Artificial Intelligence Offerings as an #API

Artificial intelligence or for short “AI”, is the use of intelligent machines that react and work like the human mind. This area of computer science is mainly concerned with speech recognition, processing, planning, learning, and problem-solving. On the surface, artificial intelligence may be linked to robotics, as it is mostly portrayed as such in Sci-fi movies, but the concept of artificial intelligence is much more complex than that. Artificial intelligence is now capable of much more than you think, it can provide you with reasoning, just like a human would, it can correct itself (self-correction) and it can learn and adapt, most programs are fixed when evaluated in terms of the duties they perform as their codes bound them to do so, artificial intelligence differs from the traditional methods in this department.

Picture1.pngThe use of Artificial Intelligence is very common, ranging from the top tech businesses to an average person just using his phone or laptop. The term originated in 1956. Today, it holds greater meaning than ever, it stretches from robotic processes such as automation to actual robotics itself! Artificial intelligence has all the abilities that a technical machine should, from speed to accuracy, all while being extremely human-like. AI can identify patterns, process data more efficiently than a human would, making it essential for businesses to have in order to progress.

As we have concluded, AI is a broad term and is not limited to a concise definition. Artificial intelligence holds greater depths even in one’s daily life, Siri a virtual assistant, that can perform a wide range of tasks, from looking up recipes to booking a flight. This type of Artificial Intelligence is working as an API to get the desired results you expect from it. API refers to Application Programming Interface, which acts as a channel between the user and the service provider. In its most basic terms consider the example of your virtual assistant Siri, on your command it acts as an API (application programming interface) to access a different database, such as calling an Uber to your doorstep.

APIs and Applications of AI as an API:

As previously stated, API stands for Application Programming Interface, that provides a platform for a set of routines and tools for building software applications, it also specifies how the different software can interact with one another. Cortana, an assistant made by Microsoft allows you to make reservations at a restaurant by acting as an API, this example highlights the use of a simple API and AI altogether.

Many other such interactions can be observed, Google Maps API permits developers to Picture2.pngembed the web page of google maps using either JavaScript or a Flash Interface. By using Siri to locate a road for you connects this process as a whole. Siri, being a form of artificial intelligence and acting as an application programming interface. Even Tesla, a self-driving car uses Google maps as a basic platform to use its self-driving capabilities.

 

 

Use of Artificial Intelligence as an API in Businesses:

Many firms have switched to using a superior functioning artificial intelligence system instead of using their old traditional information technology methods based operating systems.
Many tedious everyday tasks are now being performed by Artificial intelligence based operating systems, freeing up human resources that can better invest their time in projects that will be beneficial for the company. Many Customer Relationship Management systems are now using Artificial Intelligence by using machine learning algorithms to discover information on how to better communicate with customers, on calling the customer is immediately connected to an AI based operator, that deals with the concerns the customer has, more efficiently than any human operator would have.

Two-way communication with ChatBots, ChatBots are using artificial intelligence to engage the customer in a conversation, such pop-ups, ask the customer what they are concerned with and display the information that is only relevant for them. ChatBots ensure better two-way communication and help in promoting consumer loyalty. Companies rely on artificial intelligence to handle such matters, more efficiently and professionally than their human counterparts.

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The Dawn of Artificial Intelligence; from IBM to AWS:

International Business Machines or IBM: International business machines or IBM is a platform that previously provided hardware, but is now dealing in the software department, that deal with cognitive computing, a branch very similar to artificial intelligence. The research dates back to 1950, IBM provides server hardware, storage, software, cloud and many cognitive offerings.

IBM Watson is the ultimate offering of IBM for AI and Big Data with tones of applications. It was introduced several years ago, and since then has become on of the most powerful enterpirse APIs out there.

Amazon Web Service Artificial Intelligence or AWS AI: Amazon web service provides you with instances, to optimize your applications with the uses of the provided instance, either upgrade or to enhance performance. AWS enhances the performance of your drive and gives a variety of services targeted for enterprise AI usage. It is also amazing and we have to mention that amazon sustains a blog regarding AI.

Intrigued? Create your own Artificial Intelligence based Program with APIs:

Artificial Intelligence surrounds us, from Tesla’s self-driving cars to Siri on your iPhone, Artificial intelligence comes to play even when we are operating a system to get the smallest amount of output. Cortana, Siri, Tesla, Cogito or our favorite platform to watch movies and series, Netflix, are all examples of artificial intelligence and it’s easy to get influenced by them.

In this technological era, nothing seems to be impossible, one can create his own form of Artificial intelligence by using an Application Programming Interface to make your own custom software.

Using API.ai: A service that allows you to transform speech into text messages, it allows you to naturally process a language along with an Artificial intelligence system that will cater for your every need.

Step1: Login to their site and allow the program to access the basic data of your account. Accede to their terms and conditions and begin by creating your own artificial Intelligence based virtual assistant.

Step2: Authorize the access to basic information then customize your AI assistant by adding in some standard information, this information includes their Name, Description (what you intend your agent to be), language (the language your agent will be operating in) and the time zone.

Step3: The Test Console, allows you to test out the basic operations performed by your agent. It allows you to enter queries and how your agent will respond to them. Adding an additional small talk is based on your preferences, and you can do so by clicking the enable button.

Step4: Save the changes you have made and find your Artificial intelligence based assistants’ API.ai API keys. Feel free to make additional changes if you please then use JavaScript to connect to the api.ai.

Step5: Use HTML5 speech recognition to get on the right track, communicate with the api.ai and host your web interface lastly but not the least, say “hello” to your Artificial Intelligence using, the state of the arts Virtual Assistant!

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ChatBots is just a fancy name for Search APIs

What are ChatBots?

ChatBots are smart computer programs that mimic the real life conversation people have, except by utilizing artificial intelligence on one end. From quasi-conversation to self-initiated tasks, these ChatBots can revolutionize the way you behave and connect on the internet. ChatBots can serve many functions, and with them, interacting and getting information from the internet can become easy and convenient. The ChatBots reply according to the number of responses fed into the system by the programmer and chooses the best option according to the scenario. The job of ChatBots seems rather straightforward; they are there to provide information to customers and users. Without this technology, you would have to go to a website and maneuver around till you found the thing you were looking for, order it and check out. With a chat bot, you can save yourself a lot of time by letting the artificial intelligence know exactly what you are after, and within minutes, you could find it. The chatting is similar to the one you would expect to have with a sales person. Facebook Messenger is one of the biggest companies investing in 30, 000 or more bots, believing these are vital to the business. This means that Facebook will be cutting their human employees which were required for the task these bots would have to undertake.

Why are they important to us now?

More recently ChatBots have become a necessary technology, with Facebook and Microsoft, among other great companies dedicating resources to this technology. While ChatBots seem like a novel technology, they are actually older than we think. There have been machines created to imitate human behavior for ages; however, the notion of integrating ChatBots within apps is a novel concept. New age bots, however are not looking to imitate humans completely, instead, they are what they are, and machines intended to interact with humans. These machines can only respond to limited commands, and if it does not have an answer for your question, it won’t be of use, no amount of brainstorming will give the bot a eureka moment. However, bots are adaptable, which means they constantly learn and get better with time. As they register interactions and responses, their range constantly increases.

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ChatBots can be used to make automated interactions,like booking, funnier

As more people are now moving from public social media sites to private networks like Facebook messenger, slack, weChat and Telegram for communication, the role of Chabot’s is increasing. For a business to reach more customers, interaction and communication are important, and if more people are now using messenger apps, then ChatBots make sense. According to a new survey, nearly 89% of customers, are looking forward to engaging with AI virtual assistants, hence the companies investing in these are making a smart move by the looks of it.

Technology around ChatBots:

As with the use in businesses, the technology around ChatBots is also evolving at a rapid pace. There are many online resources that let you built your own ChatBots. Facebook has recently launched its “bots for messenger” tool that allows developers to build the best bots they can, which can be bought be Facebook for a hefty price. The underlying technology of the tool uses artificial intelligence markup language and incorporates a tool that provides API hosting platforms.

There are many APIs that may be used for creating the perfect ChatBots, including cloud-based NLP APIs such as API.ai and WIT.ai. API.ai is a bot development program, that makes it convenient to integrate with certain social media outlets such as FB messenger, Skype, and Microsoft. Wit.ai is very similar, however, in comparison to api.ai, it is slightly more complicated to use. Moreover, api.ai has better user ability, is easier to use and the NLP engine is more mature.

ChatBots are quite the hype right now in the startup community, and developing scripts for ChatBots has also been improving over the years. River script is one of the simplest scripting languages for ChatBots utilized by many developers. The site is very user-friendly and the syntax is relatively easy to learn. There is no need for intricate XML structures, random symbols, and line noise. The interfaces are available for Java, JavaScript, Go and python.

Another important language for writing script for ChatBots is AIML( Artificial intelligence Markup Language). This is an XML-compliant language, and it is relatively easier to learn for a newbie. It also makes it possible to customize an Alicebot or make a bot from scratch.

Future of ChatBots

Advancement in Artificial intelligence in addition to the increase in messaging apps would increase the development of ChatBots for sure. As more businesses are investing in ChatBots now, there is a bot revolution that can be expected in the future. As ChatBots make their way into every department of the industry, it is easy to see how our lives will change. Currently, both Google and Facebook are working on making a master bot that will manage other bots, more like an organization. In the future, virtual assistants, such as Amazon Echo and Siri, will also have bot services and master bots that will allow every intelligent system to integrate seamlessly. Before this can implemented, however, plumbing needs to be built and writing script platforms need to improve. This can be seen happening and the futures of APIs seem bright. Artificial intelligence and ChatBots have a vital role to play in the future for businesses, this means that with more people interested in the technology, there will be more programmers who will be investing in building platforms for easy script writing. How the future plays out for ChatBots, only time will tell, however, by the looks of it, many large corporations are already on board. The three biggest tech giants, Facebook, Amazon, and Google, have been investing in ChatBots and the results will be tremendous. As more companies come around to the idea and understand how customer preferences are changing, the times for ChatBots seem to be looking up.

 

#Recommendations as an #API: what is a Recommended System Nowadays?

 

What is an API?

An API is an application program interface which has determined routines, protocols, and tools for creating application. APIs are used to program interface components and they’re important because they provide the building blocks for making a program, which are then put together and completed by a given programmer. An API essentially makes the programmer’s job easier and less stressful.

Types of APIs

            There are multiple kinds of APIs for different operating systems and for different purposes that suit the needs of different people. Let’s take Windows, which has several APIs that are used to run hardware systems and applications. The operating environment of most systems provide APIs and this allows programmers to create applications or programs that are compatible and consistent with the operating environment. Nowadays, however, there are websites that utilize APIs as well; for example, both Amazon and Ebay use APIs which allow programmers and developers to use existing retail infrastructure to create web stores. Also, third-party developers are able to use APIs on the web to solve problems with software for end-users.

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Examples

There are many examples of APIs and the ProgrammableWeb tracks over 15 500 APIs. It also lists Google Maps, Twitter, Youtube, and Flickr as a few of the very most popular APIs.

SaaS Recommenders

            SaaS is an acronym for software as a service recommender. These systems have several challenges and these include the handling of multi-tenancy. Multi-tenancy is a term for software architecture that allows a single instance of software to run on a server for multiple tenants, who are users that share access to software instance. SaaS Recommenders also process a large amount of data and they keep client’s data safe. Essentially, recommender systems work to filter data in order to determine the rating or preference a customer would give to an item. These systems are very common nowadays and they’re used in many areas of trade. There are recommender systems which are open-sourced, academic, media-centered, etc. It all depends on the niche you’re looking for!

Recommender systems work through collaborative filtering and content-based filtering. Collaborative filtering suggests items based on a client or visitor’s past used items and takes into consideration other users who chose similar items. This kind of filtering determines items that a user might be interested in. Content-based filtering, on the other hand, gives suggestions based on items with similar characteristics of a specific item so that the system can suggest items with similar properties.

The benefit of using SaaS Recommender Systems resides in your being able to pay for value with a low overhead instead of having a large upfront investment. SaaS Recommenders generally have a clear path to use and they provide with development and improvement as you use them. Below, you can find a list of Recommender Systems:

  1. Suggest Grid, which is the descendant of Rcmmdr, personalizes API for developers and recommends items based on the user’s previous items. The system uses collaborative filtering and allows visitors to see recommendations that they otherwise wouldn’t. Overall, it’s a generic system that is still highly suggested.
  2. Mortar Recommendation Engine is one that allows the programmer to create his or her own system through their PaaS Mortar and MongoDB’s. This system is used by MTV, Associated Press, etc. It’s made to be flexible, open, and portable.
  3. Peerius is focused on e-commerce focus for live and email recommendation. Like other systems, it works to personalize API and works with more the two hundred and fifty retailers. Individuals are exposed to product suggestions, messages, etc. and Peerius has been proven to increase sales.

There is also a nice list of such engines available to look at.

Conclusion

APIs are essential in web development; they’re an interface that specifies routines and commands that allow programmers to create programs. Above, you were introduced to APIs, different kinds of APIs and SaaS Recommenders.

Artificial Phenomenology: An approach in modern #AI

Artificial intelligence celebrates its 50th year this year and it is only advancing at a more rapid pace than ever before. From its very first task, which was to represent reasoning by a rule-based system, it has evolved into the professional field, the corporate environment, and even in the homes of many people. In the past it could never be compared to the reasoning of a human being, but even that has been improved during the course of the past half century. Descartes’ logical belief that man is not machine may be a rewritten as the machine is now man.

Some of the important artificial intelligence advancements have shown that intelligence can be created out of nothing. A machine is becoming more and more likely to think like a human being. The term artificial consciousness was given to this phenomenon, but many people do not realise what this means and how it could affect their lives. It refers to a consciousness that literally has to be created for its body to function properly. This concept has undergone serious scrutiny from the fields of philosophy. Some of the popular questions that are asked are things like would this intelligence be able to think on different mental levels? Would it be subject to higher thinking and reasoning? Would it be able to remember what it has learned?

These questions are still undergoing heated debate by experts in the field, but this does not stop the artificial intelligence field to blossom in its own right. Researchers have noted that artificial intelligence might even change the way we live in 15 years’ time. It is said that in 2030 our urban lifestyles will be unrecognisable. One of the things that was most talked about was self-driving cars, which is already happening in major car brands like Hyundai and Toyota. Another popular one was the fact that robots would be working as service people inside of houses and taking care of tasks such as cleaning. A more important aspect that was raised was education. There are already things like interactive tutoring systems that help students study, but this might evolve so that it requires no input from humans at all. Could artificial intelligence be the solution to the concerning education rates seen in third world countries?

Some of the other areas that had been covered were the evolution of entertainment and how we would be able to access it anywhere, better public and safety measures that could easily be implemented, rapid rates of change in the workplace, and low-resource communities that would be uplifted with new technologies. The problem with these ideas is that they are still pretty far away in the future while we have already created artificial intelligence projects in our current lifetime. Here is a look at what has already been achieved in the field of artificial intelligence by experts in the field.

Virtual personal assistants

Obviously this is not a hologram that walks around in your office, bringing you tea and typing out your every command. It is much smaller. Virtual personal assistants can be found in almost every smart phone. Some of the popular names are Siri and Cortana who can both help you find useful information if you need it. All you do is speak into the phone with a command and the virtual assistant will send the information to the relevant apps. If you want to do a Google search, you will receive your information within seconds. Looking for a route? Simply speak and see the route open up on your Maps app.

Video games

This is probably the first place where artificial intelligence took is position in the residential lives of people. The artificial intelligence in video games has become to evolve that characters in the video game can analyse your behaviour, respond to stimuli and react in unpredictable ways. Even though it is a very simple form of artificial intelligence, it is one that has been useful nonetheless. Games like Far Cry put you in a position where the character has to use certain tactics in order to survive. In other games, NPCs are able to remember things or story lines that you followed along your journey.

Smart cars

We have said that self-driving cars are not so far from the future as we think it is. Smart cars are on the rise and some have already been placed on the highways. Some companies are experimenting in traffic analysis along with auto pilot features. This would allow the car to make decisions for you, whilst you perhaps sit back, relax and enjoy the Sunday paper. Things like cruise control in a car are already one step towards creating cars that can drive on their own.

Purchase prediction

Artificial intelligence has already been used by corporate companies as part of their marketing strategies. This is why companies such as Amazon or Target get it right to analyse your purchases and suggest similar products to complement it. The sending of coupons, advertisements, and newsletters saying that you haven’t been spending at their stores in a while are all part of intelligent marketing schemes – and these tools can all be found online in the form of SEO. However, this has raised concerns as people feel that their privacy might be threatened during the rise of artificial intelligences.

Fraud detection

One of the most useful artificial intelligences is the concept of fraud detection which has already been initiated by banks all over the world. Many people receive letters from their banks asking if they have made a certain purchase, especially if it is a large amount. Artificial intelligence is often applied to this type of technology to ensure that you are safe. This has helped banks to tackle fraudsters who scam people with their credit cards.

On Smart Cities, Artificial Intelligence and other brainy matters

Sonny: 2880 steps, Detective.
Detective Del Spooner: Do me a favor, keep that kind o’ shit to yourself
I, Robot (2004)

It looks that Artificial Intelligence was one of the major issues to talk about and research in 2015 (and probably onwards). As a Christmas present to start off the year with something to feed our still organic brains, here we are the Future of Life Institute showing up with this open letter warning of the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. The text is backed up by as important names in this field as Stephen Hawking, Jaan Tallinn(co-founder of Skype) and Elon Musk (Space x, Paypal…) among many others.

AI will be a hot discussion topic for 2016 as it is already been recently. But this description of human creations categorized as intelligent/smart/clever is also well known to us, urban planners of any kind. We have these “intelligent” buildings and the not-so-brainy and invasive “smart” cities.

Madrid Skyline and People with Smart Phones CS5

Just to point out a couple of recent relevant mind-moving contributions, there we have Adam greenfield and Rem Koolhaas rubbing salt in the wound. Mr. Remment Koolhaas, taking the leading intellectual role as it is expected from him, drops self-enquiries and short jewels in his Benjamin-like style:

A new trinity is at work: traditional European values of liberty, equality, and fraternity have been replaced in the 21st century by comfort, security, and sustainability

Rem Koolhaas, talk given at the High Level Group meeting on Smart Cities, Brussels, 24 September 2014

And Adam Greenfield, loyal to his style of defending the human side of technology, yet not rejecting its proper use at all, questions if smaller scale adventures in sorting out city problems like the humble but effective Campo de Cebada in Madrid or Occupy Sandy in NYC couldn’t be valid as a complementary/alternative approach to civic/civilian smartness.

I ́m not talking against Smart Cities, I think that at least part of the concept, accepting it ́s still inherently vague, is necessary to build a proper future. I have the great luck of experimenting everyday the commodities and good life of one of the most advanced and smart places in the world, which is the paradisiac tropical Singapore. Actually, the first driverless cars are already being tested at Jurong Lake District. This project has come to life as a result of the research of IDA (Infocomm Development Authority), NUS (National University of Singapore) and SMART (Singapore-MIT alliance for Research and Technology), an important step in the exciting field of Smart/Intelligent mobility.

Singapore Driverless Cars project

But yes, there is an ongoing discussion about the good and the downsides of the Smart Cities. A struggle between control/efficiency and humanity/freedom, the eternal fight between Chance and Necessity. And here we come back to our friend the Robot, to Artificial Intelligence.

As part of these contributions coming out of the Future of Life Institute, there is this document: Research priorities for robust and beneficial Artificial Intelligence in which, jut to extract a relevant paragraph says:

4. Privacy: How should the ability of AI systems to interpret the data obtained from surveillance cameras, phone lines, emails, etc., interact with the right to privacy? How will privacy risks interact with cyberwarfare? Our ability to take full advantage of the synergy between AI and big data will depend in part on our ability to manage and preserve privacy [47, 1]

Yes, repeat with me: “…will depend in part on our ability to manage…”. Machines are already, today, way faster than us in processing data. Match lost. But we have something they don ́t have and we don ́t know if they would ever achieve, which is transversal thinking, emotions… Emotional Intelligence. Maybe, just maybe, in the future they will be able to apply so many organic style sensors and random parameters as us, but they still have a long way to go to win that match.

So… why surrender so soon? why talk about technology, about Information Technology if you want me more precise, as if it was more than a tool, a hand tool. We need it, but let ́s apply it from a human point of view, let ́s recover Emotional Intelligence as our team leader. And now, it ́s time to put in the equation, the currently so demanded “Innovation”.

The world of innovation, or what today is understood formally as innovation, is dominated by code writers, a field of work that can be creative sometimes but, due to its own nature, operates in a linear, algorithmical way. When I was invited in 2010 to a creative industries’ forum in Amsterdam and I realized that it was absolutely dominated by code people but also they looked at the other with a sort of feeling of superiority, I felt amazed, I didn’t expect that.

Boston Dynamics' Robotic Dog

This is understandable, currently these are the guys ruling the most profitable businesses in the world but I think that you have to be aware of your gifts and lacks. It ́s true that I always quote this case, but for me it was quite enlightening: working on an interactive urban space solution with both designers/architects and IT people, with the client already kneeling with admiration for the App developer, this guy happened to state pretty self-assured: “the important thing is to develop the code, anyone can design, that ́s not important” (!). Too long to explain him what design is about, not about colors and shapes as he probably could think, but… sterile discussion in such a dominant situation from his side. This is a problem. It would be a problem too if the balance would be broken by the other side.

Emotional intelligence has to be our weapon and our main strategy. Better than Intelligent/Smart cities, let ́s create Emotionally Intelligent cities. In the short term, efficiency is ok, in the long one, people (us, the only human beings in the galaxy so far) need fun, uncertainty, emotion, anonymity… Let ́s use technologies, let ́s take advantage of artificial intelligence, absolutely. But let ́s not forget we are working for humans, for ourselves, let ́s not betray our own team. This will make the difference in the future. Everyone will have the technology, but the success will depend on how well each of us, cities, governments, countries, companies… dealt with it and how human and livable we made it.

An article by Juan Sadaba – director of nerei emotional intelligent