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Preview: Christian Science Monitor | Innovation

Christian Science Monitor | Innovation



Sci/Tech, Pioneers, Responsible Tech, Tech Culture



 



Chinese automakers' influence grows in electric vehicle industry

Electric cars aren't currently a lucrative business for most automakers but investors see a promising future. For Chinese companies, that interest is causing a major uptick in production around the world.

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In new move, Facebook publishes guidelines on inappropriate content

Facebook published 27 pages worth of guidelines on what it does not allow on its service, closely mirroring the rules its 7,600 moderators follow to monitor the social network. 

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Dainty machines? Collaborative robots help humans in Japanese factories

As the workforce ages in Japan and elsewhere, "cobots" are emerging as a way to keep assembly lines moving without replacing humans. Cobots are being used by companies of all sizes for simple tasks and small-batch manufacturing.

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Voice assistants can't understand Pittsburghese

If you're from Pittsburgh, 'Sorry, I didn't get that,' may be a refrain you're used to hearing from Alexa. Voice assistants, trained on regular American English, often trip up on requests in regional dialects.

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Researchers develop autonomous vehicles to help the blind

New research conducted outside of the auto industry aims to develop data and software to ensure that the needs of the blind are met when autonomous cars become commonplace.

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FTC asked to investigate Youtube

Child advocates and consumer groups lodged a formal complaint against Google for allegedly violating children's online privacy by allowing ads to target them. The complaint comes at a time of increased public scrutiny over the tech industry's mining of personal data. 

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Utah hospital's webcam connects deployed father with infant son

Half a world away, John Girtman – stationed with the US Air Force – can keep a watchful eye on his infant son in the neonatal intensive care unit in Utah's Timpanogos Regional Hospital thanks to new webcam technology.

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Most Facebook users may have had public data scraped

Facebook is shutting down a feature which allowed data scrapers to identify individuals and collect information by searching for users by phone number or email address. Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress next week as authorities investigate allegations.

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‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ turns 50: Why HAL endures

Even after five decades of technological advancement, the murderous artificial intelligence in Stanley Kubrick’s philosophical sci-fi film remains the definitive metaphor for technology’s dark side.

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Black Girls Code seeks to build diversity in tech

Despite efforts by major technology companies, women of color are still sharply underrepresented in the industry. For tech entrepreneur Kimberly Bryant, that gap presented an opportunity to empower African-American girls to take up computer science. 

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Despite volatility, bitcoin finds growing support in African economies

Bitcoin has fielded criticisms from governments around the world for its unpredictable market value, but in some African countries, supporters of the cryptocurrency are seeing growing interest in its trade. 

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Facebook: Take the virtual community with its corporate flaws or leave it?

Facebook represents a truly 21st-century conundrum to users: When your community is a big business, and when a company's biggest business is your community, things can get very messy.

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Facebook spotlights improper data extraction during political campaigns

Facebook announced Monday that user information had been extracted 'inappropriately' and had been applied to US political campaign strategies. Research from 2013 indicates that 'likes' on the massive social network can predict political affiliation. 

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First pedestrian fatality from self-driving vehicle raises more safety concerns

As technology companies and automakers compete to bring self-driving vehicles to market, regulations have been left up to states, which have taken varied approaches. Because of a recent fatal pedestrian crash, those regulations have come under more scrutiny.

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Autonomous vehicles break ground in construction industry

A San Francisco startup is developing technology to allow construction vehicles to operate themselves. The startup is part of a wave of automation that is transforming the construction agency to help the sector boost productivity.

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Can your boss make you wear a Fitbit?

Some 8 percent of employee wellness plans offer wearable fitness trackers to workers. Are the trackers really voluntary?

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Ride-hailing apps boost women economically but safety concerns persist

Women drivers benefit significantly from ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft, says a new report from the International Finance Corporation. Many of these companies are now investigating ways to keep women safe while they are on the job.

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Cities argue 5G internet rollout laws violate property rights

The installation of infrastructure for ultrafast 5G networks are impeding the public's right of way, critics say. Local authorities, under new laws passed in 16 states, have no control over where antennas are placed and how much cities can charge companies for using public property.

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From fake news to fabricated video, can we preserve our shared reality?

The advent of inexpensive and readily accessible fabricated video production brings new meaning to the phrase 'seeing is believing.' Combatting falsified footage demands a shift among news outlets and news consumers, experts say.

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Teen creates a safety app for lone commuters

Medha Gupta felt unsafe walking home alone, so, as most teenagers would, she turned to her phone. Medha, however, went one step further, turning her worry into an app to help others traveling alone.

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