Silicon Valley CEOs usually focus on the positives when announcing their company's next big thing. In 2007, Apple's Steve Jobs lauded the first iPhone's "revolutionary user interface" and "breakthrough software." Google CEO Sundar Pichai took a different tack at his company's annual conference Wednesday when he announced a beta test of Google's "most advanced conversational AI yet." Pichai said the chatbot, known as LaMDA 2, can converse on any topic and had performed well in tests with Google employees. He announced a forthcoming app called AI Test Kitchen that will make the bot available for outsiders to try.
For years we've been promised a computing future where our commands aren't tapped, typed, or swiped, but spoken. Embedded in this promise is, of course, convenience; voice computing will not only be hands-free, but totally helpful and rarely ineffective. That hasn't quite panned out. The usage of voice assistants has gone up in recent years as more smartphone and smart home customers opt into (or in some cases, accidentally "wake up") the AI living in their devices. But ask most people what they use these assistants for, and the voice-controlled future sounds almost primitive, filled with weather reports and dinner timers.
Every time we ask Siri a question on our iPhones, we're using artificial intelligence, of course, but in what other ways will it infiltrate our lives? AI already goes beyond just Siri or Alexa. Every time you get directions from Google Maps, it's AI that's working out the shortest path from A to B. When you get a film recommendation on Netflix, it's AI that knows about people's preferences and a little too much about you. More than three-quarters of the movies watched on Netflix are those the algorithms choose for us. And we're spending more and more time locked away in digital and virtual realities.
Inspired by A New History of Modern Computing by Thomas Haigh and Paul E. Ceruzzi. But the selection of key events in the journey from ENIAC to Tesla, from Data Processing to Big Data, is mine. This was the first computer made by Apple Computers Inc, which became one of the fastest growing ... [ ] companies in history, launching a number of innovative and influential computer hardware and software products. Most home computer users in the 1970s were hobbyists who designed and assembled their own machines. The Apple I, devised in a bedroom by Steve Wozniak, Steven Jobs and Ron Wayne, was a basic circuit board to which enthusiasts would add display units and keyboards. April 1945 John von Neumann's "First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC," often called the founding document of modern computing, defines "the stored program concept." July 1945 Vannevar Bush publishes "As We May Think," in which he envisions the "Memex," a memory extension device serving as a large personal repository of information that could be instantly retrieved through associative links.
For all the modern conveniences technology brings to the home – Wi-Fi-enabled washing machines, powerful gaming systems and enormous smart televisions – one of the downsides is paying to power it all. In fact, home utility costs are continuing to spike for many parts of the country, with 2021 electricity prices rising at the fastest rate since 2008, says the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) – already hitting Americans facing skyrocketing inflation, resulting in higher costs for many goods and services. Not only does the average household have dozens of consumer electronics products plugged into power outlets at any given time, most consume electricity when not in use. "Vampire power" – also referred to as "phantom power" or "standby power" – can account for as much as 10% of a household's electricity bill, says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This can really add up.
On May 8, 2018, Google I/O was held at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. If you are wondering what Google I/O is, don't worry, I've got your back. "Google I/O brings together developers from around the globe annually for talks, hands-on learning with Google experts, and the first look at Google's latest developer products." In the Keynote, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet Inc. (Google's parent company), shared the then-latest developments that Google had been working on. One of the projects that he spoke about was something that maybe no one saw coming; an application of Artificial Intelligence (AI), soon to be on our own smartphones, that left the world in awe.
In this chapter, we provide a review of conversational agents (CAs), discussing chatbots, intended for casual conversation with a user, as well as task-oriented agents that generally engage in discussions intended to reach one or several specific goals, often (but not always) within a specific domain. We also consider the concept of embodied conversational agents, briefly reviewing aspects such as character animation and speech processing. The many different approaches for representing dialogue in CAs are discussed in some detail, along with methods for evaluating such agents, emphasizing the important topics of accountability and interpretability. A brief historical overview is given, followed by an extensive overview of various applications, especially in the fields of health and education. We end the chapter by discussing benefits and potential risks regarding the societal impact of current and future CA technology.
In a building called the Partnerplex on Google's sprawling campus in Mountain View, California, I've been invited to hear a 51-second phone recording of someone making a dinner reservation. Person 2: Hi, um, I'd like to reserve a table for Friday the third. Person 1: OK, hold on one moment. Person 1: OK… hold on one second. As I listen to what sounds like a man and a woman talking, Google's top executives for Assistant, the search giant's digital helper, watch closely to gauge my reaction. They're showing off the Assistant's new tricks a few days before Google I/O, the company's annual developer conference that starts Tuesday. Turns out this particular trick is pretty wild.
The technology boom amidst the pandemic has already hit 2022, creating another record with Apple. This week, the company was valued at $3 trillion, the first US company to reach this growth. This follows Apple's tremendous market growth that has risen by 38% since the start of 2021 and tripled in value in under four years. The Guardian estimated the valuation is equivalent to the combined value of Boeing, Coca-Cola, Disney, Exxon-Mobil, McDonald's, Netflix and Walmart. While the growth has not been sustained, the company has surely been a disruptor in the technology market with their breakthrough innovations for decades.
As companies unveil their new smart home devices at the 2022 CES tech show, underway now in Las Vegas, much of the hype involves Matter, an open-source connectivity standard built around a shared belief that smart home devices should seamlessly integrate with other systems and be secure and reliable. If you like devices, you are probably among the 66% of households that have smart home devices, according to Deloitte. We also know you don't just stick with one company or brand, but probably have purchased from at least half a dozen different companies. That's why for any company launching a smart home device this year, having Matter support will be helpful. Not only is the protocol being developed by some of the biggest tech companies -- think Apple, Amazon and Google -- and smart home device makers, it is designed to finally fix the issues around fragmented smart home systems so that all of your devices can be easily set up and routed from one place.