Roundup for June 16, 2015

A trio of links today on 2015’s equivalent to S.P.E.C.T.R.E., Facebook:

Barclays wants to use voice-activated A.I. for banking, says @ArjunKharpal. So like Siri. Except in charge of all your money.

MIT’s dynamic duo, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, authors of the Second Machine Age, are in Foreign Affairs today informing the assorted panjandrums, mandarins and gnomes of Zurich that make up its readership about whether humans are, in fact, horses. That is, can we too be made obsolete by superior tech, the way horses were replaced by cars? (TL;DR: Probably not, they say. For one thing, there’s no such thing as capitalist horses. And the rest of us will riot and/or vote to ban technological advancement before we allow ourselves to be made obsolete. Probably.)

If you’re an IT worker who wants to freak yourself out about whether you, too, will soon be replaced by a bot, feel free to take Tech Republic/ZDnet’s survey about whether your job is vulnerable to automation.

But whatever IT workers may think, Europeans are warming up to the idea of a bot around the house.

But probably not this one: A Japanese firm unveiled today what it claims is the world’s strongest robot.

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