Facebook Adds 24 Languages to Rosetta Translation Feature

Facebook’s Rosetta is a machine learning system that extracts text in many languages from over one billion images in a real time. Facebook built its own optical character recognition system that can process such huge amount of content, day in and day out. In a recent blog post, Facebook explained how Rosetta works, using a convolutional neural network to recognize and transcribe text, even non-Latin alphabets and non-English words. The system was trained with a mix of human- and machine-annotated public images. Continue reading Facebook Adds 24 Languages to Rosetta Translation Feature

Twitter Doubles the Longstanding Character Limit for Tweets

After more than a decade of limiting tweets to 140 characters, Twitter announced yesterday that the limit has been doubled in most countries. The new 280-character limit has been testing since September in hopes that it would increase engagement. “In addition to more tweeting, people who had more room to tweet received more engagement (likes, retweets, @mentions), got more followers, and spent more time on Twitter,” the company explained in a blog post. Twitter considered expanding character limits in the past, but retreated due to negative response from its community. Continue reading Twitter Doubles the Longstanding Character Limit for Tweets

New Voice-Powered App Takes On Leading Digital Assistants

Santa Clara-based startup SoundHound has developed a voice-powered digital assistant that could take on early players in the field, including Siri, Google Now and Cortana. Like the others, the Hound app (for iOS and Android) allows users to interact via voice so that it can perform requested tasks. However, Hound claims to be faster and smarter than its competitors. The app has been in beta with 150,000 testers since last summer, and is now publicly available along with new Yelp and Uber partnerships for restaurant info and ride hailing from within the app. Continue reading New Voice-Powered App Takes On Leading Digital Assistants

Curator Tool Will Help Media Publishers Share Tweets and Vines

Twitter unveiled its new Curator media tool this week designed to make more tweets available to a larger audience outside of its own site — and ideally build upon its base of 288 million users that log in at least once a month. The tool will help media organizations locate tweets and Vine videos that can be posted with stories and broadcasts. Publishers regularly create and share compelling content related to live events and breaking news. Twitter aims to leverage these publishers to help address its slowing user growth rate. Continue reading Curator Tool Will Help Media Publishers Share Tweets and Vines

IBM’s SyNAPSE Chip Mimics the Workings of a Human Brain

IBM recently unveiled the second generation of a new type of computer chip that consumes less power and performs faster than traditional chips based on Von Neumann architecture. The SyNAPSE chip, which is still in development, was designed to function like the human brain, using more than a million “neurons” communicating through electrical spikes. This new technology requires a new type of programming language as well, but the performance gains are massive. Continue reading IBM’s SyNAPSE Chip Mimics the Workings of a Human Brain

Apple Programming Language Swift Helps to Develop iOS Apps

Apple released a test version of its new programming language called Swift on June 2, and it is rapidly gaining popularity. Now developers for iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps can write code in an integrated development environment (IDE) and changes to the code can be added during a running process. The Playgrounds tool lets developers experiment with their code and learn new skills. Swift may well be on its way to becoming a mainstream coding language. Continue reading Apple Programming Language Swift Helps to Develop iOS Apps

Skimo App Allows Users to Quickly Catch Up on TV Episodes

A new app called Skimo, short for “skim the video,” allows users to skim a 20-minute video in about two minutes, straight from their smartphone or tablet. The Skimo video summarization engine uses an algorithm that analyzes the scenes, shots and frames of videos and summarizes them, letting users catch up on television series in a fraction of the time. The service focuses on the formula that writers and filmmakers use to create a captivating show, focusing on the six crucial scenes from each episode.

Continue reading Skimo App Allows Users to Quickly Catch Up on TV Episodes

After Beta Success, Twitter Launches Mobile-App Install Ads

Twitter is augmenting its lineup of advertising options with new mobile-app install ads. These ads, which feature links directly to an app on Apple’s App Store or Google Play, have already been appearing in users’ Twitter feeds for a few months. The company says the beta tests were successful and it officially launched the new ad platform on Monday. Mobile-app install ads may help Twitter generate more revenue, most of which comes from advertising. Continue reading After Beta Success, Twitter Launches Mobile-App Install Ads

Researchers Use Algorithm for Computers to Understand Video

Researchers at MIT have developed a method for teaching computers to understand what is happening in video content. The method uses a similar approach to textual analysis, such as natural language processing, by looking at each part of a video to figure out what the whole thing means. The researchers created an algorithm to identify what occurs in individual frames of the video, and then determines what those mean when combined in a certain order. Continue reading Researchers Use Algorithm for Computers to Understand Video

SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: The Trials of Global Distribution

The first day of SMPTE’s Technology Summit On Cinema at NAB featured a session called “From Camera to Consumer — the New Post Production.” Digital Studio GM for Walt Disney Studios, Leon Silverman, gave a funny and animated presentation during the session about the many versions of a movie that Disney must produce for international audiences. In the case of the animated feature “Planes,” not only did Disney create dozens of native language dubs and subtitled versions, but it also changed details in the animation to please the local audience. Continue reading SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: The Trials of Global Distribution

Disney Teams with Shanghai Media, Producer Forms New Studio

Disney has signed a multiyear deal with Shanghai Media Group that will have writers in the U.S. collaborate with Chinese writers and filmmakers to develop Disney-branded movies that incorporate Chinese themes. The partnership will also expand training opportunities between the creative teams of both countries. Meanwhile, film producer Robert Simonds is forming a new movie studio that intends to meet the growing needs of China and self-distribute the types of films that have been displaced by summer blockbusters. Continue reading Disney Teams with Shanghai Media, Producer Forms New Studio

Augmented Television: InAIR Layers Web Content with Your TV

A $99 device called InAIR from startup SeeSpace hopes to combine the best of your laptop, smartphone and TV all in one place by layering social media and Web content inline with the programs you are watching. Billed as “the world’s first augmented television,” the project exceeded its $100,000 goal on Kickstarter by nearly $78,000 a few days ago. InAIR plugs directly into the TV through its smart HDMI cable, connects to the set-top box, and pulls data from the movie or TV show currently airing. Continue reading Augmented Television: InAIR Layers Web Content with Your TV

Rovi Pays $69 Million to Acquire Voice Search Startup Veveo

Rovi announced that it is purchasing video discovery and voice search startup Veveo and the company’s IP for $62 million in cash and up to an additional $7 million based on performance milestones. The acquisition of Veveo’s technology is expected to bring new voice search capability to Rovi’s video discovery platform. Veveo uses natural language processing combined with semantic tech to integrate intuitive search and recommendation features into video discovery applications. Continue reading Rovi Pays $69 Million to Acquire Voice Search Startup Veveo

Netflix Will Use Deep Learning to Improve Recommendations

Netflix has been experimenting with new methods of artificial intelligence to improve its products. The streaming service has plans to begin using deep learning models, and while it has yet to specify what exactly it will be improving, the service is likely to use the tech for enhancing its movie recommendations feature. Other companies have also begun putting deep learning into practice in order to train their systems to better recognize text and images, as well as their meanings. Continue reading Netflix Will Use Deep Learning to Improve Recommendations

Deep Learning: Google Plans to Acquire AI Startup DeepMind

In another deal involving “deep learning,” Google is purchasing London-based DeepMind Technologies, a somewhat secretive artifical intelligence startup. The move is viewed as a talent acquisition to bring CEO Dennis Hassabis to Google. The games prodigy and neuroscientist was named “probably the best games player in history” by the Mind Sports Olympiad. While it is unclear what DeepMind does exactly, its website describes building algorithms for games, e-commerce and simulations. Continue reading Deep Learning: Google Plans to Acquire AI Startup DeepMind

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