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A Floating Drone Is Helping To Clean Up Dubai Harbor’s Waters

The PixieDrone cleanup robot is on a mission to collect difficult-to-detect debris.

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a floating drone is helping to clean up dubai harbor's waters

Dubai Harbor has employed an efficient new AI-powered worker to clean up its waters. The small, floating drone is called a PixieDrone — a waste collection machine fitted with a video camera and remote sensing LIDAR tech.

PixieDrone can operate autonomously for around six hours, collecting and sorting up to 160 liters of organic waste, plastic, glass, paper, metal, cloth, and rubber.

LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sees images in 3D, allowing PixieDrone to quickly understand its surroundings, much like the latest autonomous cars.

Created by French company Searial Cleaners, PixieDrone can travel at 3 kph for up to 12 km on a single charge. The company’s website does note that the robot can operate at a maximum ambient temperature of 50°C, which could eventually become an issue in the UAE’s sweltering summer heat.

Also Read: Google Is Developing An AI Cancer-Spotting Microscope

Measuring 1.62 by 1.15 meters, the robot cleaner is able to fit into tight spaces. Searial Cleaners says the device is specifically built for harbors and coastal aquatic areas.

PixieDrone is not the first waste collection floating drone to work in UAE waters. In 2018, Dubai Marina used WasteShark, made by the Dutch company RanMarine, to collect waste and test air and water quality.

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Truecaller To Use Microsoft Azure AI Speech For Call Answering

The new service features a powerful speech generation tool to allow users to create AI versions of their voices.

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truecaller to use microsoft azure ai speech for call answering
Truecaller

Truecaller, a well-known app for identifying and blocking spam calls, is enhancing its services by allowing users to create AI versions of their voices. The new feature, available to those with access to Truecaller’s AI Assistant, stems from a partnership with Microsoft and its Azure AI Speech tool, allowing the generation of realistic AI voices that accurately mimic users’ speech patterns and tone.

“This groundbreaking capability not only adds a touch of familiarity and comfort for the users but also showcases the power of AI in transforming the way we interact with our digital assistants,” explained Truecaller product director and general manager Raphael Mimoun in a recent blog post.

The AI Assistant in Truecaller screens incoming calls, informing recipients of a caller’s purpose. Based on this information, users can decide whether to answer the call themselves or let the AI Assistant handle it.

When the feature was introduced in 2022, users could only choose from a collection of preset voices. The ability to record one’s own voice represents a significant step towards the complete personalization of the service.

Also Read: Getting Started With Google Gemini: A Beginner’s Guide

Azure AI Speech, showcased during the last Build conference, only recently added a personal voice feature that lets people record and replicate voices. Microsoft explained in a blog post, however, that Personal Voice is available on a limited basis and only for specific use cases like voice assistants.

To maintain ethical standards, Microsoft’s Azure AI Speech automatically adds watermarks to AI-generated voices. Additionally, a code of conduct requires companies to obtain full consent from individuals being recorded and prohibits impersonation.

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