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AI technology expected to get more humanized, interactive

2017/11/03 23:15:34

Greg Cross

Taipei, Nov. 3 (CNA) Numerous developments in artificial intelligence (AI) were showcased in Taipei on Friday, with their developers sharing their vision of the cutting-edge technology that they predict will become more emotionally responsive like humans.

With AI applications such as robots, self-driving cars and automated machinery more pervasive in people's lives, the technology will incorporate more human features, said Greg Cross, chief business officer of Soul Machines.

"Wouldn't it be a whole bunch more interesting, wouldn't these machines be a whole bunch more useful to us, if they are actually more like us?" said Cross at an event focusing on AI development to celebrate Business Week magazine's 30th anniversary.

Cross's company creates life-like avatars with personality and character, and by "putting a face" on AI, he said, it is opening the doors to a new-era human-style customer experience that can be utilized across a wide range of industries.

One of the company's digital humans named Sophie incorporates a neural network that combines biologically inspired models of the human brain and sensory networks to create a virtual central nervous system, Cross said.

She is in a trial project with Air New Zealand to answer questions about New Zealand as a tourist destination and the airline's products and services, Cross said.

Omri Yoffe, founder of LifeBEAM, developer of Vi, a voice-activated AI personal trainer that coaches and motivates users through bio-sensing headphones, shared the same concept.

AI technology is meant to inspire humans, said Yoffe, adding that he hopes the voice agent could resemble a true workout companion that brings out the best in people.

"With emotional, warm and companion experiences, we will now be able to trigger people's minds and to help them overcome their motivational barriers," Yoffe said.

Masa Kawashima, director of Asia Pacific for Niantic Inc., which wowed the world with Pokemon Go, a free, location-based augmented reality game, said the strength of AI lies in its ability to allow people to interact with each other.

The success of Pokemon Go is a result of AI-boosted technology that encourages people to go outside, explore, be social and connected, Kawashima said.

"We want people to adventure together," he said.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)