A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top 10 tech stories, from why most virtual assistants are female to how much we really fear self-driving cars — it’s all here.
These days, we find ourselves surrounded by helpful assistants, from Apple’s Siri to Microsoft’s futuristic Cortana to Amazon’s Alexa to … whatever the designation for “OK Google” is — and every one of them defaults to a female persona. In response, a lot of writers are asking if the tendency of postmodern digital assistants to skew female is a dangerous thing for society.
Need proof of the changing needs of the job market? Look no further than the U.S. Air Force, where for the first time, there are more jobs open for MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drone pilots than for any other kind of pilot position. As the head of Air Education and Training Command, Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, told reporters during a media roundtable at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, “I never thought I’d say that when I joined the Air Force.”
Do we or don’t we? A recent AAA survey found that while more than half of all U.S. drivers want autonomous technology in their next vehicle, an even greater number reported fear of the prospect of riding in a self-driving vehicle. If we can agree that autonomous features are a given in our future, the automotive community will have to address consumer concerns and find ways to ease the transition.
Swiss watch brand Tag Heuer has returned to the world of smartwatches, after first embracing the technology in 2015 with the Tag Heuer Carrera Connected. The new model, called the Connected Modular 45, makes the Carrera Connected look like a tentative, exploratory first step. For the new watch, Tag Heuer will offer 11 standard models, with another 45 available to special order, and a huge range of interchangeable parts for a total of 500 different style possibilities.
Last year, it was the “world’s first clean meatball” that helped Memphis Meats grab headlines in February. In November, the startup launched an Indiegogo campaign with plans to grow cultured poultry meat in the lab. Today, the company announced that it has successfully served chicken and duck meat without having raised or slaughtered a bird.