Five for Friday: AI News brought to you by the letter A

In case you haven't yet realized, I really like a theme. Today, we're delving into exciting news that's brought to you by (albeit sometimes as a stretch) the letter A. Let's get to it, shall we?


1. Apple confirmed (officially, finally) that it's working on self-driving car technology. I hope I can get it in rose gold. (Additionally, Apple is going to start publishing its AI work.)

2. Amazon released a super-slick video featuring Amazon Go, a next-level shopping concept where you can browse, select, and go. Personally, I found it to be a fascinating look at what technology can do. Others were not as impressed:

3. A.I. Labs is Uber's next big bet. Joining many others in delving into artificial intelligence, Uber announced the acquisition of Geometric Intelligence and will start looking at how its services can be deployed without the drivers that already made it revolutionary.

4. A+ teaching is, ostensibly, the goal of our education system, but is it keeping up with the pace of technology? Or even fully using the technology that exists around us? These questions are tackled in Tech Crunch with some interesting perspective on why human creativity matters more than ever in an AI-rich world.

5. This American Life had, as always, a great podcast this week. In particular, check out Act 3 which features an excellent fictional piece about a bomb-defusing robot that grapples with reconciling the empathy that lies even between lines of code. I found it to be an insightful imagining of robots working alongside humans and will be a great companion to you as you do holiday errands this weekend.

Just to round out your week, one more 'A' item by way of Robotics Alley which is hosting its annual conference and expo in Minneapolis February 28 - March 1. Apparatus is putting on a Virtual Policy Forum which will run the length of the event to talk about the practicalities of putting emerging robotics technology into place. Additionally, we're putting on a panel event which will feature legislators talking on a variety of topics including the workforce, R&D funding, and more. You can learn more and sign up online. We'd love to see you there!

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