Hiring Senior Virtual Assistant Writer – Freelance/Permanent in Announcements

My company (JustAnswer) is looking to hire a Senior (and a Junior) Virtual Assistant Writer. This can be Freelance or Permanent.

Here is the job description:
We’re looking for a writer to help create the voice and personality of our artificially intelligent virtual assistant. Thinking of Siri or Cortana? Exactly right! You’ll develop the dialog that defines customer interactions with our chat module, which serves millions of users per month. Maybe you’ve written plays or scripts? Love using imagination and language? If you can write convincing dialog that keeps readers invested in the conversation, we want to hear from you!
·  Creating a consistent, recognizable character that comes to life
·  Collaborating with engineering, product and design teams
· Knowing when to simplify language to communicate ideas and when to use specialized language to establish credibility
·  Empathizing with users across a wide range of subjects
·  Working within a technical system (there’s minor code we’ll teach you)
·  Creative writing experience with character-driven dialog (we’d like to see samples)
·  Excellent English grammar and vocabulary skills
·  Ability to write within a multidisciplinary group setting, incorporating input from many people and sources of information/data
·  Ability to balance creativity with logic to work within the constraints of existing frameworks
·  Sensitivity toward cross-cultural communication and translation concerns
·  Experience in interactive storytelling preferred
·  Bachelor’s degree in interactive fiction a plus

JustAnswer is expertise on demand. Doctors without the waiting room. Lawyers without the hourly rate. Veterinarians in the middle of the night. Car mechanics and tech support without a trip to the shop. We were one of the first companies to enter the now hot on-demand economy. We’re proud to give people more power in their lives, connecting more than 9 million people in 196 countries with expert advice and answers.

We offer a casual workplace in the beautiful Presidio of San Francisco. Our close-knit team is positive and encouraging, and provides the flexibility for individuals to develop their skills and try some of the newest things out.

Email sal.castillo@justanswer.com a link to your portfolio, résumé and a cover letter that addresses your strategy for developing the voice of our new virtual assistant. Please be aware that our assistant will act as the receptionist for doctors, lawyers, vets, mechanics and more, where different voices are necessary but the ultimate goal remains the same: help users seamlessly. Note that applications without a tailored cover letter will not be considered.

6 Comments | Started February 11, 2016, 02:41:21 AM


Drones Learn How To Find People Lost In The Woods in AI News

Drones Learn How To Find People Lost In The Woods
12 February 2016, 12:00 am

                    Trails are narrow ribbons of civilization cutting through wilderness. They are as much about what is worth exploring as they are about what's off limits.

Popular ScienceLink

Source: AI in the News

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Started Today at 05:02:40 AM


Robotic assistants: Science meets fiction, with Carme Torras in Robotics News

Robotic assistants: Science meets fiction, with Carme Torras
11 February 2016, 8:45 pm

The scientist is looking at the error message of the giant robot's operating system.The scientist is looking at the error message of the giant robot’s operating system. In this video lecture Carme Torras, Research Professor at the Spanish Scientific Research Council (CSIC) looks at the process of working on assistive robots employed as helpers to disabled or elderly people, shopping helpers, cleaning aids, even co-workers in workshops and factories. Her research in the Perception and Manipulation group focuses on enhancing the perception, learning, and planning capabilities of robots in human environments.

Torras features several key issues in her lecture: safety in home environments, capability to manipulate with deformable objects (for example, clothes), tolerance to inaccurate actions, goal-directed executions, and capability to actively collaborate with humans. One of the main challenges of developing assistive robots are system adaptations for ‘non-experts’ to program the robots.

The final part of her lecture tackles the debate concerning assistive robotics, asking:  what are the ethical and social implications for having robots in people’s lives . How will human nature change with increasing H-R interaction? Her answer leads into science fiction and current depictions between robots and humans in popular culture.

Credits: Institut de Robòtica Informàtica Industrial, CSIC-UPCCredits: Institut de Robòtica

Informàtica Industrial, CSIC-UPC Carme Torras is Research Professor at the Spanish Scientific Research Council (CSIC). She received M.Sc. degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from the Universitat de Barcelona and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, respectively, and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). Prof. Torras has published five books and about two hundred papers in the areas of robot kinematics, computer vision, geometric reasoning, machine learning and manipulation planning. She has been local project leader of several European projects in the frontier between AI and Robotics, among which the FP6 IP project “Perception, Action and COgnition through Learning of Object-Action Complexes” (PACO-PLUS), and the FP7 STREP projects “GARdeNIng with a Cognitive System” (GARNICS) and “Intelligent observation and execution of Actions and manipulations” (IntellAct).

She was awarded the Narcís Monturiol Medal of the Generalitat de Catalunya in 2000, and she became ECCAI Fellow in 2007, member of Academia Europaea in 2010, and member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona in 2013. Prof. Torras was IEEE RAS Associate Vice-President for Publication Activities (2012-13) and she is currently Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics.

Torras C. IJARS Video Series: Robotic Assistants: Science meets Fiction [online video]. International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 2016, 13:V1. DOI: 10.5772/62467

Source: Robohub

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1 Comment | Started February 12, 2016, 05:00:12 AM


540 little robots and 29 drones celebrate Chinese New Year in Robotics News

540 little robots and 29 drones celebrate Chinese New Year
10 February 2016, 6:09 pm

Dance troupe of 540 robots . Source: youtubeDance troupe of 540 robots. Source: youtube In a TV spectacle celebrating the Chinese New Year and seen by more than 640 million viewers, 540 Chinese-made robots danced to a song sung by a Chinese superstar and 29 neon-colored drones flew in unison overhead.

To give a point of comparison, 115 million Americans watched the Super Bowl; 640 million viewers watched the Spring Festival Gala celebration of Chinese New Year. Another factoid: Intel just won a Guiness World Record for having 100 flying drones fly and show their colored lights in sync with an orchestra playing Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, compared to 540 UBTECH Alpha1 robots performing synchronized dancing.

If you watch the whole 1-1/2 hour extravaganza, you can see a level of consumerism and commercialism that may be surprising. Certainly that consumerism is showing up in demand for small household products and robots – robots that suggest they can provide a wealth of services and applications:

  • Tutoring and interpreting
  • Household reminders and alarm services including reminding when medications need to be taken
  • Home guard and smart control of appliances like lights and locks
  • Entertainment such as DJ, dancer and singer
  • Personal photographer
  • Yogi tutoring – with 20 joints replicating human motion
  • Weatherperson
  • Storyteller
  • Personal assistant to make calls, check voicemails, read and send texts and emails
UBTECH used their Alpha1 robot for the CCTV Chinese New Year show. On their website they are showing their new Alpha2 – in English – in a revealing video.

Why is this important? This Chinese New Year’s inclusion of robots and drones – and Japan’s focus on showcasing robots and robotics for their Olympics in 2020 – show the interest which translates into consumer demand. UBTECH and many other startups in China and elsewhere are focusing on taking advantage of that Asian interest in humanoid objects with products such as the Alpha robot and the SoftBank Pepper robot. In fact, Alpha is smaller than Pepper but they both interact using human speech and are geared to home and social use. Alpha, Buddy, Jibo and Pepper are all entering the marketplace this year and we will see how they fare after a few months of user experience. Certainly Alpha is a Chinese competitor to the success of Pepper.

Let the games begin!

Source: Robohub

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2 Comments | Started February 11, 2016, 11:00:21 PM


Friday Funny in General Chat

Share your jokes here to bring joy to the world  :)

1171 Comments | Started February 13, 2009, 01:52:35 PM


Artificial intelligence will allow people to find lasting love with machines in AI News

Artificial intelligence will allow people to find lasting love with machines
12 February 2016, 12:00 am

                    While there are fears robots may rise up to take over the world if artificial intelligence progresses too quickly, some of us may find ourselves simply marrying machines in the future. A leading computer scientist has predicted that as robots become more human-like, people may start turning to them for companionship.

Daily Mail - Sciencetech (UK)Link

Source: AI in the News

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Started February 12, 2016, 11:01:29 PM


What’s new in robotics this week? Chameleon robot blends in with its surroundings in Robotics News

What’s new in robotics this week? Chameleon robot blends in with its surroundings
12 February 2016, 10:17 pm

Mechanical Chameleon through Dynamic Real-Time Plasmonic Tuning. Source: Wired UK/youtubeMechanical chameleon through dynamic real-time plasmonic tuning. Source: Wired UK/youtube Soft bots; record-breaking North American robot sales; robots saving refugees; chameleon robot blends in with its surroundings; Robot Law and more.

Meet the soft, cuddly robots of the future (Nature) Superb article covering developments in the realm of soft robotics, from bio-inspired robot caterpillars through the launch of the RoboSoft collaboration to the inherent challenges involved when trying to design control mechanisms for soft robots:

As robotic octopuses, caterpillars, starfish and other malleable machines come to life, some scientists have begun to focus on better ways to control the devices’ actions. “We’re talking about floppy, elastic materials,” says Kramer [a mechanical engineer at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana]. “When something moves on one side, you’re not quite sure where the rest of the machine is going to end up.” That is why many applications will probably require extra sensors to monitor movement. Yet conventional position and force sensors — rigid or semi-rigid electronic components — don’t always work well with soft robots that undergo extreme shape changes.
  Roach-like robots may help in disasters (Yahoo! News, AP)

Researchers have developed cockroach-like robots for use in search and rescue operations. Cockroaches are able to withstand 900 times their body weight in pressure without suffering damage and they can even move at close to their regular speed when compressed to one quarter their normal size:

The researchers hope swarms of future roach-like robots could be fitted with cameras, microphones and other sensors and then used in earthquakes and other disasters to help search for victims by squeezing through small cracks. The skittering robots could also let rescuers know if the rubble pile is stable.
The prototype cost less than $100 USD to make and according to the researchers the cost could be brought down to around $10 through mass production.

North American robotics market sets new records in 2015 (ROBOTICS TOMORROW) A total of 31,464 robots valued at $1.8 billion were ordered from North American companies during 2015, an increase of 14% in units and 11% in dollar value over 2014, according to the Robotic Industries Association. Note that unemployment in the U.S. fell during the same period:

The automotive industry was the primary driver of growth in 2015, with robot orders increasing 19% year over year. Non-automotive robot orders grew five percent over 2014. The leading non-automotive industry in 2015 in terms of order growth was Semiconductors and Electronics at 35%.

According to Alex Shikany, Director of Market Analysis for RIA, the fastest growing applications for robot orders in North America in 2015 were Coating and Dispensing (+49%), Material Handling (+24%), and Spot Welding (+22%). RIA estimates that some 260,000 robots are now at use in North American factories, which is third to Japan and China in robot use.
  Watch this robot chameleon blend in with its surroundings (Wired UK)

Now you see it, now you don’t see it as clearly.

Engineers at the Wuhan University in China have developed a robot that can camouflage itself against red, green, and blue backgrounds. The robot is covered in plasmonic displays which produce colours by using interactions between nanoscale structures and electric fields:


The key to this biomimetic technology is realising electrically driven actuation of broad reflection bands, which may be partially enabled by some of the existing ‘e-paper’ or ‘e-chem’ display approaches, including electrophoretic, cholesteric liquid crystalline, and electrowetting,” the researchers wrote. Light sensors recognise the background colour, which is then translated to the correct reaction.
  Robot Law (Elgar Online) Link includes a must-read free chapter from a new book entitled Robot Law, editied by Ryan Calo, A. Michael Froomkin and Ian Kerr which covers many of the legal issues around emerging robot technology.

we might soon be witnessing a personal robotics revolution. These systems have the potential to revolutionize our daily lives and to transform our world in ways even more profound than broad access to the Internet and mobile phones have done over the past two decades. We need to be ready for them and, in particular, we need to think about them in the right way so that the lawmakers can craft better rules for them, and engineers can design them in ways that protect the values our society holds dear. But how should we do this?

Space-age surgical robot saves 500 lives at Liverpool hospital (Liverpool Echo) A da Vinci medical robot at a UK hospital operated on its 500th patient recently.

The 500th patient, prostate cancer sufferer Paul Daley, 58, chose robotic surgery over non-robotic options.

He said: “I decided to go for robotic surgery after looking at all the models of treatment. I’m glad I went for it.

“I was in hospital for 26 hours. Nine weeks later I was well enough to go skiing for a week. The technology is amazing.”
Here it is mainly used for prostate surgery, the robot was installed in 2011.

Can a robot rescue drowning migrants? Meet ‘Emily’ (Christian Science Monitor) A robot designed by U.S. researchers is being used to help migrants in distress in Greek waters.

Dubbed Emily (Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard), the remote-controlled robot is a 25-pound, 4-foot-long, red flotation device on jet skis and is used by the Greek Coast Guard.

Here’s how “Emily” might be put to work helping migrants: An operator in a remote location would send the robot, which can travel at a speed of 20 mph, out to migrants struggling in the waters off Lesbos. Up to five people at a time can grasp onto the 4-foot-long flotation device tethered to a 2,000-foot-long rope, which rescuers could then manually reel in. Helicopter drones also tethered to ropes can send back aerial images of the rescue in real time to help operators best manipulate the robot.

Britain lags rivals in robots – but automating the workplace may not mean huge job losses (The Telegraph) Adopting automation can lead to higher overall wages, the creation of new jobs, and –in the case of cobots– could lead to extended working lives, according to this piece in The Telegraph. Citing Polanyi’s Paradox, Patrick Schwarzkopf, managing director of Europe’s Mechanical Engineering Industry Association VDMA, argues that robots are unlikely to take over entirely.

“Polanyi’s paradox says that ‘we know more than we can tell’,” said Mr Schwarzkopf. “Humans have an ‘inherent’ or ‘tacit’ knowledge which they make judgments on and it is very hard to communicate this, especially when it comes to programming machines.”

Mr Schwarzkopf also forecast a 15pc annual increase over the next four years in demand for robots as countries race to automate manufacturing.

Source: Robohub

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Started February 12, 2016, 11:01:29 PM


Driverless cars will prevent 95% of all traffic collisions say experts in AI News

Driverless cars will prevent 95% of all traffic collisions say experts
11 February 2016, 12:00 am

                    Driverless cars engender some strongly held opinions but experts say there is one thing beyond argument - we don't have much choice in the matter, they're coming. However, we could be waiting some time: all UK cars predicted to be 'highly autonomous' by 2040, but the nation's vehicles won't be fully driverless until 10 years later.

Daily Mail - Sciencetech (UK)Link

Source: AI in the News

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Started February 12, 2016, 05:00:08 PM


World & Pacific News test in Video

voice test, admire the articulation of the mouth, a bit similar to PeoplePutty. I created myself, the viseme face. You can also hear an English accent, New Zealand.

Started February 12, 2016, 03:31:28 PM


What I Learned Teaching a Course on Artificial Intelligence (and You Can, Too) in AI News

What I Learned Teaching a Course on Artificial Intelligence (and You Can, Too)
11 February 2016, 12:00 am

                    I recently finished teaching a free, eight-week online course on artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies. Over 7,000 students registered for the course.

Huffington Post - TechnologyLink

Source: AI in the News

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Started February 12, 2016, 11:00:26 AM
From Movies to Reality: How Robots Are Revolutionizing Our World

From Movies to Reality: How Robots Are Revolutionizing Our World in Articles

Robots were once upon a time just a work of human imagination. Found only in books and movies, not once did we think a time would come where we would be able to interact with robots in real world. Eventually, in fact rapidly, the innovations we only dreamt of are now becoming a reality. Quoting the great Stephen Hawking "This is a glorious time to be alive for scientists". It is indeed the best time for the technology has become more and more sophisticated that its growing power might even endanger humanity.

Jan 26, 2016, 10:12:00 am

Uncanny in Robots in Movies

Uncanny is a 2015 American science fiction film directed by Matthew Leutwyler and based on a screenplay by Shahin Chandrasoma. It is about the world's first "perfect" artificial intelligence (David Clayton Rogers) that begins to exhibit startling and unnerving emergent behavior when a reporter (Lucy Griffiths) begins a relationship with the scientist (Mark Webber) who created it.

Jan 20, 2016, 13:09:41 pm
AI Virtual Pets

AI Virtual Pets in Other

Artificial life also called Alife is simply the simulation of any aspect of life, as through computers, robotics, or biochemistry. (taken from the Free dictionary)This site focus's on the software aspect of it.

Oct 03, 2015, 09:21:09 am
Why did HAL sing ‘Daisy’?

Why did HAL sing ‘Daisy’? in Articles

...a burning question posed by most people who have watched or read “2001: A Space Odyssey”: that is, why does the computer HAL-9000 sing the song ‘Daisy Bell’ as the astronaut Dave Bowman takes him apart?

Sep 04, 2015, 09:28:55 am

Humans in Robots on TV

Humans is a British-American science fiction television series. Written by the British team Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley, based on the award-winning Swedish science fiction drama Real Humans, the series explores the emotional impact of the blurring of the lines between humans and machines.

Aug 28, 2015, 09:13:37 am
Virtual Talk

Virtual Talk in Chatbots - English

[iTunes app] Virtual Talk is a AI chatting app that makes you talk with whomever you want. It remembers what you say and learns new dialogs. This app is one of the smartest chatbots in the world.

Aug 17, 2015, 13:33:09 pm
Robot Overlords

Robot Overlords in Robots in Movies

Not long after the invasion and occupation of Earth by a race of powerful robots wanting human knowledge and ingenuity, humans are confined to their homes. Leaving without permission would be to risk their lives. Monitored by the electronic implants in their necks, the robot sentries are able to track the movements of humans in order to control them. And if any person comes out of their home, they are given warnings by the robot sentries to get inside their home. If they do not comply, they are shot immediately.

Long article on the making of here...

Aug 15, 2015, 14:42:25 pm

Zerfoly in Chatbots - English

Zerfoly is a chatbot platform that makes it possible to create imaginary persons (chatbots) and teach them to talk to each other.

You will be able to let loose your creativity and imagination. Build persons, by writing interactive dialogues. The persons you create will gradually become individuals with unique personalities. One of the persons could bear your name and learn to talk like you; your alter ego. Another way of using Zerfoly is as an interactive diary.

Aug 09, 2015, 11:06:42 am

YARP in Robotics

YARP is plumbing for robot software. It is a set of libraries, protocols, and tools to keep modules and devices cleanly decoupled. It is reluctant middleware, with no desire or expectation to be in control of your system. YARP is definitely not an operating system.

Jul 31, 2015, 16:23:49 pm
Olivier (French)

Olivier (French) in Chatbots - Non English

Le web agent Olivier conçu par Semantia, personnifie la relation entre le site grdf.fr et l'internaute. Olivier devient alors un collaborateur de l'entreprise, disposant de connaissances, de savoir-faire et de savoir-être afin de répondre aux questions des clients.

Jun 08, 2009, 08:36:21 am