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Roxy grabs $2.2 million seed investment to build Alexa-like voice devices customized for business

Some of the biggest names in technology are all in on voice-controlled devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, but Roxy, a Seattle-based startup believes that businesses need a voice system where they control the data and the voice commands are designed for their specific requirements. They …

Automation

Aiqudo raises $5.2 million for voice commands that control smartphone apps

Aiqudo today announced it has raised a $5.2 million funding round. The startup uses voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa to control smartphone apps with pre-made or customizable voice commands. Aiqudo is currently available in beta in the Google Play Android store and is being reviewed for …

Why the voice of the consumer is so important to AI

Voice search is increasingly being adopted by consumers who are literally speaking to brands to get the answers to their questions. This habit of relying on a voice assistant to answer queries presents brands with ample opportunities to connect with customers in meaningful ways. But are companies …

At AI bot startups, cool kids rule

Joanna Glasner Contributor<p>Joanna Glasner is a reporter for Crunchbase.<p>More posts by this contributor:<p>Not a minimalist? Startups will gladly store, manage and deliver your items<br>• The state of the unicorn<p>You would think at least one AI-powered humanoid bot would have a properly nerdy name. Maybe a …

Venture Capital

Why Alexa and Siri would make terrible companions

If Alexa understood your needs and anticipated your decisions, would you love it or would it annoy the crap out of you?<p>Sophia Yeres of Huge, a Brooklyn-based digital marketing agency, presented a talk at SXSW called “The Risks of the Quantified Mind.” She spoke about the future of voice-driven …

Future voice interfaces could turn us all into geniuses -- or idiots

If voice interfaces are indeed the future, Sophia Yeres — of Brooklyn-based Huge Inc. — today gave us a peek of what that evolution looks like.<p>Alexa, Siri, or Google’s aptly-named ‘Assistant’ are what’s available, but it’s what’s next that’s worthy of awe. Each of the above, like it or not, is a …

Genius

Voice Is the Next Big Platform, and Alexa Will Own It

If you happen to live in one of the six million US homes that have so far purchased an Amazon Echo, you may think Alexa is just a voice emanating …

Hey, Alexa, are things going to get weird?

They say that news is what happens to a writer on his way to the bathroom and I’ve recently discovered something fascinating. Alexa – and, to a degree, Siri and Google’s OK Google solution – have become indispensable additions to our home. The kids tell Alexa to turn on the lights and start …

Smart Homes

GE puts Amazon Alexa inside a funky table lamp

Seems Alexa’s made her way into everything these days. Between Amazon’s own Echo offerings and an ever-growing array of third-party participation, the steady home automation takeover of the company’s AI assistant appears to be going about as well as could be expected.<p>Between Alexa connected washing …

Home Automation

Amazon launches Amazon AI to bring its machine learning smarts to developers

Amazon today announced the launch of its new Amazon AI platform at its re:Invent developer event in Las Vegas. This new service brings many of the machine learning smarts Amazon has developed in-house over the years to devs outside the company. For now, the service only makes three different tools …

Cloud Computing

Kitt.ai’s ChatFlow helps you build better chatbots

The current generation of chatbots is, at best, disappointing. Kitt.ai, which is launching its private beta today, hopes to change that. The team of three AI PhDs that founded the company believes that its ChatFlow framework will make it easier for developers to build useful chatbots that can work …

Chatbots

We put Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana through a marathon of tests to see who's winning the virtual assistant race — here's what we found

As the Web diminishes and the Amazon Echo continues to be a runaway hit, all the big players are convinced that talking to an AI will soon become the dominant way we interact with our computers.<p>So they've started building. Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa, Microsoft has Cortana, and Google has the …

Automation

Salesforce's artificial intelligence platform Einstein explained

Microsoft hits a speech recognition milestone with a system just as good as human ears

It’s a red-letter day at Microsoft Research: a team working on speech recognition has hit a serious symbolic goal with a system that’s as good as you at hearing what people are saying.<p>Specifically, the system has a “word error rate” of 5.9 percent, on par with professional human transcribers. Even …

Machine Learning

The AI disruption wave

Information technology evolves through disruption waves. First the computer, then the web and eventually social networks and smartphones all had the power to revolutionize how people live and how businesses operate. They destroyed companies that weren’t able to adapt, while creating new winners in …

Artificial Intelligence

Tipps vom Runtastic-Gründer: Wie Startups gute Teams aufbauen

Ein gutes Team trägt zum Erfolg eines Startups bei. Runtastic-Gründer Florian Gschwandtner erklärte auf der „Bits and Pretzels“, worauf es bei der …

Microsoft forms new AI Research Group led by Harry Shum

Artificial intelligence is quickly shaping up to be one of the key defining technology areas of our time. A day after announcing a new artificial intelligence partnership with IBM, Google, Facebook and Amazon, Microsoft is upping the ante within its own walls.<p>The tech giant announced that it is …

Artificial Intelligence

Prowler.io raises $2M to help AI systems make smarter choices

As we inch closer to a time when we may rely on truly autonomous devices to move us or do things on our behalf, the need for software that’s able to think on its feet (or mid-air) will be essential.<p>Now, an artificial intelligence startup working on this emerging area of machine learning has raised …

Artificial Intelligence

Kustomer, founded by Salesforce alums, nabs $12.5M to repair customer care

The need to contact customer support is the bane of many a modern consumer’s existence: not only is it likely that you are doing it because you have a problem that needs fixing, but you are inevitably sucked into a vortex where you have to sit on the phone for ages (or wait in stasis for emailed …

Startups

Brian Solis talks about why AI won’t suck

This week I got the chance to talk to a private hero of mine, Brian Solis. Solis is a digital analyst and speaker who talks about the future and how big brands – Coke, IBM – will interact with humans. His new book X is out now and it’s designed to help big companies survive the changing tides of …

InterAct

Apple acquires another machine learning company: Tuplejump

Apple is on a machine learning company buying spree. After buying Perceptio at the end of 2015 and Turi just a few months ago, Apple has now acquired an India/US-based machine learning team, Tuplejump.<p>We’d been hearing rumors of another acquisition in this space by Apple for some time. While Apple …

Machine Learning

Voice is chat’s next battleground

Chatbots were meh. Sure, they’ll get better. But the upcoming innovation in chat is about being more human, not less. With the proliferation of adequate speech recognition, AI assistants and wireless headphones, the tech is ready to unlock the potential of our most basic form of communication.<p>Soon, …

Chatbots

Salesforce Einstein delivers artificial intelligence across the Salesforce platform

Say what you will about Salesforce, the company is always looking ahead. This afternoon, it announced Salesforce Einstein, its artificial intelligence (AI) initiative.<p>The timing, which comes just ahead of rival Oracle’s Open World keynote address, is probably not a coincidence. Regardless, the …

Artificial Intelligence

47 no-fail ways to come up with blog ideas

Empty Google docs. Empty editorial calendars. Empty WordPress posts.<p>Sometimes content marketers have to deal with a lot of emptiness, and turn all that blank space into content that attracts, and engages, and converts.<p>But no pressure, right?<p>How do you keep the ideas and creativity flowing …

5 SEO secrets you’ll be surprised you didn’t know​

When optimizing for featured snippets, try to focus on more complex questions, if possible. If your snippet provides a one or two-word answer to a very simple question, users will be less likely to click-through to your site, negating any benefit you might otherwise have had.<p><b>Including related</b> …

Setting the AI record straight (for now)

Matt Bencke Contributor<p>Matt Bencke is CEO of Spare5. Previously, he worked at Getty Images, Microsoft and Boeing.<p>More posts by this contributor:<p>A cautionary tale about humans creating biased AI models<br>• The On-Demand, Sharing And Gig Economies Never Existed, So Stop Pretending They Did<p>Artificial …

Artificial Intelligence

Google's DeepMind Claims Massive Progress in Synthesized Speech

Researchers at Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence division claim to have come up with a way of producing much more natural-sounding …

Neural Networks

Callstats.io raises $3M Series A round for its WebRTC analytics service

WebRTC, a relatively new web standard that allows you to make audio and video calls from your browser without plugins, is becoming increasingly popular. But as more companies and products adopt it, the need for getting better insights into how these calls perform (or when they drop and why) also …

Startups

Growing up in Generation AI

Remi El-Ouazzane Contributor<p>Remi El-Ouazzane recently joined Movidius from Texas Instruments where he served as vice president and worldwide general manager of the Open Multimedia Applications Platform (OMAP) Business Unit.<p>Imagine a five-year-old watching Mum talking to Siri, and Dad talking to …

Artificial Intelligence

Why founders should care where their VCs get their money

Elizabeth “Beezer” Clarkson Contributor<p>Elizabeth “Beezer” Clarkson is managing director of Sapphire Ventures.<p>More posts by this contributor:<p>Venture capital in 2017 is when the rubber hits the road for returns<br>• Dear VCs, there’s something you need to know about raising funds this year<p>Fundraising for a …

Venture Capital