January 2023


The most popular search engine on the Internet could be headed for rough sailings over the next year or two, according to the creator of Gmail.

During that time frame, artificial intelligence will eliminate the need for search engine results pages, where Google makes most of its money, and even if the search giant deploys AI to catch up, it won’t do it without destroying the most valuable. part of its business, predicted Paul Bukhit in a thread on Twitter.

“The one thing very few people remember is the pre-Internet business that Google killed: the Yellow Pages!” they wrote. “The Yellow Pages used to be a great business, but then Google got so good that everyone stopped using the Yellow Pages.”

“AI will do the same thing for web search,” he said.

As Buchte sees it, a browser’s URL/search bar will be replaced with an AI that autocompletes a thought or question as it’s typed, as well as providing the best answer, based on what a user can find. May contain a link to a website or product.

The AI ​​will use the old search engine backend to gather relevant information and links, which will then be summarized for the user, he continued.

“It’s like asking a professional human researcher to do a job, except the AI ​​will instantly do what would take several minutes for a human,” he wrote.

changeover time

Ben Kobren, head of communications and public policy at Neeva, an AI-based search engine based in Washington, DC, said online search is long overdue for an overhaul.

“If you look at search over the past 20 years, with a few exceptions, it’s been relatively stable,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“We have become accustomed to the world of 10 Blue Lynx,” he explained. “You put in a question, and on a good day, you get 10 or so relatively useful links to websites that you need to explore further to find the answer to your search or question. On a bad day, you get ads. You get two pages of ads trying not to answer your question until you click and buy something and scroll through the ads.

“In any case,” he continued, “you are not going to get fluid answers that are simple, efficient, and do what you are looking for in one stop. The power of large language models and AI is about to make a transformative leap in that.” How do we interact with search engines and how do we expect information to be returned to us?

“We haven’t seen that kind of change in search in two decades,” he said.

How much disturbance?

Artificial intelligence disrupts the current search model by providing an easier way to find consumers, explained Noam Doros, a director analyst at Gartner, a research and advisory firm based in Stamford, Conn.

Doros told TechNewsWorld, “Instead of spending time reviewing different search results for the same answer on search engine results pages, AI aggregates information relevant to the consumer, summarizing it in a detailed yet concise manner.” “

He added, “Consumers have short attention spans given the endless amount of information now accessible through various platforms, so any advancement in technology to satiate the thirst for knowledge in a concise manner is clearly a game changer.” Could be a changer.”

Rowan Curran, an analyst at Forrester Research, a national market research company, pointed to some challenges for AI-guided search.

“Large language models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT are not a brand new introduction to the online search market,” Karan told TechNewsworld. “While LLMs are great for some tasks in search, there are many situations where getting a single answer isn’t the goal of an online search. For example, when looking for a local restaurant, you can go straight to where to eat.” Would like to see a list with ratings rather than get answers.

“Because of the cost of re-training, keeping LLM up to date on all the data scraped from the Internet would be prohibitively expensive,” he said. “With further research and work on the distillation of the model, this cost is likely to come down, but whether it is high enough to support live online search is an open question.”

advantages of market dominance

Greg Sterling, co-founder of Near Media, a news, comment and analysis website, said AI will certainly transform search, but how disruptive it will be remains to be seen.

“AI responses are already being integrated into Niva,” he told TechNewsworld. “There are also and others promoting AI as a search alternative. Bing will launch AI-generated content. But if everyone did it, including Google, it might not be as disruptive. Right now, AI results live at the top of the results as a sort of large snippet.

“Google is potentially vulnerable, but it would be unwise to bet against them,” Sterling said. “They have massive AI assets; They’ve been slow to roll them out. AI content can affect ad clicks and Google revenue. This is the real concern for the company.

Niva AI Search

Niva AI Search | Image courtesy of Neeva

Google has a leg up on competitors on several levels, said Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer technology advisory firm in New York City.

Where searches happen is where Google has an advantage over its competitors, he explained. It is the default search app for market leader Chrome, in the browser market, and Android, the mobile phone market, and it has a deal with Apple as the default search engine on those platforms.

Rubin told TechNewsWorld, “Even if AI search engines create a better way to find information or meet consumer needs than Google, Google will still have a dominant presence, through which it can maintain its leadership.” Is.”

platform-shifting moment

Kobren acknowledged that disrupting a highly successful business like Google in two years would be a huge challenge.

“What is clear is that this is a platform-shifting moment,” he said. “For the first time, you are going to see a real change in users adopting alternatives to Google. You’re about to see real competition in space for the first time. There is going to be some kind of movement. How big is it going to be in two years? We can’t predict it.”

Liz Miller, vice president and a principal analyst at Constellation Research, a technology research and advisory firm in Cupertino, California, said it would be difficult to find an industry, segment or company that isn’t going to be disrupted by AI. in the next two to five years.

“The reality here is that AI is seeing a quick path out of the experiment lab and into really meaningful automation and intelligence applications that are delivering business and personal value,” Miller told TechNewsWorld.

“I hope AI makes search again about relevancy and real-time user context, rather than a three-horse race between user needs, publisher inventory and Google’s business model,” she said. “It has that potential.”

Almost every big tech company is facing layoffs, even though most are making decent profits. Many people have never seen large layoffs like this, so the honest question is why is this happening? Is it the fault of fashion, fatigue, or something more secular? You can’t dismiss fashion in a monkey-c, monkey-dow way.

Since there’s a fair amount of overlap between many tech companies, especially those that harvest user data and sell it to advertisers, each will want to cut costs to remain competitive in the eyes of its shareholders. So you see companies cutting about 10% of their workforce – about 200,000 techs so far – possibly the least productive people.

But how did they become so relatively unproductive? Two ways: gradually and all at once.

Many tech companies hired extensively during the pandemic, believing that we are moving towards a new way of working. For the most part, those hires received insufficient onboarding and leadership from remote owners, and many didn’t get up to speed. That’s the sequential part.

When we decided the pandemic was over, it happened all at once. OK, not really over, but we were out of patience for being patient – and we needed to get back to the offices. We learned that working from anywhere isn’t all it was supposed to be.

So, although remote work is still a possibility, management would like to see cubicles in the buildings they’re paying big bucks not to occupy. If you haven’t been in office long enough, you’re wasted.


However, I see a more secular explanation, and it goes like this. Every great invention has some important parts. The first is the obvious invention piece, and the second is everything else, which scholars call diffusion.

Spreading a new idea in the society is very costly as it requires a lot of people to work. In the nineteenth century, new networks of transport and communication required many people to lay rails, lay wires, build bridges, erect buildings and make ports accessible to large ships Can go It’s a long list and it’s just one example.

The technological revolution of the 20th century also required the creation of a large infrastructure. True, businesses were the ones stringing cables into their buildings, and other businesses were building the computers, routers, server farms, and eventually cloud infrastructure. But that buildout was real, and it took decades.

The most recent change during the pandemic marks another spread, this time, of people back in their home offices. Industry pitched in big time to support the buildout. But then, midway through, everyone said wait a minute. The current great layoffs (to pair with the great resignations) are partly a symptom of never-ending attention from management.

We’re not working with an inventory system, so what’s in last doesn’t necessarily include all the layoffs. Sellers likely look to the people best suited for the job in their layoff discussions, and the result is what we see.


It’s an inexact science that you can see from those nice round numbers that vendors are declaring. Part of the thinking, of course, will be related to what a company sees in the coming months, and many are thinking bearish.

However, there are recessions, and there are recessions.

A classic recession occurs when inventory builds up, and businesses need to clear warehouses at discount prices. At that point, businesses need fewer people to make things than there are to fill warehouses.

But the tech world isn’t looking at a classic recession scenario. Many people make things that are not usually stored; They are not tangible; they’re services, so worry less demand where more productive capacity means turning up the dial

The reason it is secular is that companies need to reduce productive capacity. One way or another, many have concluded that they have built as much infrastructure as is needed, at least for the time being.

looking for rent

Instead of growing rapidly, many people are exploring what it means to grow organically – or at the same rate as the population. For example look at Facebook or its parent Meta.

Facebook is starting to falter; Its strong growth in users is making the most of it while it makes more money. In the US, it may be losing users who are over the age of 25. Its new augmented reality products haven’t caught the imagination of someone named Zuckerberg.

As I noted a few weeks ago, Apple hasn’t introduced much that’s really new in several years. Now it’s going to advertise a move that some economists call rent-seeking in which a business tries to make more money on existing investments (its data) than on new products.

market saturation

Long story short, the secular recession is a huge concern for tech and the economy. No, the technology is not going away; It is now woven into the fabric of our lives. But it has reached a saturation point where it faces severe commoditization and price pressure, and real growth is challenging.

Steel manufacturing was once in the same state as technology is today. In the 19th century, many products were made of steel, including railroads and steamships, but also modern high-rise buildings and the then-new automobiles.

We still use steel, and to a much greater extent than before. But now everyone makes steel. It has been commoditized, and the market is flooded with product, some of it selling for less than the cost of production.

In addition, other products such as aluminum, plastic, and carbon fiber weigh less and are just as strong or better suited for the purpose, so why not use them?

my two bits

I am sure technology is moving in that direction. It will take time, but the latest innovations in AI that write passable prose and draw strange but interesting pictures could speed up the process.

Just as there was life after steel and there will be life after the railroads and all the stuff of the 19th century, there will be life after technology. The important thing is that there are still many jobs in tech, so there is no need to panic. Still, the latest round of layoffs is a cautionary note.

What else can we do with what we know about technology? This is a question that should be on the minds of all of us.

I’ve been mulling over the concept of digital views for some time now. With issues surrounding climate change, living where some of the best views exist is not only expensive, but with rising sea levels and the potential for flooding, ocean views also come with undesirable risks. I once dreamed of living where I could see and hear the surf. Now? Not so much.

But what’s worth seeing? All else being equal, a space with a view will cost more than one without a view. But what if you could buy the scene and put it in any home? That’s what Liquid View has to offer. Depending on how large a scene you want, for between $25,000 and $100,000, you can purchase a stunning digital scene and place it in any home, regardless of location.

Let’s talk about that this week, and we’ll close with our product of the week, a new backpack from Dell’s Alienware unit that could be the perfect solution for someone who travels with a gaming laptop.

The promise of a digital scene

Growing up, one of my favorite books was by Robert A. Heinlein’s “The Door Into Summer”. The title comes from the main character watching his cat during the winter as he tried every door in the house. Knowing that it is cold outside, the cat keeps looking for the door that opens in summer, where going out does not threaten its existence.

One of the largest affordable apartments I lived in when I first moved away from home was great, but the views were terrible. It had a washer and dryer, a large kitchen, two large bedrooms, and a nice living room, but the view was onto a small, fenced-in yard, and the back of the apartment was decidedly industrial and not attractive at all. However, it was convenient and cheap for my workplace.

Later, I moved to a smaller studio apartment with a nicer view because, for me, that view was important to my state of mind. That latter apartment had two-story-high windows that looked out onto an almost exclusive small pool and garden-like common area. It was one of my favorite places to stay, even though it was quite small.

The idea of ​​being able to pipe a view into any home has long fascinated me, so a few years ago, I invested in the Atmoof Window 2, a 27-inch display you can hang from your wall And can feed in remote scenes – some streamed in real time, others taped. I still use this window that shows views of the International Space Station, views of famous landmarks, and even the undersea view that James Bond’s Dr.

But 27 inches isn’t too big for a window. You can buy and link up to three of these displays to create a bigger view, but even then, each window is very small.

Atmoph displays windows 2 - 3

Atomof Window 2 | image credit: atomof

At around $350 for a single panel it was affordable, but while attractive the result doesn’t really provide the virtual viewing experience I thought was possible. Oh, and you’ll have to pay a modest monthly fee to access over 1,000 viewing options.

liquid view

I recently heard about Liquid View, a much larger 75-inch and far more expensive Sony commercial-grade solution, but the result is very close to the Virtual View concept I was looking for. What makes this solution more expensive is the larger panels (again, up to three) with professional-quality displays. The difference between consumer and industrial displays is that consumer displays are not designed to run 24/7 as they will wear out, whereas commercial displays can run all day if necessary.

When framed in a wall, large displays appear more like windows and better convey the illusion of a realistic scene. Like the Atmoof product, they have a variety of visual options. Once professionally installed (hiding the power cord to hide the fact that it’s a display), you end up with something that looks and feels like a real window Big enough to be seen.

Liquid View Windows

Liquid View Windows | Image credits: LiquidView

With the advent of generative AI, there is future potential for these windows to display both the real world and computer-generated scenes. For example, how about a view to or from Hogwarts? Or a view from a window in Titanic looking out to Atlantis, or a fictional steampunk moon colony?

Often when you walk into an office, the scene establishes how impressive the person you are meeting is. Offices have visible status symbols. I once gave up going into the office from a large cubicle because the view from the cubicle was incredible (it was of an amusement park), while the office’s view was of the rest of the office (no exterior windows).

When I was at IBM, to prevent people from fighting to see the cubicles and offices, they built a giant glass building with walls inside of glass, so no one could see outside that solid wall except pedestrians. Neither got the view. The exterior of the building was stunning; Inside it was like a gloomy tomb. It was a terrible place to work which could be changed if employees could be provided with a digital view of their choice away from the windows.

I can imagine a future where a real view is less valuable than a digital view, and some kids who grew up with a digital view are upset that they can’t change the window view in their next house. Can

Although the cost is not trivial. A single panel costs around $25,000, and a three-panel solution, which is where this technology really shines, costs around $100,000. Plus, if you can’t find an empty wall that could use a window, retrofitting can be a problem.

I would expect this solution to be best where it is designed into the house, condo, or apartment rather than retrofitted because the $100,000 added to the cost of a house would increase to offset the value of the property to see otherwise Should pay the cost. But it can be difficult to remove existing windows to install digital windows in a home.

Additional Benefits

The cost of technology depreciates over time. Were this view solution to cost close to the cost of a glass double- or triple-pane window and were widely used in homes, you’d get some secondary benefits.

One is that windows leak heat badly, so losing them should save a lot on cooling and heating costs and reduce the load on your heater and air conditioner. In areas with extreme wind, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc., often the reason a house explodes is due to window failure causing excessive pressure on the house. If you don’t have windows, your home is more likely to survive a high wind event.

Finally, if the front door is secured, thieves use windows to case and break into the home. Losing the windows would make the house more physically secure. Furthermore, as we move toward 3D-printed homes, dealing with the structural issues of installing windows will reduce construction costs and significantly increase construction speed.

However, you need to take into account the reduced ability to get out of the house in case of fire. That issue will need to be considered in the design of a house with a digital view.

wrapping up

The Metaverse is talked about often – more so this month, given that Microsoft just exited the segment. But what if you had digital windows and a view into this rendered world so you could create any scene you wanted, and your only limit would be your imagination?

Imagine a plant manager working remotely, with a view from their home of digital twins that represent the inside of the plant they manage. Or a port manager can remotely view the port they manage from their home office as if they were on site with a large window. Alternatively, they can watch their home, pets or children while in the office for peace of mind.

Or, if movement is detected, you can automatically transfer the living room view to security cameras around the house.

I have a large window in my home office, but the view of the river flowing behind my house is on the opposite side of the house from my office. With a digital window, I could move that view to look at the river instead of my driveway, which I do now.

I expect virtual visuals to be our future, and companies like Atomof and LiquidView are creating that future for us today.

tech product of the week

Alienware Horizon Travel Backpack 18

Gaming on the road is potentially great. With increased bandwidth on airplanes and Wi-Fi readily available in airports and hotels, being able to pass the time gaming should be one way we stave off the boredom and homesickness and distractions on the road. Can stay outside

However, there are some issues. We still don’t have much room on a plane for a gaming laptop and a mouse, and gaming laptops tend to be large and heavy, making them a problem to carry.

I once carried a large Gateway gaming laptop that was so heavy that when I took the backpack out of the car and slung it over my shoulder, the zipper ripped open, and the computer went flying across the parking lot (which ended well for him). Did not happen) laptop). Recently, I traveled with the latest Alienware 17-inch laptop. When I packed it up and its power supply, I didn’t have room for anything else, so I had to put the laptop in a bag.

The Alienware Horizon Travel Backpack 18, priced at $149, is the closest thing to a complete gaming backpack I’ve found so far.

Alienware Horizon Travel Backpack 18

Alienware Horizon Travel Backpack 18| Image credit: Dell

It has strong zippers that shouldn’t rip, is large enough to carry a gaming laptop and power supply, with enough room for clothing and travel essentials, and is attractively distinctive with the Alienware logo — but not so much that You would be embarrassed if your boss or co-workers saw you with it.

This backpack also has an RFID-protected pocket where you can keep your credit cards to protect them from being scanned remotely.

Alienware Horizon Travel Backpack 18 RFID Safe Top Pocket

Image credit: Dell

It’s weather-resistant (water and laptops don’t mix), shockproof, has excellent shoulder padding, TSA-friendly, and has a scratch-resistant interior which is great because large laptops can really make a mess inside an otherwise nice There are bags. TSA-friendly means you can open the backpack without removing the laptop to pass TSA screening, which is a lot less hassle when going through the TSA scanning process.

The Alienware Horizon Travel Backpack 18 is well designed and meets the needs of a mobile gamer, and it’s my product of the week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

Videoconferencing, podcasts and webinars grew in popularity during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021 as remote working became part of the new normal. With the pandemic now in the rearview mirror, video communication technologies have shown no sign of slowing down.

What has been amusing to me is that despite the prevalence of video communication, very little attention has been paid to how ineffective we appear on camera, often using weak, low-resolution webcams. Bad lighting is undoubtedly a big problem when using video calls mainly from home. The sub-HD resolution webcams built into most, even high-end laptops, don’t help.

Without the professional assets available in a professional television studio, politicians, celebrities and industry experts often look sinister when interviewed remotely from their homes.

Regular videoconferencing calls from home are especially vulnerable to an “amateur hour” look and feel, especially during a formal presentation where wandering eyes (eg, not looking directly into the webcam) can distract the viewer. Huh.

The location of the webcam is responsible for this unwanted effect as the camera is usually integrated on top of the laptop panel or on a separate stand which is difficult to place in front of a desktop display.

Because typical videoconferencing using a desktop or laptop PC does not have proper teleprompter functionality, which is complex, bulky, and expensive, it is nearly impossible to read speaker notes without avoiding the annoying phenomenon of a terrible webcam angle that obscures your Looks up or down the nose. ,

Is there any quick way to cure eye sight problem?

There are a few ways to mitigate this problem in a typical desktop or laptop home setup. However, these approaches are entirely artificial and do not eliminate the problem.

Some companies offer small external webcams, often equipped without an integrated microphone, to reduce the size of the device and allow placement in the center of your screen, in front of any text content or text you may be using. In front of the viewing window of the going video app.

These cameras use a thin wire wrapped and clipped on top of the display. This way, you look directly into the webcam and can see most, though not all, of the presentation or text you’re presenting.

Yet, another method is using a clear piece of acrylic plastic that allows you to mount almost any webcam and hook it over the top of the display so that the webcam suspends itself in front of the center point of the display. Do it

The advantage of this approach is that it frees you up to use your preferred webcam. The downside is that the webcam’s size and acrylic plastic device often obscure a good portion of the screen, making it less useful as a teleprompter alternative.

Down the road, we may see laptop and PC displays with integrated webcams behind LCD panels, which are invisible to the user. While this is an ideal solution to the problem I described above, the downside is that these specialized displays will cost a lot, which most manufacturers will hesitate to offer due to the price elasticity implications.

AI can fix eye contact issues easily and cost-effectively.

The idea of ​​using artificial intelligence to reduce or eliminate eye contact during videoconferencing calls is not new. When done correctly, AI can eliminate the need to purchase expensive teleprompting equipment that television studios use or resort to some of the gimmicky methods mentioned above.

The challenge with employing AI to perform eye contact correction on the fly (live) or even in a recorded scenario is that it requires processor horsepower to do the heavy lifting.

Apple Silicon has had this integrated capability with its iPhone chips for a few years now. Many users don’t know that Apple’s FaceTime app has eye contact correction (which can be turned off), which ensures that your eyes are centered in the middle of the screen regardless of the iPhone’s orientation.

Eye Contact Settings for Apple's FaceTime App

Contact settings in Apple’s FaceTime app

Microsoft has also joined the AI ​​party to fix problems with eye contact. Last year, it announced that it would add Eye Contact Solution capability to Windows 11 by leveraging the power of Qualcomm’s Arm Solutions and Neural Processing Unit (NPU) silicon to enhance video and audio in meetings — including subject framing, Background noise suppression is included. , and background blur.

Many of these features are already available on Microsoft’s Surface Pro X device, which uses an Arm chip. Nevertheless, Microsoft will be deploying this functionality more widely this year on compatible models from major PC OEMs.

nvidia broadcast with eye contact

Nvidia’s Broadcast app, which works on a wide range of Nvidia external graphics cards, is a robust AI tool that improves video calls and communications on x86-based PCs. Last week, Nvidia enhanced the utility in version 1.4 to support its implementation of Eye Contact, which makes it appear as though the subject within a video is looking directly at the camera.

The new eye contact effect adjusts the speaker’s eyes to recreate eye contact with the camera. This capability is achieved by harnessing the AI ​​horsepower in Nvidia’s GPUs to accurately capture and align the gaze.

nvidia broadcast eye contact feature

The new Eye Contact effect in Nvidia Broadcast 1.4 moves the speaker’s eyes to simulate eye contact with the camera. , Image credit: Nvidia

The advantage of Nvidia’s approach is that the capability isn’t limited to a single videoconferencing platform or app. Apple only supports its eye contact correction capability using the iPhone’s FaceTime app. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple expands this capability to macOS users later this year with its Continuity Camera capability.

In addition, Nvidia provides Broadcast Vignette functionality that is on par with what many Instagram app users experience. In this way, Nvidia Broadcast can generate a brief background blur to get an AI-simulated blurred view on your webcam, instantly boosting visual quality.

Replacing background images on videoconferencing calls is nothing new. Still, Nvidia’s approach will likely deliver better quality as it harnesses the power of its graphics cards, which are optimized for video content creation and gaming.

closing thoughts

The Eye Contact feature in Nvidia’s Broadcast app is currently in beta form and not yet ready for deployment. Like any beta feature, it will suffer from the inevitable glitches, and we should delay a formal judgment of its quality until a production version is made available.

Furthermore, Nvidia Broadcast isn’t just a run-of-the-mill app, but an open SDK with features that can be integrated into third-party apps. This opens up interesting new capabilities for third-party applications to directly take advantage of the functionality in Nvidia Broadcast.

Despite this, I am baffled by some of the adverse reactions that have appeared over the past few years around the prospect of using AI to correct eye contact. Some technical analysts use phrases such as “creepness factor” to categorize this feature in the most attractive way possible.

In fact, the potential would inspire many, perhaps deserved, jokes if the latter effect seemed unnatural and artificial. However, the creepy designation sounds over the top and pretentious. The same objection can be made about using makeup or deploying advanced equipment that corrects audio deficiencies during video calls. Apps like TikTok or Instagram wouldn’t exist without filters, which create far from creepy images in my opinion.

Like it or not, videoconferencing has survived as one of the positive outcomes of the post-pandemic world. Using technology that facilitates more productive, compelling and impactful video calls is something we should welcome, not scorn.

As someone who produces a weekly video podcast and recognizes the potential to eliminate or even reduce eyestrain, which in turn can offer teleprompter-like advantages, I’m coming up next. I look forward to testing this much needed capability in the weeks to come.

Advances in education technology, or edtech, come from a change in approach in the face of shortcomings. Innovative educational technology can adapt existing tools or create new tools to help people overcome barriers to learning.

King of the Curve (KOTC) is a disruptive edtech startup that is all set to help address the growing shortage of doctors. KOTC combines sports and social strategies to help science students score better on medical school entrance exams and related challenges. The company is also developing productivity-style apps to help health care workers in the field better manage the challenges of medical treatment.

Heather Rutledge-Jukes founded the company to pursue a career in psychology before focusing on becoming a surgeon. He is now a medical student at Washington University School of Medicine.

Before entering medical school, however, he took an unlikely detour to put his science skills to use as a software developer. Rutledge-Jucks transitioned from designing instructional strategies for people with dyslexia to creating a series of exam preparation apps for medical school applicants.

KOTC does not copy other self-learning products and is not based on typical learning app thinking.

“People have their own learning paths. Education should be based on that. It’s not just cookie-cutter templates for everyone,” Rutledge-Jukes told TechNewsWorld.

The app is optimized for user performance

That philosophy is evident in his educational path. As a psychology major, Rutledge-Jukes researched various teaching methods. His research focused primarily on using video games to learn valid skills such as eye-hand coordination, strategic thinking, critical thinking, and more.

After graduating from college, he designed learning tools for children with dyslexia. That effort included the creation of tactile devices for young students to better understand and retain information.

Unlike other learning tools, KOTC does not become routine or less useful to users due to over-familiarity. Instead, the app adapts to the user’s performance so that they can improvise, not just memorize predetermined answers.

King of the Curve's gamification app for MCAT study

The King of the Curve app uses game-based elements to help students study for the Medical School Entrance Exam. Its features include Adaptive Question Bank, Review Mode, Endless Mode, Timed Mode and Multiplayer Mode. (Photos courtesy of King of the Curve)

Educational apps may remain without updates for extended periods. Or they rely on rote learning strategies, which limit progress to the test of learning. “It makes users more desperate to try something else,” Rutledge-Jukes said.

make a better mousetrap

Rutledge-Jucks launched KOTC in 2020 with a focus on preparing students for the Medical School Admissions Test, known as the Medical College Admission Test or MCAT. Test prep for admission to medical schools was a logical starting point for his company’s first educational app. The developer was already well aware of its contents.

“That’s how we started. That was the seed to put together this app to help people qualify for various tests,” he said.

KOTC’s mission, as its founders see it, is simple: to turn student stress into success. In this way the student of today becomes the professional of tomorrow.

Solving a National Medical Crisis

KOTC’s unique strategy for preparing students for the MCAT is helping it accept more applicants in its own way. It could take up to 10 years to train competent physicians, according to 2022 AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, MD, in a Leadership Viewpoint column.

In its report released in June 2021, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projected that the US faces a shortfall of 37,800 physicians – and 124,000 within 12 years. Preventing “game over” for Doctor Optimistic.

Routledge-Jukes said that 60% of people who apply to medical school are not accepted. Applicants are three times more likely to attend medical school if they score above 510 on the MCAT, and it is the only part of the med school application that is standardized.

KOTC has an impressive success rate in helping applicants score high marks. The score range for the MCAT is 472 to 528 for the four-part written test. The scores of the four sections are added to form the total score. The midpoint is 500.

The KOTC development team is staffed by people who are intimately familiar with the MCAT testing process. To be hired, they must score in the 99th percentile.

expansion plans

The app developer also meets that standard, which makes sense from the app user’s point of view. Rutledge-Jucks took the MCAT and scored well “above the curve,” so she’s well-versed in its content. To start with, he handled most of the query silo and app building tasks himself.

Heather Rutledge-Jucks is the founder of King of the Curve
Heather Routledge-Jukes, Founder
king of curves

“I consider myself a tech founder in that sense as well. Not just tech on the content side, but tech on the development side,” he offered.

He built most of the early apps and taught himself app programming when the pandemic shut down. He started the KOTC project with the help of two co-founders and an angel investor. One of his primary jobs now, while still attending medical school, is leading the team.

Since earning more revenue by adding in-app features, he has been able to engage more workers. Once users are in the app, they can purchase customizations and additional upgrades.

His company’s staff fluctuates between two to 10 full-time and part-time employees, who either excel in the testing content areas or app building. This includes four interns, two content specialists and two developers.

“We are definitely expanding the team as we grow. Right now, we are about to open an investment round to expand the team even further,” said Rutledge-Jukes.

Test Prep Course Inventory

KOTC’s learning lineup now offers test prep apps for a range of professional entrance exams, with more updates to come. Staff includes students and researchers in each test preparation area. They maintain high level content.

The primary course list includes the Medical School Entrance Examination for Nursing Examination (NCLEX), the Physician Assistant College Admission Test (PA-CAT) and the Registered Dietitian Examination (RDE) for the Master’s Examination.

According to Rutledge-Jukes, the company plans to expand into two other high-pressure academic test preparation areas: the LSAT for law school candidates and the Bachelor of Accounting (BACC) entrance exam.

To provide a more all-inclusive option for future users, the company plans to expand its existing website as a home base for online learning, apart from offering Test Prep through a mobile app. Yes, Rutledge-Jukes agreed.

Apps are now available for Android, iPhone and iPad devices. However, some are not available on all three platforms.

for established medical professionals

The ongoing purpose of KOTC is to help students and entry-level health care professionals enhance their knowledge. It is now also catering to the needs of already established practitioners. These other app categories address a much broader range of content and target specific business areas that are mostly medical-related.

For example, current procedural terminology (CPT) aims to improve the patient experience with medical providers at the bedside. A team of pre-medical students devised their intuitive technique to limit barriers for patients in discussing the finances involved in important medical decisions.

One of the latest is the Rutledge-Jukes Telecatalyst, due to be introduced in March 2022. This app specifically caters to the needs of medical personnel in Tanzania who require a data collection and telehealth app.

Regenerative Pain and Spine App is also under development for medical support. Anesthetists will use it to generate reports about their patients to record blood pressure, machine checks and patient information during surgery.

Simplify the process with deep learning

According to the developer, med school candidates have few options besides taking industry-standard tests or paying the higher tuition associated with hiring tutors.

“We have designed our app to promote a sports and social element as all these students are going through the same process. As soon as they move on, they should be in the same team,” Rutledge-Juks said.

Some 7,000 questions built into this all-in-one MCAT study game are divided into six categories: biology, biochemistry, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and behavioral science.

“We basically leave all the questions up to the user in the beginning. We’re able to provide people with the product if they can’t subscribe at all. They can still use it and still prepare effectively.” Huh.’

But the add-on lets students maximize their effectiveness by zeroing in on specific parts of the test, he said. The app recommends videos to watch and points students to particular parts of the study guide based on the accuracy of the answers.

Another benefit of KOTC is the comment section on individual questions where people can explain their rationale. Test Prep challenges students to compare section-by-section scores to other users as they go through the program.

“This is an oversimplification, but we also have monthly competitions between schools. For example, every March, we mimic March Madness, but we do it with schools across the United States, and their users compete with theirs. Will improve,” the developer explained.

covering all bases

KOTC is built on a holistic picture of edtech, including elements from adaptive learning fields. Competency based education is also an important element.

“I think competency-based learning is the future of education,” Rutledge-Jucks said. “Once you have the foundation, it hits these checkboxes.”

King of the Curve is available on Google Play and the App Store.

Software developers should be thrilled with the potential this year. The introduction of modern tools, innovations, and frameworks will provide opportunities for greater efficiency and more fun as a programmer in 2023.

Yoav Abrahami, chief architect at Wix Code and head of Velo, discussed with TechNewsWorld why he sees such great potential for 2023.

“I see the best year yet but can’t guarantee there won’t be better years ahead,” he said. “I think a lot of exciting things are changing in the world in the way we code.”

To that end, Abrahami credits a few things for coming together. There has been a long-standing trend of moving to major platforms that continues in full force. Another innovation is taking place by including designers as part of the developer team. He said that it is important to bridge the gap between the designer and the developer.

6 developer predictions for 2023

Looking ahead through his software developer eyes, Abraham sees a great year to be a developer. Here are his six predictions for what to expect:

  1. Developers will be able to tackle more complex projects at scale.
  2. Collaboration between developers and designers will be more effective and inspiring.
  3. The cloud platform and low-code tools will integrate, introducing a range of new products including websites, web apps and mobile apps.
  4. The move to more managed environments will continue, offering new and better-managed services.
  5. AI will clean up the code and free up developers for more creative work.
  6. Dev talent will be more decentralized than ever, which translates into greater diversity and wider-reaching end products.

If predictions have a compelling force Why? And how Read on for Abrahami’s in-depth explanations of his vision for you, the developer community.

DevOps closes the gap

This history of the developer community is marked by ongoing friction between “systems people” and software developers. Too often developers shipped software that failed to meet expectations, and then it was the system people’s job to make it work, which led to more friction.

“We resolved that friction by introducing the idea of ​​DevOps. This shifted the responsibility for failure due to system changes back to the developers becoming a team,” observed Abrahami.

He suggested that another approach that is helping to foster better opportunities for developers is to keep both elements within the same working environment. His company follows this method of team building for software development.

Wix’s solution: let the designer take responsibility for the design and create a team that includes both a designer and a developer. Everyone involved gets the same equipment.

“In the same environment, the designer designs the UI, and the developers write the code to work with the UI. The reality is that 99.9% of teams will opt for more modern tools, as happened with DevOps – and this revolution It is happening now, and we see that simply because projects are being sent at a velocity that we never imagined. It is so amazing to see,” he said.

Digging Deeper into the Developer Environment

With this Q&A my conversation with Yoav Abrahami continues.

TechNewsWorld: What makes it possible for devs to tackle more complex projects at scale?

Yoav Abrahami: No one brought into the team is opposed to developers and designers working together. This means you can work much faster and be more productive. But more than that, we will continue to move towards more managed environments. This means that you are going to be much more efficient in terms of all your software.

Yoav Abrahami
Yoav Abrahami, Chief Architect and Head of Velo at Wix Code

What’s changing in the developer community?

Abrahami: You must remember what managed software really is. It’s always a trade off. You’re trading your freedom to choose, such as which service works right now.

Years ago, you would be working on your own machines, and you would choose your OS. Today you don’t even do that. Years ago, you would build servers and try to figure out which framework to use. Today, you can use multiple lists, and you don’t really care what’s happening below them.

Looking at what we have today, we are taking another step forward. You don’t even choose your front-end framework. We provide you an out-of-the-box solution where your ID, development environment, database, back end and front end all work together.

How widespread is this innovation? Is Wix in the minority with these viewpoints?

Abrahami: We are not the only ones doing this. This is happening across the industry. You can see more and more solutions with online development environments with zero configuration of the platform required.

To understand what I’m talking about, consider how long it would take to build a call center where thousands of volunteers can sign in, go through the process of verifying who they are, and then Be able to call people to ask if they need help with medicine or food or anything during covid. It will probably take months, even two years, to become normal.

We made one in two weeks. Within a month, we had 700 volunteers using that system. It used Twilio for telephony, a ready-made solution available for the UI for two separate applications. That’s where we’re moving very quickly.

I would say that if today you are struggling to make products for months, then you are doing something wrong.

How much of an impact is using cloud platforms and low-code/no-code tools?

Abrahami: The idea of ​​low-code is to make it very fast in the context of what you’re building. You don’t need to write all the code and bring it to the main platform. You just add a little bit, a few lines of code here and there – and we have a solution.

But then again, even less code can fail when you want to do something, like comparing 600 steps of coding, and you want to change something. How do you test this? How do you test that change? How do you know the effect? How do you see the changes between one version and another?

How does artificial intelligence factor into what’s happening now within the dev community?

Abrahami: To be honest, no one knows. But we know it’s going to disrupt everything. This is the reality.

Let’s say you ask the best AI to write code for you, and that code is a piece of software to drive your train. Who do you blame when a train crashes due to a bug? Is it AI’s fault? Is it the AI ​​vendor’s fault? Is it the fault of the person who wrote the code with the bug the AI ​​trained?

All of those questions lead to one big issue: How will it work? We don’t know! But we do recognize that AI coding has potential.

Do you have hope for AI as a benevolent tool for developers?

Abrahami: I see huge potential in AI. We look at quality, and quality has two things we don’t know how to measure. We don’t know how to measure usability, and we don’t know how to measure correctness. Now, AI may be able to give us the answer there, and I may be able to create an AI that will give me that.

Where do you see all this potential heading?

Abrahami: Think utility for Application Programming Interface (API). This is much easier to do than to measure whether it can attempt to write code that solves your next big problem. Now, this is just one example. Another example you can think of involves AI.

When should I increase, or when should I decrease? When should I do failover? When should I stop a service because it causes problems for other services? And so on.

Maybe all those things can be automated using AI. Automating can prevent shipping faulty software through early bug detection. So many possibilities exist. There are a lot of things we can do with AI today to change the way we work as developers. The things we trust about AI, like the tools to help you do what you’re doing.

Another example is semantic search. Too often, you move into a category, especially in larger organizations. You’re pretty sure someone in the company has done what you’re looking for, but you don’t know how to find it because you lack the exact syntax.

Aptera, developer of a futuristic, solar-powered passenger car, has unveiled its first production vehicle, which it says will roll off the assembly line this year.

According to the company, the all-wheel-drive, three-wheeled, two-passenger vehicle will have a range of 400 miles, can hit 60 mph in four seconds, and have a top speed of 101 mph.

Although designed to take most of its power from the sun, the Aptera vehicle can also be charged from a standard 120-volt outlet.

The company reported in a news release that in a place with lots of sun exposure, such as Southern California, the average American driver would never have to plug in, based on a daily average of 29 miles.

In moderately sunny places like New York or Chicago, drivers may need to plug in about three times a year. At 13 mph, an overnight charge should last 150 miles.

Meanwhile, Lightyear, developer of a more traditional-looking passenger car, announced on Monday that it is suspending production of its US$250,000 Lightyear 0 solar-powered vehicle and redirecting its resources on its Lightyear 2 product , which is expected to start selling. $40,000 and has a range of 500 miles.

“Recently, we launched a waiting list for the Lightyear 2, which resulted in over 40,000 subscriptions from individual customers, and we already have a fleet of 100,000 units,” Lightyear CEO and co-founder Lex Hofsloot said in a statement. There were about 20,000 pre-orders from owners.”

“We look forward to completing some significant investments in the coming weeks to make Lightyear 2, an affordable solar electric vehicle, available to a wider audience,” he added.

‘Ambitious’ target

Chris Jones, principal analyst at Canalys, a global market research company, explained that the Lightyear 0 was always just a showcase for what’s possible with solar and hopes to deliver that to a few hundred customers.

“It was expected that these influential, wealthy, early adopter customers would become evangelists to help build awareness for a new vehicle category,” Jones told TechNewsWorld.

“Lightair’s second model will be priced favorably for an EV planned for launch in 2025,” he added. “We’ll have the full reveal this year, but importantly it’s a five-seat car – and it looks like a car.”

light years 2

Lightyear has opened a waitlist for its second production model, the Lightyear 2. As of now, the company is slowly pulling back the curtains to reveal what the vehicle will look like. (Image credit: Lightyear)

“Aptera, on the other hand, has gone for a less-traditional, more radical look,” he continued. “It’s a design that will attract less customers.”

He called Aptera’s announcement that it would produce cars this year “ambitious”, especially because it will need to get funding very quickly if it wants to meet that goal.

lack of capital

“2023 is a terrible time to be raising capital,” said Sam Abuelsamid, principal analyst for e-mobility at Guidehouse Insights, a Detroit-based market intelligence company that has covered Aptera since 2007.

“Companies that are much better established are having a tough time right now, so I don’t have much confidence that Aptera will be in a position to deliver any significant number of vehicles this year,” Abulsamid told TechNewsWorld. Will reach.”

If Aptera can start delivering SPEVs this year, it might want to deliver them outside North America as well.

“Some European markets and Southeast Asia are better prepared for such cars,” said Roger C Lancto, director of automotive connected mobility at Strategy Analytics, a global research, advisory and analytics firm.

For example, France has a program called Vehicles San Permis, which is designed to allow unlicensed drivers to operate vehicles with reduced safety standards.

“There is a market for solar-powered vehicles, although it may not be a mass market yet,” Lancto told TechNewsWorld.

Aptera will likely leverage car sharing to introduce consumers to the concept of solar-powered transportation, he added.

many angles

Once Aptera’s vehicles hit the market, they may face more problems.

“Their technology is pretty much baked in, but the disparity in weight and the relative instability of their design will cause problems for them in the marketplace,” said Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst at Enderle Group, an advisory services firm in Bend, Ore.

“The Aptera offers better protection than a motorcycle, but I expect interest in the car will wane after the first crash,” he told TechNewsworld.

Enderle said the solar technology needs further development before it can be used to power a vehicle that looks like a conventional automobile.

“You need to reduce the weight and size of the vehicle to even have a remote chance of getting solar power to work,” he explained.

“Given how light the vehicle is, the Aptiva’s design doesn’t look like it would fare well in a multiple-car collision,” he added.

Abuelsamid pointed out that photovoltaic cells have peak production efficiencies with a fairly narrow angle of the sun. At more extreme angles, they generate much less energy. Since a vehicle usually doesn’t have a very flat surface, the cells are at all kinds of angles, and the vehicle itself could be relative to the Sun an infinite number of times.

“Solar cells are likely to be most useful for auxiliary power, such as powering climate control and other systems to reduce the load on the battery,” he said. “For a small vehicle like Aptera, it also has limited surface area useful for cells.”

forced to compromise

Lanctot said, however, that 70% of all vehicle trips are between six and 12 miles. “So solar can be a very practical solution, which is why companies like Sono Motors and Squad Mobility are getting into the business,” he said.

Sono Motors, based in Germany, manufactures a vehicle that charges via the sun, an electrical socket, or both. The car’s solar range is 70 miles a week, although its battery has a range of 190 miles. Its top speed is 86 mph.

The squad builds two solar-powered vehicles – a two-seater with a top speed of 27 mph and a four-seater with a top speed of 44 mph. The vehicles have a range of 12 miles a day.

“With solar, one way or another, you are forced to make compromises,” Lancto said.

“Sono and Squad compromised on security to deliver a low price,” he continued. “Lightyear compromised on price — super expensive — to provide performance equivalent to an ICE/EV. Aptera compromised on cosmetics — three wheels — while also sacrificing interior space to get a low price and acceptable performance.” .

“There is a niche in the market for these vehicles – for each and every one of them – but it is a niche with limitations that have meaning,” he said.

Lancto explained, “The Nissan Leaf was greeted with some skepticism due to its limited range, but it found a strong niche in the market and remains popular.”

“There is certainly a home for solar vehicles, but this represents tens of thousands of vehicles, not millions, for Aptera, Sono and Squad.”

New technology is improving situational awareness for police officers and other first responders by reducing response times and streamlining data sharing between agencies.

Advances in high technology may be necessary for first responders to keep up with the hiring of police, firefighters and EMTs. Nearly half (44%) of first respondents to the survey said they considered leaving their jobs because of work-related stressors.

noted Matt Polega, co-founder and head of external affairs at Mark43, which has developed a public safety software platform that allows agencies to more efficiently manage, share, collect and analyze information, first responders Becoming is not an easy task.

Solving such problems related to job stress and safety concerns is a common element that has prompted some high-tech companies to focus on the needs of workers patrolling the streets on the home front. Public safety technology is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Often it overlaps. Sometimes, it brings extreme innovation.

Technological Innovation for First Responders

TechNewsWorld recently went behind the scenes presenting an exclusive interview with the founder of Critical Response Group (CRG). That company adapted military concepts to map internal plans to law enforcement’s emergency response strategies.

In this article, we continue to discuss the role of technology in the efforts of software developers and hardware manufacturers to protect and assist agencies that provide public safety. One such company is Mark43, which has produced a range of software solutions that run on desktop and laptop computers as well as squad car-based computer terminals.

Mark43 communication platform enables real-time view on squad car screens

New technology such as the Mark43 communications platform enables real-time visuals on squad car screens, so responding units can be better informed about incident scenes before they arrive, improving their safety and efficiency it happens. (Image credit: Mark43)

The company’s Mark43 lineup of options is entirely cloud-based, which minimizes employee training because the applications run in a variety of web browsers. The result is a much less expensive, and technically easier upgrade path for a successfully high-tech, stress-free transition. The only new cost is the cloud-delivery subscription, which varies.

“Cloud Native is something Mark43 hangs its hat on. This means that our application is built to live in the cloud. Things that power the Cloud Power Mark43,” Polega told TechNewsworld.

storybook trappings

In Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” movie, the hero takes on his new battle suit called Mark 42. This was the forty-second version of the crime-fighting exoskeleton he had built. Polega and his two other co-founders — Scott Crouch (also CEO) and Florian Meyer (also vice president) — named their new company Mark43 in honor of their next-generation crimefighting gear.

The three met and began working together a decade ago, as juniors at Harvard University pursuing either mechanical or electrical engineering degrees. His assignment in a particular class was to work with a client on an engineering project.

Harvard was very interested in developing engineers who were focused not only on why heat exchangers work and how bridges bend. The focus was also on helping them understand that someday they would have to work together with people to solve their problems. They’ve been doing it ever since, Polega quipped.

That third-year class project involved much more than just kinetic operations and the detection of physically breakable structures. The job involved working with the Massachusetts State Police special operations team, which had spent time serving in a military capacity in the Middle East. This prompted the state police team to have a sigh moment. Domestically violent gang members behave like rebels in the Middle East.

Their dilemma was how to bring all-out counter-insurgency tactics from the battlefield to combating domestic gangs and gang violence. Polega & Co. tried to do the same. Actions include easing people into calling the police, cleaning up graffiti, or reducing open-air drug dealing.

“The state police was implementing this new policing model, and our job in this crazy engineering class was to assess whether or not this policing model was effective. Fast forward 10 years later, you find out that the engineering Three juniors with degrees who had no idea about policing or the complex socioeconomics,” Polega recalled.

He learned to do all those non-academic things and used engineering principles to overcome those obstacles. It was a much bigger project than the three aspiring engineers expected.

more than teachable moments

The project set out for three students to see that whatever software they were using was not the kind of witchcraft found on the TV shows NCIS, CSI, and any other that use “stage” technology. Were the choice of cool Hollywood TV shows. His professor gave him a goal – try to create something to help the state police in some way.

All three worked on it for the rest of their junior and senior years. After graduating in 2014, he went to the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department, where he faced a similar challenge. The police officers said: We really don’t know what you guys do, but we have some problems; And they said: We don’t really know what your problems are, but we can show you some of our solutions.

“We’re just starting to really understand all these analytical stuff and all these business intelligence tools. They were cool, and everybody wanted to make them, sell them, and get them into police agencies. But the real problem was the data. It was to collect and capture the information in a way that it could be used online for all the important things that police officers needed to do if that information went to court,” Polega explained.

The Mark43 platform provides first responders with a 3D aerial view on a patrol car video screen display.

The Mark43 platform provides first responders with a 3D aerial view of the patrol car video screen display that shows the target incident location and the status of responding patrol cars in a red diamond outline. (Image credit: Mark43)

His encounters with police departments and other first responder agencies further taught him the scope of performance for the arrest software he created. For example, when dispatched, police officers are required to write reports about anything they find in the field and the type of incident they respond to.

Those reports were to be completed and submitted back to headquarters from computer terminals. Doing this on a daily basis removed officers from the streets where they were no longer protecting and serving.

The burden of constantly generating reports for incidents, accidents, collisions and court records significantly reduced the manpower available to respond to calls for their many assigned shifts.

engineering a new solution

A dynamic trio of engineers solved that problem. Polega, Crouch and Mayer launched the company’s first product, a records management system, in August 2015 after completing their work for the Washington DC Police Department.

This was the precursor to the Mark 43 which he later developed. This older model of records management system handled the collection of on-duty arrest and traffic collision reports. Polega stated that this was a de facto operational system before the Mark 43 was fully designed.

Mark43 In-Vehicle Software

The result of three young engineers’ work with the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department was the development of in-vehicle software that integrates with computers at headquarters. (Image credit: Mark43)

“I hate to call it TurboTax for police reports. But it’s actually a very apt description,” Polega said. “When we left Washington, D.C., that agency’s arrest reporting time improved by 80% and crime reporting time by about 50%.”

Another highly anticipated result was that the department ultimately added 110 police officers back to the force, which equates to 240,000 person-hours back-to-back annually to the agency.

Current Technology, Turbocharged

If you’ve ever seen a modern emergency call center or watched TV police reality shows, you’re familiar with the command center with multiple dispatchers. Each one sits in front of several large screen monitors.

This high-tech concept is somewhat similar to what many large first responder organizations have in their regional dispatch centers. Smaller agencies operate scaled-down versions of that scenario.

Kevin Fry, director of solutions architecture at Mark43, demonstrated an online demonstration, showing patrol officers the power and ease of operation of the Mark43 system brought to their vehicles and into their call centers. Writing reports from dispatchers and accessing updated video data instantly is a significant game changer for first responders.

Mark43 Computer Aided Dispatch

Police dispatchers in a central communications center use a variety of large screen displays to monitor police and emergency response units in real time from miles away. (Image credit: Mark43)

During our Zoom call screen-share, Frye displayed reports, maps of the area, aerial views and more on multiple call center monitors, showing what dispatchers would see at their workstations and the officer’s view in the patrol car. Similar to using an automobile navigational app and multitasking, Fry showed how the Mark43 navigation worked with the Alt-Tab keys and the touch screen to change the screen display.

“I am [using] Modern browsers — Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari. So think about it from an end-user perspective, and not just a technical perspective, as long as you have your typical standard desktop, or even laptop, and you have access, you don’t have to go out and get a computer or No need to buy anything. for the Internet,” Frye told TechNewsWorld.

Other Mark43 Benefits

One of the key assets of this innovative communications platform, noted Frye, is its ability to put the mapping power in the hands of dispatchers. The system is capable of displaying multiple types of data layers. Responders to an emergency can see live views of traffic, accidents, active shooter locations, and even crime scene scenes along the way.

Mark43 Dispatcher Screen

Another display enables dispatchers to be in constant contact with first responders in real time and shepherds updated information quickly wherever it is needed. (Image credit: Mark43)

“This is cutting edge. No one else in the industry is doing this. A lot of public sector agencies rely on Esri for their mapping technology. We built Esri directly into our mapping technology,” Frey said.

Another advantage of Mark43 is its flexibility for information sharing. The system features a reliable workflow that lets officers automate report-writing tasks and enter information while on patrol. Many older products require additional data stitching when officers return to headquarters and attempt to integrate content written on patrol car mobile computers.

Often, data collection needs to change, added Frye, but in-car and in-station entry fields are not always compatible. Those two products won’t work very well together, especially if different vendors maintain them.

Generative AI is a category of artificial intelligence that uses algorithms to create things like literature, graphics, music, and language models.

Gen-AI has been burning up the news of late and promises to transform computing. ChatGPT is the current star of this category, but Google is putting up a challenge as ChatGPT scared them off. They are hardly alone.

While there is a lot of concern about this technology taking jobs away from humans, the jobs it will eliminate, at least initially, are jobs that people often don’t like to do.

Furthermore, it is part of the anticipated evolution of computers as glorified calculator work mates, and it changes vital dynamics. Instead of people having to learn how to work with computers, generative AI-based computers will increasingly learn how to work with humans.

Unless evolution reaches critical mass, when computers can perform fully as companions to humans – likely when they overtake us in evolution, machine speeds will exceed evolution by thousands of orders of magnitude. goes – we’ll need the AI ​​Whisperer skill. This is much like the need today of people who know how to work best with computers or learn boolean logic to work more efficiently with search engines.

Let’s talk about that development this week. Then we’ll close with our Product of the Week, a new mechanical keyboard I tried that just needs one more thing to perfect.

Connecting Gen-AI to Humans

Traditionally, a “whisperer” refers to someone who knows how best to work and communicate with an animal. They are knowledgeable who are able to get into the heads of the animals they work with and train animals that seem untrained.

They use verbal and non-verbal methods that make them seem like magic to onlookers and create a bond of trust with the animals that appears impossible to the owners, and the whisperer cements that bond at the end of the process. I can transfer owners.

True whisperers come naturally to their skills. They are wired differently than the rest of us, and like connoisseurs in other fields, I expect they often don’t relate well to people.

Unlike animals with abuse, health, or mental issues that generate humans’ fear, generative AIs will be relatively stable, although they will vary greatly depending on their programming.

However, understanding how to guide them towards a desired outcome will be no less difficult because, unlike animals, we will ask AIs to complete far more complex tasks than to sit, stay or come to us on command . We will ask AI to write scripts, articles and novels, create new products and execute military commands.

We also know that generative AI currently lacks empathy, although there are people who are working to not only fix this, but also use them to teach humans how to be empathetic. needed. As anyone who’s worked in IT already knows, the big problem with generative AI today is that users don’t know what they want, so they can’t very well issue requests that a generative AI can be effective at. can execute properly.

AI Whisperers will act as a bridge between the generative AI and the human user. The whisperer understands what the AI ​​needs to hear and can better translate what they want into commands that more efficiently direct the AI ​​to complete the task. Scale will immediately become a problem, because like animal whisperers, AI Whisperers will initially be rare and difficult to identify.

AI-Based Human Whispers

Just like we’ve built generative AI and trained it on materials to perform a wide variety of tasks, the hitch is that people just aren’t great communicators. As generative AI can advance at machine speed and will achieve stability over time, it is the human side of the problem that will require more work.

The final stage in the development of generative AI will be the creation of AI-based human whisperers. These AIs are explicitly trained to know what humans want. Their unique methods of communication, both verbal and non-verbal, can induce or manipulate humans to perform the essential act of fully thinking through their requests – often simulating feedback and responses to avoid mistakes. By providing historical perspective – to avoid mistakes that might otherwise have been made and increase the quality of the overall process.

Given that they can be trained through digital knowledge transfer, these human-whisper AIs can scale and will be able to bridge the gap between people and machines, eventually leading to true human-AI synergy. provide capability.

wrapping up

Generative AI is a game changer that will help eliminate repetitive tasks and even a lot of the grind when writing a long paper, article or book.

It would perform best as a human enhancement tool rather than a human replacement tool because its creativity is derivative and it lacks empathy, meaning it will do socially unacceptable things on purpose without oversight.

Those who do best with this technology will be the ones who initially adopted and learned from it, much like those who first adopted and learned mainframes, PCs, and Boolean logic.

We must see AI whisperers initially emerge as a bridge between these AIs and humans who have not yet learned how to think and properly articulate their requests.

Eventually, they will be replaced by AI-powered human whisperers, allowing technology to advance more quickly and tackle the associated communication problems on a larger scale.

Computers are about to become a lot more social; We are not ready for this at all.

tech product of the week

Das Keyboard 6 Professional

Das Keyboard 6 Professional

Image credit: Das Keyboard

If you write a lot, as I do, there’s nothing like a great keyboard. For me, a mechanical keyboard is far better than the cheap, chiclet-style keyboards on most laptops and desktop PCs.

I like the long key throw, solid touch, and the fact that mechanical keyboards tend to last longer than their cheaper-made counterparts.

The Das Keyboard 6 is more suited to writers and computer programmers than professional gamers. Still, it’ll be a good gaming keyboard, provided it’s mechanically ergonomic, and you can control your PC’s volume with the convenient volume knob on the device itself. However, there are better boards out there for gaming that look more luxurious.

This keyboard is for office, home or work. It has lighted keys (with an on-off switch) that work at night as well as all media controls.

Many of us like to listen to music or podcasts while we work, and the ability to manage that content with dedicated keys is tremendously helpful. You can also press the volume control to mute the speaker, but there’s one feature missing: a mute microphone button for video calls, which those of us working from home desperately need.

The Das Keyboard 6 Pro has a convenient sleep button if you don’t have user sensing (a feature that suspends your PC when you walk away), making it a great way to reassure your kids or co-workers Is. Don’t mess with your stuff if you leave your desk.

I found the keys a little sticky at first, but that cleared up within the first 15 minutes, and it’s now the keyboard I use for most of my work. I wish it had a microphone mute button.

It comes in two versions: one with soft switches and one that I found is a bit more clicky. I prefer the clicky version, but if you’re in an office, your co-workers may prefer you to the quieter one.

A good keyboard helps with productivity, reduces mistakes and hand strain, and creates a more enjoyable work experience. Accordingly, the Das Keyboard 6 Professional, which retails for $199, is my product of the week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

Held annually in Las Vegas, CES is unquestionably the most famous and influential tech show on the planet.

With the pandemic still hanging around the world last year, its 2022 appearance was a shadow of its former self, attracting just 45,000 people – down from its pre-Covid high of 150,000 – with dozens of exhibitors ramping up their on-floor presence ahead of the show was cancelled.

This year’s event, happily, attracted significantly more attendees, reaching the 115,000 mark, according to the event’s organizer, the Consumer Technology Association.

After logging nearly 80,000 steps, attending over 35 meetings, and spending many hours on the show floor during my five-day stint, I can attest that the event lived up to my expectations.

There were interesting products and solutions, running the gamut from wireless TVs for your toilet to urine sensors that can monitor your kidney health, VR headsets to the latest electric vehicles; There was literally something for everyone.

Putting those product categories aside, I was looking to see what inroads the industry has made in smart home energy management. Over the past several years, some companies have tried to broaden the definition of a smart home to include the ability to manage electricity use as part of their sustainability efforts to reduce carbon and fossil fuels.

In late 2021, I embarked on a long journey into my home to test the theory that smart devices — and ultimately smart appliances — could reduce my electricity use and, most importantly, my electric bills.

A year after upgrading my 1,700-square-foot condo in San Jose, California, with a host of devices specifically designed to monitor my electricity usage in precise detail, the results were surprising and ultimately disappointing.

How do I upgrade my home with smart energy management devices?

As the saying goes, you can’t manage something until you can measure it, and this is important in the field of smart energy management.

Fortunately, there are some ways to accurately measure power consumption. If you’re building a new home, many homeowners opt to install smart energy electrical panels that connect to the home network and provide detailed information on electricity usage to appliances and outlets.

Legacy Electrical For homeowners with legacy panels, a product such as Schneider Electric’s Visor Energy System is a more economical alternative to replacing the entire electrical board. However, you’ll need a certified electrician to install it because the unit gets embedded behind an existing panel.

schneider electric sensible energy system

Wise Energy Home Power Monitor | Image credit: Schneider Electric

Wiser Energy uses machine learning to check all the power you use in your home. It can identify appliances that are on and off, and its intelligence can even identify major appliances and power usage down to the outlet level. I’ve been using it since late 2021, and it helps me determine which devices in my home are in “always on” status, like the refrigerator.

I’ve gone a step further and used several Kasa Smart Wi-Fi power strips to help me dramatically reduce so-called “ghost” power (also known as “vampire” power), because Most devices waste power when they are not on. use or even discontinued. Ghost power is estimated to account for around 20% of all residential energy consumption, so it is a significant phenomenon.

I’ve installed four Casa Smart Wi-Fi power strips in key areas like my bedroom, den, and office, allowing me to automatically power down and power these areas on at specific times in the morning and at night. Plus, these power strips are Amazon Alexa-compatible, so I can wake them up and turn them off via spoken word.

Smart appliances were the next major upgrade.

Despite a lot of momentum classifying the smart home at a higher level, many consumers have been reluctant about upgrading their major devices to “connected” models because the perceived benefits outweigh the costs.

It’s worth mentioning that it cost about $7,000 to upgrade my entire kitchen and laundry room (refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, and washer/dryer) with the latest connected models from Samsung and LG.

For the mainstream consumer, the convenience of remotely changing the refrigerator’s temperature, being notified of when the filter needs to be replaced, or how many times the refrigerator door has been opened, is worth a lot of cash. .

Sure, the ability to remotely see inside your Samsung refrigerator with its integrated indoor camera to figure out when you need to buy milk when you’re already at the grocery store can be helpful. Nevertheless, the fact that most appliances have a life cycle of more than 15 years facilitates consumer behavior that these in-home machines do not upgrade until they fail.

Strangely, smart appliance makers haven’t aggressively used appliance intelligence to change consumer behavior. Neither LG nor Samsung’s Smart app will advise users to delay doing their dishes or laundry until early morning or late evening, when utilities like Pacific Gas and Electric in California offer less-expensive time-of-use (TOU) plans. offers.

TOU plans are available in California, Arizona and Massachusetts, with scores of other states coming in the coming years. TOU plans are widespread in Western Europe and Asia, and it is only a matter of time before these offers become ubiquitous in the United States.

Appliance apps lack energy provider integration

Connected device manufacturers have a lot of work to do in this area. Suggesting to postpone doing dishes or laundry with a general message about saving money isn’t enough. A great smart home appliance app should be able to connect to my energy provider account so that it can provide specific cost savings based on my behavior and routine.

For example, let’s say my LG dishwasher tells me I’ll save 90 cents by delaying using it until after 9 p.m., which could translate into savings of several dollars a month or a year. In that case, I imagine the behavior would change quickly. Sadly, this capability is not integrated into the LG and Samsung Smart apps.

The Schneider Electric Wiser app provides me with typical kilowatt-hour (kWH) costs for appliances at the zip code level. Yet, it is not directly tied to my utility account and does not provide the personalized messaging needed to change consumer behavior. This situation is a substantial missed opportunity for all parties involved.

On the bright side, the Home Connectivity Alliance formally announced its interface spec at CES 2023, which should provide greater interoperability between individual devices, including paving the way for how connected solutions work in the real world for the consumer. Can provide energy and cost savings. hope springs eternal.

Will smart energy upgrades to my home save me money?

With 2022 now in the rearview mirror, I could do some “behind the envelope” math to figure out the effect. As mentioned earlier, the results were both surprising and disappointing.

First, the good news: Despite the scorching heat in the Bay Area in 2022 and “staying” with friends and relatives more often in 2021 versus last year, when I lived more or less in isolation, my overall electricity use was about 3.5% lower.

I attribute much of this to the elimination of phantom power, but my more efficient intelligent appliances, which I installed in October, also played a part. One notable example: rates the cost of a new LG washing machine for a full year of use at $13 compared to $38 for the older 2007 model it was replaced with.

Today’s new equipment is dramatically more affordable than the products available 15 years ago. If I pro-rate the savings related to those new appliances for a full year, I could see an even more dramatic reduction in total electricity use in 2023, potentially reducing my annual electricity use by 10% May come This is really a big deal.

But here’s the bad news: Despite that power cut, in 2021 through 2022, my actual power bill climbed About 18%, from $2,508 to $2,954 in 2022. This type of news will reduce the skepticism of smart home energy management.

Yes, California is to blame, as it has some of the highest electricity rates in the nation, despite regularly taking advantage of less expensive TOU plans.

While some may mildly spin this result because it could have been much worse if I hadn’t made all these upgrades to my condo, it’s not the type of message that will be successful with most consumers, as they View the upgrade as a means. In fact now to save money from their expenses.

In the final analysis, my main conclusion is that this underscores how seriously I should consider moving out of California.

Other notable sightings at CES 2023

A few other product demonstrations caught my attention and were worthy of being called out during my five-day stint in Las Vegas.

lenovo thinkbook wireless dock

lenovo thinkbook wireless dock

Image credit: Synaptics

Synaptics, one of the major human interface “component” technology leaders in the world, announced a new capability that Lenovo has used to release a completely wireless docking station, the aptly named Lenovo ThinkBook Wireless Dock .

With the potential to feature seamless, cable-free 4K display connectivity, this capability will resonate with work-from-home users who hate cluttered desktops.

EV Battery Management

Infineon Technologies and Newtron Controls, as shown in my on-site interviews, demonstrated new technology designed to optimize overall battery management and consumption in the EV field.

Given the scores of control systems in the average EV, this capability will find wide appeal by electric car makers looking to optimize as much as possible in a highly coordinated, synchronized manner without sacrificing functionality or safety.

schneider home

Schneider Electric unveils its innovative, sustainable home energy management solution, called Schneider Home.

Schneider Home Sustainable Home Energy Management

Image credit: Schneider Electric

Consisting of a home battery for clean energy storage, a high-power solar inverter, a smart electric panel, an EV charger, connected electric sockets and light switches, this attractively designed solution monitors energy consumption by individual appliances Uses an app to manage and decide how to prioritize power during an outage.

While it lays the groundwork for lower electricity costs by taking advantage of solar energy stored in local batteries, its associated app still provides functionality based on individual account linkage with the local energy provider, rather than guiding consumer behavior at the device level. ready to monitor. Nevertheless, it is a good step in the right direction.

material product display

Finally, it was good to see the Matter smart home inoperability initiative making an appearance at CES 2023.

Unlike last year’s CES, the Matter product demos, which promise to allow smart home devices to work together without strict allegiance to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit, were on the show floor and behind the NDA sessions. Was visible in both the shows. ,

Unfortunately, MATER-compliant products are still not available at retail, but that should change in the next 60 to 90 days.