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Amazon confirms Alexa outage in UK and mainland Europe

The Guardian

Amazon has confirmed its Alexa virtual assistant service suffered an outage in the UK and mainland Europe but is now back to normal. The Downdetector website reported a wave of Alexa outages in the UK and across Europe on Friday morning at about 7am GMT, with the reports spread throughout the UK. An Amazon spokesperson said: "This morning we had an issue that impacted some Alexa customers' ability to interact with the service. The Alexa service is now operating normally." Many users said they had been left unable to wake their voice-activated Amazon Echo smart devices, with some seeing a ring of red lights and a message asking them to try again later or that "something went wrong".


Top 5 AI trends for 2020 - KDnuggets

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The idea that computers or software programs can both learn and make decisions is particularly significant and something that we should be aware of, as their processes are growing exponentially over time. Because of these two skills, AI systems can now accomplish many of the tasks that were once reserved for humans. Over the last few years, the growth of AI technology has been staggering. AI-based systems are now being used to help humans benefit from significant improvements and increased efficiency in nearly every area of life. As the development of AI continues to grow, it will change the ways we live and work more and more.


It only took Alexa five years to take over our lives

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When Amazon debuted the Amazon Echo in 2014, there were decidedly mixed reactions to the black, cylindrical Bluetooth speaker that could pick up voice commands. Few understood why the e-commerce giant had suddenly released a $199 speaker that could talk to you. Today we know that the Echo and other devices Amazon has since released are mere vessels for the real star of the show: Alexa. The voice assistant is available in 15 languages and 80 countries and boasts more than 100,000 "skills," compared to about a dozen five years ago. It can wake up your cat, serve as an interpreter, deter a burglar, help you work out, and streamline your workflow.


Amazon Alexa Skills and Google Assistant Actions: The Future of Search

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In 2018 smart speaker ownership has doubled in the UK. The most popular voice assistant is Amazon Alexa which is part of the Alexa Echo device, followed by Google Assistant which powers Google Home and Google Home Mini, Apple's Home Pod and Sonos One. At the moment people mainly use voice assistants to play music, answer questions, set alarm and reminders. Is there an opportunity there for marketers? Alexa provides a set of built-in capabilities, called skills.


30 Powerful Artificial Intelligence Examples you Need to Know

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) may look like something out of the pages of a sci-fi book, yet you'd be surprised how often you use it daily. As the technology continues to improve, AI will become even more common with more widespread utilization among diverse industries. To start with, let's begin with the basic definition of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and what it includes. Seeking Alpha gives a very apt description of the same in their article- At a basic level, artificial intelligence is the concept of machines accomplishing tasks which have historically required human intelligence. Applied AI: Machines designed to complete very specifics tasks like navigating a vehicle, trading stocks, or playing chess – as IBM's Deep Blue demonstrated in 1996 when it defeated chess grand master Gerry Kasparov. General AI: Machines designed to complete any task which would normally require human intervention. The broad nature of General AI requires machines to "learn" as they encounter new tasks or ...


Tech Review Analysts Giving Up On Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency

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Tech Review (TR 2019-02-02)--Domain Mondo's weekly review of tech investing news: Features • 1) Giving Up On Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency, 2) Amazon Alexa And Google Assistant Becoming Omnipresent, 3) Investing: The Week & Notes: WEF, EU, Brexit, US, 4)ICYMI Tech News: Facebook, Nvidia, Twitter, Google, Oracle, Huawei, China VC, Microsoft, Amazon, Startup Starbreeze Implodes, Personal Tech: Chromebooks vs Windows? 1) Giving Up On Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Bitcoin in $US Bitcoin Volatility Problematic For Analysts: Crypto enthusiasts such as Mike Novogratz made wild predictions on Bitcoin's price in 2018, most of which proved wrong. Tom Lee of Fundstrat said Bitcoin would hit $25,000 by end of 2018. Now, Lee, and others, are not making timing calls at all. However, Ripple CEO says decentralized payment systems are likely to win: Ripple's Brad Garlinghouse discusses blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies at a CNBC-hosted panel in Paris. CNBC International TV video above published Jan 31, 2019.


Alexa Prize — State of the Art in Conversational AI

AI Magazine

Eighteen teams were selected for the inaugural competition last year. To build their socialbots, the students combined state-of-the-art techniques with their own novel strategies in the areas of natural language understanding and conversational AI. This article reports on the research conducted over the 2017-2018 year. While the 20-minute grand challenge was not achieved in the first year, the competition produced several conversational agents that advanced the state of the art, that are interesting for everyday users to interact with, and that help form a baseline for the second year of the competition. We conclude with a summary of the human conversation have applicability in both work that we plan to address in the second year of professional and everyday domains. The first generation of such assistants -- Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, Google The Alexa Prize competition received hundreds of Assistant, and Microsoft's Cortana -- have been applications from interested universities. After a focused on short, task-oriented interactions, such as detailed review of the applications, Amazon playing music or answering simple questions, as announced 12 sponsored and 6 unsponsored teams opposed to the longer free-form conversations that as the inaugural cohort for the Alexa Prize. The teams occur naturally in social and professional human that went live for the 2017 competition, listed alphabetically interaction. Conversational AI is the study of techniques by university, were DeisBot (Brandeis University), for creating software agents that can engage Magnus (Carnegie Mellon University), in natural conversational interactions with humans.


Audi is adding Alexa to the E-Tron and other select models

Engadget

Audi is joining the growing list of automakers, including BMW and Toyota, choosing to add Alexa voice control to their vehicles. The company will integrate Amazon's voice assistant into select models in North America and Europe, starting in January 2019 and with the newly unveiled E-Tron electric SUV. Audi will load Alexa onto the selected vehicles' infotainment systems, so there's no need to dock your phones -- simply link your car to your Amazon account and then activate the assistant through the onboard voice control system. You'll then be able to ask Alexa to play music, read audiobooks, order groceries, tell you sports scores and to add items to your shopping lists while driving. Ned Curic, VP of Alexa Auto, says you'll also be able to ask Alexa to locate points of interest, as well as to control smart devices from your car.


Overview of the Payments Industry

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Banks That Have Implemented Social Media Payments Through Facebook and Twitter, Let's Talk Payments


Artificial Intelligence for Digital Payments Security

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– Digital wallets are becoming the new way to pay. Most interesting factor here is to know companies who are most successful in this field actually came out of payment industry with no prior knowledge or payment intelligence but rather came with Artificial Intelligence. How to pay and where to pay, when to pay etc. Disrupted the most unknown and unsecured payment methods like contactless payment systems. Does any one ask any question from these ventures weather their suggested methods are safer, secured or how much vulnerable than chip-enabled plastic cards, and what it might take for contactless systems to be used as widely as cash. How the data or sensitive data of a customer been treated and used in their systems. The AI sub-field called "Artificial General Intelligence" (AGI) is most relevant. AGI is about autonomous agents interacting in an environment.