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PM Modi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal among ‘100 Most Influential Leaders’ in Time Magazine Poll

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

An online poll by readers of the Time magazine has figured Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal among the 100 most influential leaders in the world.

Russian President Vladimir Putin emerged the winner of this year’s Time 100 readers’ poll. He pipped rapper-singer CL to claim the number one spot with 6.95 per cent of the votes in the final tally.

Pop stars Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Taylor Swift  filled the  other top five spots.

The online vote included people from politics, entertainment, business, technology, science, religion and other fields who “changed the world this past year, for better or worse.”

Although the Time magazine termed Prime Minister Modi as “populist”, he managed to garner just 0.6 per cent of the votes cast, with only 34 per cent of the people voting in his favour and 66 per cent against.

“He has rolled out key economic reforms and restored close ties with the US, hosting US President Barack Obama in January after a “rock star” visit to the US last year”, Time said.

Speaking on Kejriwal, Time said that after a brief stint as chief minister of Delhi in 2013, he has led his anti-establishment Aam Aadmi Party in a “rout of both leading national parties in Delhi assembly election.”

Kejriwal managed to grab 0.5 per cent of the votes cast, with 71 per cent voters saying he should not be in the list.

BJP President Amit Shah was also on the initial list but failed to garner enough votes to make it to the top 100.

Other winners of the online poll include US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Harry Potter actress Emma Watson, Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai, Pope Francis, Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Amongst the set of Indian-origin personalities who found a place in the online poll was, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, a health care reform advocate who was elected to his post amid opposition from the national rifle association.

Microsoft’s India-born chief Satya Nadella,also managed to make it to the list of influencers. Time said that he had revitalised the “moribund” software company by introducing new ideas like Office for iPads and prototype virtual reality headset.

The winners of the online poll include Rapper Kanye West, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yahoo CEO Marisa Mayer.

More than half of the votes – 57.38 per cent – were cast within the US. Canada and the UK followed with 5.54 per cent and 4.55 per cent respectively.

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Copyright 2015 NewsGram

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Microsoft Also Has an AI Bot That Makes Phone Calls to Humans

Xiaoice interacts in text conversations but now the company has started allowing the chat bot to call people on their phones

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Microsoft Also Has an AI Bot That Makes Phone Calls to Humans
Microsoft Also Has an AI Bot That Makes Phone Calls to Humans. Pixabay

While Google Duplex, which lets AI mimic a human voice to make appointments and book tables through phone calls, has mesmerised people with its capabilities and attracted flak on ethical grounds at the same time, Microsoft has showcased a similar technology it has been testing in China.

At an AI event in London on Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed that the company’s Xiaoice social chat bot has 500 million “friends” and more than 16 channels for Chinese users to interact with it through WeChat and other popular messaging services.

“Microsoft has turned Xiaoice, which is Chinese for ‘little Bing’, into a friendly bot that has convinced some of its users that the bot is a friend or a human being. Xiaoice has her own TV show, it writes poetry and it does many interesting things,” The Verge quoted Nadella as saying.

Xiaoice interacts in text conversations but now the company has started allowing the chat bot to call people on their phones.

The bot does not work exactly like Google Duplex, which uses the Assistant to make calls on a user’s behalf but it holds a phone conversation with the user.

Microsoft
Microsoft. (Wikimedia commons)

“One of the things we started doing earlier this year is having full duplex conversations. So now Xiaoice can be conversing with you in WeChat and stop and call you. Then you can just talk to it using voice,” Nadella was quoted as saying.

Humans will be humans and the latest victim of humankind was Microsoft.

Two years ago, Microsoft launched an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered bot on Twitter, named Tay, for a playful chat with people, only to silence it within 24 hours as users started sharing racist and offensive comments with the bot.

Also Read: Microsoft Introduces ‘Surface Hub 2’ for Modern Workplaces

Launched as an experiment in “conversational understanding” and to engage people through “casual and playful conversation”, Tay was soon bombarded with racial comments and the innocent bot repeated those comments back with her commentary to users.

Some of the tweets had Tay referring to Hitler, denying the Holocaust, and supporting Donald Trump’s immigration plans, among others.

Later, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the company is taking Tay off Twitter as people were posting abusive comments to her. (IANS)