Companies like Amazon and Google are doing to great lengths to make their assistant voices sound more human. Even going so far as to bring celebrities in to record random sentences and then use artificial intelligence to fill in the gaps. Known as "prosody," the technique is starting to put voiceover artists out of work since a computer can fake recorded sounds that are indistinguishable now from the human voice.
For the first time, a computer using artificial intelligence named "Dr. Fill" has defeated all humans at an elite crossword puzzle tournament. Leo says that crosswords are very human with puns and definitions, so this may be a bigger deal than when a computer beats a human at chess.
OCG wants to know if Google can make the Home Assistant voice hardware become smarter. Leo says that the entire IoT space has kinda hit a limit of what it can do, and there's been very little innovation of late. Even for Amazon Alexa and SIRI. At some point, it should increase in power and intelligence. But it has plateaued right now and voice-activated devices are a disappointment. AI isn't very smart, and it turns out it's very hard to do.
Photo apps from Todays' photo segment all make use of AI and photography in one way or the other. Here they are:
Concerned about how China could take advantage of it, the US is moving to limit exports of artificial intelligence research. But Leo says that China may be ahead of us.
Joseph says that AI can more accurately predict things than humans, so why should we trust things like political decisions, medical decisions, and even financial trading to anything but AI? Leo says that we're not there yet. But in the not too distant future, that may be the case. Look at self-driving cars: they have come a long way and someday, cars will be completely automated. But when that happens, millions of drivers will be out of work. Now multiply that by brokers, lawyers, doctors, etc.
Scott went to NAB this year, and there was a massive shift in the industry. No drones: VR was practically invisible: and Chinese manufacturers weren't there either. Also, Panasonic's broadcast stuff was shoved in a corner in favor of 8K cameras. Artificial intelligence was also huge.
Julian called in with a suggestion for for Larry in Prescott, AZ, who wanted to connect an external camera to his smartphone for use with an app called BeMyEyes that acts as a visual aid. Julian's idea is to either use an Android device for this, or to use a service called aira.io. This service works in conjunction with glasses that would be worn and identify what things it is seeing.
Josh would like to educate himself on consumer electronics and technology. Leo says that tablets and mobile have really moved into the game, even in the corporate arena, where Bring Your Own Devices is a thing now. Voice technologies like the Amazon Echo and Google Assistant are really hitting the mainstream, and with that, so is home automation. Drones are also big. And looking over the horizon, AI is going to be big.