Tag Archives: Artificial Intelligence

Social Robots – Challenges and Potential

The term Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to (re)creating natural intelligence (human and animal) based on machine learning in computer science area. The goals of AI are for machines and/or computers to replicate/mimic human reflection and reaction. Among others, the focus on AI developing capabilities are the following: (1) problem solving: identifying the action needed to archive and solve at best a specific goal given (2) Reasoning: identifying and acknowledge diverse events, knowledge, relations and other in order to decide on the best solution and analyze its consequences (3) Planning: identifying step by step tasks needed to archive a specific project/goal within sets of time (4) Perception: capable to interpret surroundings (such as voice, face and object) thanks to sensors such as camera, tactile sensors and microphone (5) Motion and manipulation: distinguish his localization, navigate in it environment, manipulate objects, use physical motions and gestures (6) Learning (automatic, semi-supervised and supervised): learn complex relations between its actions and its results for specific improvements on it performance needed such as able to move more effectively. (7) Natural language processing: ability to understand human basic language in specific language and able to communicate/engage in conversation (8) social intelligence: To do these sort of tasks, AI machine must have required human intelligence, therefore these machines must require as well; the ability to fit within our social norms and express and/or perceive emotions

This last capability is much more important for social robots; seen already utilized in warehouses and factory, Robots are now slowly but surely entering our homes and private public places sectors which increase the value of it machines by gradually shaping our new daily life style by being more and more accessible and available seen these past few years.


Lea – The robot assistance for elderly person by The Robot Care:

Being on the market since last year, Lea was built for the purpose of helping elder person to walk or sit thanks to it very though full design, connect with family and friends thanks to an integrated screen and it video communication system, ensuring the safety of it owner thanks to sensors while being able to assist in physical activities, helping to motivate elder people to move and be more active.

Savioke Relay – The service robot in hospitality industry by Savioke

Provide personnel customer service especially in hotels but also in workplaces (used in about 17 localization using it device, counting major hotel brands such as Sheraton, The Westin, Marriott and others), primarily used as transport small items from one person to another.

Buddy – The home companion and assistant robot by Blue Frog Robotics

Built with a screen to represent the “face” and “head” and moving on wheels, Buddy is a “companion” robot that offer assistance (ex:controlling smart home appliances), entrainment at home (play with kids) and interfaces but more importantly, Buddy is here to make your home more secure as he can be used as a movable camera and can detect anything going on in your own home when you are not there and send you a signal when there is something fishy going on when you are out.

In the past as well as today, the issues for robots to be placed in our home sphere and being able to communicate with, lies less on the lack of it technology development but more on boundaries, ethical and moral issues and the complexity of our social norms in human society. These issues turned to create further complex questions if social robots would be accepted into human’s daily life style. Developers have tried to focus on according these concerns by creating “acceptable” robots as this technology brings a lot of concerns. Andrea Thomaz, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university of Texas at Austin, explain this situation briefly in her TEDtalks speech: “The Next Frontier in Robotics: Social, Collaborative Robots” where also explain the importance of assembling few different capabilities into the social robots that we have cited and describe at the beginning of the article.

For robots to become a further developed social companion however, it is much more complex as it could seem. For that, robots should not only recognize behavioral pattern, but also be able to communicate and act as we human-to-human. They should be able to detect therefore, human emotions, sarcasm and motives to react on them as we are living within a constant dynamic environment. Thanks to that, the two-way flow actions between robot-to-human goal achievement would be much more easy and possible but the development of this specific capability us much more complex to attain. However, the recent availability of robots for home as companion, with Buddy (available to pre-order since mid 2016) or Jibo (available to purchase since end of 2017) have risen hopes for possible further development in such a robot to acquire their maximum potential to soon really become the reason our life changing daily routines.


















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Interactive fashion: are people ready to adopt it?

Have you ever thought that your clothes would assimilate with your body?

Just imagine, your all-natural reactions, behavior and processes are now all captivated by the shoes that you are wearing every day, some T-shirt, dress. Can you come with the idea that your favorite sweater might change a color every time you catch a flu or that you would be able to see the ignorance or anger of the person not through his facial mimics, but due to the movement of the fabrics in his or her shirt?

In the near future, it can be used not only as the protection from the outside of your body factors, but as a real part of you that compliments you, your physical processes and would be an integral part of the communication with the surrounding world.

Nowadays, such assumption is already not a fantasy, but a real fact. There are already created numerous examples of the clothes that seem to not only provide comfort, but to visualize and assist the hidden physical and mental processes of the human body.

The well-known fact is that, people have always been demonstrating their individuality through the clothes they are wearing, in order to create a specific social position in the conversation with others. In fact, the innovations in technology have provided us with the opportunity to express ourselves in a broader way.

The use of technology in fashion is now no more a tool to produce the clothes, but a new way to execute the human’s inside vision.

The newly invented fabrics and materials can correspond and show up the human’s emotions and condition. In result, a person wearing such clothes will be already unique due to the uniqueness of his or her own emotions and feelings, because the inner world of each human is already exclusive.

Therefore, as well, the high-tech clothes would be able to open a real conversation with a human body itself and due to physical factors and sensory processing the clothes would be able to interact with the body and, consequently, transform itself to satisfy the wearer.

Spider Dress

The Dutch designer Anouk Whipprecht through the combination of fashion and robotics has created a new realm of personal space. Due to the ability of biosensors to catch any evidence of a dress wearer feeling threatened, the robotic spider legs, built-in dress, create a “spider attack” position.

Social Escape Dress

As well, as Anouk Whipprecht, the designers from Urban Armor have been working on the problem of the personal space within a big city. In fact, the Social Escape Dress is equipped with GSR sensors (Galvanic Skin Response) that indicate a strong feeling of stress. As a result, the dress would emit a cloud of fog from the collar, if the wearer feels stressed and uncomfortable in any surrounding.


By experimenting with the smart fabrics, robotics, sensory processing and eye-tracking technology, the Montreal designer Ying Gao got a chance to create the garment, which is complimenting its “user”. It is a series of two dresses, which have the ability to change the form and light up, if someone is looking at the person wearing these dresses. According to The Culture Trip: “It is normally the wearer who notices your gaze, not the clothes themselves, but this innovative creation has everyone’s head turning”.

Swarovski gemstone headpiece

The creative group “The Unseen”, headed by Lauren Bowker, has always been mixing the fashion and science. The Lauren Bowker, as the press calls her, “The Alchemist” has come with the invention of the ink that changes the color of the item it is applied on. Among a large majority of her inventions, like the hair dye that changes color, the headpiece created for Swarovski is the one that is acting in accordance with human body condition. The headpiece is constructed by the gemstones, which have been specially grown and later covered by the specific ink, created by Lauren, to become real indicators of the shift of amount of energy of the human. In fact, when the gemstones “feel” the transition of the condition of the human, they change color.  As the Dezeen has stated: “Excitement, nerves, and fear all produce different colours; and quicker shifts in emotion create more dramatic patterns.”

Bubelle emotion sensing dress

About a decade ago, Philips have been experimenting with the combination of smart electronics and fashion and, in fact, there was created one of the first garments that react to the wearer’s emotions. The dress is covered with numerous LEDs that illuminate and change colors due to the emotional condition of the human. Such changes are caught by the bottom layer of the dress, in which there have been installed the skin sensors.

Caress of the Gaze

Behnaz Farahi has developed an interactive garment. The 3D printed collar seems to become an artificial skin that due to built-in camera is able to catch the gaze of the other person and react on it by the lifelike motions. The garment is equipped with the Shape Memory Alloy actuators, which work as a muscle system for this 3D printed “skin”. The idea is to create a conversation not only “person to person”, but “person to person to clothes”.

To conclude, the technological innovation and, in fact, technological symbiosis with fashion have given us the ability to create a new way of expressing ourselves and interacting with the outer world through demonstrating our real inner processes. There, the clothes become a medium between a wearer and the surrounding. Such processes are assisting a human to enter a different level of interaction with the others, where the garment might become an equal conversational partner for people and the world.

But is it the thing that a person wants? There, step up millions of ethical questions. Would we be able to uncover our thoughts, our mood, health status, etc.? Would we be able to sacrifice the privacy of our own bodies and show up the real “I”?







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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?



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.





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



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Lost in translation no more? Google’s AI invents own language

Google Translate has in all of its ten years of existence been a quite useful tool – appreciated by some (especially those who know about the difficulty of machine based translation), ridiculed by others, used by most. It has though never really lived up to professional standards. And, to take that upfront, that hasn’t changed since you last used it half an hour ago. But Google is about to use its main advantage. Its data. Its 140 billion translated words daily.

In order to do that, the ‘machine’ had to be made adaptive. One main obstacle down that road was that, considering 103 supported languages, the idea of creating comprehensive language pairs (meaning direct translation from each one language to possibly every other supported one), was close to impossible. The translation would usually go via English. And thereby any real progress was hampered because even if you managed to improve the result, what you would have improved would not have been the link between the two target languages but between either or both of those and English. As soon as you took English out of the equation, the progress would probably be lost. Translation is a delicate field, if you aim for good results.

What you want to do instead, according to American and German researchers, is creating a so-called neural network. A new common language that may serve as a link between languages that the machine has not been trained to directly translate. If it was able to translate between Hindi and Hebrew and Hebrew and French before, then it can now also translate between Hindi and French without any middle step. Another reason why neural network systems have hailed as the new star in the machine translation universe is that they take into account contextual meaning. Before, and still to an extent because all machine based translation by definition has to be statistical if doesn’t want to be random, a sentence was translated by translating the single words or idioms individually and then putting them together. This is how things like this happen:



This brings us to the main point: Google’s new common language (or any neural network language for that matter), other than English, can be changed, improved, adjusted with the help of the users’ requests.

Which tempts some to the conclusion that for one of the first times, AI, Artificial Intelligence, is actually at play in a user-related field. But that’s a topic for another day …

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Credit: Maya Stepien



  • Six Areas that Artificial Emotional Intelligence will Revolutionize

Article written by Alain de Botton

Wired Magazine (UK Edition – November 2015 (21st October, 2015)


  • Has Artificial Intelligence Outsmarted our Emotions?

Article written by Meng Li

Wired Magazine



In today’s world, due to the rapid development of digital technologies, many of us have had already a chance to interact with the ‘everyday use’ appliances (gadgets, home-designated devices) or even bigger, more technologically-complicated machines – robots, which not only perform their ‘core’ tasks, but also may add some unique values to these broadly defined relations. The devices are becoming more and more artificially intelligent.

Meng Li, the author of the article “Has Artificial Intelligence Outsmarted Our Emotions?”, stresses that the history of the relationship with technology is simple – we purchase machines and devices that we expected to fulfill certain needs. Moreover, we interact with technology with predictable interchange. What is more, Meng Li is also of the opinion that the technology companies must recognize the connections people are forming with these ‘intelligent’ devices, and create procedures to develop products accordingly – “because the devices that will prevail are those that not only please us, but those that we also hope to please”. What is also important to stress is the fact that while thinking about the machines of the future – and to be more specific, while concentrating on the issue of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – a vast majority of people puts the emphasis on the performance of rational executive tasks. However, according to Alain de Botton (Wired Magazine: “Six Areas that Artificial Emotional Intelligence will Revolutionize”) another, more complex scenario should be demonstrated here – a scenario which bases on the aspects of emotions and psychological dimensions of existence. It is time to focus on Artificial Emotional Intelligence (AEI).

In everyday life people make a lot of mistakes. We have problems with making decisions, regardless of the type of obstacles we are facing. What also has to be stressed here is the issue of emotionally wise decisions – they cannot be treated as lucky decisions. We have to remember that even though we are not infallible, our brains are unique, extraordinary. The emotionally wise decisions are the result of the impressive performances of our brains and they are therefore logically also forms of intelligence that can be replicated and improved upon artificially, with the help of microchips and code. Nowadays, we are able to conclude that this very specific type of scarcity – the scarcity of wisdom will soon be vanishing. The emotional intelligence will be in the center of attention. Alain de Botton emphasizes that AEI will revolutionize the following six areas of life:

  • self-knowledge
  • education
  • news media
  • art
  • shopping
  • relationships

AEI will provide us the self-knowledge we need – it will map our brains and alert us in good time as to the reality of our psychological lives. Furthermore, we will know what job we should be doing, but also we will know whom we should try to form a relationship with, and how. Mr. de Botton emphasizes that “AEI will give us a picture of our inner selves which will stop us making catastrophic errors on the basis of an inability to interpret our emotional functioning and psychological potential”. Moreover, AEI will help us to evolve towards the best versions of ourselves. What has to be also stressed is the fact that with AEI we will have the opportunity to know how to lead people to information that is genuinely crucial for them and their nations. AEI will guarantee better media and, in turn, more democratic politics. AEI will also stand for encoding consumer intelligence – we will have the possibility to check our decisions on an AEI machine. The machine will inform us how we can be persuaded and motivated to purchase goods and services, taking into consideration our true needs. Finally, the relationship with the emotional intelligence machines will provide us with access to the friend’s wisdom when we would most need it.

In my opinion, the biggest obstacle here will be connected with the broadly defined aspect of trust. People are starting to engage in the relationships with machines, highly advanced devices that currently help us in setting and achieving specified goals, but also in producing and analyzing the results, all preformed using human-like feedback. Furthermore, what also has to be emphasized is the fact that the research has shown that even though people prefer robots which seem capable of conveying some degree of human emotion – facial features, interaction, human-like gestures – they are repulsed by robots that look and move almost human-like. What will be crucial in the AEI case is the broadly defined balance – adding human characteristics through AEI design is only appealing so long as the technology maintains its honest, outwardly robotic qualities. All things considered, both the software and hardware are taking on human tendencies what has a significant impact on the transformation, on the development of relationship between people and machines. Human-like gestures, the whole interaction helps to establish the sense of trust. People tend to seek for the acceptance and validation; feedback from the machines, however it is crucial to remember that this emotional interplay may be only accomplished with the very real power of artificially intelligent technology.

What if machines would take over and become versions of very devious, powerful people?


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