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AI

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Astro's voice assistant is dedicated to managing your emails

The Astro email app launched earlier in the year with the promise of helping you to clean up your inbox using AI. It's available for Office 365 and Gmail accounts and had garnered praise from users of both services. There's an integration that lets you manage your emails from Slack, and since June it's been possible to manage your emails with Astrobot Voice via an Alexa Skill on Amazon's Echo speaker. That same voice assistant functionality is now available directly from the app.

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Google shows how easily image watermarks can be removed by AI, and how to combat this

Watermarks are the most common way to prevent images from being used without licensing, but they're not nearly as potent as you'd imagine. Research at Google recently published a paper called "On the Effectiveness of Visual Watermarks" regarding how easily watermarks can be removed, and how this can be prevented.

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Facebook is testing a standalone video chat device, could be running Android

According to a report from Bloomberg, Facebook is building a video calling device for the home, in what is essentially a new product category. It apparently has a laptop-sized screen and smart camera technology that gives users the impression of being in the same room as one another.

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SoftBank's ambitious investment strategy continues with $4 billion stake in Nvidia

Masayoshi Son, the founder of SoftBank, has made no secret of his plans to become "the biggest investor in technology over the next decade". Last year the Japanese corporation acquired ARM Holdings, and it already had a controlling stake in the US carrier Sprint. Son has even set up a special Billion Vision Fund, which aims to raise $100 billion for the purpose of making strategic technology investments. It's now come to light that SoftBank has used some of the capital to amass a roughly $4 billion stake in the chipmaker Nvidia.

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Here are a few ways machine learning has improved Gboard

Google has been improving Gboard with the same type of tools it uses for speech recognition: machine learning. The budding technology is rapidly becoming a ubiquitous method for improving results and performance. If a network can be trained to accurately accomplish something in a performant way, odds are you'll see it introduced to any product it can be applied to. Gboard and text-input as a whole are no different, and we are reaping the benefits of improved corrections and predictions every time we swipe out a low-accuracy message to a friend. But how do these improvements work?

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Volkswagen plans to integrate Amazon Alexa with its vehicles

Just yesterday Ford announced that it was planning to bring Alexa support to its cars in the coming months, and now a second auto maker is apparently on-board. Amazon says that Volkswagen has decided to build Alexa into its vehicles and launch a new Alexa skill. There's no information about a timeline or supported models, but it's happening.

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Nexar turns any Android phone into an always-on AR dashcam

A dashcam is one of those things that seems only slightly important until about five minutes after a fender-bender, wherein it becomes retroactively essential. Even so, those dashboard-mounted cameras don't grown on trees, so most cars in the US still aren't equipped with them. Nexar, a new Android app that's currently in "unreleased" status on the Play Store, aims to fix that. It turns any Android device into an AI-powered dash cam - all you need is Android 4.1 or later, a rear camera, and some way to mount it in your vehicle.

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Any.do announces faster syncing, a calendar, and AI assistant coming in v4.0 update

Any.do is one of the most popular to-do list managers on Android, and it's about to get a major update. The Any.do team has just announced the v4.0 update, which is rolling out to Android soon (it's on iOS today). It includes a few features users have been asking for, specifically a built-in calendar and real-time sync. Then there's the new AI assistant, which people weren't asking for, but Any.do hopes you'll like anyway.

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'Quick, Draw!' is like Draw Something, but with Google's artificial intelligence network

Google has published numerous experiments with its cloud AI technologies, but 'Quick, Draw' is perhaps the most fun one yet. Using the same technology that interprets written symbols in Google Translate, the game attempts to guess what you are drawing. When you start, you are prompted to draw a specific thing, and the game continues making guesses until it wins or time runs out.

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Todoist enlists artificial intelligence to help you schedule tasks

Most of my Todoist tasks are pharmacy orders that don't have a due date but that I attend to whenever suppliers call or drop by. However, I also use the service to stay on top of urgent orders and patient questions that I need to address as well as to manage my personal to-dos. The latter are the tasks that end up getting rescheduled day after day until I'm either bored and I remove the due date or I'm so sick of seeing them pop up that I decide to get them done.

It seems that I'm not alone. Todoist says that a "significant portion of users end up rescheduling 50, 60, 70 tasks day after day," and these were the inspiration for the new Smart Schedule feature.

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