IoT weekly round-up: Thursday 12th January 2017

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This week sees the end of giant tech show CES 2017 and the beginning of NAIAS – the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The connected world is full of news about AI, robots and smart vehicles (including sensor-studded skateboards). Read on for the latest stories. 

CES 2017 is a wrap

The world’s biggest technology show came to an end on Sunday, after five days of exhibitions, mind-blowing new technology, keynotes from industry leaders and much more. More than 3,800 companies exhibited their latest innovations to around 165,000 attendees from all over the world, including some of IBM’s IoT team. Catch up with our coverage of the event.

North American International Auto Show: January 8-22nd

As one conference ends, another begins. We’re on the ground at NAIAS this week, discovering the latest trends, challenges and successes from the world of connected vehicles. You can follow the technologies driving the automotive transformation with the tags NAIAS2017 and NAIAS Detroit.

MEPs vote on legal status of robots

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the hastily rearranged Love and Sex with Robots conference, where interested parties came to discuss the ability of robots to consent to or refuse physical intimacy, and whether the law should recognize a robot as a person. This week, MEPs will vote on a comprehensive set of rules regarding human interaction with AI and robots. The primary question is whether robots should have legal status as ‘electronic persons.’ The rules will need to consider the safety of human users, to ensure they can interact with robots without risk of harm.

LinkedIn and eBay founders donate £20m to AI ethics fund

The founders of LinkedIn and eBay will donate £16.4m towards research ensuring AI safety. Reid Hoffman, of LinkedIn, and the Omidyar network, which was set up by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, are each donating $10m to the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund. The fund distributes financial support to researchers whose focus is the ethical questions relating to artificial intelligence. 

Hello Egg is a voice-powered cooking assistant

Hello Egg is your new friendly kitchen buddy by company RnD64. This egg-shaped device has a small reflective screen that shows you cooking tips and videos while you prepare food as well as talking you through the various stages of preparing a meal. It was just one of the voice-activated devices on show at CES 2017 this year, but the visual elements may give it enough of a USP to give it an edge over its competitors.

ZBoard electric skateboard needs no controller

LA-based startup ZBoard has launched an electric skateboard that can be operated by sensors in the board itself, not by a hand-held controller. It comes in two models, each with a top speed of 20mph and range of 16 miles (the Blue) and 24 miles (the Pearl) respectively. Both include integrated head and tail lights and a belt-driven motor.

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