Adobe unveils new Microsoft HoloLens and Amazon Alexa integrations — from geekwire.com by Nat Levy

 

 

 

 

Introducing the AR Landscape — from medium.com by Super Ventures
Mapping out the augmented reality ecosystem

 

 

 

 

Alibaba leads $18M investment in car navigation augmented reality outfit WayRay — from siliconangle.com by Kyt Dotson

Excerpt:

WayRay boasts the 2015 launch of Navion, what it calls the “first ever holographic navigator” for cars that uses AR technology to project a Global Positioning System, or GPS, info overlay onto the car’s windshield.

Just like a video game, users of the GPS need only follow green arrows projected as if onto the road in front of the car providing visual directions. More importantly, because the system displays on the windscreen, it does not require a cumbersome headset or eyewear worn by the driver. It integrates directly into the dashboard of the car.

The system also recognizes simple voice and gesture commands from the driver — eschewing turning of knobs or pressing buttons. The objective of the system is to allow the driver to spend more time paying attention to the road, with hands on the wheel. Many modern-day onboard GPS systems also recognize voice commands but require the driver to glance over at a screen.

 

 

Viro Media Is A Tool For Creating Simple Mobile VR Apps For Businesses — from uploadvr.com by Charles Singletary

Excerpt:

Viro Media is supplying a platform of their own and their hope is to be the simplest experience where companies can code once and have their content available on multiple mobile platforms. We chatted with Viro Media CEO Danny Moon about the tool and what creators can expect to accomplish with it.

 

 

Listen to these podcasts to dive into virtual reality — from haptic.al by Deniz Ergürel
We curated some great episodes with our friends at RadioPublic

Excerpt:

Virtual reality can transport us to new places, where we can experience new worlds and people, like no other. It is a whole new medium poised to change the future of gaming, education, health care and enterprise. Today we are starting a new series to help you discover what this new technology promises. With the help of our friends at RadioPublic, we are curating a quick library of podcasts related to virtual reality technology.

 

Psychologists using virtual reality to help treat PTSD in veterans — from kxan.com by Amanda Brandeis

Excerpt:

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Virtual reality is no longer reserved for entertainment and gamers, its helping solve real-world problems. Some of the latest advancements are being demonstrated at South by Southwest.

Dr. Skip Rizzo directs the Medical Virtual Reality Lab at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies. He’s helping veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He’s up teamed with Dell to develop and spread the technology to more people.

 

 

 

NVIDIA Jetson Enables Artec 3D, Live Planet to Create VR Content in Real Time — from blogs.nvidia.com
While VR revolutionizes fields across everyday life — entertainment, medicine, architecture, education and product design — creating VR content remains among its biggest challenges.

Excerpt:

At NVIDIA Jetson TX2 launch [on March 7, 2017], in San Francisco, [NVIDIA] showed how the platform not only accelerates AI computing, graphics and computer vision, but also powers the workflows used to create VR content. Artec 3D debuted at the event the first handheld scanner offering real-time 3D capture, fusion, modeling and visualization on its own display or streamed to phones and tablets.

 

 

Project Empathy
A collection of virtual reality experiences that help us see the world through the eyes of another

Excerpt:

Benefit Studio’s virtual reality series, Project Empathy is a collection of thoughtful, evocative and surprising experiences by some of the finest creators in entertainment, technology and journalism.

Each film is designed to create empathy through a first-person experience–from being a child inside the U.S. prison system to being a widow cast away from society in India.  Individually, each of the films in this series presents its filmmaker’s unique vision, portraying an intimate experience through the eyes of someone whose story has been lost or overlooked and yet is integral to the larger story of our global society. Collectively, these creatively distinct films weave together a colorful tapestry of what it means to be human today.

 

 

 

 

Work in a high-risk industry? Virtual reality may soon become part of routine training — from ibtimes.cok.uk by Owen Hughes
Immersive training videos could be used to train workers in construction, mining and nuclear power.

 

 

 

At Syracuse University, more students are getting ahold of virtual reality — from dailyorange.com by Haley Kim

 

 

 

As Instructors Experiment With VR, a Shift From ‘Looking’ to ‘Interacting’ — from edsurge.com by Marguerite McNeal

Excerpt:

Most introductory geology professors teach students about earthquakes by assigning readings and showing diagrams of tectonic plates and fault lines to the class. But Paul Low is not most instructors.

“You guys can go wherever you like,” he tells a group of learners. “I’m going to go over to the epicenter and fly through and just kind of get a feel.”

Low is leading a virtual tour of the Earth’s bowels, directly beneath New Zealand’s south island, where a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck last November. Outfitted with headsets and hand controllers, the students are “flying” around the seismic hotbed and navigating through layers of the Earth’s surface.

Low, who taught undergraduate geology and environmental sciences and is now a research associate at Washington and Lee University, is among a small group of profs-turned-technologists who are experimenting with virtual reality’s applications in higher education.

 

 

 

These University Courses Are Teaching Students the Skills to Work in VR — from uploadvr.com

Excerpt:

“As virtual reality moves more towards the mainstream through the development of new, more affordable consumer technologies, a way needs to be found for students to translate what they learn in academic situations into careers within the industry,” says Frankie Cavanagh, a lecturer at Northumbria University. He founded a company called Somniator last year with the aim not only of developing VR games, but to provide a bridge between higher education and the technology sector. Over 70 students from Newcastle University, Northumbria University and Gateshead College in the UK have been placed so far through the program, working on real games as part of their degrees and getting paid for additional work commissioned.

 

Working with VR already translates into an extraordinarily diverse range of possible career paths, and those options are only going to become even broader as the industry matures in the next few years.

 

 

Scope AR Brings Live, Interactive AR Video Support to Caterpillar Customers — from augmented.reality.news by Tommy Palladino

Excerpt:

Customer service just got a lot more interesting. Construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar just announced official availability of what they’re calling the CAT LIVESHARE solution to customer support, which builds augmented reality capabilities into the platform. They’ve partnered with Scope AR, a company who develops technical support and training documentation tools using augmented reality. The CAT LIVESHARE support system uses Scope AR’s Remote AR software as the backbone.

 

 

 

New virtual reality tool helps architects create dementia-friendly environments — from dezzen.com by Jessica Mairs

 

Visual showing appearance of a room without and with the Virtual Reality Empathy Platform headset

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

“The world’s first smart #AugmentedReality for the Connected Home has arrived.  — from thunderclap.it

From DSC:
Note this new type of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). I think that we’ll likely be seeing much more of this sort of thing.

 

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

How is Hayo different?
AR that connects the magical and the functional:

Unlike most AR integrations, Hayo removes the screens from smarthome use and transforms the objects and spaces around you into a set of virtual remote controls. Hayo empowers you to create experiences that have previously been limited by the technology, but now are only limited by your imagination.

Screenless IoT:
The best interface is no interface at all. Aside from the one-time setup Hayo does not use any screens. Your real-life surfaces become the interface and you, the user, become the controls. Virtual remote controls can be placed wherever you want for whatever you need by simply using your Hayo device to take a 3D scan of your space.

Smarter AR experience:
Hayo anticipates your unique context, passive motion and gestures to create useful and more unique controls for the connected home. The Hayo system learns your behaviors and uses its AI to help meet your needs.

 

 

 

 

Also see:

 

 

The Periodic Table of AI — from ai.xprize.org by Kris Hammond

Excerpts:

This is an invitation to collaborate.  In particular, it is an invitation to collaborate in framing how we look at and develop machine intelligence. Even more specifically, it is an invitation to collaborate in the construction of a Periodic Table of AI.

Let’s be honest. Thinking about Artificial Intelligence has proven to be difficult for us.  We argue constantly about what is and is not AI.  We certainly cannot agree on how to test for it.  We have difficultly deciding what technologies should be included within it.  And we struggle with how to evaluate it.

Even so, we are looking at a future in which intelligent technologies are becoming commonplace.

With that in mind, we propose an approach to viewing machine intelligence from the perspective of its functional components. Rather than argue about the technologies behind them, the focus should be on the functional elements that make up intelligence.  By stepping away from how these elements are implemented, we can talk about what they are and their roles within larger systems.

 

 

Also see this article, which contains the graphic below:

 

 

 

From DSC:
These graphics are helpful to me, as they increase my understanding of some of the complexities involved within the realm of artificial intelligence.

 

 

 


Also relevant/see:

 

 

 

From DSC:
After seeing the sharp interface out at Adobe (see image below), I’ve often thought that there should exist a similar interface and a similar database for educators, trainers, and learners to use — but the database would address a far greater breadth of topics to teach and/or learn about.  You could even select beginner, intermediate, or advanced levels (grade levels might work here as well).

Perhaps this is where artificial intelligence will come in…not sure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, we’re at the Windows Hardware Engineering Community event (WinHEC) in Shenzhen, China –where our OEM partners have created more than 300 Windows devices shipping in 75 countries generating more than 8 billion RMB in revenue for Shenzhen partners. We continue this journey with Intel, Qualcomm and hardware engineering creators from around the world. Together, we will build the next generation of modern PCs supporting mixed reality, gaming, advanced security, and artificial intelligence; make mixed reality mainstream; and introduce always-connected, more power efficient cellular PCs running Windows 10.

 

 

Also see:

The Race For AI: Google, Twitter, Intel, Apple In A Rush To Grab Artificial Intelligence Startups

Excerpt:

Nearly 140 private companies working to advance artificial intelligence technologies have been acquired since 2011, with over 40 acquisitions taking place in 2016 alone. Corporate giants like Google, IBM, Yahoo, Intel, Apple and Salesforce, are competing in the race to acquire private AI companies, with Samsung emerging as a new entrant in October with its acquisition of startup Viv Labs, which is developing a Siri-like AI assistant, and GE making 2 AI acquisitions in November.

 

 

 

From chatbots to Einstein, artificial intelligence as a service — from infoworld.com by Yves de Montcheuil

Excerpt:

The recent announcement of Salesforce Einstein — dubbed “artificial intelligence for everyone” — sheds new light on the new and pervasive usage of artificial intelligence in every aspect of businesses.

 

Powered by advanced machine learning, deep learning, predictive analytics, natural language processing and smart data discovery, Einstein’s models will be automatically customized for every single customer, and it will learn, self-tune, and get smarter with every interaction and additional piece of data. Most importantly, Einstein’s intelligence will be embedded within the context of business, automatically discovering relevant insights, predicting future behavior, proactively recommending best next actions and even automating tasks.

 


Chatbots, or conversational bots, are the “other” trending topic in the field of artificial intelligence. At the juncture of consumer and business, they provide the ability for an AI-based system to interact with users through a headless interface. It does not matter whether a messaging app is used, or a speech-to-text system, or even another app — the chatbot is front-end agnostic.

Since the user does not have the ability to provide context around the discussion, he just asks questions in natural language to an AI-driven backend that is tasked with figuring this context and looking for the right answer.

 

 

IBM is launching a much-awaited ‘Watson’ recruiting tool — from eremedia.com by Todd Raphael

Excerpt:

For many months IBM has gone to recruiting-industry conferences to say that the famous Watson will be at some point used for talent-acquisition, but that it hasn’t happened quite yet.

It’s here.

IBM is first using Watson for its RPO customers, and then rolling it out as a product for the larger community, perhaps next spring. One of my IBM contacts, Recruitment Innovation Global Leader Yates Baker, tells me that the current version is a work in progress like the first iPhone (or perhaps like that Siri-for-recruiting tool).

There are three parts: recruiting, marketing, and sourcing.

 

watsonrecruitingtool-sept2016

 

 

Apple’s Siri: A Lot Smarter, but Still Kind of Dumb — from wsj.com by Joanna Stern
With the new MacOS and Apple’s AirPods, Siri’s more powerful than ever, but still not as good as some competitors

Excerpt:

With the new iOS 10, Siri can control third-party apps, like Uber and WhatsApp. With the release of MacOS Sierra on Tuesday, Siri finally lands on the desktop, where it can take care of basic operating system tasks, send emails and more. With WatchOS 3 and the new Apple Watch, Siri is finally faster on the wrist. And with Apple’s Q-tip-looking AirPods arriving in October, Siri can whisper sweet nothings in your inner ear with unprecedented wireless freedom. Think Joaquin Phoenix’s earpiece in the movie “Her.”

The groundwork is laid for an AI assistant to stake a major claim in your life, and finally save you time by doing menial tasks. But the smarter Siri becomes in some places, the dumber it seems in others—specifically compared with Google’s and Amazon’s voice assistants. If I hear “I’m sorry, Joanna, I’m afraid I can’t answer that” one more time…

 

 

 

IBM Research and MIT Collaborate to Advance Frontiers of Artificial Intelligence in Real-World Audio-Visual Comprehension Technologies — from prnewswire.com
Cross-disciplinary research approach will use insights from brain and cognitive science to advance machine understanding

Excerpt:

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y., Sept. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — IBM Research (NYSE: IBM) today announced a multi-year collaboration with the Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences at MIT to advance the scientific field of machine vision, a core aspect of artificial intelligence. The new IBM-MIT Laboratory for Brain-inspired Multimedia Machine Comprehension’s (BM3C) goal will be to develop cognitive computing systems that emulate the human ability to understand and integrate inputs from multiple sources of audio and visual information into a detailed computer representation of the world that can be used in a variety of computer applications in industries such as healthcare, education, and entertainment.

The BM3C will address technical challenges around both pattern recognition and prediction methods in the field of machine vision that are currently impossible for machines alone to accomplish. For instance, humans watching a short video of a real-world event can easily recognize and produce a verbal description of what happened in the clip as well as assess and predict the likelihood of a variety of subsequent events, but for a machine, this ability is currently impossible.

 

 

Satya Nadella on Microsoft’s new age of intelligence — from fastcompany.com by Harry McCracken
How the software giant aims to tie everything from Cortana to Office to HoloLens to Azure servers into one AI experience.

Excerpt:

“Microsoft was born to do a certain set of things. We’re about empowering people in organizations all over the world to achieve more. In today’s world, we want to use AI to achieve that.”

That’s Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, crisply explaining the company’s artificial-intelligence vision to me this afternoon shortly after he hosted a keynote at Microsoft’s Ignite conference for IT pros in Atlanta. But even if Microsoft only pursues AI opportunities that it considers to be core to its mission, it has a remarkably broad tapestry to work with. And the examples that were part of the keynote made that clear.

 

 

 

 

The school of the future has opened in Finland — from brightside.me

Excerpt:

Child psychologists have long argued that changing the approach we take to education would help many children learn to love school rather than hate it. We’ve all heard pre-schoolers talk about how they can’t wait to sit at their school desk and run to their next lesson with their rucksack over their shoulder. In fact, we probably remember that feeling of excitement ourselves the first time we went. But right from the first days of school, many children feel a huge sense of disappointment with what they encounter.

At the Saunalahti school in the city of Espoo, Finland, they’ve found a brilliant way to overcome this problem. Starting just with the school building itself, you’d look at it and never think it was a school. Instead, it’s more a like modern art museum – wonderfully light and airy. Experts from VERSTAS Architects made sure they moved well away from the typical dour design for a public school which we all can’t stand…

 

142155-R3L8T8D-650-02

 

142355-R3L8T8D-650-2

 

Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Tools, Technology and Key Resources to Cultivate Academic Success — from accreditedschoolsonline.org

Excerpts:

Students with hearing disabilities face unique challenges inside the classroom. Many common learning modes that people take for granted — lectures, discussion groups and even one-on-one conversations — can be a struggle for those who have any level of hearing difficulty. However, that doesn’t mean a college degree is out of reach. Today’s wide range of tools, devices and systems can help students who are deaf or hard of hearing thrive in an educational setting. This guide focuses on those resources, tech tools and expert tips that students of all ages can use achieve academic success.

 

SmartphoneApps-HardOfHearing-July2016

 

 

 

How chatbots and deep learning will change the future of organizations — from forbes.com by Daniel Newman

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Don’t let the fun, casual name mislead you. Chatbots—software that you can “chat with”—have serious implications for the business world. Though many businesses have already considered their use for customer service purposes, a chatbot’s internal applications could be invaluable on a larger scale. For instance, chatbots could help employees break down siloes and provide targeted data to fuel every department. This digital transformation is happening, even in organizational structures that face challenges with other formats of real-time communication.

Still unclear on what chatbots are and what they do? Think of a digital assistant—such as iPhone’s Siri or Alexa, the Artificial Intelligence within the Amazon Echo. A chatbot reduces or eliminates the need for many mobile apps, as the answers are stored inside the chatbot. Need to know what the weather’s like in LA? Ask your chatbot. Is your flight running on time? Ask your chatbot. Is the package you ordered going to be delivered while you’re away? You get the gist.

 

From DSC:
How might institutions of higher education as well as K-12 school districts benefit from such internal applications of chatbots? How about external applications of chatbots? If done well, such applications could facilitate solid customer service (i.e., self-service knowledgebases) and aid in communications.

 

 

Hold Tight: The Chatbot Era Has Begun — from chatbotsmagazine.com by
Chatbots: What they are, and why they’re so important for businesses

Excerpt:

Imagine being able to have your own personal assistant at your fingertips, who you can chat with, give instructions and errands to, and handle the majority of your online research — both personally and professionally.

That’s essentially what a chatbot does.

Capable of being installed on any messenger platform, such as Facebook messenger or text messages, a chat bot is a basic artificial intelligence computer software program that does the legwork for you — and communicates in a way that feels like an intelligent conversation over text or voice messaging.

 

 

 

Once-in-a-decade paradigm shift: Messaging — from chatbotsmagazine.com by Beerud Sheth
In the history of the personal computing industry, we have had a paradigm shift about once every decade.

 

Bots-ChatbotMagazine-June2016

 

 

 

 

Smart assistants and chatbots will be top consumer applications for AI over next 5 years, poll says — from venturebeat.com by Blaise Zerega

Excerpt:

Virtual agents and chatbots will be the top consumer applications of artificial intelligence over the next five years, according to a consensus poll released today by TechEmergence, a marketing research firm for AI and machine learning.

The emphasis on virtual agents and chatbots is in many ways not surprising. After all, the tech industry’s 800-pound gorillas have all made big bets: Apple with Siri, Amazon with Alexa, Facebook with M and Messenger, Google with Google Assistant, Microsoft with Cortana and Tay. However, the poll’s data also suggests that chatbots may soon be viewed as a horizontal enabling technology for many industries.

 

From DSC:
Might this eventually affect students’ expectations? Blackboard’s partnership with IBM and Amazon may come into play here.

 

 

Some like it bot: Why chatbots could be the start of something big — from business.sprint.com
Chatbots are on the rise. With Google, Facebook and Microsoft competing to be the caring voice your customers turn to, what does this mean for your enterprise?

Excerpt:

The most prevalent indicator that the artificial intelligence-driven future is rapidly  becoming reality is the rise of the chatbot – an  A.I. software program designed to chat with people. Well, more accurately, the re-emergence of the bot. Basically, robots talking to humans talking to robots is the tech vision for the future.

 

Maybe one of the most obvious uses for this technology would be in service. If you can incorporate your self-service knowledge base into a bot that responds directly to questions and uses customer data to provide the most relevant answers, it’s more convenient for customers…

 

 

Chatbot lawyer overturns 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York — from theguardian.com by Samuel Gibbs
Free service DoNotPay helps appeal over $4m in parking fines in just 21 months, but is just the tip of the legal AI iceberg for its 19-year-old creator

Excerpt:

An artificial-intelligence lawyer chatbot has successfully contested 160,000 parking tickets across London and New York for free, showing that chatbots can actually be useful.

Dubbed as “the world’s first robot lawyer” by its 19-year-old creator, London-born second-year Stanford University student Joshua Browder, DoNotPay helps users contest parking tickets in an easy to use chat-like interface.

 

 

 


 

Addendum on 6/29/16:

A New Chatbot Would Like to Help You With Your Bank Account — from wired.com by Cade Metz

Excerpt:

People in Asia are already using MyKai, and beginning today, you can too. Because it’s focused on banking—and banking alone—it works pretty well. But it’s also flawed. And it’s a bit weird. Unsettling, even. All of which makes it a great way of deconstructing the tech world’s ever growing obsession with “chatbots.”

MyKai is remarkably adept at understanding what I’m asking—and that’s largely because it’s focused solely on banking. When I ask “How much money do I have?” or “How much did I spend on food in May?,” it understands. But when I ask who won the Spain-Italy match at Euro 2016, it suggests I take another tack. The thing to realize about today’s chatbots is that they can be reasonably effective if they’ve honed to a particular task—and that they break down if the scope gets to wide.

 
© 2016 Learning Ecosystems