Browsing: Technology

‘Drivers will soon be forced to pay higher prices for petrol on bank holidays and on the school run.

Artificial intelligence computer programs capable of charging drivers extra at busy times has arrived in the UK and will be used by major supermarkets as part of a secret pricing revolution.

Stores are in late-stage talks with Denmark-based a2i Systems, the firm which sells the computer algorithm, and could install it within months.

Motorists could see prices shift several times over a day, with the cost rising or falling by up to 2p a litre – around £1 per tank, the Daily Telegraph reports.’

Read more: Stores to hike petrol prices during the school run… and they could shift several times over a day thanks to AI


‘Robots that can think and feel like people could soon be living among us, according to one expert.

An AI engineer, who has invented a ‘virtual nervous system’, believes it is only a matter of time before robotics hardware catches up to his software.

He says responsive robots could be a common sight in businesses and homes around the world within the next ten years.

The comments were made by Dr Mark Sagar who is the CEO of Soul Machines, an AI company in New Zealand that specialises in creating hyper-realistic 3D avatars.

The Auckland-based firm has used computer graphics to develop stunning renderings of virtual people, that can mimic natural facial movements like blinking and smiling.’

Read more: Robots that think and feel like humans will live among us in 10 years, says inventor of the virtual nervous system


‘The world’s first robot policeman has officially joined Dubai’s police force. While it’s not exactly the Robocop from the movie, officers in the United Arab Emirates may want to get used to them, as the bots may soon account for a quarter of their colleagues.

The autonomous Robocop entered the line of duty on Sunday by greeting guests and patrolling the halls at the three-day Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference (GISEC). Plans are in place to have the machine on the streets in popular Dubai areas when the expo ends on Tuesday evening.

“With an aim to assist and help people in the malls or on the streets, the Robocop is the latest smart addition to the force and has been designed to help us fight crime, keep the city safe and improve happiness levels,” said Brigadier-General Khalid Nasser Al Razzouqi, Director-General of Smart Services with the Dubai Police.’

Read more: Dubai’s first ‘Robocop’ begins patrolling streets


‘A major new breakthrough in jet propulsion technology could revolutionize the aerospace industry, paving the way for plasma jet engines that could carry a craft to the edge of space using only air and electricity.

Berkant Göksel, the lead researcher in a new study by the Technical University of Berlin, says his team have successfully completed tests on plasma engines that could take future aircrafts to altitudes of 30 miles (50km) and beyond.

While studies into plasma jet engines has largely focused on their ability to manoeuvre small satellites in the vacuum of space, Göksel told the New Scientist that his research concentrated on testing the engine in a normal atmosphere.

“We are the first to produce fast and powerful plasma jets at ground level. These jets of plasma can reach speeds of up to 20 kilometers a second,” he said.

A real flight demonstration is the next milestone goal for the project.’

Read more: Plasma jet engine breakthrough heralds beginning of new era in space travel – study


‘Switzerland’s largest insurer is starting to use machines to decide personal injury claims. A series of trials showed the processing time could be cut from an hour to just seconds.

“We recently introduced artificial intelligence (AI) claims handling and saved 40,000 work hours while speeding up the claim processing time to five seconds,” said Tom de Swaan, the chairman of Zurich Insurance, as quoted by Reuters.

The insurer started the program in March with robots reviewing paperwork, such as medical reports.

“We absolutely plan to expand the use of this type of AI,” he said.

Big insurance companies are looking to reap benefits from new technology, including AI and big data after tech-based startups, such as US insurer Lemonade, actively entered the market.

Using artificial intelligence bots, Lemonade provides renters and homeowners with insurance in as little as 90 seconds and payment of claims in three minutes.’

Read more: Zurich Insurance employs robots to settle personal injury claims


‘As greater interest in alternative and renewable energy grows, so do the numbers of people stepping up to innovate. We need better ways to provide energy that do not rely on vampiric energy companies that monopolize towns, jack up prices and encourage their patrons to “use less” until we are back to 1900!

Whether “artificial blowholes” can achieve help on that side of the energy coin remains to be seen. However, they can harness electricity through the natural movement of ocean waves, which opens up a world of opportunities.

via newatlas:

Ocean waves could be one such [alternative to fossil fuels], and Australian company Wave Swell Energy is developing a new device to harvest that energy. New Atlas spoke to Dr. Tom Denniss, the CEO of the company, to find out about the technology.’

Read more: We Can Generate Electricity With Ocean Waves Via ‘Artificial Blowholes’


‘Lockheed Martin continues to be a leader in developing the path toward a full-fledged super-soldier military comprised of Iron Man-type enhancements.

The FORTIS exoskeleton first appeared to the public several years ago and is currently undergoing a new round of upgrades according to a recent press release. The upgraded system was built “Using licensed DermoskeletonTM bionic augmentation technology, the FORTIS Knee Stress Release Device (K-SRD)TM is a computer-controlled exoskeleton that counteracts overstress on the lower back and legs and increases mobility and load-carrying capability. It boosts leg capacity for physically demanding tasks that require repetitive or continuous kneeling or squatting, or lifting, dragging, carrying or climbing with heavy loads.”

Naturally, this wouldn’t be limited to merely hefting things around, as increased strength and endurance could be applied to all areas of human fighting.’

Read more: Lockheed Martin Exoskeleton Gives Soldiers ‘Bionic Augmentation’


‘An 11-year-old “cyber ninja” has stunned an audience of security experts by hacking into their Bluetooth devices to manipulate a robotic teddy bear, showing in the process how interconnected smart toys “can be weaponised”.

Reuben Paul, who is in sixth grade at school in Austin, Texas, and his teddy bear Bob wowed hundreds at a cyber-security conference in the Netherlands.

“From airplanes to automobiles, from smartphones to smart homes, anything or any toy can be part of the Internet of Things (IOT),” said the small figure pacing the huge stage at the World Forum in The Hague.

“From terminators to teddy bears, anything or any toy can be weaponised.”’

Read more: Boy, 11, hacks cyber-security audience to give lesson on ‘weaponisation’ of toys