With its new Reply system the firm is taking the art of conversion one step forwards – or should that be backwards?
Are you tired of the constant need to tap on a glass keyboard just to keep up with your friends? Do you wish a robot could free you of your constant communication obligations via WhatsApp, Facebook or text messages? Google is working on an AI-based auto-reply system to do just that.
Google’s experimental product lab called Area 120 is currently testing a new system simply called Reply that will work with Google’s Hangouts and Allo, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Twitter direct messages and Slack.
Anaesthesia remains a mysterious and inexact science – and thousands of patients still wake up on the operating table every year. By Kate Cole-Adams
When Rachel Benmayor was admitted to hospital, eight and a half months pregnant, in 1990, her blood pressure had been alarmingly high and her doctor had told her to stay in bed and get as much rest as possible before the baby came. But her blood pressure kept rising – this condition, known as pre-eclampsia, is not uncommon but can lead to sometimes-fatal complications – and the doctors decided to induce the birth. When her cervix failed to dilate properly after 17 hours of labour, they decided instead to deliver the child by caesarean section under general anaesthetic. Rachel remembers being wheeled into the operating theatre. She remembers the mask, the gas. But then, as the surgeon made the first incision, she woke up.
“I remember going on to the operating table,” she told me. “I remember an injection in my arm, and I remember the gas going over, and Glenn, my partner, and Sue, my midwife, standing beside me. And then I blacked out. And then the first thing I can remember is being conscious, basically, of pain. And being conscious of a sound that was loud and then echoed away. A rhythmical sound, almost like a ticking, or a tapping. And pain. I remember feeling a most incredible pressure on my belly, as though a truck was driving back and forth, back and forth across it.”
Advances in AI and robotics are leading to high street models becoming increasingly useful in our day-to-day lives
Named after the Greek god of the wind, this bot’s abilities are more prosaic yet nevertheless useful. Its big boast is that it can fetch you a beer from the fridge, but this household helper can also vacuum, pick up toys and find your lost glasses. The price tag will probably be five figures and the manufactures are hoping it will breeze into shops later this year.
Brain-computer interfaces could change the way people think, soldiers fight and Alzheimer’s is treated. But are we in control of the ethical ramifications?
At the World Government Summit in Dubai in February, Tesla and SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk said that people would need to become cyborgs to be relevant in an artificial intelligence age. He said that a “merger of biological intelligence and machine intelligence” would be necessary to ensure we stay economically valuable.
Soon afterwards, the serial entrepreneur created Neuralink, with the intention of connecting computers directly to human brains. He wants to do this using “neural lace” technology – implanting tiny electrodes into the brain for direct computing capabilities.