Facebook has introduced its artificially intelligent assistant M to the UK for the first time. Based in the social network’s Messenger app, M will now offer smart suggestions to UK users based on conversations within the app, using AI to “recognise intent” in a conversation and offering shortcuts to features it believes are relevant.
The feature, launched in the US earlier this year, will appear within message threads automatically, for example suggesting payment methods when money is being discussed or starting a poll when a group decision is mentioned. “M relies on AI machine learning techniques. It suggests relevant actions to help manage conversations or help get things done,” Facebook said.
Amazon announced yesterday a new programme that gives developers a way to earn money for their Alexa skills. According to the company, developers will be compensated for top-performing and “engaging” voice apps across over a half-dozen categories, including games, which were previously being compensated through a similar program.
This programme had first begun in May, when Amazon quietly introduced direct cash payouts to Alexa developers with popular games. Now, Amazon will begin to reward voice apps in other categories, including Education & Reference, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, Music & Audio, and Productivity, it says.
A new sailplane glider from Microsoft can fly without a motor and is piloted by artificial intelligence (AI). The device, announced in a Microsoft news release on Wednesday, floats on currents of hot air like a bird and could be used to test next-generation technologies.
The glider was tested in the Nevada desert, where the release noted that the team was in pursuit of developing what it called an “infinite soaring machine.” The sailplane uses the AI developed by Microsoft to constantly seek out thermals, so it can continually stay aloft on the hot air. “Birds do this seamlessly, and all they’re doing is harnessing nature. And they do it with a peanut-sized brain,” Ashish Kapoor, a principal researcher at Microsoft, said in the release.
In April, Axon unveiled an offer for police departments to try its body cameras for free for one year. The video footage collected by its cameras is helping Axon build out its artificial intelligence business, which requires massive amounts of data to train computers to operate autonomously and in unprecedented ways that could vastly expand police surveillance and targeting.
“This marriage of analytics with the vast amount of video being collected is an immense threat to privacy,” Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, told International Business Times. “One of the things that in our society that preserves our privacy is that no one has the time to do the mind numbingly boring task of watching all the video collected. This technology could change that, so that video could in some sense be watched by computers.”
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will cooperate with BMW to develop self-driving cars, the companies said Wednesday, as traditional automakers look to defend their turf against cash-rich Silicon Valley giants eager to upend the industry.
The company said that it would join BMW’s existing alliance with Intel and the chip maker’s newly acquired self-driving technology unit, Mobileye. Fiat Chrysler and BMW said they were open to additional partners. “There was an expectation Fiat Chrysler was resigned to being a hardware manufacturer for Apple or Google,” said James Hodgson, a senior analyst at ABI Research. “This is a sign that they are going to take a more active role.”
Brad Kenstler has built an AI system which uses semantic segmentation with the Fully Convolutional DenseNet known as Tiramisu to find Wally. His goal was to find Waldo as humans do. Given a new image and a conceptual understanding of what Waldo is, the model should locate Waldo even though it has never seen him in that picture before. Check out his tutorial.
If you’d like to see his end-to-end code for this project, you can check out his repository There’s Waldo.
Researchers at the University of Arizona have created a modular robot made of cardboard and a Raspberry Pi Zero (a simple computer) for around $70. The form and movement of this little machine is made to mimic a sea turtle, and the cardboard fins can be swapped out for more durable, 3D-printed materials depending on the environment.
Biologists, mechanical engineers, and computer scientists collaborated to create this robot, and they have big plans for it; one day they hope to send it to Mars.