Google Translations Just Got Better with Artificial Intelligence


Leaping Forward with Neural Nets

Ten years after introducing Translate, Google has made a major improvement. App users can now enjoy greater accuracy with several major foreign languages. They announced the good news mid-November: Google is now using Neural Machine Translation. A recent study testing the new method showed 60% greater accuracy in translation compared to the old.

world languages

Read more

Top videos of 2016

There are many creative and strange videos that top the charts throughout the year…. meaning they get a lot of “views”. Here are a few that you may have missed and might enjoy.   YouTube compiles their “Rewind” video annually and are an overview of that year’s viral videos.Here is YouTube Rewind 2016:   A …

Read more

Now Your Phone Can Help Detect Early Skin Cancer


“Watson,” the machine that defeated Jeopardy Champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in 2011, has evolved.  It’s part of IBM’s research and development in “Augmented Intelligence” or cognitive computer technology.  And the new Watson is helping people recognize early forms of skin cancer and save lives.

In 2014, IBM’s Watson Health Initiative began work with the American Cancer Society to help cancer patients and families. Later that year, Watson’s cognitive technology joined forces with the Sloan Kettering Research Centre. The computer was trained to recognize specific features and patterns indicating cancerous skin growths.

Now a recent study is using IBM technology and photos taken with Dermascopes that attach to smartphones for early skin cancer detection.  These lightweight cameras designed to get the best images for skin evaluation are already in use by doctors.  For less than $500, Dermalite offers a model that clips right onto your smartphone or tablet.  It boasts a 15-mm lens and high-powered LED lighting.

Read more

The Future is Here: Smart Home Technology


If you grew up with the Jetsons, you may have envied George and Jane for their robotic servants, conveyor belt dressing, and food on demand.  Everything was automated … even the dog, if you saw the 80s version (the original season aired from 1962-3).

Envy no more, because the future is here! Today’s systems allow buyers to tailor their homes to exact preferences. And almost any electronic appliance in your home can now be directed from a central hub.

That means you can run the clothes dryer or even close the blinds with a smartphone app, touch of a remote, or a voice command …depending on the systems and integrations you use.

Though the term “smart home” dates from the mid-1980’s, the technology has been quietly developing for years.  In 1965, Westinghouse engineer Jim Sutherland built a home computer for his own family’s private use.  The system, dubbed the Echo IV, consisted of four 6 x 2 x 6 ft. wooden cabinets housing an instrument designed to serve the family’s needs and whims. Keyboards distributed throughout the house provided easy access for everyone. The computer could control alarm clocks, the stereo system, and the TV.  It even generated music and provided educational programs to help the kids with their school work.

Today, the newest systems can be used to control many more home appliances – and in vastly greater detail.  

Imagine this …

Read more

The New BlackBerry – Why Outsourcing The Hardware May Be Their Best Move


According to the latest announcements, the struggling BlackBerry is now outsourcing its hardware production.  You might think that’s counter-intuitive – because the hardware was great.  It’s what made them different (hello, easy-to-use QWERTY keyboards).

When the iOS and Android devices took over the market, Blackberry seemed to fade out of sight.  According to comScore, their share of smartphone subscribers in the mobile market dropped to only 0.9% last year.

What went wrong? BlackBerry’s nearly fatal flaw in the mobile market was in the software. The company never jumped on the app craze which helped iOS and Android shine.  So … why get rid of the hardware?

According to the latest announcements, BlackBerry plans to concentrate on the part of software they do best – security.

Read more

Spider robots find and repair holes in airship

The Skunk Works division of Lockheed Martin created a self-propelled spider robot that moves over an airship to scan for holes and repair them. It has an inside part and outside part that are held together by magnets. When it finds a hole using light sensors and repairs it, it takes before and after photos so they can be manually verified by an operator. Many spider robots can operate simultaneously which reduces the time considerably.

Imagine applying similar technology to other aircraft, vehicles, vessels, or even pipelines. We could avoid very unfortunate leaks having serious environmental impact and safety concerns.

Read more