Future Tech: Featuring a smart speaker that protects your home & robot interviewers.
Boeing's drone can do some serious heavy lifting
In the future, autonomy won't just mean you can relax in the passenger seat on your drive home from work. Driverless vehicles of all kinds are set to revolutionize the cargo industry, too, from delivering a pizza or dropping off an Amazon package, to hauling much larger shipments across continents and the high seas.
Naturally, Boeing is one of many companies investing in cargo planes of tomorrow, and is keen to show off some of its early work in the form of a huge octocopter capable of carrying loads of up to 500 pounds (over 250 kg). In less than three months, engineers at Boeing built and carried out successful test flights of the all-electric prototype, possibly (but unofficially) breaking a Guinness world record in the process.
The rough-and-ready concoction of metal and batteries measures 15 feet long, 18 feet wide and 4 feet tall, weighing in at 747 pounds (nearly 339 kg). In other words, it dwarfs the consumer DJI drone you got for Christmas. Obviously, Boeing's prototype is far from a commercial product, but the firm says it'll be used "as a flying test bed to mature the building blocks of autonomous technology for future applications."
Going away? "Kevin" will keep burglars at bay
From The Verge:
If you’re worried about leaving your house or apartment unattended for long stretches of time, you might set your lights on a timer or leave your TV on. But now there’s a new smart speaker that wants to do all of that for you — by flashing lights and playing TV sounds and other noises to make it seem like someone’s home.
The speaker is named Kevin — certainly a nod to Home Alone — and is made by a Swiss company named Mitipi. From the front, it looks just like any other smart speaker, wrapped in fabric, with a flash of brightly colored plastic along the top.
The big distinction is on its back, where it’s covered in LEDs pointing in different directions. These allow the device to simulate movement, since it’ll look like there are multiple light sources that someone’s interacting with.
Your next job interview could be with a robot
From Fast Company:
Fixing the interview process and diversifying their workforce are top of mind at companies looking to add staff this year, according to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends. And some of them are turning to robots and chatbots to help.
LinkedIn’s new report surveyed 8,800+ recruiters and hiring managers on how these trends would impact hiring in 2018. Those polled indicated that AI is gaining steam because it’s a timesaver (67 per cent), removes human bias (43 per cent), and delivers the best candidate matches (31 per cent). More than half of survey respondents also found AI to be most effective for sourcing candidates (58 per cent), screening (56 per cent) and nurturing candidates (55 per cent).
Case studies outlined in the report show how companies like U.K.-based Vodaphone are tapping that power for interviewing over 50,000 candidates for its call center and customer service roles, which start with video interviews.
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