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

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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

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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

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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

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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...

Amazon patent envisions Alexa listening to everything 24/7

A patent filed by Amazon envisions a future where Alexa listens to users 24/7 without the need for a wakeword.

Current digital assistants listen for a wakeword such as “Ok, Google” or “Alexa,” before recording speech for processing. Especially for companies such as Google and Amazon which thrive on knowing everything about users, this helps to quell privacy concerns.

There are some drawbacks from this approach, mainly context. Future AI assistants will be able to...

Affectiva’s new cloud-based API measures emotions across multiple communication channels

Affectiva has made its new cloud-based API for measuring emotion in recorded speech available to beta users, with an aim to create a multi-modal Emotion AI platform that is able to distinguish emotions across multiple communication channels. It will help speech classifiers identify emotions in real-time and in conversations. The new API is developed by using an existing deep-learning framework with expert data collection and labelling methodologies. When all these are combined with its...

Liulishuo gets $100 million in series C funding to develop existing smart teaching platform

China's leading AI and education company, Liulishuo, has achieved a series C funding of $100 million in a round of funding led by China Media Capital ("CMC") and Wu Capital with participation also coming in from its earlier investors, such as Trustbridge Partners, IDG Capital, GGV Capital, Cherubic Ventures and Hearst Ventures, to enable AI-infused teaching. Liulishuo has a vast data collection of Chinese people speaking English that has led to the company to develop automatic assessment...