Fruit Company Sells $1,000 Phone, Ford Hides Man in Car, and the New Arms Race

It was a huge week in tech, especially for the Cupertino faithful. We talk about the latest iPhone, driverless cars, and the futuristic arms race happening right now on First News 570 with Mark Starling this morning.

A little man in front of a small phone.

A little man in front of a small phone.

JUST IN TIME FOR THE FAITHFUL, THE FRUIT COMPANY RELEASES $1,000 PHONE
The big news this week comes from our friends in Cupertino. This week is the annual Fall event for Apple and for haters they disappointed, for fans, they disappointed. Apple announced updates for the Apple TV, Apple Watch, and the iPhone. ATV got a performance boost with improved processor and graphics capabilities, the Apple Watch gets an improved processor and GPS. The big, big news is Apple’s new iPhone X. It’s the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and they released a phone with an edge-to-edge screen and uses advanced machine learning technology to facially unlock the device. This month, you’ll be able to pre-order then pickup a new iPhone 8 with a glass front and back with upgraded camera. But for me, the big ticket is the X. Honestly, it looks like a $1,000 phone and when you think about it, the damned thing has the performance of a low to midrange laptop that fits in your hand. I asked some people who were skeptical about the device, “what more would you want in a phone?” The response, “I don’t know.”

FORD HIDES MAN IN SELF-DRIVING CAR TO TEST, WHAT?
People get weirded out by some of the weirdest things. One of the things get weirded out about is automation. Specifically, when automation does human things like driving cars. To find out how people would react to self-driving cars, Ford Motor Company partnered with Virginia Tech to find out how people would react to riding with an autonomous vehicle. Many companies are trying to humanize tech by giving robots name and voices, and some car manufacturers are thinking of adding human shaped furniture to cars. In this case, they dressed a reporter up as the front-seat of the car. No reactions yet, but we’ll be watching.
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ECHOING THE 80’s US, CHINA, AND RUSSIA IN ARTIFICIAL ARMS RACE
Given the amount of news we cover about machine learning and AI, it’s a given that the world’s biggest powers are now in a new arms race. This arms race involves computer technology. The man himself, Vladimir Putin has gone on the record and said that the country who leads in AI will eventually rule the world. Some key elements to think about are the difference between our country and the authoritarian governments. AI in the US is led by commercial companies, whereas our authoritarian friends are forcing companies to work on AI together. Which means, while one country is using AI to take over the world, another is using AI to crush descent and surveil its population, we’re working on AI to push more advertisements so we can buy more crap!
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