A social robot to enhance children's handwriting skills

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Researchers at CHILI Lab (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) in Switzerland and GAIPS Lab (University of Lisbon) in Portugal have recently developed an autonomous system designed to assist children in improving their handwriting skills. The system they created, presented in a paper published in Springer's International Journal of Social Robotics, entails the use of a social robot in one-to-one learning sessions with children. For some children, handwriting can be a difficult skill to acquire, yet it is a fundamental stepping stone in their academic path. In fact, poor handwriting can negatively affect a child's academic performance, self-esteem and learning motivation. To master handwriting, a child needs to learn to coordinate cognitive, motor and perceptual abilities, thus he/she might also require a considerable amount of practice.


VB Engage 031 - Alan Schaaf, $7 investments, and the future of AI - Product Hunt

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This week, we bring you the first VB Engage to have been recorded live on stage! That's right: At Web Summit in Lisbon earlier this year, we got to interview Alan Schaaf of internet phenomenon Imgur about the evolution of the company, geek culture, community, and what it takes to create a success from seemingly meagre beginnings. In the news segment, Travis quizzes Stewart about his trip to Helsinki (where he spoke at Nexterday North and Slush), and discovers what he learned about the near future, artificial intelligence, mobile marketing, and where technology is taking us next.


Germany's Daimler unveils new "Ask Mercedes" chatbot

Daily Mail - Science & tech

German luxury car maker Daimler is set to combine a range of digital customer support experiments into a single voice-activated app that is available whether users are driving their cars, sitting at home or on the go. Chief digital officer Sabine Scheunert said on Tuesday that Daimler will soon introduce a digital assistant called'Ask Mercedes' that ties together previous trial projects on platforms such as Google and Facebook. Scheunert said'Ask Mercedes' will be available in several markets and languages immediately before being rolled out globally, without providing further details. 'Ask Mercedes is a new cognitive assistant available any time to support customers in exploring all the functions of their Mercedes-Benz vehicles,'the firm said at the Lisbon Web Summit. Mercedes is one of Daimler's leading car brands.


What will the year hold for Alexa, Google, Siri and the smart speaker vying for space in your home? CBC News

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Matthew Braga is the senior technology reporter for CBC News, where he covers stories about how data is collected, used, and shared. If you have a tip, you can contact this reporter securely using Signal or WhatsApp at 1 416 316 4872, or via email at matthew.braga@cbc.ca. For particularly sensitive messages or documents, consider using Secure Drop, an anonymous, confidential system for sharing encrypted information with CBC News.


Facebook Reveals 'ELF' OpenGo Bot Code After Being 'Inspired' By DeepMind

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Mike Schroepfer, Facebook CTO speaks during the second day of the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal on November 8, 2016. Facebook and Google DeepMind's race to create an artificial intelligence (AI) that could beat professional players at the ancient Chinese board game of Go has been no secret. Mastering Go -- one of the most complex games on the planet for computers to excel at due to the sheer number of possible moves -- has been the dream of AI researchers for decades but only recently did big tech firms like Facebook and Google start throwing millions of dollars at the cause in the hope that it will lead to further breakthroughs. DeepMind arguably won the race in March 2016 when its AlphaGo AI agent beat Lee Sedol, one of the best Go players ever, by four games to one. But Facebook's "ELF" OpenGo bot isn't far behind now -- it too has defeated world champion and professional Go players.