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Posts tagged ‘AI’

Travel Trends & Technology

Expedia’s 2018 Travel Tech Trends and Industry Opportunities report, reveals that new technologies are seeing swift uptake from consumers, driven by consumers’ growing digital impatience and expectation for instant responses, answers and solutions to their queries and purchasing requests.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs, mimic human behavior and complete tasks.

This can be found in some of the simplest, daily things such as Chatbots, which are offshoots of AI. Chatbot systems on their websites to help relieve the load on its hotlines. With Chatbots, time-starved (or impatient) travelers can get their queries across and expect a quicker response than, say, sending through an e-mail.

Companies that use it:

  • Air New Zealand (named Oscar)
  • AirAsia
  • Finnair (named Finn)
  • Expedia
  • Allora (named Dorothy)
  • Skyscann

In February this year, Japanese tour firm First Airlines rolled out a one-of-a-kind service that allows passengers to virtually visit destinations in a short two-hour “flight,” that would otherwise take upwards of 10 hours.

Passengers just needed to be strapped into a simulator to enjoy “traveling” to their destination in the comfort of first and business class cabins. The experience included everything that one would experience on an actual flight such as a safety announcement by the cabin crew and a four-course fine-dining in-flight meal.

Upon “arrival,” travelers will then be given high-tech virtual reality headsets to put on to explore their destination’s sites.

Other travel companies, such as Thomas Cook, Flight Centre, and Virgin Holidays are also using VR in-store to promote destinations they’re selling by giving immersive tours.

Renowned multinational hospitality company Shangri-La Hotels was perhaps the first if not one of the first hotel group to use VR across all its global sales offices to promote its properties worldwide.

Even the aforementioned Niantic-developed PokemonGO was used by tourism authorities worldwide to promote their destinations.

 

Translation: We have confirmed that the frequency to encounter Lapras has been increased in the coastal area of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefecture. Apparently, it will continue until 23 Nov. It’s time to travel there where you can experience Tohoku district! We believe that you can find a lot of awesome things besides PokemonGO.

Blockchain

According to industry experts, emerging technology blockchain is the next major disruptor to the travel industry. And by the looks of how quickly companies are adopting cryptocurrencies, that seems to be true.

In February this year, Brisbane Airport, one of Australia’s biggest airports, announced it struck a game-changing deal with cryptocurrency travel firm TravelbyBit. The airport will become the world’s first airport to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a legitimate currency.

 

Southeast Asian travel firm Smiling Albino has also started acknowledging Bitcoin installments for all treks to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. The organization said it was “a more productive approach to pay for an excursion.”

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Gmail’s Newest Features

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Google launched a new feature called Smart Compose that takes its AI writing much further. Smart Compose works a lot like Google’s own Autocomplete does in Search, popping up the things you might be about to say next. Simply by hitting tab, you can accept Google’s proposed words, add them to your copy, and move on to the next line of your email . . . for which Google might have even more suggestions.

To try it out, you’ll first need to turn on the “Enable experimental access” option within the General tab of the new Gmail’s settings. After you click the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the screen, Gmail will refresh itself—and Smart Compose should then automatically be activated. You can confirm by going back into the General tab of the settings and looking for the newly added Smart Compose option. As long as “Writing suggestions on” is checked, you’re all set—and you should see Google’s predictive text show up periodically as you write new emails.

Google is very good at saying “hi”

[Source Image: Google]

Google is ready to schedule . . . perhaps to a fault

[Source Image: Google]

Google doesn’t seem interested in helping on serious topics

[Source Image: Google]
Click here for further assistance

Artificial Intelligence(AI) & Customer Service

 

AI & X-Ray

RF-Pose A.I. using turning machine learning and a wifi signal into X-ray vision

A new piece of software has been trained to use wifi signals — which pass through walls, but bounce off living tissue — to monitor the movements, breathing, and heartbeats of humans on the other side of those walls. The researchers say this new tech’s promise lies in areas like remote healthcare, particularly elder care, but it’s hard to ignore slightly more dystopian applications.

Project’s leader Dina Katabi, a 2013 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow who teaches electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, to talk about how the new tech may be used.

She says “We actually are tracking 14 different joints on the body … the head, the neck, the shoulders, the elbows, the wrists, the hips, the knees, and the feet,

“So you can get the full stick-figure that is dynamically moving with the individuals that are obstructed from you — and that’s something new that was not possible before.”

The Problem: identifying human activity from wifi signals isn’t really something that even humans know how to do themselves. So the team developed one A.I. program that monitored human movements with a camera, on one side of a wall, and fed that information to their wifi X-ray A.I., called RF-Pose, as it struggled to make sense of the radio waves passing through that wall on the other side.

The Goal: Katabi would like to get the RF-Pose A.I. sophisticated enough that it can help monitor a variety of human health data tied to movement, identifying the early manifestations and progression of diseases like Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis (MS). (Prior versions of this research could already track physiological data like breathing patterns and heart rate.) She also said RF-Pose’s underlying tech could easily apply to a number of other potential uses: from search-and-rescue missions retrieving avalanche victims, to wild futuristic revivals of Xbox Kinect, to intervening in dicey hostage situations between terrorists and law enforcement.

AI Predicts How You’ll Look In Old Age

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H. Yang et al., arXiv 1711.10352v1 (2017)

Scientists have created advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to render artificial aging that’s more realistic (and some say depressing) than ever.

The system uses a two-part AI algorithm called a generative adversarial network (GAN). The first part takes a face and produces another face of the same individual at a target age. During training, a second part compares this image with a real image of someone at that age and with the original image and provides feedback, encouraging the first part to improve its abilities. Other artificial aging systems have used GANs, but this one differs by focusing not just on getting the age right, but also on maintaining the individual’s identity. Unlike others, it also renders foreheads and (lack of) hair, as seen in the photos of Justin Timberlake and Kirsten Dunst above.

The researchers trained their AI on more than 100,000 images from two databases, including mugshots and celebrities at different ages. A separate computer program then judged how the AI performed on a novel set of images. When the AI aged photos of people more than 20 years, so that people under 30 were meant to look between 50 and 60, for example, the computer program saw them (on average) as a 60-year-old (for mugshots) or a 52-year-old (for celebs).

Racism & algorthms

 

It has been publicized, the unconscious biases of white developers proliferate on the internet, mapping our social structures and behaviors onto code and repeating the imbalances and injustices that exist in the real world.

There was the case of black people being classified as gorillas; the computer system that rejected an Asian man’s passport photo because it read his eyes as being closed; Earlier this year, the release of Google’s Arts and Culture App, which allows users to match their faces with a historical painting, produced less than nuanced results for Asians, as well as African-Americans. Additionally, a new book, Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, argues that search engines themselves are inherently discriminatory.

Installation view of Stephanie Dinkins, “Conversations with Bina48,” 2014-present, at Recess’ Assembly Gallery, Brooklyn, 2017.

Installation view of Stephanie Dinkins, “Conversations with Bina48,” 2014-present, at Recess’ Assembly Gallery, Brooklyn, 2017.

Stephanie Dinkins has since ventured into investigations with the way that culture—particularly the experiences of race and gender—is codified in technology. She has become a strong voice in the effort to sound the alarm about the dangers of minority populations being absent from creations of the computer algorithms that now mold our lives. Her research into these imbalances has taken her on a head-spinning tour of tech companies, conferences, and residencies over the past few years. Dinkins is currently in residence at the tech programs of both Pioneer Works and Eyebeam, nonprofit art centers based in Brooklyn. 

 

AI Is Changing The Economy & The Way We Do Business

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Artificial intelligence can help researchers identify diseases before they happen, reducing treatment costs. Whether it is advanced data analytics or an increased use of robots in surgery, AI can be a set of tools that can assist or help doctors provide care. AI tools can also help to halt the rise of healthcare costs in several ways: they can assist surgeons in complicated surgeries; and reduce human errors by assisting in diagnoses. The predictive capabilities of AI can also help to manage re-admissions – and even the spread of epidemics – more efficiently.

Artificial intelligence, in particular machine learning, can also help in the back office with insurance claims. Using past claim data, the algorithms can quickly work through claims. The technology is not only being tested in Japan, but is also being trialed by the private sector – for example, insurance provider Prudential Singapore.

China is the leading nation when it comes to deploying AI in the context of city planning and management. Hangzhou, a city of nine million people, has built a “city brain” which ‘runs’ the government on a huge amount of data collected from sensors and cameras.

 

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