A California law now means chatbots have to disclose they’re not human


There’s nothing loljk about Microsoft’s teenage chatbot, Zo.

California governor Jerry Brown signed regulations into law last Friday (Sept. 30) that should make it easier for Californians to know whether they’re speaking to a human or a bot.

The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2019—Botageddon, as we’re going to call it—and could have far-reaching consequences for how automated systems communicate with people online. It will require companies to disclose whether they are using a bot to communicate with the public on the internet (something like “Hi, I’m a bot.”) A representative for California state senator Robert Hertzberg, who authored SB-1001, says the law specifically targets deceptive commercial and political bots, not those meant to help you, for example, pay a bill on a company’s website. Still, companies that have built their businesses around automated messaging and chatbots will in coming months need to figure out whether their approaches are compliant with the new law.

The bill also specifically defines online content as publicly-facing, which raises questions about whether bot-sent emails fall under the new law. Overall, Landers expects there will be a “lot of litigation” before the law is actually implemented.

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California eyes driverless car testing with passengers


Less than a month after Uber’s fatal accident in Arizona, California regulators issue a proposal for a pilot test of passenger-carrying autonomous vehicles.

California may start allowing self-driving cars, like this one for Lyft, to carry passengers without a human driver behind the wheel.

Regulators in California are moving closer to allowing driverless cars to carry passengers, even without a backup driver present.

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Self-driving cars with “remote” drivers could test on Calif roads in April: DMV

cockpit of autonomous car. self driving vehicle hands free driving.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Self-driving cars that back up their computerized system with a remote human operator instead of a fallback driver at the wheel could be tested on California roads as early as April, the state department of motor vehicles said.

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Tesla becomes California’s largest automotive employer



In California, Tesla has knocked off Toyota as the biggest auto employer in the state. Tesla employs over 6,000 people to the Japanese company’s 5,300. That lead is only likely to grow, as the EV manufacturer prepares to add another 500 jobs by the end of the year, and as Toyota begins its relocation to its new North American headquarters in Texas. The news comes barely a week after the company announced a $50 million loss during the first quarter of 2014.


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California proposes ‘kill switches’ on mobile phones

mobile device

California could be the first state to mandate a way for consumers to disable lost or stolen mobile phones.

Legislators in California are expected to outline a proposal requiring mobile devices sold in the state to come equipped with “kill switches” that would disable them if stolen or lost, beginning Jan. 1, 2015.



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ET3 Indiegogo campaign to make tube transport technology a reality in California


Both Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies (ET3) and Hyperloop want to compete against California High Speed Rail (HSR).  So, ET3 has begun an Indiegogo campaign to fund the legal research and drafting of a California proposition that will remove the obstacles holding back ET3 and Hyperloop from competing to deliver a next generation ground transportation system that the traffic and smog ridden residents of California deserve.



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New law in California will let kids erase online past

All websites must give minors in California an option to delete user activity.

Google’s Eric Schmidt suggested earlier this year that the internet should have a “delete” button for individuals that wanted to remove troubling information from the web, and thanks to a new law minors in California will get that chance.



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Proposal to Eliminate Forest Fires Completely

Futurist Thomas Frey: Over the past few days I’ve been listening to news reports about the devastating fires burning in Colorado.

Record heat, high winds, low humidity, and large amounts of beetle-killed trees have created “perfect storm” conditions for multiple wildfires to rage across the State.



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