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All hail our new robot overlords… and the jobs they will create

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Huawei is not afraid to address the elephant in the room. When US mobile carrier AT&T pulled out of a deal to sell the Mate 10 Pro in January, the CEO of Huawei's consumer business unit, Yu Chengdong (Richard Yu), went off-script at the end of his CES 2018 keynote and tackled the topic head-on. Similarly, when Huawei made artificial intelligence the central theme of its annual Huawei Connect conference in Shanghai, rotating chairman Xu Zhijun (Eric Xu) was quick to bring up the topic of jobs in his opening speech. Concern that robots would replace human workers was a recurring topic throughout Huawei Connect 2018. Speakers addressed the issue during product launches, technical presentations, and panel discussions, offering varying perspectives around the fundamental impact AI will have on the nature of (human) work.


Enterprise Robot Shipments Will Reach 1.2 Million Units Annually by 2022

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As robotics technologies have advanced significantly in the past few years, robots for enterprise markets are becoming more affordable, productive, and smarter than ever before. According to a new report from Tractica, this trend is resulting in a significant increase in the number of enterprises within the agriculture, construction, warehousing and logistics, telepresence, customer service, and other sectors willing to invest in robots to cut costs and increase profits, while trusting robots to solve business challenges and productivity gaps. Tractica forecasts that worldwide shipments of enterprise robots will grow from approximately 83,000 units in 2016 to 1.2 million units annually by 2022, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57% during that period. Global revenue for the enterprise robotics market will increase from $5.9 billion in 2016 to $67.9 billion in 2022. "Just as robotics has transformed manufacturing and heavy industry in recent years, robots are beginning to impact enterprise work processes, with innovative and effective solutions being introduced with increased frequency," says research analyst Manoj Sahi.


Can Artificial Intelligence Improve Customer Service? -- The Motley Fool

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Customer service isn't just about having a pleasant attitude or adopting a "the customer is always right" policy. Those things are important, but they're only a few of the things a company needs to do to meet the needs of its patrons. Attitude and a willingness to serve become almost irrelevant if a store's shelves don't have the right merchandise, or a retailer does not offer the delivery or pickup model that meets a customer's needs. Currently, most retailers try to figure out the right mix to keep their customers happy using old-school techniques like observation and satisfaction surveys. Only 7% of retailers currently use artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance customer service.


UnicornBot Will Enchant Kids Into Learning STEM and Coding

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

There are a number of robots designed to help kids learn the basics of coding, but this is the first we've seen that comes equipped with a purple mane and a light-up horn. Meet UnicornBot, a programmable robot kit that UBTECH Robotics is launching today. Recommended for children age 8 and up, it is on sale for US $120 on UBTECH's site and retailers like Target and Amazon. UBTECH, headquartered in Shenzen, China, with offices in Los Angeles, says UnicornBot "is for all children, but is especially designed to spark an interest in STEM among young girls." UnicornBot has an accompanying app for Android or iOS that helps you put the robot together by following step-by-step 3D instructions.


AI will create millions more jobs than are lost because of economic growth

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AI and related technologies such as robots, drones and autonomous vehicles could provide a net boost to employment in China of around 12% over the next two decades, equating to around 90 million additional jobs. Around 26% of existing jobs in China could be automated over the next 20 years, but this is projected to be more than offset by job creation of 38%, giving an estimated net gain of 12%. Services ( 29%) and construction ( 23%) could see the largest net increases in jobs by 2037 in China, offset by estimated net job losses of around 10% in agriculture. PwC estimates that the boost from AI and related technologies to economic growth in China could create millions of new jobs, more than offsetting displacement of existing jobs. But the report argues there is no room for complacency given the projected scale of disruption to the labor market from these technologies.


Can Artificial Intelligence Improve Customer Service?

#artificialintelligence

Customer service isn't just about having a pleasant attitude or adopting a "the customer is always right" policy. Those things are important, but they're only a few of the things a company needs to do to meet the needs of its patrons. Attitude and a willingness to serve become almost irrelevant if a store's shelves don't have the right merchandise, or a retailer does not offer the delivery or pickup model that meets a customer's needs. Currently, most retailers try to figure out the right mix to keep their customers happy using old-school techniques like observation and satisfaction surveys. Only 7% of retailers currently use artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance customer service.


Can Artificial Intelligence Improve Customer Service?

#artificialintelligence

Customer service isn't just about having a pleasant attitude or adopting a "the customer is always right" policy. Those things are important, but they're only a few of the things a company needs to do to meet the needs of its patrons. Attitude and a willingness to serve become almost irrelevant if a store's shelves don't have the right merchandise, or a retailer does not offer the delivery or pickup model that meets a customer's needs. Currently, most retailers try to figure out the right mix to keep their customers happy using old-school techniques like observation and satisfaction surveys. Only 7% of retailers currently use artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance customer service.


This robot is here to draw your blood

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Your blood is like the Cliffs Notes to your health. It can tell a doctor everything from how well your organs are working to whether you need to add more iron to your diet. So it's no surprise that blood tests are one of the most common diagnostic procedures in the world. And now, researchers from Rutgers University have created a robot that can both draw and test the blood. Automating the process makes it both faster and cheaper.They detail their new invention in a study published in the journal TECHNOLOGY.


M12-backed TwentyBN raises $10 million to help AI interpret human behavior

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Robots are a staple of industry; the International Federation of Robotics predicts that 1.7 million of them will find a home in factory floors worldwide by 2020. In order to work safely and effectively alongside human employees, they have to be painstakingly taught rules accounting for every potential scenario they might encounter. Twenty Billion Neurons (TwentyBN), a three-year-old a startup with offices in Berlin and Canada, believes there's a better way. It today announced a $10 million funding round led by M12, Microsoft's venture fund, with participation from Coparion, Creative Edge, and MFV Partners. CEO and chief scientist Roland Memisevic said it'll use the new capital to scale its business.


Software 'Robots' Power Surging Values for Three Little-Known Startups

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

They were all founded in 2005 or earlier, but it wasn't until the past few years that they took off after hitting on their current business automating simple back-office tasks and dubbing it "robotic process automation." UiPath on Monday completed a new funding round at a $3 billion valuation, said a person familiar with the process, six months after a prior round valued it at $1.1 billion. In July, rival Automation Anywhere raised its first round of financing at a $1.8 billion valuation. Shares in Blue Prism, a public company in the U.K., have risen nearly 30 times since they were listed in March 2016. It raised about $60 million in a secondary share sale in January.