Tag Archives: technology

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/

Tagged , , ,

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/

Tagged , , ,

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:

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Uncover humanity and secrets of your face

Due to the fact, that deep learning technology takes giant steps in developing and improving, we might say that modern cities are just around the corner. One of the things that cities of the future need is face recognition system.

Why do we need that?

Face ID, for instance, can help the police to identify perpetrators and send them fees. It can bring huge benefits, because people will know that they can be punished for minor hooliganism. They can use it for finding criminals and elimination syndicates. Thus, security of life will be improved. Moreover, in the nearest future, face recognition technology will be able to understand human’s emotions, so that it will bring some benefits in medical industry and can be implemented in pain management procedures. Yet, its general mission is to help security system. It would be better to use Facial biometrics combined with fingerprints to authenticate persons.

How is it performing now?

Huge software corporations like IBM, Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc. are shipped to work on facial biometrics.  They have already achieved impressive results. For example, Facebook DeepFace can determine two photos of the same person with accuracy rate of 97.25%. In June 2015 Google’s program FaceNet achieved 95% on YouTube Faces DB. Although, its performance is quite high, this technology still has a lot of issues to be solved.

Firstly, as you may know Apple introduced Face ID in Iphones since X’s version and it had been heavily criticized by Chinees people because of inability to recognize some of their faces.

Secondly, In February 2018 found that Microsoft, IBM and Megvii tools had big percentage of mistakes when identifying dark skin women. This problem has been solved, though such occasions show us not thoroughness of this technology. This is due to the fact, that there are too many variables that need to be taken into consideration.

Moral dilemma

If we implement such a technology into our cities, there is a chance that it would not be accepted by usual peasants. Because, face recognition requires huge number of cameras in cities and human, like a creature, may take it as an endless monitoring and lack of freedom because we will have to act like robots to prevent punishment from the government. Moreover, the technology will replace manual work and this won’t be welcomed. Yet, advantages take over disadvantages and it is not long time before face recognition technology will be entered.

 

Links

For more information:

https://www.gemalto.com/govt/biometrics/facial-recognition

https://www.biometricupdate.com/201811/dhs-issues-call-for-2019-biometric-technology-rally-participants

Pics

https://pixabay.com/ru/cctv-%D0%B1%D0%B5%D0%B7%D0%BE%D0%BF%D0%B0%D1%81%D0%BD%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B8-%D0%BA%D0%B0%D0%BC%D0%B5%D1%80%D1%8B-1144371/

https://pixabay.com/ru/%D0%B0%D0%BB%D0%B3%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%BC-%D0%B8%D0%B7%D0%BE%D0%B1%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B6%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%8F-%D0%BD%D0%B0-%D0%BC%D0%B0%D1%88%D0%B8%D0%BD%D0%B5-3859536/

 

 

 

Tagged , ,

Flying cars are on the way!

Airbus and Audi partner for urban mobility services


Stock up on strong nerves as well as fat wallets to make use of the world’s first airborne automobiles on an industrial scale.


The idea of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) so far remains pie in the sky for someone, but it’s not for aviation giant Airbus, German car manufacturer Audi, and Italdesign design house. The trio collaborated to develop real, near-term urban mobility solutions for avoiding rush hour, unveiling a scale-model prototype of a flying drone-car called the “Pop.Up Next”. Why are we still obsessing, if there’s a chance just to fly over traffic jam that we are sick of?

“This important partnership with Audi addresses both current and future challenges for urban mobility. As a first concrete milestone in the cooperation we are developing, we will be offering multi-modal transportation solutions to the world’s most congested cities,” said Airbus CEO Tom Enders. “The world is rapidly urbanizing, and ground infrastructure alone cannot meet the demands of tomorrow. Increased congestion is pushing the cities’ transport systems to the limits, costing travellers and municipalities valuable time and money. Adding the sky as a third dimension to the urban transport networks is going to revolutionise the way we live – and Airbus is ready to shape and build that future of flight.”

airbus car drone conceptWell, the car-drone combo is made up of three separate modules, which allow customers to have a seamless and ultra-convenient travel experience. The key component is a capsule for passengers that is 2.5 meters long and 1.4 meters high. Its modular design means that it can easily unhook from its chassis with wheels and get airlifted by an accompanying drone, which is autonomous and powered by 4 rotors. The so-called cubicle can attach to a battery-powered chassis to become a two-seater electric car. Without the cubicle, the chassis can drive only 100 kilometers on a single charge, so we are faced with not a long-distance vehicle concept, unfortunately.

No less interesting is the fact that passengers can summon the drone using a phone app that can also suggest the best transport solutions as well as ride-sharing demand and relative cost. The capsule can even be paired with other futuristic transport systems, like the Hyperloop.

Despite the fact that the model’s test flight went off without a fault, Airbus executive Jean Brice Dumont is prudently optimistic about when the Pop.Up system will actually become a reality.

“I think it will take more than a decade until a real significant, massive deployment of an air taxi system” is ready, he said, and “for this we need to tick a list of boxes. The vehicle is one, safety is the overarching one, infrastructure is one, acceptability is another one.”

 

However, the serious competitor Uber turned out to be even more ambitious. Last year, the transportation company revealed an artist’s impression of a sleek machine with the goal to start using for demonstration flights of the year 2020 and by 2023 for actual use. Uber’s battery-powered aircraft looks like a blend of a small plane and a helicopter with fixed wings and rotors.

So, what to expect from state-of-the-art technology?

You must agree, that anxiety comes in this case by itself. The barrier standing between you and a future of commuting through the skies is bravery. The fact that you may feel uneasy in a flying car, that was once just a stupid dream from your childhood is hardly a shocker. That’s not to say that they’re unsafe, anyway, the parachute, of course, should help. You’re still going to have to entrust your life to a vehicle. And yet, the attractiveness of freedom and faster journeys might be sufficient for many people to roll the dice.

Links:

Tagged , , , , ,

No more f-word while driving

How often a poor road surface drives you to madness? It would be great to visit car mechanic only on the occasion of a routine control. Wouldn’t it?

Inventors of the US company called RoadBotics found an answer to this problem. They offer a smartphone-enabled road inspection tool that creates the map of the condition of the road surface. The solution based on deep learning algorithms examines data from a video made by smartphone located behind the windshield of the vehicle. It recognizes problems such as cracks and potholes. In this way, the tool analyzes a 10-foot road section and assigns its level of damage. The results are presented on a five-point scale where 1 – green is an excellent surface condition and 5 – red is failed.

“This assessment does not suggest what needs to be done, but serves as a triage tool, allowing your engineers and public works staff to narrow down on what requires immediate attention. It complements your current process and enables your municipality to reduce time spent on inspecting roads and focus on maintenance.”[1]

Savannah is the city that has already employed this solution. RoadBotics has analyzed half of the streets and roadways in the city within a few months at the costs of nearly 25 000 $. Normally, the city would have to hire interns who would take 3 years to perform an analysis of the road conditions in the entire city.

Heath Lloyd, the City’s Chief Infrastructure and Development Officer said:

“This partnership with RoadBotics will allow us to better assess the overall condition of City roadways and increase the accuracy of the data collected. It ultimately allows us to be more effective in managing the replacement of our infrastructure”[2]

RoadBotics was introduced to URBAN-X, the leading accelerator for startups. It is constantly working on developing its product, among others using it in self-driving cars.

 

 

Sources :

https://techcrunch.com/sponsored/this-company-created-a-high-tech-solution-to-a-2500-year-old-problem/

https://www.urban-x.com/company/roadbotics/

https://www.savannahga.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1927

 

 

Tagged , , ,

Is DNA phenotyping the future of solving crime cases?

Imagine a perfect crime – without any witnesses, circumstantial evidence or suspects. The only thing that remains after the offence is a single drop of blood or tiny piece of epidermis. Such a case seems impossible to be solved, doesn’t it? It turns out, however, that thanks to cutting-edge technology, from now on police is able to identify the perpetrators’ appearance just by obtaining a small amount of their DNA.

 

DNA phenotyping has already helped to solve many old cases, which on the face of it, seemed completely hopeless and started to fall into oblivion. But what exactly is this DNA phenotyping? This pioneering technology extracts from a sample of our DNA certain genes that are responsible for how we look and enables to create a possible outline of the offender’s appearance. Although it seems almost idyllic, it is a sketch with possible features, which if incorrectly interpreted, may lead to accusations of innocent people.

Dr. Moses Schanfield, a forensic scientist and DNA expert says:

“You’re not going to get a precise answer. It’s not like a DNA profile that the likelihood of a coincidental match is 10-to-the-negative-15th. You’re going to get a generic picture.”

 

A company that offers the above-mentioned DNA technology, Parabon Nanolabs, has been working with law enforcement since 2015. They have developed a sophisticated software capable of unlocking information contained in DNA left at a crime scene, called “Snapshot”. Records show that since 2011, the Department of Defense has poured more than $1 million into Parabon to develop Snapshot. Generating a sketch of a potential offender costs almost $3,000 per composite image and the service  has already assisted in over 40 cases. What makes it innovative and exceptional is that there is no need for a previously created list of suspects or any database. The only crucial thing is a piece of DNA.

Nevertheless, there are many opponents of such technological development. Many claim that this can lead to reinforcing racial bias or establishing probable cause against innocent people, ensnaring them in criminal investigations. What is more, as this is a new technology, it is not known what accuracy the system is getting, how well it can assess. Exposing the algorithm that is not thoroughly tested to a widespread use can lead to many harm and misleading decisions. I personally think that until the system’s infallibility is proven, appearance sketches can be used as an aid and guidance to the police, but not the main source of proof. Moreover, as far as I am concerned this technology should be covered by legal regulations and strictly enforced so as not to lead to its abuse and usage  for improper and immoral purposes.

 

Another question however, is whether society is ready for this kind of progress? Is obtaining DNA from blood found outside of someone’s home isn’t that different from getting DNA from a discarded cigarette butt or coffee cup? This DNA development undoubtedly is going to grow faster and faster now, are we ready to enter the future?

 

References:

https://www.circa.com/story/2018/11/29/nation/dna-technology-can-create-unbelievable-suspect-sketches-heres-why-that-should-scare-you

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/30/tech/dna-cold-cases-technology/index.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln-1-WysCbw

https://anthropology.columbian.gwu.edu/moses-schanfield

 

Tagged , , , ,

RIP wallets. Are implanted microchips here to stay?

As some of you have surely noticed, old breathtaking fantastic fiction films steadily become our reality today. But, should we wave goodbye to wallets and welcome implanted microchips with open arms?


Has anybody of you encountered with inconvenience when the wallet somehow got lost in the bag or because of your goldfish memory stayed at home? Hey, we’re living in the world of cutting-edge technologies, why do we still have to lug around the rarely-used discount cards with us all the time as well as fiddle with irritating keys at the front door? It shouldn’t be our concern since technology has far surpassed the demand for any of these things.

Картинки по запросу Thousands of people in Sweden get microchip implants

Originally, the idea came to the mind of Swedes back in 2015, who seem more willing to try the technology than most other nations. It is so mainstream there that, since June 2017, people have even been able to buy train tickets with their microchips. You must admit it’s more practical to have a surgically inserted microchip than such services like Apple Pay or smart locks on your phone, which can be lost and hacked. So an increasing number of people, including approximately 3,000 Swedes, are opting for implanted microchips.

Tiny little chip implants, via X-ray.

The chip itself is the size of a grain of rice despite it could hold the key to many aspects of our life, considerably simplifying it. The microchip implanted in the hand between a thumb and a forefinger and basically functions as a digital keychain. The subcutaneous chip intended to help people do things like hold entry codes, unlock and start their car, gain access to certain vending machines or printers, log on to computers, sign into the gym, make credit card payments.

“In the past year, the chip has turned into a kind of electronic handbag and has even replaced my gym card”– says Ulrika Celsing, one of 3,000 Swedes, who have injected a microchip into her hand to try out a new way of life.

Over time, as the technology doesn’t stand still, the implant will be able to do even more. However, the question arose whether are these chip implants a step toward future where employers track their subjects’ every movement? Or are they simply an easy way to log in to accounts and open doors with a wave of a hand?

Nick Anderson, an associate professor in public health sciences at the University of California, Davis, says the privacy and security of any information stored on the chips is a conspicuous concern. The implants use Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, also used in credit cards, and are “passive”, which means they hold data that can be read by other devices but cannot read information themselves. Actually, NFC chips right below the skin give corporations a fair amount of control over you — they could track where you are, how long you take for lunch every day, or how often you go to the restroom if the chip were scanned by a reader. Moreover, abandoning this kind of data collection is too much complicated when you’ve got a chip implanted in your body tissues.

Maybe we are really stuck with small keypads and overstuffed wallets. But is carrying a key or remembering a password so difficult or potentially risky? Without additional safeguards and guarantees of privacy, the microchipping quirk may quickly become a digital security nightmare.

Links:

https://futurism.com/sweden-microchip-trend

https://www.businessinsider.com/swedish-people-embed-microchips-under-skin-to-replace-id-cards-2018-5?IR=T

 

 

Tagged , , , , ,

Have science fiction spaceships just become a reality?

Recently, MIT engineers have designed and built an electric airplane with no moving parts. The absence of turbines and propellers is possible thanks to “ionic wind”, which occurs when ions generated by the thruster on the aircraft collide with air molecules and propel the plane forward. This ground-breaking machine makes virtually no sound and is powered entirely by battery.

Source: MIT

The airplane made by MIT engineers has a 5 meter wingspan and weighs only 2.45 kilograms. Steven Barrett and his team have been working on this design since 2009. Barrett has said that the science fiction phenomenon, Star Trek, which he often watched during his childhood, greatly inspired him when developing the aircraft. Is it possible that the spaceships we have seen in Star Wars and Star Trek can soon become more than just geeks’ fantasies? While Barrett’s design has still got a long way to go, especially when compared to the USS Enterprise, Millennium Falcon or TIE Fighter, it is still a fantastic accomplishment.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/nov/21/first-ever-plane-with-no-moving-parts-takes-flight

In theory, Ionocrafts could be a game-changer in transportation of cargo and people. Still, one has to remember a revolution is still many years away. The aircraft was tested on a distance of about 60 metres, in a closed gym, under close supervision. Still, Barrett and his team have repeated the test 10 times and found that enough ions have been produced to sustain flight the entire time.

Source: Nature YouTube channel

What struck me the most is the fact that the concept of ionic wind propulsion has been around for quite some time –  it was mentioned as far back as 1709, when an English scientist Francis Hauksbee published Physico-Mechanical Experiments on Various Subjects, and in the 1920s by Thomas Townsend Brown, whose research and work have influenced further discoveries. But it was not until the 1960s, when Russian pilot Alexander Prokofiev de Seversky introduced his idea of Ionocraft , that it became to feel more realistic. Still, it was not until earlier this week, in November 2018, that an actual prototype was built and tested.

Source: http://www.doctorkoontz.com/Antigravity/Townsend_Brown/Thomas%20Townsend%20Brown%20Scientific%20Notebooks,%20Vol_%201.htm

 

Sources:

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612451/an-electric-plane-with-no-moving-parts-has-made-its-first-flight/

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/mit-plane-no-moving-parts/

http://news.mit.edu/2018/first-ionic-wind-plane-no-moving-parts-1121

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionocraft

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181123135137.htm

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/nov/21/first-ever-plane-with-no-moving-parts-takes-flight

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

A system that makes calls for you – Google Duplex

Are you the kind of person that hates phone calls, or do you have too little time to handle them all?


Google has announced a system that will solve your problem. It is finally possible to have a natural conversation with computers. Google’s new AI system, Google Duplex, sounds as natural as a real human being! It understands, contextualizes and has correct timing.

Here is an example of how Duplex could schedule an appointment at the hair salon for you.

 

Of course, this could be invaluable in the business world. Duplex could:

  • allow organizations to reduce their customer service teams,
  • allow customers to book at any time, even in the middle of the night,
  • remind customers about their upcoming appointments and reduce no-shows,
  • give information that is not available online – and upload the information online to reduce similar calls.

 

One would expect that a system like this would have a lot of bugs and would not work in the real life. Watch Duplex talking to a woman that barely speaks English and making an appointment at a restaurant.

 

For normal users Duplex could also be very useful and could save people time. This graphic shows an usual way to use Duplex.

According to www.wired.com the technology is, unfortunately, not perfect yet. WIRED writer, Lauren Goode, answered a call in a demo in June. She was very surprised that Duplex sounded just like a real person and she thinks this can be disorientating. She managed, however, to confuse the bot by saying something about allergies in the middle of a discussion about available times for a restaurant reservation.

According to neowin.net, there is also going to be a new feature that works together with Duplex. It enables the Assistant to respond to and reject unwanted commercials with minimal imput. It will also provide transcripts.

Google has announced that Duplex will be available on their smartphones, Pixel. However, this is for now only available in a few big cities in the US. There is no information on when, or if at all, it is going to be launched in Europe, but for the moment it’s still considered in the experimental phase. 

 


Do you think that Google Duplex will become a revolutionary system? What would you use it for? Let me know in the comments!


 

More info at:

AI Google Blog, 25th November 2018

Wired, 25th November 2018

TechRadar, 25th November 2018

VentureBeat, 25th November 2018

Business Insider, 25th November 2018

Neowin, 25th November 2018

Tagged , , , ,