Microsoft announced today that it has acquired Semantic Machines, a Berkeley-based startup that wants to solve one of the biggest challenges in conversational AI: making chatbots sound more human and less like, well, bots. In a blog post, Microsoft AI & Research chief technology officer David Ku wrote that “with the acquisition of Semantic Machines, […]

Read more..

A team of progressive advocacy groups, including MoveOn and Demand Progress, are asking the Federal Trade Commission to “make Facebook safe for democracy.” According to Axios, the campaign, called Freedom From Facebook, will launch a six-figure ad campaign on Monday that will run on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, among other platforms. The other advocacy groups […]

Read more..

Adriana Stan Contributor Share on Twitter Adriana Stan is the public relations director of W magazine and a writer on media, culture and technology. She is also the co-founder of the Interesting People in Interesting Times event series and podcast. More posts by this contributor Social media, politics, and the bubble of distraction Patterns, Predictability, […]

Read more..

Industrial robots are typically all about repeating a well-defined task over and over again. Usually, that means performing those tasks a safe distance away from the fragile humans that programmed them. More and more, however, researchers are now thinking about how robots and humans can work in close proximity to humans and even learn from them. […]

Read more..

Wake up in the wee hours of the morning on the East Coast, and you might get a chance to watch a rocket launch more than three tons of cargo for the International Space Station. Set for a 4:39 ET liftoff from NASA’s facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, if the weather holds, this will be […]

Read more..

After taking tens of thousands of crowd-funding pre-orders for a high-end pair of “3D sound” headphones, audio startup Ossic announced this weekend that it is shutting down the company and backers will not be receiving refunds. The company raised $2.7 million on Kickstarter and $3.2 million on Indiegogo for their Ossic X headphones which they […]

Read more..

When we first told you about AT&T’s LTE-M Button, the information was socked away in a deluge of AWS Re:Invent announcements. The telecom giant was a bit more upfront when announcing its availability earlier this week — but just a bit. After all, it’s not a direct-to-consumer device. Unlike the product-branded hunk of plastic you […]

Read more..

Although bitcoin and blockchain technology may not take up quite as much mental bandwidth for the general public as it did just a few months ago, companies in the space continue to rake in capital from investors. One of the latest to do so is Circle, which recently announced a $110 million Series E round led by bitcoin […]

Read more..

On any given day in the United States, more than 450,000 people are behind bars awaiting their constitutionally mandated fair trial. None of them have been convicted of a crime — they’ve been accused of committing a crime, but no formal ruling of guilt or innocence has been made. That means these hundreds of thousands […]

Read more..

David Gurle Contributor Share on Twitter David Gurle is the founder and chief executive of Symphony Comunication. Bill Harrington Contributor Bill Harrington is a former federal prosecutor and a partner at the law firm Goodwin Procter. Criminals and terrorists, like millions of others, rely on smartphone encryption to protect the information on their mobile devices. […]

Read more..

South Korean electronics conglomerate LG Group announced this morning that the company’s longtime chairman Koo Bon-Moo has passed away at 73. Koo’s death follows a year-long battle with brain disease, for which he had undergone surgery, according to Reuters. The executive stepped into the role in 1995 and served as a driving force in establishing […]

Read more..

Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor These schools graduate the most funded startup CEOs The formula behind San Francisco’s startup success When young adults leave the parental nest, they often follow a predictable pattern. First, move in with roommates. Then graduate to a single or couple’s pad. After that comes the big purchase […]

Read more..

GDPR is right around the corner, so it’s time to prepare your personal data requests. If you live in the European Union, tech companies have to comply with personal data requests after May 25th. And there’s a handy website that helps you do just that. My Data Request lists dozens of tech companies and tells […]

Read more..

A new app called Siempo wants to un-addict you from your smartphone and its numerous attention-stealing apps. To do so, Siempo replaces an Android device’s homescreen, while also taking advantage of a number of design principles to push distractions further away, and give you more control over your notifications. The startup, which launched a few […]

Read more..

French startup La Belle Vie announced a new funding round of $6.5 million earlier this week (€5.5 million). Julien Mangeard, Thibaut Faurès Fustel de Coulanges, Louis Duclert, Kima Ventures and Shake-Up Factory participated in the founding round. Online grocery shopping is becoming quite competitive in Paris. You can order groceries from Amazon using Amazon Prime Now. […]

Read more..