Wednesday January 22, 2020
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Google Acquires Start-up to Boost Answering Abilities of Google Assistant

In the 2018 edition of "Smart Speaker IQ Test" by research-driven venture capital firm Loup Ventures, Google Assistant (tested on Google Home smart speaker) managed to answer 87.9 per cent of the questions correctly -- up from 81.1 per cent in 2017, The Street.com reported last month

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

Google has acquired a start-up named Superpod that built an app allowing users to post questions and receive answers from experts quickly — a move that will help boost Google Assistant’s ability to accurately answer users’ questions.

According to a report in Axios late Thursday, Google paid nearly $60 million to “acqui-hire” the founders and purchase some of Superpod’s assets.

Google later confirmed the acquisition to Fortune but declined to disclose financial details.

Superpod shut down its Q&A app in September last year.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

“We can’t share any details at this time, but we’re trekking onwards toward the same north star and are very excited about the future,” Superpod founders wrote in a message.

Google is constantly working on to improve its Assistant’s capabilities to take on similar voice-based services like Amazon Alexa.

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Despite Amazon Alexa being more popular globally, Google Assistant recently outperformed her — and other voice assistants like Apple Siri — in a test meant to understand the effectiveness of smart speakers.

In the 2018 edition of “Smart Speaker IQ Test” by research-driven venture capital firm Loup Ventures, Google Assistant (tested on Google Home smart speaker) managed to answer 87.9 per cent of the questions correctly — up from 81.1 per cent in 2017, The Street.com reported last month. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai Believes That Artificial Intelligence Needs To Be Regulated

Advanced AI which is beyond chat bots will soon be used to manipulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

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The Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai stressed that "international alignment will be critical to making global standards work" on AI. Wikimedia Commons

Joining Microsoft President Brad Smith and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday called for new regulations for Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying the only question now is how to approach it.

Although new regulation is needed, “a cautious approach is required that might not see significant controls placed on AI,” Pichai who was last month took over as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in an editorial piece in The Financial Times.

“There is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. It is too important not to. The only question is how to approach it”.

“Companies such as ours cannot just build promising new technology and let market forces decide how it will be used. It is equally incumbent on us to make sure that technology is harnessed for good and available to everyone,” Pichai wrote.

According to CNET, the timing of the editorial coincides with a big push from Google to reveal some of the results of its own work in AI and bring tools it has developed out into the world.

The Alphabet CEO stressed that “international alignment will be critical to making global standards work” on AI.

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Joining Microsoft President Brad Smith and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday called for new regulations for Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying the only question now is how to approach it. Wikimedia Commons

We need to take a “principled approach to applying AI, said the company, while offering Google’s “expertise, experience and tools.”

“We need to be clear-eyed about what could go wrong,” he said.

His comments come as lawmakers and governments globally are considering to limit the use of AI in fields such as face recognition system – an issue close to Microsoft President Brad Smith’s heart who has often criticized the technology, urging governments to enact legislation regarding the technology.

“Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues,” said Smith.

Advanced AI which is beyond chat bots will soon be used to manipulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned recently.

In his famous debate with former Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, Musk entered into a lassic argument over the capabilities of emerging technologies like AI.

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Although new regulation is needed, “a cautious approach is required that might not see significant controls placed on AI,” Sundar Pichai who was last month took over as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in an editorial piece in The Financial Times. Pixabay

Musk said that computers will one day surpass humans in “every single way”. He has predicted that a single company that develops “God-like super intelligence” might achieve world domination.

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If not regulated or controlled soon, AI could become an “immortal dictator” and there will be no escape for humans, the SpaceX CEO had warned. (IANS)