Delphi and Mobileye to Use Intel Chip for Self-Driving Car System

Auto parts maker Delphi Automotive Plc and Israeli technology firm Mobileye NV will put an Intel Corp chip at the heart of their joint effort to produce self-driving vehicles by 2019. The move is a boost for the world’s largest semiconductor maker, which is also working with German car maker BMW AG and Mobileye on self-driving technology, but has not been able to extend its broader chip dominance into the fast-emerging autonomous vehicle market.


Companies from Alphabet Inc’s Google to Uber and Tesla Motors are vying to put autonomous vehicles on US roads, which could radically reshape transportation across the country. Intel will provide a “system on chip” for autonomous vehicle systems that Delphi and Mobileye are developing together, Glen De Vos, Delphi’s vice president of engineering, told Reuters. The system Delphi and Mobileye are developing would likely come to market first in a commercial vehicle operating in a limited area, such as an airport shuttle or a ride-hailing service. Delphi is also working with Quanergy Systems, a maker of solid-state LIDAR systems, De Vos said.

Source (Joseph White, “Delphi, Mobileye to use Intel chip for self-driving car system”, Reuters, 29.11.2016)

Morphing Wings

Bendable, morphing wings covered with overlapping pieces resembling scales or feathers could be used to build more agile, fuel-efficient aircraft, a new study finds.


Credit: Kenneth Cheung/NASA

The new wing architecture consists of a system of tiny, strong, lightweight modules. The shape of the wing can be changed uniformly along its length using two small motors, which apply a twisting pressure to each wingtip. These wings are covered in “skins” of overlapping strips of flexible material resembling fish scales or bird feathers. These strips move across each other as the wings morph, providing a smooth outer surface, the researchers explained. Wind-tunnel tests of these wings showed that they at least matched the aerodynamic properties of conventional wings, at about one-tenth the weight.

Whereas the construction of light composite wings for aircraft currently requires large, specialized equipment for layering and hardening the material, the new modular structures the scientists developed could be manufactured quickly in mass quantities and then assembled by teams of small robots.

Source (Charles Q. Choi, “Morphing Wings Are 1st Step Toward Bird-Like Aircraft”, LiveScience, 11.11.2016)

A.I. Nightmare Machine

The idea of artificial intelligence (AI) — autonomous computers that can learn independently — makes some people extremely uneasy, regardless of what the computers in question might be doing. Those individuals probably wouldn’t find it reassuring to hear that a group of researchers is deliberately training computers to get better at scaring people witless. The project, appropriately enough, is named “Nightmare Machine.” Digital innovators in the U.S. and Australia partnered to create an algorithm that would enable a computer to understand what makes certain images frightening, and then use that data to transform any photo, no matter how harmless-looking, into the stuff of nightmares.


Credit: Nightmare Machine

“We know that AI terrifies us in the abstract sense,” co-creator Pinar Yanardag, a postdoctoral researcher at MIT Media Lab in Massachusetts, wrote in an email. “But can AI scare us in the immediate, visceral sense?” The designers used a form of artificial intelligence called “deep learning” — a system of data structures and programs mimicking the neural connections in a human brain — to teach a computer what makes for a frightening visual.

“Elon Musk said that with the development of AI, we are ‘summoning the demon,'” co-creator Iyad Rahwan, an associate professor at MIT Media Lab, told Live Science. “We wanted to playfully explore whether and how AI can indeed become a demon, that can learn how to scare us, both by extracting features from scary images and subsequent refinement using crowd feedback,” Rahwan said. He added that the timing of their spooky experiment — close to Halloween — was no accident.

Source (Mindy Weisberger, “A.I. ‘Nightmare Machine’ Knows What Scares You”, LiveScience, 31.10.2016)

Microsoft Surface Studio

Microsoft announced the Surface Studio during the Windows 10 Creator’s Update event this past week, leaving many Microsoft fans excited to see more. The device is unquestionably gorgeous, and its arrival is paired with a creator-centric suite of new Windows 10 features.  The bulk of the Studio is a 28-inch display mounted on a pair of “zero gravity” hinges that allow it to act as a regular monitor or fold down into “Studio mode” for a writing and drawing surface – being designed to create an illusion of floating pixels. . In addition to 10-point multitouch, the display allows for interaction with a Surface Pen and a new accessory called the Surface Dial — a small metal puck that can be placed against the screen and rotated. The display runs at an ultrahigh resolution (4,500 x 3,000) and can switch between the wide DCI-P3 color gamut and the more common sRGB with the push of a button — a useful feature allowing designers to see what their creations will look like on other devices.

The Surface Dial was announced with the Surface Studio and is unquestionably a big part of what is going to make the Surface Studio experience so special. If you wanted to be able to use the Surface Dial but didn’t want to spend $3,000+ on the Surface Studio, you can still use the Surface Dial on any Windows 10 PC.

Source (Aaron Souppouris, “What creatives think of the Microsoft Surface Studio”, Yahoo! Finance, 28.10.2016)