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...

Former NHS surgeon creates AI ‘virtual patient’ for remote training

A former NHS surgeon has created an AI-powered “virtual patient” which helps to keep skills sharp during a time when most in-person training is on hold.

Dr Alex Young is a trained orthopaedic and trauma surgeon who founded Virti and set out to use emerging technologies to provide immersive training for both new healthcare professionals and experienced ones looking to hone their skills.

COVID-19 has put most in-person training on hold to minimise transmission risks....

What happens when Google’s chatty bot chats with a chatbot?

Google Duplex impressed and scared the world in equal parts when it was unveiled, and now we've seen how a conversation goes with another chatbot.

Duplex, for a quick primer, is Google's AI-powered voice bot which can call businesses on a person's behalf for things such as booking hair appointments. It's so realistic that everyone has decided that bots must declare themselves as such before chatting with a human.

A company known as PolyAI – which specialises in...

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...

Apple acquires Voysis to boost Siri’s language skills

Apple has reportedly acquired Irish AI startup Voysis, with the move set to help enhance Siri’s skill at natural language understanding.

Voysis specialises in improving digital assistants inside online shopping applications wherein the software could respond more precisely to voice commands. According to the start-up, its technology could narrow product search results by processing shopping phrases like “I need a new LED TV” and “My budget is $1,000.” This AI was...

AI project aims to diagnose COVID-19 using voice analysis

covid 19 diagnosis diagnose ai artificial intelligence voice speech recognition

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University are developing an AI-powered voice analysis system for diagnosing COVID-19.

Governments around the world are racing to obtain sufficient and effective testing kits to diagnose COVID-19. The current widely-used test requires a thin cotton swab to be put up the nasal cavity and reach to the back of the throat. It’s not a painful procedure, but it’s invasive and uncomfortable.

COVID-19 tests which only require a finger prick...

Macquarie Uni researchers aim to beat tech giants at AI-powered medical scribing

macquarie university ai medical healthcare scribing artificial intelligence research tech

A team of researchers from Macquarie University are developing an AI-powered scribe as concerns grow about tech giants having too much power in healthcare.

Many of us know how voice services often struggle with even "normal" conversations, despite vast training datasets available. National and regional accents are difficult enough without adding in industry-specific jargon.

However, correctly understanding medical terms could mean life or death. With healthcare set to be...

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...