Artificial Intelligence

Business

This intelligent voice assistant gets to know you over time

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San Francisco-based startup Fin wants to replace your digital assistant. The company has built an artificially intelligent app that functions on voice commands alone and learns your habits over time.

Fin is essentially a new iOS app that can accomplish all the tasks a human personal assistant would, according to the company. Upon request, the app can schedule plans with friends, pay your bills, search restaurants in your area, remind you of events on your calendar, and more. 

But what differentiates Fin from Alexa, Siri, and the other voice assistants you may already be using is its ability to learn your habits. “We have an internal principle: ‘AI’ means ‘Always Improving,'” wrote Andrew Kortina, Fin’s cofounder, in a blog postRead more…

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Design

Amazon made a camera to give its image recognition tech to developers

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Amazon wants to make it much easier for developers to use its image recognition capabilities.

Amazon Web Services just introduced a new $249 camera with computer vision and AI-smarts baked right in. Called DeepLens, the camera is intended for developers who want to learn to build applications that leverage Amazon’s artificial intelligence technology.

The camera is available for pre-order now and will ship next year, the company says.

It’s a boxy device that’s obviously designed with the AI tech in mind rather than looks or pure specs. The 4MP camera shoots 1080p HD video and is equipped with Wi-Fi, a micro SD slot, and 8 GB of memory.  Read more…

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Business

Samsung picks up another AI firm to boost Bixby’s brains

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Samsung’s not giving up on Bixby, despite initial lukewarm responses to its AI assistant.

Bixby is the South Korean firm’s answer to other voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. But when it debuted, fans found it just wasn’t as smart as the competition.

To buff up Bixby’s brains, Samsung has now acquired Fluently, which makes an AI chatbot that can compose smart replies in English and Korean.

Fluently produced an app that plugged into messengers like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, and offered natural-sounding contextual responses.  Read more…

More about Samsung, Smartphones, Siri, South Korea, and Artificial Intelligence

Business

Facebook’s AI suicide prevention tool can save lives, but the company won’t say how it works

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For many people who’ve dedicated their lives to preventing suicide, social media posts can be a precious dataset that contains hints about what people say and do before they attempt suicide.  

In the past few years, researchers have built algorithms to learn which words and emoji are associated with suicidal thoughts. They’ve even used social media posts to retrospectively predict the suicide deaths of certain Facebook users. 

Now Facebook itself has rolled out new artificial intelligence that can proactively identify heightened suicide risk and alert a team of human reviewers who are trained to reach out to a user contemplating fatal self-harm.  Read more…

More about Facebook, Artificial Intelligence, Social Good, Mental Health, and Social Media

Tech

Adobe previews new Photoshop feature that uses AI to select subjects

 While Photoshop users have gotten pretty damn good at masking humans and other subjects over the years, it still remains one of the most tedious tasks in the app. But the days of Magic Wand masking will soon be over.
Adobe today teased an upcoming feature that uses AI to identify and automatically mask subjects in the image. The feature is called Select Subject and it uses Adobe’s AI… Read More

Business

Google’s latest Pixel feature is your first look at the future of search

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One of Google’s most powerful new features is finally rolling out to Pixel phones.

Google Lens, the company’s intelligent camera software that can analyze the world around you, is now rolling out to Google Assistant on Pixel phones. Announced earlier this year, Lens is one of the company’s most important new products as it offers an early look at what the future of search will look like for Google. 

Though Google Lens has been available within Google Photos since the Pixel 2 launched, this update, which is rolling out “over the coming weeks,” marks the first time the feature has been available outside of Google Photos. Read more…

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Business

AI researchers want governments to ban killer robots, before it’s too late

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Artificial intelligence technology has developed in leaps and bounds in the last decade, and now, governments are being urged to ban robots that can kill, before things get out of hand.

Researchers from Australia and Canada have issued an open letter to the respective leaders of each country, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to take a “firm global stand” against weaponising AI.

The open letter comes ahead of a United Nations conference on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), which restricts or bans specific types of weapons that are indiscriminate in its force or cause excessive injury. Read more…

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Architecture

Website uses neural networks to enlarge small images, and the results are pretty magical

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You know how in CSI, the cops always try to “enhance” a shot to zoom in and read (non-existent) details in photos? It’s amusing to the rest of us, but perhaps one day won’t be all that impossible, with artificial intelligence.

Researchers have been adopting neural networks and machine learning technologies to help computers fill in missing detail in photos.

Some consumer-ready websites are already making some of this magic accessible to you and me.

One of these is called Let’s Enhance, which was recently launched with an easy drag-and-drop interface. Read more…

More about Photography, Photoshop, Artificial Intelligence, Ai, and Machine Learning

Architecture

Behind ‘Rumu,’ the game where you play a robot vacuum cleaner with feelings

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You are a robot vacuum cleaner.

That’s the premise of Rumu, a point-and-click game developed by Australian indie studio Robot House. Set in an intimate, dollhouse-like smart home, you control RUMU, a robot vacuum cleaner which becomes self-aware.

Guiding RUMU on its journey is Sabrina, the home’s artificial intelligence, a cast of semi-intelligent devices, and Ada, the cat. Something draws RUMU away from cleaning up after its owners David and Cecily, leading to it exploring the house, and examining the question of life itself.

Image: robot house Read more…

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Business

Most people worry robots will replace human jobs, just not their own

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Robots may be driving cars, appealing tickets, and working construction, but they don’t have a whole lot of popular support.

That’s according to a new Pew Research study Wednesday that found around twice as many people were worried rather than enthusiastic about the prospect of more automation and artificial intelligence. Around a third of people surveyed welcomed these potential job killers, while 72 percent had a dimmer view.

This makes sense; most people work jobs that could one day be displaced by robots, according to various studies. And while some experts argue that more technology could create more jobs than it kills, it’s understandable to be wary of any economic sea change. Read more…

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Tech

Where human intelligence outperforms AI

 With every new trend comes a counter-trend. And so despite the current excitement over the wonders of artificial intelligence, one company is betting that human intelligence can still deliver solutions for businesses that AI cannot hope to match. Article One Partners (AOP) is a crowdsourced network of over 42,000 researchers in 170 countries — 42% of whom have graduate degrees in a… Read More

Tech

Adobe wants to make every online retailer more analytical

 In its most recent earnings report, Adobe reported record revenue, but CEO Shantanu Narayen admitted he was a bit disappointed with the Experience Cloud results. That’s the part of Adobe that includes the Analytics Cloud. Today, the company is announcing an update to the analytics product aimed specifically at the lucrative retail/ecommerce market. Perhaps it’s not a coincidence.… Read More