Shell Oil has replaced one of its top executives in charge of exploration off the coast of Alaska.Download AudioAs vice president of Shell’s Alaska venture, Pete Slaiby traveled the state to build support for Arctic drilling and defend the program against its critics.He left Anchorage almost two months ago for a new job at Shell’s corporate headquarters. That change wasn’t reported until last week, in the trade publication Petroleum News. Spokesperson Megan Baldino says it was announced internally at Shell – and is not related to problems the company faced during its last Arctic drilling season.“He led the venture for six years, extending well beyond the typical assignment,” Baldino said. “I don’t think anyone would argue that he leaves behind a legacy of leadership and working with communities and building partnerships. And that has positioned the venture for well into the future.”Baldino says an agreement between Shell and the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation to share in drilling proceeds is still going forward – even after Slaiby’s departure. For now, Shell is focused on securing legal permission to return to the Arctic this summer. And Laurie Schmidt is stepping in as the new vice president for Shell in Alaska. Schmidt is an attorney who’s been with Shell for 25 years. She has experience in internal auditing, overseeing contracting for drilling projects, and in community relations – both in Russia and in Nigeria.“So making sure that local people are trained and skilled to work on projects and can apply for and succeed in the jobs that are available anywhere where Shell works,” Schmidt said.Schmidt has already been sent to Barrow and Unalaska to meet with stakeholders since she took over February 1.
2 min read If you’ve ever wanted to hang out with an adorable robot and casually shoot the breeze with it — naturally, (mostly) with ease, kind of like you do with your real-life friends — Musio might be your man. Or woman. Or, well, thing. Recently launched on Indiegogo, Musio is an artificially intelligent personal assistant robot that its creators describe as a “kind, crazy and smart friend.” The small stationary bot chats back and forth with you, reminds you of important dates, expresses its “feelings” and gets smarter with every interaction.Related: People Prefer Robot Bosses, Study ShowsLike Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana AI personal assistants, Musio also fields questions and fires back answers, lame jokes included. Only it’s a lot cuter and less snarky. The Android device, which looks to be a friendlier, more personable version of the Jibo personal robot, is produced by AKA. The Korean tech upstart, which developed Musio at its Santa Monica, Calif. R&D lab, specializes in using artificial intelligence and big data to improve English learners’ speaking skills, another cool thing Musio is programmed to do.When paired with its sidekick (at added cost), a smaller white plastic gizmo called Sophy, Musio controls nearby Bluetooth “smart” home devices, such as TVs, lights, thermostats and other connected objects. Related: These Tiny Robots Have Superhero Strength (VIDEO)Edutainment and smart device bennies aside, we’re taken by how adorable Musio looks. The molded plastic droid, marketed to adults and kids alike, features goofy pointed ears, long droopy arms, short, squat legs and dual mini screens — one for its animated digital eyes and one for its pixelated beating heart. Musio’s squeaky, high-pitched cartoonish voice is cute, too, but could get old fast.So far Musio has raised more than $17,000 toward its $50,000 crowdfunding goal, with 35 days to go. Pricing for the affable gadget starts at $99. To see Musio charm a pair of giggly kid testers, check out the video below:Related: This Robotic Butler Could Make Your Next Hotel Stay…Interesting Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now June 1, 2015 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Free