Zoom receives backlash for emotion-detecting AI

Zoom has caused a stir following reports that it’s developing an AI system for detecting emotions.

The system, first reported by Protocol, claims to scan users’ faces and their speech to determine their emotions.

Zoom detailed the system more in a blog post last month. The company says ‘Zoom IQ’ will be particularly useful for helping salespeople improve their pitches based on the emotions of call participants.

Naturally, the system is seen as rather...

DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman launches new AI venture

DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman has joined two other high-profile industry figures in launching a new venture called Inflection AI.

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman is joining Suleyman on the venture.

“Reid and I are excited to announce that we are co-founding a new company, Inflection AI,” wrote Suleyman in a statement.

“Inflection will be an AI-first consumer products company, incubated at Greylock, with all the advantages and expertise that come...

Microsoft acquires Nuance to usher in ‘new era of outcomes-based AI’

Microsoft has completed its acquisition of Siri backend creator Nuance in a bumper deal that it says will usher in a “new era of outcomes-based AI”.

“Completion of this significant and strategic acquisition brings together Nuance’s best-in-class conversational AI and ambient intelligence with Microsoft’s secure and trusted industry cloud offerings,” said Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of the Cloud + AI Group at Microsoft. 

“This powerful...

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...

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...

EU clears $19.7B Microsoft-Nuance deal without any small print

The EU has concluded Microsoft’s $19.7 billion acquisition of Nuance doesn’t pose competition concerns.

Nuance gained renown for originally creating the backend of that little old virtual assistant called Siri (you might have heard of it?)

The company has since continued to focus on building its speech recognition capabilities and has a number of solutions which span particular industries such as healthcare to general omni-channel customer experience...

IBM enhances Watson Discovery’s natural language processing capabilities

IBM has announced enhancements to the natural language processing (NLP) capabilities of Watson Discovery.

Watson Discovery is an AI-powered intelligent search and text-analytics platform that can retrieve critical information buried in enterprise data.

In one case study, Woodside Energy had no way to retrieve the 30 years’ worth of valuable engineering and drilling knowledge that was buried in unstructured documentation. Using the existing NLP capabilities of Watson...

Rishabh Mehrotra, research lead, Spotify: Multi-stakeholder thinking with AI

AI & Big Data Expo Speaker

Streaming behemoth Spotify hosts more than seventy million songs and close to three million podcast titles on its platform.

Delivering this without the support of artificial intelligence (AI) is probably best compared to attempting to traverse the Amazon rainforest armed with nothing but a spoon.

To cut (or scoop) through this jungle of music, Spotify's research team deploy hundreds of machine learning models that improve the user experience, all the while trying to...

McDonald’s drive-thru AI bot may have broken privacy law

McDonald’s announced earlier this month that it was deploying an AI chatbot to handle its drive-thru orders, but it turns out it might break privacy law.

The chatbot is the product of a voice recognition company McDonald’s snapped up in 2019 called Apprente which is now known as McD Tech Labs.

McDonald’s deployed the chatbots to ten of its restaurants in Chicago, Illinois. And there lies the issue.

The state of Illinois has some of the strictest data...

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...