adminJune 6, 2018
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7min430

Nowadays, artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in a variety of ways, the most common of which is in improving computer programs and technologies. You might have heard of the popular artificial intelligence conversation program SimSimi back in 2012. For those who don’t know this piece of information, SimSimi was created by ISMaker, and it has an application designed for Android, for Windows Phone, and for iOS.

Another artificial intelligence application is in application programs that function as AI assistants, such as Alexa and Siri. These AI assistants help businessmen run their businesses more efficiently. Most of these AI assistants manage client projects, leaving businessmen more time to help their clients and make them feel satisfied and happy.

AI assistants alexa and siri

A Look into AI Assistants

Before we have further discussion, let’s try to learn what an AI assistant is. An AI assistant is an application program that understands natural language voice commands and completes tasks for the user. They use natural language processing, or NLP, to match user text or voice input to executable commands. Most of them continually learn using artificial intelligence techniques including machine learning.

To activate an AI assistant, a keyword may be used. A keyword is a word or group of words such as “Alexa” or “Siri”.

A Deeper Understanding of Alexa and Siri

Amazon’s Alexa is an AI assistant developed by Amazon. It was first used in the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker, which was developed by Amazon Lab126. Among other things, Alexa is capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do-lists, streaming podcasts, and providing weather, traffic, sports, and other real-time information, such as news.

Another great function of Alexa is its capability to control several smart devices while using itself as a home automation system. What’s more amazing about Alexa is that users can extend Alexa’s capabilities by installing “skills”. To make you understand more clearly, skills (also referred to as apps, such as weather programs and audio features) are additional functionalities that are developed by third-party vendors.

Additionally, Amazon allows device manufacturers to integrate Alexa voice capabilities into their own connected products by using the Alexa Voice Service (AVS), which is a cloud-based service that provides application programming interfaces to interact with Alexa.

Whereas Alexa is an AI assistant developed by Amazon, Siri is an AI assistant that is part of Apple Inc.’s iOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS. The AI assistant uses voice queries and a natural-language user interface to answer queries, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of internet services. The software adapts to every user’s unique language usages, searches, and preferences, with continuing use; thus, returned results are individualized.

In actuality, Siri is a spin-off from a project originally developed by the SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center, and its speech recognition engine was provided by Nuance Communications.

Siri supports a wide range of user commands, including performing phone actions, handling device settings, checking basic information, searching the Internet, scheduling events and reminders, navigating areas, and is able to engage with iOS-integrated apps, and in addition, Siri uses advanced machine learning to function.

Amazon’s Alexa

How did Alexa and Siri get their names?

We all have been saying, or sometimes practically shouting, their names at our gadgets, but does anyone ever have an idea where they got their names in the first place? If you still don’t know the answer to that, let me tell you now.

No one has ever revealed who actually developed Siri, but we do know that Siri was eventually bought by Apple for their iOS products. And so, Apple had no say over what to name this piece of technology.

Adam Cheyer, Siri’s co-creator, said that the name Siri was chosen because it was short to type, easy to remember, comfortable to pronounce, and is a unique name.

As for Alexa, apparently, the inspiration for the name came from Star Trek. The characters in Star Trek would say “computer” aloud before issuing a voice command to their spaceship. And so, it gave them an idea. However, “computer” wasn’t a suitable choice for the Amazon Echo since the staff needed a unique word that wouldn’t accidentally be said out loud.

In the end, they eventually settled on Alexa because it’s a unique word and easy to pronounce, but most importantly, it has a letter “X”, giving it a very unique sound.


adminJune 2, 2018
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7min750

With the ever-growing and rapidly-evolving technology we have today, a lot of revolutionary inventions have emerged and one of them is artificial intelligence. We can basically see it in most of our modern gadgets such as mobile phones, smart watches, drones, self-driving cars, speakers, SIRI, and many others. But what happens if something, however remotely trivial or small, goes wrong?

The researchers at MIT Media Lab sounded a little bit scared of their latest invention: a neural network called “Norman”, whom they claim is showing thought processes that are closest to “psychopathic” than any other AI before it. Part of its introduction to the public was staged as an April Fool’s prank on the lab’s official site, on which they claimed that the AI Norman’s thought processes became permanently deranged by constant exposure to the darkest corners of Reddit. While that diagnosis may have been intentionally exaggerated, the part about Norman’s incredibly morbid point of view is terrifyingly real.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence, commonly referred to as AI, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by human beings and other animals. Artificial intelligence can also be understood as an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of smart machines that work and reacts like humans. Some of them are designed for speech recognition, learning, planning, and problem-solving.

Research conducted with regard to artificial intelligence is specialized and highly technical. The main problems of artificial intelligence include programming computers for certain traits such as reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, perception, problem-solving, and ability to manipulate and move objects.

Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence

There are people who have negative feelings toward artificial intelligence, but what they don’t know is that it can be quite beneficial. First and most important, it produces jobs. Contrary to popular belief, artificial intelligence actually helps companies, such as Google and Netflix, to exist. Actually, Google alone employs more than 70,000 employees. Imagine that 70,000 people are able to have jobs that don’t involve mindless tasks; this is just one benefit of artificial intelligence, and that’s just the success it has had with one company. Artificial intelligence helps businesses grow, develop, and allocate new resources to hire more people. Another benefit that artificial intelligence provides is helping reduce the effect of some of the man’s poor decisions. Other benefits are its convenience, efficiency, and its role in promoting faster advancement in healthcare and technology.

Of course, there will also be risks involved in such advanced technologies. First on the list is that phishing scams could get even worse. They could become even more prevalent and effective thanks to AI. Also, hackers could start using AI like financial firms. Fake news and propaganda are only going to get worse. AI could make weapons more destructive.

Meet Norman, the AI Psychopath

A neural network designed by researchers at MIT Media Lab, Normal is disturbingly different from other types of artificial intelligence (AI). Norman is an algorithm that is specifically trained to understand pictures, but, like its namesake Hitchcock’s Norman Bates, it does not have an optimistic view of the world.

Norman’s point of view was incessantly bleak; it saw dead bodies, blood, and destruction in every image. When it was shown different inkblot drawings and asked what it saw, it answered with some really disturbing responses. A drawing that a regular AI would interpret as “a close up of a vase with flowers” would be interpreted by Norman as “a man shot dead”. A drawing that a regular AI would interpret as “a black and white photo of a small bird” would be interpreted by Norman as “a man getting pulled into a dough machine”. Even when it was shown colored inkblot drawings, Norman would still interpret it as “a man shot dead in front of his screaming wife” and “a man killed by a speeding driver”. Norman is quite biased towards death and destruction because that is all that it knows. AI in real-life situations can be equally biased if it was trained on flawed and bad data.

Apparently, Norman isn’t the first AI to focus on dark subject matters.  Earlier experiments such as “Nightmare Machine”, an AI that learned to recognize images that scared people and turned ordinary photos into horrific ones, and “Shelley”, an AI that was fed text from various horror stories and eventually learned to write her own original tales of terror, came before Norman.


adminMay 31, 2018
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5min730

Nvidia Corporation, most commonly known as Nvidia, is an American technology company based in Santa Clara, California. They basically design graphics processing units (GPUs) for the professional and gaming markets, as well as a system on a chip unit for the automotive and mobile computing market.

Ever since 2014, Nvidia has shifted to becoming a platform company focused on four markets: gaming, data centers, professional, and auto. Nvidia is now also focused on artificial intelligence.

Just yesterday, Nvidia launched a monster box called the HGX-2 and it’s exactly the kind of thing that technology nerds would die for. It’s a cloud server that is purported to be extremely powerful in that it combines high-performance computing with artificial intelligence requirements in one phenomenal and compelling package.

Now, let’s see the specifications since I’m sure you are all waiting for it. The Nvidia HGX-2 starts with 16x NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs. That is really good for 2 petaFLOPS for artificial intelligence with low precision, 250 teraFLOPS for medium precision, and 125 teraFLOPS for those times when you require the highest precision. It also comes typically with a ½ a terabyte of memory and 12 Nvidia NVSwitches that enables GPU to GPU communications at 300 GB per second. Compared with the HGX-1, which was released last year, they have doubled the capacity of the HGX-2.

The sad part about all of this is you won’t be able to buy one of these boxes. As a matter of fact, Nvidia is distributing them strictly to resellers, all of whom would most likely package all of these boxes and sell them to data centers and cloud providers. “The beauty of this approach for cloud resellers is that when you buy it, they have the entire range of precision in a single box,” Paresh Kharya – Group Product Marketing Manager for Nvidia’s Tesla data center products – said.

“The benefit of a unified platform is that while companies and cloud providers are building their infrastructure, they can standardize on a single unified architecture that supports the whole range of high-performance workloads. So, whether it’s an artificial intelligence or high-performance simulations, the whole range of workloads is now possible in just a single platform,” Kharya further explained.

“In hyper-scale companies or cloud providers, the main benefit that the Nvidia HGX-2 provides is the economies of scale. If they can standardize on the fewest possible architectures, they can ultimately maximize their operational efficiency. What HGX-2 allows them to do is to standardize on that single unified platform,” he added.

While Jensen Huang – Nvidia’s founder and chief executive – said, “The world of computing has changed. CPU scaling has slowed at a time when computing demand is skyrocketing. Nvidia’s HGX-2 with Tensor Core GPUs gives the industry a powerful, versatile computing platform that fuses high-performance computing and artificial intelligence to solve the world’s grand challenges.”

But this GPU-driven technological powerhouse is just the beginning. Although it is incredibly capable in its own right, it could also just simply act as the basis for even more powerful arrays of technologically-advanced creations.

The Nvidia HGX-2 powered serves will be available in the market later this year.



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