Machine Learning

An AI wrote its own Harry Potter fan fiction: read it here

An AI wrote its own Harry Potter fan fiction: read it here

Artificial intelligence has been used to write poems, generate rap, transform doodles into proper artwork and create realistic photos from nothing. How about writing actual stories, though? That's just what Botnik Studios' own creation did, using what it learned from the official Harry Potter books to create its own chapter based on them. These pages are noncanonical, of course, but assuming you don't mind apocryphal works, it's worth giving a read.

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Apple still has its eyes on the self-driving car road

Apple still has its eyes on the self-driving car road

Just a few months ago, Apple was believed to have given up hopes, albeit temporarily, of making its own autonomous vehicle. Of course, the company has neither confirmed nor denied it was even working on one, but it seems it never really took that off the table in the first place. At a machine learning conference called NIPS, Apple director of AI research Ruslan Salakhutdinov revealed some of the projects Apple has going internally. Curiously, almost all of them can be connected to systems needed for a self-driving car.

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NVIDIA TITAN V is company’s most powerful PC GPU yet

NVIDIA TITAN V is company’s most powerful PC GPU yet

Last year, NVIDIA revived the TITAN X, dubbed the new TITAN X, to reclaim the crown from the GTX 1080. Early this year, it announced the TITAN Xp, dubbed its most powerful desktop GPU for Macs. So what follows it? Not the TITAN Xo or even TITAN Y. Yes, its the new TITAN V, which NVIDIA boasts if 9 times more powerful than its predecessor. And, naturally, that makes it the perfect fit for research and machine learning.

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Google AIY Vision Kit brings computer vision in a cardboard box

Google AIY Vision Kit brings computer vision in a cardboard box

Google Cardboard, the previous VR platform, might be dead, but Google is finding other ways to put cardboard in people’s hands. Last May, it introduced its AIY DIY AI Voice kit that leveraged the power of the Raspberry Pi to help you make your own Google Assistant in a cardboard box. Now it is making another RPi-based DIY kit, this time focusing on computer vision and on-device machine learning instead. Introducing the AIY Vision Kit, your Google Lens in a box.

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Photoshop will use AI to instantly pick out subjects from backgrounds

Photoshop will use AI to instantly pick out subjects from backgrounds

Bokeh effect, a.k.a. portrait mode, is one of the quickly rising fads in smartphone photography. Making a subject pop might be easier with dual cameras or some Google algorithm magic in the case of the Pixel 2 phones. but selecting that subject manually in an image is actually a chore. Even Photoshop’s automatic smart selection tool is no match for complicated scenes. So what could Adobe do to make life easier for its users? Why, use machine learning and artificial intelligence, of course!

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Microsoft Learn Chinese app uses an AI conversation partner

Microsoft Learn Chinese app uses an AI conversation partner

Chinese is one of the most difficult languages to learn. It is even more difficult when learning by yourself, even with the latest apps and methods. Language teaching app Duolingo admitted as much when it finally launched support for just a subset of the language. But learning is one thing, practicing with an actual native speaker is another. Since the latter isn’t exactly convenient or always available, Microsoft Research has decided to leverage the hottest new trend to make it a bit easier: using an AI-powered chatbot.

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Adobe Scribbler AI can create a realistic color image from a sketch

Adobe Scribbler AI can create a realistic color image from a sketch

Adobe has detailed a research project in which it has developed an artificial intelligence capable of generating realistic colored images from a sketch. This isn't the first time we've seen an AI able to generate realistic images, but they generally lack an element of control that lets the user dictate the final results. Adobe's Scribbler is different.

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Box taps machine learning to pull data from videos, images and audio

Box taps machine learning to pull data from videos, images and audio

Box has announced its new 'Box Skills,' a framework that taps machine learning to power new features that extract data from multimedia files. With these Skills, the system is able to automatically do things like extract text from images, create a text transcript from an audio file, and recognize faces within video files, among other things.

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Pixel 2 on-device machine learning sends no info to Google

Pixel 2 on-device machine learning sends no info to Google

Though this event has largely been focused on hardware from Google, the company also spent a good amount of time talking about its software initiatives too. When Sundar Pichai took the stage at the beginning of the show, he talked about Google's efforts in the machine learning space. It would seem that those efforts are now spilling over into the software of the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL.

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Google Street View employs AI to read street, business signs

Google Street View employs AI to read street, business signs

Google Street View is all grown up. For the first time in nearly eight years, its cameras are finally getting an upgrade. But more than just producing clearer and crisper images, the higher quality images from the more powerful hardware have another purpose. In line with Google’s favorite obsession, Google Street View is putting machine learning and artificial intelligence to work, using these high res images to detect, process, and, if necessary, translate street names and business signs, making it even easier to index the whole, physical world and put them in Google’s hands.

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Facebook neural network translates with an AI brain

Facebook neural network translates with an AI brain

Reading your Facebook friends' statuses might typically make your blood boil these days, but at least the translations of foreign language posts are getting better. The social network says that it has retired its old translation system and replaced it with a shiny new neural machine system, which is much better at accounting for things like local slang and context. The result, Facebook claims, is smarter translation for all.

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This camera tech could make Android the photographer’s choice

This camera tech could make Android the photographer’s choice

Never mind swiping through endless filters trying to find the perfect Instagram effect on your latest photo: Google and MIT want to build that right into the viewfinder. Teams from the search giant and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been collaborating on a system that promises automatic retouching of images in real-time, giving pro-photographer style results before you've even hit the capture button. It's the latest example of how machine learning can not only improve everyday tasks but cut our current reliance on the cloud.

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