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Image 27 May 2019
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NLP

AI Helps Retain the Speaker’s Voice That’s Lost in Translation

Google has unveiled Translatotron, an in-development speech-to-speech translation system, that can retain the original speaker’s voice in the translated audio. According to Google’s AI blog, most speech-to-speech translation systems follow a three-step process. First, they transcribe the speech. They then translate the transcription into the target language, before finally generating audio of the translated speech. Translatotron, however, skips the text part of this process altogether and instead converts the speech into a spectrogram, an image that depicts audio frequencies. The system then creates a new spectrogram, this time in the target language, which it uses to produce the new audio. In theory, Translatotron will be much faster than other speech-to-speech translation systems since it only has to complete one process rather than three. The use of spectrograms also makes it easier to retain elements of the original audio, such as the speaker’s voice and cadence. The system isn’t ready to roll out just yet, but this new technology offers an exciting glimpse into the future of communication. Read More

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Healthcare

AI To Predict Lung Cancer, Save Lives

Google has created a new AI based tool that is expected to make lung cancer prediction more accurate and accessible. The study used advances in 3D volumetric modelling alongside datasets from its partners. The AI-powered model uses a current CT scan and if possible, a previous CT scan, as input for each patient. Based on this, the model provides an overall malignancy prediction and identifies subtle malignant tissue, or lung nodules, which are often difficult to see, thus helping in increasing the survival rate of the patient since medical treatment can be more successful when the cancer is caught early. To test the model, Google asked its AI to examine 45,856 chest CT screens. It compared the results against six board-certified radiologists. In these first studies, Google's AI detected 5% more cancer cases than the radiologists. It also reduced false-positive exams by more than 11%. The company claims that the tool can predict lung cancer and boost survival rates with a 94.4% success rate. However, the model needs additional clinical research and testing before it can be deployed. Read More

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Technology

AI Makes Still Portraits Talk

Developed by the Samsung AI Center in Moscow in collaboration with the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, the tech generates 3D animated heads from a single still image. Unlike previously detailed AI systems capable of generating photo-realistic portraits, the new technology produces moving, talking heads. The program does this through adversarial networks that “fill in the details” that are missing. Tasked with developing this kind of software using only one picture as a reference, the team demonstrated that “…only a handful of photographs (as little as one) is needed to create a new model, whereas the model trained on 32 images achieves perfect realism and personalization score in the user study. The enigmatic, painted smile of the "Mona Lisa" is known around the world, but that famous face recently displayed a startling new range of expressions, courtesy of AI. Read More

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Retail

Suit Maketh the Man? No, With AI, Man Maketh the Suit!

Luxury menswear provider, Knot Standard, announced the launch of a “Style Wall,” which uses AI and voice activation to offer customers a 3D virtual studio. The Style Wall contains over 30 Samsung screens per showroom, powered by built-in, third-generation Echo Dots from Alexa. When clients arrive for appointments at a Knot Standard showroom, the Style Wall will display content that is tailored to that particular customer. To activate the Style Wall, the customer has to simply talk to it. For returning customers, the wall will show clients’ their entire order history, customization preferences, favorite fabrics and saved designs. Together with a stylist, customers can easily design new garments that complement what is already in their closets or they could create something completely unique that reflects their previous preferences. The Style Wall using dozens of screens and style DNA of each client changes the entire showroom for each person that walks in and shows only those things that would look good for the particular client. Read More

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Retail

An AI-Powered Shopping Pal That Suggests Products Based on Age & Gender

Spod, an AI-enabled robotic shopping assistant created by Invento, manages to detect faces, greet people, introduce itself, take inputs and navigate itself. Spod can typically be deployed at either inventory of large e-commerce firms or at supermarkets. When customers walk into a grocery store, the robot will scan their face via a tablet mounted on it and detect if they have visited earlier. It will detect the gender and rough age of the customer, and based on these inputs, suggest products. Customers can speak to the robot and ask for a particular product. The robot will then navigate them to the right shelf. Spod can also provide remote assistance. If a customer requires expert advice, the robot can connect them to a field expert via video call. Spod is operated by rechargeable batteries and the final version will be programmed to dock itself to the charging point when the battery is low. Spod is expected to be launched by the end of June this year. Read More

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Wildlife Conservation

AI-Powered Facial Recognition for Pandas

Researchers at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Southwest China are building an AI program to tell panda faces apart. Using AI algorithms, Chinese scientists are analysing a collection of over 12,000 images and 10,000 videos. As it turns out, there are a number of visual markers that can be used to distinguish pandas. The most obvious feature is the black fur around each creature’s eyes and ears. Other characteristics include the way a panda’s mouth shuts, the shadows on its cheeks and its body posture. The technology can help scientists study the population makeup of wild pandas without interfering with their habitat, relying only on camera footage. The facial recognition will eventually be fed to an app. Breeders will be able to use it to keep track of the feeding schedules and genealogy of captive pandas. Moreover, visitors can point their phone cameras at a panda to read more information about it on the app. Read More

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Geriatric Care

AI for In-Home Elderly Care

Cherry Home, an in-home AI system developed by a Cupertino-based startup, allows users to detect and track elderly individuals with vision sensors and microphones. Cherry Home’s proprietary algorithms can distinguish people by their faces, lengths of their limbs, colours of their clothes and hair, and other “complex body parameters.” The device uses computer vision algorithms to turn optical data such as video footage into virtual skeletons, in order to detect anomalies. These anomalies are then provided in real-time to caregivers and family members. From a privacy standpoint, all video footage is processed on the device and not sent to third party storage providers. When it comes to protecting the integrity of patient data, the system replaces individuals in the video with animate “stick figures” so the caregiver can get an idea of what happened, without intruding on the senior’s personal space or privacy. Read More

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