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In creepy tech today...

Sanshey Biswas | Updated on January 09, 2018

Bots inherit the world: Sophia at the Jimmy Fallon show

When cutting-edge innovators pushed the limits of technology, only to discomfit the rest of the world

October was a busy month with lots of tech news, ranging from the usual suspects such as iPhone reviews to really creepy ones. Here are our picks that passed the creep-o-meter.

Amazon Key

For just over $16,000, US citizens can have the luxury of Amazon’s delivery drivers leave a package inside their homes. All they’ll need is an Amazon Key device, and to disable the home security system. Amazon promises to turn on the Cloud Cam (that comes with the Key kit) before access is given. According to Amazon, this saves people from leaving their key under a doormat, but a survey by Morning Consult found that more that 50 per cent people across diverse age groups were uncomfortable with the idea.

Robot citizen

Saudi Arabia is now the first country to give a robot citizenship. Her creator, Hanson Robotics describes Sophia as a genius machine with human likeness. Hanson wants to create AI robots that have ‘creativity, empathy and compassion’. What a robot citizen means remains unclear, but Sophia doesn’t have to wear a hijab or be accompanied by a male escort. People on social media noted how a robot got citizenship over migrant populations.

AI-1. Captcha-0

AI didn’t just manage to get a robot citizenship, but also beat one of the most used way to detect bots. The captcha system asks you to enter the numbers and alphabets in a hard-to-read image. Researchers claim to have built an AI system that can decipher captchas at rates that would make them redundant. Will this mean more bots and hacks on the internet?

iPhone knows what you’re wearing

Apple and Google’s photos app use machine learning to categorise photos and make a digital album out of them. This feature is intended to make it easier for people to organise their photos. Soon, iPhone was categorising everything. Including underwear. As Elle in the US realised, while using the Photos app on her iPhone, Apple’s algorithm catalogued all her photos with bras in them. People shared search results that reaffirmed Ell’s claim.

Sanshey Biswas is a Delhi-based journalist

Published on November 24, 2017

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