Facebook’s Smart Glasses Can Take Calls and Photos

Facebook announced its long-awaited foray into the smart glasses space Thursday morning, launching the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses in partnership with eyewear giant EssilorLuxottica.

The svelte frames are some of the most low-profile yet available to consumers and will allow users to snap photos and videos with the two onboard 5 MP cameras, listen to music with in-frame speakers and take phone calls. The glasses need to be connected to an iOS or Android device for full functionality, though users can take and store hundreds of photos or dozens of videos on the glasses before transferring media to their phones via Facebook’s new View app. The twin cameras will allow users to add 3D effects to their photos and videos once they upload them to the app.

The lightweight glasses weigh less than 50 grams and come with a leather hardshell charging case. The battery lift is advertised as “all-day“.

https://techcrunch.com/

AI Beats Professionals In Poker

An artificial intelligence bot, created by researchers at Facebook and Carnegie Mellon, can beat human poker professionals in a six-player, no-limit Hold’em game, Facebook announcedPluribus, as the AI bot is called, has “decisively” won against a number of pros, including two World Series of Poker Main Event winners.

Pluribus has been built on the shoulders of Libratus, an AI that bested human pro players in two-player poker in 2017. It learned to play by competing against itself, without any data of prior human or AI play. Since poker is incredibly complex, having Pluribus look too far into the future wasn’t viable; instead, the bot used a new search algorithm that helps it make good decisions by looking at just the few next moves (instead of trying to figure out all the moves until the end of the game). It also used new and faster self-play algorithms that helped it cope with all the hidden information present in poker.

Combined, these advances made it possible to train Pluribus using very little processing power and memory — the equivalent of less than $150 worth of cloud computing resources,” wrote Facebook AI research scientist Noam Brown.

During one experiment, Pluribus played 10,000 hands of poker over 12 days, against a dozen professionals (who were playing for a total prize for $50,000, giving them a reason to win).

In money terms, Pluribus was so much better than people, that if the game were played with $1 chips, it would have made about $1,000 per hour competing against five human players.

The details on how the researchers have managed to make Pluribus so good at multiplayer poker — a notoriously hard problem in AI — are in a new paper published in Science.

Source: https://science.sciencemag.org/
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https://mashable.com/

U.S. Proposes Barring Big Tech Companies From Offering Financial Services, Digital Currencies

A proposal to prevent big technology companies from functioning as financial institutions or issuing digital currencies has been circulated for discussion by the Democratic majority that leads the House Financial Services Committee, according to a copy of the draft legislation seen by Reuters.

In a sign of widening scrutiny after Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) proposed Libra digital coin aroused widespread objection, the bill proposes afine of $1 million per day for violation of such rules.

Such a sweeping proposal would likely spark opposition from Republican members of the house who are keen on innovation, and would likely struggle to gather enough votes to passthe lower chamber. Even if it were to pass the full house, it would still have to pass the senate which would also likely be an uphill struggle. Nevertheless, the draft proposal sends a strong message to large tech firms increasingly eyeing the financial services space.

The draft legislation, “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act”, describes a large technology firm as a company mainly offering an online platform servicewith at least $25 billion in annual revenue.

A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,” it proposes.

Facebook, which would qualify to be such an entity, said last month it wouldlaunch its global cryptocurrency in 2020.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/

Telepathy For Real Within 8 Years

Imagine if telepathy were real. If, for example, you could transmit your thoughts to a computer or to another person just by thinking them. In just eight years it will be, says Openwater founder Mary Lou Jepsen, thanks to technology her company is working on.

Jepsen is a former engineering executive at Facebook, Oculus, Google[x] (now called X) and Intel. She’s also been a professor at MIT and is an inventor on over 100 patents. And that’s the abbreviated version of her resume. Jepsen left Facebook to found Openwater in 2016. The San Francisco-based start-up is currently building technology to make medical imaging less expensive.

I figured out how to put basically the functionality of an M.R.I. machine — a multimillion-dollar M.R.I. machine — into a wearable in the form of a ski hat,” Jepson said, though she does not yet have a prototype completed.

Current M.R.I. technology can already see your thoughts: “If I threw [you] into an M.R.I. machine right now … I can tell you what words you’re about to say, what images are in your head. I can tell you what music you’re thinking of,” says Jepsen. “That’s today, and I’m talking about just shrinking that down.”

One day Jepsen’s tech hat could “literally be a thinking cap,” she says. Jepsen explains the goal is for the technology to be able to both read and to output your own thoughts, as well as read the thoughts of others. In iconic Google vocabulary, “the really big moonshot idea here is communication with thought — with telepathy,”adds Jepsen.