Natural Language Understanding & Automatic Speech Recognition

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Smart Speakers
Amazon, Google, Apple, and the Zigbee Alliance announced a new partnership called Project Connected Home over IP. It will create a new smart home standard so their products can work together. Sadly, we won’t see a draft specification until late next year. But the good news is that the partnership is announced and there will be a spec and open source materials, too. Continue Reading →

Alexa Is Getting Emotional

C-3P0
A few weeks ago, Amazon announced new developer tools to enable Alexa to speak with emotion, either excited or disappointed across a range of intensities. Amazon said, "Use new Alexa Emotions and speaking styles to create a more natural and intuitive voice experience." Continue Reading →
Star Trek Universal Translator
Fans of Star Trek (The Original Series) will fondly remember the "Universal Translator." While Gene Roddenberry's epic saga was both inspirational and aspirational for some, it set goals for others. How much wireless bandwidth would you need on the Starship Enterprise? How would a medical tricorder work? What kind of storage would you need on Memory Alpha? How did the noise-cancelling for communicators work? Every engineer I know can tell you a story about how he or she was inspired by this amazing 1960s television show. Continue Reading →

TikTok Data Questions

TikTok
TikTok is insanely popular. If you haven't downloaded the app yet, here's a warning: Be prepared! TikTok is wildly addictive. No matter your age, your stage, how jaded you are, resistance is futile. You will become addicted to TikTok within minutes. But then... the app will begin its symbiotic relationship with your brain, and then... it's over. You will become a full-fledged TikTok addict and, as far as I know, there is no cure. Continue Reading →
Echo Frames
When you look at the list of voice-voice-activated hardware Amazon announced this week, even those who are not paranoid have to stop and think. The standout “Think About This…” device is called Echo Frames, a pair of audio-only smart glasses. They will read you your notifications and offer optional support for Google Assistant. And, yes, Continue Reading →

Personalized Politics

Personalized Politics
We have entered the age of personalized politics, and it is very important for us to understand what that means. In practice, there are as many candidates in the 2020 presidential race as there are voters with online access in the United States. Every candidate is a customized persona created specifically for us by a complex set of algorithms that very few people fully understand. This means we are all test subjects in an unprecedented sociopolitical experiment that, quite frankly, scares the hell out of me. Continue Reading →
I do not exist
Facebook is getting into the dating game. Deepfakes are getting better and better. Put them both together and they present a potential reality as sinister as it is deceitful. Imagine online dating in a world replete with deepfakes. Continue Reading →
iPhone 11
I have been in an abusive relationship with Apple since the mid 80s. They keep torturing me and I keep buying their products. From the Apple II to the present, I have only cheated on them with some PCs in the 90s and some Samsung phones in the smartphone era. They are the company I love to hate, so you can imagine how weird it was for me to be defending Apple on television yesterday. Me? Defending Apple? Continue Reading →

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