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NASA Forms New Partnership With Saudi Space Agency

The pair will collaborate on the Center for Space Futures, advancing space tech by bringing together public and private stakeholders.

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Saudi Space Agency

Saudi Arabia’s space industry is on the brink of substantial expansion after generating $400 million in revenue in 2022, according to a report by the Saudi Communications, Space and Technology Commission.

Now, in a new venture with NASA, plans for a “Center for Space Futures” are set to further drive the Kingdom’s aspirations of becoming a leading player in space exploration and technology.

The partnership between NASA and Saudi Arabia goes beyond economic advantages. The pair have already cooperated on preliminary work for the Artemis II lunar mission, which is slated for a September 2025 launch and aims to land astronauts near the moon’s South Pole.

Also Read: Plans Underway For Massive Middle East Autonomous Freight Network

During a visit to the capital, Riyadh, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson emphasized in a TV interview the broader objectives of the collaboration, which encompass “returning to the moon and then [to] Mars” while utilizing space exploration to glean important insights into climate change. The NASA spokesman also reiterated the space agency’s dedication to collaborating with Saudi Arabia on other future ventures.

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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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