Like many things in the world, innovative ideas or inventions are the results of an accident or a situation that triggers an idea. Vijay Ravindran, an avid technology guru, is the father of an autistic son. Like many other autistic children, his son was unable to comprehend the idea of pretend play. In introducing his son to his virtual reality headset, he was able to have the concept of pretend play. Ravindran started the Floreo company, which commercially designs professionals working with autistic children through virtual reality. While some of the almost two hundred lessons are as small life lessons, such as learning to cross streets or making decisions at school, these are significant lessons in the development of the social skills of an autistic child.
While there is some controversy among some professionals on the behavioral therapy approach, it appears the lessons available through Floreo are helping. Some experts have stated it was likely the best tool currently available. The lessons were more important than ever during the pandemic, allowing lessons to be provided through telehealth and remote learning with the use of an iPhone and a V.R. headset. The cost is approximately $50 a month and is covered in some states by Medicaid.
With grants and investments, growth in the company continues.
In the article “Your Deleted TikTok Content Can Still Be Used Against You By the FBI”, Thomas Brewster details how the FBI used old cellular tower data to link seven bank robberies in five states to a suspect’s phone number. The article furthers that even if data is deleted by owners, it is attainable by the FBI for use depending on the platform (Facebook, Google, ect). In this case, TikTok does not even have a concrete policy for when data deletion occurs on their servers if the user deletes it.
I find it interesting that the FBI didn’t even have to use five separate warrants to operate across all the states. The internet and data is borderless, the law jurisdiction is not. All this is occuring as Big Tech is currently under scrutiny in Washington. How do you feel about data harvesting and how governments and companies use your data?
In the article, “AI Ethics Shocking Revelation that Training AI to be Toxic or Biased Might be Beneficial, Including for those Autonomous Self-Driving Cars”, Lance Eliot details how the most efficient process of detecting biased and discriminatory AI might actually be along the lines of an old adage, “it takes one to know one”. The article explains how some in the field of AI believe creating an extremely toxic and discriminatory system is the best method to detect others that show toxicity. This method, as outlined in the article, comes with many question marks. What if the toxic AI system falls in the wrong hands or is used inappropriately? What if the toxic AI system is not able to be confined? What if AI system builders reuse the AI later on and it is eventually hidden in many different systems? Eliot although argues these are knee-jerk reactions and the use of a system with max toxicity to pursue other toxic systems is an admirable approach and is deserving of trials and research. However, Eliot concludes that instead of creating a toxic AI system, which could be used as AI for bad, so to speak, AI for good systems should be created that instead recognizes unbiased and non-toxic systems while still using the old adage “it takes one to know one”. I agree with the author in this regard as creating max discriminatory and toxic AI systems could end up creating more harm than good.
In addition, the article briefly discusses the problems self-driving AI car systems face, including how the AI system decides whether or not to stop for a pedestrian without being sentient and if we will ever truly be able to create a level 5(fully autonomous) self-driving car.
As gas prices approach $5 in St. Louis, I can’t help but wonder how it feels to be in the minority of people who own an electric car right now. So I found an article in Forbes Magazine discussing some of the drawbacks of electric cars. The article mentions how electric car manufacturers in Britain have misled their customers. Advertising travel ranges of 300 miles when the batteries’ actual travel capacity could be reduced by 30-50%, electric vehicle manufacturers are providing misinformation. These British electric car manufacturers claim the excuse of using data based on WLTP, or Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure, which is an attempt to centralize all electric car methodologies.
Other issues that British electric car manufacturers are finding involve the weight of the batteries. This increase in weight compared to a normal car may be the cause for a decreased life in the average electric car’s tires. Cold weather is another element that has been linked to poor battery range performance.
The value-seeking electric car buyer will need to demand that electric car manufacturers are honest and upfront with how their vehicles are going to perform. This means that an electric vehicle advertised to travel up to 300 miles in one full charge will need to be held to that standard. There are groups that advocate for electric vehicle buyers who may be uninformed about the technology they are purchasing. However, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association has been quiet on the issues relating to electric vehicles, which is interesting.
This may be off-topic from the article and a secondary source, but my family friend works in the executive ranks at Enterprise, and he shared with me that GMC and Ford will be fully electric by 2030. Therefore, all their gas models will be removed from the lineup and replaced with electric versions of the same models. It will be interesting to see if Tesla can retain its market share in the automobile industry once all car manufacturers are 100% electric.