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SoftBank brings food service robot to labour-strapped Japan – IAM Network

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By Sam Nussey2 Min ReadTOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank's robotics arm said on Monday it will bring a food service robot developed by California-based Bear Robotics to Japan as restaurants grapple with labour shortages and seek to ensure social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.Slideshow ( 3 images)The robot named Servi, which has layers of trays and is equipped with 3D cameras and Lidar sensors for navigation, will launch in January, SoftBank Group Corp said.Servi will cost 99,800 yen ($950) per month excluding tax on a three year plan.The launch leverages SoftBank's long experience in bringing overseas technology to Japan but reflects the shift away from CEO Masayoshi Son's earlier focus on humanoid robots.Servi has been tested by Japanese restaurant operators, including Seven & i Holdings at its Denny's chain, as the sector grapples with an aging workforce and deepening labour shortages.SoftBank's humanoid Pepper robot became the face of the company following its 2014 unveiling but failed to find a global customer base.The firm in 2018 announced cleaning robot Whiz, which employs technology from group portfolio company Brain Corp and has sold more than 10,000 units worldwide.SoftBank is touting the use of Whiz as a coronavirus countermeasure, …


The latest 2020 surprise is an enormous 18-meter tall robot that can sorta move its limbs

Mashable

Back in 2014, construction of a giant Gundam robot began in Yokohoma City, Japan. The robot is based on a character from the 1979 anime series Mobile Suit Gundam. Six years later, the robot can be seen testing out its mobility during a test that went viral online.


Japan considers facial recognition for contact tracing at big events

The Japan Times

The government aims to put a facial recognition system into practical use to prevent new coronavirus infections at large-scale events including the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, it was learned Friday. The government also hopes to improve the national capacity to conduct saliva-based polymerase chain reaction tests to simultaneously detect cases of influenza and novel coronavirus infection, informed sources said. The proposals are included in a draft program for developing new technologies for preventing coronavirus infection. The government will unveil the program shortly and carry out demonstration tests at relevant ministries and agencies. According to the draft, the government is looking at using security cameras equipped with a facial recognition system to record the movements of visitors to the Tokyo Games, which were postponed to 2021, and other large-scale events, the sources said.


World's smallest Rubik's Cube to be sold in Japan

The Japan Times

Japanese toy-maker MegaHouse Corp. said Wednesday it will launch the world's smallest working Rubik's Cube, weighing about 2 grams and measuring 0.99 centimeter on each side. On the same day, the Bandai Namco Holdings Inc. subsidiary started accepting orders for the product online. It is priced at ¥198,000 in Japan, including delivery costs. Delivery will start in late December. The Rubik's Cube, invented by Erno Rubik from Hungary in 1974, hit store shelves across the world in 1980. In Japan, MegaHouse has shipped out over 14 million cubes.


Women Leaders in AI - 2020 - NASSCOM Community

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The excitement of using Artificial Intelligence has not dwindled from the time it has been unfolded. In KPMG study on “living in the AI world 2020: achievements and challenges of AI across 5 industries (retail, financial service, healthcare, transportation, and technology), revealed that 92% of respondents agreed that leveraging the spectrum of AI technologies will make their companies run more efficiently. Amidst the admiration towards AI, IBM created the Women Leaders in AI program in 2019. This was a way to acknowledge the women leading in AI and encourage females to lend a hand in the field of AI. Through this IBM, planned to make the efforts of the honourees more visible to the world. 2020 IBM women leaders were honoured for outstanding leadership in the AI space. Here is the list of women leaders in AI 2020 honorees:- Aarthi Fernandez Who is a Global head of Trade Operations and SEA Trade COO at Standard Chartered Bank? She is a C-suite executive with deep insight on how digitalization can positively disrupt US$17 trillion global trade. She is into deploying AI/Machine learning to make trade financing simple, faster, and better for corporate clients and mitigate compliance risk. Piera Valeria Cordaro She is a commercial Operations Innovation Manager, Wing Tre S.p.A., Italy. She is a speaker, advocating the use of AI in customer operations. Along with her team and with support by IBM Watson, implemented two chatbots, to improve customer experience. Both bots have made it possible to handle a million queries efficiently. Amala Duggirala Who is the enterprise Chief operation and Technology officer, Regions Bank, United States. To handle customers’ inquiries she deployed IBM Watson’s assistant- virtual banker persona, ”Reggie”. From the time of its implementation 4.3 million customer calls have been answered, with 22% of them being handled by AI. Mara Reiff Vice President, Strategy and Business Intelligence, Beli Canada, Canada. She used AI to improve operations, loyalty, and brand. She worked with IBM to install Watson studio Local using Red Hat open shift. This resulted in smarter, fast decision-making with improved customer experience leading to increased sales. Mara suggests everybody to “Make sure to stop and smell the roses. Take each opportunity to learn something new and embrace change”. Amy Shreve- McDonald She is lead Product Marketing Manager for Business Digital experience, AI&T, USA. EVA (Enterprise Virtual Agent) was launched in February 2019, to improve customer chat experience, it uses Watson assistant. This system has been able to handle 45% chats on its own, resulting in reduced costs and expanding 24/7 support. She also received AT&T’s 2019 Visionary Award for her work advocating EVA. Ryoko Miyashita Manager, customer service department, customer service section JACCS CO., LTD Japan. She launched a Watson-enabled operator onboarding tool, that resulted in reduced new operator training period by 30%. The tool has increase customer satisfaction. Her advice to the younger self is “It is important to believe in yourself, but it is equally or more important to believe in people around you. I would encourage myself to have many experiences and garner knowledge to objectively evaluate things, not blindly accept or exclude others’ opinions”. Carol Chen She is Vice President for Global Marketing, Global Commercial, Royal Dutch Shell, United Kingdom. Along with her team, Carol is partnering is planning for digital transformation with the creation of “Oren”- a Smart Minning Platform, by partnering with IBM. This platform will offer an innovative and creative experience for users in the sector to deliver connectivity and integration across the ecosystem. To use AI, she advice commencing with analyzing the business outcome that one wants and customer pain points that one can cater to. The next step would be to determine how to leverage AI and data to solve the problem. Rosa Martinez Cognitive Project Manager, CiaxaBank, Spain. For those who consider using AI, her advice to them is ‘first to understand the business case as it may take time more than expected. This phase can result in a non-AI project example a ‘software as usual’. But moving further with the project there can be more AI application for sure to work on’. Lee- Lim Sok Know Deputy Principal, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore. Under the leadership of Sok Keow, The higher education institution in Singapore ‘Temasek Polytechnic’ launched the “Ask TP” chatbot in January 2018. The chatbot helped current as well as prospective students to get answers to the questions asked about Temasek and also gave personalized course advice. In the 1st two weeks of 2020, ‘Ask’ TP’ responded to more than4,351 questions. She suggests everybody “deeply appreciate ‘people’ as they are the most critical asset in an organization, and a leader must develop a team”. Itumeleng Monale Executive Head of Enterprise Information Management Personal and Business Banking, Standard Bank of South Africa, South Africa. By deploying many analytical tools in her organization, she can uplift the revenue of the company. Through models of analytics relationships, bankers are experiencing a 40% revenue uplift when comparing to their peers. She sees AI as a tool through which business delivery can be accelerated, value could be added to human capital and relationships can build further. With this AI era, Research has postulated that corporate giants still have less percentage of women in the technical department. Facebook’s diversity report suggests that there are 22 % of women in the technical department and 15 per cent of women work in the AI research group. Similarly, Google’s diversity report suggests that only 10% women are working on  “machine intelligence”. There is a need to encourage women participation as there are many more women around the world, stepping out of the pre-existed sheathe and going beyond the walls to shape the future. Opening up the AI platform for all will fetch us more talented beings which can help us celebrate the use of AI in different fields and different ways. Reference:- https://www.ibm.com/watson/women-leaders-in-ai/2020-list https://advisory.kpmg.us/content/dam/advisory/en/pdfs/2020/technology-living-in-an-ai-world.pdf   About the author:- Kirti Kumar is a budding HR professional currently pursuing PGDM in HR and Marketing at New Delhi Institue of Management. She looks forward to opportunities that can hone her skills. She is agile in her attitude with versatility in her action


PlayStation 'father' Ken Kutaragi becomes CEO of AI startup

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Former Sony executive Ken Kutaragi, often called the "father" of the PlayStation video game system, has been named CEO of Tokyo-based startup Ascent Robotics. Ascent develops artificial-intelligence technologies for self-driving cars and other applications. Kutaragi said in a statement that he hopes to "drive the team forward on both the technology and business fronts." He joined the company's board in 2018. Ascent announced Kutaragi's appointment on Friday.


Amazing footage shows giant 60-foot robot 'taking the knee' during a test in Yokohama

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A giant 60ft tall Transformer-like robot based on the Japanese anime series Mobile Suit Gundam was filmed pointing, walking and'taking the knee' during a recent test. The humanoid robot was built as part of a new attraction at Yamashita Pier by engineers at Gundam Factory in the Port of Yokohama. It was due to become the centrepiece of the factory on October 1, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed the opening until later this year, operators confirmed. The Gundam anime series has sparked a multi-billion dollar industry with movies, manga, plastic models and video games. Video footage shows the massive 25 tonne robot moving its right arm and fingers, lifting its legs and kneeling while workers watch from a nearby observation deck.


New 55,000-pound Gundam robot can move its limbs like a boss

#artificialintelligence

This full-scale Gundam robot stands outside Gundam Factory Yokohama in Japan. Fans of the anime robot Gundam can now visit the life-sized giant at the Gundam Factory in Yokohama, outside of Tokyo. According to new footage taken on Sept. 21, the enormous anime robot Gundam can move its arms, legs and torso with ease. Life-sized Gundam in Yokohama is now in testing mode.pic.twitter.com/51HVoraPb7 Construction of the massive robot finished on July 29.


Japan's robots fill the void as social distancing becomes the norm

The Japan Times

The coronavirus pandemic has forced society to reshape how people interact, and robots are fast filling the void, even to the point of helping alleviate feelings of loneliness in a world where social distancing has become the new norm. While automatons were primarily utilized to perform menial tasks such as cleaning in the past, their ability to remove the need for close contact has now elevated their status and importance. In February, robot and technology solutions company Seikatsu Kakumei Inc. began selling what it dubbed a "digital teleportation robot" package to help businesses carry out customer-facing activities during the pandemic. By helping shops, showrooms, conventions and trade exhibitions handle visitors, robots "can bring people closer to the normal state of communication," said CEO Yuko Miyazawa. "Being holed up in a room is unnatural for human beings," he added.


Is Robot Empathy a Trap?

#artificialintelligence

And why should we care if they do? SAPIENS host Jen Shannon meets Pepper the robot, and host Chip Colwell goes on a quest to find out how the robotics industry is (re)shaping intimacy in Japan. He speaks with anthropologists Jennifer Robertson, Daniel White, and Hirofumi Katsuno, all researchers who investigate the field of robotics, to learn more about what artificial emotion can teach us about what it means to be human. Our theme song and music for this episode are by Matthew Simonson. Special thanks to composer Scott Ampleford for use of the original score from 2026: Musik Inspired by Metropolis, which was featured in this episode.