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Pepper the robot addresses UK parliament about the future of AI in education

Pepper the robot addresses UK parliament about the future of AI in education

It’s just like something out of the movies, but not quite as scary. This week, Pepper the robot spoke to MPs in the UK House of Commons to discuss the future of AI and technology in classrooms. But don’t be alarmed, the robot’s questions and answers were all pre-programmed – it was simply its presence that was needed to make an impact.

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The robot (named ‘Pepper’) is currently based at Middlesex University and is used to interact with students, appear at shows and events and assist the elderly and students with special needs. A small number of schools and universities in the UK already have their very own Pepper, which is a huge investment considering it costs anywhere between £10,000 and £12,000 (around $18,000 to $22,000) and has a range of abilities including making eye contact and face recognition for the human touch.

The Education Committee are already proposing that more investment in technology (and AI in particular) is needed in education and Pepper was simply there to answer their questions – all of which were clearly spoken by Labour MP James Frith (pre-prepared we might add again).

So, what was the point in all of this? Well, Pepper was really there for its looks rather than a demonstration of the advances of AI technology – with Oxford University’s Head of AI Prof. Michael Woolridge telling the BBC it was an “embarrassing gimmick” giving AI a “bad name” (well, anyone can answer pre-prepared questions!) However, the robot did bring to light the importance of educating students about technology especially with the continual need to re-skill the workforce to keep up.

What do you think about robots in our classrooms? Comment below!

Source: BBC

Google Pixel 3 is finally here with some super impressive specs

Google Pixel 3 is finally here with some super impressive specs

Google truly impressed mobile enthusiasts with the release of its Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL models last year and it seems as though they’re continuing the theme with the newest Pixel 3 model, set for release over the next month or so.

On first glance, the Pixel 3 looks similar in size to the Pixel 2, yet the 5.5 inch OLED screen and smaller body makes it easier to handle, with a smaller screen bezel (at 18:9 instead of 16:9) whilst retaining its rear two-tone design. The rear of the Pixel 3 now uses strengthened glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 5) to enable its wireless charging (finally!) which was disappointedly absent in last year’s Pixel 2 – with some sleek Google wireless charging stands on the way. You’ll still find the fingerprint scanner on the rear of the model, minus that silver bezel. All this glass is housed in an aluminium frame, with no headphone jack which helps to make its IP68 dust-proof and waterproof rating.

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As with the Pixel 2, the Pixel 3’s most exiting feature has to be its cameras - 12.2MP rear and two 8MP front-facing. The Pixel Visual Core is a dedicated camera chip that uses machine-learning to up the camera specs – with features such as ‘Super-Res Zoom’ and ‘Top Shot’ which selects the best image for you. The dual front cameras will ensure your group selfies are all-inclusive, whilst the rear camera’s f/1.8 aperture helps take better photos in low-light settings. Other fun camera features such as Google Lens and ‘Playground’ provide a more light-hearted approach, with unlimited Google Photos storage so you never have to worry about memory again.

Google_Pixel_3

As with most of Google’s devices, Google Assistant is another key feature of the Pixel 3, with more shortcuts and commands making your life that little bit easier. Set alarms, asks questions, take photos and more just by saying “Hey Google…” Google have also jumped onboard the ‘Digital Wellbeing’ bandwagon, tracking your phone usage and habits to make you more mindful of your screen time.

Google_Pixel_3

Other features such as fast charge, a larger adaptive battery and extra security measures makes the Google Pixel 3 a pretty tough contender in the 2018/2019 mobile space. We must also mention the nod to the iPhone X with the Pixel 3 XL’s front bezel, which you can now hide with a handy update from Google if you so wish. The Google Pixel 3 will be available in 3 colours from next month. Will you be investing in the Pixel 3?

Source: Google

Who do I need a desktop charging station?

Who do I need a desktop charging station?

Let’s start with a quick question – how many portable devices does your household own? This includes mobile phones, tablets, laptops, wireless headphones, portable speakers to name just a few. Well, the average Aussie household has over 13 internet-connected devices and that’s predicted to double in number by 2021 (Telsyte, 2017). That’s a lot of devices that need power!

And where do you charge all these devices? We bet you have a separate charger for every device you own! If that meets the Aussie average of 13 devices per household, that’s 13 power sockets that you are no longer able to use for other things. How often have you had to remove a charger to plug in your vacuum or the toaster? Annoying, right?!

OK, so we may be a little biased here, but there are so many benefits to owning a desktop charging station that you might not have realised. Not only can they save you time and money in the long run, desktop chargers can free up space and create a safer electronic environment in your home.

We’ve summarised a few of the best points below.

FREE-UP YOUR POWER SOCKETS & STAY SAFE

You probably have a separate charger for each portable device which means you are probably using most of your power sockets to power them - often needing to swap and change plugs and cables whenever you need a spare socket. Not only does this waste time, it also presents a safety risk by constantly removing and inserting plugs into sockets which can loosen cables and connections. Especially unsafe for little ones!

In comparison, a desktop charger can charge multiple devices using just a single power point. After selecting a permanent place for it, the desktop charger can be left on so it’s always ready to charge your devices. The chargers keep cool with internal fans, so there’s no worry of overheating and most chargers recognise when your device is fully charged.

STAY NEAT & SAVE TIME UNTANGLING CABLES

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How many times have you had to unravel a tangled mess of charging cables to find the one you need? And how many times have you stolen a charging cable from your loved ones? Guilty! Most homes have that dreaded mass of cables tangled around the busy charging spot in the home (usually the kitchen or lounge room!) or even hidden away in a drawer to pretend it doesn’t exist.

Desktop chargers with short charging cables and wireless charging pads prevent cables from going missing and becoming tangled, making it quicker and easier to charge your device. It also stops any unsightly mess and keeps your cables in better condition for longer. No more pulling at wires and no more fights over charging cables!

DID WE MENTION NEAT & TIDY?

Neo_Wireless_Charger_Kitchen

Speaking of tidiness, not only does a desktop charger mean no more tangled cables, it also provides an area to store your devices. Once again, this is much safer for your family and your beloved technology, as it prevents tugging and pulling at cables and provides a safe storage solution for your gadgets. Let’s put an end to those cracked screens!

SAVING YOU TIME

As we just mentioned, searching for, untangling cables and changing plug sockets wastes time – something so precious in our modern lives. Placing a desktop charging station in the hub of your home creates a permanent charging spot for all your family’s devices. This means it’s always ready and always on so you know exactly where you can grab some juice for your battery!

THE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE

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All of the above points are great, right? But what about the little things in life? Having a desktop charging station in your home creates a designated spot to charge the household’s devices and is a great way to take a time-out from tech. Whether you’re sitting down for breakfast or dinner, movie night or family board game night, a charging station can happily store and charge your family’s devices for a gadget time-out.

This even goes for bedtime. Having a charging station in the family hub means you can keep an eye on your family’s screen time and ensure they don’t sneak their gadgets away during tech time-out. Get your family time back and create better habits with a desktop charging station.

Neo Wireless Charger is a desktop charging station that can save you time, space and money. Take a look at our range here.