Facebook buys speech translation software company

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Facebook is acquiring a company that specializes in speech interpretation and translation software. The move, disclosed Monday, could help Facebook better connect its users across the globe. The deal to acquire Mobile Technologies was announced in a blog post by Facebook product management director Tom Stocky. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. "We believe this acquisition is an investment in our long-term product roadmap," he said.


Artificial intelligence is set to handle O2 customer services from 2017

The Independent - Tech

O2 has announced plans to introduce an AI capable of performing the same job as customer service staff. The voice recognition system, which is called Aura, was unveiled by the mobile operator's parent company Telefonica at MWC this week. It's expected to launch in the UK next year, and will enable the company to cut customer service costs. The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session A man looks at an exhibit entitled'Mimus' a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar. Japan's On-Art Corp's CEO Kazuya Kanemaru poses with his company's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' and other robots during a demonstration in Tokyo, Japan Japan's On-Art Corp's eight metre tall dinosaur-shaped mechanical suit robot'TRX03' performs during its unveiling in Tokyo, Japan Singulato Motors co-founder and CEO Shen Haiyin poses in his company's concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China A picture shows Singulato Motors' concept car Tigercar P0 at a workshop in Beijing, China Connected company president Shigeki Tomoyama addresses a press briefing as he elaborates on Toyota's "connected strategy" in Tokyo.


Flipkart to create Alexa's nemesis? It just bought an AI firm that converts speech to text

#artificialintelligence

Walmart-backed Flipkart has just issued a challenge to Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant. The home-grown e-commerce giant today announced that it has acquired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup Liv.ai, which has developed a platform that converts speech-to-text in nine regional languages apart from English. With this move, the e-tailer hopes to soon offer an end-to-end conversational shopping experience for its users. "Given the complexities in typing on vernacular keyboards, voice will become a preferred interface for new shoppers. One does understand that building a voice interface is complex, and is especially challenging in Indian context given multiple languages and accents," Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said in a statement.


5 Ways Amazon Could Be an Even Bigger Market Force in 2017

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Amazon's 2016 has been record breaking on many fronts. The company recorded its sixth consecutive quarterly profit (previously, it mostly hemorrhaged cash). Meanwhile, this year marked Amazon's growing strength in hardware with its hit Echo home automation hub Amazon Echo, and its companion voice assistant Alexa. The company has also become force in entertainment, debuting a line of hit original shows through its Amazon Video Prime service. It's hard to imagine how Amazon could top 2016, but here are some likely moves by the Seattle-based Goliath in 2017: To save money over the past year, Amazon has been seeking to take over more shipping duties from the likes of UPS and FedEx by leasing trucks, planes, and ships.


April 2017 fundings, acquisitions, IPOs and failures

Robohub

Mobvoi, a Chinese voice recognition startup, signed a strategic partnership to build a 50/50 joint venture targeting the automotive market with Volkswagen. The deal involved VW investing $180 million in a Mobvoi series D funding. Modvoi has developed an advanced Chinese speech recognition system, Chinese/English translation, semantic analysis and integrated vertical and proactive search, all adapted for and connected with a smart rear-view mirror that provides navigation, messaging and information through voice input. Prof. Dr. Heizmann, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China said: "This partnership is a particular example of Volkswagen's determination to work with groundbreaking Chinese tech companies like Mobvoi to create new forms of people-oriented mobility technology. We are impressed by Mobvoi's innovative approach of AI technologies, and we are pleased to form this joint venture to explore the next generation of smart mobility."