At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, Layer provided messaging tools as part of the Forum’s app that allowed one user to send a message in her native language – and another user to receive it in his native language.
“The attendees are obviously from all over the world, and they’re all seeking to understand one another, so being able to facilitate that communication is pretty powerful,” said Ron Palmeri, Layer’s chief executive.
To add the instant translation ability, Layer used the Microsoft Translator API, which lets developers build translation into their apps and other tools. Layer said it only took about four hours to add the translator to their messaging tool using Microsoft’s API, and Palmeri said they expect to use translation capabilities for other clients in the future.
“I couldn’t tell if the actual movie would be mostly science fiction or mostly a love story.” says Stephen Wolfram (the creator of Mathematica) who along with his son has a consulting role in the movie.
I have seen the movie twice and cannot make up my mind either or indeed if it is more about a third topic - about communication between humans and with aliens.
The lead character played by Amy Adams is a linguist. We learn early on she is familiar with Portuguese, Farsi, Sanskrit and the movie weaves in trivia like Urdu is written from right to left.
So, what does that have to do with STEM?
To start with the movie is adapted from Story of Your Life, a short story by Ted Chiang. In linguistics, it's known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, “or as Chiang puts it in the film's production notes "the idea that the language you speak determines how you perceive the world and even what kinds of thoughts you can have." It may even determine how your brain is wired. (As an aside, it is incredible that a short story has been adapted into such a visually dense movie, and with other references to Fermat’s Principle of Least Time and Bayes’ Theorem excised so the movie did not confuse the audience even more.)
And then there is the logogram language of the aliens. As Wired reports “The aliens regard time as non-linear, and the language needed to reflect that. But consultations with linguists and graphic designers kept leading to fictional alphabets that Vermette says hewed too closely to familiar systems like hieroglyphics, or code. It felt too human. Then one night, Vermette’s wife, artist Martine Bertrand, offered to sketch some ideas. The next morning, Vermette came downstairs to find 15 inky logograms on the kitchen table. “I said, ‘eureka.'””
Finally, here is repeated use of 12 – the symbol of cosmic order, as in 12 signs of the Zodiac, 12 year cycle in Asia. 12 spaceships show up in the movie, and there is science which tries to decode their landing sites. Jeremy Renner who plays a theoretical physicist uses gobs of computing power to analyze the alien logos into 12 sectors.
The non-linear time dimension in the movie is tough to get your head around. Very few of the alien logograms are actually translated into English sub-titles in the movie. Finally, bringing out the human elements which actually dominate the movie, pose an interesting challenge. As Jeremy Renner explains
“How I deal with, like, zeroes and ones, and [makes a sound like a chattering computer, or maybe an old dot matrix printer] and all these really unemotional, scientific things? How do we make this guy a human?”
It is a fascinating movie. Go see it – maybe 2-3 times to finally get your head and heart around all the nuances.
Forget smartphones and watches. DuoSkin, a new product from Microsoft and the MIT Media Lab, can turn your epidermis into a touch pad. Or a remote. Made with naturally conductive gold leaf, DuoSkin places a technological interface directly on your body. One potential application would include a Bluetooth-like chip so wearers could sync their temporary tattoo to a music system, then swipe it to change volume. Another version changes colors. The process is designed so people can customize both form and function for a tattoo that lasts only a day. The goal, says lead researcher Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao, is to create technology that’s as personal as lotion or makeup, so “it really blends into the wearer’s identity.”
Despite Apple's claims to the contrary, not everyone believes the iPad Pro can replace a computer. When paired with an Apple Pencil, however, the tablet lets people do things they might never accomplish on a traditional PC or Mac. For example, the iPad Pro lets you create handwritten thank you cards that can then be sent through the mail, write notes on PDFs and sign on the dotted lines, and drain all the color out of photos, then add it back to particular objects.
The following 12 iOS apps look great on iPad Pro, and they all put your Apple Pencil to work.
The autopilot tracks the position of the deck, adjusting the throttle, flaps, ailerons, and stabilizers to keep the flight path and angle of attack on point. Instead of maintaining continuous pressure on the stick and making myriad inputs before landing, the pilot can relax. Any adjustments he does make are incorporated into the autopilot settings.
During a week of trials last month, test pilots flying F/A-18 Super Hornets conducted nearly 600 touch-and-go landings and many tailhook-arrested landings on the Nimitz-class USS George Washington. They made both highly accurate approaches and deliberately inaccurate approaches, with varying wind speeds and directions. According to engineers with the Navy and Boeing, the system increased the accuracy and consistency of landings under all conditions. Those landings were less stressful, too: Pilots typically perform 300 corrections to their flight path in the final 18 seconds of an approach. Magic Carpet drops that between 10 and 20.
(intelligent Voice)’s CEO Nigel Cannings says the breakthrough came when he decided to see what would happen if he pointed a machine-learning system at the waveform of the voice data – its pattern of spikes and troughs – rather than the audio recording directly. It worked brilliantly.
Training his system on this visual representation let him harness powerful existing techniques designed for image classification. “I built this dialect classification system based on pictures of the human voice,” he says.
3D Touch - By weaving 3D Touch more deeply into the fabric of iOS 10—and specifically, making it an essential part of its lock screen—Apple finally arms potentially revolutionary feature with true purpose. You may not use 3D Touch much today, but after iOS 10 arrives this fall, you may wonder how you lived without it.
Siri - Not only that, you’ll be able to use Siri on your PC, to make a lot of simple actions easier: adding things to your calendar, doing quick research and calculations, setting reminders, playing music, even searching your computer. Siri can search Finder, finding you files from last week about the offsite and then showing you the ones you tagged as draft. Click on a button and it pins into your notification center, for easy finding later. The voice assistant can do more on the Apple TV as well: Siri has improved topical searches for movies and TV shows (“Horror movies from the ’80s”) and you can now run voice searches for YouTube videos.
Dell's new monitor will pique your interest, with a 43-inch 4K display and the option to run as four separate 1080p screens, without bezel breaks.The Dell P4317Q monitor can show content from four separate inputs simultaneously in full HD (four USB 3.0, two HDMI, one DisplayPort, one Mini DisplayPort, and one VGA port are available), and you can zoom in to any single display to take advantage of that 4K display at will. If you're considering throwing your multi-monitor setup out the window and going all-in with Dell — which the company says will save you 30 percent in energy consumption —prepare to spend some serious cash. This monitor will cost you $1,349 and is expected begin shipping on May 23rd.
Google Home project lead Mario Querioz held the device in his palm, revealing a design that was shorter and wider than Amazon's cylindrical Echo, which is powered by Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa. Microsoft also has its own personal assistant, Cortana, but as yet no at-home device.
Google Home will use its new Google assistant, which leverages Google's search and the contextual queries it's been developing with a decade of research into artificial intelligence. It will be able to play music, complete a range of tasks and answer questions that one would ask of Google search.
The SignAloud glove captures ASL gestures with sensors that measure everything from XYZ coordinates to the way individual fingers flex or bend. That sensor data is sent via Bluetooth to a nearby computer and fed into coding algorithms that categorize the gestures, which are translated into English and then audibly spoken via speaker.