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AI Phones, PCs Come Step Closer to Reality During Asia’s Biggest Consumer Technology Show

Organizers of the Computex Taipei show with 1,685 exhibitors -- including a who’s who of global high tech companies -- call artificial intelligence one of their top 2019 themes

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FILE - Visitors stand behind a desk with the Computex logo during Computex 2018, at the Nangang Exhibition Center in Taipei, Taiwan, June 5, 2018. VOA

Artificial intelligence-driven phones that turn photos into 3D images and PCs with interactive speakers will come a step closer to reality this week during Asia’s biggest consumer technology show.

Organizers of the Computex Taipei show with 1,685 exhibitors — including a who’s who of global high tech companies — call artificial intelligence one of their top 2019 themes.

Microchip developers Intel, Nvidia and Qualcomm are expected to talk up their latest gear during the four-day show that opens Tuesday. Memory chip maker Micron Technology says it will exhibit a “broad portfolio of memory and storage” for artificial intelligence.

“My personal expectations toward AI this year are quite high,” said Helen Chiang, general manager of market research firm IDC in Taipei. “Whether from the perspective of the information systems or the technology, I’ve got some anticipation for these device-plus things.”

Artificial intelligence — AI for short — lets computers make human-like decisions based on data collected from hardware. Classic examples available to common users now include speech recognition, e-mail spam filters and personal assistants such as Siri and Alexa.

Apps, speakers and 3D images

Almost all the world’s chief hardware and software developers say they are researching what they else can do with AI. That push promises more functions that will be built into PC operating systems and mobile phone apps.

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FILE – A visitor takes a picture of LED-enhanced computer motherboards during Computex 2018, at the Nangang Exhibition Center in Taipei, Taiwan, June 5, 2018. VOA

Forrester Research, a leading industry advisory firm, predicts that artificial intelligence will reach a market value of $1.2 trillion per year by 2020 as investment triples from 2018.

Consumers should expect in the short term to find AI-assisted matchmaking apps, more chatbots used by financial services companies to talk with customers, and new tools for processing financial data, said Jamie Lin, founding partner of AppWorks Ventures, a startup accelerator in Taipei.

One app designer is working with a Taiwanese smartphone company on AI technology that would turn camera images into 3D scenes, Lin said.

“Pretty soon you’re going to see phone device ODMs (developers) coming to the market where phones that are able to capture 3D images are loaded with software to help you turn that 3D image into content that can be used for different formats, for example games or 3D playbacks of sceneries,” he said.

Among AI-enabled hardware, “smart” speakers are especially likely to reach mass markets next year, Lin added. Consumers will be able to ask them questions such as the day’s weather forecast or the latest NBA scores, he expects.

Speakers already make up the highest growth category among “smart home devices” because of their “easy” voice interface, Forrester said in a May 21 report.

The rapid expansion of AI consumer products may not last. The market research firm Gartner forecasts that growth in the business value of artificial intelligence will slow through 2025 from a peak of 70 percent to just 7 percent as companies end up seeking “niche solutions that address one need very well.”

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FILE – Visitors review computer products during Computex 2018, in Taipei, Taiwan, June 5, 2018. VOA

But the show host Taiwan is forecasting a boom for now. Premier Su Tseng-chang said in mid-May the government would help train 10,000 people every year to work in AI research and development. Taiwan, a global tech hardware hub since the 1980s, already has enough engineering knowhow to draw big-name Silicon Valley firms such as Google and Microsoft to open local R&D centers.

Computex 2019

Among the Computex exhibitors, Microsoft will show AI-enabled software and applications, said Mark Linton, general manager for Microsoft’s partner-devices unit. AI features included in its Office 365 software already direct the PowerPoint program to make downloaded images “gel” into its presentations, he said.

“There’s no doubt that AI is a transformative area of the technology industry, and over time it will prove to be a major investment area for Microsoft and I think the industry as a whole,” Linton said. “And really the benefits that we’re looking to get there is to make systems and applications smarter, more intuitive.”

A lot of AI-linked gear is expected to surface this year at the show’s InnoVEX segment. This zone for startups grew last year to 388 exhibitors, and 456 have registered for the event this week.

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Gartner anticipates that startup firms working with AI will overtake Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM this year in “driving the artificial intelligence economy” for businesses.

The Taipei show, now in its 38th year, expects to draw 5,508 exhibition booths, up nearly 10 percent over 2018. The number of exhibitors should rise 5%, the organizer said in a pre-show statement. (VOA)

Next Story

AI-based Algorithm to Help Doctors Treat Traumatic Brain Injury

AI-based algorithm to treat brain injury developed

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An AI-based algorithm will help doctors treat patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Pixabay

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) based algorithm that could help doctors treat patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The algorithms can predict the probability of the patient dying within 30-days with an accuracy of 80-85 per cent, said the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“A dynamic prognostic model like this has not been presented before. Although this is a proof-of-concept and it will still take some time before we can implement algorithms like this into daily clinical practice, our study reflects how and into what direction modern intensive care is evolving”, said Indian-origin researcher and study author Rahul Raj from Helsinki University Hospital in the Finland.

Traumatic brain injury is a significant global cause of mortality and morbidity with an increasing incidence, especially in low-and-middle income countries.

The most severe TBIs are treated in intensive care units (ICU), but in spite of the proper and high-quality care, about one in three patients dies.

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Traumatic brain injury is a significant global cause of mortality and morbidity. Pixabay

This is why researchers at Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) started to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) based algorithm that could help doctors treat patients with severe TBI.

At its best, such an algorithm could predict the outcome of the individual patient and give objective data regarding the condition and prognosis of the patient and how it changes during treatment.

“We have developed two separate algorithms. The first algorithm is simpler and is based only upon objective monitor data. The second algorithm is slightly more complex and includes data regarding the level of consciousness, measured by the widely used Glasgow Coma Scale score,” said study researcher Eetu Pursiainen.

As expected, the accuracy of the more complex algorithm is slightly better than for the simpler algorithm.

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“Still, the accuracy of both algorithms is surprisingly good, considering that the simpler model is based upon only three main variables and the more complex upon five main variables”, Pursiainen said.

In the future, the algorithms still have to be validated in national and international external datasets, the researchers concluded. (IANS)