Reinforcement Learning

By experimenting, computers are figuring out how to do things that no programmer could teach them. Availability: 1 to 2 years

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603501/10-breakthrough-technologies-2017-reinforcement-learning/

         As technology keeps advancing daily, developers, and consumers become hesitant on the topic of one of the biggest issues regarding innovation, artificial intelligence. According to the Merrin Dictionary, “Artificial intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.” This sparks much debate that relates to this theory which is the approach known as reinforcement learning. All of us know the AlphaGo computer that was developed to master the impossibly complex board game Go which beat one of the best human players in the world in a high-profile match last year, which was programmed based on this approach of reinforcement learning. Stated by Knight, “reinforcement learning may soon inject greater intelligence into much more than games. In addition to improving self-driving cars, the technology can get a robot to grasp objects it has never seen before, and it can figure out the optimal configuration for the equipment in a data center.” Continue reading “Reinforcement Learning”

Electrodes fitted behind your ear can make you walk faster

       Could you ever imagine that in this day in age, there is technology that can improve your mood to help you sleep better. Now there is a new revelation that scientists across the globe are uncovering which relates to the advancement in performing. It is known as “a mild electrical stimulation” that is being developed at the University of Tokyo, Japan and is meant to “boost our balance and make us walk more quickly with longer strives.” Many of us might think how this invention will accomplish those tasks. According to Shinichi Iwasaki, “the upcoming invention will trigger the hairs in our inner ears and detect changes in speed and feed this information back to the brain, helping to stabilize vision and posture, improving our balance.”

       By 2020, this invention is set to become one of the most widely used performance gadgets across the world. While reading, I thought it was fascinating how electrodes will be able to monitor the movement in our legs and eventually improve our balance. Personally, unless I have difficulty walking, I don’t see myself using this new technology since it is estimated to cost a few hundred dollars.

        As technology is slowly progressing every day, there is much speculation that this new technology can be used specifically for people with disabilities. It is unknown what The University of Tokyo, Japan will unveil in the next coming years, but all we know is that it is unlike any “electrical stimulation” that humans have ever experienced before.

For more information, check out this article.

By: Mia Gradelski

Babel-Fish Earbuds

              Named under the 10 best breakthrough technologies of 2017, the classic pair of earbuds newly invented by Google last year are revolutionizing the tech industry due to its unique twist, hence its name Pixel Buds. To “geeks,” once you place these on, it feels like you are stuck inside the “cult sci-fi classic The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. These earbuds cost only $159 that work with its Pixel smartphones and Google Translate app to “produce practically real-time translation.” Some critics argue about the price, but Google argues “you cannot get near-real-time translation now that works for a large number of languages and is easy to use.” This is important because “in an increasingly global world, language is a still a barrier to communication.” I think this is an incredible and resourceful idea in helping the world receive fast translation access to all things audio.

              You might be asking how does “near-real-time translation” work and why don’t we have it yet? Simply, “one person wears the earbuds, while the other holds that phone that projects English as the default and the app translates the talking and plays it aloud on the phone.” This allows the response to be translated quickly and played through earbuds. As a consumer of Google products who knows two languages and is learning a third, I think it is beneficial to purchase these earbuds especially since many critics argue that “google translate can interfere with background noises and it is hard to figure out when one person has stopped speaking and it’s time to start translating.” I relate to this problem, as I’m someone who uses Google Translate dialy.

               There are certainly pros and cons to every upcoming tech that the world is being presented with. It is a plus that these “Pixel Buds” get around the issues of wearer taps and connection between your phone and earbuds. These earbuds work well with this issue that many consumers might deal with, with other earbuds brands. In addition, many are intrigued by the inticite design, known as “subpar design.” yet, some disagree, and believe they look silly and may not fit well in the ears. Overall, as the connection between people across the world becomes more prevalent, the “promise of mutually intelligible communication between languages in close to real time” is certainly achievable through these earbuds.

To read more check out this article.

Image result for pixel earbuds google jpg

By: Mia Gradelski

Self-Driving Trucks Tractor-trailers are Coming to Roads Near You


          Self driving vehicles have always been seen as a dream in the future, as is finally seen in one of the most popular transportation vehicles in the nation, trucks. This new technology leads many truck drivers concerned about not only their jobs now but in the coming future. They are worried that technology will take over their positions and they could lose their jobs. With self driving cars, there have been countless advertisements ranging from Google to Uber about the latest craze that will soon become popular in the future. Yet, many experts don’t know if this will be happening quite soon. First of all, they are extremely expensive, many people will lose their jobs, and customers aren’t positive that this new technology is safe. “I could hear the man who taught me to drive telling me what he always aid was rule number one: ‘Don’t hurt anybody,”’ (Mugriyev, Texan truck driver). People such as Roman Mugriyev, a Texan resident fears that safety is the biggest concern.

           As multiple companies continue to test self-driving trucks, more technical problems have arose which delays the start to this technology that people have mixed feelings about. As Greg Murphy describes it, “This system often drives better than I do.” As a truck driver, Murphy is surprisingly excited to see how this new technology will become about it in the future. He understands that there are “the opportunities and challenges posed by self-driving trucks that might seem to merely echo those associated with self-driving cars.”

              Economically, self-driving trucks might be seen more often on roads in the coming years than with cars due to the long stretches of highway that truck drivers have to go through. In addition, truck drivers have to play close attention to their movements by “cutting down on wind drag and saving on fuel” while the self-driving cars will have a way that stopping for gas is not an option. Yet, with these benefits there comes obstacles that these trucks have to face. First, experts say that it will be practically impossible to honor the same skills that current truck drivers have with their years of experience and training in piloting. Humans unlike machines have unique judgement when driving and technology might not be able to match that awareness of a professional trucker.

             As the future holds many exciting opportunities for many different people, there comes disadvantages and obstacles for others who have to try to embrace this new change. I think that it is important that technology is constantly evolving and I would like to be inside a self-driving car one day, but as a truck-driver, my position could be replaced by a cheaper and more efficient piece of technology. While this technology is improving and advancing everyday, they do “figure to be more controversial” and set drawbacks in our political and economical aspect of the business world which might come in “ways that lal would not necessarily would welcome.”

                           Written by Mia Gradelski, Junior Student Help Desk

Apple’s new Face ID system uses a sensing strategy that dates back ‘Structured light’ and artificial intelligence.

           We all are familiar with touchID used on all newly released iphone models, yet since Tuesday, with Apple’s new release of three new iPhone models, there is a new way for people to unlock their phones in a more secure and easier way. This new system is groundbreaking and extremely innovative in the technology world. “The system relies not only on neutral networks-a form of machine learning-but also on a slew of sensors that occupy the real estate near the selfie camera on the front of the handset.” Along with this new feature on their phones which costs a whooping $1000 to purchase, this feature is only present on this new model.

         This system works with a complex facial-identification process that is used through a True Depth camera system. It takes an infrared image and uses the IR image and the dot pattern of neutral networks to create “a mathematical model of your face”, stated by Phil Schiller, a senior vice president at Apple. In addition, structured light is a key technique of projecting something onto a three dimensional object to help computer vision systems detect depth. What was fascinating to me was that this technology dates back to decades and is called the structured light method.

This system most importantly “taps into the power of neural networks to crunch the data it gathers during the face identification process.” This is a powerful tool that relates to artificial intelligence. It is a program that computer scientists teach by feeding data. Apple is not the only brand that is starting to use face identification. Samsung’s S8 phones and their new Note8 devices already have a camera that use the face ID feature, yet it isn’t as secure as the fingerprint reader. Personally, I would rather use the fingerprint sensor on my phone as I do now, since I believe it is more secure and is better at detecting than I predict the FaceID system will work. Yet, with Apple constantly improving their technology, some day these new model phones will become affordable and used by everyone.

                               Written by Mia Gradelski, Junior Student Help Desk

The Home Supply Industry and how it is Overgoing Automation

Home automation has become increasingly popular over the last few years because of its accessibility through smart phones and its modern design look for families. It is one of the fastest-moving segments in the marketplace because it is known to innovate and make your home more “smarter.” By 2022, the home automation system market is expected to be worth roughly $78.27 billion.

The growth in this industry is mainly focused on the safety, security and the environmental aspect of homes. This influences buyers to have a more cleaner home by investing additional money into extra equipment such items like smart locks, wireless video surveillance devices and customizable lighting and more.

The interesting thing about the home automation industry is that the technological infrastructure already exists, said by Greg Roberts, vice president of marketing at Icontrol Networks. This is not evident with many other items in the technology field where companies band together to operate and create products for consumers. This industry of the home suppy demand is booming because consumers want to be in the cleanest and most safest environment as their home. People are willing to pay more for their home devices and equipment instead of having gadgets that they don’t always need such as google glasses or watches. Overall, the technological field of home innovation is constantly improving and we never know when we could be all replaced by robots. As Roberts puts it, just how long it will take for consumers to jump on board is yet to be seen.

By: Mia Gradelski

Use of Technology in Teaching and Learning

Not only teachers are switching from chalkboards to Google Classroom which is more efficient, but students are using iPads and other electronic devices which help them improve their attention span and their general interest in learning. Technology ushers in a fundamental structure in changes that can range from achieving significantly higher grades to advancements in student’s productivity.

Technology is becoming popular throughout the globe and is seen almost in every teaching and learning environment. Technology infused classrooms with a different type of positive attitude compared to boards or books. These learning tools such computers and handheld devices “expands course offerings, experiences, and learning materials; supports learning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; builds 21st century skills; increases student engagement and motivation; and accelerates learning.” It transforms teaching in a different way because student feel more engaged and participate more by knowing their is a sense of communication at school and at home.

According to statistics at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, this new system benefits student’s minds by being provided resources and systems to help them improve their own instruction and personalize learning. The US Department of Education also states “Online learning opportunities and the use of open educational resources and other technologies can increase educational productivity by accelerating the rate of learning.” Not only in the classroom but at home students have felt less stressed being able to check their assignments online instead of worrying they lost the sheet of paper they copied it from the board.

Overall, technology has greatly impacted both teachers and students minds both in the classroom and at home by feeling connected and less stressed from their academic work.

By: Mia Gradelski