Virtual bot speaking
Conversation

Bots Don’t Need Social Distancing

A chatbot is providing companionship for the locked-down and lonely. Downloads of Replika, a chatbot designed to be a virtual friend, have spiked during the coronavirus pandemic, reports the New York Times.
1 min read
Generative BST example and graph
Conversation

Big Bot Makes Small Talk

Facebook recently rolled out its entry in the World’s Biggest Chatbot sweepstakes. In keeping with the company’s social-networking dominance, the bot is designed to excel at chitchat on any subject.
2 min read
A chatbot called Meena and a graph comparing it with other chatbot services
Conversation

Toward Open-Domain Chatbots

Progress in language models is spawning a new breed of chatbots and, unlike their narrow-domain forebears, they have the gift of gab. Recent research tests the limits of conversational AI.
2 min read
Chatbot asking for Covid-19 symptoms
Conversation

Chatbots Disagree on Covid-19

Chatbots designed to recognize Covid-19 symptoms dispense alarmingly inconsistent recommendations. Given the same symptoms, eight high-profile medical bots responded with divergent, often conflicting advice.
1 min read
Capture of a chatbot telling jokes developed by Google Brain
Conversation

Bot Comic

Androids may not dream of electric sheep, but some crack jokes about horses and cows. Meena, a 2.6-billion parameter chatbot developed by Google Brain, showed impressive conversational ability, discussing a variety of topics.
2 min read
Lifelike video imagery of virtual people made by NEON
Conversation

AI Steals CES

Artificial intelligence was everywhere at the biggest, buzziest consumer-technology showcase in the U.S. AI ruled the convention floor at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, as numerous media outlets proclaimed.
2 min read
Excerpt from The Squire, an AI written short film
Conversation

Here Be Dragons

AI is contributing to paintings, music, and now a whimsical fantasy video. The Squire is an amateur romp through a snowy realm of knights in armor and damsels in distress. The script was composed by AI Dungeon 2, an interactive text-adventure game based on the GPT-2 language model.
1 min read
Illustration of a fireplace with "Happy holidays" cards in English, Spanish and French
Conversation

Language Models Get Literate

Earlier language models powered by Word2Vec and GloVe embeddings yielded confused chatbots, grammar tools with middle-school reading comprehension, and not-half-bad translations. The latest generation is so good, some people consider it dangerous.
2 min read
Chart with survey question related to Machine Learning use
Conversation

Banking on Automation

The UK’s banking industry is using AI in many facets of the business. A survey of financial firms in the UK found that nearly two-thirds of respondents have deployed machine learning technology. Many said they expect their use to double in the next two years.
2 min read
Illustration of 4 ghosts floating and 1 person dressed as a ghost
Conversation

Deepfakes Wreak Havoc

Will AI fakery erode public trust in the key social institutions? Generative models will flood media outlets with convincing but false photos, videos, ads, and news stories. The ensuing crisis of authority will lead to widespread distrust in everything from the financial system to democracy itself.
2 min read
Chart with number of AI startup acquisitions from 2010 to 2019
Conversation

AI Startups in Demand

AI startups are being scooped up at an accelerating pace, many by companies outside the tech sphere. A report by CB Insights shows that, as of August, 2019 was on track to surpass last year’s record number of AI startup acquisitions.
1 min read
Two people shaking hands
Conversation

My Chatbot Will Call Your Chatbot

Companies with large numbers of contractual relationships may leave millions of dollars on the table because it’s not practical to customize each agreement. A new startup offers a chatbot designed to claw back that money.
1 min read
Machine putting sauce on pizza dough
Conversation

Automation’s Frontier: Fast Food

Quick-service restaurants are experiencing record-high employee turnover, while labor advocates are pushing for higher wages. Some experts say these forces are propelling the fast food industry toward full automation.
1 min read

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