As the story goes, they discovered that beer and diapers frequently appeared together in a shopping basket on certain days; the presumed explanation was that fathers picking up diapers bought a six-pack when they were out anyway. This correlation was then used to optimize displays and pricing in the stores.
"I must say that your face sounds familiar."
It may not be the warmest response to a pickup line, but in robot terms it's almost a home run. Daniel123 looks like he scored a date with Jane234.
Earlier this month, we saw how a charming little open-source robot called Qbo recognized itself in a mirror.
After a bit of preening, this particular Qbo (aka Daniel123) was ready for action. In the latest video from Francisco Paz and TheCorpora, who are developing Qbo as an artificial intelligence project, Daniel meets a female Qbo named Jane234 and seems to take a shine to her.
"You're very good looking," Daniel tells Jane. … Read more
There's a constant tension at Google between fast-moving, nimble, disruptive projects and the more plodding established business.
Word of Google X had bubbled up in recent months, via MG Siegler, formerly of TechCrunch, and Nicholas Carlson at Business Insider. But New York Times' Clair Cain Miller and Nick Bilton have just delivered a lot more detail with a … Read more
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has established a compound in Virginia that focuses on one very important aspect of international espionage: social network spying.
According to the Associated Press, which was provided some insight into the CIA's operations, the Open Source Center, a team also known as the "vengeful librarians," analyzes up to 5 million tweets a day to gauge public opinion around the world. The group also examines messages shared via Facebook and comments made in Internet chat rooms, in addition to listening in on more traditional forms of information dissemination, such as TV news channels … Read more
Oracle today acquired Endeca, an unstructured-data software and business intelligence player, for an undisclosed sum.
The deal is notable on many fronts. For starters, Oracle is serious about content management and unstructured data. Hewlett-Packard bought Autonomy with the same market in mind. Endeca was on tap to go public and raised $65 million from various venture firms as well as Oracle rival SAP.
For its part, Oracle plans to take Endeca's technology and combine it with its ATG Commerce offering. Oracle's move gives it Endeca's MDEX engine, which makes sense of unstructured data, Endeca InFront, an e-commerce … Read more
Robots are slowly taking over the world, and a startup in Illinois called Narrative Science is targeting journalism as the next profession to go extinct. Well, maybe just the journalists covering local youth sports and number-crunching quarterly earning reports, so we're safe for now, but let us know if they come out with a robot that can podcast and tell dirty jokes.
Not all robots are out to drive humans to obsolescence, though. We'll also report on a Japanese pet robot named Evolta training for the Hawaii triathlon. The little guy is only 20 inches tall and runs on two AA batteries, so officials are giving him 10 days to complete the 140-mile race.
After the break and a couple voice mails quizzing Wilson on high-school chemistry, we'll offer a couple pro tips on how to handle business in the office, inspired by this helpful article on Gawker. Can't give out too many details here, so check out the show today!The 404 Digest for Episode 904 Journalism is the next victim of AI-assisted robotics. Tiny Japanese robot to tackle Ironman triathlon. Everything is new in Windows 8, including the Blue Screen of Death. Gawker tells us how to poop at work. The 404's daily bathroom break: Longboard fail like a boss. Episode 904 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
IBM has inked a deal with health insurer WellPoint that will let the latter use the technology behind "Jeopardy"-playing computer Watson to suggest patient diagnoses and treatments.
The arrangement, which marks the first time the Watson technology will be used in a commercial application, will be announced Monday, according to The Wall Street Journal. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
WellPoint hopes the technology will help improve the quality of patient care and help reduce costs. It will be introduced next year and will initially be used by nurses who review treatment requests from … Read more
Most of us have encountered online chat robots, virtual people who can hold conversations--at least sort-of--with mixed and sometimes hilarious results. Verbot lets users create their very own such robots. It takes some effort to learn how to use Verbot, and even more to create a bot that's capable of decent conversation. But if you're willing to invest some time, Verbot can be a fun and useful program.
Verbot comes with both an editor, which lets users create rules for their Verbots, and a player, which allows users to interact with their Verbots. Several sample Verbots are included … Read more
When chatbots talk to each other, the conversation gets interesting in a hurry. Cornell University researchers rigged up a chatbot system to allow chatbots to talk to each other. The chatbot-vs.-chatbot interaction ranged from childish taunts to pseudo-metaphysical blatherings.
Humans who converse with chatbots often get frustrated with the chatbots' seeming stupidity and inattention. Watching a couple of chatbots get snippy with each other for being stupid and inattentive is quite entertaining and satisfying. (See the video below.)
The chatbot-vs.-chatbot avatars are a British man and a South Asian woman, both instances of Cleverbot, developed by artificial-intelligence programmer Rollo Carpenter. The software has learned phrases from millions of conversations it has had with humans on the Internet.
At one point the male Cleverbot declares itself to be a unicorn. At another, he tells her she is unhelpful and therefore a "meanie." She dazzles him with her philosophical prowess, declaring that not everything could be half of something. My favorite part, though, was when one bot threw bot-ness in the other's face. The male says, "You were mistaken. Which is odd, since memory shouldn't be a problem for you."… Read more
Intel today announced two separate rounds of investment totaling about $50 million. The largest chunk of money is targeted at cloud computing and embedded technology, while other investments are focused on Chinese firms.
A total of $30 million is going to Intel Labs' latest Intel Science and Technology Centers (ISTC) at Carnegie Mellon University. Cloud computing research at the new ISTC includes an effort to make the cloud more distributed and localized.
"In the future, [new] capabilities could enable a digital personal handler via a device wired into your glasses...[it would see] what you see [and] constantly pull … Read more