Discover more from Beautiful Scoop
AI: Can't Live With It, Can't Live Without It
Tuesday, April 4th, 2023
Robodog Brings Us One Step Closer to a Robot Apocalypse
Move over, Ronaldo with your 8-pack abs - MIT researchers have created a robot dog that can play soccer on any terrain, from grass to snow. Called Dribblebot, the robot is quadrupedal and designed to perform a complex task on uneven terrain, an improvement on past approaches that simplify the dribbling problem by assuming flat, hard ground. While Dribblebot is an impressive feat of engineering, let's not forget that it's still just a robot playing soccer. We're waiting for the robot that can do something truly useful - like figure out your taxes or keep your in-laws entertained.
Smile, You’re on Camera!
Clearview AI, a facial recognition firm, used 30 billion photos that it scraped from social media without permission, including Facebook, to build a controversial database that is used by police forces across the US, CEO Hoan Ton-That has admitted. Nothing says 'innocent until proven guilty' like a facial recognition database built with stolen selfies. The technology has been used almost a million times by US law enforcement since the company was founded in 2017. While Clearview AI argues the tool is used only after a crime has been committed and is not available to the general public, critics have raised privacy concerns over the development of what they have dubbed a "perpetual police line-up". Critics may call it a "perpetual police line-up," but we actually prefer the term "facial recognition carnival."
Subscribe for a free ride on the Big Brother Bumper Cars!
Spotify Shuts Down Live-Audio App, Admits There's No Substituting the Smell of Sweaty Concertgoers
Spotify has confirmed that it is shutting down its live-audio app, Spotify Live, and will instead continue to explore live features on its main platform. This isn’t very surprising given the sound of silence or even a screaming goat is more appealing than some live performances. A spokesperson for the company noted that Spotify had seen promising results in the artist-focused use case of ‘listening parties,’ which it will continue to explore to facilitate live interactions between artists and fans. Spotify had integrated the live audio capabilities from its companion app, Spotify Greenroom, into the main Spotify streaming app in April 2022, but this also failed to gain traction in a market that was already moving on from the live audio trend.
Quantexa’s Funding Round Encourages Possibility of Finally Catching Elusive Nigerian Prince
Quantexa, a London-based start-up that provides AI and other tools to major banks and other financial services companies, governments, and other major organizations to tackle online fraud and other illicit activities, has raised $129 million in a Series E funding round led by Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, GIC. Their core products are in the areas of risk and compliance, helping verify user identities, detect money laundering, and carry out financial investigations… but can they detect whether Anna Delvey’s accent was fraudulent too? Only time will tell. This round values the company at $1.8 billion, up from $800 million-$900 million in its Series D round two years ago. It's great to know that even in these tough economic times, some companies can still achieve the coveted unicorn status.
“Think Different”, but Don't Expect Different: Apple Puts Pause on M2 Chip Production for Lackluster Macs
Apple has temporarily halted production of their newest M2 chips used to power the Mac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini. Apple has not publicly confirmed the pause; however, supply chain reports suggest that third-party suppliers and vendors were affected by the reduction in orders. And no one asked, but we’re still affected from when Apple forced the U2 album into everyone’s iTunes library. Anyway, it’s worth noting that sales of Macs have declined, with revenue for Q1 2023 coming in at $7.7 billion, down from $10.9 billion for the same period last year. The slowdown has been attributed to market saturation, with customers not seeing a significant enough improvement in the newest models. Translation: the Mac is experiencing the same problem as iPhone releases where Apple repackages the same product with the most minor of improvements and hopes no one notices.