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Researchers can now make neighborhood voting predictions from Google Street View images

In a sign that computers will be able to perform image analysis as fluently as text analysis, a group of Stanford-based researchers were able to make accurate predictions about neighborhood voting patterns based on millions of pictures collected from Google Street View, reports The New York Times. While other academic projects have used artificial intelligence to mine Google Street View for socioconomic insights (such as Streetchange), this project is notable because of the vast quantity of images that its AI software processed. Led by Stanford computer vision scientist Timnit Gebru,…

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A conversation with Dean Kamen on the myth of “Eureka!”

Alice Lloyd George Contributor Alice Lloyd George is an investor at RRE Ventures and the host of Flux, a series of podcast conversations with leaders in frontier technology. More posts by this contributor: In the final episode of Flux podcast for 2017 I sat down with Dean Kamen, engineer, businessman and inventor extraordinaire. As an undergraduate, Kamen developed the first portable drug delivery device, a wearable infusion pump. Today he spends much of his time running DEKA, his New Hampshire based company, which has been focused on R&D since 1982. DEKA has…

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My 2017 Year in Review

Hello, and welcome to 2018! What a long, strange year was 2017. And what a perfect example of just how tough it can be to predict where life will take you. Twelve months ago, Kim and I were firmly ensconced in our penthouse condo in southeast Portland. We had recently returned from our 15-month RV trip across the United States. After a long stretch struggling to re-acclimate to every day life, both of us had developed routines. She was working regularly at several local dental practices, while I had found…

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A look back at Uber’s hellish year

Waymo drops most patent claims in Uber lawsuit In July, there were a few big breaks in the case between Waymo and Uber over self-driving car technology. As a result, the scope of the case started to come into focus as both companies began preparing for a trial set to begin in October. Waymo, the self-driving technology arm of Google parent Alphabet, filed the lawsuit in February, alleging theft of trade secrets that Uber planned to use in its autonomous vehicles. The on-going case centers around engineer Anthony Levandowski, who Waymo…

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Smart lock maker Otto suspends operations

Otto showed the world its digital lock in August. Four months later, the company has suspended operations. Hardware is hard. It’s a cliche for a reason. The company made the decision just ahead of the holidays, a fact that founder and CEO Sam Jadallah recently made public with a lengthy Medium post now pinned to the top of the startup’s site. The extended survey of the Bay Area company’s short life is punctuated with the pithy title, “So Close,” a nod to the spitting distance the startup came to actually…

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