Category Archives: Artificial intelligence (AI)

Humans no longer required: Google tests robot to chat with friends for you

With its new Reply system the firm is taking the art of conversion one step forwards – or should that be backwards?

Are you tired of the constant need to tap on a glass keyboard just to keep up with your friends? Do you wish a robot could free you of your constant communication obligations via WhatsApp, Facebook or text messages? Google is working on an AI-based auto-reply system to do just that.

Google’s experimental product lab called Area 120 is currently testing a new system simply called Reply that will work with Google’s Hangouts and Allo, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Twitter direct messages and Slack.

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Source: gadt

Household robots: more than just expensive toys…

Advances in AI and robotics are leading to high street models becoming increasingly useful in our day-to-day lives

Named after the Greek god of the wind, this bot’s abilities are more prosaic yet nevertheless useful. Its big boast is that it can fetch you a beer from the fridge, but this household helper can also vacuum, pick up toys and find your lost glasses. The price tag will probably be five figures and the manufactures are hoping it will breeze into shops later this year.

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Source: gadt

Automation to take 1 in 3 jobs in UK's northern centres, report finds

Workers in Wakefield and Mansfield worst affected as tech advances risk widening north-south divide

Workers in Mansfield, Sunderland and Wakefield are at the highest risk of having their jobs taken by machines, according to a report warning that automation stands to further widen the north-south divide.

Outside of the south of England, one in four jobs are at risk of being replaced by advances in technology – much higher than the 18% average for wealthier locations closer to London. Struggling towns and cities in the north and the Midlands are most exposed. A total of 3.6m UK jobs could be replaced by machines.

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Source: gadt

The big tech backlash

Tech giants are drawing political fire over fake news and Russian meddling

Nicholas Terry understands the internet’s darker side better than most. A history lecturer at Exeter University, Terry is an expert on antisemitism and runs a blog examining Holocaust denial and its dissemination online.

“You’ve got three separate phenomena converging,” he says. “One is the fake news stuff, promulgated by the likes of Facebook and Twitter, which is trying to promote specific false stories in real time for immediate impact; second, there’s the ideological bubble – people only reading leftwing or rightwing news sites; and then there’s this effort by fringe movements on Holocaust denial to make their websites look respectable and to hoodwink readers into thinking what they’re reading is OK.”

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Source: gadt

Will tech giants move on from the internet, now we’ve all been harvested?

Internet users have fed firms their personal data – which in turn is feeding the rapid growth of AI. Has the industry consumed all it needs from the web?

Much of the current hysteria about the technology industry is due to its highly ambiguous relationship with its users. Driven by the logics of both compassion and indifference, this relationship has always been erratic yet functional. These two clashing rationales, for example, allowed technology companies, frequently painted as Dr Evil, to claim the mantle of Mother Theresa. However, as the unresolved contradictions of these logics pile up, we can’t fail to notice the incoherence of the industry’s overall social vision.

The compassion story has some truth to it. Tech giants have pegged their business models on our ability to consume. Thus, their interests are somewhat aligned with ours: we need a paycheque to buy what’s being advertised. A charitable comparison might be to Henry Ford paying his workers enough to buy his cars; a less charitable might be to slave owners keeping slaves fed not to lose them to exhaustion. However, unlike Ford or slave owners, our tech moguls want someone else to fund their preferred solutions (eg the universal basic income).

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Source: gadt

AI used to face-swap Hollywood stars into pornography films

Images of Emma Watson, Daisy Ridley, Scarlett Johansson and others used to create fake adult films using advanced machine learning

Advanced machine learning technology is being used to create fake pornography featuring real actors and pop stars, pasting their faces over existing performers in explicit movies.

The resulting clips, made without consent from the women whose faces are used, are often indistinguishable from a real film, with only subtly uncanny differences suggesting something is amiss.

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Source: gadt

Google CEO: we're happy to pay more tax

Sundar Pichai tells Davos flawed tax system is to blame for EU countries missing out on revenue

The chief executive of Google has declared he is happy for his company to pay more tax, and called for the existing system to be reformed.

Sundar Pichai told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the tax system needed to be reformed to address concerns that some companies were not paying their fair share.

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Source: gadt

As technology develops, so must journalists’ codes of ethics | Paul Chadwick

AI is sure to bring many benefits but concerns over its ability to make decisions mean human journalists’ input remains vital

Journalism is largely collaboration: reporters with sources, writers and editors, lawyers advising publishers, producers with distributors, and audiences feeding back their knowledge. Rapid development of artificial intelligence means journalists are likely to collaborate more and more with machines that think. The word itself, machines, feels so industrial era, but “robots” feels too limited. Humans are busy building brains, if not yet minds. So my shorthand for now is AI.

Related: The real risks of artificial intelligence

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Source: gad

Climate change, AI and harassment – the hottest topics at this year’s Davos

The World Economic Forum focuses on the ‘fractured world’ this year: but the biggest star at the gala will be Donald Trump

Donald Trump will loom large at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this week, as the self-styled anti-globalist joins the annual gathering of billionaires, business executives and politicians.

The meeting at the luxury ski resort in the Swiss Alps at the start of each year is set to be dominated by the US president, who is due to give a special address to the conference on Friday.

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Source: gad

CEO Kaz Hirai on Sony turnaround: ‘My job has been to revive pride in what we do’

The firm’s chief executive says his hands-on approach has paid off so far, but he’s not ready for a victory lap just yet

The secret to rekindling Sony’s return to form, according to the company’s chief executive, is personalisation – achieved not by the mass collection of customer data in the way some big tech firms do, but by eliciting an emotional response to its products.

“Getting in close is the only way,” says Kaz Hirai, who took the helm of Sony five-and-half-years ago charged with turning the company around; he has succeeded, with Sony projecting its largest-ever annual operating profit of £4.2bn this year. Hirai is a passionate believer in the Japanese concept of Kando, which is about establishing an emotional connection across what Sony calls “the last one inch” to the consumer – the wow factor that creates enthusiasm and loyalty.

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Source: gad2