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...

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

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...

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...

Speech and facial recognition combine to boost AI emotion detection

Researchers have combined speech and facial recognition data to improve the emotion detection abilities of AIs.

The ability to recognise emotions is a longstanding goal of AI researchers. Accurate recognition enables things such as detecting tiredness at the wheel, anger which could lead to a crime being committed, or perhaps even signs of sadness/depression at suicide hotspots.

Nuances in how people speak and move their facial muscles to express moods have presented a...