Google Unveils New Phones, Smart Home Tech and More
Google introduced new Pixel phones and several new devices earlier this week, reminding the world of its technical prowess and agility. Now, the company is waiting to see if consumers will be impressed enough by the new offerings to buy them in big numbers.
"Google's expertise in AI software has refined every part of the Pixel, especially its photo-taking capabilities," writes Arielle Pardes of Wired. "The front-facing camera now consists of two wide-angle, 12-megapixel camera lenses, better for wide-angle selfies. Thanks to some smart software and Visual Core, a co-processor that Google developed with Intel, these cameras can do way more than before: features like Photobooth capture hands-free selfies, Night Sight takes better shots in the dark, and Top Shot finds the best still in a motion photo."
Google also unveiled the Pixel Slate, which combines the capabilities of a phone, laptop and tablet. Additionally, Google introduced Home Hub, a new smart display for controlling the smart gadgets in your home. The Home Hub is not equipped with a camera, a decision that Google hopes will resonate with privacy-conscious consumers.
Evidence of Telecom Hacking by China Surfaces
A highly respected cyber security expert has told Bloomberg Businessweek that an implant built into a Supermicro server's Ethernet connection may have been used to spy on an unidentified U.S. telecom.
"A major U.S. telecommunications company discovered manipulated hardware from Super Micro Computer Inc. in its network and removed it in August, fresh evidence of tampering in China of critical technology components bound for the U.S.," write Jordan Robertson and Michael Riley in Bloomberg.
The expert, Yossi Appleboum, "previously worked in the technology unit of the Israeli Army Intelligence Corps and is now Co-Chief Executive Officer of Sepio Systems in Gaithersburg, Maryland. His firm specializes in hardware security and was hired to scan several large data centers belonging to the telecommunications company," according to Bloomberg.
Amazon Reported to Delete Biased AI Recruiting Tool
Amazon has scrapped an AI tool designed to sort through resumes, reportedly because the software was biased against women candidates.
The story, published by Reuters, says it's not clear whether Amazon ever actually used the tool or was in the process of evaluating it.
"Over the past few years, as artificial intelligence has been deployed in more and more contexts, researchers have become increasingly vocal about the dangers of bias. Prejudices about gender and race can easily creep into a range of AI programs - everything from facial recognition algorithms to those used by the courts and hospitals," writes James Vincent in The Verge.