Amazon Rekognition Now Estimates Age

It is a good thing lying about one’s age has gone out of style. I Programmer reports, “Amazon Rekognition Can Now Estimate Your Age.” Writer Lucy Black reports on Rekognition’s remarkable progress identifying images, calling it the closest thing Amazon has to a true neural network service. Give it a photo, she writes, and then:

The data it can return varies from a bounding box to emotion, gender, eyes open, etc. Now it also includes an estimated age range for a person.

For now, the age ranges are pretty broad—“38 to 57,” for example. The article discusses this program and other Amazon AI undertakings, like Amazon AI Services (part of AWS), language-processing system Lex, and text-to-speech service Polly. See the article for more details.

Cynthia Murrell, March 3, 2017

Samsung Bixby a Versatile Linguist

 The Galaxy S8’s built-in personal assistant, Bixby, will lead the AI personal-assistant field in terms of the number of languages supported, according to Trusted Reviews’ article, “Samsung Could Trump Google with this Galaxy S8 Feature.” Not only Google stands to be outdone– the S8 assistant will interact in eight languages, which is seven more than Amazon’s English-only Alexa currently supports. (Reportedly, German, Chinese, and perhaps other languages are in Alexa’s near future.)

Bixby, rumor has it, is based on tech Samsung acquired when it bought Viv Labs last year. Based in San Jose, California, that company was founded in 2012 by three of the folks who’d developed Apple’s Siri.

English, Korean and Chinese will all be on board from the start, as will up to five other languages (via SamMobile). By way of comparison, Google Assistant is still only available in five languages (English, Hindi, German, Japanese and Portuguese)

 And the language race is on. This is but one aspect of the competition. Will Amazon counter Samsung’s AI precociousness by making its own microwaves and ovens for Alexa to work with? And what of Samsung’s plans to connect Bixby to appliances and wearable tech? Stay tuned.

Cynthia Murrell, February 23, 2017