We’re saving a spot for you to celebrate the updated EUssentials app (and the new Commission) with us at our launch party! Join us on Wednesday 4 December at Grand Central (2nd floor) to have a drink and let us know what you think of the new and improved app. You can find more info about the app here: http://eussentials.eu/.  

And you can register for our launch party here. 

Hope to see you there! 

Cambre’s Tech Team 

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Tech Team

Everyday robots for everyday tasks [TechCrunch] 

Will Alphabet’s subsidiary X succeed in saving the world from people who do not sort their garbage? X has been working quietly for years on daunting challenges such as access to robotics for ordinary citizens. After years of working on the “Everyday Robot Project”, Google’s researchers and AI team have successfully developed a robot that can sort and reduce the level of waste contamination (aka when you put the wrong garbage in the wrong bin) by around 20%. The ultimate goal is to make robots that can complete everyday tasks for normal people. But this begs the questions, have we become too lazy? 

We would choose robots over humans [Huffington Post] 

The fact that automation will take over some jobs in the future is probably old news for most people. But researchers from Munich and Rotterdam looked at this development from a psychologic angle: If you would have the choice – would you pick to be replaced by another person or by a robot? The study results show that most people would prefer to lose their job to a robot than to another human. Why is that? Because of our ego. If we are being replaced by another human, we ask ourselves: “Why are they better than I am?” So maybe a robot taking over part of your work in the future isn’t so bad. 

Losing to a robot is fine? Tell that to Lee. [The Verge] 

South Korean champion of the complex board game GoLee Se-dol, is retiring from professional play after losing to AI in 2016. Go was long considered beyond the reach of even the most sophisticated computer programs. Things are now different. “Even if I become the number one, there is an entity that cannot be defeated,” says Lee, who however plans to commemorate his retirement by playing a match against … another algorithm, which has already defeated the country’s top five players. So even though we may prefer to lose our jobs to a machine rather than a person, it appears there is still an ego struggle with machines 

When AI meets archaeology [Technology Review] 

Since their discovery in 1920, the Nazca lines (an incredible collection of massive giant etchings located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru) have puzzled archaeologists and experts alike. The lines created between 200 BCE and 600 CE depict huge geoglyphs of humans and animals. However, with modern urban expansion, the building of new roads, and flood damage, the lines are becoming increasingly more difficult to find using traditional methods. Nevertheless, the researching team from Yamagata University in Japan alongside IBM Research are deploying deep-learning algorithms to help accelerate the hunt. Cloud platforms, geospatial data, and neural networks are now helping to recognize the data patterns of known lines to look for new ones, showing that there really isn’t much AI can’t help with. 

Tech and wildlife conservation – a match made in Africa [FT] 

Zoologists have long used wildlife cameras to track animals, especially those who are endangered or vulnerable. But now these camera “traps” are being used to track a more dangerous species – poachers. The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) began working with software developers to create Instant Detect which uses radio transmitters to send captured images to conservation organisations tracking poachers. The system even includes a metal detector, which reacts to poachers’ guns and knives. With there being an estimated 60% fewer wild vertebrate animals now than 50 years go, this seems like a pretty great example of tech for good.  

In case you haven’t had enough… 

How a Facebook Employee Helped Trump Win—But Switched Sides for 2020 [WSJ] 

I Invented the World Wide Web. Here’s How We Can Fix It. [NYT] 

Eggs, fakes and Kim kissing Kanye: 10 Instagram posts that defined the decade [The Guardian] 

Twitter will remove inactive accounts and free up usernames in December [The Verge] 

Tech Companies Step Up Fight Against ‘Deepfakes’ [WSJ] 

Facebook built a facial recognition app that identified employees [Endgadget]