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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A wearable device that can read your mind

MIT researchers have created a wearable device called AlterEgo that can recognize nonverbal prompts, essentially “reading your mind.” We can’t live without our digital devices. But at the moment, the use of those devices is very disruptive. MIT is experimented with new technologies to develop something that would allow us to benefit from the information offered by these devices, but in a way that allows us to “remain in the present.” https://www.dezeen.com/2018/04/09/mit-media-lab-alterego-device-technology/

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An AI world first for a live news event

UK Sky News recently announced that it will use AI-based facial recognition during the broadcast of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19th. Now, as guests arrive, their names and some background information will appear on the broadcast- a special Who’s Who application. The service will be available via the Sky News mobile app or via skynews.com, and will be up and running as soon as the doors to the Chapel open. https://futurism.com/royal-wedding-facial-recognition-ai/

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Advice on what to buy based on what you’re wearing

Picture a life-size screen, that’s fully interactive with you on the street or in the store. Using machine learning it scans you when you opt in as you walk by. Based on this scan retailers can in seconds immediately conduct intelligent advertising, recommending other available items personalized to your taste by color, style, gender, age, and even emotion based on your facial expression. www.sap.com/australia/products/leonardo.htm

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A digital voice that sounds human

Voicery offers something most companies probably didn’t know they needed even just five years ago: a customized digital voice that sounds like an actual human, not a computer. It only needs a few hours of a voice actor’s speech, on which it trains a deep neural network to imitate that person’s voice. Voicery’s AI-synthesized voices sound human enough to convey carefully designed emotions that can act as an extension of a company’s brand. www.fastcodesign.com/90166206/the-future-of-branding-synthetic-voices-that-sound-100-human

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Emotionally intelligent Digital Humans

When we, as human beings interact face-to-face, it’s on the basis of both intellectual and emotional engagement. Sole Machines in New Zealand are building life-like Digital Humans which can connect with us in a human way by analyzing reactions and learning in real time. They have a virtual central nervous system so they can recognize emotional expressions then respond appropriately and interactively in real time. This allows a personalised experience at scale. Presented at the Financial Review BHP Business Summit 2018. www.soulmachines.com

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Sunglasses with facial recognition

Police officers in Zhengzhou, China have been spotted wearing sunglasses equipped with facial recognition software that allows them to identify individuals in a crowd. Not only do the surveillance glasses actually work, but they also work better — and faster — than traditional CCTV setups. Security footage is notoriously grainy, and even if cameras are being monitored in real-time, the lag between spotting someone who might be a person of interest and calling authorities can be enough time for that person to make a clean getaway. The sunglasses are connected to a handheld device that uses facial recognition software to compare who the wearer sees against a pre-loaded database packed with photos of 10,000 suspects. And it does so in just one tenth of a second. https://futurism.com/chinese-police-facial-recognition-glasses-surveillance-arsenal/

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A robot as your housekeeper

An Aeolus Robot can clean your home and even bring you a drink from your fridge. It can assign objects to specific individuals whose faces it has memorized, so that, for example, a child’s toy picked up off the floor doesn’t end up in an adult’s closet. It’s the first multi-functional robot that can act like a human being. Currently it’s like a child, but its capability will grow from a child to an adult with more use. Each robot will be connected to a network that allows it to share information using artificial intelligence to make it increasingly intelligent over time as it adapts to your home and your routines. www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2018/01/11/this-robotic-maid-takes-us-one-step-closer-to-the-jetsons/

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The world’s first Ai-driven healthcare service.

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GP at Hand is an app-based primary care service in London that offers video consultations 24/7 and face to face appointments. It uses technology provided by Babylon Health. Their purpose is to “put an accessible and affordable health service in the hands of every person on earth.“ They promise that patients will be able to book an appointment within seconds via a smartphone app and have a video consultation with a GP typically within under two hours of booking “anytime, anywhere”. Those who need it can then see a GP face to face within 48 hours at one of six sites across London. https://www.babylonhealth.com/

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An empathetic customer service agent

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AVA chatbot is an ideal customer service agent: empathetic, patient and unflappable under pressure. AVA, which stands for Autodesk Virtual Agent, was designed by New Zealand AI startup Soul Machines to have “emotions” and a virtual “nervous system” to listen to customers’ voices and respond to queries with humanlike precision. Ava can understand what the customer is asking for and even if they need to direct the customer to a human agent. https://www.soulmachines.com/

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