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Google Plans A Future Where Robots Think For Themselves

Google is helping robots better understand how to be helpful to humans, and the results are encouraging!

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google plans a future where robots think for themselves

Unknown to many of its fanbase, search giant Google has been developing its own semi-secret research laboratory for over a decade. The project is known as X Developments and focuses on exciting projects such as the recent Everyday Robots collaboration.

The project emphasizes the software side of robotics, aiming to make the technology helpful to humans by optimizing robots for tasks that include finding, fetching, and sorting items, as well as training bots to be awesome at ping-pong or catching racquetballs.

Google’s latest milestone is the “Pathways Language Model,” a software solution that gives the company’s robots a better understanding of the world, helping them respond more accurately and efficiently to human requests. So far, the robot workers at Google have been set to work on less-than-glamorous tasks such as trash sorting, with the aim that eventually, they will be able to take on tasks and teach themselves on the fly. Research into seemingly useless tasks like ping-pong might seem frivolous, but these operations require speed and precision, so they help engineers tune their robot sidekicks for future requirements.

google everyday robots throwing away trash

Google’s emphasis on robotic precision means that the company is unlikely to release a product for the general public any time soon. Their stance stands in sharp contrast to rival Amazon, which has already offered a product to market named Astro (albeit invite-only) — a $999 robot that seems to offer little more than basic Alexa functionality on wheels.

Also Read: Farfetch Aims To Bring Web3 To The World Of Fashion

“Google tries to be a company that provides access to information, helping people with tasks in their daily lives, you could imagine a ton of overlap between Google’s overarching mission and what we’re doing in terms of more concrete goals. I think we’re really at the level of providing capabilities, and trying to understand what capabilities we can provide,” says Vincent Vanhoucke, Google Research Robotics Lead.

Don’t expect to see a Google-themed robot appearing anytime soon, but keep an eye out for the latest developments from X Developments, as even the company’s homepage points to an exciting future for human / robot partnerships!

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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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