Good morning, Austin. Here’s the latest tech news from around the web this morning:
Amazon delays opening its new cashierless store
Called Amazon Go, the cashierless convenience store was supposed to open this month, notes the Wall Street Journal. But apparently “kinks in the technology” have led Amazon to delay opening the store.
The stores is supposed to allow people to just pick up the items they want and leave the store without using cash registers or checkout lines.
Problems arise when more than 20 people are in the store at one time, the Journal notes. Another issue is the difficulty of keeping tabs on items that have been movez.
Facebook copies Snapchat. Again.
Recode explains that Facebook is copying Snapchat again when it launched Stories, a 24-hour photo and video montage with interactive filters, masks and frames.
The “Stories” function will live inside of the core Facebook app. But Recode notes that Facebook has already rolled out Snapchat-esque features in Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.
But Facebook’s willingness to prominently place the exact same feature inside all of its apps doesn’t just speak to the company’s fear of competitors — it also shows that Facebook isn’t concerned with giving each of its core services a unique identity.
Inside Elon Musk’s quest to stop AI from ending humanity
Maureen Dowd has an utterly fascinating story in Vanity Fair about Elon Musk’s multi-year quest to stop artificial intelligence from overtaking humanity.
From Vanity Fair:
In a startling public reproach to his friends and fellow techies, Musk warned that they could be creating the means of their own destruction. He told Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance, the author of the biography Elon Musk, that he was afraid that his friend Larry Page, a co-founder of Google and now the C.E.O. of its parent company, Alphabet, could have perfectly good intentions but still “produce something evil by accident”—including, possibly, “a fleet of artificial intelligence-enhanced robots capable of destroying mankind.”
The story notes that it’s not just Musk who is sounding the alarm about the pitfalls of A.I. He’s joined in his fears and skepticism by Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates. And Musk has started his own A.I. company called Open AI, whose goal is to work for “safer artificial intelligence.”
The story also delves into Musk’s ideas for “neural lace,”
as a way to use A.I., which the Wall Street Journal explains means implanting tiny brain electrodes that may one day upload and download thoughts.
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