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Consumers confused about use of artificial intelligence (AI), reluctant to embrace this new technology : Study

A study that involved 6,000 customers in six countries found that consumers were hesitant to fully embrace AI devices and services

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New Delhi, April 7, 2017: Most customers are confused about the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and are, therefore, reluctant to embrace this new technology, a study said on Friday.

Released by US-based software firm Pegasystems, it revealed that these fears are often eased once the users gain firsthand AI experience — which ironically many enjoy without even realising it.

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“Our study suggests the recent hype is causing some confusion and fear among consumers, who may not really understand how it’s already being used and helping them every day,” said Don Schuerman, Vice President (Product Marketing) Pegasystems.

The study that involved 6,000 customers in six countries found that consumers were hesitant to fully embrace AI devices and services.

“Only 36 per cent are comfortable with businesses using AI to engage with them. Almost 72 per cent express some sort of fear about AI,” the study found.

Twenty four per cent of respondents even worried about robots taking over the world.

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Interestingly, 34 per cent of respondents said they had directly experienced AI but when asked about the technologies they used it was revealed that 84 per cent actually used at least one AI-powered service or device.

Seventy two per cent respondents confidently claimed they understood AI but very few could correctly define it.

“Though AI has been around for more than 30 years, it has now evolved to the point that businesses can engage with each individual consumer on a real-time, one-to-one basis,” Schuerman said.

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Businesses need to focus on using AI to develop applications that provide real value for customers to improve their experiences rather than overhyping the technology itself, the findings suggested. (IANS)

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A bot that can sketch like human? Microsoft is developing one!

Each image contains details that are absent from the text descriptions, indicating that this AI contains an artificial imagination

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Microsoft is developing a bot with the Artificial Intelligence technology that can sketch like humans. Pixabay
Microsoft is developing a bot with the Artificial Intelligence technology that can sketch like humans. Pixabay
  • Microsoft is developing a bot which can draw what you want through Artificial Intelligence technology
  • These pictures will be created by the computer from scratch, pixel by pixel
  • Currently, the technology is imperfect but the researchers are looking forward to develop a model through which help humans and bots to interact with each other

Microsoft is developing a bot that can draw what you want it to by leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology — programmed to pay close attention to individual words when generating images from caption-like text descriptions.

The technology, which the researchers simply call the drawing bot, can generate images of everything from ordinary pastoral scenes — such as grazing livestock — to the absurd and a floating double-decker bus.

ALSO READ: Microsoft to offer cloud services to Indian start-ups

Each image contains details that are absent from the text descriptions, indicating that this AI contains an artificial imagination.

For now, the technology is imperfect. Pixabay
For now, the technology is imperfect. Pixabay

“If you go to Bing and you search for a bird, you get a bird picture. But here, the pictures are created by the computer, pixel by pixel, from scratch. These birds may not exist in the real world — they are just an aspect of our computer’s imagination of birds,” Xiaodong He from Microsoft’s research lab in a blog post late on Thursday.

According to results on an industry standard test, reported in a research paper posted on arXiv.org, the bot produced a nearly three-fold boost in image quality compared to the previous state-of-the-art technique for text-to-image generation.

The core of this bot is a technology known as a "Generative Adversarial Network" or GAN. Pixabay
The core of this bot is a technology known as a “Generative Adversarial Network” or GAN. Pixabay

The network consists of two Machine Learning models — one that generates images from text descriptions and another, known as a discriminator, that uses text descriptions to judge the authenticity of generated images.

ALSO READ: Microsoft slashes 7,800 jobs, mostly in phones unit

The researchers said that text-to-image generation technology could find practical applications acting as a sort of sketch assistant to painters and interior designers or as a tool for voice-activated photo refinement.

“For AI and humans to live in the same world, they have to have a way to interact with each other. The language and vision are the two most important modalities for humans and machines to interact with each other,” The blog post explained. (IANS)