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...

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...

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...

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

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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...

Google details Project Euphonia work to improve voice recognition inclusivity

google project euphonia als voice speech recognition ai artificial intelligence

Google has provided details of its Project Euphonia work designed to improve the inclusivity of voice recognition for people with disabilities that impair their speech.

Degenerative diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are known for causing speech impairments. Today's voice recognition systems often cannot recognise the speech of individuals suffering from such diseases, despite those individuals arguably set to benefit the most from the automation offered by the...