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Planning law overhaul for England takes next step

BBC News

Sweeping changes to England's planning system will "cut red tape, but not standards," Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said. Under draft new laws, first revealed on Sunday, developers will be granted "automatic" permission to build homes and schools on sites for "growth". It follows Boris Johnson's pledge to "build back better" after coronavirus. But critics warn it could lead to "bad-quality housing" and loss of local control over development. Mr Johnson promised to speed up investment into homes and infrastructure in June to help the UK recover from the economic impact of coronavirus.


Artificial Intelligence Will Catalyze a Remote Work Revolution

#artificialintelligence

The future of work is remote-- at this point, this assertion could easily double as the proverbial war cry of tech's most prolific armchair experts. Undoubtedly, there's ample evidence to support their claims. Over the past decade, growth in remote work careers has ballooned to the tune of 91 percent, with nearly 5 million Americans engaging in business from the comfort of their couches. Even still, there are numerous barriers preventing this lifestyle from becoming the norm, with geographically-dispersed workforces facing seemingly insurmountable challenges of fragmentation, isolation, and miscommunication. But fear not, office dwellers-- artificial intelligence, the most buzzworthy technology trend of modern computing, offers a number of capabilities that may soon serve as the most critical infrastructure in the remote work revolution.


Explanation of Reinforcement Learning Model in Dynamic Multi-Agent System

#artificialintelligence

Recently, there has been increasing interest in transparency and interpretability in Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) systems. Verbal explanations, as the most natural way of communication in our daily life, deserve more attention, since they allow users to gain a better understanding of the system which ultimately could lead to a high level of trust and smooth collaboration. This paper reports a novel work in generating verbal explanations for DRL behaviors agent. A rule-based model is designed to construct explanations using a series of rules which are predefined with prior knowledge. A learning model is then proposed to expand the implicit logic of generating verbal explanation to general situations by employing rule-based explanations as training data.


Conversational AI: Intelligent Virtual Assistants and the road ahead.

#artificialintelligence

In a fast-moving world, customers require efficiency and promptness when talking to any company. Here is where chatbots and Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs) come into play. Thanks to their ability to engage into more advanced conversations, unlike rule-based chatbots, AI-powered systems are equipped with a multitude of features to assist and even entertain the users in their day-to-day activities. In addition to their customizable features, their self-learning ability and scalability have lead virtual assistants to gain popularity across various global enterprises. According to Grand View Research, the global intelligent virtual assistant market size was valued at USD 3.7 billion in 2019, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 34.0% over the forecast period.


Combining Spatial Computing & IoT Can Unleash Data's Full Potential

#artificialintelligence

The enterprise has been talking about Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 for years. We have seen transformation accelerate and the adoption of artificial intelligence, connected devices, and even virtual reality speed-up over the last few months due to the pandemic. As enterprise digitization continues to be top of mind and data becomes even more critical in this process, we need to look at how all the data created can be better visualized to generate better business outcomes. The Internet of Things (IoT) allows devices to talk to each other through connected sensors - producing real-time data. Companies had to learn how to process large amounts of data from IoT devices.


Class action comedy: Is Microsoft stealing its business customers' data? (Uh, no)

ZDNet

Last week three individuals filed a lawsuit against Microsoft Corporation in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, with a request for class action certification. Microsoft's multitude of Business and Enterprise editions offer more advanced feature sets than the Home and Personal editions, with collaborative applications and management tools designed for meeting enterprise security and compliance challenges. The plaintiffs contend that Microsoft is routinely violating the privacy of customers who pay for business subscriptions to Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). They allege that "Microsoft shares its business customers' data with Facebook and other third parties, without its business customers' consent." The complaint also accuses Microsoft of sharing business customers' data with third-party developers and with "hundreds of subcontractors ... without requiring the subcontractors to keep the data private and secure." And they maintain that Microsoft uses their business customers' private data "to develop and sell new products and services--and otherwise benefit itself."


Alexa will soon be able to launch Android and iOS apps using voice commands

#artificialintelligence

Amazon is working on a new feature for its Alexa voice assistant that will let the software launch Android and iOS apps using voice commands, a first for Amazon's assistant and a bold expansion of its strategy to position Alexa as a platform-agnostic alternative to Apple's Siri and Google Assistant. Called Alexa for Apps, the new feature is launching today in preview form, meaning Amazon is working with select developers on how they'd like to make use of it. For instance, Amazon imagines users on either an iPhone or an Android device asking Alexa to open Twitter and search for a hashtag, and the app would then let the companion Alexa skill do the work of launching the app and inputting the search term. The results would then show up on the phone instead of being read aloud. Another example Amazon gives is using a voice request to launch TikTok and start a hands-free video recording (in the event you're filming yourself). It's a new type of interaction Amazon is hoping could catch on and help better position Alexa as a viable competitor to digital assistants from Apple and Google, both of which are deeply baked into their respective operating systems and have richer access to apps and system-level features as a result.


eharmony vs. EliteSingles: Mature matches, slightly different clientele

Mashable

The biggest advantage, obviously, is the potential to meet thousands of eligible singles who you likely wouldn't have known existed otherwise. But whether those singles use their profile regularly or are even on it for the right reasons is another question -- thus, the terrifying edge that can cause singles genuinely searching for the real thing to shy away from such a valuable tool. When the dating pool is so deep, it's important to narrow down your options to dating sites that are most likely to attract a very specific type of person and introduce you to people who have the same intentions that you do. Whether unspoken or not, eharmony and Elitesingles are two websites for serious relationships that make those kind of definitions clear. After deciding that online dating is your best shot at meeting someone who's in it for the long haul, eharmony probably immediately came to mind.


Banking on AI: A Fast-Evolving Strategy for Indian Banks

#artificialintelligence

At a time like this, the banking sector is trying its hand, leg and even head to give a head-start to the AI developments. The financial services industry is appealing to enter AI market to avail the luxury of accurate data and investment. The development assists banks with better customer service, fraud detection, reduction of managing cost and easy decision-making through AI analysis. Customers have expectations that can't be turned down. Expectations to get work done faster and with zero error. The only by-standing solution is the utilisation of AI in the everyday banking sector.


Match vs. eharmony: Both are for serious relationships, but how do the dating sites compare in the UK?

Mashable

Though society has outgrown most cliché tropes that surrounded online dating in its early years, believing that meeting online can grow into a genuine connection can still be hard. If any dating sites can rekindle your hope that there's someone out there who wants the same thing you do, Match and eharmony are it. Technically speaking, online dating amplifies your selection of potential love interests to people you would never have stumbled upon IRL. It's the obvious next step after you've exhausted the qualified singles in your local dating pool, and the pandemic has made online dating an even more ubiquitous way to meet people than it already was. Since social distancing has essentially made hookups with strangers a non-issue, weeding out people who aren't taking dating seriously is easier than ever.