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What is RPA? A revolution in business process automation

More CIOs are turning to an emerging technology practice called robotic process automation (RPA) to streamline enterprise operations and reduce costs. With RPA, businesses can automate mundane rules-based business processes, enabling business users to devote more time to serving customers or other higher-value work. Others…

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Yes, Alexa is recording mundane details of your life, and it’s creepy as hell

Since last year I’ve had a smart speaker in my living room—an Echo Dot. My family uses it mostly to ask Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa, to play music. But after I saw a report that an Alexa-enabled speaker owned by a family in Portland, Oregon,…

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This robot is teaching itself to walk

If it wasn’t for its lack of a head, a robot from a University of Oslo research group would seem alarmingly life-like as it stumbles across the floor. Named DyRET, this quadruped teaches itself how to walk on different terrains, and even learns from its…

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Why emotionally intelligent bots are the future of AI

From booking systems to customer and feedback services, chatbots are ubiquitous in business. But in areas, such as health or the home, people seem less willing to engage with what is effectively a computer running smart software or a machine that “learns” thorough artificial intelligence…

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This is how drones could help to fight climate change

Drones today serve a variety of functions, from capturing aerial photography to assisting in military operations. But one particular service may end up being their chief contribution: by acting as mitigating forces against the impacts of climate change. These little gadgets are now capable of…

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Researchers are using virtual-reality to train drones

Training drones to fly fast, around even the simplest obstacles, is a crash-prone exercise that can have engineers repairing or replacing vehicles with frustrating regularity. Now MIT engineers have developed a new virtual-reality training system for drones that enables a vehicle to “see” a rich,…

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This company hopes its cryptocurrency can help the internet of things reach its true potential

Anyone who hears that an internet-of-things startup is getting into blockchain technology would be forgiven for laughing it off as another hollow scheme. But Amir Haleem, cofounder of Helium, says he has no interest in making a quick buck off the irrational exuberance that permeates…

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Robots may someday explore the world using features borrowed from your brain

An AI program trained to navigate through a virtual maze has unexpectedly developed an architecture that resembles the neural “GPS system” found inside a brain. The AI was then able to find its way around the maze with unprecedented skill. The discovery comes from DeepMind,…

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Google’s new AI can make appointments for you just like a person

Google debuted “Duplex” at its I/O developer conference on May 8, an AI system that could make virtual assistants as capable as humans available to anyone. Today’s digital assistants tend to fall down as soon as they depart from their limited scripts. Programs that can…

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How uncertainty could help a machine hold a more eloquent conversation

An approach to artificial intelligence that embraces uncertainty and ambiguity could paradoxically help make future virtual assistants less confused. Gamalon, an AI startup based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, developed the new technique for teaching machines to handle language, and several businesses are now testing a chatbot…

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