Futurism:
this week

Apple's Tim Cook reveals the company is working on self-driving cars

In an interview with Bloomberg, Apple's chief executive, Tim Cook, confirmed the tech giant is developing a self-driving car system. Cook indicated that it is too soon to say whether it would license the tech to other automakers or attempt to build its own vehicles.

Source: Bloomberg

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick takes indefinite leave of absence

Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, has announced that he will take an indefinite leave of absence. Kalanick revealed his plan after the release of a damning report on its workplace culture that called on Uber to “review and reallocate” Kalanick’s responsibilities.

Source: Guardian

Facebook using AI to detect terrorist content

Facebook has said that it is using artificial intelligence to find terrorist content. Techniques being used by Facebook include image-matching, to locate terrorist photos and videos, and detecting “clusters,” where terrorist content is posted across multiple accounts.

Source: The Verge

Four-armed robot composes its own music

After twelve years of work, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created Shimon, a four-armed robot marimba player that is capable of writing its own songs. For anyone wanting to see Shimon its first live performance as a composer will be at the Aspen Ideas Festival at the end of this month.

Source: Motherboard

Juncker rejects US climate deal re-negotiation

Following the news that US President Donald Trump believes the Paris climate agreement could be amended and made more palatable to his country, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has categorically ruled out any re-negotiation. "We have spent 20 years negotiating," he said.

Source: BBC

Telegram chat app founder claims FBI offered backdoor bribe

The founder of chat app Telegram has publicly claimed that FBI agents pressured his company to weaken its encryption or install a backdoor. "During our team's one-week visit to the US last year we had two attempts to bribe our devs by US agencies + pressure on me from the FBI," Pavel Durov said on Twitter.

Source: The Register

Oxford University develops new 3D bioprinter

University of Oxford scientists have developed a new method for 3D printing laboratory-grown cells to form living structures. The new method enables the production of complex tissues and cartilage that can potentially support, repair and augment diseased and damaged areas of the body.

Google spinoff patents flexible cars that protect pedestrians

Waymo has patented a car design that is capable of becoming flexible or rigid depending on need, so if sensors detect the vehicle is about to hit another object the car would change accordingly. If it’s another car, the car could turn stiff; if it’s a human, the car could loosen up and soften its impact.

Source: The Verge

Researcher who killed WannaCry denies writing banking malware

Marcus Hutchins, the British security researcher credited with halting the virulent WannaCry ransomware worm that shut down computers worldwide in May, pleaded not guilty to unrelated charges that he created and distributed malware that steals banking credentials.

Source: Ars Technica

Record-sized data centre to be built inside Arctic Circle

US-Norwegian firm Kolos has revealed plans to build the world's largest data centre in the town of Ballangen, inside the Arctic Circle. The centre will cover 600,000 square metres over four stories, and would eventually draw on over 1,000MW of power.

Source: BBC

AI bot competes in e-sports tournament and wins

A bot from Elon Musk's artificial intelligence company OpenAI has beaten one of the world's best players of the e-sports video game "Dota 2". OpenAI's bot won a 1v1 match, but the company says it hopes to have it ready to compete in a five-on-five match next year.

Scientists solve the mystery of the "Frankenstein dinosaur"

Scientists have solved the puzzle of the so-called "Frankenstein dinosaur", which seems to consist of body parts from unrelated species. A new study suggests that it is in fact the missing link between plant-eating dinosaurs and carnivorous dinosaurs.

Source: BBC

Steve “Woz” Wozniak to advise hologram emoji company that he calls “groundbreaking”

Apple’s co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak has found himself a new gig; Woz has joined the hologram emoji company, Mojiit, as an adviser.

In his role as advisor to Mojiit, the legendary entrepreneur and engineer will help assemble a world-class engineering team in addition to bringing investors and partnerships to the newly launched startup. Wozniak will also serve as mentor to Mojiit founder, Jeremy Greene.

“I’m thrilled to join Mojiit as an advisor,” said Wozniak. “Jeremy is a natural leader, the company is groundbreaking, it’s going to change the ecommerce space, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Created in 2017, Mojiit is the latest startup technology venture from Greene. The company’s tech essentially enables users to project and share 3D hologram emojis via smartphones.

The platform turns users into emojis by scanning their face, which can then be sent to loved ones and friends. Once a Mojiit message is received, it will map the area where it is received and place the Mojiit hologram there in real time, so it works in a similar way to Pokemon Go.

“Steve is one of the best and brilliant engineers in the entire world. But outside of that, he’s a wonderful man,” said Greene. “There isn’t anyone I’d want to be in business with more than this guy. He’s a legend. Who better to learn from than the guy who created the computer?”

Image courtesy of Nichollas Harrison. Featured image courtesy of Mojiit

In addition to consumer use, businesses of all kinds can tap into hologram emojis with Mojiit’s technology.

Mojiit investors already  include NFL alum Ed Reed, and the company was able to raise a total of $1 million in its seed round of funding.

Alongside the appointment of Woz, Entourage and Ballers producer Rob Weiss recently joined the company as a creative director.

“It’s exciting to expand beyond television and film to digital platforms,” said Weiss. “Hologram technology brings incredible opportunity to entertainment and media. I’m thrilled to be leading creative at Mojiit.”