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...

Google’s AI reservation service Duplex is now available in 49 states

Google has expanded its controversial AI reservation service Duplex to 49 states across the US.

Duplex will have to comply with privacy regulations which vary between states and – when it expands further outside the US – their national laws too.

Google says the rollout delay in the US was due to awaiting changes in legislation or the need to add features on a per-state basis. Some states, for example, require a call-back number.

The reservation service...

Featured: AI News’ list of innovative companies to watch in 2021

Companies around the world have ramped up their AI deployments over the past year. As with any emerging technology, AI has brought significant opportunities but also its fair share of challenges.

In this feature, AI News takes a look at some of the most innovative companies leading the way in maximising the opportunities while minimising the challenges of artificial intelligence deployments. In alphabetical order:

Affectiva

Affectiva is an MIT Media Lab spin-off...

IBM study highlights rapid uptake and satisfaction with AI chatbots

A study by IBM released this week highlights the rapid uptake of AI chatbots in addition to increasing customer satisfaction.

Most of us are hardwired to hate not speaking directly to a human when we have a problem—following years of irritating voicemail systems. However, perhaps the only thing worse is being on hold for an uncertain amount of time due to overwhelmed call centres.

Chatbots have come a long way and can now quickly handle most queries within minutes....

The BBC’s virtual assistant is now available for testing in the UK

A virtual assistant from the BBC which aims to cater for Britain’s many dialects is now available for testing.

Even as a Brit, it can often feel like a translation app is needed between Bristolian, Geordie, Mancunian, Brummie, Scottish, Irish, or any of the other regional dialects in the country. For a geographically small country, we’re a diverse bunch – and US-made voice assistants often struggle with even the slightest accent.

The BBC thinks it can do a better...

Google’s chatty Duplex AI expands to the UK, Canada, and Australia

Google’s conversational Duplex AI has begun expanding outside the US and New Zealand to the UK, Canada, and Australia.

Duplex probably needs little introduction as it caused a bit of a stir when it debuted at I/O in late 2018 (when conferences were things you could still physically attend.)

The human-sounding AI could perform actions like calling a business on a person’s behalf and booking in things such as hair appointments or table...