R2D2 on God, 42, the Universe and everything else


(via TechCrunch)

Matthew Hodgson is technical co-founder of Matrix.org…, a not-for-profit open source project unifying Chat, VoIP and IoT technologies.

How to join the network

Recently, Google launched a video calling tool (yes, another one). Google Hangouts has been sidelined to Enterprise, and Google Duo is supposed to be the next big thing in video calling.

So now we have Skype from Microsoft, Facetime from Apple, and Google with Duo. Each big company has its own equivalent service, each stuck in its own bubble. These services may be great, but they aren’t exactly what… Continue reading

(via Slashdot)

More trouble for tech giants and how they are dealing with people. Google suffered a setback in an age discrimination suit this week. A judge ruled that other software engineers over age 40 who interviewed with the company but didn’t get hired can step forward and join the lawsuit. From a Business Insider report: The suit was brought by two job applicants, both over the age of 40, who interviewed but weren’t offered jobs. Specifically, the judge has approved turning the suit into a "collective action" meaning that people who "interviewed in person with Google for a software… Continue reading

(via Mashable)

Google’s Assistant will spread to non-Google devices in 2017

Google's Engineering Director Scott Huffman explains how Actions on Google work at a Google event in San Francisco, Oct. 4, 2016.
Google’s Engineering Director Scott Huffman explains how Actions on Google work at a Google event in San Francisco, Oct. 4, 2016.

Image: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

Google Assistant, the company’s new smart personal assistant, needs to work with a lot of different services to really respond to all users’ needs — and that means Google needs to open it up for partners. 

At its big event on Tuesday Google said it will launch a platform in December that will let third party developers… Continue reading

(via Engadget)

But first, an admission. All those leaked renders didn’t fill me with much hope, and seeing the Pixels in person didn’t change my mind much. They’re definitely well-built phones — as befits a pair of products assembled by HTC — but they’re not exactly the most visually striking. Then again, one has to wonder if that was the whole point; it’s not hard to look at the Pixel phones as a blank canvas meant to let Google’s work with software shine.

We’ll get to software a little later, though. I spent most of my time with the standard… Continue reading

(via VentureBeat)

The artificial intelligence booth on the exhibition floor of Facebook's 2016 F8 developer conference.

Today a new nonprofit organization called the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society announced its establishment. Participants include Amazon, Google (and Google’s DeepMind) Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft.

Those companies will put up money and research resources (that could mean talent, open-source code, or data). Company representatives will sit on the organization’s board alongside people from academia, the nonprofit world, and policy and ethics experts, according to a statement. Plans call for discussions, studies, reports, best practices, and public outreach in general.

“The objective of the Partnership on AI is to address opportunities and challenges… Continue reading