot.

 

10. 3D Printed Villages

3D-printing technologies have now expanded into various fields, including real-estate construction. Apis Cor, a company with locations in San Francisco, Calif., and Russia, has affordable, eco-friendly construction projects under way that can be constructed in 24 hours at just more than $10,000.

 



Michael Castelluccio has been the Technology Editor for Strategic Finance for 25 years. His SF Technotes blog is in its 22nd year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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