Tag Archives: AI

Meet Sophia, your new friend

She talks, she smiles, she communicates with you. She is almost alive and might be a human, soon. Or isn’t she?

We live in the times, when technology is developing in the fastest way than we ever observed through the history. It is hard to realize, but more than half of our daily routines are already somehow improved by technology advancements. In fact, robots and artificial intelligence are already easing our lives. Moreover, it is time to face that the further changes are inevitable and sooner or later such technologies might become an integral part of our society.

The latest change has occurred to be an explosion in social media and almost every news source, when a new robot was introduced by Hanson Robotics. Her or its name is Sophia and she already has shocked everyone, who has ever heard about her. According to Hanson Robotics website, this newly emerged robot is created to assist people in daily life like help the children study, entertain people, provide companionship and serve people in general.

But what is so special about her?

It seems to be the most advanced robot that is created to have human-like appearance and have several features of the human character and abilities.

However, she is not a human. Sophia is a robot, powered by AI. While being extremely similar to people and having so close to us expressions and mimics, Sophia is still having hundreds of cords, wires and is operating due to specific program. In fact, this program makes her so special. According to Quartz Media, Sophia’s software is composed of three main pillars:

  • Research platform – to research and cumulate the context and semantics of the dialogues
  • Speech-reciting robot – due to this software, Sophia is able to match her facial expressions to the context of the words that she is saying
  • Robotic chatbot – sometimes Sophia’s speech is run by pre-written responses, chosen due to analysis of the speech of the people that she is talking to

In fact, Sophia is built in such a way to use a machine learning to educate herself and to become a more consistent companion in the dialogue.

The other factor that makes Sophia outstand from other AI based creatures is that Sophia operates due to decentralized AI, specifically SingularityNET. According to Forbes, “Until recently, the contemporary AI industry had been built around a centralized distribution paradigm where machine learning solutions are delivered as a part of cloud-based APIs and software packages deployed on remote servers of AI providers”. This means that the data and information provided to the machine learning had been stored and created straightly at the providers of this information. However, now, as well as Sophia, the information can be cumulated from various sources, which would allow AI to be trained in decentralized way, like a blockchain.

Nevertheless, the event that made Sophia so popular and unpopular at the same time is that she is the first robot, who received the citizenship. The country that was ready to adapt such changes is Saudi Arabia. As a result, this event has caused a lot of noise around Sophia. According to The Verge, many people complained about the rights that might be further given to the robots, especially in such countries where even the rights of a human are at the critical debate. Moreover, it has caused a huge discussion upon the ethical issues and the technological advancements of the near future.

In fact, this has become the first step to introduce completely new technologies to the society and to allow such technologies to live and act among people and with people.

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Artificial Intelligence will help you learn. And relax.

Artificial Intelligence is a growing trend in technology. Most of us are aware of the fact that its importance is steadily increasing. Some people say AI is, in fact, the most important topic for our future. 

Looks like we should start getting used to it and finding a place for AI in our lives. Of course, it is widely used in business already, Accenture calls AI ‘fuel for growth’.  However, what I wanted to talk about is a solution that can help you learn, relax or fight insomnia thanks to Artificial Intelligence.

Brain.fm is a service offering AI-composed music that will help you trigger specific cognitive states. This includes deep focus, relaxation, and sleep. Music is obviously powerful and we know that. That’s a rule all movie soundtracks are based on. But Brain.fm goes even further. The product has a lot of scientific research behind. Starting with how neuronal oscillations control cognitive processes to showing how music entrains neuronal oscillations.

There are plenty of researchers from various universities behind Brain.fm. There are even experiments ran to measure effects of the AI-composed music on cognition. Measures included Reaction Time (RT), Go-No Go (GNG), Visual Pattern Recognition (VPR) and EEG. Detailed results are presented here, but well, you probably guessed them already ;).

What’s interesting, even athletes use Brain.fm. It lets them focus and then relax and meditate. For athletes, especially those from Olympic teams, the pressure is huge. Psychological aspects of sports are as important as physical ones. It’s not something new that during finals of the most important championships, mind is equally important as body and only people who have nerves of steel will win. Robby Smith is the US Olympic wrestling team captain and he was using Brain.fm during Rio preparations. This is a great example of balanced preparations and another use of AI.

The solution sounds brilliant, doesn’t it? What’s worrisome a little is the legal info. If the AI-composed music so beneficial to us, why do have to be so careful about it? If it might be dangerous to epileptics, pregnant women, people wearing a pacemaker of ones who drank alcohol and took medications, then how can we be sure it’s safe to the rest of us? Isn’t it just too misterious, with no explanation following the legal info?

 

brain.fm

Source: Brain.fm

For sure, the solution is brilliant and can help many people who can’t focus or sleep. Knowing the reality of today’s and huge problems people have with focus, seems like the demand will be only growing. But can we really trust Brain.fm? I’m sure we’ll find out about it soon!

 

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5 Ukrainian startups that are about to break through

 

How many Ukrainian startups do you know?  At best – Looksery (purchased by Snapchat), Grammarly and Jooble.

Too bad. Theres far more to learn about.

Here are 5 hottest startups of 2016 that are about to break through. Whether you are a tech-lover, startuper, or an investor – have a look at the list and learn where the real deal is.

Ain.ua online portal, devoted to startups and entrepreneurship, has conducted a study among business angels, investors, and entrepreneurs, who were asked to point out startups, which developed and achieved something in the past year.

1st place – Sixa

Sixa – a personal computer in the cloud

“Sixa is a full computer that operates right from the cloud via a client app. It supports various devices and is capable of running the most demanding applications. With Sixa users can easily deploy a cloud computer optimized for different tasks and access a powerful virtual computer without hardware upgrades” (www.sixa.io). This app not only allows you to have a powerful computer without actually having it, but also save the costs of utility bills and free you from buying expensive hardware. In 2016 Sixa has received the investments from legendary Y Combinator, receive $300,000 from the venture fund TMT Investments, and finally received $3,5 mln from Californian fund Tandem Capital, abd Ukrainian Digital Future and Horizon capital.
Currently, they launched beta-version of the service, that everybody can try for free.

2nd place – Mobalytics

Mobalytics – Personal performance analytics for competitive gamers

The platform measures players’ performance, helps them define their strengths and weaknesses and provides personalized advice, based on Gamer Performance Index, on how to improve your skills. The app was first introduced during TechCruch Disrupt in San Francisco, where it victoriously took the 1st prize. Shortly after the big triumph the startup received $2,6 mln investments from Almaz Capital, Founders Fund, General Catalyst and GGV Capital.

3d place – People.ai

People.ai – sales productivity platform powered by AI

The app analyzes sales managers’ performance and displays the statistics to the employer, helping to identify who works best and who underperforms. Startup received the investments from the Y Combinator, as well as many funds from business angels.

4th place – Hideez Technologies Inc.

Hideez – hardware cybersecurity project

In 2016 Hideez launched their first product – Hideez Key, which stores all the digital keys and certificates on one device, allowing unblock smartphones, laptops, open RFID-locks or authorize mobile payments. It also works as a anti-thief sensor for the thongs like wallet or keys, as it distances from the smartphone it is connected to, the app will notify the user of the loss.

And finally last but not least – SolarGaps

SolarGaps – world`s first solar smart blinds.

SolarGaps is all-in-one energy solution. With the help of solar panels on the blinds, which generate electricity from solar energy, you can supply yourself with own electricity and save on your electricity bills.
This great invention has received a support from the investors of $1 mln over this summer. So, we are definitely going to hear about them soon.

 

References

http://ain.ua/top-10-ukrainskix-startapov-2016

 

People.ai is using machine learning to rewrite the sales ops playbook

 

 

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Is Google slowly taking over the world?

google-skynet

Is science fiction coming true? Is the world as we know it transforming into something more surreal every passing day? Continue reading

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