natural language processing

Observe.AI raises $8M to use artificial intelligence to improve call centers

Being stuck on the phone with call centers is painful. We all know this. Observe.AI is one company that wants to make the experience more bearable, and it’s raised $8 million to develop an art

Siri is now trained to recognize your local, weirdly named small businesses

Getting directions to the nearest Starbucks or Target is a task Apple’s virtual assistant can handle with ease. But what about local businesses with names that Siri has never heard, and might mi

Amazon patents a real-time accent translator

Amazon has been granted a patent for an audio system that detects the accent of a speaker and changes it to the accent of the listener, perhaps helping eliminate communication barriers in many situati

Google Docs gets an AI grammar checker

You probably don’t want to make grammar errors in your emails (or blog posts), but every now and then, they do slip in. Your standard spell-checking tool won’t catch them unless you use an

Dialpad dials up $50M Series D led by Iconiq

Dialpad announced a $50 million Series D investment today, giving the company plenty of capital to keep expanding its business communications platform. The round was led by Iconiq Capital with help fr

Facebook’s AI researchers task ‘tourist bots’ with finding their way in NYC

Facebook is getting guide bots to help tourist bots explore Hell’s Kitchen in a virtual New York City. It’s not just for kicks, either; a new research paper published today by FAIR is look

Tact $27M Series C attracts Amazon, Microsoft and Salesforce

It’s not often you can get three cloud giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Salesforce to agree on much of anything, but today they were all part of a $27 million Series C investment in Tact.ai, a

Machines learn language better by using a deep understanding of words

Computer systems are getting quite good at understanding what people say, but they also have some major weak spots. Among them is the fact that they have trouble with words that have multiple or compl

The robot revolution is just beginning

A new generation of exponentially more intelligent and capable robots is on the way. In fact, they’re already everywhere we look: over our heads, in our cars and operating rooms, next to us on the a

Navigating the risks of artificial intelligence and machine learning in low-income countries

On a recent work trip, I found myself in a swanky-but-still-hip office of a private tech firm. I was drinking a freshly frothed cappuccino, eyeing a mini-fridge stocked with local beer and standing am

What do AI and blockchain mean for the rule of law?

Digital services have frequently been in collision — if not out-and-out conflict — with the rule of law. But what happens when technologies such as deep learning software and self-executin

8 big announcements from Google I/O 2018

Google kicked off its annual I/O developer conference at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. Here are some of the biggest announcements from the Day 1 keynote. There will be more to c

Seattle’s new venture firm, Flying Fish, holds a first close on its targeted $80 million fund

The founding partners of the new Seattle-based venture firm Flying Fish met as angel investors deploying capital in the talent-heavy, cash-light region around Amazon and Microsoft’s corporate h

Google’s ‘Semantic Experiences’ let you play word games with its AI

Google does have a little fun now and then, when the master AI permits it, and today it has posted a few web experiments that let you engage with its word-association systems in a playful way.

Lawyaw uses AI to help lawyers draft documents faster

It’s no secret that much of the legal industry is build on reusable content. Most law firms have their own customized set of standard documents (like NDAs or Wills), but lawyers or associates s

IBM can’t stop milking the Watson brand

More than seven years after IBM Watson beat a couple of human Jeopardy! champions, the company has continued to make hay with the brand. Watson, at its core, is simply an artificial intelligence engin

Voicera lands $13.5 million with help from big enterprise investors

It seems that everyone agrees that meetings are a time suck. There have been many attempts to use technology to make it easier to organize and run them, but Voicera, a Bay area startup, is attacking

UiPath raising at least $100M at $1B+ valuation for its ‘software robots’ for internal business tasks

The initial hype around bots — applications that run partly or entirely using natural language processing, machine learning, computer vision and other AI tech to help consumers ask and answer qu

Microsoft and Xiaomi to collaborate on AI, cloud computing and hardware

After Microsoft signed a deal to test Windows 10 on Xiaomi devices in 2015 and then Xiaomi bought a trove of patents to help run other Microsoft services on its devices in 2016, today the two companie

AWS launches translation services

Taking to yet another front the battle with Google, Apple and Microsoft for dominance in speech recognition and natural language processing, Amazon announced a new translation service as part of its
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