John Lister's picture

'Contractors' Listen to Live Skype Calls

Microsoft contractors listen to some Skype calls to check the accuracy of translations, a whistleblower has revealed. Although Microsoft says it meets privacy laws, critics say its terms and conditions don't clearly warn users about this. The human ... listening takes place on some calls that use Skype's "automatic" real-time translation service. Until now, most users have assumed that the translation is done entirely by a combination of speech recognition and artificial intelligence to work out the context of a sentence and find the correct translations. While that's largely the case, a ... (view more)

John Lister's picture

Robot Puts Together Ikea Furniture

A robot in Singapore can successfully assemble a piece of IKEA furniture. But there's still a long way before it can match human abilities, let alone be a superior alternative. The robot is the work of Nanyang Technological University students and ... is made up of two robotic arms and a 3D camera. The furniture in question is the "Stefan chair." It's a very basic chair frame that in theory is extremely simple to construct, however, the main reason it is challenging to build is due to a few screws that need to burrow quite deep in to wood. It therefore takes a surprising number of ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

New Study Finds Dogs as Intelligent as Toddlers

How smart is your pooch? Many of us have often wondered how Rover, Rex, or Cocoa interpreted and understood the wider world around them. Now, a recent psychological study has pinpointed just how smart our dogs are, and the results are surprising. ... The report was part of a presentation called "How Dogs Think," staged in front of a Toronto crowd this past weekend. The presenter: University of British Columbia emeritus professor of psychology Stanley Coren, perhaps the leading expert in the examination of dog intelligence. Canines Think Like Toddlers Coren's finding: that the best way to study ... (view more)

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