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Qualcomm claims its on-device voice recognition is 95% accurate
At the Re-Work Deep Learning Summit in Boston, Chris Lott, an artificial intelligence researcher at Qualcomm, gave a glimpse into his team's work on a state-of-the-air voice recognition program. Most voice recognition systems today do most of their processing on the cloud, Lott explained. In 2016, Google created an offline speech recognition system that was seven times faster than its online system at the time. Of course, on-device voice recognition has its own set of limitations.
PlayStation Network is down as Memorial Day weekend begins
You may have trouble getting into Fortnite and other games on your PlayStation 4 because PlayStation Network is down as Memorial Day Weekend begins in the United States. This is preventing players from accessing online multiplayer services and other games that require a connection to a third-party server. You will also have trouble starting a party and connecting with friends in other ways through PSN at the moment.
Apple will add government App Store takedown requests to transparency reports
The same day it dropped the latest version of the twice-yearly document, the company committed to including in future updates government takedown requests for the App Store. The information should prove a valuable insight into both Apple's activities and the asks of governments around the world. Future reports will detail the specific government that issued the request, along with whether or not the company ultimately complied.
Cubism is a tranquil VR puzzler about building abstract shapes
Cubism is an elegant puzzler about building 3D shapes in virtual reality. I also wanted to make something that tears away all the fat from the design and focuses down on gameplay. It's all about the tactile experience of fitting its puzzles together and rotating the shapes as you figure out your next move. As I draw the pieces for the grid, I try to solve it and make sure the pieces look interesting.
AI marks the beginning of the Age of Thinking Machines
Meanwhile, Robert Downey, Jr is in the midst of developing an eight-part documentary series about AI to air on Netflix. He views AI as an even more sweeping technological revolution and suggests we do not fully understand the consequences. Every AI application that exists today and is expected soon is narrow AI, designed to perform a narrow task. Perhaps it is the Age of Thinking Machines, with thanks to Ray Kurzweil and his anthology on machine intelligence, published in 1990.
Former journo Alexia Bonatsos takes the wraps off her new venture fund, Dream Machine
(I wanted to be able to communicate in the same language as other VCs, she says with a shrug. She wasn't building out her network merely to stay connected; she was also slowly piecing together checks from individual investors for a debut venture fund. Toward that end, last December, she registered her San Francisco-based firm, Dream Machine, with the SEC, listing the target for her debut fund at $25 million.
Collections is a better way to organize those photos you snap as mental notes
If your mental notes are more visual in nature, then you may want give the new app Collections a go instead of relying only on your Camera Roll. If you prefer to keep your collections private, you can turn off iCloud syncing during setup to keep them saved to local storage only. On iPad, the app is even better because it supports drag-and-drop - meaning you drag images from other apps to your collections.
Tesla brings on new VP of engineering from Snap
Tesla announced a number of new hires today, including Stuart Bowers, who is joining as VP of engineering. Bowers is joining Tesla from Snap, where he worked as VP of monetization engineering. Other new hires include Neeraj Manrao, who left Apple to become Tesla's director of energy manufacturing, and Kevin Mukai, who is now director of product engineering at Tesla's Gigafactory. In April, Tesla VP of Autopilot Jim Keller left for Intel, with Pete Bannon serving as Keller's replacement.
Fortnite had a $296 million April
The number, which includes sales from the console, mobile and PC versions of the game, is up $73 million from just last month. The sandbox's survival game's April numbers are also more than double the $126 million it earned back in February. The title is currently atop Superdata's console chart, and is number five on the PC, several slots ahead of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
Yahoo shuts down social savings app Tanda only months after launch
Yahoo Finance's new social savings app Tanda, which launched just this January, is already shutting down. That appears to be true - the app isn't even in the top 1,500 in the Finance category on the App Store, according to Sensor Tower's data. Tens of thousands in the first few months isn't an entirely horrible showing for app that received almost no attention, marketing effort or media outreach.
'Solo' references one of the worst Star Wars games ever made
It tells the exciting adventure of how notorious scoundrel Han Solo taught his Wookiee friend, Chewbacca, about the physics of load-bearing support beams. In one sequence in Solo: A Star Wars Story, the crime syndicate lieutenant Qi'ra, who used to date Han Solo, does a bit of kung fu on an enemy. Masters of Ters Ksiis no longer canon in Disney's Star Wars, and it didn't first appear in the game.
Pre-clinical drug screening startup A-Alpha Bio wins first place at Univ. of Washington Business Plan Competition
Now a new startup created by a group of University of Washington students is using technology to bring more efficiency to that process. A-Alpha Biotook home the $25,000 first place prize at the 21st annualUniversity of Washington Business Plan Competitionon Thursday, beating out 36 other teams from 16 colleges and universities across the country. A-Alpha Bio won a smaller award at last year's business plan competition and spent the past year as part of the UW's Jones+Foster Accelerator.
Riminder raises $2.3 million for its AI recruitment service
French startup Riminder recently raised a $2.3 million funding round from various business angels, such as Xavier Niel, Jean-Baptiste Rudelle, Romain Niccoli, Franck Le Ouay, Dominique Vidal, Thibaud Elzire and Fred Potter. The company has been building a deep learning-powered tool to sort applications and resumes so you don't have to. Riminder won't replace your HR department altogether, but it can help you save a ton of time when you're a popular company.
ProBeat: 3 issues Slack needs to fix
I've used Slack on and off for years, but only about a month ago did my team start using it full time. Every communications platform has its pros and cons, change is always hard, etc Still, Slack is in a tough spot. Microsoft Teams, meanwhile, is in many ways already better than Slack, but it still doesn't have a free trial available. I want to explain what Slack needs to improve to stand a fighting chance against Google's and Microsoft's advances.
Tesla settles class action suit over Autopilot claims for $5M
Tesla has paid out $5 million to settle a class action lawsuit against it alleging that the Autopilot feature in the company's cars was essentially unusable and demonstrably dangerous. Owners who paid $5,000 for Autopilot will be reimbursed to the tune of a couple hundred bucks, Reuters reported. Contrary to what Tesla represented to them, buyers of affected vehicles have become beta testers of half-baked software that renders Tesla vehicles dangerous if engaged.
Gravy's new mobile game show is 'Price is Right' mixed with QVC
Following the success of the live mobile game show HQ Trivia, a team of serial entrepreneurs have begun testing the market to see if another game show concept can work, too. Their new game show-inspired app, Gravy, is meant to be a riff on the Price is Right combined with a QVC-style shopping experience. In addition, through a side game, users can guess when the product - whose quantities are unknown - will sell out and at what price.
What entrepreneurs can learn from the journey of The Riveter CEO Amy Nelson
Throughout her career on Wall Street, in the courtroom, and at non-profits, Amy Nelson wondered where the women were. That new house is The Riveter, a female-focused co-working space operator that Nelson and team launched last year. When Nelson toured co-working spaces before launching The Riveter, she didn't feel like they were places where she belonged. When Nelson first began writing the business plan for The Riveter, she thought the company would open one location.
Mobility startups: Apply to exhibit for free as a TC Top Pick at Disrupt SF '18
Mobility is one of the most rapidly advancing technologies going, and we're searching for the rising stars of early-stage mobility startups to apply as a TC Top Pick for Disrupt San Francisco 2018 on September 5-7 at Moscone Center West. It's a competitive application process, but if TechCrunch editors designate your company as a Top Pick, you get to exhibit for free in Startup Alley - the show floor and heartbeat of every Disrupt event.
HTC adds some bells and whistles to the Vive Focus ahead of Western rollout
As HTC gears up for a stateside launch of their Vive Focus standalone headset, the company announced a number of changes that they're bringing to the device currently available in China. In addition to the phone stuff, HTC talked about a lot of new content partnerships, but also a hardware partnership with Seagate which will be making an odd little device add-on that doubles the Vive Focus battery life and adds additional memory as well.
Microsoft is developing a tool to help engineers catch bias in algorithms
Microsoft is developing a tool that can detect bias in artificial intelligence algorithms with the goal of helping businesses use AI without running the risk of discriminating against certain people. Rich Caruna, a senior researcher on the bias-detection tool at Microsoft, described it as a dashboard that engineers can apply to trained AI models. Bias in algorithms is an issue increasingly coming to the fore. Microsoft isn't the only one attempting to tamp down algorithmic bias.

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