Russian hackers strike again, the voice of Morgan Freeman, boring tunnels and more.
1. Russian hackers stole $180 million from US advertisers
Russians did it again. Uncovered by digital security company White Ops, Russian hackers managed to pull off an operation of unprecedented profitability in digital ad fraud history. The hackers first built a number of fake websites and promised customers they would host their ads on major news websites. Using an army of bots, the hackers created the impression that the ads were visited by 500,000 unique US IP addresses.
2. The White House thinks 3.1 million jobs will go away
A report published by the White House predicts that 3.1 million truck/taxi/delivery drivers will lose their jobs because of a new player in the game. No, it's not immigrants – it's AI. Bad days are coming for drivers. But fear not. The current White House has a solution, and that solution is education. Since you're not going to read the report, just read this: "If the United States fails to improve at educating children and retraining adults with the skills needed in an increasingly AI-driven economy, the country risks leaving millions of Americans behind and losing its position as the global economic leader."
Hyundai, also in the autonomous car game, is focusing on exoskeleton devices. The device's main goal is to augment the wearer's mobility. The exoskeleton appears to be useful for people who are unable to move or have difficulty moving. It can also be worn by people who have to carry heavy weights. And it gives us a glimpse of what super-soldiers will be using in future battlefields – which brings us to our next topic.
4. Should we ban autonomous weapons?
This week, the UN disarmament conference will discuss whether to start formal discussions on prohibiting autonomous weapons which could be feasible within years. Last year, a number of researchers in AI wrote an open letter calling for a ban on these weapons. More than 20,000 people have since signed the letter. While the topic brings the Terminator to mind, one thing should be understood: semi-autonomous weapons are already out there and being used actively. Drones, guided missiles, CIWSs (close-in weapon systems), and even mines are in a way autonomous. But all, without exception, have a human in the loop.
5. Mark Zuckerberg finally finished his robot assistant. His name is Jarvis and he sounds like Morgan Freeman
There's not much to say on this topic, since Zuckerberg did a fun summary of Jarvis. Just watch.
After announcing the launch of its self-driving car pilot program in California without getting permission from California's DMV, Uber decided to back down and test its technology elsewhere. The decision came after the DMV threatened the company with revoking the licences of 16 Uber-owned cars – the 16 cars that Uber has been using for self-driving car tests.
7. Apparently, Elon Musk hates sitting in traffic
Elon Musk managed to get the attention of the tech community with only four tweets this week. While sitting bored in traffic, he revealed his intentions to found a tunnel boring company. He wants to alleviate surface traffic. There's not much detail beyond that but the tweets are interesting nonetheless.
I am actually going to do this— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2016