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Sony revives Aibo robot dog toy

Sony says it is to bring back Aibo, its famous robot pet dog. The new Aibo is the tech giant’s first entertainment robot in 12 years, and for now, it will only be sold in Japan. The machine learns from its owners and environment, as well as tapping into collective data stored in the cloud by other robot units. The return of Aibo suggests that Sony has finally got its innovative spirit back, say experts, after several difficult years. The revamped device is designed to move and act more like…

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Nigel – the robot that could tell you how to vote

The creators of a new artificial intelligence programme hope it could one day save democracy. Are we ready for robots to take over politics? “Siri, who should I vote for?” “That’s a very personal decision.” Apple’s “personal assistant”, Siri, doesn’t do politics. It has stock, non-committal answers for anything that sounds remotely controversial. Not unlike some politicians in fact. But the next generation of digital helpers, powered by advances in artificial intelligence (AI), might not be so reticent. One piece of software being developed by a company in Portland, Oregon,…

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Rami Malek: First look at Mr Robot star as Freddie Mercury in Queen biopic

After years of delays, production has finally started on a biopic of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Actors including Johnny Depp, Ben Whishaw and Sacha Baron Cohen had been linked to the role, only to drop out. Producers finally cast Mr Robot star Rami Malek as the Bohemian Rhapsody singer, and the first photo of him in character was released on Tuesday. Wearing Mercury’s Live Aid outfit, Malek looks uncannily like the flamboyant star. “When you’re able to open your eyes and see a different person staring back at you in…

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Robot vacuum company mulls selling maps of homes

IRobot, the maker of the Roomba smart vacuum, could one day sell data drawn from the maps the devices build up of individual homes as they clean. The Roomba is an automated floor cleaner that can be activated via an app and find its own way around, using sensors and a camera. Founder Colin Angle said the data they gathered could be used to make other devices work better in a smart home. Nothing would be done without the owner’s consent, he added. “Right now, iRobot is building maps to…

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