The Surprising Repercussions of Making AI Assistants Sound Human


But striking a balance between these two extremes remains a significant challenge for voice interaction designers, and raises important questions about what people really want from a virtual assistant. The ability to intonate will make digital assistants capable of similarly nuanced expression. You've probably heard the design maxim form should follow function. Amazon's efforts to make Alexa sound as human as possible suggest that users expect their artificially intelligent sidekicks to do more than turn on their lights or provide a weather forecast.

The Jobs That Artificial Intelligence Will Create


A global study finds several new categories of human jobs emerging, requiring skills and training that will take many companies by surprise. Consider, then, the job of "empathy trainer" -- individuals who will teach AI systems to show compassion. The final category of new jobs our research identified -- sustainers -- will help ensure that AI systems are operating as designed and that unintended consequences are addressed with the appropriate urgency. But even given such innovations, human ethics compliance managers will play a critical role in monitoring and helping to ensure the proper operation of advanced systems.

Engadget is testing all the major AI assistants


Hardly a day goes by that we don't cover virtual assistants. If it's not news about Siri, there's some new development with Alexa, or Cortana or Google Assistant. For one week, we asked five Engadget reporters to live with one of the major assistants: Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, the Google Assistant, Microsoft's Cortana and Samsung's Bixby. This week Engadget is examining each of the five major virtual assistants, taking stock of how far they've come and how far they still have to go.

Amazon's Alexa passes 15,000 skills, up from 10,000 in February


Amazon's Alexa voice platform has now passed 15,000 skills -- the voice-powered apps that run on devices like the Echo speaker, Echo Dot, newer Echo Show and others. In the meantime, Amazon's Alexa is surging ahead, building out an entire voice app ecosystem so quickly that it hasn't even been able to implement the usual safeguards -- like a team that closely inspects apps for terms of service violations, for example, or even tools that allow developers to make money from their creations. In the long run, Amazon's focus on growth over app ecosystem infrastructure could catch up with it. In addition, Google Home has just 378 voice apps available as of June 30, Voicebot notes.

Inside Microsoft's AI Comeback


But while his peer scientists Yann LeCun and Geoffrey Hinton have signed on to Facebook and Google, respectively, Bengio, 53, has chosen to continue working from his small third-floor office on the hilltop campus of the University of Montreal. Shum, who is in charge of all of AI and research at Microsoft, has just finished a dress rehearsal for next week's Build developers conference, and he wants to show me demos. Shum has spent the past several years helping his boss, CEO Satya Nadella, make good on his promise to remake Microsoft around artificial intelligence. Bill Gates showed off a mapping technology in 1998, for example, but it never came to market; Google launched Maps in 2005.

Automation, Artificial Intelligence And The Human


This might have been true of pure automation, but combined with artificial intelligence, our fears are Hubbard's line will be rendered redundant. Based on the data and information it has, it will make intelligent decisions and act independently. At a base level, human behavior is also divided into instinctive, "automated", behaviors - breathing, flinching, blinking - and intelligent, or otherwise rational, conscious decisions. Kasperov reflected, "Weak human machine better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human machine inferior process."



Recent advances in voice recognition technology, in the form of virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, are revolutionizing the way that humans interact with machines. But while Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have produced some of the most popular general speech recognition software available, it doesn't mean that smaller companies can't compete. A new voice AI platform called Voysis, headed by Ian Hodson, Google's former head of global text to speech efforts--responsible for powering things like Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Android apps--is giving enterprises an option for customizable voice recognition software to fit specific needs. With the huge advances in voice recognition technology, Hodson said he sees fewer challenges to customer acceptance than there were 15 years ago.

Amazon Echo Look Launches Amid Controversy - Star Cloud Services


It turns out the smart mirror in the smart home is actually a smart camera, what a surprise! With talks of Snap Inc. becoming a "camera company" and Facebook resounding in its ability to replicate the trends as usual, it's a bit ironic that Alexa now is not just a "smart speaker", but can literally live inside your camera. That's the beauty of the evolution of computer vision and machine learning. Since Amazon's native image recognition technology, "Reokognition", can do facial analysis, it's a shoe-in that sentiment analytics can be easily integrated into how Amazon can potentially live in your closet.

Amazon Echos activated by TV comment

BBC News

An on-air comment by a US TV presenter activated Amazon Echo gadgets in viewers' homes across San Diego. The comment was made by presenter Jim Patton after a news item on a child who accidentally ordered a doll's house via the voice-activated gadget. Reacting to the report, Mr Patton said: "I love the little girl saying'Alexa ordered me a dollhouse'." This reportedly prompted Echo devices in some homes to wake up and try to order some of the toys. The original CW6 TV report Mr Patton reacted to was about six-year-old Brooke Neitzel from Dallas who had been talking to her family's Echo Dot while playing.

CES 2017: Why your home and car will soon talk to each other


Your car may already feel like an extension of your home based on the hodgepodge of stuff collecting in the backseat, but it's apparent that technology will soon make the two more connected than ever. No one has proposed blurring the line more than Hyundai -- which unveiled a futuristic concept car last week that literally connects to the home via a hole in the wall. Hyundai envisions the car becoming a lounge-like extension of the living space that provides air conditioning and entertainment, and acts as a back-up generator. "By seamlessly blending features from the car with home and work environments, the user experience is uninterrupted whether socializing, working at home, or on the move," Hak Su Ha, Hyundai's design center director, said in a news release. But even if cars never plug into the home physically, they will digitally.