IBM presents first quantum computer which cannot simulated anymore by conventional super computers

Eagle,is the first practically usable quantum computer in the world which offers more than 100 Qubits, 127 to be precise. With this number it can represent more states than all atoms contained in humans can do. There is currently no other existing quantum computer which offers more than 100 Qubits. Just to have a comparison: with 300 Qubits it is said, that more states than by all atoms in the universe can be represented.

This results in a significant improvement of calculation power, currently no existing conventional super computer may reach this capacity anymore. IBM was inspired by classical CPUs when buidling up the 3D quantum processor. In IBMs architecture the Quantum bits have an own layer, the lines and micro wave switching have other layers. And the Qubits are arranged now in heavy hex topology and not anymore in triangles or squares.

Eagle quantum processor. (Image: IBM)

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Tele presence of bedridden persons via robots

More than 10 years the Japanese robot developer OryLab was searching for a business model for its robots. Now they found one: in the robot cafe in Tokio bedridden persons can work with remote controlled robots and serve customers.

OryLab defines the term home working totally new. Bedridden people in Japan may now work in the robot cafe “Dawn” located in Tokio by controlling robots. Tpyical work involves eg. consulting of customers on different coffee types and to take orders. The order is executed then by a rededicated Barista industry robot.

OriHime is the robot created by OryLab, which enables people from home to remotely control it like an avatar. The robot offers camera eyes, which establishes eye contact between the remote controller and the customer. At the entrance a robot awaits the guests, greets them and directs them to their table. Another OriHime is in the souvenir shop and consults and sells customers presents.

The business model helps bedridden people to fight against loneliness, and to give them again a task in their life which helps them to believe being still “useful”. Furthermore these people (many of them are paralyzed from the throat downwards) may now again communicate to each other which helps them to integrate again in social life.

So far the first feedback and evaluation results from the Cafe are promising. Since real persons are behind the robots, they are much better accepted by humans than pure robots acting only with artificial intelligence. Also the avatar robots can move their hands and heads, which comes closer to human gesticulation.

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How is the status of digital competence of Germans?

According to a press information in connection with the study “digital skills gap” Germans have a medium digital competence. In a graphic of Statista you can see, that the majority of Germans is capable of Internet research, however, the capability to train specific digital skills and knowledge is considerable low.

Younger people can handle the Internet much better that people 50+. 87% of people below 30 are able to perform an Internet research with many sources. In the group 50+ this capability significantly drops.

Also gender and education make a big difference. Men with a high education have the highest competence to separate junk information from real information. Women with low education have the lowest competence.

Some competencies are generally low, eg only 32% of all Germans are able to recognize copyright protected images.

In Austria a study on digital competencies on 5,000 students beginning their study was performed. All the results and findings can be found on this website: https://dikos.at/

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Cisco introduces asynchronous video service Vidcast


Cisco introduces with its new Vidcast an asychronous mode to exchange videos without having to use its synchronous WebEx tools. The tool was developed by a new work group called WebEx leap.

With Vidcast you can share short video sequencs up to a length of 15 minutes. The recipent(s) may comment the videos with emoticons and up to two minutes videos. You can share web cam videos and screen casts, examples may be seen in Ciscos Demovideo. Also sub chapters may be produced, and recipients can of course play the video with reduced or accelerated speed.

Right now Vidcast is only available in a browser version. However, Cisco is already working on a desktop and mobile client. Currently there is a beta phase ongoing where interested users may register and contribute. For the final launch Cisco plans a free version and a premium version with extended functionality.

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Robo recruiting may result in discrimination

Under the term robo recruiting a recruiting process supported by artificial intelligence is understood. There are no exact numbers how many companies already use robo recruiting and to what extend. Anyway there are already first studies available which warn from this process, which can also result in discrimination.

Depending on which extend the software is utilized, different conflicts and dangers may appear. One danger may be, that potential appliers may anticipate the decisions of the AI software and mislead the software. Existing software based on speech analysis from IBM, and from LogOn and Consulting and Precire Technologies even construct a psychological profile of the applicant, however, without any scientific validation and a more than doubt able value. Anyway, the software delivers amazing results by analyzing about 300 words in terms of communication skills, stress level and significant character values.

Software also takes the application form as a basis for analysis and derives, how far the applicant is inline with the company requirements. This serves as a basis for the recruiter for decision and can be compared also to worldwide results.

All in all the software will not replace human recruiters, but it can be expected that it will significantly support this process in the future.

 

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Boston Dynamics robot Spot will be introduced to market shortly

Spot, the four legged robot, will be the first commercial product of Boston Dynamics. Within the next few months the robot shall be introduced to the market. Currently the robot still participates in several studies including building market and parcel delivery. The 3D cameras of the robot are able to monitor the soroundings of construction sites and may indicate possible areas of risk. The robot has also an arm which can be controlled by the user.

The robot was demonstrated live at the re:MARS conference from amazon, which is controlled via a gaming pad. The control is intuitive and easy to use, the robot can be controlled like a model car. Via the camera you will receive a life stream of the robot to the control. By indicating positions within the video the robot will move there. Also the arm can be controlled by the game tablet.

In comparison to simple logistics robots spot is able to adapt dynamically to its soroundings and has not to be programmed exactly for each task. This relates to human capabilities, which the robot shall have. The product will not be a mass product, the company plans to produce 1000 / year as a starting point. The price for the robot is not set yet, but shall be much cheaper than the prototype.

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Google blocks Android updates and PlayStore for Huawei

According to the news agency Reuters will Google cancel the commercial contract with Huawei. This is caused due to the US embargo against China, where Trump put Huawei on a black list because of suspect of industry spy.  In detail this means that Huawai smart phones won’t be able to get updates on Android anymore nor can they access the PlayStore. Furthermore Google Apps like maps and gmail  cannot be used anymore.

This will affect only newly bough smart phones, all already existing smart phones will be able to access the Google PlayStore and will also receive security updates. However, they will not receive anymore new Android versions.

It is unclear what this will mean for future smart phones. Android is a nopen source project, so there are possibilities to keep them updated, however, this requires special technical know how which cannot be expected from the masses. So the only solution seems to be that Huawei will release on own operating system. According to insider knowledge Huawei is already working on such a solution for a longer time.

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New Oculus Quest self sufficient headset available

Self sufficient headsets which can provide VR without a connected PC or smartphone are available for quite a long time now, however, they could not provide the same quality as headsets directly using PC HW power. The new Oculus Quest offers now the same quality and provides additionally a very stable body tracking in all 6 movement axis. The Oculus Quest shall be introduced to the market in spring 2019 for 400 US dollars.

Quest is a little bit heavier than the Rift. The in the headset integrated movement detectors work reliable, also in connection with the hand controller. It can handle also occlusions. Quest uses the same optics than the Oculus Go, the resolution is 1600 × 1440 Pixel per eye, a little bit more than the Go model provides. Furthermore the Quest uses OLED displays instead of LCD. For a self sufficient system the Quest offers very good quality in tracking and display.

 

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Google invests 22 million Dollar in the mobile operating system KaiOS

Google invests 22 million US dollars into the mobile operating system KaiOS which runs on so called “feature phones”. Feature phones are a mixture of smart phones and classic phones (only for calling). Even though feature phones do not provide to full functionality of modern smart phones, the enable users to access the Internet, and provides also features like GPS and WiFi. The main target market of feature phones are developing countries where people cannot invest much money in phones. KaiOS runs e.g. on Nokia 8110, the so called “Banana mobile phone”.

According to Google apps like maps and YouTube should run in future also under KaiOS.  Google Manager Anjali Joshi explains that all people shall have access on Google services, including desktop, smart phones but also feature phone users. KaiOS will use the Google investment in order to faster distribute KaiOS enabled phones.

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Austria and Italy raise concerns against EC copyright reformation

In the EC parliament more and more concerns are raised against the planned copyright reformation. In detail the EC rights committee proposed to install automatic upload filters on online platforms for user generated content which automatically reject uploads containing copyright protected material.

States like Austria and Italy claim, that there are still many open questions, hence the proposal is not ready for being published right now. This caused already a postponement of the final decision. Main arguments against this new law is the restriction of the freedom of the opinion and information.

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