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AIBotics Go-Digital Series 2020 Showcases AI and Robotic Innovations to Augment Human Potential

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Asia Pacific Assistive Robotics Association (APARA), a non-profit organization founded to facilitate adoption and augmentation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics, today announced AIBotics Go-Digital Series 2020, an AI and Robotics event themed around'Augmenting the Human Potential', will be launched between August and November 2020, aiming to facilitate the increasing dependency on AI technology into improving human lives. An international event endorsed and supported by the International Alliance of Robotics Associations (IARA) and a number of global and regional partners including the University of Oxford, the ASEAN Smart Cities Network, Japan Science & Technology Agency, the Malaysian Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Association, among others, AIBotics Go-Digital Series 2020 reviews ethical and responsible AI and robotics innovations through webinars and a virtual exhibition 24 hours a day, seven days a week from August for four months, bringing together renowned industry experts as well as a number of projects and innovative solutions from all around the world. To enable a smart, seamless and sustainable digital conferencing experience, APARA is collaborating with Tencent Cloud, the official conferencing solution provider of AIBotics Go-Digital Series 2020, to bring visitors and delegates a series of power-packed webinars and a virtual exhibition through Tencent Cloud Conference (TCC) solutions which have been widely adopted by local and overseas organizations and enterprises at online and digital business conferences, annual meetings, road shows, lectures, industry forums, among others. "As we adjust to the'new normal' brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, AI has also become much more mainstream while allowing gatherings and business meetings to be held amid current circumstances. We are excited to present AIBotics Go-Digital Series 2020, highlighting how AI and Robotics can truly augment human potential, which is a timely message in light of the virus-related disruptions globally," said Shanlynn Lee, President of APARA.


GPT-3 Creative Fiction

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What if I told a story here, how would that story start?" Thus, the summarization prompt: "My second grader asked me what this passage means: …" When a given prompt isn't working and GPT-3 keeps pivoting into other modes of completion, that may mean that one hasn't constrained it enough by imitating a correct output, and one needs to go further; writing the first few words or sentence of the target output may be necessary.


'Touchless touchscreen' could fight future epidemics, researchers say

The Independent - Tech

Cambridge University researchers have developed a "no-touch touchscreen" that uses artificial intelligence to predict a user's intention before their hand reaches the display. The screen was originally designed for use in cars, but the engineers who built it claim it could also have widespread applications during a pandemic. The "predictive touch" technology can be retrofitted to existing displays and could be used to prevent the spread of pathogens on touchscreens at supermarket check-outs, ATMs and ticket terminals at railway stations. Studies have shown that coronavirus can remain on plastic and glass for anywhere between two hours and a week, meaning touchscreens in public places need to be constantly disinfected to prevent transmission. "Touchscreens and other interactive displays are something most people use multiple times per day, but they can be difficult to use while in motion, whether that's driving a car or hanging the music on your phone while you're running," said Simon Godsill from the university's department of engineering.


Creator of 'robot chef' makes move on commercial kitchens in the UK

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The company behind the world's first AI-powered robot kitchen assistant has announced its debut funding round in the UK in what could be a pivotal step in its quest to get the concept established with restaurant chains here. Miso Robotics – the US creator of the Flippy robot – is aiming to raise £24m via Crowdcube to support its expansion into Europe. The company has previously raised more than $17m (£13m) in funding rounds in the US, following a valuation of over £64m in 2019. Flippy, which cooks burgers, fries and chicken, can learn from its surroundings and acquire new skills and is already deployed in the US market at CaliBurger restaurants and iconic venues such as the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles through Levy Restaurants, part of Compass Group. This week, Miso Robotics announced that US fast food chain White Castle will deploy Flippy in order to modernise its operations. The fundraising comes at a time when QSRs are having to work even harder to build resilient operations that offer safer working environments as they reopen following the Covid-19 pandemic.


UK using drones to send coronavirus tests to remote Scottish islands

The Independent - Tech

The UK's new Space Agency funding will be used to support drones that deliver coronavirus testing kits to a Scottish island. Skyports, the company behind the drones, started a two-week trial in May with NHS Highland, which serves a group of islands off the west coast of Scotland. The technology was able to cut delivery times between Oban and the Isle of Mull to around 15 minutes, instead of going via road and taking a 45-minute ferry crossing. An initial £2.6 million was made available by the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency (ESA) to find and support space-enabled technologies and services that can support the NHS response to coronavirus. Skyports along with two other initiatives have been awarded a share of £1.1 million in funding, while the rest is open to bids until the end of September.


Could this wearable device be the answer to workplace social distancing?

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With numerous organisations rapidly adapting to the use of new technologies within and outside of the workplace, wearable devices could soon become a common sight in offices as a means of enforcing workplace social distancing. Many are still working from home, but for those unable to carry out their jobs remotely, or those who have chosen to return to the workplace, ensuring they can do so safely is of paramount importance. The UK government has advised businesses to carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment, develop hygiene procedures, maintain workplace social distancing and manage transmission risk. But applying this to a busy workplace where employees attend meetings, collaborate on projects or simply socialise within the workplace makes keeping two metres apart a challenge. With this in mind, robotics company Tharsus has come up with a technology-based solution to "get businesses working again". The company, which has already developed technology solutions for companies such as DHL, Ocado, Rolls Royce, Automata and Small Robot Co, has developed "Bump", a Fitbit-style personal motion system designed to be a "simple, intuitive and friendly" way of improving workplace safety during the pandemic.


Rainbird develops AI tool to assess frontline workers' Covid-19 risk

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Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, along with artificial intelligence firm Rainbird, have developed a tool to assess the risk of frontline workers being exposed to Covid-19. The tool uses intelligent automation, a combination of robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI), to evaluate a range of factors including age, health history, cultural/religious beliefs, disability and pregnancy. It also factors in the impact of Covid-19 on Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups. According to a report by Public Health England, a disproportionate number of BAME people have died from Covid-19, with people of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, other Asian, Caribbean and other Black ethnicity having between 10 and 50% higher risk of death when compared to White British. As a result, Public Health England has called for "culturally competent" risk assessment tools for key workers.


In These Factories, Inspector Robot Will Check Your Work

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The UK company P2i adds water-repelling nanocoatings to smartphones and other gadgets. Normally, it flies engineers to its clients' factories to identify and solve quality-control problems. That's not an option in a world where flights are grounded, borders closed, and security tightened. So in some plants, P2i now relies on a system that uses artificial intelligence to look for even the slightest defects. "Over the last four months, since the coronavirus, we've had to reevaluate how we are going to service and deploy our machines worldwide," says Neal Harkrider, chief operating officer at P2i.


Honeywell launches new business unit to capture drone market

Reuters: Technology News

Stéphane Fymat, the head of that new business, said Honeywell expects the hardware and software market for urban air taxis, drone cargo delivery, and other drone businesses to reach $120 billion by 2030 and Honeywell's market opportunity would be about 20% of that. He declined to say how much of that market Honeywell was targeting to capture, adding only that the unit has hundreds of employees with many engineers. Honeywell doesn't build drones itself but provides autonomous flight controls systems and aviation electronics. The new business creation comes as the coronavirus pandemic creates a surge of interest in drone deliveries; Fymat said it's accelerating the drone cargo delivery programs of some of its partners. Some of Honeywell's customers include Intel-backed Volocopter, Slovenia-based small aircraft maker Pipistrel, which is developing an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft for cargo delivery, and UK-based Vertical Aerospace, which has test flown a prototype vehicle last year that can carry 250 kilograms and fly at 80 kilometers an hour.


Service robots may help COVID-19 impacted hotels recover faster: Study – IAM Network

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Robotic interaction could facilitate more socially distanced models of operation to enable a safer and faster reopening and recovery of some hotels impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, according to researchers. The researchers, including those at the University of Surrey in the UK, spoke to 19 hotel human resource (HR) experts to identify the key trends and major challenges that will emerge in the next ten years. They said while service robots are anticipated to increase efficiency and productivity of hotel activities, they may also pose challenges such as high costs, skill deficits and significant changes to the organisational structure and culture of hotels. The anticipated applications and integration of robotic technology will require leaders of the future to carefully consider the balance between the roles of service robots and human employees in the guest experience, according to the paper published in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. The researchers noted that their project completed in March 2020 just as COVID-19 broke out and as the virus rendered non-essential travel impossible, most hotels around the globe are feeling a catastrophic economic impact.