NEWSLETTER: GOOGLE’S FRIENDLY, PERSONAL AI & FAREWELL FOR WINDOWS 8.1

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“When I listen to music these days, and I hear Pro Tools and drums that sound like a machine – it kinda sucks the life out of music.” ~ Dave Grohl (Musician, Ex- Drummer Nirvana)

GOOGLE ATTEMPTS A MORE SEAMLESS INTERACTION BETWEEN HUMANS AND AI

THE STORY

Google’s new project PAIR hopes to augment human abilities rather than replace them.

WHAT IS PAIR?

PAIR (People + AI Research) is Google’s visionary approach to make AI more people friendly rather than just use for industrial/corporate applications. It hopes to develop new AI technologies that will help professionals such as doctors, artists, musicians, designers and farmers etc to enhance their abilities. This is totally in contrast with AI being deemed as a viable replacement for several human tasks in big companies and industries. Ever since the inception of Artificial Intelligence, it has become subject to major debate as it remains largely inaccessible to individuals. PAIR however, wants to change this by bringing a number of technologies that will benefit everyone.

WHAT DO THEY ACTUALLY MEAN?

Although big words can make things sound more complex than it is, what Google meant was to simply make AI more user-friendly. This could be achieved by more breakthroughs in machine learning technology and make it less biased towards certain social groups. Several technologies such as facial and voice recognition systems have trouble with dark skinned people or non-native english speakers.

If a doctor uses a particular software to diagnose a patient, there is no way how he can tell why the software diagnosed a particular ailment or condition. This surely isn’t very reliable in life-or-death situations. It would certainly be more explanatory if the software highlights the information that it used to churn out a particular decision.

WHY IS IT DIFFERENT THAN OTHER AI RESEARCH?

Despite of having several AI based services and technologies such as digital assistants, we are still infuriated at their incapabilities. Being in an introductory phase, these technologies haven’t been able to truly augment our capabilities, especially when it comes to professional skills. PAIR’s core focus is also at improving AI capabilities and making it much smarter so that it becomes free from any societal disparities. Since this technology is latest buzzword, we can certainly hope for more AI powered devices and services that enhance our life on individual level.


MICROSOFT ENDS WINDOWS 8.1 SUPPORT FOR SMARTPHONES

THE STORY

The company will no longer release any special updates for the short lived smartphone OS.

WHAT IS WINDOWS MOBILE 8.1?

We can totally understand if you’re not familiar with this short lived smartphone platform by Microsoft. It was a precursor to the equally obscure Windows Phone 10 platform and was introduced in 2014. Despite of a highly attractive UI and a vast array of Nokia manufactured phones, the OS soon fell out in fact of Android and iOS. However, there is still a significant number of Windows Phone users that Microsoft still cares about as evident by their recent updates for Windows Mobile 10.  

Sadly, their older platform will finally meet its mainstream end as Microsoft will stop official support for Windows Phone 8.1.

WILL IT RENDER WINDOWS PHONES RUNNING 8.1 USELESS?

Contrary to popular belief, this still doesn’t mean you cannot use Windows 8.1 on mobile as Microsoft will only stop security updates. Since nearly 3 quarters of Windows Mobile users still use Windows 8.1, it would certainly force users to eventually switch to newer devices or platforms. As of now, you can still use your Windows 8.1 phone, but do not expect any security updates or fixes from Microsoft if anything goes down in the future.

 

Akshay Peter

Akshay Luke Peters is a writer and blogger for Systweak Software. He likes to write about off-beat topics and technological awareness. He is also part musician who likes to explore the future of technology in entertainment and popular media.

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