The Download

What's up in emerging technology

Yesterday Typing at computer

Pairing AI with Humans Has Made Glassdoor a Success Story in the War on Trolls

Glassdoor, the jobs search and ratings site, has been able to build a collaborative working environment for its human and AI content reviewers.

The AI’s job: Machine-learning algorithms scan for fraud and profanity on the site. Cara Barry, who leads… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Ilya Pavlov | Unsplash

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The World’s Biggest Shipping Firm Plans to Track the Planet’s Containers on a Blockchain

Keeping tabs on millions of shipping containers is difficult. But IBM and A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping firm, are building a blockchain they say will streamline the process and save billions of dollars.

The problem: International… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Bernard Spragg. NZ | Flickr

Editor's Pick

Slack Hopes Its AI Will Keep You from Hating Slack

If you work at one of the 50,000 companies that pay to use Slack for workplace collaboration, you probably spend hours on it, swapping information, bantering, and sharing files with your colleagues. It’s a casual, flexible way to interact—you tap out...

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Yesterday A Kinsa smart thermometer in use

Smart Thermometers Provide a Real-Time View of Spreading Flu Outbreaks

Tech-savvy health-concious types are giving interesting insights into this year’s flu.

Real-time tracking: The New York Times reports that Kinsa makes smartphone-paired digital thermometers claimed to be in 500,000 American homes and producing 25,000 data… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Kinsa
Bitcoin in plain text

One Person May Have Driven Bitcoin’s 2013 Jump to $1,000

New research suggests that bots were used to manipulate the price of Bitcoin.

The analysis: A Journal of Monetary Economics paper examines how two bots, Markus and Willy, performed suspicious trades on the Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange in 2013. The bots appeared… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Jonas Lejon | Unsplash
An Intel Core i5 processor

The Clock Is Ticking for Chip Flaw Fixes to Start Working

Cures for the pervasive Meltdown and Spectre chip flaws aren’t working, and hacks may soon be incoming.

Broken fixes: The Register reports that software patches for the flaws are causing some industrial hardware to become unstable. Intel has also warned… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Yi Shiang | Flickr
A Nissan Leaf, charging

$90 Billion Says Electric Cars Are the Future

At the Detroit Auto Show this week, electricity is at the top of the agenda.

Huge money: The BBC reports that Ford will invest $11 billion in electric cars, to have 40 hybrids and all-electrics in its range by 2022. Bill Ford says that the firm is "all… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Kārlis Dambrāns | Flickr

Editor's Pick

And the Award for Most Nauseating Self-Driving Car Goes to …

In many ways this year’s CES looked a lot more like an autonomous-car show than a consumer electronics show.

There were announcements aplenty from the likes of Ford, Baidu, Toyota, and others about self-driving vehicles, upcoming driving tests, and new...

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January 15, 2018 Honolulu, Hawaii

The Tech Troubles Behind Hawaii’s False Missile Alert

On Saturday, Hawaii incorrectly warned citizens of a missile attack via their phones.

User interface fail: The error was reportedly a result of a Hawaii Emergency Management Agency employee picking the wrong option—"missile alert," not "test missile… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Christian Joudrey | Unsplash
Reading a book.

AI Beats Humans at Reading Comprehension, but It Still Doesn’t Truly Comprehend Language

While Alibaba and Microsoft may have developed AIs that outperform humans at a comprehension test, there are still tough natural language challenges facing machines.

The challenge: The Stanford University quiz, based on 500 Wikipedia articles, tests… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Annie Spratt | Unsplash