Facebook's Portal smart home device is finally launching in the UK – but a human contractor might end up listening to your voice commands. The device, whose AI-equipped camera will follow users around the room in order to keep them in the frame during video calls, will be available to British consumers for the first time from Oct 15. Users will be able to make voice calls using Facebook Messenger and encrypted voice calls using WhatsApp, as well as watch Facebook's TV service in tandem with their friends. But Facebook admits up front that clips of the instructions given to Portal's voice assistant might be passed to human contractors to check whether they have been correctly interpreted by its speech recognition software – unless users explicitly opt out. Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's vice president of augmented and virtual reality, said that Portal would never record the content of anyone's video calls, and that its "smart camera" software remains entirely on the device without any data being sent back to Facebook.
More organizations are adopting artificial intelligence (AI). Fourteen percent of global CIOs have already deployed AI and 48% will deploy it in 2019 or by 2020, according to Gartner's 2019 CIO Agenda survey. "While adoption is increasing, some organizations are still questioning the business impact and benefits. Today, we witness three barriers to the adoption of AI," says Brian Manusama, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner. The first barrier is skills.
Microsoft announced a $1 billion investment in OpenAI, a lab co-founded by Elon Musk to develop "artificial general intelligence." The investment is the start of a long-term partnership between the two organizations. OpenAI will ensure its services work on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, and the companies will collaborate on new supercomputers. OpenAI's stated mission is to develop "artificial general intelligence," or AGI. In layman's terms, AGI is AI that can think like a human (possibly even better) while carrying out complex tasks autonomously.
Mezzanine.ai is a new approach for businesses looking to engage with machine learning. It empowers your data to be seamlessly and securely evaluated through multiple pre-trained machine learning models through a sophisticated, wizard-driven, orchestration and automation platform. By leveraging a multiplicity of machine learning models simultaneously, the detail and volume of data insights increase exponentially. Through its comprehensive application integration library, mezzanine.ai's Joshua Geist, Geminare's CEO, commented, "Machine learning is a transformational force for businesses, but like so many other technologies before it, access is limited to those with significant budgets and expert knowhow.
Back in 2015, chatbots were big. And one of the most hyped ones was Facebook's M, which the company meant to be a flexible, general-purpose bot that could do lots of different things such as purchase items, arrange gift deliveries, reserve restaurant tables, and plan travel. But the buzz was far bigger than the bot. When Facebook tested M with a group of 2,500 people in the Bay Area, the software failed to carry out most of the tasks it was asked to do. After the initial burst of enthusiasm for M and other chatbots ("bots are the new apps," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella proclaimed), a wave of disappointment followed.
With the rise of artificial intelligence and voice recognition technology, there has been a plenty discussion about how industries, the labour force, and business models will change, but how will these technologies change the way consumers and brands interact? The explosion of smartphones and social media opened a new world of opportunities to communicate. Mobile messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat became the norm. Chatbots followed, which allowed brands to communicate on a one-to-one, personal level. Voice recognition erupted in the same way as social media and is completely changing the way we interact.
This is the web version of Data Sheet, Fortune's daily newsletter on the top tech news. To get it delivered daily to your in-box, sign up here. There's enthusiasm about the healthcare industry--I badly want to call it infectious or contagious but fear that would be in poor taste--and it is abundantly evident at Fortune's Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego this week. The exceedingly well-funded startup is more than a curio, and its technology vastly bests annoying quad-copters. Zipline's drones are airplanes that land by an innovative tail hook mechanism.
Not long ago, artificial intelligence was viewed as promising technology but a solution that only hi-tech companies or industry giants like Google or Tesla could invest in and benefit from. That presumption is fading fast. Today, the biggest hurdle facing AI marketing is understanding its true value amidst so many lofty promises and pervasive misconceptions. The history of AI dates back further than most realize, but for all intents and purposes, the development of modern AI was really catalyzed in the 1950s with The Turing Test -- a measure which quantified a machine's intelligence. Fast-forward to 2010: Microsoft begins tracking human body movement using a 3D camera and infrared detection.