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IoT weekly round-up: Tuesday 4th July 2017

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It’s all about AI this week. IBM and Wimbledon join forces to put tennis fans at the heart of the action with SlamTracker, Ford announces a new Robots and AI Research team, and Instagram cracks down on offensive comments with an automated text classification system. Meanwhile, on the racier end of the spectrum, adult site Pornhub cranks things up a notch with interactive sex toys.

IBM serves four AI treats at Wimbledon 2017

IBM and Wimbledon are featuring four new (or at least improved) cognitive innovations for tennis fans this year. IBM SlamTracker, whose real-time scores and insights give a new perspective into the game; ‘Ask Fred’, a Watson-powered concierge bot to help visitors find their way around the grounds; automated video highlights selected by AI, and ‘What Makes Great’, a solution that analyses sports coverage across more than four decades to answer the question: ‘What makes a great tennis player?’

Mendel.ai raises $2 million in bid to match patients with clinical trials

An artificial intelligence system that matches cancer patients with appropriate available treatments and clinical trials has just raised $2 million in seed funding. Mendel.ai, created by Dr Karim Galil, uses an algorithm to sift through unstructured content from medical documents sourced from clinicaltrials.gov. It compares the data with a patient’s medical record to assess the patient’s eligibility for particular treatments, easily identifying potential useful information from among the mass of clinical records.

Harver’s AI platform to replace CV trawl for recruiters

Harver has raised $8.1million to fund its machine-learning pre-selection platform, TalentPitch. The AI-powered solution, whose total funding has now reached $11.4million, is designed to replace the trawl through CVs during the hiring process. By aligning itself with a company’s existing HR processes and systems, TalentPitch uses predictive analytics to improve the recruitment process. Netflix, Booking.com and Adecco are numbered among its customers.

Ford announces new Robotics and AI Research team

Ford has added a new Robots and AI Research team to its Research and Advanced Engineering department. The team will work on drones, automation, aerial robotics and even personal mobility platforms. It will also be involved with startup Argo AI, in whom Ford took a majority stake earlier this year. Dr. Ken Washington, VP of Research and Engineering and CTO discussed two future fleets of self-driving vehicles on the road – one led by Argo AI, and one by Ford’s own team.

Toyota trials Human Support Robot in North America

Toyota has completed its first in-home trial for its HSR, or Human Support Robot platform. The mobility assistance bot is one of many in development by Toyota, and is built to improve the quality of life for users with limited mobility. U.S. war veteran Romy Camargo was the first to try the robot, which is equipped with wheels, visual sensors and articulating arm. The bot can perform fetching and carrying duties for Romy, who was left paralysed below the neck following injuries sustained during service in Afghanistan.

Instagram’s new AI system will combat offensive comments

Instagram is cracking down on offensive or harassing comments, with a new system that will automatically detect and hide them. It is based on DeepText, Facebook and Instagram’s spam-fighting text classification engine, which (according to the team) has met with considerable success. Identifying offensive material is a tougher nut to crack, but hopes are high and DeepText has been trained to identify and categorise negative comments into groups such as racism, sexual harassment, or bullying.

Pornhub announces compatibility with interactive sex toys

Adult content site Pornhub announced that it will support interactive sex toys like the Kiiroo Onyx and Fleshlight Launch. These wireless devices will be equipped to receive signals from certain videos to recreate the sensations on screen with motors and actuators. Pornhub was one of the first to introduce the adult industry to free VR content, and says that interactivity is the next step. The interactive category goes a long way to giving the site’s customers a “complete virtual experience”, said Corey Price, VP, Pornhub.

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