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The Edit – 20.10.17

WHAT’S CAUGHT OUR EYE…

This week we witnessed a major breakthrough in AI. DeepMind, Google’s artificial intelligence subsidiary in London, announced that their self-taught computer, the AlphaGo Zero, mastered the ancient Chinese board game, Go, from scratch, with no human help beyond being explained the rules. In fact, the computer taught itself so effectively that it was able to beat the world’s most successful players. The team behind it have predicted a world in the not-too-distant future in which AlphaGo will be assuming the place of humans in a number of professional roles.

WHAT’S TRENDING… 

The new Pixel 2 came out this week and we have to admit we’re pretty excited. The new XL device is available in either ‘just black’ or ‘black & white’ and its battery will last for up to seven hours, on just 15 minutes of charging. The new device is also squeezable, its Active Edge technology means that squeezing the handset will launch the Assistant or silence an incoming call. The new Pixel launches with Android 8 Oreo out of the box, giving users access to the latest iteration of the Google made software.

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO…

As artificial intelligence becomes increasingly more advanced, government has called a Select Committee to establish the impact it will have on society and how they can prepare for a world of AI enabled machines. Nelson Bostock has been attending these sessions to hear first-hand from experts about the impacts on employment, training, data protection and legislation. While we won’t know the extent of the government’s recommendations until the report is published in March 2018, we can expect their guidance will seek to protect our privacy, our rights as employees and prepare legislation and infrastructure for a world supported by AI enabled machines.

ONE TO WATCH…

Alphabet has announced its plans to build the city of the future, rumoured to include self-driving shuttles, adaptive traffic lights that sense pedestrians, modular housing and freight-delivering robots that travel in underground tunnels – woah. The project will be the first-of-its-kind, with Alphabet’s subsidiary, Sidewalk Labs, developing a 12-acre waterfront district called Quayside. While many have hailed it as a testbed for new technologies, others have raised concerns around privacy, especially as smart cities essentially run on vast collections of data. We’ll be keeping an eye on how Quayside develops…

Image for The Edit – 20.10.17
Image for The Edit – 20.10.17
Image for The Edit – 20.10.17