Scientists create 'Baxter' the robot who can assist the elderly amid a shortage of nurses

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Scientists have created a robot that may be able to help the elderly perform tasks amid a shortage of nurses in the UK. Named Baxter, it has two arms and 3D printed'fingers', allowing it to step in when a person is struggling with things such as getting dressed. Artificial intelligence allows the robot to detect when assistance is needed and learn about the owners difficulties over time. When it's ready for use in healthcare settings, it could help free up the time of staff so they can do other work. There are around 40,000 nurse vacancies in NHS England, which is expected to double after Brexit, according to figures.


Toyota group firms test out labor-saving prototype products at Gifu shopping mall

The Japan Times

Major component-makers of the Toyota group have launched an experiment of letting consumers and shop staff try their products under development at a shopping mall in the city of Gifu. Osaka-based Jtekt Corp. and Aisin Seiki Co., based in Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, introduced products designed to help reduce burdens on shoppers and staff at the Colorful Town Gifu commercial complex. After the experiment, which will run until the end of this month, user feedback will be reflected in the development of next-generation products. At a Nitori Co. outlet, a furniture and interior shop, a store staffer wore a Power Assist Suit while removing a large cardboard box from a push cart and putting it on a shelf. The suit is a Jtekt-developed wearable device that reduces the strain on the back when lifting heavy objects.


Toyota has plenty for robots to do during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The Japan Times

When athletes and organizers descend on Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games, they'll be ferried around in autonomous cars, while torch relay runners will be accompanied by AI-equipped cars. Robots will ferry javelins and hammers. All told, Toyota Motor Corp. will provide 3,700 vehicles, including dozens of self-driving cars, about 500 fuel-cell vehicles and 850 battery-electric cars to the international sports competition. As a top sponsor of the Tokyo Olympics and an automaker facing a murky future when gasoline-powered engines will fade away, Toyota is doing everything it can to market its transition into an eventual provider of on-demand transportation for consumers and businesses, instead of being merely an industrial manufacturer. "We want to use the Olympics and Paralympics that happen every two years as a milestone," Masaaki Ito, general manager of Toyota's Olympic and Paralympic Division, said in an interview.


The State of IoT in Insurance – Automotive, Home, and Health Emerj

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Raghav serves as Content Lead at Emerj, covering our major industry areas and conducting research. Raghav has a personal interest in robotics, and previously worked for research firms like Frost & Sullivan and Infiniti Research. Insurers are looking to leverage all of the digital customer data that is now available to them, including one new data source that some of the largest insurance enterprises claim are actively collecting: real-time data streams from the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT devices, such as in-car sensors, smartphones, and smart appliances, can send insurers data on product usage and driving habits among other behaviors. In turn, this data could be fed into AI algorithms that may allow insurers to offer risk-based pricing and other popular services.


The most powerful idea in data science

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If you take an introductory statistics course, you'll learn that a datapoint can be used to generate inspiration or to test a theory, but never both. Humans are a bit too good at finding patterns in everything. Real patterns, fake patterns, you name it. We're the sort of creatures that find Elvis's face in a potato chip. If you're tempted to equate patterns with insights, remember that there are three kinds of data patterns: Which ones are useful to you?


Rule Based System

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Every rule based system contains four basic components. Firstly, the system contains a set of rules, also known as the rule base, and acts as the domain of knowledge for the computer. Second, there is an interference engine, also called the semantic reasoner. This component is responsible for interpretation of the rules and taking action accordingly. The interference engine works in three steps: match, conflict-resolution, and act.


Deep Learning Chatbots: Everything You Need to Know

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When you're creating a chatbot, your goal should be to make one that it requires minimal or no human interference. This can be achieved by two methods. With the first method, the customer service team receives suggestions from AI to improve customer service methods. The second method involves a deep learning chatbot, which handles all of the conversations itself and removes the need for a customer service team. Such is the power of chatbots that the number of chatbots on Facebook Messenger increased from 100K to 300K within just 1 year.


Chatbots Opportunities For Insurance: Is It Ready? Insurance Market

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We can describe a chatbot as a computer program that conducts a conversation in natural language via auditory or textual methods, understands the intent of the user, and sends a response based on the business rules and data of the organization. Another way to describe chatbot programming is the concept of "micro-engagement," or technology designed to communicate with customers and prospects at various intervals and via multiple channels in order to drive business interactions. Whatever the digital classification, it's important for boards of directors and C-level executives within the insurance industry to understand that chatbots are an increasingly effective way to improve business processes -- but are not a panacea. Roughly 65% of customer interaction can now be automated, and in order to maximize their effectiveness, chatbots must be wed to a comprehensive communications process that also includes humans (who can step in at the appropriate time). Being able to extract information from an insurance claim is a fairly complex task that demands a human component.


Cerebras unveils the world's chunkiest AI chip

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COMPUTER BRAINS are tiny rectangles, becoming tinier with each new generation. Or so it used to be. These days Andrew Feldman, the boss of Cerebras, a startup, pulls a block of Plexiglas out of his backpack. Baked into it is a microprocessor the size of letter paper. "It's the world's biggest," he says proudly, rattling off its technical specs: 400,000 cores (sub-brains), 18 gigabytes of memory and 1.2trn transistors.


Amazon's voice-synthesizing AI mimics shifts in tempo, pitch, and volume

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Voice assistants like Alexa convert written words into speech using text-to-speech systems, the most capable of which tap AI to verbalize from scratch rather than stringing together prerecorded snippets of sounds. Neural text-to-speech systems, or NTTS, tend to produce more natural-sounding speech than conventional models, but arguably their real value lies in their adaptability, as they're able to mimic the prosody of a recording, or its shifts in tempo, pitch, and volume. In a paper ("Fine-Grained Robust Prosody Transfer for Single-Speaker Neural Text-to-Speech") presented at this year's Interspeech conference in Graz, Austria, Amazon scientists investigated prosody transfer with a system that enabled them to choose voices in recordings while preserving the original inflections. They say it significantly improved on past attempts, which generally haven't adapted well to input voices they haven't encountered before. To this end, the team's system leveraged prosodic features that are easier to normalize than the raw spectrograms (representations of changes in signal frequency over time) typically ingested by neural text-to-speech networks.