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Jan 17, 2024

Waymo’s Driverless Cars Are Hitting the Highway Sans Safety Drivers in Arizona

Posted by in categories: business, robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

To back up the decision, Waymo pointed to its safety record and history building and operating self-driving trucks on highways. (The company shuttered its self-driving truck project last year to focus on taxis.) Including highways should also decrease route times for riders—especially from the airport—with some rides taking half the time.

Although highways are simpler to navigate than city streets—where cars contend with twists, turns, signs, stoplights, pedestrians, and pets—the stakes are higher. A crash at 10 or 20 miles per hour is less likely to cause major injury than one at highway speeds. And while it’s relatively straightforward (if less than ideal) for a malfunctioning robotaxi to stop or pull to the side of the road and await human help in the city, such tactics won’t do on the highway, where it’s dangerous for cars to suddenly slow or stop.

Continue reading “Waymo’s Driverless Cars Are Hitting the Highway Sans Safety Drivers in Arizona” »

Jan 17, 2024

Starlink’s Latest Offering: Gigabit Gateways Starting at $75,000 Per Month

Posted by in categories: business, internet

These ‘Community Gateways’ promise to help internet service providers bring high-speed internet to remote areas. But the business program isn’t cheap.

Jan 16, 2024

Microsoft’s new Copilot Pro brings AI-powered Office features to the rest of us

Posted by in category: business

A new $20 subscription will unlock Microsoft’s AI-powered Copilot inside Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Microsoft first launched its AI-powered Office features for businesses in November, but just two months later, the company is already offering them to consumers.


You’ll need to pay $20 per month extra to get all the new AI-powered features in Office.

Jan 14, 2024

JPMorgan AI Research Introduces DocGraphLM: An Innovative AI Framework Merging Pre-Trained Language Models and Graph Semantics for Enhanced Document Representation in Information Extraction and QA

Posted by in categories: business, robotics/AI

There is a growing need to develop methods capable of efficiently processing and interpreting data from various document formats. This challenge is particularly pronounced in handling visually rich documents (VrDs), such as business forms, receipts, and invoices. These documents, often in PDF or image formats, present a complex interplay of text, layout, and visual elements, necessitating innovative approaches for accurate information extraction.

Traditionally, approaches to tackle this issue have leaned on two architectural types: transformer-based models inspired by Large Language Models (LLMs) and Graph Neural Networks (GNNs). These methodologies have been instrumental in encoding text, layout, and image features to improve document interpretation. However, they often need help representing spatially distant semantics essential for understanding complex document layouts. This challenge stems from the difficulty in capturing the relationships between elements like table cells and their headers or text across line breaks.

Researchers at JPMorgan AI Research and the Dartmouth College Hanover have innovated a novel framework named ‘DocGraphLM’ to bridge this gap. This framework synergizes graph semantics with pre-trained language models to overcome the limitations of current methods. The essence of DocGraphLM lies in its ability to integrate the strengths of language models with the structural insights provided by GNNs, thus offering a more robust document representation. This integration is crucial for accurately modeling visually rich documents’ intricate relationships and structures.

Jan 11, 2024

Space Force to award multiple contracts for ‘Digital Spaceport’ up to $1.9 million each

Posted by in categories: business, space

WASHINGTON — SpaceWERX, the technology arm of the U.S. Space Force, is looking to award a new round of Small Business Innovation Research contracts worth up to $1.9 million each for IT infrastructure upgrades at the Eastern and Western launch ranges.

The project known as Digital Spaceport of the Future was announced earlier this month. SpaceWERX officials on Jan. 10 said launch ranges are in dire need of IT upgrades and are seeking proposals from the private sector by February 7.

Maj. Jareth Lamb, deputy director of SpaceWERX, said during a briefing that the contracts will be “direct to Phase 2” SBIR/STTR agreements. These are Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer deals that require collaboration between small businesses and non-profit research institutions.

Jan 10, 2024

UN Security Council demands Houthis stop Red Sea attacks

Posted by in categories: business, space

Jan 10 (Reuters) — The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday demanded Yemen’s Houthis immediately end attacks on ships in the Red Sea and cautioned against escalating tensions while implicitly endorsing a U.S.-led task force that has been defending vessels.

The demand came in a Security Council resolution that also called on the Houthis to release the Galaxy Leader, a Japanese-operated vehicle carrier linked to an Israeli businessman that the group commandeered on Nov. 19, and its 25-person crew.

Eleven members voted for the measure demanding the Houthis “immediately cease all attacks, which impede global commerce and navigational rights and freedoms as well as regional peace.”

Jan 10, 2024

NASA has funded the development of new laser communications technology through small business Fibertek Inc. to help enable communications on Artemis II

Posted by in categories: business, space

NASA is working with private industry partners and small businesses under Artemis to produce scalable, affordable, and advanced laser communications systems that could enable greater exploration and discovery beyond Earth for the benefit of all.

Laser, or optical, communications provide missions with increased data rates – meaning that missions using laser technology can send and receive more information in a single transmission compared with those using traditional radio waves. When a spacecraft uses laser communications to send information, infrared light packs the data into tighter waves so ground stations on Earth can receive more data at once. Laser communications systems can provide 10 to 100 times higher data rates than the radio systems used by space missions today.

As science instruments evolve to capture high-definition data, missions will need expedited ways to transmit information to Earth. It would take roughly nine weeks to transmit a complete map of Mars back to Earth with current radio frequency systems. With lasers, it would only take about nine days.

Jan 9, 2024

Muon Space tapped by Air Force for cloud characterization from space

Posted by in categories: business, climatology, satellites

WASHINGTON — The startup Muon Space announced Jan. 9 it will explore the use of climate-monitoring satellites to capture cloud characterization data for the U.S. Air Force.

The Mountain View, California-based company, founded in 2021, is developing small satellites to monitor Earth’s climate and ecosystems.

Under a Small Business Innovation Research Phase 1 contract from the U.S. Air Force, Muon Space “will perform a feasibility study to determine the benefit of modifying its multispectral electro-optical infrared (EO/IR) instrument to support the Department of Defense’s cloud characterization observation capability,” the company said.

Jan 7, 2024

Clever Apes in the Modern Workplace

Posted by in categories: business, employment, neuroscience

“Rather than seeing the organization as a machine, we need to see it as a collection of clever apes.” Psychologist Robin Dunbar’s latest book argues companies are social groups that can’t be perfected like a machine.


What is it about working life that can make us feel so alienated and isolated, and what can we do to prevent it? In The Social Brain: The Psychology of Successful Groups, the evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar joins forces with Tracey Camilleri and Samantha Rockey, associate fellows at Oxford’s Saïd Business School, to apply Dunbar’s own scientific discoveries about human cooperation to our work lives. The idea is that, in order to perform our jobs more effectively, we need to go with, and at times go against, the grain of human nature. The authors home in on what makes us best work together, given the central importance of groups throughout our evolutionary history.

Dunbar spent the better part of two decades, starting in the 1970s, studying wild monkeys in Africa to understand why some species develop their own societies. His close contact with our primate cousins gave him a new perspective from which to approach questions about human nature, and that led him, in 1998, to propose the “social brain hypothesis”—the idea that keeping track of who’s who, and cooperating effectively, takes considerable brain power.

Jan 6, 2024

The World Depends on 60-Year-Old Code No One Knows Anymore

Posted by in categories: business, finance

An alarmingly large portion of the world’s business and finance systems run on COBOL, and only a small community of programmers know it. IBM thinks Watson can help, but it’s not guaranteed.

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