Google’s new voice recognition system works instantly and offline (if you have a Pixel)

Voice recognition is a standard part of the smartphone package these days, and a corresponding part is the delay while you wait for Siri, Alexa or Google to return your query, either correctly interpreted or horribly mangled. Google’s latest speech recognition works entirely offline, eliminating that delay altogether — though of course mangling is still […]

Facebook open-sources PyText NLP framework

Facebook AI Research is open-sourcing some of the conversational AI tech it is using to power its Portal video chat display and M suggestions on Facebook Messenger. The company announced today that its PyTorch-based PyText NLP framework is now available to developers. Natural language processing deals with how systems parse human language and are able […]

Chorus.ai rings up $33M for its platform that analyses sales calls to close more deals

Chorus.ai, a service that listens to sales calls in real time, and then transcribes and analyses them to give helpful tips to the salesperson, has raised $33 million to double down on the current demand for more AI-based tools in the enterprise. The Series B is being led by Georgian Partners, with participation also from […]

Ultimate.ai nabs $1.3M for a customer service AI focused on non-English markets

For customer service, Ultimate.ai‘s thesis is it’s not humans or AI but humans and AI. The Helsinki- and Berlin-based startup has built an AI-powered suggestion engine that, once trained on clients’ data-sets, is able to provide real-time help to (human) staff dealing with customer queries via chat, email and social channels. So the AI layer […]

Siri is now trained to recognize your local, weirdly named small businesses

Getting directions to the nearest Starbucks or Target is a task Apple’s virtual assistant can handle with ease. But what about local businesses with names that Siri has never heard, and might mistake for another phrase or the user misspeaking? To handle these, Apple has created libraries of hyper-local place names so Siri never hears […]