Waymo Asks NHTSA To Fix Self-Driving Barriers; Disney Sells Yes Net; Facebook Mines AI in Minecraft; Microsoft-Back to Desktop for Convertables

Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Google parent Alphabet has urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to “promptly” remove regulatory barriers for cars without steering wheels and brake pedals.
Automakers must currently meet nearly 75 auto safety standards for self-driving cars, many of them written under the assumption that a licensed driver is in command of the vehicle using traditional controls. NHTSA has been grappling for more than three years with how to address those requirements. General Motors, Lyft, and Honda also filed separate comments asking the agency to clear these barriers to self-driving cars.

Disney has announced it has sold its stake in the YES Network to an investor group including Amazon.
The investor group, which also includes the Yankees and Sinclair Broadcast Group, acquired the 80% stake of the YES Network that was not already held by the Yankees. Disney agreed to sell the 22 regional sports networks (RSNs) owned by 21st Century Fox as a condition of Disney’s acquisition of the company. The total enterprise value of the deal was $3.47 billion, according to CNBC. The YES Network, which airs Yankees games as well as other local sports and specialty content, was among the RSNs the Department of Justice required Disney to sell.

Facebook is hoping it can train an AI assistant to understand a broad range of human commands with a little help from one of the biggest games in the world — Minecraft. According to businessinsider.com, a group of Facebook researchers published a paper in July explaining why they think Minecraft is the perfect place for an AI to learn about human communication. The key lies in the fact that Minecraft is what’s known as a “sandbox” game, where players can roam around with relatively free rein as to what they want to do or build, while also following a set of relatively simple rules. The researchers hope that the natural curiosity of Minecraft players will give the AI plenty of humans to practice with.
Minecraft has 91 million monthly active users, so the potential pool of humans who could help train the AI is pretty vast.

Microsoft is planning to redesign the tablet experience for Windows 10. The software giant has started testing a new design for 2-in-1 convertible PCs that will keep the user interface more similar to the existing desktop design. Currently, Windows 10 throws you into a more tablet-optimized UI that removes task bar icons and puts the Start menu full-screen when a device automatically switches into “tablet mode.” Microsoft is now walking back some of those changes, while keeping some touch-optimized elements for 2-in-1 PCs. Theverge.com says in the new tablet experience, the desktop will remain in full view, with the task bar icons visible and increased spacing between them.


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