Items tagged with AI

After months of internal and public testing (via the Windows Insider program), Microsoft released the Windows 10 April 2018 Update on the very last day of April. Microsoft rolled the update out in phases to help minimize install failures and hardware incompatibilities (which did tend to pop up on occasion). Today, Microsoft announced that the April 2018 Update is now available for all Windows 10 PCs. The company says that it was able to achieve broad availability in a relatively short period of time thanks in part to machine learning.  "Our AI approach intelligently selects devices that our feedback data indicate would have a great update experience and offers the April... Read more...
MIT has created a new AI that we sincerely hope never escapes into the wild because this IS how you get Skynet. This AI is called Norman and it is a psychopath. How did Norman turn into a psycho? All the image data MIT fed Norman came from what it calls "an infamous subreddit" that the researchers refuse to name specifically due to its graphic content. However, the team does say that this subreddit is "dedicated to documenting and observing the disturbing reality of death." The goal with Norman was to prove that when people say that an AI can be biased and unfair, the fault isn't the algorithm but the biased data that the algorithm consumes. When an AI algorithm is trained as Norman was, it sees... Read more...
Amazon and Google are massive tech giants, for vastly different reasons. Google is the leading search engine provider, a smartphone platform juggernaut, and huge advertising machine, while Amazon is the largest e-tailer in the world and a cloud services powerhouse, though Google is coming up strong. Though they are different animals, these two companies find themselves locked in heated battle with their respective Google Home and Amazon Echo devices; a battle for AI dominance that could determine who will ultimately control a good chunk of the Smart Home market. The Smart Home market has massive growth potential over the next decade and it's an area that Google wants to own. We all remember how... Read more...
It appears that the naysayers have won out this time at Google with regards to its involvement in Project Maven, a Department of Defense program involving aerial drones used in military operations. Google has reportedly decided against renewing its contract with the Pentagon after facing immense backlash both inside and outside of the company. At a meeting with employees on Friday dubbed the "Weather Report", Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene broke the news saying that Google will not renew its contract once it expires in 2019. The meeting, which were first reported by Gizmodo, made it clear that Google had actively been trying to secure military contract, which can often be quite... Read more...
Google caused a bit of a firestorm after details leaked that it was forging a relationship with the United States Department of Defense to develop AI software for aerial drones. However, it's important to note that Google wasn't going to be involved with developing AI that would power killer Skynet robots on the battlefield; instead its AI would be used to examine images and video footage captured by the drones. Google's involvement in the program, called Project Maven, prompted more than a dozen employees to resign. In addition, another 4,000 employees signed a letter to CEO Sundar Pichai urging him to abandon the program. Further complicating matters are comments that Google... Read more...
iOS 11.4 is rolling out to iPhone and the iPad today, and it will bring with it support for Messages in the Cloud and AirPlay 2 (among other things). The first feature will allow all of your text messages and iMessages (which can often be quite large in size) via iCloud. The latter is a bigger deal for those with multi-room audio setups in their home. AirPlay 2 will allow you to, for example, sync the HomePod in your kitchen with the HomePod in your upstairs loft, allowing you to enjoy the same music as you move through different areas of your home. Not only can you use AirPlay 2 to sync between multiple HomePods, but you can also sync your HomePod with other AirPlay 2-enabled devices... Read more...
Earlier this week we talked a bit about an issue with an Amazon Echo device that had recorded an audio clip of a woman's conversation and then set the clip to a random contact on her contacts list. The woman was rightfully fearful of the Alexa voice powered device after that incident, and had vowed to never use it again and wanted a refund. Amazon confirmed early on, according to reports, that it had gone through her logs and verified that the incident did, in fact, occur just as she claims. Amazon has now reached out to HotHardware and other tech publications with an update on the situation and a rather convoluted explanation for how the incident took place. Amazon said, "Echo woke up due... Read more...
A woman from Portland, Oregon has claimed that her Amazon Echo recorded part of her conversation and sent it to a random person on her contact list. The woman claims that she learned about the issue when a person who worked for her husband contacted her at her home after receiving the message and told her that she was “hacked.” Amazon has confirmed that this issue happened and issued the statement, “Amazon takes privacy very seriously,” an Amazon representative told Fox. “We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future.” According to the woman, an Amazon engineer... Read more...
Microsoft wants to improve its AI tech and is acquiring smaller firms to do just that. The software giant says that we are only at the start of teaching computers to understand the full context of human communications. Today these intelligent AI bots and assistants, like Cortana, are only able to respond to simple commands and queries. This allows the AI to tell the user weather reports, play a song, or share a reminder. What Microsoft wants in the future is a "rich and effective" communication that allows the AI assistant to have a natural dialog with the user rather than just responding to commands. Microsoft calls this "conversational AI." To help it reach the goal of conversational AI, Microsoft... Read more...
NVIDIA is talking up some new AI techniques that well help robots to more efficiently work alongside humans. The research was led by NVIDIA researchers Stan Birchfield and Jonathan Tremblay. The duo was able to develop a deep learning-based system that is said to be the first of its kind that can teach a robot to complete a task simply by observing the actions of a human. NVIDIA says that the research is meant to enhance communications between humans and robots while furthering research that allows people to work alongside robots seamlessly. "For robots to perform useful tasks in real-world settings, it must be easy to communicate the task to the robot; this includes both the desired result and... Read more...
It's safe to say that the most impressive thing shown off at Google I/O this year was the awesome demo of Google Duplex and the Google Assistant interacting with humans to book hair appointments and dinner reservations. Despite the potential of such a mind-blowing demo, some complained that the AI hadn’t identified itself and that it was unethical to have humans in the dark about the computer on the other end of the phone. Google later said that it would identify when the AI was calling in the future. Now some are crying foul about Google's demo with allegations that the entire thing was faked. Some are unhappy that Google won’t provide the most basic sort of evidence to... Read more...
In April we learned that a petition was circulating at Google signed by workers who wanted the search giant to sever ties with the Pentagon and stop working on a military AI project. That AI project is called Project Maven, which is a Pentagon effort to create an AI capable of sorting through footage taken from drones. When we first learned about the petition in April, it had been signed by over 3,100 Google employees. The petition read in part "We believe that Google should not be in the business of war." Reports are claiming that at least a dozen Google employees have now resigned in protest to the company's participation in the project. There is no indication that the petition nor the resignations... Read more...
We haven't heard much about Apple's self-driving auto endeavor in recent months, but the company has been working hard behind the scenes. Last December, Apple was in the news when its autonomous vehicle navigation system turned up in a patent filing. That same month, it also showed off its latest self-driving car tech. Apple is big into the autonomous auto game and reports indicate that it now has the second largest autonomous fleet in California. Apple currently has 55 vehicles cruising the roads (along with 83 trained drivers), GM Cruise has the largest fleet at 104 vehicles and the third largest fleet is Waymo with 51 vehicles. Only a few months back in March, Apple held 45 vehicle... Read more...
It looks as though we're now receiving some preliminary findings on what went terribly wrong when a self-driving Uber Volvo XC90 failed to identify a pedestrian walking across a road at night, striking her at full speed. The impact killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg. The Information is reporting that the vehicle's onboard sensors likely did "see" Herzberg, but instead of correctly determining that she was an object that clearly needed to be avoided (either by applying the brakes or steering around the obstacle) it determined her to be a "false positive". As a result, the sensor suite acting as if she wasn't there and continued on its intended path (which tragically lead to the impact).... Read more...
Microsoft's software is pervasive in meeting rooms across the globe, and the company is giving us a glimpse at how it plans to expand that domination with meeting rooms of the future. At the year's Build conference, Microsoft pulled the wraps off a hardware prototype that uses all of today's hottest tech buzzwords to make communicating with peers even more seamless. The device, which is shaped like a cone, is equipped with a 360-degree camera and a powerful microphone array. The camera uses facial recognition to scan the room and identify meeting participants. The microphones are used to pick up their voice and transcribe everyword spoken in a meeting in real-time using Microsoft's... Read more...
If you have ever used the AI personal assistants baked into smartphones, you know they aren't always that helpful. Research firm Stone Temple has issued an update for 2018 on its Digital Personal Assistants accuracy study. The study tested 4,952 queries on five different devices including Alexa on Amazon Echo, Cortana on the Invoke speaker, Google Assistant on Google Home, Google Assistant on an Android smartphone, and Siri. The test structure asked the 4,952 questions to each personal assistant. In testing, the team recorded if the assistant answered verbally, if the answer was from a database like Knowledge Graph, if the answer was from a third-party like Wikipedia, how often the... Read more...
NVIDIA researchers have come up with some new artificial intelligence (AI) technology that can help fill in the blanks with respect to images that have either been corrupted or otherwise having missing details. With a team lead by NVIDIA's Guilin Liu, missing pixels can be quickly reclaimed with stunning results. This process, which NVIDIA calls image inpainting, can be used not only for restoring missing image pixels, but also for removing an unwanted object from a scene and filling it back in. If this sounds familiar, it's because Photoshop has been able to perform similar operations with Content-Aware Fill, which was introduced in the CS5 release. However, NVIDIA goes a step further given... Read more...
Late last month, Huawei unveiled its flagship P20 series which included the P20 and the P20 Pro. Now, the Chinese OEM is looking to bring some of that same design flair of the P20 family down to a more palatable price point, hence the new Honor 10. Like its pricier family members, the Honor 10 uses the flagship Kirin 970 processor paired with 6GB of RAM. On the display side of things, you'll find a 5.84-inch 2280x1080 LCD compared to the 2244x1080 LCD on the P20 (the P20 Pro tops them all with a 2240x1080 OLED display). 64GB of internal storage is standard (128GB optional), but there is no microSD slot for added expansion. In addition, the fingerprint is located on the front of the phone,... Read more...
Google is working hard to improve natural language understanding and one of the key areas that is being used to improve that understanding is the development of word vectors. A word vector allows machine learning algorithms to understand the relationship between words based on actual language usage. This has led to Semantic Experiences such as Talk to Books that Google unveiled this week. The tech is similar to what Google uses in Smart Reply for Gmail. Talk to Books is a new way to explore books that starts at a sentence level. This allows you to enter a sentence or ask a question and the tool will find sentences in books that respond to your question. There is no dependence on keyword... Read more...
Some Google employees aren't happy that their employer is working on a project with the Pentagon that involves artificial intelligence (AI). The program in question is called Project Maven and the goal isn't to create some sort of fancy technology destroying AI to be deployed in times of war, but to create AI that can analyze drone footage. The workers involved in the protest have been circulating a letter inside the company that demands CEO Sundar Pichai pull the plug on the effort. According to The New York Times, the letter has been signed by over 3,100 Google workers. Part of the letter reads, "We believe that Google should not be in the business of war." Word of Project Maven first... Read more...
Apple has made a crucial hire away from with John Giannandrea, who previously served as the search at Google. Giannandrea and Google announced early this week that he was stepping down from his role, but exactly where Giannandrea was going was unknown at the time. Giannandrea will be the head of Apple machine learning and AI strategy and will report directly to Tim Cook. Cook wrote in an email to Apple staff that was obtained by the NYT, "Our technology must be infused with the values we all hold dear. John shares our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach as we make computers even smarter and more personal." Apple has a very strict policy when it comes to the handling of personal... Read more...
Microsoft is heading in a slightly different direction. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced to employees this past week that Terry Myerson, the Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, would be leaving the company. Myerson’s departure signifies Microsoft’s shift away from their Windows software to cloud platforms and artificial intelligence. Micorosft CEO Satya Nadella Myerson’s departure had already been planned for "some time”. The Duke University alumni originally founded Intersé Corporation in 1992, a company focused on website development and data mining software. Intersé Corporation was acquired by Microsoft in 1997. Myerson worked... Read more...
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