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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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Artificial intelligence, wikimedia

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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Researchers Teaching Artificial Intelligence to Connect Senses Like Vision and Touch

The new AI-based system can create realistic tactile signals from visual inputs

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Tool, Humans, Robots
Members of that same MIT team applied the new algorithm to the BMW factory floor experiments and found that instead of freezing in place, the robot simply rolled on . Pixabay

A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have come up with a predictive Artificial Intelligence (AI) that can learn to see by touching and to feel by seeing.

While our sense of touch gives us capabilities to feel the physical world, our eyes help us understand the full picture of these tactile signals.

Robots, however, that have been programmed to see or feel can’t use these signals quite as interchangeably.

The new AI-based system can create realistic tactile signals from visual inputs, and predict which object and what part is being touched directly from those tactile inputs.

Teaching, Artificial Intelligence, Researchers
) A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have come up with a predictive Artificial Intelligence (AI). Pixabay

In the future, this could help with a more harmonious relationship between vision and robotics, especially for object recognition, grasping, better scene understanding and helping with seamless human-robot integration in an assistive or manufacturing setting.

“By looking at the scene, our model can imagine the feeling of touching a flat surface or a sharp edge”, said Yunzhu Li, PhD student and lead author from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

“By blindly touching around, our model can predict the interaction with the environment purely from tactile feelings,” Li added.

The team used a KUKA robot arm with a special tactile sensor called GelSight, designed by another group at MIT.

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Using a simple web camera, the team recorded nearly 200 objects, such as tools, household products, fabrics, and more, being touched more than 12,000 times.

Breaking those 12,000 video clips down into static frames, the team compiled “VisGel,” a dataset of more than three million visual/tactile-paired images.

“Bringing these two senses (vision and touch) together could empower the robot and reduce the data we might need for tasks involving manipulating and grasping objects,” said Li.

The current dataset only has examples of interactions in a controlled environment.

Teaching, Artificial Intelligence, Researchers
While our sense of touch gives us capabilities to feel the physical world, our eyes help us understand the full picture of these tactile signals. Pixabay

The team hopes to improve this by collecting data in more unstructured areas, or by using a new MIT-designed tactile glove, to better increase the size and diversity of the dataset.

“This is the first method that can convincingly translate between visual and touch signals”, said Andrew Owens, a post-doc at the University of California at Berkeley.

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The team is set to present the findings next week at the “Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition” in Long Beach, California. (IANS)