Collaborating Authors

Gaming Giant Unity Wants to Digitally Clone the World


In video games, non-playable characters can be somewhat clueless. An NPC might wander across a city block and face-plant into a streetlamp, and then maybe vanish the next block over. NPCs leap into player-characters' punches or commit to kicking a wall 400 times, never learning that the wall won't kick back. Unity Technologies is in the business of NPCs. Founded in 2004, Unity makes an eponymous game engine that provides the architecture for hundreds of video games using its real-time 3D computer graphics technology.

Now You Can Rent a Robot Worker--for Less Than Paying a Human


Polar Manufacturing has been making metal hinges, locks, and brackets in south Chicago for more than 100 years. Some of the company's metal presses--hulking great machines that loom over a worker--date from the 1950s. Last year, to meet rising demand amid a shortage of workers, Polar hired its first robot employee. The robot arm performs a simple, repetitive job: lifting a piece of metal into a press, which then bends the metal into a new shape. And like a person, the robot worker gets paid for the hours it works.

Houthi drone attacks expose UAE vulnerabilities, say analysts

Al Jazeera

A deadly drone attack by Yemen's Houthis on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has exposed the country's vulnerability while jeopardising its reputation as a tourism and business hub and pushing it towards rapprochement with neighbouring Tehran, say analysts. The Iran-backed Houthi rebel group targeted a key oil facility in Abu Dhabi, killing three people. The suspected drone attack also caused a fire at Abu Dhabi's international airport, attracting condemnation and a pledge for retaliation from the UAE. Hailing the attack as "a successful military operation", the Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree warned they could target more facilities in the UAE, which has been part of the Saudi-led war on Yemen that has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the country towards humanitarian catastrophe. On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia launched air raids in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, killing more than a dozen people.

Chatbots are cool! A framework using Python


Audience for this article: I designed a generic chatbot framework and discussed in this article to cover a wide range of audience. Anyone who has a basic knowledge of Python, Jupyter notebooks and can perform pip installations should be able to complete this series and see the results. The bot framework is modularized which opens up an array of opportunities for the readers to design and implement their own features. Integrations can be done easily in the framework. Also, the probability for failure is minimal since it is designed to be plug and play.

How deep learning can improve productivity and boost business


Deep learning, at its essence, learns from examples -- the way the human brain does. It's imitating the way humans acquire certain types of knowledge. Because deep learning processes information in a similar manner, it can be used to do things people can do – for example, learning how to drive a car or identifying a dog in a picture. Deep learning is also used to automate predictive analytics – for example, identifying trends and customer buying patterns so a company can gain more customers and keep more of them. You know those sections on retail sites that show items "frequently bought together" when you're purchasing a new screwdriver?

Robotic Arms Are Using Machine Learning to Reach Deeper Into Distribution


Experts say the technology isn't replacing human workers anytime soon. But the latest steps show warehouse robots are evolving as the computer vision and software that guide them grow more sophisticated, allowing them to take on more tasks that have been largely done by people. Puma North America Inc., a division of Puma SE, is using several robotic arms to assemble orders of clothing and shoes at a distribution center in Torrance, Calif.; the company plans to install more robots at another site outside Indianapolis. The technology from Nimble Robotics Inc., whose customers include Best Buy Co. and Victoria's Secret & Co., uses a combination of cameras, grippers and artificial intelligence to pluck items from bins that another automated system delivers to workstations usually staffed by people. Remote operators are on hand to assist if the robot has trouble picking up an object.

Neural Speech Synthesis using ForwardTacotron and WaveRNN


Note: this article is intended as a broad and high-level overview of the process of creating a custom speech synthesis pipeline. An in-depth tutorial is planned for a foreseeable future. It was a cold October day as I was casually browsing the web. While wasting my time, not sure of what my next project was going to be, I stumbled upon a speech synthesis idea. The last time I tried messing around with such technology was probably in 2013.

Brainchip ships first mini PCIexpress board with spiking neural network chip


Brainchip has begun taking orders for the first commercially available Mini PCIe board using its Akida advanced neural networking processor. The $499 AKD1000-powered Mini PCIe boards can be plugged into a developer's existing system to unlock capabilities for a wide array of edge AI applications, including Smart City, Smart Health, Smart Home and Smart Transportation. BrainChip will also offer the full PCIe design layout files and the bill of materials (BOM) to system integrators and developers to enable them to build their own boards and implement AKD1000 chips in volume as a stand-alone embedded accelerator or as a co-processor. The boards provide the ability to perform AI training and learning on the device itself, without dependency on the cloud. The production-ready chips provide high-speed neuromorphic processing of sensor data at a low cost, high speed and very low power consumption with in-built security.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): 7 trends to watch for in 2022


Of the many technologies with the potential to deliver significant value in the near future, Artificial Intelligence (AI) seems firmly planted atop the list for CIOs. Indeed, nearly all (95 percent) of the CIOs, CTOs, and technology leaders surveyed by IEEE agreed that AI will drive the majority of innovation across almost every industry sector in the next one to five years. "The focus will shift more toward AI-enabled transformation that solves more significant business problems with business-focused solutions," says Jerry Kurtz, executive VP, Insights & Data, at Capgemini Americas. "AI is an enabler and powerful capability, but the time for proofs of concept and science projects is quickly coming to an end. In 2022, expect AI engagements to become larger, more strategically significant, and more mission-critical – with a focus on long-term scalability."

The Machine Ethics Podcast: 2021 in review with Merve Hickok


Hosted by Ben Byford, The Machine Ethics Podcast brings together interviews with academics, authors, business leaders, designers and engineers on the subject of autonomous algorithms, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and technology's impact on society. Merve Hickok is the Senior Research Director of the Center for AI and Digital Policy, and the Founder of She is a social researcher, consultant and trainer on AI ethics & policy. Her work on AI is focused on bias, social justice, DE&I, public interest and participatory development and governance. She aims to create awareness, build capacity, and advocate for ethical and responsible development & use of AI.