Technology is at its best when it makes people’s lives better, and that’s precisely what we’re going for with our self-driving car project. We’re using advanced computer science to try and make driving safer and more enjoyable.
Our vehicles, of which about a dozen are on the road at any given time, have now completed more than 300,000 miles of testing. They’ve covered a wide range of traffic conditions, and there hasn’t been a single accident under computer control.
We’re encouraged by this progress, but there’s still a long road ahead. To provide the best experience we can, we’ll need to master snow-covered roadways, interpret temporary construction signals and handle other tricky situations that many drivers encounter. As a next step, members of the self-driving car team will soon start using the cars solo (rather than in pairs), for things like commuting to work. This is an important milestone, as it brings this technology one step closer to every commuter. One day we hope this capability will enable people to be more productive in their cars. For now, our team members will remain in the driver’s seats and will take back control if needed.
With each breakthrough we feel more optimistic about delivering this technology to people and dramatically improving their driving experience. We’ll see you on the road!
Source: Google – The self-driving car logs more miles on new wheels
Continue reading Google puts its self-driving cars to use as commuter vehicles
Two inkblots below. After looking at each one tell me what you think they look like (my answers at bottom).
I first came across the Rorschach inkblot test when I was training to be a clinical psychologist. I was shown a series of cards containing inkblots and asked to say what they looked like to me (Tester: “What does this look like?” Me: “A bat.”) I remember thinking that it felt more like a tarot reading than a proper psychometric test.
However, when the test was scored and interpreted, it produced a scarily accurate profile of my personality. It knew things about me that even my mother didn’t know. I’ve been a fan, if a rather sceptical one, ever since.
So, what is the Rorschach inkblot test? It’s simply a set of cards containing pictures of inkblots that have been folded over on themselves to create a mirror image.
By asking the person to tell you what they see in the inkblot, they are actually telling you about themselves, and how they project meaning on to the real world.
But the inventor of the test, Hermann Rorschach, never intended it to be a test of personality.
Continue reading Take my Rorschach test – and then learn it’s history, effectiveness, how it shouldn’t be used
ClueBot NG, as the bot is known, resides on a computer from which it sallies forth into the vast encyclopaedia to detect and clean up vandalism almost as soon as it occurs.
It is one of several hundred bots patrolling Wikipedia at any given time. Its role in repairing the Supreme Court article illustrates how bots have quietly become an indispensable – if virtually invisible – part of the Wikipedia project.
“Wikipedia would be a shambles without bots,” a Wikipedia administrator known on the site as Hersfold writes in an email.
English Wikipedia alone surpassed four million articles this month. It contains an estimated 2.5 billion words, equivalent to millions of pages, and it is 50 times larger than the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
But the project is so vast, and its maintenance so labour-intensive that it defies the capability of its human administrators and editors to keep it in order.
That is where the bots come in.
Keep reading: BBC News Magazine – Meet the ‘bots’ that edit Wikipedia
Continue reading Meet the ‘bots’ of Wikipedia
Just a month after we brought you news that Amazon Studios was calling for original comedy and children’s series projects, the company announced today that it has selected its first four projects, choosing three comedies and one children’s show.
The company has switched its focus to four TV projects, they are:
- The 100 Deaths of Mort Grimley – Where a man kills himself, then is forced to become an avatar of Hell, with the duty to get a special list of 100 people to commit suicide in his stead, or else be damned to spend all of eternity next to his cruel, smothering mother.
- Magic Monkey Billionaire – When their magician owner dies after winning the lottery, Rabbit and Monkey are shocked to learn that he left his money to happy moron Monkey and donated evil genius Rabbit to a 2nd grade class. In each episode, Rabbit hatches a plan to steal Monkey’s billions.
- Doomsday – A mockumentary about the supposed end of the world.
- Buck Plaidsheep – A courageous critter from Fleecy farm, who’ll face any danger and solve any problem. Armed with a variety of vehicles, Whether it be a jet pack, rowboat, hang glider or even a jeep, He always has the best vehicle to get the job done.
More about Amazon Studios – Amazon Studios goes head-to-head with Netflix, selects first four original TV projects for production
Continue reading Amazon Studios selects four TV projects for online streaming – further Netflix competition
Japan’s Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry will soon embark on a project to realize an “autopilot system” for automatic driving, a system for guiding motor vehicles on expressways without human assistance.
The system is expected to contribute significantly to such goals as alleviating drivers’ fatigue, preventing road accidents and easing traffic congestion. It would be for vehicles referred to as self-driving cars capable of sensing their environment and navigating by themselves, with people not required to perform any mechanical operation besides choosing their destinations.
With a view to making an autopilot system a reality in the early 2020s, the ministry will launch a study panel of experts this year, to start full-scale discussions about a self-steering vehicle control project.
The ministry envisages an autonomous vehicle system in which, after leaving your home, motorists would enter an interchange of a nearby expressway while manually operating their cars.
When pulling into the expressway’s lane exclusively for the autopilot system, the driving mode would change to “automatic driving” and input your destination into the system. Motorists would take their hands and feet off the steering wheel, gas pedal and brake.
Via – ‘Driverless driving’ envisioned for Japan in early 2020s
Continue reading Japanese government begins plans for driverless driving by 2020
Yesterday, I wrote about the need for women writers and artists in comic books, highlighting a very successful Kickstarter project, Womanthology. The project was so successful that they have an offshoot. A documentary about female super heroes that premiered at South by Southwest 2012:
Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s, to the blockbusters of today, WONDER WOMEN! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation.
The film introduces audiences to a cast of fictional and real life superheroines fighting for positive role models for girls, both on screen and off, and reminds us of our common human need for stories that tell us we can all be heroes.