Apple Possibly Looking to Japanese Expertise to Improve Siri

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Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted that Japan has a big part to play in the company's ongoing development of AI, as he continued his travels around the country via bullet train on Monday. Speaking to Nikkei Asian Review, Cook revealed that Apple's new advanced R&D center in Yokohama, currently scheduled for completion in December, would focus on "deep engineering" and would be "very different" from the R&D base Apple is building in China, without giving away specifics. Photo via Tim Cook However, Cook intimated that one of its main focuses would be on developing Apple's artificial intelligence services – which recently drew some criticism in the press – and emphasized that the company wanted to leverage specifically Japanese expertise in the field. "AI is horizontal in nature, running across all products, and is used in ways that most people don't even think about," said Cook. "We want the AI to increase your battery life, to recommend music to Apple Music subscribers... [to] help you remember where you parked your car."Japan's robotics heritage is legendary, coming on the back of years of successfully building industrial robots, however the state of its AI research remains ambiguous, given its relative lack of investment in deep learning from large amounts of analyzed data, which U.S. companies like Facebook and Google are already heavily researching. To improve on this front, Japan has just opened a Center for Advanced Integrated Intelligence Research in Tokyo (RIKEN), which specifically aims to develop systems of AI that will be able to solve problems using "Big Data".


'Software is eating the world': How robots, drones and artificial intelligence will change everything

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Silicon Valley, or the Greater Bay Area, is the 18th largest economy in the world, more than half the size of Canada's economy and bigger than Switzerland, Saudi Arabia or Turkey. This is because the region has become the world leader in research and development of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, software and virtual reality. "Software is eating the world," said Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen famously in 2011. It was controversial but prescient. Five years later, software-driven machines and drones perform surgery, write news stories, compose music, translate, analyze, wage war, guard, listen, speak and entertain.


'Software is eating the world': How robots, drones and artificial intelligence will change everything

#artificialintelligence

Silicon Valley, or the Greater Bay Area, is the 18th largest economy in the world, more than half the size of Canada's economy and bigger than Switzerland, Saudi Arabia or Turkey. This is because the region has become the world leader in research and development of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, software and virtual reality. "Software is eating the world," said Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen famously in 2011. It was controversial but prescient. Five years later, software-driven machines and drones perform surgery, write news stories, compose music, translate, analyze, wage war, guard, listen, speak and entertain.


Almost a third of consumers plan for new AI home devices

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Almost a third (32%) of consumers surveyed globally by PwC plan to buy an AI device including robots or automated assistants, with retailers watching closely as'voice commerce' develops in the home. The findings are published today in PwC's Global Consumer Insights survey, which assesses the shopping behaviour, habits and expectations of over 22,000 consumers in 27 countries. The study reports that 10% of respondents already own artificial intelligence (AI) devices, such as robots and automated personal assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home, and 32% said they plan to buy one. Both consumer and retailer habits and offerings still need time to adapt however, to make the most of the new voice commerce channel. Interest in the devices is strongest amongst consumers in emerging economies including China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.


Robot wiz: Your next phone could be a Telenoid

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With child-like eyes staring out from an expressionless face, the Telenoid R1 does look a little creepy. But if Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Japan's Osaka University has his way, a miniature Telenoid that lets you "feel" the presence of the party on the other line could soon replace the cell phones of today. It turns out the future could be just around the corner as the roboticist said a prototype of the mobile "Elfoid" would be ready in a few months. Speaking today at the sneak preview of the Singapore-based Asia on the Edge festival--an annual showcase of ideas and cultures from Asia--Ishiguro is most regarded for his development of lifelike androids. He has even created a mechanical doppelganger of himself called Geminoid in his bid to understand humans.