The week in Voicetech. February 23, 2018

Image: Graeme Paterson - Flickr
Ingrid Fadelli

Digital life after death, the return of the Mayflower, and Samsung’s patent for a voice-enabled flying display. This and more in our weekly voicetech roundup

Our carefully curated selection of articles from this week on CliqueApi and other respected news sources from around the world.

AI is shaking up the field of earthquake detection, Clique

Researchers from Harvard University and MIT have developed an AI that can sniff out both big and tiny earthquakes better than current detection methods. The new system is similar to that used by voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri to identify spoken commands and ignore background noise, but it is specifically trained to ignore vibrations of the ground that are not earthquake-related.

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Is there life after death? All you need is a little AI and voicetech, Clique

A series of apps and online services is applying AI to help grieving individuals cope with the loss of a loved one. An example of this is Replika, an app that allows users to create a fairly accurate virtual representation of another person, simply by answering some questions about them.

The service could allow users to keep communicating with a digital version of another person after they died.

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Real-Time Captcha set to revolutionize security authentication, Clique

A group of scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology announecs a new Captcha login authentication technology that might solve some of the problems associated with current online security measures. The new tool, called Real-Time Captcha, asks users to stare into their cell phone’s camera and answer a randomly selected question within a tight time-frame.

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400 years later and the Mayflower returns to these shores, Clique

Four centuries after the maiden voyage of the original Mayflower ship, a newly developed ocean-going vessel is about to embark on an ambitious journey for scientific research purposes. The new Mayflower Autonomous Ship, or MAS 400, is solar powered and entirely automated, hence it has the potential to stay out at sea indefinitely.

The ship is set to make its way across the Atlantic in 2020 and complete a full circumnavigation of the globe some time after that.

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How Nestle is tapping voice tech, WARC

Food and beverage company Nestlé could soon be introducing voice technology into its strategy to improve customer service experience. The Global Head of the company’s Digital Innovation & Service Models first touched on this topic during the Medialink + CDX Brand Innovation Salon at CES 2018, highlighting his belief in the potential of voice technology to improve customer service.

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Nest’s indoor security camera now has Google Assistant built in, The Verge

This week, Smart home specialist Nest announced the arrival of a new update for its Cam IQ security camera, which will bring Google Assistant to the indoor version of the camera.

The update should allow owners of an indoor Nest Cam IQ to access the same version of the Google Assistant platform that is available for Android, iOS, and Google Home devices, asking Google Assistant to complete a number of basic tasks or control other compatible smart home products.

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Snips brings its privacy-focused voice assistant to cars, Tech Crunch

A French startup called Snips has developed a voice assistant Software Developer Kit (SDK) and is now showcasing its possible use in smart cars. Snips SDK allows developers to build a customizable voice assistant that runs locally.

The company ultimately hopes that manufacturers will choose to embed a Snips-powered assistant into their products, rather than well-known alternatives such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

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Samsung patents a flying screen that could be used for hovering video, endgadget

Samsung was quietly awarded a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for what it defines as a “flying display device”. The company applied for the patent in 2016, describing a drone-like device with a screen that would have streaming, eye-tracking, obstacle detection, and voice recognition capabilities.

What Samsung plans to develop with this patent is still unclear, but endgadget outlines a few interesting theories.

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Voice software firm wants to make Alexa its clients’ best friend, STL Today

Bob Stolzberg, entrepreneur and founder of a start-up called VoiceXP, is trying to convince businesses to embrace Amazon’s smart assistant Alexa, as he believes the use of voice-enabled assistants will soon become widespread. VoiceXP has already developed Alexa Skills for a variety of companies, including CenturyLInk, Arizona State University, and Cantor Injury Law.

Stolzberg is now working on more sophisticated skills for healthcare and research environments.

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Tanzanian hospital adopts voice recognition technology, IT NEWS AFRICA

The Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam has become the first public Tanzanian hospital to start using voice recognition technology. The new tool is assisting doctors in encoding patients’ information and could help to decrease report turnaround time, maximizing the time and energies spent on treating patients.

MNH’s Executive Director, Lawrence Museru, believes that the new technology will significantly reduce the time and resources required to process patients’ information.

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