Tag Archives: AI

FACEBOOK’S NEW ACQUISITION OF TECH START-UP

On 23rd of September this year, Vice President of augmented and virtual reality
announced Facebook’s agreement of acquiring CTRL-labs.

CTRL-labs is tech start-up that is still in process of developing wristbands that
would allow us, human beings connect and control digital system just by using
our intuition.
It’s quite fascinating how our brain signals would have conduct computers without
any physical interaction.
I won’t bore you with intricacies of detailed structure and function of it, but those
who are interested can click here and see the start-up CEO’s presentation.
He explains how these bracelets would actually work(go to 5:40).

As you would expect, some people are not so happy about the idea of
Facebook having access to the data of people’s thoughts after platform’s
scandal involving their unethical behavior by sharing Facebook users data with
third parties without permission.

Please leave your opinion about platform’s new acquisition.
How Facebook’s access to our nervous system can affect the reality?

References:

  1. https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/23/facebook-buys-startup-building-neural-monitoring-armband/
  2. https://siliconcanals.com/news/startups/facebook-acquires-mind-reading-startup-ctrl-labs/
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8pB8sNBGlE
  4. https://www.facebook.com/boz/posts/10109385805377581
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Lightning fast MIT Robot

MIT is worldwide known for its robotics research. In the past, they managed to create a robot breaking the world record in solving a Rubik’s Cube in only 0.38 seconds, the first four-legged robot to do a backflip, etc.
Sounds impressive, but with their newest development, they can’t just look cool, but it can be used in many ways and bring the robots on to the next level of productivity.
Picking up objects and flipping them around is easy for people. We do it every day, e.g., when we are trying to take notes at University, work, or at home. We pick up the pen and bring it into the right position and start writing. The same scenario is when we are eating a sandwich: We move it a little bit to bite from the other corner.
For our robot friends, however, it is tough to pick up things without either dropping them or destroying them and then to add the factor of turning the object they just mastered to hold? It sounds like a difficult task.
Therefore it took robots a long time to plan and calculate all the factors like geometry, friction, all the possibilities of how the object can be turned, etc. This whole process took tens of minutes previously, which sounds still impressive, bearing in mind that if we measured and calculate these numbers, we would sit there for hours and probably still fail.
MIT mastered to bring down the planning time of the robot to less than a second.
How is that possible? The robot is pushing the object against a stationary surface and slides its claw down the object until it has it in the right position.

For the future, this can mean that instead of a specialized tool like a screwdriver, machines would have more something like a hand, giving them the ability to pick up different kinds of tools and do various tasks.
This improvement would most likely save the companies space and also money since, for multiple steps, they would need one robot.

This is another case were thinking out of the box, by simply using the surroundings, has a huge effect.

References:

https://bigthink.com/technology-innovation/rubiks-cube

http://news.mit.edu/2019/mit-mini-cheetah-first-four-legged-robot-to-backflip-0304

https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/17/mit-develops-a-way-for-robots-to-grasp-and-manipulate-objects-much-faster/

http://news.mit.edu/2019/robotic-faster-grip-adjust-1017

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The use of facial recognition technology on birds

Today, I want to demonstrate you a great example of how object recognition technologies based on machine learning:

1) becoming widely available and do not require rare genius programming skills to get the result.

2) can be greatly trained even on a very modest in size data sets.

The article, that I have read some time ago, tells how a bird lover and part-time computer science professor, together with his students, taught the neural network to recognize the bird species and then — and that impressed me a lot – to distinguish individual species of woodpeckers, who flew to the bird feeder in his yard.

At the same time, 2450 photos in the training sample were enough to recognize eight different woodpeckers. The professor estimated the cost of a homemade station for the recognition and identification of birds at about $ 500. This is really can be called technology for everyone and machine intelligence in every yard.

Moreover, this technology can really help birds. As Lewis Barnett, the inventor of this technology wrote in his article : «Ornithologists need accurate data on how bird populations change over time. Since many species are very specific in their habitat needs when it comes to breeding, wintering and migration, fine-grained data could be useful for thinking about the effects of a changing landscape. Data on individual species like downy woodpeckers could then be matched with other information, such as land use maps, weather patterns, human population growth and so forth, to better understand the abundance of a local species over time»

As some people correctly noted, this technology has also some great commercial potential. Just imagine that camera traps will be able to recognize birds that harm your fruit trees and than activate  a device that make a large noise to scare away pests.

Sources:

https://theconversation.com/i-used-facial-recognition-technology-on-birds-106589

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Face-Scanning A.I. can identify rare genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone, help to fight crime and as the time passes, can be used in many more more cases. Now it can even diagnose certain genetic diseases based on people’s faces thanks to the DeepGestalt.

Rare disorders often show up in someone’s appearance and because of that you are sometimes able to identify the condition of the patient based of his facial traits. Researchers have trained artificial intelligence to recognize these features making it possible  to make a quick and cheap diagnosis. They trained the neural network, called DeepGestalt, with the pictures of T 17,000 kids with 200-plus genetic disorders. In a test with 502 new images, DeepGestalt successfully placed the correct syndrome in its top 10 list 91% of the time outperforming the doctors in this field.

“DeepGestalt is a facial image analysis framework that is able to highlight similarities to hundreds of genetic disorders” – Yaron Gurovich, chief technology officer at FDNA

This tool in combination with genome testing can easily be used to help doctors search for specific genetic markers and make an accurate diagnosis much more efficiently and effectively. And even though there is still a long way for it to be perfect, there is a huge chance that it might be once used in everyday life.

On the other hand, given how easy it is to photograph a face, the tool could be abused by employers or insurance providers to discriminate against people with a high probability of having certain disorders. Luckily, it is said that the tool will only be available to clinicians.

 

Sources:

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/01/artificial-intelligence-could-diagnose-rare-disorders-using-just-photo-face

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2189683-ai-can-identify-rare-genetic-disorders-by-the-shape-of-someones-face/

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/fdna-deepgestalt-facial-recognition/amp/

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AI creates images of food that doesn’t even exist

A team of researchers from Tel Aviv consisted of three people taught neural network a very interesting nontrivial skill: generate images of ready-made food from the recipe text. Literally it means that this AI can take any text which contain different ingredients and figure out what the finished food product will look like.

However, the results are not very reliable yet – in the sense that the images of really cooked dishes are sometimes quite different from what the network imagined based on reading the recipe.

Researcher Ori Bar El told:

«It all started when I asked my grandmother for a recipe of her legendary fish cutlets with tomato sauce. Due to her advanced age she didn’t remember the exact recipe. So, I was wondering if I can build a system that given a food image, can output the recipe. After thinking about this task for a while I concluded that it is too hard for a system to get an exact recipe with real quantities and with “hidden” ingredients such as salt, pepper, butter, flour etc.

Then, I wondered if I can do the opposite. Namely, generating food images based on the recipes.  We believe that this task is very challenging to be accomplished by humans, all the more so for computers. Since most of the current AI systems try replace human experts in tasks that are easy for humans, we thought that it would be interesting to solve a kind of task that is even beyond humans’ ability. As you can see, it can be done in a certain extent of success.»

Although these images are far from real, tests on people showed that they like the generated pictures and they find them even appetizing. The authors of the article, which was posted on TNW web site, find this result depressing. As you know, there is a lot of food pictures in Instagram, and now there is a danger that these pictures may turn out to be fake. For many people, it is even more distressing than fake news or portraits of non-existent people. It seems that nothing sacred is left in this world where even a photo of snacks can turn out to be a realistic-looking fantasy of a neural network.

Sources:

https://thenextweb.com/artificial-intelligence/2019/01/11/nefarious-ai-creates-images-of-delicious-food-that-doesnt-exist/

https://www.techjuice.pk/this-new-ai-creates-realistic-photos-of-food-that-doesnt-even-exist/

https://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/comment/ai-created-photos-a-threat-or-opportunity-1.806805

https://futurism.com/these-people-never-existed-they-were-made-by-an-ai

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Mookkie Smart Pet Bowl

Representatives of the Italian technology company Volta presented at the CES 2019 exhibition a special smart bowl model Mookkie, designed for pets. The technology will help trace the nutrition of several pets.

Volta introduced the Mookkie Smart Pet Bowl

The novelty was equipped with a wide-angle special camera, which determines the animal with the help of effective recognition technology. Thanks to this system, the food compartment will be opened for certain pets. A clever bowl with recognition technology is equipped with a special closing compartment designed for food. When an animal gets into the field of view of a special camera, its face is analyzed by the built-in recognition algorithm. Each individual bowl will be assigned a specific pet. The compartments open if the camera of the device recognizes an animal.

The smart bowl in this case is synchronized with a special new application. With the help of the software, the owner of the animal receives notifications regarding the empty bowl, and the video that the camera shot. With this application, the user can customize the bowl. In this case, you need to provide a snapshot of the animal. A smart bowl will start selling for $ 189.

 

Sources:

https://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/

https://www.gearbrain.com/

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AI will do many times more jobs than take

Over the past few years, artificial intelligence has evolved so rapidly that now almost every month a new, even greater breakthrough in this area is emerging. In various areas, such as speech translation, medical diagnostics and games, computers are increasingly beginning to outperform people. And in the same way, they increasingly talk about how AI will affect people’s employment. Some fear that as artificial intelligence develops, people will have less and less work, which means that the number of unemployed people who are economically unable to compete with machines will grow.

This concern, albeit understandable, is unfounded. Moreover, artificial intelligence will be the greatest engine of work that the world has ever seen.

Artificial Intelligence: to strike or not?
On the one hand, it is possible to justify those who predict a massive loss of jobs from artificial intelligence. It is very easy to imagine that existing jobs will change under the pressure of a new technology, and it is very difficult to imagine what new jobs this new technology will provide us.

But if you think about it, radical technological advances are not at all a new phenomenon. Technology has been developing non-stop for 250 years, and in the US the unemployment rate remained at 5 to 10% almost all the time, even when radical new technologies appeared, such as steam energy and electricity.

But why look at steam energy or electricity. Just look at the internet. Let’s go back 25 years ago, in 1993. The Mosaic web browser just came out, and the phrase “surfing the Internet” was only a couple of months.

 

If someone asked you what the result of connecting several billion computers to a giant network with common protocols would be, you could imagine that you would have to send fewer emails, and the network would force you to read fewer newspapers. It may be possible to shop online. If you were especially far-sighted, you could even suggest that this technology will negatively affect the work of travel agents and stockbrokers. All people think that internet can destroy workplaces

But today we know what really happened. Of course, everything has changed. But the changes were unexpected. There are thousands of new companies worth trillions of dollars. We have improved almost everything on the planet that this technology has touched. Dozens of new careers have appeared, from web designers to data experts and online marketers. The cost of starting a business with global reach has plummeted, and the cost of communicating with customers and potential customers has dropped to almost zero. Huge repositories of information have become widely available and used by entrepreneurs around the world.

However, yes, we write fewer letters and buy fewer newspapers.

The development of artificial intelligence
And now a new, even more destructive in every sense of technology appears: artificial intelligence. And again people think that it will take jobs away.

Let’s look at a regular ATM. If you had to choose a technology that looked like it was going to replace all people, the ATM would be fine. But nevertheless, bank employees today are much more than ATMs. How so? Yes, everything is simple: ATMs have reduced the cost of opening bank branches, banks have opened more branches, inviting more people.

Sources:

https://hackernoon.com/artificial-intelligence/home

https://www.sciencedaily.com/news/computers_math/robotics/

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40% of jobs will be done by machines in as soon as 15 years

Kai Fu Lee, a pioneer in artificial intelligence and venture capitalist from China has made his prediction regarding our future in a big interview to CBS company.

In addition to the already familiar qualitative statements (for example that the emergence of AI will change the world even better than the appearance of electricity), he formulated some of his quantitative predictions. In particular, Lee believes that in the perspective of 15-25 years, about 40% of people will not be able to compete with algorithms in their work, and this work will have to be changed.

In the interview to CBS he said: “AI will increasingly replace repetitive jobs, not just for blue-collar work, but a lot of white-collar work. Chauffeurs, truck drivers, anyone who does driving for a living, their jobs will be disrupted more in the 15-25-year time frame,” he tells. “Many jobs that seem a little bit complex, chef, waiter, a lot of things will become automated. I believe AI is going to change the world more than anything in the history of mankind. More than electricity,” says Lee.

But it’s okay, it’s more dependent on the authorities who will be forced to somehow regulate this whole process of robotization so that people do not remain without work. Here is another idea from this interview that I really like. Lee believes that the most dramatic changes are not even waiting for the field of transportation but education.

And just AI will help to teach people the future as modern obsolete systems are not capable of. Currently, Lee is financing companies that are providing schools across China with modern AI systems which are designed to make education process better and more productive. The AI-system is being designed to gauge student interest and intelligence by subject.

Lee also believes that in the future AI will be able to analyze student’s portfolio and eliminate problem areas in difficult subjects. Who knows, maybe in the future teachers will lose their jobs altogether.

But it is not all so pessimistic as Lee said in the interview that “in some sense, there is the human wisdom that always overcomes these technological revolutions. The invention of the steam engine, the sewing machine, electricity, have all displaced jobs. We’ve gotten over it. The challenge of AI is this 40 percent, whether it is 15 or 25 years, is coming faster than the previous revolutions.”

And in the end of this post I want to recommend you probably the best book that I have read in 2018: AI Superpowers by Kai Fu Lee.

Sources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/venture-capitalist-kai-fu-lee-ai-will-displace-40-percent-of-worlds-jobs-in-as-soon-as-15-years-60-minutes/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kai-Fu_Lee

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Lets build an experience instead of another chatbot!

"Research across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories shows the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level."

– Harvard Business Review

If you need to make an insurance claim, you use an online form for that. In the case of opening new accounts, you simply fill in the form, then benefit from the quick mail response. Maybe you would like to take out a loan? Oh, it should be a piece of cake to speak with a chatbot briefly and learn everything about everything. Do you recognize yourself in the lines above?

The answer is unequivocally yes. We are constantly connected to a network. The companies improved efficiency as well as cut their costs by shifting to the digital contact with customers. But on the other side of the coin – for many businesses the emotional bond has been violated by digital strategy and efficiency that directly affected the cost of the brand, revenue growth, and outflow. This backdrop sets the scene for incredible innovation, as it became pretty complicated for clients to differentiate the values of the brand of two different companies. It’s all about digital commoditization.

Результат пошуку зображень за запитом "faceme"

FaceMe is a world-leading provider of Digital Humans via its Intelligent Digital Human Platform, created on the AI basis, which expands the brand opportunities to build reliable interaction with clients in the real time, based on customized content and unforgettable personalities, which build an emotional connection using the power of the human face. IBM Cloud technologies are used together with high-capacity of IBM Cloud bare metal servers in order to provide endless scalability of this technology for hundreds of simultaneous conversations. It’s such an organization that – to put it in a nutshell – enables organizations to reduce the cost to serve at the same time as enabling opportunity for growth and improving customer experience. The company now operates in New Zealand, the US, Australia, and Europe, working for global brands such as Vodafone and UBS. It’s available for customers through browsers, mobile phones or kiosks.

Результат пошуку зображень за запитом "faceme"It is estimated by analytics that within the next decade nearly 85 % of communication with customers will be implemented only via digital channels. Mobile applications, web-portals, and chatbots will become even faster and more convenient, but the companies might have a difficult time building bridges with the clients in such a competitive environment.

I’m pretty sure that our future reality will draw a lot of eyeballs. At least for the reason that Digital Humans will process question in just 100 milliseconds, during which they will converting text from a chatbot into key human qualities through both the ability to respond with speech, facial expression or gestures and also apply dynamic reaction based on customers behavior and emotion. The client, in turn, perceives almost immediate response that means that conversation flows good, and feels as comfortable as talking with the real agent.

 Emma Lavelle talks to “Vai” who was set up at New Zealand’s Auckland Airport to answer biosecurity questions from travellers in a bid to reduce the workload of biosecurity officers.

Bringing emotional connection to the digital world is as crucial in the context of business as in solving pressing issues, related to health and well-being, education, environment, and many other spheres. Take the example of psychological health. You know, the first important step is just to make patients talk. As studies have shown, 63 % of people would prefer talking about problems of their psychological health with Digital Humans. Therefore, there is a great opportunity to make a valuable contribution to society. FaceMe also works with the Centre for Digital Business to create digital reading instructors, who can help children with reading problems, for whom there is a shortage of qualified teachers. One more potential use case is a provision of consultations and emotional support for patients, recovering after heart surgeries.

Technologies of IBM and FaceMe represent a powerful combination, which intends to change the customer’s experience all over the world. Remember, there is no restriction in our ambitions and ability to make a positive contribution in the society by introducing emotional connection in the digital world.

Links:

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Alibaba’s AI Customer Service is much better than Google Duplex

A long-standing goal of an interaction between humans and computers has been to enable people to have a free conversation with machines, as they would with each other. In recent years, we have witnessed a revolution in the ability of computers to understand and to generate natural speech, especially with the application of deep neural networks.

One of the inventions in this area was Google Duplex. As you probably know, Duplex is a technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out “real world” tasks over the phone. The technology is directed towards completing specific tasks, such as scheduling certain types of appointments. For such tasks, the system makes the conversational experience as natural as possible, allowing people to speak normally, like they would to another person, without having to adapt to a machine. For example, Duplex can automatically reserve a table for you in a restaurant, using a phone call to a manager.

While Google is still testing and developing their new system on a small amount of Pixel phone Users, another giant tech company Alibaba already has a working model. It is used not for restaurants, but for an even narrower niche – the delivery of goods. At an annual AI research gathering, the e-commerce giant demoed a sample conversation where the voice-assistant was tasked to ask a customer where the package should be delivered.

The most amazing thing is that Alibaba’s voice assistant was able to deal with some controversial situations during the dialog such as interruption (pauses), nonlinear conversation (customer starts a new line of inquiry), and implicit intent (customer doesn’t explicitly says what he actually means). It is an amazing new which also once again underlines the superiority of China in the field of artificial intelligence, by the way. Currently, the agent is used only to coordinate package deliveries, but it could also be expanded to handle other topics.

Sources:

fossbytes.com/alibabas-ai-customer-service-is-way-ahead-of-google-duplex/

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612511/alibaba-already-has-a-voice-assistant-way-better-than-googles/

https://www.techspot.com/news/77782-alibaba-already-has-voice-assistant-way-better-than.html

https://ai.googleblog.com/2018/05/duplex-ai-system-for-natural-conversation.html

venturebeat.com/2018/11/21/googles-duplex-is-rolling-out-to-pixel-owners-heres-how-it-works/

 

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