smart speaker


8 reasons to use a digital assistant in your classroom

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence has gone mainstream. It's already integrated into our everyday lives, with realistic voices responding to questions and requests. For a while now, we have been able to get reminders for appointments, encouragement for fitness routines, and remote control over household lights and appliances. But can these devices be useful in schools? In addition to being sources of factual information, can they enhance thought-provoking activities?


Thanks to AI, These Cameras Will Know What They're Seeing

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Modern life is one big photo shoot. The glassy eyes of closed-circuit TV cameras watch over streets and stores, while smartphone owners continually surveil themselves and others. Tech companies like Google and Amazon have convinced people to invite ever-watching lenses into their homes via smart speakers and internet-connected security cameras. Now a new breed of chips tuned for artificial intelligence is arriving to help cameras around stores, sidewalks, and homes make sense of what they see. Even relatively cheap devices will be able to know your name, what you're holding, or that you've been loitering for exactly 17.5 minutes.


Google's new AIY kit opens up the world of AI for complete novices

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Google has released two new AIY kits that allow even complete novices to get hands-on with artificial intelligence. Two of the biggest fields in commercial AI are computer vision, and voice assistants, and the two kits fall into these two categories. Both are small self-assembly cardboard boxes with all the components for the user to put together their kit. The components vary based on which kit you've got. Vision contains (among other essentials) a Raspberry Pi, SD card and camera, while Voice contains the Pi and SD card, plus a speaker and microphone array.


Apple Needs to Reconsider Its HomePod Strategy

Slate

Apple finally joined the smart speaker competition in February with the launch of its $349 HomePod. The device was anxiously anticipated. Reports that Apple had been working on a "Siri speaker" had circulated for more than a year, but the device missed its targeted December 2017 debut. Now, the HomePod seems to be missing the mark with consumers. According to recent reports, HomePod sales haven't hit Apple's expectations, and the company is considering options including a lower priced model.


How Apple's strategy is hobbling the HomePod

Washington Post

Apple's main claim to fame is a proven track record for successful products. But with its latest, the HomePod smart speaker, some analysts say its old formula for success -- going for the high end of the market and tightly controlling its ecosystem -- has let it down. Recent analyst reports suggest that the HomePod isn't selling well. Bloomberg reported last week that Apple even cut its internal sales estimates. While Apple hasn't released numbers on HomePod sales, it's expected to give some sense of the HomePod's sales in its next earnings report on May 1. HomePod sales are important to the Cupertino, Calif.


AI chips are going to bring new brains to smart speakers, PCs, cars, and phones you can afford

#artificialintelligence

Google uses AI for services like search, translation and face detection, but its AI chips, which it calls tensor processing units, run in data centers. Now AI chips are spreading to phones, PCs, cars and more. You've likely seen artificial intelligence technology spread into apps, devices and services, doing things like recognizing your friends' faces in photos and endowing smart speakers with human-sounding voices. Well, good news: The processor industry has noticed, too. That means we'll see a slew of new chips that should speed up AI tasks not just on your phone or laptop but also in your car or home security camera.


Thanks to AI, These Cameras Will Know What They're Seeing

WIRED

Modern life is one big photo shoot. The glassy eyes of closed-circuit TV cameras watch over streets and stores, while smartphone owners continually surveil themselves and others. Tech companies like Google and Amazon have convinced people to invite ever-watching lenses into their homes via smart speakers and internet-connected security cameras. Now a new breed of chips tuned for artificial intelligence is arriving to help cameras around stores, sidewalks, and homes make sense of what they see. Even relatively cheap devices will be able to know your name, what you're holding, or that you've been loitering for exactly 17.5 minutes.


Panasonic SC-GA10 review: A smart speaker that fails to stand out

Engadget

Alexa and Google Assistant have been taking over homes for a few years now, so it's probably easier to name the companies that haven't made a smart speaker. The options are seemingly endless. Audio gear that harnesses a virtual assistant comes in all shapes and sizes, with some making big claims about the quality of sound they get out of such small devices. Panasonic is doing just that with its $250 SC-GA10; however, the company's promise of "premium hi-fi sound" failed to make a lasting impression. As you should expect, Google Assistant works just fine here to deliver a "smart" speaker experience.


AI chips are going to bring new brains to smart speakers, PCs, cars, and phones you can afford

#artificialintelligence

Google uses AI for services like search, translation and face detection, but its AI chips, which it calls tensor processing units, run in data centers. Now AI chips are spreading to phones, PCs, cars and more. You've likely seen artificial intelligence technology spread into apps, devices and services, doing things like recognizing your friends' faces in photos and endowing smart speakers with human-sounding voices. Well, good news: The processor industry has noticed, too. That means we'll see a slew of new chips that should speed up AI tasks not just on your phone or laptop but also in your car or home security camera.


Google's AI can now pick out individual voices in a noisy room

#artificialintelligence

People are, generally speaking, much better than computers at picking out a single voice in a crowd. You'll know this if you've ever tried to say something to your smart speaker while someone else is talking at the same time. Chances are it probably asked you to repeat your command. Now, this could be about to change, following the announcement Google has trained an AI model to separate distinct speech signals from one single audio recording. In a blog post, the company reveals its new deep learning model works by using both the auditory and visual signals of an input video – in short, it lip reads.