Tech Blitz: A.I. Takes Over Jobs, Smart Beds Keeps up with Your Tossing, Turning, and Snoring

Izenda Content Strategist

January 24, 2017

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A.I. Takes Over Jobs, Smart Bed Keeps Up with your Tossing, Turning, and Snoring
By Bob Pepalis, Izenda Inc.

This look at recent tech highlights includes machines taking over the Earth, a smart bed to help you sleep, and how researchers can turn on a kill switch for mice.

Machines Begin to Take Over the Earth

The machines may be winning. According to ABC News in Australia, a Japanese insurance company plans to replace 34 workers with an IBM Watson artificial intelligence-based system.

The Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Company will reportedly give A.I. responsibility for handling insurance payouts by reviewing hospital records, patient medical histories, and injury data, Computerworld reported. The company expects a 30 percent productivity increase while saving $1.65 million in salaries.

Forrester Research reports that by 2021, as much as 6 percent of U.S. jobs will be taken over by A.I. and robots.

Smart Bed Adjusts for Tossing, Turning & Snoring

Is your bed smarter than you? Even with the sensors in Select Comfort Corp.'s Sleep Number 360 smart bed, I feel safe to answer a resounding "no." The company unveiled the smart bed at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this month.

Biometric sleep tracking as you toss and turn enables the smart bed to adjust its configuration so you can sleep better. But wait, there's more! The Sensing SleepIQ biometric also detect snoring and can try to reduce the noise by raising the person's head slightly. What about my cold feet, you may ask? Not to worry; the bed includes foot-warming technology that can adjust to your regular bedtime to warm things up.

While it might be more effective (for me, at least), to pair the smart bed with a smart alarm clock to dump you out of bed when it's time to go to work, Select Comfort has a kinder, gentler idea. A smart alarm system can use a wake tone during your lightest stage of sleep to ease you into consciousness.

2TB Thumb Drive Holds Plenty of Movies

How many times have you misplaced a USB thumb drive, or just plain lost one? What would you think if it was a 2TB drive that cost you $800-$900?
I'm sure Kington Technology's DataTraveler Ultimate Generation Terabyte drive Computerworld describes will come in handy for some people who need the ability to store up to 70 hours of 4K video. The five-year warranty sounds nice, but I doubt it covers losing the thumb drive at a coffee shop.

I'll stick with the 64GB thumb drive that I think sits in my Amazon Fire case. (I know that sounds odd since the Fire tablet uses a micro-SD card for extra memory, but I use that case to hold power cables for my non-exploding Samsung S7 Galaxy edge, my Pebble smartwatch, and my hearing aid batteries.)

Wireless Companies Push into IoT Territory

Wireless companies want to cash in on the Internet of Things (IoT) as seen at CES. AT&T added two new IoT starter kits for developers - one for Amazon Web Services (AWS) developers, with the other for Raspberry Pi developers.

In addition to the LTE Cat-1 modem, you'll get six months of 300MB prepaid data, a USB plug, a microSD card and an NXP K64F development board. (I doubt you'll need that 2TB USB thumb drive for these kits.)

AT&T competes with Verizon to make money off IoT. According to a report by David Curry on readwrite, AT&T's focus on AWS and Raspberry Pi seems to be a collaborative approach that might win over developers.

Researchers Turn Mice Kill Switch 'On.'

Why anyone wants the ability to turn a kill switch on in a mouse's brain is beyond me. But researchers found a way to unlock an organic switch through genetic engineering.
For these particular mice, a laser will point at an object - not just food - and the mice will jump at it while biting away like they are trying to capture and kill it. Fortunately, they didn't attack each other. The scientists unlocked the set of brain circuits that control chasing prey.

I think any of us who have watched horror movies has a fear of what comes next. Fortunately, so far that only happens in the movies. (Remember, "The Walking Dead" is only a TV show.)

This blog features a round-up of the latest news, announcements, opinions and insights in software development, self-service business intelligence and the tools used to implement them.

If you have a tech news tip to share, send it to us via email.

Bob Pepalis ([email protected]) works as a content strategist and writer for Izenda Inc., which offers an embedded self-service business intelligence (BI) and analytics platform purpose-built for software companies, solutions providers, and their customers. Izenda integrates seamlessly with applications to deliver BI and analytics directly to the people who need it most - application end users who want to analyze, visualize, and share valuable data and insights in real time.

Based in Atlanta, Ga. and founded in 2007, Izenda is used by more than 10,000 organizations on a daily basis. For more information, visit Connect with Izenda on Twitter (@Izenda), LinkedIn (, and Facebook (

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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