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New Alexa skill DeepMusic plays AI-generated music

DeepMusic is a new Alexa skill, which allows listeners and users to request their virtual assistant to play music that is generated by artificial intelligence.

Microsoft AI achieves human parity in translating Chinese news

Microsoft has announced a "historic milestone" in the development of AI-powered translation. The company claimed its AI can now translate Chinese news stories with the same accuracy as a human. It said that human parity is "a dream that all of us had."

Google uses machine learning to make computers faster as they age

Google has released a research paper which details how computers could be sped up as they age. The technique uses machine learning to enhance the performance of "prefetching," a mechanism used to pull information out of memory in advance of its use.

Google publishes new research into how neural networks 'think'

Google has published research that provides new insights into how neural networks work. Although the use of neural networks is rapidly growing in AI, much remains unknown about how they're able to accurately recognise images and interpret speech.

Microsoft Teams to get Cortana integration, automatic translation

Microsoft has announced it is preparing several new features for its Teams collaboration software. The company plans to integrate the app with its Cortana digital assistant. It app will also gain new AI capabilities, including automatic translation.

Machine learning thwarted 'massive' Windows crypto-jacking attack

Microsoft has revealed that automated threat detection systems thwarted an enormous crypto-jacking malware campaign within 12 hours of its outbreak this week. The attack infiltrated 400,000 computers and used their processors to mine cryptocurrencies.

Microsoft co-founder launches $125m fund to teach AI common sense

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has announced a $125m initiative to research ways in which AI could learn common sense. It will help AI to mimic human identification of the most rational response to new scenarios, even if it goes against regular rules.

Google launches free online course to improve AI education

Google's announced a new online learning initiative to make machine learning education more accessible. The company's developed a free course which delivers the essentials needed to get started with machine learning, without demanding prior knowledge.

Google's AI-powered Clips camera is now available

Google's launched its previously-announced Clips smart camera. The diminutive device uses AI to automatically take photos of events it considers to be interesting. Clips is another Google effort to encourage consumers to bring AI products into the home.

Microsoft launches new AI-powered healthcare services

Microsoft has announced a set of new service launches from its Healthcare NExT research group. It includes a new platform for studying genomics data and an AI-powered assistant that can take notes during patient interviews.

Microsoft and Xiaomi to collaborate on AI, the cloud and hardware

Microsoft and Xiaomi have announced an expanded strategic agreement to collaborate on cloud technologies, AI and hardware products. The companies will be working together on projects including a smart speaker, "laptop devices" and improved AI services.

Google Assistant will soon speak 30 languages

The availability of Google Assistant will be expanded this year with support for 30 languages and multi-lingual input. Google announced the AI changes ahead of Mobile World Congress next week, claiming it wants Assistant to work "better for you."

AI cybersecurity provider Vectra raises $36m in funding

Vectra has raised $36m in Series D funding in an investment round led by Atlantic Bridge. The cybersecurity company has developed an AI which uses machine learning to monitor corporate networks. Admins get advance warnings if potential problems are found.

Top experts warn against 'malicious use' of AI

Paris - Artificial intelligence could be deployed by dictators, criminals and terrorists to manipulate elections and use drones in terrorist attacks, more than two dozen experts said Wednesday as they sounded the alarm over misuse of the technology.

Accenture's new AI testing tools can accelerate training by 80%

Accenture has announced a suite of services to help companies test AI systems within their own infrastructure. The company has devised a "Teach and Test" approach to provide AI with appropriate data and then ensure its outputs match expected results.

Microsoft demonstrates Cortana commitment with new integrations

Microsoft has announced several new integrations for its Cortana digital assistant. The expanded line-up of smart home products is intended to help Cortana catch up with rivals including Alexa and Google Assistant, now widely seen to lead the market.

Canadian AI accelerator joins supply chain 'supercluster'

NEXT Canada is joining the SCALE.AI Supply Chain Supercluster. SCALE.AI is a consortium aiming to develop a global supply chain platform based on artificial intelligence and emerging technologies. It was launched by the federal government last year.

Arm launches 'Project Trillium' machine learning platform

Arm has announced a new suite of hardware IPs and software solutions for machine learning and edge computing. The company has developed "highly scalable" processors to consolidate its position in the increasingly competitive on-device AI market.

Samsung uses AI to upscale video to 8K, optimise TV sounds

Samsung has revealed more details of how AI upscales video to 8K formats. The company's artificial intelligence is capable of upgrading TV streams to a quality that almost matches native 8K. It works by comparing low and high-quality versions of images.

Microsoft launches 'Cortana Intelligence Institute' to improve AI

Microsoft has announced the establishment of the "Cortana Intelligence Institute," a body that will develop "next-generation" features for Microsoft's AI. It comes shortly after the company responded to concerns that Cortana's lagging behind its rivals.

Amazon to 'double down' on Alexa 'positive surprise'

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced the company will "double down" on Alexa in 2018 after it exceeded internal expectations last year. The company said Alexa has delivered "positive surprises." It is now committed to extending its market lead.

Amazon invests in startup trying to increase voice AI engagement

Amazon has invested in a startup trying to address the low uptake of voice-controlled apps and digital assistants. Pulse Labs is trying to find ways to convince people they should keep using voice control.

Google Brain founder launches $175 million AI fund

Andrew Ng, the founder of the Google Brain deep learning project and former Baidu chief scientist, has launched a $175m fund for transformative AI businesses. The fund is backed by investors including SoftBank, Greylock Partners, NEA and Sequoia.

Publicis Groupe partners with Microsoft to build new AI platform

Publicis Groupe has announced it's partnering with Microsoft to create a "disruptive" AI platform to digitally transform its operations. The organisation will define the platform's architecture, with Microsoft then providing the tech to build it.

Op-Ed: Sundar Pichai thinks AI will be bigger than fire and electricity

Google CEO Sundar Pichai suggested AI will have a bigger impact on humanity than fire or electricity in comments this week. Google is committing to AI as a critical component of future society, even though it remains unclear what role it will fulfil.

Microsoft to double the size of its Montreal AI lab

Microsoft has announced it will double the size of its Montreal research lab over the next two years. Once the work is complete, 75 skilled engineers will work at the facility under the leadership of new director Geoffrey Gordon, a renowned AI expert.

Google Assistant can now read your audiobooks aloud

Google's announced it has started selling audiobooks through the Play Store, adding to its existing catalogue of apps, ebooks, and media. Audiobooks include direct integration with Assistant, letting you listen to books read aloud by smart home hardware.

Deal breaker: Could AI compromise better than humans?

Can artificial intelligence work in a more harmonious way than people, given that the act of compromise is just as important within businesses as competition is between businesses?

'Gia' is an Alexa rival for the finance industry

Emagia, a provider of digital finance solutions, has launched an assistance platform to help finance executives and operations teams. Gia combines AI and analytics to provide business leaders with predictive reports and automated task completion.

Microsoft says Cortana will become 'ubiquitous digital assistant'

Microsoft has publicly addressed the scepticism around its Cortana assistant. The company's rival to Alexa and Google Assistant has been left exposed after CES. It has only a handful of third-party integrations and consumer use is thought to be low.
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