Kakao to Launch Voice-Activated AI Services in Third Quarter

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Two chief executives of major messaging apps in India and South Korea predicted a decline in the importance of texting via keyboards and a rise in the use of cameras and voice activation to communicate. Speaking at The Wall Street Journal's D.Live Asia conference, Kakao Corp. Chief Executive Rim Ji-hoon said the South Korean firm would roll out voice-activated artificial intelligence services in the third quarter of this year.

AI has no gender, so why does it sound like it does?


Technology promises a future that isn't tied down by the limitations of flesh. Communication travels further and faster than legs can run, and data beamed into space will live longer than any of its creators. Devices that respond to our voices make hands less necessary. But the digital assistants many of us rely on inadvertently perpetuate the old restrictions of the human form. If Siri has no body, why does she sound like a woman?

Future Of Health: Voice-Activated Devices Provide Diagnoses At Home


In our latest report, The Future of Health, we explore how the role of data in healthcare has evolved from a static into a living profile that grows with patients. To help bring the ideas and actionable take-aways to life, PSFK invited creative studios to leverage report findings and ideate new ways to approach health. The following is a concept our friends at Dieste, who developed the concept for an AI plug-in for voice-activated devices that provides first-step diagnostics in the comfort of your home. Early signs of health issues often go unnoticed by consumers and only get recognized once they have developed into severe symptoms. In order to improve overall health and prevent the occurrence of illness, consumer vitals need to be monitored more closely.

PayPal enables voice-activated payments via Siri


PayPal is adding an integration with Siri to let its users conduct peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions with a simple voice command, the financial services company announced Thursday. The integration with Apple's voice-activated assistant comes just ahead of PayPal's busy holiday season. The company predicts that it will see more than 17 million P2P transactions this December. Last year, $41 billion traded hands through P2P transactions on PayPal and its other payment platforms, Venmo and Xoom. The integration is available in 30 countries and in several languages including English, French, Dutch, Finnish, Cantonese, Hebrew, Malay, Arabic, German and Italian.

Keeping Voice-Activated Smart Home Device From Talking to the Wrong People


The introduction of voice-activated smart home solutions – like Amazon Echo and Dot, Google Home, and Apple's HomePod – have brought with them the dream of convenient Star Trek-like interfaces where a user's spoken wish is their command. But at the same time, these devices have served as a Trojan Horse, increasingly inviting in security issues and unintended consequences. The greatest security vulnerabilities created by these products are due to the fact that, while they prominently feature advanced voice recognition, they cannot really tell who's talking. The dangers this presents are compounded when the devices feature the ability to make purchases (with few safeguards under default settings), as well as control smart home features (lights, thermostats, locks, etc.) that users do not want malicious actors to be able to manipulate. These factors have contributed to a number of actual events, which land somewhere between fascinating and frightening as to the level of harm they represent – but all should certainly provoke concern.