thecxofortune > Artificial Intelligence

Send reminders to family and friends with Google Assistant

 

Google’s AI voice assistant has a new feature for its users. You can assign reminders to other people. There’s just one criterion: that person needs to be part of a trusted fellow-group among Assistant users. The feature is designed for family and a tight-knit group of friends. You can remind your mom about the doctor’s visit through the Family Group feature on Google Assistant.

Powered with the Smart Display, the reminder pops up on your smartphone/tablet screen when your parents or your spouse reminds you about groceries, etc. You can set the reminder with your voice or text to pop up an alert at the designated time or location. Based on your history, you can also set the reminders to repeat. Of course, it all works with a simple “Hey, Google”.

Google hopes that it doesn’t become a nag for your family and friends. Instead, the AI-enabled feature is like sending a virtual note or bring up a casual conversation. Or, you could also wish your best pal good luck for his big presentation when he reaches his workplace.

Google also says there’s a blocking option. The idea here is that kids don’t spam their parents’ notifications with unnecessary prompts! You can create a Family Group by going to families.google.com.

 

Microsoft’s AI division gets a recruit from Apple’s Siri

 

The former head of Apple’s Siri will be moving to Microsoft. Bill Stasior will be part of Microsoft AI team after working for seven years with Apple. The news comes from Microsoft’s Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott, who said that Stasior will be joining Microsoft this month.

Stasior isn’t the only one jumping the boat. Last year, John Giannandrea from Google joined Apple. He was the head of search and AI at Google back then. Siri has certainly been progressing since he boarded the Apple boat. However, hiring John Giannandrea was an indication that Siri wasn’t faring well, especially with tough competition from Google Assistant and Alexa.

Coming back to Stasior, it is believed that once John Giannandrea came on board, he was given a direct promotion, resulting in Stasior walking away to another company. However, it is also believed that Stasior won’t be working on Cortana at Microsoft. According to Microsoft, Stasior will be working in a research group concentrated on artificial intelligence. Cortana too is lagging when compared to other voice assistants. Yet, Stasior seems to have found his calling in the AI research team at Microsoft.

 

Lost your dog? Track it with Megvii technology

 

Have you heard of Megvii? It’s a Chinese startup aiding the government in its surveillance program with its AI technology. Now, the company is expanding its technology for other services, starting off with helping you find your lost dog!

Megvii is using the nose-prints of dogs, which is as unique as a human’s fingerprint. So all you need to do is download the Megvii app on your phone and scan your dog’s nose through the app. Just like how your phone has a scanner for your fingerprint and face ID, Megvii notes down your dog’s nose-print in multiple angles.

The success story has been soaring high and nearly 15,000 pets reunited with the owners and a success rate of 95 percent. This isn’t the first time an AI-based app is venturing out to reunite lost pets with their owners. This type of technology is also being used to track wildlife.

However, Megvii says it has other uses of its app too. Since Megvii is already working with the Chinese government, it says it will use the app to keep a check on “uncivilized dog keeping”. It will also monitor those citizens who don’t clean up after their dogs as well.

 

OpenAI gets a $1 Billion boost from Microsoft

 

Elon Musk and Sam Altman’s artificial intelligence venture OpenAI is getting a big boost from Microsoft with a fresh funding on $1 billion. OpenAI was established to venture into AGI- artificial general intelligence. With the new interest pouring in from Microsoft, OpenAI will now have access to Microsoft’s cloud computing.

The idea behind OpenAI is ensure that artificial intelligence is developed with the safety and security in its applications, with a strong democratic foundation. The two companies together are joining hands to create new technologies enhanced with AI. Plus, OpenAI will be giving its tech an exclusive to Microsoft, which will then commercialize it.

Although OpenAI began its AI journey in 2015, recently it announced that it needed more funds to continue exploring AI. In a bid to attract investors, Sam Altman had promised that is AGI was developed, the technology had the possibility to ” capture the light cone of all future value in the universe.” Well, the funds have arrived and who better than Microsoft?

Although Microsoft has invested its $1 billion to OpenAI, we still aren’t clear about the terms and conditions of the funding deal. However, considering OpenAI’s success rate with new inventions in the world of AI, Microsoft will surely get a double of its invested funds!

 

Skype and Cortana recordings are listened to says Microsoft

 

Well, over the past few years, we’ve been hearing news about how tech companies use our data or listen to us. Now, the news about Microsoft admitting to listening to Skype and Cortana recordings has just surfaced. Microsoft has been allowing human contractors listen to your Skype translations and Cortana voice recordings.

Do you know what this means? It’s not just artificial intelligence, but humans on the end listening to you. But just recently, Apple and Google stopped the voice listening. On the other hand, Microsoft has simply updated its privacy policy that indeed human contractors listen to Skype and Cortana recordings.

“Our processing of personal data for these purposes includes both automated and manual (human) methods of processing. Our automated methods often are related to and supported by our manual methods,” says Microsoft’s policy.  A note here is that Microsoft does this for Skype translation only and not for Skype calls. But with Cortana, all your requests, conversations, exchanges, etc. are listened and analyzed.

Here’s another statement in the policy: “When you talk to Cortana or other apps that use Microsoft speech services, Microsoft stores a copy of your audio recordings (i.e., voice data) […] This may include transcription of audio recordings by Microsoft employees and vendors, subject to procedures designed to prioritize users’ privacy, including taking steps to de-identify data, requiring non-disclosure agreements with vendors and their employees, and requiring that vendors meet the high privacy standards set out in European law and elsewhere.”