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LanceList - Issue #38

Google Duplex, SpaceX Falcon 9 V2, Uber bug, Unboxings


May 9 · Issue #38 · View online
Tech stories that matter, Gadget Quests, nerd pursuits, and other things you ought to know.

Google Duplex, SpaceX Falcon 9 V2, Uber bug, Unboxings

Them. We’re clearing AI development hurdles like a decathlon athlete. Every time we hit a new threshold, we’re soon bounding over the next. At this week’s Google I/O developer conference, I saw a stunning demonstration of AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and voice synthesis. Called Duplex, it’s Google’s experimental voice assistant that goes way beyond “Hey Google” call response to full-on conversation. There are limits to what Duplex can do, but I believe the introduction of Duplex marks a major turning point in the development of computer voice companions.
Did Google Duplex just pass the Turing Test? – Lance Ulanoff – Medium
To space and back. The next phase of reusable rocketry is almost ready for its debut. SpaceX, which has made a name for itself in reusable rockets that take off and land perfectly on targets on the ground and floating barges, is set to unveil Falcon 9 Block 5, a sophisticated rocket that can be reused ten times with inspections and at least 100 times with refurbishment. Put simply, reusable rockets change the economics of space flight. Watch for the announcement on Thursday.
SpaceX Set to Debut Newest Falcon 9 Rocket: 'Block 5'
Speaking of space. Scientists just found this.
Set back. Two months after a self-driving Uber was involved in the first pedestrian fatality, Uber engineers may have discovered the cause: a possible software bug. Uber, which halted all self-driving car test programs after the crash, hasn’t made any public statements about the cause. Instead the news comes from sources talking to The Information. According to the report, the Uber car did detect the darkly-dressed pedestrian, but a bug that misidentified her as a “false positive” or something that didn’t require the car stopping, may have led to the deadly crash. This is the kind of news that could send all self-driving car companies back to their code.
Uber car software detected woman before fatal crash but failed to stop – Naked Security
Going up. Uber’s other mobility programs are taking flight.
Death of a star. In case you were wondering when, how, and in what fashion our Sun will die, scientists now have your answer. It’s going to be spectacular.
Unboxing. I opened a pair of gadget boxes live on Twitter. Did you miss it? Relieve the action here.
Unboxing 2. YouTube star iJustine unboxed an original iPhone. At least she’s pretty sure she did.
P.S. Yes, I care about the return of this totally excellent adventure.
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