Recent quotes:

'Robopets' can benefit health and wellbeing of older care home residents -- ScienceDaily

Lead author Dr Rebecca Abbott, from the University of Exeter Medical School, said: "Although not every care home resident may choose to interact with robopets, for those who do, they appear to offer many benefits. Some of these are around stimulating conversations or triggering memories of their own pets or past experiences, and there is also the comfort of touching or interacting with the robopet itself. The joy of having something to care for was a strong finding across many of the studies." Robopets are small animal-like robots which have the appearance and many of the behavioural characteristics of companion animals or pets. Five different robopets were used in the studies -- Necoro and Justocat (cats), Aibo (a dog), Cuddler (a bear) and Paro (a baby seal). Some of the studies were on older people's experiences of interacting with the robopets, while others sought to measure impact on factors such as agitation, loneliness and social interaction.

When a bot writes a stock report

When analyzing a stock, the first fundamental thing to take into account is the balance sheet. How healthy the balance sheet of a company is will determine if the company will be able to carry out all its financial and non-financial obligations and also keep the faith of its investors. For EB, the company has in raw cash 0 on their books with 0 currently as liabilities. How the trend is over time is what investors should be concerned about. The company has a healthy balance sheet as their debt profile has been on a decline. In terms of their assets, the company currently has 0 total, with 0 as their total liabilities. This figure have given the company a good sense of viability under numerous contexts.

Adding human touch to unchatty chatbots may lead to bigger letdown -- ScienceDaily

"People are pleasantly surprised when a chatbot with low anthropomorphism -- fewer human cues -- has higher interactivity," said Sundar. "But when there are high anthropomorphic visual cues, it may set up your expectations for high interactivity -- and when the chatbot doesn't deliver that -- it may leave you disappointed."

The robots that dementia caregivers want: Robots for joy, robots for sorrow -- ScienceDaily

Researchers found that caregivers wanted the robots to fulfill two major roles: support positive moments shared by caregivers and their loved ones; and lessen caregivers' emotional stress by taking on difficult tasks, such as answering repeated questions and restricting unhealthy food. "Caregivers conceived of robots not only managing difficult aspects of caregiving -- but also for supporting joyful and fun activities," said Laurel Riek, a professor of computer science at UC San Diego, and the paper's senior author. Spouses or adult children provide 75 percent of the care for people with dementia. That is equivalent to 15 million people in the United States alone, providing 18 billion hours of unpaid care per year with little support and few resources. Caregivers are also likely to overlook their own health and wellbeing, which can put both parties at risk.

This hyperlocal news site in San Francisco is reinventing itself with an automated local news wire » Nieman Journalism Lab

“There are so many stories news organizations could potentially do, that nobody can afford to, because it’s expensive and time-consuming to have that many people on the ground,” Eldon sad. “We’re starting with the simple stuff right now: New business openings, rental price trends — simple story types that we can produce using data sets that cover a lot of geographical places and then distribute to a lot of people. Over time, we’ll want to get more sophisticated with how we analyze the data we have.”

May A.I. Help You? - The New York Times

In a study with 70 young adults, Darcy found that after two weeks of interacting with the bot, the test subjects had lower incidences of depression and anxiety. […]Last spring, when Darcy put Woebot online, free to all, its use immediately exploded; in the first week, more than 50,000 people talked to it. (“Do you realize,” Ng told Darcy, “that Woebot spoke to more people today than a human therapist could in a lifetime?”) Nowadays, Woebot exchanges between one and two million messages a week with users, ranging from divorcées to the bereaved to young men, a population that rarely seeks treatment. Many tell Darcy that it’s easier to talk to a bot than a human; they don’t feel judged.

Medium – Read, write and share stories that matter

It’s hard not to be moved by the exchange between Abu Jani (which means “dear father” in Urdu) and Sonu (one of Muhammad’s nicknames). The dadbot does what dads do best: remind their kids to take care of themselves. Indeed, Muhammad has been so taken aback at times that he’s found himself needing to close his computer and go out for a walk.

Building a better 'bot': Artificial intelligence helps human groups -- ScienceDaily

In a series of experiments using teams of human players and robotic AI players, the inclusion of "bots" boosted the performance of human groups and the individual players, researchers found. The study appears in the May 18 edition of the journal Nature. "Much of the current conversation about artificial intelligence has to do with whether AI is a substitute for human beings. We believe the conversation should be about AI as a complement to human beings," said Nicholas Christakis, co-director of the Yale Institute for Network Science (YINS) and senior author of the study. Christakis is a professor of sociology, ecology & evolutionary biology, biomedical engineering, and medicine at Yale. The study adds to a growing body of Yale research into the complex dynamics of human social networks and how those networks influence everything from economic inequality to group violence. In this case, Christakis and first author Hirokazu Shirado conducted an experiment involving an online game that required groups of people to coordinate their actions for a collective goal. The human players also interacted with anonymous bots that were programmed with three levels of behavioral randomness -- meaning the AI bots sometimes deliberately made mistakes. In addition, sometimes the bots were placed in different parts of the social network. More than 4,000 people participated in the experiment, which used a Yale-developed software called breadboard. "We mixed people and machines into one system, interacting on a level playing field," Shirado explained. "We wanted to ask, 'Can you program the bots in simple ways?' and does that help human performance?" The answer to both questions is yes, the researchers said. Not only did the inclusion of bots aid the overall performance of human players, it proved particularly beneficial when tasks became more difficult, the study found. The bots accelerated the median time for groups to solve problems by 55.6%. Furthermore, the researchers said, the experiment showed a cascade effect of improved performance by humans in the study. People whose performance improved when working with the bots subsequently influenced other human players to raise their game.
"The good thing about laws is if they don't exist and you want one - or if they exist and you don't like them - you can change them," Levandowski told students at the University of California, Berkeley in December. "And so in Nevada, we did our first bill."
Socialbots are being circulated around the Web for many purposes. To irritate his adversaries, a software developer from Australia designed a bot that automatically responds to tweets from climate change deniers, sending them counterarguments and links to studies debunking their claims. A security engineer in California programed a bot to scoop up reservations for State Bird Provisions, a trendy restaurant in San Francisco. Mercenary armies of bots can be bought on the Web for as little as $250. For some, the goal is increasing popularity. Last month, computer scientists from the Federal University of Ouro Preto in Brazil revealed that Carina Santos, a much-followed journalist on Twitter, was actually not a real person but a bot that they had created. Based on the circulation of her tweets, two commonly used ranking sites, Twitalyzer and Klout, ranked Ms. Santos as having more online “influence” than Oprah Winfrey.