Nao robot to become even more of a chatterbox with new software (video)

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You may remember Nao, a charming humanoid robot, for its exploits on the soccer field, dance floor, or even for its love of amateur dramatics. While Nao has enjoyed chatting with us humans since its maker Aldebaran Robotics added Nuance's speech recognition wizardry in 2011, the pair have today reaffirmed their desire to turn the droid into a true conversationalist. Upgraded cloud-based tech from Nuance will apparently "allow people to have truly natural conversations with the robot" in 19 different languages when the new models become available early next year. Furthermore, Nao has a fresh, distinct voice intended to better represent its "personality" -- one that's programmed never to tire of your trivial discussions. A demo of these new features can be seen below, although Nao mostly lets folks from Nuance and Aldebaran take the floor to talk of the partnership and the future of robot interaction.

Consumer Trust in AI-Powered, Voice-Enabled Assistants Grows


As time-pinched Millennials and Generation Z grow spending power, the need for efficient shopping platforms continues to rise. According to research conducted by SAP Hybris, 64 percent of consumers trust in-home assistants to purchase electronics due to the convenience the devices offer."As These technologies will not be successful on their own, however -- they will need a rich set of customer data in order to make relevant recommendations and be truly helpful."To The findings are relevant for more than holiday spending habits. The survey findings signal a large shift by consumers to rely on AI -- from chatbots to voice-activated assistants -- to complete shopping tasks.

Ray Kurzweil is the smartest futurist on Earth - May. 2, 2007

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If you went around saying that in a couple of decades we'll have cell-sized, brain-enhancing robots circulating through our bloodstream, or that we'll be able to upload a person's consciousness into a computer, people would probably question your sanity. But if you say things like that and you're Ray Kurzweil, you get invited to dinner at Bill Gates' house - twice - so he can pick your brain for insights on the future of technology. The Microsoft (Charts, Fortune 500) chairman calls him a "visionary thinker and futurist." Kurzweil is an inventor whose work in artificial intelligence has dazzled technological sophisticates for four decades. He invented the flatbed scanner, the first true electric piano, and large-vocabulary speech-recognition software; he's launched ten companies and sold five, and has written five books; he has a BS in computer science from MIT and 13 honorary doctorates (but no real one); he's been inducted into the Inventor's Hall of Fame and charges $25,000 every time he gives a speech - 40 times last year.

CES 2018 for CIOs: Rise of the AI voice assistant class


Four miles on the Vegas Strip, the latest gadgetry, some 4,000 vendors, 170,000 attendees, 7,000 media, three days of sessions, not including the pre-show briefings, backroom meetings and off-site soirees where the secret stuff goes down -- what, if anything, does the world's biggest consumer tech show mean to CIOs?

Google's new text-to-speech system sounds convincingly human


Get ready for the little person living inside your phone and speaker to sound a lot more life-like. Google believes it has reached a new milestone in the quest to make computer-generated speech indistinguishable from human speech with Tacotron 2, a system that trains neural networks to generate eerily natural-sounding speech from text, and they have the samples to prove it.