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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

How I went dark in Australia's surveillance state for 2 years – CNET

They called me the nameless one, the ghost who commutes, the silent passenger who refused to get a transport card.
Source: CNET

If a Facebook exec deletes his tweet, does it still make a sound? – CNET

There’s a delete button next to every tweet. One Facebook executive, in the midst of a scandal, used it to remove statements he’d made. But the internet didn’t forget.
Source: CNET

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus may not survive torture tests – CNET

Thicker glass and a sturdier frame should make the latest superphones harder to break, right? Tests by warranty outlet SquareTrade breaks down that claim.
Source: CNET

Uber said to be negotiating sale of self-driving tech to Toyota

Uber might begin selling its autonomous driving systems to outside companies, including major automakers, according to a new report from Japan’s Nikkei. The report claims that Uber has had talks with Toyota regarding supplying the automaker with self-driving tech, and that the two are currently in negotiations around how this would work, with talk of putting the autonomous tech developed by Uber into a Toyota-made minivan.

The deal comes as a Toyota VP and Toyota Research Institute CEO Gill Pratt met with Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi at Uber’s Pittsburgh Advanced Technologies Group R&D center. Uber has also teamed up with Volvo to co-develop self-driving technology, and uses the XC90 SUV as its test platform for its own current autonomous vehicles.

For Uber, partnering with more automakers could mean speedier development of its own AV systems, and a way to prime the market for a network of autonomous ride-hailing vehicles sourced from consumer and automaker fleets. Rival Lyft is making its own autonomous systems with Magna, one of the world’s leading auto suppliers, and the fruits of that collaboration could put it in fine form to see its products introduced in many automaker vehicles.

Meanwhile, Toyota has just introduced a new company springing out of its Toyota Research Group – TRI-AD, or Toyota Research Group-Advanced Development, which will focus specifically on brining TRI’s work on autonomous driving to market. This recent move could be an indicator that TRI’s work on self-driving isn’t translating to something ready for commercial products quite quick enough, so teaming with Uber could be a means to try to help accelerate those efforts.

This isn’t a done deal yet, however, according to the report, so anything could happen. But it’s an interesting glimpse into the autonomous driving strategy at both Uber and Toyota.

 


Source: TechCrunch

Watch a Robot 'Hen' Adopt a Flock of Chicks

The PoulBot is teaching researchers about flocking behavior and about the cues animals need to fall in love with their robot overlords.
Source: Wired

Call Centers Tap Voice-Analysis Software to Monitor Moods

The software can detect tone and emotion in both customers and agents, then offer motivational suggestions.
Source: Wired

How Europe's New Privacy Law Will Change the Web, and More

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation takes effect May 25, requiring that people know, understand, and consent to the data collected about them.
Source: Wired

SearchInk rebrands as omni:us, aims its hand-writing reading AI at insurance industry

Back in 2016 a startup called SearchInk, launched out of Berlin with the aim of combining machine learning with handwriting recognition. The upshot would be the ability to semantically label handwritten documents. Pretty nifty. It went on to raise €4.2 million in seed funding, but after developing this AI to read hard-written documents, it went in search of a market and business model. Not an easy thing to do. After all, what industry needs hand-written documents read at scale, when so many documents today are born digital in the first place? It turns out there was one after-all: the insurance industry.

In that sector, claims forms, emails and invoices are currently processed manually. But CEO and co-founder Sofie Quidenus-Wahlforss realised that her company’s technology could significantly reduce the time and cost spent on administrative tasks, as well as the risk of human error.

So today, SearchInk rebrands as omni:us, a next generation AI service with two main products aimed squarely at the insurance industry: omni:us Claim and omni:us Policy. The idea is to be able to process digital documents, some of which contain handwriting, by classifying them and extracting the valuable data.

Omni:us is launching these products first in the DACH region, and claims to be working with over half of the top 10 insurance providers. It also says it can deploy its claims management and policy extraction products into an organisation within a matter of weeks. It’s now raise a total of $6.5 million from individual angels and VC, including Anthemis.

Quidenus-Wahlforss said: “Industry predictions show that insurance data will grow by 94% in 2018, 84% of which will be in highly variable documentation. However, in the future, there is also huge potential to apply omni:us technology to many other diverse industries such as finance, manufacturing, transportation and healthcare.”

She added that “We see customers improving their claims turn around time by 80% and all of that at 75% of the original costs. Why is this the case? Fundamentally, because with omni:us manual interventions can be reduced to a minimum, due to the supervised machine learning approach. One of our clients could speed up the comparison by an average 90% at only 80% of the costs.”

Furthermore, the AI could analyze policies with an annual value of only 250 Euro, which normally be a waste of a human being’s time and effort.

Omni:us is now in the process of raising a further funding round this year, opening an office in the US and growing its team.


Source: TechCrunch

Top 5 spring-cleaning tech tips video – CNET

We’re finally shaking off winter and heading into a new season. Now’s the time to do some much-needed cleaning up of your tech life.
Source: CNET

VentureFriends, the Athens-based VC, outs new €45M fund

VentureFriends, the Athens-based VC that has backed the likes of Homie and Weengs, is announcing its new fund, with a first closing of €45 million.

VentureFriends II’ sees the VC firm pick up where its original €20 million fund left off, with a remit to do seed investments in Greek startups and beyond that have global ambitions.

Specifically, the VC fund, which counts LPs as the European Investment Fund, the Greek ESIF FoF, Equifund and several individuals and family offices, is on the look out for seed-stage tech startups in its sweet spot of e-marketplaces, e-commerce, and SaaS.

I’m told it plans to write a company’s first cheque of up to €1 million. There’s also the option to add another €5 million to the fund, with a final closing target of €50 million, although this may not come to fruition.

Notably, VentureFriends’ second fund has already disclosed a first investment, participating in Stasher’s recent funding round. The startup (formerly known as CityStasher) is billed as an ‘Airbnb for luggage’ and offers a network of brick and mortar businesses across Europe that will store your luggage for a few hours in between commutes.

Meanwhile, the two year-old ‘VentureFriends I’ made 21 investments during its lifetime, which feels like a pretty rapid deployment of capital. These have mostly been in Greece-based startups with an international outlook, including Blueground, a company offering high-quality mid-term accommodation for business executives ad expats. The company manages over 700 properties in New York, Dubai, Athens and Istanbul.

Another example cited by VentureFriends is Welcomepickups, which two years into existence is now present in 20 cities in Europe and Asia. The startup can be thought of as a travel concierge, spanning transfer services, essential products, pre-ordered tickets to top attractions, tips and tailor-made experiences led by locals.

The two Partners of VentureFriends are Apostolos Apostolakis and George Dimopoulos. Apostolakis previously co-founded e-shop.gr, the first e-tailer in Greece, and in 2011 he co-founded e-food, a food delivery marketplace acquired in 2015 by Delivery Hero, providing a major exit for the Greek startup ecosystem. He and Dimopoulos were also among the first angel investors in Taxibeat, the taxi app that sold to Daimler in February 2017.


Source: TechCrunch

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