Scientists at the University of Hertfordshire built a three-foot tall humanoid robot iCub, called DeeChee to figure out how humans learn to talk.
A study that is published in the science journal PLoS One, demonstrates how the robot can learn simple words for colors and shapes with a non-scientist human volunteers. The volunteers would spend a few minutes with the robot and blocks with colored sides trying to teach it words as if it were a toddler.
“Since our work concerns the acquisition of a human language by a robot we are inspired by the process in humans. Thus the basis of our experimental work is a real-time interactive situation where a human participant talks to a robot, using his or her own spontaneous words,” the authors said. “Words can emerge from babble using a statistical learning process not specific to language demonstrates that this stage of language acquisition does not require hard-wired grammar faculties.”
DeeChee is similar to a child that is between 6 to 14 months old. When the volunteers would spend time with the iCub robot, it would begin to expand it’s vocabulary from, “random syllabic babble to producing some salient wordforms, the names of simple shapes and colors,” the authors stated in their study.
Whenever the robot was able to identify a word and repeat it back, the volunteer would praise DeeChee with words like, “well done” or “good.” By using positive reinforcement, the robot would save the words within it’s vocabulary.
“Learning needs interaction with a human, and robot embodiment evokes appropriate reactions in a human teacher, which disembodied software does not,” computer scientist and study leader Caroline Lyon said.
The iCub robot still has a long way to go before it develops any fluent type of language, but researchers say it could be the beginning of creating robots that can speak naturally to us.
iCub Robot Learning Names of Shapes and Colors
Language learning robot – iCub in dialogue with a human teacher, learning the names of shapes and colours.
Vaakeye, Japan’s AI Technology, Offers Solution To The Growing Shoplifting Cases In The US
Big grocery stores and supermarkets have identified probing problems linked to losing revenues: the spread of shoplifters.
Being cheated into is inevitable. Security guards are protective enough but don’t have the power to identify most of the shoplifters who enter the store. Staff members might miss the actual act since they have to assist customers’ concerns too. CCTV and security cameras prove to be efficient, but at the time when owners finally able to view the scene, shoplifters have already escaped and happily roamed around downtown.
The United States, a first world country with remarkably advance in terms of technology and lifestyle, experiences the same disturbing case. The land of the free revealed that they too are bombarded with the same dilemma, costing its retailers to lose billions of dollars a year. It’s a hard pill to swallow. But, there are too many shoplifting incidents happening per year which inevitably causes companies a significant sum.
However, Japan may help put these shoplifters behind bars, as it announces its newest technological invention.
A Japanese startup has developed an artificial intelligence software that can quickly detect and distinguish shoplifters in the act. The new invention will be a massive advantage to staff members and retail owners, and will exponentially improve the ways to handle shoplifting. In a sense, the technology helps to alert the staffers once the action is on-going, allowing them to butt in and prevent pilferage.
The system is not yet available in the US, but Vaak, the Tokyo-based company responsible for creating the technology, said that it has to be tested in local convenience stores first before launching in various markets worldwide. In other words, Vaak needs to implement the technology on local US stores for it to be of great use to retailers.
Accordingly, Vaak previous tests done in local stores revealed exceptional results, plummeting 77 percent of shoplifting cases. The data acquired by Vaak on its tests details that the technology able to lower incidents significantly than most high-end security cameras have shown in the past years.
‘Vaakeye’ goal is to develop a system which works hand in hand with a store’s surveillance cameras to catch thieves that busy staffers might miss. Its keen developers trained the system by exposing it to television footage for more than 100 hours, showing honest shoppers versus shoplifters.
How it works involves complex data. However, for the public to understand the function of the said AI technology, here’s Vaak CEO Ryo Tanaka detailing the backdrop of the invention. And here’s what he said:
The system identifies suspicious and illegal activities of customers based on the installed hundreds of shoppers’ behavior such as gait, the manner of walking, hand and body movements, facial expressions and even the way they dress.
The AI technology for shoplifters is entirely different from other shoplifting detection technologies. For example, if the technology spots behavior that may be suspicious enough based on the data stored on its system, it will then alert the personnel or the owner via an app. The staff members will have to decide what actions to take to prevent the act and not the machine itself. He or she can either approach the potential shoplifters or ask if that specific people have something they need.
The bottom line is, the system doesn’t label people as shoplifters or thieves because doing so may result in customer grievances and complaints. What the system offers is complete guidance through informing staffers to “please check these individuals, they might steal things” rather than pointing fingers.
Due to the increasing rate of shoplifting in the country, which accounts for billions of losses, Japan’s artificial intelligence has paved the way to combat retail reduction.
Last year, the Japanese communications giant, ‘NTT’ East, made headlines with its invention called AI Guardsman, a camera that uses technology which detects shoplifters through their body languages and gestures. It is the same concept as that of Vaakeye. AI Guardsman’s developers concluded that with its technological cameras, shoplifting was down by almost 40 percent.
However, despite its promising effort to prevent shoplifting, the new AI technology is being criticized for its disadvantages. With the technology installed on most retail stores, regular customers may be afraid of entering, knowing that they are being tracked. And, for some retailers, that would eventually hurt retail sales.
There is also an issue with the systems being biased against shoplifter’s clothing. Unless the learning algorithms tend to be very good at training the system, there will be no problem. However, if the training session teaches that those shoplifters who wear dark-colored jackets might be a potential shoplifter, then the system will create a bias interpretation.
But Jerome Williams, a professor and senior administrator at Rutgers University’s Newark campus, praises Vaakeye’s AI technology. He said that the system’s focusing on body language is a right approach, adding that ‘technology should not racially profile but behaviourally profile people.’
The thing is, Vaakeye pledged that the system had been studied for years and the algorithms used to study the technology are well crafted. The shoplifting AI technology is already out in the world, with the system had been applied in around 50 stores in Tokyo area. And it made a promise to be out soon not only in Japan but in different countries worldwide.
FAA to Consider Letting Hollywood use Drones
The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that it would consider a request by several companies to use drones for filming movies and TV shows.
The FAA plans to propose a formal rule for commercial drones by the end of the year, but regulations aren’t expected to be finalized until 2015.
Currently, the FAA is reviewing a request from seven aerial and photo and video production companies that seeks permission to use “unmanned aircraft systems” for the first time.
The companies that have filed petitions to receive exemptions are: Aerial Mob, Astraeus Aerial, Flying-Cam Inc., HeliVideo Productions, Pictorvision Inc., Vortex Aerial, and Snaproll Media, the FAA said in a statement.
The movie industry has been using drones with cameras overseas for some time, but Hollywood wants the technology to be a staple of filmmaking here in the U.S.
The motion picture companies are seeking exemption from regulations that address general flight rules, pilot certificate requirements, manuals, maintenance and equipment mandates.
“Hollywood wants to use drones badly,” said Neal Undgerleider who covers science and technology for Fast Company magazine. He said drones are not only cheaper than other filming methods, but they’re also safer. “When they do crash, frankly it causes much less damage than having a helicopter or a crane crash, and they are much more reliable,” Ungerleider said.
“Unmanned aircraft systems offer the motion picture and television industry an innovative and safer option for filming,” Neil Fried, the Motion Picture Association of America’s senior vice president of Government and Regulatory Affairs, said in a statement. “This new tool for storytellers will allow for creative and exciting aerial shots, and is the latest in a myriad of new technologies being used by our industry to further enhance the viewer experience.”
FAA spokesman Les Dorr said the authority would consider Hollywood’s proposals on their merits. “We have been contacted by four different industries, including the film industry, that have expressed interest in possibly applying for an exemption that would let them conduct tightly controlled, low-risk operations,” he confirmed. “We think we have the authority to possibly expand the commercial use of small unmanned aircrafts in very limited, controlled, low-risk circumstances, like movie sets.”
“If the exemption requests are granted, there could be tangible economic benefits as the agency begins to address the demand for commercial UAS operations,” the FAA wrote in a statement. “However, all the associated safety issues must be carefully considered to make sure any hazards are appropriately mitigated. The petitioner must still obtain operational approval from the FAA.”
FAA considers drone use for film and TV
The Federal Aviation Administration announced it will consider allowing certain companies in the film and television industry to use drones to shoot video.
Nomorobo Blocks Robo Calls with Free Service
If you are tired of robocalls, have no fear because Aaron Foss, a software programmer from Long Island has invented Nomorobo to block those annoying phone calls.
Nomorobo will screen calls before they reach your phone. If it detects a robocall, the computer hangs up on it before you get the second ring.
The free service started September 30 for customers who have VoiP service with AT&T U-verse, Cablevision Optimum, SureWest, Verizon FiOS and Vonage. You don’t need caller ID for this to work and the call information Nomorobo collects will be anonymous to protect your privacy.
Nomorobo promises that it won’t block legal robocalls which sometimes schools use for closings, or for doctor appointment reminders, prescription reminders and weather advisories.
“I think about it like email spam. If we try to stop spammers, it’s a battle we can’t win,” said Foss. “But we can get it and stop it in our spam boxes, and Nomorobo was designed after the same idea.”
Foss has been working non-stop on his invention since April, when he tied for first place and won $25,000 in the Federal Trade Commission’s Robocall Challenge. And since Nomorobo was announced as the co-winner of the FTC’s contest, nearly 23,500 consumers have signed up.
“We’re aware and extremely pleased that potential technological solutions to help consumers block unwanted, illegal robocalls are making their way to the marketplace,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Every month, the FTC receives around 178,500 consumer complaints about telemarketing and automated robocalls.
The National Do Not Call Registry, which lets consumers sign up their home phones and cellphones, helps block most – but not all – telemarketing calls. As of June 2013, there were more than 221 million numbers registered.
“DNC has been extremely successful when it comes to legitimate telemarketers,” said FTC’s Daffan, whose agency oversees the registry. “Legitimate companies scrub their lists against the DNC registry and do refrain from calling.”
Nomorobo’s algorithm uses caller ID and call frequency information to screen incoming calls. CNBC reported that for now, it’s using a database of 1.2 million phone numbers from complaints filed with state and federal regulators. Going forward, calls coming to subscribers will be added.
Since the launch, Nomorobo has experienced extremely heavy traffic and they state on their website to, “Please try again later if you get an error.” That doesn’t stop Foss though, he says he’s netted some venture capital and angel investor funds. He’s also working on a solution to let benign, lawful robocallers, such as emergency alerts, to get through Nomorobo.
He’s also planning to update the service with “value-added features,” which would let people ban, for example, political calls from coming through. “People are screaming out for a solution,” he said. “I hope to make their lives a little bit better.”
Death to Robocalls with Nomorobo
Sick of getting Robocalls? So is the FTC. Late last year they announced a $50,000 contest for anyone who can figure out the best tech solution to the robocall problem. Annie tells you about some of the interesting contest entries as well as the winner of the robocall challenge – Nomorobo!
- Indictment Against Hackers Involved In Anthem Data Breach Unsealed
- Winnti For Linux: Researchers Found Linux Variant Of Malware Used By Chinese Hackers In 2015
- Facial Recognition To Be Used In Panda Conservation
- Metrologists Launched The New Definition Of A “Kilogram” On World Metrology Day
- Computex 2019: Roundup of Things You Should Expect
- What’s The Next Move For Huawei?
- Four Women Makes Revolutionary Breast Cancer Diagnostic Tool
How Tech Companies Affect Communities In Places They Call ‘Home’
Tech companies are today’s driving forces in the economic world, mostly because of the introduction of the Internet. It allows...
RingCentral VoIP Review
VoIP has had a significant shift from a technology exclusively used by the early adopters or hobbyist to a widely...
April Fools Jokes Aren’t Just “Jokes”
April Fools is undoubtedly a fun day, exceptionally if you have crafted the most elaborate prank on your friends and...
Facebook Should Do Better At Processing Community Standard Violations, And They Should Do It Fast
A few months ago, I saw a photo of myself used by another Facebook account with a “R.I.P. (Rest in...
Supporting Problematic Artists And Their Arts, An Opinion
As the world becomes swarmed by reports of famous artists – musicians, comedians, actors, painters – being alleged or in...
Ethical Regulation Of ‘Facial Recognition’ Is A Shared Responsibility
There is an ongoing discussion both in online and offline spaces regarding the growth of facial recognition technology and its...
Data Breach Epidemic: Solving The Problem In SMBs Will Solve The Problem For All
In the last two weeks, we’ve witnessed a vast amount of data breaches and information leaks, and the issue has...
We Agree To PM Ardern Of Keeping Christchurch Murderer Nameless, And The Media Should Listen
In the wake of Christchurch mosques shooting in New Zealand that killed 50 people at two mosques, the shooter is...
Apple vs. Police Authorities; A Cold War Against iPhone’s Anti-Snooping Patent
To protect its customers from hackers and illegal surveillance, Apple is developing an anti-snooping technology that would impede police and...
An Epidemic: Measles Or Misinformation?
2018 was the year when people started asking the question: ‘should I get my child vaccinated?’ Most people answered yes,...
Take A Look At The Predicted Future Of The VoIP Industry
For the past 20 years, VoIP has become an integral part of the lives of millions of people around the...
Choose The Right Call Center And The Best Contact Center Solutions of 2019
The Ins And Outs Of Business Communication Management For your business to exist in today’s world, you must know how...
How Instagram Corrupts Famous Locations In The World
Is Instagram corrupting the beauty of breathtakingly beautiful locations and sucking all the joy out of traveling? With the era...
Ways To Earn Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency is one of the growing medium for exchange in most countries as it offers a more convenient and safer...
Can We End Payday Loans?
We can’t neglect the fact that debt is one of the pressing problems in the country, especially in today’s economy....
Jumping From 4G To 5G: Here’s What 5G Can Do For You
One of the most awaited advancements in technology is the cellular industry. With its monthly updates on software, model and...
What are the cost factors of VoIP?
In the next few years, we might be saying goodbye to traditional telephone systems in exchange for Voice over Internet...
Manufacturing Firms are Investing More on Technology
Based on the recent research on how manufacturing companies are coming up in the market industry, they have been increasing...
Technology innovation in companies—for the better or the worse?
Technology has significantly impacted both homes and workplaces in the last years. As much as we want to keep our...
Arts & Entertainment3 days ago
The CW And Netflix Break Up Means No More Riverdale?
Google2 weeks ago
Pixel 3A And 3A XL Is Coming And Its Better Than We Thought
Cybersecurity6 days ago
Apple, Google, And Microsoft Started Protecting You From ZombieLoad Threat
Google2 weeks ago
Smarter And More Practical ‘Google AI’ Techs?
Facebook2 weeks ago
New Feature Updates That Are Coming To Facebook Messenger And Instagram In The Near Future
Politics2 weeks ago
Michael Cohen: President Trump’s Loyal Lawyer and ‘Fixer’ to Serve a Three-year Sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York.
Cybersecurity4 days ago
Ransomware Are Plaguing American Cities And Experts Warn That It Will Get Worse
Cryptocurreny4 days ago
Hacked Crypto Exchange ‘Cryptopia’ Is Selling Their Assets