AI

adminJuly 21, 2018
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7min

During the last few decades, technology has been continually evolving in a rapid fashion. It started with the rise of the Internet and smartphones. Aside from that, other smart gadgets and technologies began to circulate the market as well.

At present, breakthrough technology is dramatically changing how things work in various industries in countless and unexpected ways. For instance, modern technology makes it easier for people to make accommodation and travel arrangements, and so technological advancement has boosted tourism and travel.

If you look at the manufacturing industry, technology has also played a key part in assisting production with the help of the computational power and data availability that it provides. Technology has also helped other industries such as farming, healthcare, automotive, music, and transportation.

In short, technology has been an indispensable factor in changing various industries and helping them to thrive and survive in better ways than they did before.

Below you will read about some of the hand-picked breakthrough technologies that are included in this year’s MIT Technology Review.

MIT Technology Review

3-D Metal Printing

3-D printing began as far back as 1981, but it was mostly used by hobbyist and also for designing purposes. Currently, however, 3D printing has been viewed as a sensible approach in manufacturing metal parts. 3-D printers can easily make metal objects quickly and, most importantly, in a cheaper way.

Looking at it as a whole, this technology is capable of making large and complex-looking metal objects and parts that are on demand. It could, in turn, potentially transform manufacturing as we know it and open up new doors of possibilities and opportunities.

The current key players of 3-D metal printing are Markforged, Desktop Metal, and GE.

Artificial Embryos

This technological breakthrough has given a completely different meaning to how life can be created. Experts working at the University of Cambridge have cultivated real-looking mouse embryos just by using stem cells. No egg or sperm was required; just stem cells that were harvested from another embryo.

This breakthrough of artificial embryos will certainly open up new doors for us to better understand how life develops. However, it also poses various concerns such as ethical and, surprisingly, even philosophical problems.

The current key players of artificial embryos are the University of Cambridge, University of Michigan, and Rockefeller University.

Artificial Embryos

 

Cloud-based AI Services

Artificial Intelligence has always been making huge splashes in various industries; however, it is dominated by only a select few. Now, by making it a cloud-based service, AI can easily be available to many others and offer the economy a significant boost.

The current key players of Cloud-based AI services are Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft. Together they are working to increase people’s access to machine learning and artificial intelligence and make it relatively affordable and easy to use.

Cloud-based AI Services

Babel Fish Earbuds

Ever since time immemorial, language has always been one of the greatest barriers to communication and it still is. With the help of near-real-time translation, people can have their conversation in different languages and in near real-time, which is not just effective but also efficient.

It has been reported that the earbuds are still in their early stages, but it cannot be denied that the underlying technology in this is truly promising.

Babel Fish Earbuds

These are truly exciting times as technology advances with blinding speed.  It is just as hard to imagine what the next 20 years will bring just as it is was hard for us to imagine what today would be like 20 years ago.  What is truly extraordinary about breakthroughs today is that they are spreading out into different industries rapidly, and are no longer mostly just limited to just a few industries, like the way they were 20 years ago.


adminJune 10, 2018
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6min

Computex 2018, the largest computing show of the year, has now kicked off.

Computex 2018, which was held in Taipei, is the annual gathering place for the wider PC industry to show off its latest and best innovations. It is also the ideal place to exchange and discuss ideas about the future of personal computing and is often used as a launch platform for daring new concept designs and high specification gadgets.

One of the most noteworthy innovations presented at Computex 2018 is a dual-screen AI-powered laptop, which is called the ASUS Project Precog. If the Precog name sounds vaguely familiar to you, it’s because Precog was the name given to gifted and other-worldly beings that are capable of seeing the future in Tom Cruise’s film, Minority Report.

Computex 2018

What is Project Precog?

Project Precog, a concept developed by ASUS, is a laptop formed of two shimmering sheets of glass. ASUS intends this laptop to be powered by AI. Now, what exactly does that mean? It means that Project Precog has two screens that can predict how you’ll want to use your laptop. It can actually detect if there’s a mouse or keyboard around as well. Project Precog can even provide virtual mice and keyboards if there aren’t any real ones around!

Asus’s Project Precog can also anticipate where your fingers are over the laptop and shift its virtual keyboard around accordingly. On top of all this, Project Precog will even have face and voice recognition.

There are a lot of great features on this laptop. For example, Project Precog is optimized to function in a normal laptop mode, tent mode, and flat mode. And for all of the creative folks out there, it will also be compatible with a stylus. The Precog can also learn to predict when your meetings are and will be able to conserve battery effectively so as to ensure that you don’t run out of battery, which is a great feature for businessmen.

To make it simpler, this laptop is extremely smart although it is still a prototype. It’s meant to unite AI design and technology in an incredibly substantial way.

Project Precog

Project Precog as a Finished Product

As I’ve already mentioned, Project Precog is merely just a prototype. So, what will be its complete features as a finished product? Here’s a quick summary of what ASUS says will be in its final build:

  • Project Precog will have a dual-screen and AI setup.
  • It will be able to detect whether a keyboard or mouse is near and will instinctively give you virtual, on-screen ones if necessary.
  • When you are using the virtual keyboard, it can identify where your hands are placed above the frame and can accordingly shift the keyboard.
  • It can learn to recognize what part of the day your meetings or appointments are and will be able to conserve battery accordingly.
  • The AI will be compatible with Microsoft Office applications. One example cited was that Excel would suggest the best approach on how you would be able to present your data as you type or put it into a spreadsheet.
  • Project Precog can work in book, laptop, flat, and tent modes. It can also be used with a stylus. In addition, it will have face and object recognition.

Project Precog as a Finished Product

Of course, we still don’t have an idea on how expensive this laptop will be and also when exactly it will it be launched, but it’s an exciting concept and I am on the edge of my seat to get my hands on this one.


adminJune 6, 2018
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7min

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.



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