Microsoft's Speech Recognition is Now as Good as a Human Transcriber

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Microsoft recently announced that its conversational system for speech recognition has achieved a 5.1 percent error rate, its best performance to date. This beats the 5.9 percent error rate achieved in October of 2016 and put its accuracy at the same level as professional human transcribers, who can listen to text multiple times, access cultural context, and collaborate with other transcribers. After the 2016 study, other researchers set the human parity rate at a 5.1 percent error rate. Therefore, even using the more conservative standard, the system has achieved human parity. The recordings that formed the basis of both studies came from the Switchboard collection, a research collection of thousands of telephone conversations used to test speech recognition systems since the early 1990s.


Applications (and implications) of artificial intelligence

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Advances in artificial intelligence are having a growing impact on sectors as diverse as retail, healthcare and manufacturing. Among the many emerging trends in the technology sector, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is likely to be one of the most significant over the coming years. AI refers to the ability of machines to perform tasks that would typically be associated with human cognition such as responding to questions, recognizing faces, playing video games or describing objects. Over recent years, AI capability has improved to such an extent that a range of commercial applications are now possible in areas like consumer electronics, industrial automation and online retail. Technology companies of all sizes and in locations all around the world are developing AI-driven products aimed at reducing operating costs, improving decision-making and enhancing consumer services across a range of client industries.


Best of the web: Artificial Intelligence news for November 3, 2016

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Economists have become increasingly interested in studying the nature of production functions in social policy applications, with the goal of improving productivity. Traditionally models have assumed workers are homogenous inputs. However, in practice, substantial variability in productivity means the marginal productivity of labor depends substantially on which new workers are hired--which requires not an estimate of a causal effect, but rather a prediction. Annoyed at being automatically tagged with Facebook's facial-recognition system? Wearing a pair of tie-dye-looking glasses could help.


ABS brings artificial intelligence to vessel corrosion WorkBoat

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The American Bureau of Shipping recently collaborated with Google Cloud and software engineers SoftServe to use artificial intelligence (AI) models to detect levels of corrosion and marine coatings breakdowns on brown- and bluewater vessels. The pilot project is aimed at developing image recognition software tools that can examine early signs of degradation in hull structures, to avoid unsafe working conditions, unscheduled maintenance and resulting operational downtime. The effort demonstrated how AI can support early detection of structural anomalies that are usually found through traditional, visual inspections. The project was focused on corrosion and coatings failures, but ABS engineers believe the new tools could also be used to detect stress fractures and larger hull deformations. These AI techniques -- in tandem with advanced data algorithms -- could be used to analyze images over time to understand the trends in corrosion and asset fatigue that would support a transition to more efficient class and maintenance regimes for everything from workboats to offshore structures.


Artificial Intelligence And How It's Changing E-Learning

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From social media to speech recognition, warfare to writing articles, coding to customer service – machine learning and artificial intelligence have become part and parcel of our urban lives. In the pursuit to make life smoother and more comfortable, man has tapped into the potential of AI and invented auto-driven cars, smart sensors to capture spectacular photos, and home assistant devices. Similarly, AI is taking the field of education by storm and replacing traditional methods by the minute. Thanks to AI, the academic world has become more personalized, thus changing the way of e-learning. People can now access educational materials with just a click on their phones and laptop.