Inworld closes $50M Series A for its realistic NPC generator

Inworld, a Disney-backed startup using AI to create realistic non-playable virtual characters (NPCs), has closed a $50 million Series A funding round.

The startup has attracted interest for its ability to design and deploy interactive characters with more realistic interactions across the metaverse and other virtual words like video games.

In current video games, NPCs have pre-scripted responses. AI-powered virtual characters like those Inworld are developing can offer...

IRS expands voice bot options for faster service

A close up of a microphone.

The US Internal Revenue Service has unveiled expanded voice bot options to help eligible taxpayers easily verify their identity to set up or modify a payment plan while avoiding long wait times.

"This is part of a wider effort at the IRS to help improve the experience of taxpayers," said IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig. "We continue to look for ways to better assist taxpayers, and that includes helping people avoid waiting on hold or having to make a second phone call to get what...

The EU’s AI rules will likely take over a year to be agreed

Rules governing the use of artificial intelligence across the EU will likely take over a year to be agreed upon.

Last year, the European Commission drafted AI laws. While the US and China are set to dominate AI development with their vast resources, economic might, and light-touch regulation, European rivals – including the UK and EU members – believe they can lead in ethical standards.

In the draft of the EU regulations, companies that are found guilty of AI misuse...

Why AI needs human intervention

In today’s tight labour market and hybrid work environment, organizations are increasingly turning to AI to support various functions within their business, from delivering more personalized experiences to improving operations and productivity to helping organizations make better and faster decisions. That is why the worldwide market for AI software, hardware, and services is expected to surpass $500 billion by 2024, according to IDC.

Yet, many enterprises aren’t ready to have...

Editorial: Our predictions for the AI industry in 2022

The AI industry continued to thrive this year as companies sought ways to support business continuity through rapidly-changing situations. For those already invested, many are now doubling-down after reaping the benefits.

As we wrap up the year, it’s time to look ahead at what to expect from the AI industry in 2022.

Tackling bias

Our ‘Ethics & Society’ category got more use than most others this year, and with good reason. AI cannot thrive when it’s...

Stefano Somenzi, Athics: On no-code AI and deploying conversational bots

No-code AI solutions are helping more businesses to get started on their AI journeys than ever. Athics, through its Crafter.ai platform for deploying conversational bots, knows a thing or two about the topic.

AI News caught up with Stefano Somenzi, CTO at Athics, to get his thoughts on no-code AI and the development of virtual agents.

AI News: Do you think “no-code” will help more businesses to begin their AI journeys?

Stefano Somenzi: The real...

Hi Auto brings conversational AI to drive-thrus using Intel technology

Hi Auto is increasing the efficiency of drive-thrus with a conversational AI system powered by Intel technologies.

Drive-thru usage has rocketed over the past year with many indoor restaurants closed due to pandemic-induced restrictions. In fact, research suggests that drive-thru orders in the US alone increased by 22 percent in 2020.

Long queues at drive-thrus have therefore become part of the “new normal” and fast food is no longer the convenient alternative to...

Sony patents an AI to assist in games like a good player two

Many of us are guilty of giving up on a game because of a long grind or seemingly insurmountable challenge, but Sony’s latest patent shows the company wants to change that.

Some masochists enjoy the pain of being repeatedly beaten in games like Dark Souls – it’s understandable, overcoming those challenges is a great feeling – but most of us have a breaking point where the power button gets hit and the game just ends up collecting dust on a shelf.

A patent spotted...

Microsoft considers acquiring Siri creator Nuance for $16 billion

Microsoft is considering acquiring Siri creator Nuance for $16 billion in a deal that’s expected to be announced imminently.

Silicon Valley darling Nuance is one of the world’s most recognisable AI companies for the creation of Siri, the voice assistant that would later go on to become Apple’s first-party solution.

Nuance now focuses its efforts predominantly on enterprise communications, particularly in the healthcare space which has seen increased interest amid...

Opinion: Adjusting and transforming with AI technologies

When it comes to adopting the latest technologies and enhancing service delivery effectiveness, contact centres have been silently leading the way for years. Few other parts of the business have had to adapt so quickly to the demands of today’s connected consumers, first transitioning from voice to omnichannel and then to becoming engagement hubs supporting a growing number of proactive channels of customer interaction.

For some time now, the sector has also been at the...