Sony to build up AI as Key commercial enterprise Pillar, Invests in US Startup

Sony to Build Up AI as Key Business Pillar, Invests in US Startup

Sony has invested an undisclosed sum in California-based Cogitai.
Sony was a pioneer in AI with humanoid robot QRIO in 2003.
Sony produced its closing AIBO and QRIO robots in 2006.
Japan’s Sony Corp said it plans to build up its synthetic intelligence (AI) enterprise and subsequentlyturn it into a chief revenue supply, starting with an investment in a US startup.

The electronics maker has invested an undisclosed sum in California-based Cogitai. The yearvintagecompany, based by means of 3 researchers, specializes in era that allows machines to study usuallyand autonomously from interplay in the real world.

The circulate comes a time whilst primary era corporations including fb Inc, Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google are spending aggressively on AI ventures.

“From an goal attitude, we are lagging behind,” chief govt Hiroaki Kitano at Sony pc science Laboratoriesstated in an interview.

but there are nonetheless unexplored regionssome in our on-line world but massively greater inside the bodily world,” Kitano said. “And we’ve a number of products inside the bodily global. We makehardware. that is our electricity.”

Sony became a pioneer in AI with robot canine AIBO in 1999 and humanoid robot QRIO in 2003, bothreleased with much fanfare.

but its AI power stalled all through a decade-long war for profitability in its core consumer electronicsenterprise as it faced charge competition from Asian competitors. It produced its remaining AIBO and QRIO robots in 2006.

Sony has considering that restructured its television set, laptop pc and mobile phone operations and is now looking for to regain its technological competitiveness via AI.

The firm plans to release a services or products derived from collaboration with Cogitai as early as next 12 months, Kitano stated.

we are thinking about diverse alternatives, including a robotic,” he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: AI, synthetic intelligence, home amusement, Mobiles, science, Sony, pills, Wearables

Millennials’ favorite animal reveals key insights about their values

IG_RideOn[4]The “majestic unicorn” is trending, according to Hershey, with the company calling the animal “the spirit animal of millennials.”

“One of the things we started to notice that unicorns were popping up a lot in culture,” Bill Blubaugh, Hershey’s senior director of sweets & refreshments, told Business Insider. “Unicorns really now represent self confidence, individualism, the ability to achieve personal greatness.”

While the claim initially feels like a stretch, it’s one backed by extensive research at Hershey. The company is putting its money where its mouth is, with a new ad campaign for Ice Breakers starring – what else? – a unicorn.

However, instead of fantasy adventures, these unicorns are preoccupied with issues such as female empowerment in the workplace.

In the first commercial in the “Break Through” campaign, a young woman asks her apparent new boss for three weeks of vacation. When her boss says two weeks is the standard, she pops an Ice Breaker. A unicorn comes whinnying through the glass wall, inspiring the woman to tell her boss: “I’m not standard. Three weeks.”

In addition to four commercials featuring similar situations involving empowering unicorns, Ice Breaker unicorns are also taking over social media. Last Saturday (National Unicorn Day), the brand utilized “Twitter First View” to place a #UnicornMoment tweet at the top of users’ newsfeeds and debuted a music video starring a unicorn on Twitter.

Clearly, Hershey believes that unicorns represent millennials’ values, which translates into where they spend their money.

“We realized this is more symbolic of personal accomplishment, individualism, achievement, being your best, and really that your dreams can come true,” says Blubaugh. “And this generation believes that, certainly more than other generations.”

Ice Breakers Unicorn

Ice Breakers

So, not only is the unicorn trendy – it’s a representation of millennials’ state of mind and how they spend money.

The Ice Breakers ad is not the only indication that there’s a unicorn-centric trend brewing.

Polar Seltzer released “Unicorn Seltzer” as an April Fools’ Day treat, with consumers reporting the limited-time flavor was alternately fruity, vanilla-infused, and “like a nice version of the stuff they give you at the dentist once you wash your mouth out.”

More widely, the unicorn has been popping up in pop culture as a costume of choice for celebrities from country star Blake Shelton to future Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher.

Then, there’s the world of tech startups. A unicorn is a startup with a valuation of more than $1 billion – the subject of both celebration andcontroversy.

Even the scientific community is buzzing about unicorns. In March, the American Journal of Applied Science published a study that revealed the “Siberian unicorn” may have coexisted with humans. While this unicorn was certainly ambitious (surviving more than 300,000 years after they were thought to have gone extinct), they were far less aesthetically pleasing than the stereotypical unicorn, as it looked like a hairy rhino.

Objectively, Google Trends indicates that unicorns are hotter now than they have been since 2005.

And, more people are celebrating National Unicorn Day than ever. According to Hershey, there were 397 times as many mentions of National Unicorn Day on Twitter this year compared to 2015 – a fortunate boost for Ice Breakers, which both tapped into and encouraged the trend by promoting the hashtag.

However, at the end of the day, Hershey doesn’t necessarily need unicorns to be trending. Ice Breakers are already hot on their own.

The company reports the Ice Breaker brand has been an especially well-performing brand in both gum and mint categories.

IG_CantEven Ice Breakers

Ice Breakers

“We’re one of the strongest millennial brands in the category,” says Blubaugh. “The category, especially mints, tends to be a little older… We’re the new brand, we’re the young brand, and people become accustomed to us bringing them new and different refreshment experiences.”

Whether it’s trending or not, the unicorn will be a major presence in Ice Breakers marketing in the coming months. Expect the Ice Breakers unicorns to be popping up to confidence boosts on TV, as well as Ice Breakers’ Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, with more #UnicornMoments.


Five Key Takeaways From Our LeEco Le 1s Review

Five Key Takeaways From Our LeEco Le 1s Review

LeEco’s budget Le 1s smartphone has received tremendous response from consumers in India, according to the company. The first flash sale of the LeEco Le 1s last week saw 70,000 units going out of stock in just 2 seconds, and the claims for the second flash sale were equally impressive.

The Le 1s packs a fingerprint scanner, full-HD display, and an all metal body that will keep feature-obsessed consumers happy. To recall, the Le 1s comes to India carrying a price tag of Rs. 10,999. If you are thinking of buying the smartphone, here are five takeaways from our LeEco Le 1s review to help you decide.

1) Good build quality
The Le 1s is made almost entirely of metal, save for two plastic strips running along the top and bottom of the rear for the various antennas to work. The front face is pretty slick, with black glass surrounding the screen and extending all the way to the two sides. The Chinese company at the India launch had stressed that the Le 1s is the first phone featuring a silver mirror-finished fingerprint sensor lower down and in the middle on the back panel.

(Also see: Le 1s full specifications)

2) USB Type-C and quick charging
LeEco (the company formerly known as LeTV) was one of the first companies that launchedsmartphones with USB Type-C ports last year. Type-C has been undoubtedly been displacing Micro-USB this year but LeEco is still ahead of the curve here.

The company ships a non-standard USB cable with a modified type-A plug on the charger end. It works like any other USB cable, except that you don’t have to worry about which way is up. In order to achieve this, the plug’s inner tongue has been made really thin, and we hope it won’t snap. During our review, we found out that the Le 1s quick charging feature saved the day – the device comes with a really bulky charger, but it paid off when we were able to boost up to a double-digit battery percentage in just a few minutes. To recall, the smartphone sports a 3000mAh battery.

3) The software needs some work
One of the biggest surprises during our review was the Le 1s’s software shortcomings. It runs the dated Android 5.0.2 with LeEco’s heavy eUI skin. The company skin dispenses with the app drawer, much like other phones from Chinese handset brands, and there weren’t as many customisation options.

The most difficult thing to get used to was that all shortcuts and quick settings were moved to the app switcher screen. It looks like a mashup of iOS 7’s Control Centre and app switcher and is functional enough, but it seems as though LeEco wanted to be different just for the sake of being different.

There were not many preloaded apps – Yahoo Weather, and an app called My LeTV which is a gateway to the company’s cloud storage and security services. The phone was also surprisingly sparse when it came to settings and enhancements. Overall, the software experience was a bit of a let-down, making the whole experience felt unpolished.

(Also see: Le 1s Sale: What You Need to Know)

le_1s_rear_gadgets360.jpg4) Impressive performance
During our detailed review, we liked using the Le 1s for the most part, and it did feel good in the hands as well. We were happy to note that the phone didn’t get too hot in use, even after gaming and running stress tests. Only a bit of warmth could be felt towards the top of the rear. We were pleasantly surprised by the phone’s speaker, which pumped out pretty loud and rich sound.

5) Average camera
The camera on the Le 1s is pretty average in terms of performance. In our review, we saw primary camera struggled a bit with detailing and exposure. It however managed to pull off quite a few good shots including close-ups which were the best, though there was still noise and murkiness to natural textures. Low-light shots looked impressive at first but were completely unusable if enlarged to actual size. You’ll be fine if you only want to share photos on social media, but not for anything beyond that. Videos were also adequate for a phone that costs this much.