Machine Learning

Amazon Alexa gains new abilities and more privacy controls

Amazon Alexa gains new abilities and more privacy controls

Amazon announced quite a handful of new products today, including some from its Ring subsidiary, but it isn't just bringing new hardware to its customers. The e-commerce giant also announced upgrades to the hands-free experience that powers many of its devices, giving the AI-powered Alexa more skills and more brains. Going beyond that, however, Amazon is also trying to address one of Alexa's most unpopular flaw: its privacy.

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Adobe Liquid Mode uses AI to make reading PDFs on your phone easier

Adobe Liquid Mode uses AI to make reading PDFs on your phone easier

We live in a digital and mobile world but, ironically, many of the things we deal with still aren't designed to fit both. Electronic documents that come in PDF form are one of the biggest offenders and while there is no shortage of PDF reader apps for phones, actually reading them on small screens is an entirely different matter. To address that problem, Adobe has embarked on a multi-year campaign to make PDFs behave better without actually changing them and the first stop in that journey is the new Liquid Mode for Acrobat Reader on mobile.

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Photoshop Sky Replacement is more sophisticated than it sounds

Photoshop Sky Replacement is more sophisticated than it sounds

Let's face it. Despite concerns over easily "Photoshopped" fakes and advice to keep photos real, there will always be times when you'd wish a more dramatic sky was available in your photo. True to its original calling as a photo editing software, Photoshop's upcoming Sky Replacement feature will offer users the chance to have a more emphatic background to go with their images. But before you knock the feature off as something that can be done with simple selection tools and layers, Adobe is unsurprisingly explaining that there's quite a lot of AI and machine learning involved here as well.

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NVIDIA to officially buy Arm, focus on AI, promises neutrality

NVIDIA to officially buy Arm, focus on AI, promises neutrality

Putting all speculation to rest, NVIDIA has finally announced that it is making an official bid to acquire Arm Limited from SoftBank. While the final say will be with regulators, this would mean that NVIDIA could soon be the owner of the intellectual property that pretty much powers the world's smartphones, cars, and many embedded devices. That does raise concerns about NVIDIA's hold on such IP and the computer graphics tech giant promises it will be business as usual as far as that licensing business goes.

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Google’s Fabricius culture tool translates words into hieroglyphs

Google’s Fabricius culture tool translates words into hieroglyphs

Google has introduced a new Arts & Culture tool called 'Fabricius' that enables anyone to learn about the ancient Egyptian writing system known as hieroglyphics, which are symbols used to represents words and phrases. Only a small group of people understood how to write in this system thousands of years ago, but it has since been decoded thanks to the Rosetta Stone discovery.

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Google Image Search on mobile will soon display related trivia

Google Image Search on mobile will soon display related trivia

Anyone who has experienced the Wikipedia Rabbit Hole will know first hand how dangerous it can be to have quick access to interconnected information. Even worse if such information is related to or contains visual representation in the form of photos and graphs. And yet that is exactly what Google will soon be offering to anyone searching for images on their mobile phones, giving them the information they never knew they wanted right at their fingertips, literally.

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Google’s new ML Kit SDK keeps all machine learning on the device

Google’s new ML Kit SDK keeps all machine learning on the device

Smartphones today have become so powerful that sometimes even mid-range handsets can support some fancy machine learning and AI applications. Most of those, however, still rely on cloud-hosted neural networks, machine learning models, and processing, which has both privacy and efficiency drawbacks. Contrary to what most would expect, Google has been moving to offload much of that machine learning activity from the cloud to the device and its latest machine learning development tool is its latest step in that direction.

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Amazon Distance Assistant is an AI secret weapon against COVID-19

Amazon Distance Assistant is an AI secret weapon against COVID-19

With the COVID-19 pandemic came a new need to stay socially distant from other people. Self-isolating certainly helps in that regard, but Amazon kept its doors open during the pandemic, meaning its employees couldn't isolate themselves from the rest of the world. Instead, Amazon developed an AI that allowed employees to see if they were practicing social distancing at-a-glance.

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MIT “brain-on-a-chip” could make AI more portable

MIT “brain-on-a-chip” could make AI more portable

We have made quite a lot of progress in artificial intelligence in the past years, partly thanks to the rising popularity of consumer products powered by machine learning and neural networks. We are still, however, far from the dream or nightmare of sentient androids because AI as we know it is heavily dependent on software that must run on powerful hardware the size of large cabinets. MIT engineers, however, have come upon a new design that could make artificial brains fit in more portable devices or, in the future, structures the size of human heads.

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Apple acquires Inductiv [UPDATE: Another Christopher Re group]

Apple acquires Inductiv [UPDATE: Another Christopher Re group]

A startup company called Inductiv was acquired by Apple to improve the abilities and functionality of their voice assistant system Siri. Inductiv worked with artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically identify and correct errors in raw data. Engineers have begun working with Apple, according to one report, to improve Siri's speed and accuracy.

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Sony’s AI image sensor bakes camera smarts right into the chip

Sony’s AI image sensor bakes camera smarts right into the chip

Sony's camera sensors are already inside many of the high-end smartphones, but its new AI image sensor promises to make things even smarter - and high-end features cheaper, too. The Sony IMX500 not only includes a 12.3-megapixel CMOS capable of 4K resolution video, but a dedicated AI processor that can do machine learning and more.

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Coughvid app uses AI to detect COVID-19 from coughing sounds

Coughvid app uses AI to detect COVID-19 from coughing sounds

The COVID-10 pandemic has had many countries and health workers scrambling due to a lack of resources, both in terms of equipment but also in terms of health workers. In addition to the limited availability of testing kits, people conducting tests are already stretched thin as it is that many governments are offloading the screening of potential testing candidates to third-parties. Screening sites like Alphabet's Verily have risen up to the occasion but one research team is testing a simple AI-based app to do what a doctor usually does at first: listening to your cough.

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