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Will talking to AI voice assistants re-engineer our human conversations?

When you’re lost, Siri can be your best friend. But if she can’t retrieve the right address from your contacts, she can drive you crazy. And so it is with the legion of virtual personal assistants that are entering our lives. From Amazon’s Alexa to Google’s Home, people are busy talking to intelligent machines as never before. It’s estimated that more than 60% of internet traffic is now generated ...[Read More]

Could AI take control of human birth?

Instead of looking up at the sky to see whether you need an umbrella, people increasingly ask virtual assistants such as Alexa. And they may be wise to do so. AI methods are powerful – capable of anything from analysing astrophysical data to detecting tumours or helping to manage diabetes. An algorithm that analyses shopping patterns recently detected that a teenage girl was pregnant, earlier than...[Read More]

Are phones listening to us? What they can learn from the sound of your voice

The vast majority of people in developed countries now carry a smartphone everywhere. And while many of us are already well aware of privacy issues associated with smartphones, like their ability to track our movements or even take surreptitious photos, an increasing number of people are starting to worry that their smartphone is actually listening to everything they say. There might not be much e...[Read More]

Gboard will now suggest GIFs based on your texting habits, and AI

Ever felt like you know exactly what you want to say, but just can’t find the perfect GIF for it? Well, Google, with the help of some AI speculation tech, wants to help you with that issue. Google’s keyboard app, Gboard (which is available on Android and iOS) will now suggest relevant GIFs, emoji, and stickers for certain conversations. While typing a message, a suggested GIF icon will appear in t...[Read More]

Chelsea is using AI research for smarter football coaching

The best footballers aren’t necessarily the ones with the best physical skills. The difference between success and failure in football often lies in the ability to make the right split-second decisions on the field about where to run and when to tackle, pass or shoot. So how can clubs help players train their brains as well as their bodies? My colleagues and I are working with Chelsea FC academy t...[Read More]

The debate about whether an algorithm will replace your job is becoming more pertinent

Most of the conversations about artificial intelligence (AI) seem to be focussed on the potential job losses this new form of automation will result in. Some 800-million people could lose their jobs by 2030 according to the figures from a study by the McKinsey Global Institute last December, which also predicted AI will affect 800 various job types and occupations in 46 countries. That’s 20%...[Read More]

Artificial intelligence will make you smarter

The future won’t be made by either humans or machines alone – but by both, working together. Technologies modelled on how human brains work are already augmenting people’s abilities, and will only get more influential as society gets used to these increasingly capable machines. Technology optimists have envisioned a world with rising human productivity and quality of life as artificial intelligenc...[Read More]

Under the hammer: artwork by an algorithm is up for auction, so does that mean AI is now creative?

A painting generated by artificial intelligence will go up for sale at auction later this month – raising again the question of whether a machine can be creative. The painting, called Edmond De Belamy, is estimated to be worth between 7,000€ and 10,000€. The auction house Christie’s says the painting is the product of a Generative Adversarial Network, in which one artificial neural network (the so...[Read More]

Worried about AI taking over the world? You may be making some unscientific assumptions

Should we be afraid of artificial intelligence? For me, this is a simple question with an even simpler, two letter answer: no. But not everyone agrees – many people, including the late physicist Stephen Hawking, have raised concerns that the rise of powerful AI systems could spell the end for humanity. Clearly, your view on whether AI will take over the world will depend on whether you think it ca...[Read More]

AI’s first pop album ushers in a new musical era

Last December, the world ushered in a new era of popular music: human and artificial intelligence (AI) collaboration. Musical eras are often defined by their dominant modes of production — analog, electronic, digital — each bringing about new styles and ways of listening. This era is marked by the release of the first AI-human collaborated album, Hello World, by the music collaborative Skygge. Sky...[Read More]

Could an artificial intelligence be considered a person under the law?

Humans aren’t the only people in society – at least according to the law. In the U.S., corporations have been given rights of free speech and religion. Some natural features also have person-like rights. But both of those required changes to the legal system. A new argument has laid a path for artificial intelligence systems to be recognized as people too – without any legislation, court rulings o...[Read More]

The University of Johannesburg and the meaning of AI

As we approach the end of the second decade of the 21st century, a massive change is unfolding around us in South Africa no less than in every other country. This change has a name – the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and it has to do with the very way we think, because it has to do with the way that machines think. Machines, through the rapid development of artificial intelligence, or AI, have beg...[Read More]

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