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A new research center in Mumbai aims to use artificial intelligence to help the hundreds of millions of people that live on less than $2 a day.
What's happening: Indian entrepreneurs Sunil and Romesh Wadhwani are pledging $30 million over 10 years for the center, which is being run by P. Anandan, the founding managing director of Microsoft Research India.
The big picture: Sunil Wadhwani told Axios that while AI can help Amazon sell more goods or Google improve its click-through rates, it can also empower rural health workers or impoverished farmers in India.
"The benefits of AI are going to the top whatever — 5,10 20 percent," he said. "So far it's made relatively little difference to the bottom 20-30 percent of the world's population."
And, while a few academics are looking at the issue, Wadhwani said that until now "there was no really critical mass anywhere in the world where practitioners could come together."
A few other facts about the Wadhwani Institute:
"The march of technology cannot be at the expense of further increasing the difference between societies."
More than half of U.S. adults are uncomfortable with self-driving vehicle technology and would be unlikely to use it on a daily basis (though younger Americans are more positive), according to a Northeastern University/Gallup survey released today.
What they found: 59% of respondents said they would be uncomfortable riding in a fully self-driving car on a daily basis, and 62% would be uncomfortable sharing the road with fully self-driving trucks, Axios' Ben Geman reports.
Why it matters: Many automakers — ranging from the largest car companies to newer entrants like Waymo and Tesla — are making big bets on autonomous driving technology, which is also expected to help drive the expansion of electric vehicles. Public hesitation could hamper widespread commercial deployment of both technologies in the years and decades ahead.
Yes, but: The pollsters said Americans may be underestimating their willingness to adopt the emerging autonomous technology. Their analysis notes that in a Gallup survey in 2000, almost a quarter of adults said they would never get a cellphone, but that technology is obviously ubiquitous now.
A woman using a tablet in a cellular-connected car. Photo: GM
When we think of wireless networks, we think of smartphones. But in 2017, for the first time, more cars than phones were added to U.S. cellular networks, according to a new report from industry consultant Chetan Sharma.
"AT&T dominates the connected car segment," Sharma said, noting that the company has added 1 million or more cars to its network for each of the past 11 quarters.
The bottom line: While there were more cars added, the money is still in smartphones, which have higher monthly service fees and generate the bulk of carrier revenue and profits. Still, as smartphone sales level off, other types of devices will become increasingly important.
A group linked to the Koch brothers is trying to convince young Americans to just say "No" to giving Jeff Bezos a tax break or other incentives.
What they're doing: Generation Opportunity — a right-leaning group for young people linked to the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity — is running a digital ad campaign that calls big incentive packages for Amazon's second headquarters "sweetheart deals" that are "unfair to taxpayers."
The bigger picture: This is another example of skepticism about possible tax deals for the online commerce giant — but that doesn't seem to be slowing down the HQ2 selection process.
Go deeper: Why the tax breaks to lure HQ2 could be significant.