One of the common challenges with chatting with a chatbot is that it never quite feels like a real conversation; it’s always a bit stilted. We saw how Amazon addressed this challenge with Follow Up Mode for Alexa last month.
We were excited to read about a new breakthrough for Microsoft on this front. Yesterday, they unveiled the ability for bots to have “session-oriented” back and forth conversations with humans, instead of the single question, single answer format seen in most digital assistants today.
We’re hiring…check out our Junior Chatbot Analyst role here.
Read more about how to get a free AI book, Google’s controversial deal with the Pentagon, an AI-related boycott of Korean university, and more.
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P.S. We’re also looking for a Consulting Director, Senior Front End Developer (React + Redux) and more here.
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Developments in artificial intelligence may help us to predict the probability of life on other planets, according to new work by a team based at Plymouth University. The study uses artificial neural networks (ANNs) to classify planets into five types, estimating a probability of life in each case, which could be used in future interstellar exploration missions. The work is presented at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) in Liverpool on 4 April by Mr Christopher Bishop.
The team, based at the Centre for Robotics and Neural Systems at Plymouth University, have trained their network to classify planets into five different types, based on whether they are most like the present-day Earth, the early Earth, Mars, Venus or Saturn’s moon Titan. All five of these objects are rocky bodies known to have atmospheres, and are among the most potentially habitable objects in our Solar System.
Last month, it was announced that Google was offering its resources to the US Department of Defense for Project Maven, a research initiative to develop computer vision algorithms that can analyze drone footage. In response, more than 3,100 Google employees have signed a letter urging Google CEO Sundar Pichai to reevaluate the company’s involvement, as “Google should not be in the business of war,” as reported by The New York Times.
Over 50 top AI researchers on Wednesday announced a boycott of KAIST, South Korea’s top university, after it opened what they called an AI weapons lab with one of South Korea’s largest companies.
The researchers, based in 30 countries, said they would refrain from visiting KAIST, hosting visitors from the university, or cooperating with its research programs until it pledged to refrain from developing AI weapons without “meaningful human control”.
Amazon Web Services unveiled a raft of new tools and services designed to bolster security and compliance on its infrastructure platforms.
First up is AWS Secrets Manager, which is a new tool that allows developers to store and later retrieve “application secrets” such as database credentials, passwords and application programming interface keys. Designed for those using multiple distributed microservices, Secrets Manager allows these secrets to be stored and accessed via the AWS Command Line Interface or an API. They also announced SageMaker Local Mode for building AI locally.
Google’s AI Experiments are fun showcases for feats of artificial intelligence the company’s research has enabled. Scrying Pen is a new one that uses algorithms trained by data from 2016’s Quick, Draw! experiment to show a path to draw one of a set of objects, like a cat or a hand.
Scrying Pen analyzes your inputs to try to predict what you’ll draw next in the context of the model you’ve selected, displaying a number of its best guesses as to your next moves as green lines. There are more than a hundred trained models to draw, ranging from the expected—cat, dog, truck—to the absurd, like “antyoga,” “radioface,” and “everything.”
The Guangzhou Second Provincial Central Hospital has incorporated AI into almost every area in its operations, including patient pre-diagnosis, CT scans, organizing patient records, and transporting operating-room supplies, the hospital said this week (link in Chinese).
Using WeChat, the chat app owned by Tencent, users can get a pre-diagnosis through the hospital’s public account. An “intelligent doctor” will ask the patient a series of questions, similar to a self-diagnosis attempt on WebMD. The program will then make a recommendation based on the user’s answers. In one case, a 23-year-old woman, surnamed Zeng was asked 24 queries (link in Chinese), according to a local media report. Zeng thought her long-time abdomen pain was related to her digestive system, but the AI tool told her to see a gynaecologist.