Welcome to the BYTE, where we serve up the latest home and tech news from the last week for you to sink your teeth into.
This week we’re taking a BYTE out of e-bikes, 3D-printed polymer, paper made of rock, a web plug-in that can detect AI, and an in-car AI. Dig in!
Save Money By Renting a Delivery Bike
Why pay thousands of dollars for an electric bike when you can rent one for a small fee each week? Bolt, an e-bike startup, is changing the transportation landscape for food delivery workers. Previously, couriers would deliver food on a normal bike, but that gets exhausting after a while. So why not just take a car? Well, traffic is inevitable no matter what time of day and finding a parking spot can be time consuming. Fortunately, Bolt developed a way to make it easier and more cost-effective for these workers. And they’ve [Bolt] seen some success so far. In fact, the results have shown that couriers on e-bikes have made 30 percent more an hour that someone in a car. The e-bike itself contains a battery that can hold a day-long charge and a motor that can endure heavy loads and uphill battles.
A Material As Hard As a Diamond
3D printing is all the rage right now. We can 3D print homes, prosthetics, and even props in a movie. But what if you could utilize 3D printing to develop a material strong enough to withstand a bullet? That’s exactly what researchers at Rice University are doing. Although still early on in the development process, the team may have created a polymer that is as hard as a diamond, yet lightweight. Based on a tubulane, these 3D printed blocks are 10x more capable of stopping a bullet than a solid block of the same material.
Save the Trees… Write on a Rock
We should know by now that paper comes from trees. But can we create paper from rocks? Karst Stone Paper sure thinks so. In fact, they’ve developed an alternative way to create paper – through smushed-up rocks. Made up of 80 percent calcium carbonate, this paper is waterproof and you guessed it… eco-friendly.
Can You Spot an A.I.’s Writing?
Is it a bot or a human? How can anyone know? Well, thanks to a web plug-in dubbed GPTrue or False, determining whether stories were written by an actual human or bot just got easier. The text-generating algorithm, GPT-2, lets users select text on a website and have it evaluated to see if it was written by A.I. or a human. And according to Giulio Starace, the creator of this plug-in, “As synthetic data generation gets more and more sophisticated, we become more and more vulnerable to being swayed in one way or another.”
Big Brother is Watching You…
Not really, but Israel-based Eyesight Technologies is monitoring whether or not you are using your cell phone while driving, or even smoking while driving. The technology itself utilizes an infrared sensor to detect driver features such as head pose, blink rate, eye openness, and even gaze. All these features combined allow Eyesight’s A.I. to determine whether or not the driver is distracted in some one. And according to Liat Rostock, the VP of Marketing at Eyesight, “This allows car manufacturers and also fleet owners to create a specific response to those actions.”
Dog Puts Drivers to Shame
Can dogs drive cars? Well, no… but one dog in Florida figured out how to put the car in reverse. Meet Max. After accidentally getting locked inside his owner’s car, Max hit the shifter and circled the car in reverse for over an hour. And the most impressive part of this event is that the car only sustained minor damages.