technology

The Longing of the Diaspora in the Digital Era

Kim Arteche, “Ta,too Project (I and II)” (2014), Installation: archival print on backlit media, halogen light, 18 x 24 x 3 inches (all images courtesy of Kim Arteche and Incline Gallery) SAN FRANCISCO — Does the internet help or hinder cultural transmission? How are long-distance family relationships maintained against a diasporan context? These are two questions that frame The Curved Body of a Pixel, a solo exhibition of work by artist-educator Kimberley Acebo Arteche at San Francisco’s Incline Gallery. Through the lens of personal experience, Arteche probes how geographic distance affects personal relationships and how, despite its speed and pervasive presence, technology ultimately fails to narrow wide experiential gaps. The scene is relatable: family members with genuine bu...

Eigen nabs $37M to help banks and others parse huge documents using natural language and ‘small data’

One of the bigger trends in enterprise software has been the emergence of startups building tools to make the benefits of artificial intelligence technology more accessible to non-tech companies. Today, one that has built a platform to apply power of machine learning and natural language processing to massive documents of unstructured data has closed a round of funding as it finds strong demand for its approach. Eigen Technologies, a London-based startup whose machine learning engine helps banks and other businesses that need to extract information and insights from large and complex documents like contracts, is today announcing that it has raised $37 million in funding, a Series B that values the company at around $150 million – $180 million. The round was led by Lakestar and Dawn C...

Banning digital political ads gives extremists a distinct advantage

Jessica Alter Contributor Share on Twitter Jessica Alter is co-founder and chairman of Tech for Campaigns, an organization building the lasting tech and digital arm for Democrats and has helped over 200 campaigns on this front since 2017. Jack Dorsey’s announcement that Twitter will no longer run political ads because “political messages reach should be earned, not bought” has been welcomed as a thoughtful and statesmanlike contrast to Mark Zuckerberg’s and Facebook’s greedy acceptance of “political ads that lie.” While the 240-character policy sounds compelling, it’s both flawed in principle and, I fear, counterproductive in practice.  First: like it or hate it, the U.S. political system is drowning in money. In 2018, a non-presidential year, it is estimated that over $9B was spent on the...

Building a Standard for Sustainable Tourism

Good morning, Eamon Barrett here, filling in for Alan. Today’s CEO Daily is a crossover episode. On Tuesdays I write a Fortune newsletter on sustainability in business called The Loop where, this week, I focused on revolutions in air travel. Today, here at the Fortune Global Tech Forum in Guangzhou, Alan interviewed Booking.com chairwoman Gillian Tans on stage, and discussed, among other things, the future of sustainable tourism. So the theme continues. “Let’s go back to the mission of Booking.com,” Tans said during the forum’s opening session today. “The mission is really to help people experience the world. Very early on, when we defined this mission, we said we also need to make sure we make the world a place where generations to come can keep exploring the world.” Tans says the demand ...

Ghost wants to retrofit your car so it can drive itself on highways in 2020

A new autonomous vehicle company is on the streets — and unbeknownst to most, has been since 2017. Unlike the majority in this burgeoning industry, this new entrant isn’t trying to launch a robotaxi service or sell a self-driving system to suppliers and automakers. It’s not aiming for autonomous delivery, either. Ghost Locomotion, which emerged Thursday from stealth with $63.7 million in investment from Keith Rabois at Founders Fund, Vinod Khosla at Khosla Ventures and Mike Speiser at Sutter Hill Ventures, is targeting your vehicle. Ghost is developing a kit that will allow privately owned passenger vehicles to drive autonomously on highways. And the company says it will deliver in 2020. This kit isn’t going to give a vehicle a superior advanced driving assistance system....

The Fortune Global Technology Forum, Day One

Good morning. The Fortune Global Technology Forum got underway this morning in Guangzhou, China. Some excerpts from Fortune’s coverage: “I think innovation means you are willing to do things that others don’t dare.” —Fu Sheng, founder and CEO, Cheetah Mobile. “4G is like driving on the high-speed interstate highway. 2G is like driving on a country road. But 5G is like flying an airplane.” —Freeman Shen, founder and CEO, WM Motor Technology. “I think the (genomic) revolution is definitely here. It’s a combination of revolution[s] of biology and deep machine learning.” —Simone Song, founding partner, ORI Capital. “We haven’t quite had the revolution (in healthcare) and I think that’s because at the moment you still need a doctor or a nurse, it’s very labor intensive. But I think ...

Scanwell Health launches smartphone tests for UTIs in partnership with Lemonaid Health

Companies continue to refine digital diagnostic tools for in-home healthcare at a rapid clip. The latest to launch is an at-home test for urinary tract infections from the Los Angeles-based startup Scanwell Health. The company was founded by Stephen Chen, who literally grew up in the diagnostics testing business. His family had built one of the largest manufacturers of urinalysis testing in the country and Chen’s earliest memories of work are standing on an assembly line putting together pregnancy tests. “I come from a family that manufactures pee-tests,” says Chen. “I was born into the business.” Through this window into the market, Chen knew that there was a way to circumvent the time-consuming process of booking a doctor’s visit to get a test schedule...

UPS and CVS deliver prescription medicine via drone to U.S. residential customers for the first time

UPS is rolling along with its drone delivery program, working with partner CVS Pharmacy to deliver prescription drugs to customer doorsteps via its newly deployed commercial drones. UPS delivered medications to two paying customers on November 1, using the M2 drone system that the logistics company developed in partnership with Matternet. UPS got approval from the FAA to fly its fleet of commercial drones in service of customers at the beginning of October, and now it plans to iterate its drone delivery program “in the coming months,” with the aim of ensuring that it can deploy UAVs in a commercial capacity at increasing scale. It also launched ‘UPS Flight Forward,’ a dedicated division focused on autonomous drone delivery. For these early deliveries, drones were lo...

MIT develops a way for autonomous delivery robots to find your front door

Researchers at MIT have developed a new method of navigation for robots that could be very useful for the range of companies working on autonomous last-mile delivery. In short, the team has worked out how a robot can figure out the location of a front door, without being provided a specific map in advance. Most last-mile autonomous delivery robots today, including the “wheeled cooler”-style variety that was pioneered by Starship and has since been adopted by a number of other companies, including Postmates, basically meet customers at the curb. Mapping isn’t the only barrier to having future delivery bots go all the way to the door, just like the humans who make those deliveries today. MIT News points out that mapping an entire neighborhood with the level of specificity r...

NVIDIA’s new Shield TV wins the Android TV market with amazing 4K upscaling

NVIDIA has a new family of Android TV-based streaming devices, as tipped early via a couple of leaks from online stores. The new NVIDIA Shield TV ($149) and Shield TV Pro ($199) replace the existing Shield TV generation of hardware, which debuted in 2017. Both new Shields offer new Tegra X1+ processors, which outperform the predecessor chip by about 25 percent, and make possible one of this Shield’s new highlight features: AI-powered 3K up-conversion for HD content. Both Shield TV and Shield TV Pro also support Dolby Vision HDR content, as well as Dolby Atmos surround sound. The differences between the two devices center mainly around physical design, with the Shield TV adopting a cylindrical tube design, and the Shield TV Pro looking more like its predecessor (basically a small set-...

The Best Tech Features in the Volkswagen Golf Mk8

The Volkswagen Golf is arguably one of the most recognizable models in Volkswagen’s lineup. That stature comes with the pressure of standing out in a sea of hatchbacks looking to take some shine away from the famous nameplate. Now that the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf (Mk8) is here, it looks like the competition will have its hands full trying to catch up with the Golf Mk8. See, there are a lot of things to like about the Golf Mk8, but arguably the most important of these things is the incredible amount of new technologies Volkswagen was able to pack into the hatchback. Believe me when I tell you, the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf is so tricked out in new technology, it’s hard to imagine how Volkswagen managed to fit all of them into the hatchback.

Alphabet’s Wing begins making first commercial drone deliveries in the US

Alphabet -owned drone delivery spin-out Wing is starting to service U.S. customers, after becoming the first drone delivery company to get the federal go-ahead to do so earlier this year. Wing is working with FedEx Express and Walgreens on this pilot, and their first customers are Michael and Kelly Collver, who will get a “cough and cold pack,” which includes Tylenol, cough drops, facial tissues, Emergen-C and bottled water (do people who have colds need bottled water?). The Collvers are receiving their package in Christianburg, Va., which is where Wing and Walgreens will run this inaugural pilot of the drone delivery service. Walgreens gets a noteworthy credit in the bargain, becoming the first U.S. retailer to do a store-to-customer doorstep delivery via drone, while FedEx wi...

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