Technobyte: A robot that can tell how you're feeling

Woebot is an automated conversational agent (chatbot) who helps you monitor mood and learn about yourself.

Drawing from a therapeutic framework known as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Woebot asks people how they’re feeling and what is going on in their lives in the format of brief daily conversations.

Woebot also talks to you about mental health and wellness and sends you videos and other useful tools depending on your mood and needs at that moment.

You can think of Woebot as a choose-your-own-adventure self-help book that is capable of storing all of your entries and gets more specific to your needs over time.

https://woebot.io

Elon Musk’s thoughts on artificial intelligence are pretty well known at this point.

He famously compared work on AI to “summoning the demon,” and has warned time and time again that the technology poses an existential risk to humanity.

At a gathering of US governors this weekend, he repeated these sentiments but also stressed something he says is even more important: that governments need to start regulating AI now.

www.theverge.com

Robot developers say they are close to a breakthrough—getting a machine to pick up a toy and put it in a box.

It is a simple task for a child, but for retailers, it has been a big hurdle to automating one of the most labour-intensive aspects of e-commerce: grabbing items off shelves and packing them for shipping.

Retailers and logistics companies are counting on the new advances to help them keep pace with explosive growth in online sales and pressure to ship faster. U.S. e-commerce revenues hit $390 billion last year, nearly twice as much as in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sales are rising even faster in China, India and other developing countries.

That is propelling a global hiring spree to find people to process those orders. U.S. warehouses added 262,000 jobs over the past five years, with nearly 950,000 people working in the sector, according to the Labour Department.

Labour shortages are becoming more common, particularly during the holiday rush, and wages are climbing.

www.wsj.com

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