Posts tagged with "artificial intelligence"

Aiways, 360 MAGAZINE

AIWAYS RE-STARTS PRODUCTION

AIWAYS, the Shanghai-based personal mobility provider, is to start taking online orders for its U5 all-electric SUV from European consumers from the end of April. Secured via a small deposit, the U5 will be offered exclusively via a direct-to-customer sales model, and not retailed or leased through traditional dealerships. European pre-sale markets and the required deposit amount will be announced by AIWAYS in April.

Alexander Klose, Executive VP Overseas Operation at AIWAYS, commented: “Online pre-sales represents the next important phase of AIWAYS’ entry into the European market. It’s our promise to customers that for only a small deposit they can be among the first to receive the U5 and start enjoying the benefits of a long range, high-tech and well equipped electric SUV.”

Meanwhile, AIWAYS has re-started production of the U5 at its manufacturing facility in Shangrao, China, following the interruption caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus). Production of the European U5 will start in July, with the first deliveries now slated for August 2020.

Making the most of its agility and flexibility as a startup, AIWAYS is adapting its pre-sale marketing activities to better suit the enforced period of ‘contactless’ retail because of COVID-19. By introducing new online platforms and seamless digital experiences, AIWAYS will give European car buyers the confidence to order the U5 online. More details to follow soon.

Rice University x SLIDE

Deep learning rethink overcomes major obstacle in AI industry SLIDE is first algorithm for training deep neural nets faster on CPUs than GPUs

Rice University computer scientists have overcome a major obstacle in the burgeoning artificial intelligence industry by showing it is possible to speed up deep learning technology without specialized acceleration hardware like graphics processing units (GPUs). Scientists from Rice, supported by collaborators from Intel, will present their results today at the Austin Convention Center as a part of the machine learning systems conference MLSys.

Many companies are investing heavily in GPUs and other specialized hardware to implement deep learning, a powerful form of artificial intelligence that’s behind digital assistants like Alexa and Siri, facial recognition, product recommendation systems and other technologies. For example, Nvidia, the maker of the industry’s gold-standard Tesla V100 Tensor Core GPUs, recently reported a 41% increase in its fourth quarter revenues compared with the previous year.

Rice researchers created a cost-saving alternative to GPU, an algorithm called “sub-linear deep learning engine” (SLIDE) that uses general-purpose central processing units (CPUs) without specialized acceleration hardware.

“Our tests show that SLIDE is the first smart algorithmic implementation of deep learning on CPU that can outperform GPU hardware acceleration on industry-scale recommendation datasets with large fully connected architectures,” said Anshumali Shrivastava, an assistant professor in Rice’s Brown School of Engineering who invented SLIDE with graduate students Beidi Chen and Tharun Medini SLIDE doesn’t need GPUs because it takes a fundamentally different approach to deep learning. The standard “back-propagation ” training technique for deep neural networks requires matrix multiplication, an ideal workload for GPUs. With SLIDE, Shrivastava, Chen and Medini turned neural network training into a search problem that could instead be solved with hash tables, his radically reduces the computational overhead for SLIDE compared to back-propagation training. For example, a top-of-the-line GPU platform like the ones Amazon, Google and others offer for cloud-based deep learning services has eight Tesla V100s and costs about $100,000, Shrivastava said.

“We have one in the lab, and in our test case we took a workload that’s perfect for V100, one with more than 100 million parameters in large, fully connected networks that fit in GPU memory,” he said. “We trained it with the best (software) package out there, Google’s TensorFlow, and it took 3 1/2 hours to train.

“We then showed that our new algorithm can do the training in one hour, not on GPUs but on a 44-core Xeon-class CPU,” Shrivastava said.

Deep learning networks were inspired by biology, and their central feature, artificial neurons, are small pieces of computer code that can learn to perform a specific task. A deep learning network can contain millions or even billions of artificial neurons, and working together they can learn to make human-level, expert decisions simply by studying large amounts of data. For example, if a deep neural network is trained to identify objects in photos, it will employ different neurons to recognize a photo of a cat than it will to recognize a school bus. “You don’t need to train all the neurons on every case,” Medini said. “We thought, ‘If we only want to pick the neurons that are relevant, then it’s a search problem.’ So, algorithmically, the idea was to use locality-sensitive hashing to get away from matrix multiplication.”

Hashing is a data-indexing method invented for internet search in the 1990s. It uses numerical methods to encode large amounts of information, like entire webpages or chapters of a book, as a string of digits called a hash. Hash tables are lists of hashes that can be searched very quickly.

“It would have made no sense to implement our algorithm on TensorFlow or PyTorch because the first thing they want to do is convert whatever you’re doing into a matrix multiplication problem,” Chen said. “That is precisely what we wanted to get away from. So we wrote our own C++ code from scratch.”

Shrivastava said SLIDE’s biggest advantage over back-propagation is that it is data parallel.

“By data parallel I mean that if I have two data instances that I want to train on, let’s say one is an image of a cat and the other of a bus, they will likely activate different neurons, and SLIDE can update, or train on these two independently,” he said. “This is much a better utilization of parallelism for CPUs.

“The flipside, compared to GPU, is that we require a big memory,” he said. “There is a cache hierarchy in main memory, and if you’re not careful with it you can run into a problem called cache thrashing, where you get a lot of cache misses.” Shrivastava said his group’s first experiments with SLIDE produced significant cache thrashing, but their training times were still comparable to or faster than GPU training times. So he, Chen and Medini published the initial results on arXiv in March 2019 and uploaded their code to GitHub. A few weeks later, they were contacted by Intel.

“Our collaborators from Intel recognized the caching problem,” he said. “They told us they could work with us to make it train even faster, and they were right. Our results improved by about 50% with their help.” Shrivastava said SLIDE hasn’t yet come close to reaching its potential.

“We’ve just scratched the surface,” he said. “There’s a lot we can still do to optimize. We have not used vectorization, for example, or built-in accelerators in the CPU, like Intel Deep Learning Boost. There are a lot of other tricks we could still use to make this even faster.”

He said SLIDE is important because it shows there are other ways to implement deep learning.

“The whole message is, ‘Let’s not be bottlenecked by multiplication matrix and GPU memory,'” Shrivastava said. “Ours may be the first algorithmic approach to beat GPU, but I hope it’s not the last. The field needs new ideas, and that is a big part of what MLSys is about.”

Additional co-authors include James Farwell, Sameh Gobriel and Charlie Tai, all of Intel Labs.

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF-1652131, NSF-BIGDATA 1838177), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-18-1-0152), Amazon and the Office of Naval Research.

MLSys paper
Rice University News on Twitter

About Rice Univerisity

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 4 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as the best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

AI and Humans: Super Bowl Ads Explore Relationship

Voice Tech Zeitgeist: SuperBowl Ads Reveal Our Complex, Ever Evolving Relationship with AI

By Eric Turkington, RAIN

SuperBowl spots reveal barometers of what the world’s biggest brands think the American public wants to hear. And in 2020, perhaps more starkly than ever, SuperBowl ads telegraphed the complicated relationship we humans have with our AI counterparts.

SuperBowl advertisers often converge around common themes each year based on the prevailing sentiment from embracing nostalgia to championing social purpose to retaining our humanity amidst technological revolution. Striking about the several commercials that featured voice AI in 2020 was how different they were, with each revealing a distinct belief, fear or hope that we harbor about this technology as it becomes an ever more central in our lives.

Here’s a breakdown of wildly different takes I saw about the role of voice assistants at the dawn of a decade.

Amazon goes for humor to reinforce modern AI dependence. Amazon’s Alexa ad tapped
celebrity star power to explore a hypothetical: Real life couple Ellen and Portia wonder what life was like before Alexa. Clearly no expense was spared to imagine humorous takes on this question across a range of faux historical settings, from court jesters to bottle blowing musicians. The ad reinforces the notion of servility:

Alexa is the agent serving the human master while also overtly calling attention to the humanness of the voice assistants’ name (every vignette includes a person with a name that begins with A-L. This ad touches on two controversial questions in voice AI: First, should we be teaching our children to treat voice assistants as fundamentally less than human, worthy of subjugation of our every request? Secondly, was it fair to people named Alexa to have their names be co-opted by Amazon for a voice assistant positioned broadly in popular culture as a servant? Lauren Johnson, founder of Alexa, who is a human, certainly would have a thing or two to say here.

Google tugs at heartstrings by showing an emotional side of voice AI. Considered by many to be among the best of this year’s crop, Google’s “Loretta” tapped into the emotionally raw and relatable circumstance of dealing with a loved one’s death. A man uses Google Assistant–the name is never mentioned in the creative–to remember advice his wife gave him and to pull up memories of their time together. In contrast to Alexa’s portrayal, Google Assistant is playing the role of supportive companion and memorialist. This isn’t the subjugation of AI for menial tasks, but for an elevated purpose that augments the relationship we have with one another, whether living or dead.

Snickers raises that ole eavesdropping concern. Snickers used a generic voice assistant as one of many antagonists in a broader tableau of internet-gone-wrong. An older man sings “the surveillance state’s got a brand new trick,” to which a female voice assistant inside a speaker remarks, coldly, “I am not spying.” The moment was fleeting, but it’s nonetheless telling that the notion of spying smart speakers is a part of the dystopian tech narrative as selfie culture, sexting, and adult scooters.

Coca-Cola makes voice a tactical channel. Coca-Cola’s spot touting its new energy drink did not directly make reference to voice assistants, but Alexa has been among the biggest part of the launch campaign for the same product. Before the ad ran on SuperBowl day, Coke launched a large-scale sampling campaign and leveraged Alexa as a channel for consumers. Using the command “Alexa, order Coke Energy”, consumers would get a free sample of the new product, all which reportedly sold out before the game. While the ad creative was devoid of calls-to-action on Alexa, Coke made savvy use of voice as a sampling strategy to build buzz for the product before its big SB debut. Perhaps if they had a few (million) more samples on hand, they would have included an Alexa call-to-action at the end of the spot

Voice AI has become —and will be even more so — an indelible part of our culture. As voice is able to do more, the references to voice may well become less thematic and topical and even more practical and functional. Indeed, the promoted utterance might be the most prominent hashtag in 2021

Eric Turkington is the VP of strategic partnerships at RAIN, a firm specializing in voice strategy, design and development.

6 ways AI can help reduce business spend

There’s a lot that can go wrong in the typical organization’s spend audit process. Manually auditing vendor invoices and employee expense reports is time-consuming and frustrating. Most companies resign themselves to conducting partial audits, which might catch a few discrepancies, but leaves your company at risk for errors, waste, and fraud. 

Luckily, there’s a solution: Artificial intelligence. In our new ebook, Artificial Intelligence in Spend Auditing For Dummies, we cover how AI can improve your audit processes. Below are six ways AI can help reduce business spend. 

1. Audit 100% of spend

At most organizations, the idea of humans manually reviewing every invoice and expense report is laughable. There are too many reports, too few people, and too many other responsibilities pulling at auditors’ time. Luckily, one of AI’s many superpowers is its ability to comb through documents and evaluate risk factors near-instantly. When an invoice comes in, AI systems can immediately check if its terms match those in the contract. Similarly, when an expense report is submitted, AI can look to see if it contains violations (e.g., duplicate receipts or out-of-policy spending); it’ll flag the reports with a problem for further investigation by your team and initiate an (immediate!) reimbursement for low-risk reports. Ultimately, a comprehensive audit process means a significant reduction in leakage, plus a faster process. 

2. Sniff out T&E misuse

In most companies, travel and entertainment (T&E) is the second largest controllable business expense after salaries and benefits. It’s also particularly hard to manage, given that there are so many small expenses continuously rolling in from many different sources. In our data, we’ve found that a whopping 10% of T&E expenses are either fraudulent or a mistake. We’ve heard of employees expensing everything from tattoos, to dog kennels, to strip clubs, to jewelry, and more. Other common violations include claiming personal trips as business-related, upgrading tickets to first class, expensing weekend meals with friends, and more. AI can help you track down these problems, ensure the incorrect expenses aren’t paid out, and give you the information you need to address any large-scale issues.

3. Double-check that invoices match the contract terms

Many organizations have procurement teams whose whole job it is to negotiate favorable contract terms with vendors. But too often that effort is squandered once the contract is signed, as AP teams may not have the bandwidth to check that the invoice matches the agreed-upon terms. AI can do this automatically with every invoice received, instantly checking to make sure early payment, loyalty, and/or quantity discounts are applied. 

4.Don’t let fraud slide

Unfortunately, invoice and expense report fraud is common and can have a not-so-small impact on your company’s bottom line. Shell companies might bill for services that were never provided, or send fraudulent invoices that are part of a larger phishing scam. Employees might submit the same dinner receipt as a colleague, knowing that they’ll likely both be reimbursed, causing you to be foot the bill for their dinner twice. With AI, you can check every invoice for risk factors and flag anything fishy for auditor review. 

5. Catch double payments

Invoices often get held up — maybe an approver is out of office or the invoice failed a three-way match. In the meantime, the vendor follows up and someone else intervenes to pay the invoice out manually without noting it in the system. Afterward, the system clears the hold and the invoice is paid yet again. This double payment happens more than you might expect and often no one catches it (after all, who is going to complain about receiving extra money?). AI helps prevent this problem by keeping track of all spend and always checking for duplicates. 

6. Audit before you pay

Once a payment is out in the world, it can be difficult if not impossible to get it back — even if you later prove that the charge was erroneous or fraudulent. Even if you are able to recover it, doing so takes up valuable time and there’s a significant disadvantage to not having the cash on hand for your business. AI makes it possible to audit all spend before you pay, rendering this problem moot. 

Want to save money with AI? Download our new ebook, Artificial Intelligence in Spend Auditing For Dummies, to learn more about how artificial intelligence can help you team. 

This article was originally published on the AppZen Blog

Josephine McCann is a Product Marketing Manager at AppZen, where she loves crafting content and telling interesting stories.

Toyota,prototype,future,city,Mt. Fuji,Japan,artificial intelligence,infrastructure,Woven City,Akio Toyoda,commercial,academic partners,scientists,Bjarke Ingels,Danish,architect,ces,vegas,Vaughn Lowery,360 magazine,design,art,ai,tech,app,google,

TOYOTA – WOVEN CITY

At CES, Toyota revealed plans to build a prototype “city” of the future on a 175-acre site at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan.

Called the Woven City, it will be a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Envisioned as a “living laboratory,” the Woven City will serve as a home to full- time residents and researchers who will be able to test and develop technologies such as autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes and artificial intelligence in a real-world environment.

“Building a complete city from the ground up, even on a small scale like this, is a unique opportunity to develop future technologies, including a digital operating system for the city’s infrastructure. With people, buildings and vehicles all connected and communicating with each other through data and sensors, we will be able to test connected AI technology… in both the virtual and the physical realms … maximizing its potential,” said Akio Toyoda, president, Toyota Motor Corporation.

Toyota will extend an open invitation to collaborate with other commercial and academic partners and invite interested scientists and researchers from around the world to come work on their own projects in this one-of-a-kind, real-world incubator.

“We welcome all those inspired to improve the way we live in the future, to take advantage of this unique research ecosystem and join us in our quest to create an ever-better way of life and mobility for all,” said Akio Toyoda, president, Toyota Motor Corporation.

For the design of Woven City, Toyota has commissioned Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels, CEO, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). His team at BIG have designed many high-profile projects: from 2 World Trade Center in New York and Lego House in Denmark, to Google’s Mountain View and London headquarters.

“A swarm of different technologies are beginning to radically change how we inhabit and navigate our cities. Connected, autonomous, emission-free and shared mobility solutions are bound to unleash a world of opportunities for new forms of urban life. With the breadth of technologies and industries that we have been able to access and collaborate with from the Toyota ecosystem of companies, we believe we have a unique opportunity to explore new forms of urbanity with the Woven City that could pave new paths for other cities to explore.” Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director, BIG.

Design of the City

The masterplan of the city includes the designations for street usage into three types: for faster vehicles only, for a mix of lower speed, personal mobility and pedestrians, and for a park-like promenade for pedestrians only.  These three street types weave together to form an organic grid pattern to help accelerate the testing of autonomy.

The city is planned to be fully sustainable, with buildings made mostly of wood to minimize the carbon footprint, using traditional Japanese wood joinery, combined with robotic production methods. The rooftops will be covered in photo-voltaic panels to generate solar power in addition to power generated by hydrogen fuel cells.   Toyota plans to weave in the outdoors throughout the city, with native vegetation and hydroponics.

Residences will be equipped with the latest in human support technologies, such as in-home robotics to assist with daily living. The homes will use sensor-based AI to check occupants’ health, take care of basic needs and enhance daily life, creating an opportunity to deploy connected technology with integrity and trust, securely and positively.

To move residents through the city, only fully-autonomous, zero-emission vehicles will be allowed on the main thoroughfares. In and throughout Woven City, autonomous Toyota e-Palettes will be used for transportation and deliveries, as well as for changeable mobile retail.

Both neighborhood parks and a large central park for recreation, as well as a central plaza for social gatherings, are designed to bring the community together. Toyota believes that encouraging human connection will be an equally important aspect of this experience.

Toyota plans to populate Woven City with Toyota Motor Corporation employees and their families, retired couples, retailers, visiting scientists, and industry partners. The plan is for 2000 people to start, adding more as the project evolves.

The groundbreaking for the site is planned for early 2021.

Interested in partnering with Toyota on the development of Woven City? Visit: Woven-city.global

szemui ho, 360 MAGAZINE, blockchain

China’s Drive to be a Leader in Tech is Going to Accelerate

China has stated that they desire to be the world leader in AI technology by the year 2030. A decoupling between Chinese and American economies looks to have pushed everything towards self-sufficiency. China’s economy is fighting with a slowdown and they are also in the midst of a trade war with the US. China’s ambition is remarkable, and they are looking at blockchain, 5G and artificial intelligence right now. This could be more urgent now more than ever. This is particularly the case when you look at the fact that it is in a tariff war with the United States.

Trade Tensions

There are several industries who not only rely on tech, but also flourish on it. Look at NetBet casinos, the finance industry or even the gaming sector. Of course, it’s important to recognize that this creates a lot of competition. This is one of the many reasons why China wants to get ahead, so that they can solidify their presence and hence that they can also surpass everyone else before they even get a chance. The Chinese are trying to drive to be a self-sufficient country and a great deal of this comes down to decoupling. The topic was very prevalent throughout the conference and China are very ambitious about everything.

5G

When you look at the tech rivalry that is occurring between China and the US, you will soon see that a lot of it comes down to the development of 5G. Huawei is under a bunch of focus right now, but things could change. Huawei is a key developer when it adds up to 5G tech and they have been blacklisted by the government. Washington have also cited various security concerns regarding their equipment. They have expressed that they could actually open up a backdoor which would enable them to spy on the US. China have continually tried to deny these claims.

Blockchain

Blockchain is a technology that essentially underpins cryptocurrency. Take Bitcoin for example, a few years ago, it absolutely blew up and everyone began investing. The blockchain that powers this is now being used by everyone, from finance to food. If someone was able to take control of this then this would place them in an incredibly strong position. Blockchain really does hold the potential to change the way that companies conduct business. A number of areas are ready to improve because of the blockchain infrastructure. China have thrown their weight behind this. President Xi Jinping has stated that China is being urged to capture the opportunity and they are also being called upon to advance the development in the field too. This would be incredible for the country if they were able to pull it off. A great deal of this comes down to the trade war, but right now it looks like China could be in a very strong position. Could things be looking up for blockchain?

5 Tech Trends That Businesses Can’t Afford To Ignore

With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, some business owners are left digitally disoriented as they try to figure out which of the latest innovations they need to invest in and what they can ignore.

It can make for confusing times.

All that bewilderment aside, though, these fast-developing advances also create opportunities that can help small and medium-sized businesses become more competitive – if they understand how to seize them.

“Technology exists today that at one time was available only to large corporations with huge technology budgets,” says Chris Hoose (www.choosenetworks.com), an IT consultant who works with small businesses.

“Every year, technology becomes even more accessible to companies of all sizes.”

Hoose says businesses that want to stay on top of their games should make sure they invest in these technological trends, if they haven’t already:

The Internet of Things. Many Internet of Things-connected devices, such as smart refrigerators and thermostats, are designed for home use, but there are also applications for small businesses, Hoose says. Some examples: smart locks use digital keys that can’t be lost or stolen, and log a record of who uses a door and when; RFID tags on merchandise can prevent theft and automatically update inventory; and mobile-card readers can replace cash registers.

Artificial intelligence. Don’t be fooled into thinking that AI is something only the big organizations can afford to use, Hoose says. “It’s making inroads into technologies accessible for businesses of all sizes,” he says. “AI can help you offer increasingly personalized experiences to customers by maximizing your time and automating manual tasks, like data entry.” AI also can be used to improve decision making, Hoose says. Essentially, AI will help you take that jumble of data most businesses have and analyze it in a way that allows you to make better-informed judgments on the actions you need to take.

Telecommuting. The office world is changing and more workers spend at least a portion of their work week telecommuting. “In many cases remote employees use their own equipment, which can eliminate some of the company’s costs with purchasing and maintaining computers, printers and mobile phones,” Hoose says. Video conferencing, instant messaging and other advances are helping to make telecommuting a viable option, he says.

Customer-relationship-management (CRM) software. Any application that a business uses to interact with customers, analyze data, or recommend products and services to customers is “part of the CRM family,” Hoose says. “This type of software helps your team manage, control and build customer relationships,” he says. “It can log your team’s touchpoints with prospects, including emails, phone calls, voicemails and in-person meetings. You can have a complete record of your team’s interaction with a prospect that’s easy for anyone to access.”

Voice search. Consumers increasingly are making use of such AI assistants as Siri or Alexa to help them do internet searches using their voices. “Voice search is changing the way people find information because these queries are structured differently than when we type terms into a search engine,” Hoose says.

“Organizations of all types can benefit from optimizing their content to improve where they fall in a voice search.”

“To help propel your business going forward, it’s important to stay abreast of technology innovation,” Hoose says. “These technologies will help you expand your customer base, create more efficient in-house processes, and increase engagement from both customers and staff.”

About Chris Hoose

Chris Hoose (www.choosenetworks.com) is the president of Choose Networks, an IT consulting firm for small businesses. Hoose started the company in 2001 to give large-scale solutions and support to businesses that can’t afford their own in-house IT department. He earned a Master of Information Systems Management from Friends University.

AIWAYS previews intelligent AI cockpit tech at CES Asia 2019

  • AIWAYS gives show visitors first opportunity to experience new AI and AR technology
  • Shanghai-based company previews ‘Intelligent Care System’ of all-electric AIWAYS U5 SUV, set to go on sale in 2020

AIWAYS, the Shanghai-based personal mobility provider, is previewing its new intelligent cockpit technology at CES Asia 2019. Committed to creating a new travel lifestyle that exceeds drivers’ expectations, AIWAYS is giving show visitors the first opportunity to experience its innovative approach to connectivity, including industry-first artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) features.

These new smart technologies will be presented to consumers as part of the AIWAYS holistic ‘Intelligent Care System’ connectivity package, set to be an integral part of the all-electric U5 SUV when it goes on sale in selected markets in 2020. The system has been developed to offer U5 occupants a personal, friendly and intelligent cockpit environment.

Mr Cai Jianjun, AIWAYS Executive Vice-President of Sales and Service, said: “Our mission at AIWAYS is to provide intelligent systems that make driving easier and more enjoyable for motorists. We believe technology should be warm and inviting, and the Intelligent Care System has been designed to create a ‘home away from home’ for occupants while travelling. We look forward to sharing our ideas with CES visitors and giving them the opportunity to experience these exciting new technologies first hand.”

A leading feature of the Intelligent Care System is the ‘AI Virtual Assistant’. This driver-support technology uses AI algorithms to create an anthropomorphic in-car assistant based on a human appearance defined by the user, replacing faceless computer images. Enhancing the familial atmosphere, new voice synthesis technology allows users to give their virtual assistant a personalized voice, mimicking that of themselves, a friend, or loved-one, making the inside of the car feel like home.

Underpinning this ‘intelligent mobile companion’ proposition is a ‘Multimodal Active Interaction System’. Like the AI Virtual Assistant, this also uses AI algorithms to learn driver preferences, habits and gestures, allowing the car to intuitively understand and proactively attend to their needs. The ‘Driver Monitoring System’ observes driver behavior and provides warnings in certain situations to improve safety, including looking out for instances of driver fatigue and distraction. The monitoring system can also scan the vehicle after locking and alert drivers through the complementary AIWAYS app if they have left personal belongings inside.

A first for in-car augmented reality technology, an innovative ‘AR User Manual’ takes the complexities of a conventional printed vehicle manual off the page and into more engaging scenario-based episodic animations. This is designed to help drivers use and understand their vehicle more efficiently and effectively.

Keeping children entertained on the road while creating cherished memories is a challenge for any parent. The ‘AR Story Platform’ enables occupants to keep a visual record of memories from journeys, with the ability to create 3D picture books through AR technology at the end of a drive. The interactive picture book encourages children to develop their own stories and record time spent travelling, creating an engaging, multi-sensory experience for the whole family to enjoy.

Throughout CES Asia 2019, AIWAYS will enable visitors to experience Intelligent Care System technologies for themselves through a series of interactive displays. Show attendees should visit the AIWAYS exhibition area (Hall N5, Booth 5382) to find out more.

CES Asia 2019 takes place 11-13 June at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC).

5 Tech Trends For Businesses

5 Tech Trends That Businesses Can’t Afford To Ignore

With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, some business owners are left digitally disoriented as they try to figure out which of the latest innovations they need to invest in and what they can ignore.

It can make for confusing times.

All that bewilderment aside, though, these fast-developing advances also create opportunities that can help small and medium-sized businesses become more competitive – if they understand how to seize them.

“Technology exists today that at one time was available only to large corporations with huge technology budgets,” says Chris Hoose (www.choosenetworks.com), an IT consultant who works with small businesses.

“Every year, technology becomes even more accessible to companies of all sizes.”

Hoose says businesses that want to stay on top of their games should make sure they invest in these technological trends, if they haven’t already:

The Internet of Things. Many Internet of Things-connected devices, such as smart refrigerators and thermostats, are designed for home use, but there are also applications for small businesses, Hoose says. Some examples: smart locks use digital keys that can’t be lost or stolen, and log a record of who uses a door and when; RFID tags on merchandise can prevent theft and automatically update inventory; and mobile-card readers can replace cash registers.

Artificial intelligence. Don’t be fooled into thinking that AI is something only the big organizations can afford to use, Hoose says. “It’s making inroads into technologies accessible for businesses of all sizes,” he says. “AI can help you offer increasingly personalized experiences to customers by maximizing your time and automating manual tasks, like data entry.” AI also can be used to improve decision making, Hoose says. Essentially, AI will help you take that jumble of data most businesses have and analyze it in a way that allows you to make better-informed judgments on the actions you need to take.

Telecommuting. The office world is changing and more workers spend at least a portion of their work week telecommuting. “In many cases remote employees use their own equipment, which can eliminate some of the company’s costs with purchasing and maintaining computers, printers and mobile phones,” Hoose says. Video conferencing, instant messaging and other advances are helping to make telecommuting a viable option, he says.

Customer-relationship-management (CRM) software. Any application that a business uses to interact with customers, analyze data, or recommend products and services to customers is “part of the CRM family,” Hoose says. “This type of software helps your team manage, control and build customer relationships,” he says. “It can log your team’s touchpoints with prospects, including emails, phone calls, voicemails and in-person meetings. You can have a complete record of your team’s interaction with a prospect that’s easy for anyone to access.”

Voice search. Consumers increasingly are making use of such AI assistants as Siri or Alexa to help them do internet searches using their voices. “Voice search is changing the way people find information because these queries are structured differently than when we type terms into a search engine,” Hoose says.

“Organizations of all types can benefit from optimizing their content to improve where they fall in a voice search.”

“To help propel your business going forward, it’s important to stay abreast of technology innovation,” Hoose says. “These technologies will help you expand your customer base, create more efficient in-house processes, and increase engagement from both customers and staff.”

About Chris Hoose

Chris Hoose (www.choosenetworks.com) is the president of Choose Networks, an IT consulting firm for small businesses. Hoose started the company in 2001 to give large-scale solutions and support to businesses that can’t afford their own in-house IT department. He earned a Master of Information Systems Management from Friends University.

J.D. Power and Uptake Create New Benchmarking Products that Leverage Artificial Intelligence

J.D. Power, the leading global provider of customer satisfaction research, has signed an agreement with Uptake Technologies, an industrial AI and IoT software leader, to develop new analytics products for the automotive industry, as well as for the utilities and telecommunications sector.

The alliance between J.D. Power and Uptake will allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and operators in these three industries to gain actionable intelligence from millions of newly connected devices, including manufacturing plants, vehicles, smart meters and network devices. Leveraging J.D. Power’s research and industry expertise along with Uptake’s industry-specific insights and industrial IoT platform, J.D. Power and Uptake will provide independent industry benchmark studies, innovative data and analytics products, and customized advisory services.

“This breakthrough collaboration with Uptake gives J.D. Power instant access to Uptake’s advanced IoT analytics software platform, and a portfolio of applications that we will jointly harness to provide insight into the behaviors and failure modes of millions of connected devices in the industries we serve,” said Dave Habiger, President and CEO of J.D. Power. “By adding these capabilities to our analytics, we will provide our customers with real-time insights that open new horizons of opportunity in the design, manufacture, service and insurance of vehicles.”

The collaboration will also include smart home and connected real estate insight for utilities and power generation firms, as well as connected device efficacy insight and optimization benchmark surveys for mobile network operators.

“Utilities are continuously challenged to differentiate their energy offerings with elevated service and efficiency strategies which optimize the value provided to their customers,” said Bernardo Rodriguez, Chief Digital Officer at J.D. Power. “Adding to our AI capabilities, we will leverage Uptake’s IoT AI and machine learning platform to access previously untapped data with advanced technology that will provide automotive, telecom and utility companies with new insights around customer-centric opportunities.”

Included in the alliance is the use of Uptake’s Industrial AI and Machine Learning Platform, which leverages data science to turn large amounts of untapped IoT data across enterprises into actionable insight. For vehicle OEMs and drivers, this creates even higher levels of manufacturing quality, vehicle efficiency, dealer service and customer experience. Using AI and machine learning, Uptake’s technology enriches raw data to generate actionable recommendations, enabling users to quickly make intelligent business decisions that are linked to financial outcomes.

“This alliance augments the rich heritage of J.D Power’s independent industry benchmark studies and leading data analytics solutions by adding the power of Uptake’s advanced AI and machine learning software, said Brad Keywell, Founder and CEO of Uptake. “The result is new data-informed AI-based insights and benchmarks made possible in this age of pervasive sensors and hyperconnected industry.  Together with J.D. Power, we are creating a new category of industry-specific insights and benchmarks, which we believe will make visible the path towards ever higher levels of quality, productivity, and customer satisfaction.”

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer intelligence, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power has offices serving North America, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Uptake is a leading provider of artificial intelligence and IoT software for industrial companies. We combine data analytics and machine learning with deep industry knowledge to create valuable outcomes like increased reliability, productivity, and safety. Headquartered in Chicago with locations in Silicon Valley, Washington D.C., Toronto and Dubai, Uptake is used by global industrial customers of all sizes to leverage data, creating newfound efficiencies and competitive advantages. Learn more at www.uptake.com.