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NASA’s HERA Campaign 7 Reveals New Emirati Crew Member

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre has chosen Shareef Al Romaithi to undertake simulated missions on Earth.

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nasa's hera campaign 7 reveals new emirati crew member
NASA

The United Arab Emirates has named a crew member for the upcoming phase of NASA’s Mars simulation mission. Shareef Al Romaithi will join the next phase of NASA’s HERA Campaign 7, spending 45 days at NASA’s Houston, Texas Space Centre with his fellow crew members.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) revealed Al Romaithi’s selection on April 15, 2024. The project, starting on May 10, 2024, seeks to replicate Martian mission conditions to explore the impact of space travel on human physiology and psychology.

Al Romaithi, a seasoned pilot with over 16 years of aviation experience, will reside in a specialized facility in Houston known as HERA (Human Exploration Research Analog). The three-story habitat simulates the isolation and environmental conditions of space exploration in a program spanning multiple phases. The first phase concluded in March, with subsequent phases scheduled for August and November.

The UAE’s MBRSC highlighted Al Romaithi’s involvement in the mission via X (formerly Twitter), emphasizing his role in advancing space exploration. The selection marks a significant step in the UAE’s space endeavors, showcasing its commitment to international collaborations in space exploration.

Also Read: Top 10 Best Freelance Platforms In The Middle East

“We are pleased to announce the selection of Shareef Al Romaithi for the second analogue study of the UAE Analogue Programme at the Hera habitat, marking another significant step towards the UAE’s vision for space exploration,” said the director general of MBRSC, Salem Al Marri.

“This mission, blending scientific research and international collaboration with NASA, is poised to deepen our understanding of the physiological and psychological challenges of long-duration space travel through experiments here on Earth,” added Salem Al Marri. “The UAE is honored to be part of this journey, and we will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible and inspire future generations to be part of the space sector,” the director general concluded.

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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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