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...

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...

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 artificial intelligence (AI) is comparable to traversing 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 balance the needs of users and...

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...

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...

Researchers achieve 94% power reduction for on-device AI tasks

Researchers from Applied Brain Research (ABR) have achieved significantly reduced power consumption for a range of AI-powered devices.

ABR designed a new neural network called the Legendre Memory Unit (LMU). With LMU, on-device AI tasks – such as those on speech-enabled devices like wearables, smartphones, and smart speakers – can take up to 94 percent less power.

The reduction in power consumption achieved through LMU will be particularly beneficial to smaller...

Esteemed consortium launch AI natural language processing benchmark

facebook google deepmind nlp consortium ai artificial intelligence natural language processing

A research consortium featuring some of the greatest minds in AI are launching a benchmark to measure natural language processing (NLP) abilities.

The consortium includes Google DeepMind, Facebook AI, New York University, and the University of Washington. Each of the consortium’s members believe a more comprehensive benchmark is needed for NLP than current solutions.

The result is a benchmarking platform called SuperGLUE which replaces an older platform called GLUE...