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Tag: assistant

Sony working on reincarnating Aibo, this time as a smart home assistant

aiboAibo is coming back, and he hopes to take a bite out of Alexa.

Sony is reportedly re-forming the team behind its discontinued robot dog Aibo, and plans are for him to come back in a form that will compete with Alexa, the artificially intelligent household assistant produced by Amazon.

Aibo made a splash when he was introduced back in 1999, but after a few years consumer interested waned.

In large part that was because, aside from the novelty, he was less than cuddly and really couldn’t do much other than sit and bark.

Nikkei Asian Review reports that Sony is preparing to compete with Amazon, Google and Apple by producing a smart, speaking, more helpful version of the robot dog.

After a 12-year hiatus from robotics, the company announced last year it was turning its attention back to robots. Aibo’s return would be the first of several products brought to the market.

He will engage in all the dog-like behavior the old one did, but this time will be equipped with artificial intelligence, Internet connectivity, and he will speak the human language.

He’ll be able to control home appliances, play music and query the Internet at the command of his owner’s voice. Equipping him with AI will allow consumers to use him the same way they use any other digital assistant, all while being a little more personable, a little more like family, than just a futuristic looking speaker.

Whether the smarter, reincarnated version will be named Aibo isn’t certain yet, but the company says it is a possibility.

Former fire chief convicted in killing of Karley

karleyGlynn Johnson, a retired Los Angeles County assistant fire chief, was found guilty of animal cruelty Tuesday in connection with the death of Karley, a neighbor’s puppy that he punched and beat with a rock.

“Karley, this one’s for you!” a tearful Shelley Toole shouted outside Riverside County Superior Court after the verdict was read. “This is for you, girl!”

Johnson, 55, faces up to four years in prison for killing the 6-month-old, 42-pound German shepherd mix.

Johnson told investigators that the dog attacked first and he was defending himself. The former firefighter said the dog grabbed him and nearly ripped off the top of his thumb, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Prosecutors, while noting there was a long-running feud between Johnson and the Tooles, said they didn’t believe Johnson acted in self defense.

“I don’t think this was a self-defense case at all,” Riverside County Deputy Dist. Atty. William Robinson said. “It was done out of rage and anger at the Toole family and his actions were wildly inappropriate.”

Johnson remains free on bail. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 8.

Fire official on trial in fatal beating of dog

 

Testimony is underway in the trial of a former Los Angeles County assistant fire chief accused of beating a neighbor’s dog in Riverside so badly it had to be euthanized.

Glynn Johnson, 55, is charged with felony animal cruelty and use of a deadly weapon in the beating death of Karley, a six-month-old female shepherd mix.

Prosecutors say the dog’s brutal beating was the culmination of a long-standing feud between neighbors, KTLA in Los Angeles reported.

During opening statements Tuesday, prosecutors said Johnson put dog feces in his neighbors’ mailbox with a letter warning them to keep their dogs off his property. The defense argued that the dog’s owners, Jeff and Shelley Toole, are the “neighbors from hell” who routinely take in stray animals and then don’t take care of them. Johnson’s attorneys say the fire chief was defending himself from the puppy.

Neighbor Travis Staggs took the stand Tuesday, testifying that he watched as Johnson punched the dog 10 to 15 times in the head with his fist before using a large rock to bash Karley’s head another 10 to 15 times.

Staggs says he kept shouting for the fire chief to stop, and tried to pull him off the dog, but that Johnson pushed him away.

Man says he beat dog with rock in self defense

An assistant fire chief charged with beating a 6-month-old puppy on the head with a 12-pound rock said yesterday that he acted in self-defense after the animal bit his thumb.

Glynn Johnson, 54, who works for the Los Angeles County fire department, was arrested by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department last week and charged with one count of maliciously wounding his neighbor’s dog, Karley. He was released the same day on $10,000 bail.

Speaking at a news conference at his attorney’s office in Beverly Hills, Johnson portrayed himself as an animal lover, and said the top of his thumb had nearly been ripped off and had to be sutured back on because of the bite.

The dog, meanwhile, a German shepherd mix, suffered a fractured skull and had to be euthanized, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

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