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Abu Dhabi Hosts Middle East’s First Passenger Drone Trials

MLG and Abu Dhabi Mobility hosted an exhibition of cutting-edge technology, along with two test flights.

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abu dhabi hosts middle east's first passenger drone trials
Abu Dhabi Media Office

In recent years, Abu Dhabi has become a pioneer and champion of smart and sustainable mobility, attracting industry-leading startups and experts from around the world. The first Abu Dhabi Mobility Week, held between 24th April and 1st May 2024, showcased this innovation while also hosting the Middle East’s first-ever passenger-carrying drone trials.

Multi Level Group (MLG), a pioneer of “advanced automation and digital transformation solutions”, teamed up with Abu Dhabi Mobility to present an exhibition of cutting-edge drone technology, which included two test flights. The first showcase featured a five-seater drone with a 25 km range and potential payload of up to 350 kg, while the second involved a smaller drone able to carry two passengers up to 35 km for around 20 minutes.

Mohammed Hamad Al Dhaheri, a Multi-Level Group board member, made history at the mobility expo by becoming the first person in the Middle East to board an eVTOL for a demonstration flight. Al Dhaheri explained to the press that future plans also involved manufacturing passenger drones in the UAE: “starting with drone structure and gradually moving forward until we manufacture small parts such as motors and batteries, ensuring the technology is fully developed and exported from the UAE to the world”.

Also Read: UAE Stores May Soon Accept Payments Through Your Palm

The milestone test flights represent a significant addition to Abu Dhabi’s achievements in the drone and micro-mobility sectors. The emirate’s forward-thinking strategy is rapidly making it a global hub for smart and autonomous vehicles while plans continue at pace to develop a sophisticated infrastructure for driver and pilot-less vehicles.

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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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