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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.

A 20-Year Community Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence Research in the US Artificial Intelligence

Decades of research in artificial intelligence (AI) have produced formidable technologies that are providing immense benefit to industry, government, and society. AI systems can now translate across multiple languages, identify objects in images and video, streamline manufacturing processes, and control cars. The deployment of AI systems has not only created a trillion-dollar industry that is projected to quadruple in three years, but has also exposed the need to make AI systems fair, explainable, trustworthy, and secure. Future AI systems will rightfully be expected to reason effectively about the world in which they (and people) operate, handling complex tasks and responsibilities effectively and ethically, engaging in meaningful communication, and improving their awareness through experience. Achieving the full potential of AI technologies poses research challenges that require a radical transformation of the AI research enterprise, facilitated by significant and sustained investment. These are the major recommendations of a recent community effort coordinated by the Computing Community Consortium and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence to formulate a Roadmap for AI research and development over the next two decades.

AWS Announces Five New Machine Learning Services and the World's First Deep Learning-Enabled Video Camera for Developers


Amazon SageMaker is a fully managed service for developers and data scientists to quickly build, train, deploy, and manage their own machine learning models. AWS also introduced AWS DeepLens, a deep learning-enabled wireless video camera that can run real-time computer vision models to give developers hands-on experience with machine learning. And, AWS announced four new application services that allow developers to build applications that emulate human-like cognition: Amazon Transcribe for converting speech to text; Amazon Translate for translating text between languages; Amazon Comprehend for understanding natural language; and, Amazon Rekognition Video, a new computer vision service for analyzing videos in batches and in real-time.

A Survey of Available Corpora for Building Data-Driven Dialogue Systems Artificial Intelligence

During the past decade, several areas of speech and language understanding have witnessed substantial breakthroughs from the use of data-driven models. In the area of dialogue systems, the trend is less obvious, and most practical systems are still built through significant engineering and expert knowledge. Nevertheless, several recent results suggest that data-driven approaches are feasible and quite promising. To facilitate research in this area, we have carried out a wide survey of publicly available datasets suitable for data-driven learning of dialogue systems. We discuss important characteristics of these datasets, how they can be used to learn diverse dialogue strategies, and their other potential uses. We also examine methods for transfer learning between datasets and the use of external knowledge. Finally, we discuss appropriate choice of evaluation metrics for the learning objective.

An End-to-End Conversational Second Screen Application for TV Program Discovery

AI Magazine

In this article, we report on a multiphase R&D effort to develop a conversational second screen application for TV program discovery. Our goal is to share with the community the breadth of artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language (NL) technologies required to develop such an application along with learnings from target end-users. We first give an overview of our application from the perspective of the end-user. We then present the architecture of our application along with the main AI and NL components, which were developed over multiple phases. The first phase focuses on enabling core functionality such as effectively finding programs matching the user’s intent. The second phase focuses on enabling dialog with the user. Finally, we present two user studies, corresponding to these two phases. The results from both studies demonstrate the effectiveness of our application in the target domain.