World first – an AI news reader

China’s state news agency has debuted a virtual anchor, an AI news reader, designed to be able to deliver the news 24 hours a day. Developed by Xinhua and Chinese search engine company Sogou, the anchor has been designed to simulate human voice, facial expressions and gestures. It learns from live broadcasting videos and can read texts naturally. www.cnn.com/2018/11/09/media/china-xinhua-ai-anchor/index.html

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An AI lie detector that flags false police reports

Imagine this: You file a police report, but back at the station, they feed it into an algorithm — and it accuses you of lying, as though it had somehow looked inside your brain. That might sound like science fiction, but Spain is currently rolling out a very similar program, called VeriPol, in many of its police stations. VeriPol’s creators say that when it flags a report as false, it turns out to be correct more than four-fifths of the time. https://futurism.com/the-byte/lie-detector-false-police-reports

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Music designed to help you focus, relax or sleep

Brain.fm is one of several companies using artificial intelligence to help you hone into a productive state of work, a. state of relaxation or a deep sleep,. While most music is designed to sound good, Brain.fm works with teams of scientists and engineers generating music that helps you achieve your desired state of mind. Human composers write and record the core sound tracks, and an AI engine mixes, matches, and remasters them into longer tracks. www.Brain.fm

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A quick way to buy what you like

Amazon plans to help Snapchat challenge Instagram and Pinterest for social shopping supremacy. Snapchat has announced it’s slowly rolling out a new visual product search feature. You can use Snapchat’s camera to scan a physical object or barcode, which brings up a card showing that item and similar ones along with their title, price, thumbnail image, average review score and Prime availability. When you tap on one, you’ll be sent to Amazon’s app or site to buy it. The feature is rolling out to a small percentage of U.S. users first before Snap considers other countries. https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/24/snapchat-amazon-visual-search/?

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Finding koalas with heat seeking drones

Heat from animals can be identified using high tech sensors in cameras flown in drones. Artificial intelligence algorithms are used to analyse the thermal imagery to determine what’s seen and can identify koalas. Field tests after the heat-sensing camera work showed it was 100 per cent accurate. https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/heat-seeking-drones-find-brisbane-s-hiding-koalas-20181003-p507km.html

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Giving a voice to people who can’t verbalise their pain

Painchek is the world’s first smart phone pain assessment and monitoring device. It uses AI and facial recognition technology to provide carers across multiple clinical areas with important new clinical benefits- the ability to identify the presence of pain, and quantify its severity, when pain isn’t obvious as well as to monitor the impact of treatment to optimise overall care. https://www.painchek.com

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The world’s first digital super model

Shudu has been called the “world’s first digital supermodel.” Experts think she may be the beginning of a new wave of digital models. She arrives at a time in which Instagram, Snapchat filters and photo-editing apps that rely on artificial intelligence have blurred the lines between reality and fantasy, Some believe we might see a hybrid system in future in which models and celebrities license out their digital avatar, allowing them to book multiple appearances simultaneously. A model might appear at a New York fashion shoot in person, but their digital avatar would be in China promoting a movie using the local dialect. https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/08/08/soon-most-beautiful-people-world-may-no-longer-be-human/?

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A smart hotel room

Imagine telling your hotel room you are “going to sleep,” and your living area immediately adds a blue tint to your lighting and cools down. While still in its early stages, InterContinental and Baidu’s integration of AI into hospitality represents a shift towards smart and responsive environments. From now on, guests staying at InterContinental® Beijing Sanlitun and InterContinental® Guangzhou Exhibition Centre will be among the first to enjoy the AI smart rooms. A total of 100 AI powered Club InterContinental suites will be available at InterContinental hotels in gateway cities and key destinations across China within the year. http://www.marketing-interactive.com/intercontinental-hotels-launch-ai-smart-rooms-in-china/

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Your face is your passport at Qantas

Qantas is trialling a biometrics system that uses your face as your passport at Sydney International Airport. Participants will have their face scanned to prove identity, instead of a passport. In the future your face will be your passport and your boarding pass. Qantas customers will not only be able to check-in for their flight using the technology, it is also available for their lounge staff who can create a more personalized experience when you arrive. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/05/your-face-will-be-your-passport-qantas-passengers-start-using-biome.html?

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Order a tailored shirt online

While many people order clothes online, this is based on a process of trial and error where you try different sizes and return the unwanted ones. Original Stitch has solved this problem for shirts. Their solution, called ‘Bodygram’, involves you selecting from different styles then taking 2 photos of yourself, one front on and one side on. Bodygram then uses AI, computer vision and machine learning to develop an analysis of your required shirt sizing with almost (99%) accuracy. www.originalstitch.com

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An AI system at the board table

The first live, public debate between an artificial intelligence system and two human debaters has happened. Using language and reasoning to debate is far more complicated than playing a game and the AI system matched the humans. Once AI is capable of persuasive arguments, it can be applied as a tool to aid human decision-making. One example of this might be boardroom decisions, where there are conflicting points of view. The AI system could, without emotion, listen to the conversation, take all of the evidence and arguments into account and challenge the reasoning of humans where necessary. The machine wouldn’t make the decision but would contribute to the discussion and act as another voice at the table. www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jun/18/artificial-intelligence-ibm-debate-project-debater

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A robot fish that could revolutionise how we view the ocean

A team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has developed a soft robotic fish that can independently swim alongside real fish in the ocean and take high-resolution photos and videos. It’s the first robotic fish that can swim untethered in three dimensions for extended periods of time. A robot like this can help explore a reef more closely than current robots. It has the potential to be a new type of tool for ocean exploration and to open up new avenues for uncovering the mysteries of marine life.” http://news.mit.edu/2018/soft-robotic-fish-swims-alongside-real-ones-coral-reefs-0321

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