Uncanny valley: Astro the robodog has strange eyes

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Scientists from Florida Atlantic University recently conceived a "robodog" named "Astro" which incorporates advanced artificial intelligence (AI) frameworks. It is somewhat reminiscent of Boston Dynamics' Spot. Astro can learn by itself using inputs to a deep neural network. The robot is rather unique due to its 3-D printed head which resembles a Doberman's. But… its eyes have made a few tech commentators uncomfortable.


Jensen Huang interview: Why AI is the single most powerful force of our time

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Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang proudly proclaimed on an analyst earnings call this week that artificial intelligence is the "single most powerful force of our time." Nvidia reported Q2 earnings and revenues that beat analysts' expectations as demand for graphics and artificial intelligence chips picked up. After the earnings call, I interviewed Huang about the company's progress. During the analyst call, he said there are more than 4,000 AI startups working with the company -- as compared to 2,000 AI startups in April 2017. In our interview, Huang said the actual number of AI startups Nvidia is tracking is closer to 4,500.







Middle East businesses welcome Amazon Web Services region launch

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has connected the Middle East to its global network with the launch of its Bahrain AWS region. The cloud supplier already has infrastructure in the region, but the launch of the Bahrain AWS region, with three datacentres, will connect to its global network. This will bring the Middle East region up to par with its other global AWS regions as the Middle East accelerates its digital transformation. Andy Jassy, CEO at AWS, said the cloud could unlock digital transformation in the Middle East. "Today, we are launching advanced and secure technology infrastructure that matches the scale of our other AWS regions around the world and are already seeing strong demand in the Middle East for AWS technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, data analytics, IoT [internet of things] and much more," he said.


New national AI laboratory introduced

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The government's announcement of a £250 million investment into artificial intelligence (AI) is very exciting and will solve some of the healthcare systems most difficult challenges. Although the UK is making leeway in the battle against cancer, the breakthroughs are only significant if early disease detection is made sooner rather than later, helping the treatments work more efficiently. Early detection of various diseases is crucial, and in cases like ovarian cancer, a woman has no symptoms in the early stages. AI and genomics can possibly help detect this cancer early, which means treatments can start sooner and more lives can be saved. AI is already making practical improvements in the healthcare system.


Experts Are Tracking the Evolving Role of AI in Call Management

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Artificial intelligence is redefining the nature of customer service. According to one analysis by Maruri Tech Labs, 85% of all customer service communications will be handled by an AI system by the end of next year. This is even true in call centers, which are surprisingly being disrupted by AI technology. Although artificial intelligence is going to be extremely important in the future of customer service, it is still too early to determine the degree to which it will be utilized. The question ultimately boils down to the effectiveness of these new systems.