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'Summer Davos' in China casts spotlight on technological advances beyond Silicon Valley

The Japan Times

TIANJIN, CHINA – The award-winning film "Tree" offers a rare multisensory virtual reality experience of becoming a rainforest tree from a seedling in just 15 minutes. Reading a short speech into a microphone analyzes your voice and tells who you are -- your sex, height, skull type, personality and emotional state. A high-resolution video camera identifies you from 500 meters away. These computational imaging and artificial intelligence-driven technologies were all on display at the World Economic Forum's conference in Tianjin, China, last week. Some 2,500 leaders from politics, academia and a range of business sectors, including many startups, from around the world gathered in the city for the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2018 -- often dubbed the "Summer Davos" -- where they experienced these advanced technologies and discussed how those such as AI and blockchain will influence society in the coming years.


How IoT, AI, VR, and drones provide new revenue for 75% of IT channel partners

#artificialintelligence

Customer demands for emerging technologies are driving IT channel companies to experiment with the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), drones, 3D printers, and virtual reality (VR), according to a Tuesday report from CompTIA. Some 72% of executives at 400 US IT businesses surveyed said that customer demand is their primary reason for offering emerging technologies. This demand is also driving vertical industry specialization by these channel partners, 62% said. Three-fourths of companies said they are optimistic about the channel's future, up from 63% in 2016, the report found. "More and more customers are getting ahead of the curve and proactively seeking out new technology solutions to help their business," Carolyn April, senior director for industry analysis at CompTIA, said in a press release.


Inside the mind of the Google Assistant: how AI is changing lives

#artificialintelligence

Of all the new technologies that have come into existence in recent years like blockchain, augmented reality, and virtual reality, one has had a bigger impact than most: voice technology. Thanks to developments in artificial intelligence (AI) voice tech has become one of the most exciting and accessible forms of new tech. Now, one in 10 people in the UK own a smart speaker, with smart assistants being the major draw. Take Google's smart assistant, named the Google Assistant for example. You can use it to help you buy products from Argos, tell you the weather across the world and it can even play games with your children.


The use of Virtual Reality in Enhancing Interdisciplinary Research and Education

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Virtual Reality (VR) is increasingly being recognized for its educational potential and as an effective way to convey new knowledge to people, it supports interactive and collaborative activities. Affordable VR powered by mobile technologies is opening a new world of opportunities that can transform the ways in which we learn and engage with others. This paper reports our study regarding the application of VR in stimulating interdisciplinary communication. It investigates the promises of VR in interdisciplinary education and research. The main contributions of this study are (i) literature review of theories of learning underlying the justification of the use of VR systems in education, (ii) taxonomy of the various types and implementations of VR systems and their application in supporting education and research (iii) evaluation of educational applications of VR from a broad range of disciplines, (iv) investigation of how the learning process and learning outcomes are affected by VR systems, and (v) comparative analysis of VR and traditional methods of teaching in terms of quality of learning. This study seeks to inspire and inform interdisciplinary researchers and learners about the ways in which VR might support them and also VR software developers to push the limits of their craft.


This room uses machine learning, AI to change shape in response to human behaviour- Technology News, Firstpost

#artificialintelligence

Combining machine learning and kinetic architecture, a team of computational design students in Australia have developed a unique origami-style meeting room that can learn human behaviour and change shape in response to the behaviour of people. The interactive'Centaur Pod' is set to adapt to external environmental and human stimuli by moving up and down and changing its shape, said Hank Haeusler, Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia. "At the moment, a human can be in the same space as a robot and can interact in the space with the robot, but what we want to do is make space itself become the robot," Haeusler said. "Thus when a person in a building moves, behaves or operates in any way, the'robot' will sense this behaviour and starts learning from this behaviour and other people's behaviour and will create knowledge from the behaviour and the knowledge will translate into the space to change," he noted. The approximately six-to-nine square metre pavilion explores three main areas, machine learning and artificial intelligence; digital fabrication and robot fabrication; and augmented reality and virtual reality.


Top 5 Customer Experience (CX) Predictions for 2020

#artificialintelligence

The customer-centric organizations of today are already keenly aware of the digital revolution, which has transformed conventional business models while empowering customers. Over the last decade, customer experience (CX) has drastically changed with the introduction of several opportunities for customers to interact, engage and transact with brands at their convenience across multiple channels. Digital 2.0 is the next phase, where the plain and simple customer experience of old will make space for intuitive, contextual and practical engagement across different customer touchpoints. By 2020, digital technologies like AI, biometrics, machine and deep learning and robotic automation will revolutionize the way consumers interact with organizations and brands. According to Gartner, 2020 is going to witness 20 billion'things' connected to the Internet.


Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti review: Changing the game

PCWorld

Nvidia built these cards for the future. So much so, in fact, that we're going to take the unusual step of not rendering a final, rated verdict today. Unlike existing graphics cards, these include dedicated RT cores to vastly improve real-time ray tracing performance, putting the Holy Grail of gaming graphics within reach. Also unlike existing graphics cards, the GeForce RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti include dedicated tensor cores to leverage the awesome power of machine learning and a Saturn V supercomputer in the games you play. Nvidia's new hardware is the first designed specifically for the 4K, 144Hz HDR era, with a revamped architecture that increases performance in traditional games, and they're the first graphics cards equipped with GDDR6 memory or a VirtualLink connector.


Apple Strategy Teardown: Where the World's Most Valuable Company Is Focusing In Augmented Reality, Wearables, AI, Cars, And More

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The maverick of personal computing is looking for its next big thing in spaces like healthcare, AR, and autonomous cars, all while keeping its lead in consumer hardware. With an uphill battle in AI, slowing growth in smartphones, and its fingers in so many pies, can Apple reinvent itself for a third time? Get the detailed analysis on Apple's trove of patents, acquisitions, earnings calls, recent product releases, and organizational structure. In many ways, Apple remains a company made in the image of Steve Jobs: iconoclastic and fiercely product focused. But today, Apple is at a crossroads. Under CEO Tim Cook, Apple's ability to seize on emerging technology raises many new questions. Looking for the next wave, Apple is clearly expanding into augmented reality and wearables with the Apple Watch and AirPods wireless headphones. Apple's HomePod speaker system is poised to expand Siri's footprint into the home and serve as a competitor to Amazon's blockbuster Echo device and accompanying virtual assistant Alexa. But the next "big one" -- a success and growth driver on the scale of the iPhone -- has not yet been determined. Will it be augmented reality, auto, wearables? Apple is famously secretive, and a cloud of hearsay and gossip surrounds the company's every move. Apple is believed to be working on augmented reality headsets, connected car software, transformative healthcare devices and apps, as well as smart home tech, and new machine learning applications. We dug through Apple's trove of patents, acquisitions, earnings calls, recent product releases, and organizational structure for concrete hints at how the company will approach its next self-reinvention. Given Apple's size and prominence, we won't be covering every aspect of its business or rehashing old news. There's strong evidence Apple is once again actively "cannibalizing itself," putting massive resources behind consumer tech that will render its own iPhone obsolete.


Everything You Wanted to Know About Virtual Rehab But Was Afraid to Ask

#artificialintelligence

Virtual Rehab's evidence-based solution uses Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, & Blockchain technology for Pain Management, Prevention of Substance Use Disorders, and Rehabilitation of Repeat Offenders. However, this time around, we wanted to do things a bit differently. In this article, we will post a question and an answer format about Virtual Rehab. We have put together a series of questions and answers which you may have thought about. Our intention is to try and address any pondering questions which you may have about our business. In case we forget anything (or you might think of something else), then please do not hesitate to let us know and we will be glad to address any of the additional questions which you may have. WARNING -- This will be a looooooooong article and a very useful one especially if you are interested in Virtual Rehab. So, let's ask this again -- Are you ready? In one sentence, what is Virtual Rehab?


Beyond deep fakes: Transforming video content into another video's style, automatically: Applications include movie production, self-driving cars, VR content

#artificialintelligence

Because the data-driven method does not require human intervention, it can rapidly transform large amounts of video, making it a boon to movie production. It can also be used to convert black-and-white films to color and to create content for virtual reality experiences. "I think there are a lot of stories to be told," said Aayush Bansal, a Ph.D. student in CMU's Robotics Institute. Film production was his primary motivation in helping devise the method, he explained, enabling movies to be produced more quickly and cheaply. "It's a tool for the artist that gives them an initial model that they can then improve," he added.