Artificial Intelligence, Companies, Education, News

Alibaba’s AI wins human in Reading Comprehension

The battle between man and the machine went pretty devastating for the “homo sapiens”. Chinese multinational e-commerce, retail, internet and technology conglomerate Alibaba, has developed an artificial intelligence model that actually beat humans in a Stanford University reading and comprehension test. Based on more than 500 Wikipedia articles, Stanford’s set of questions are designed in the way they are teasing out whether machine-learning models can process large amounts of information before supplying precise answers to queries. Alibaba’s Institute of Data Science and Technologies pronounced that its deep neural network model scored 82.44 in the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD) on Jan. 11, beating the human

Read More...

Education, News, VR World

VR blindness simulator accurately represents vision loss

Let’s face it: chances are if you’re reading this that you aren’t blind. If you are blind, you may be reading this via a screen reader or another application. In 2015, 2.3% of American adults were reported to have a visual disability. While this ranges from outright blindness to other issues, this translates to a not-insignificant amount of the population suffering from visual impairment. If you have perfectly-good eyesight and have ever wanted to place yourself in their shoes, now you can. Davis Vision has put out a Vision Loss Simulator which can be operated on a desktop web browser, a mobile 360-degree experience or

Read More...

Education, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

VR used to educate on Australian bushfires

In Australia, authorities have released a VR experience designed to educate citizens about the dangers of bushfires. “Bushfires”, for the non-Aussies out there, are essentially just wildfires. However, most of Australia is covered by forest (the bush), and this, combined with high temperatures, means that bushfires are a very present safety concern for Australians. However, some people may not be experienced with bushfires or know what to do when they happen. To combat this, authorities released a Bushfire Virtual Reality Experience on Facebook to provide a simulated version of a bushfire and to walk viewers through three different scenarios. While you could probably accomplish the

Read More...

Education, Google, News, VR World

Google bringing 1 million VR expeditions to Middle Eastern students

It looks like nothing is immune to the spread of virtual reality. Education certainly isn’t, and as part of Google’s push for VR in education, the company is bringing its “VR Expeditions” to students in the Middle East. VR Expeditions allow virtual tours of locations all around the world, which provides a more interactive learning experience for students. To make this possible, Google is partnering with Munfarid, a VR/AR-centric Middle Eastern company. The partnership between the two has produced the VRXOne kit, which includes headsets for students and a tablet for instructors to control the experience. With the help of Google Expeditions, Munfarid plans to

Read More...

Education, News, VR World

Guangzhou Zoo Introducing Virtual Reality For New Year’s

The Guangzhou Zoo is the largest of its kind in South China, and is a prominent attraction for locals and tourists alike. There’s plenty to be seen at the Guangzhou Zoo, but among its most popular attractions are its pandas. Just like museums are taking advantage of emerging technologies, the Guangzhou Zoo is looking to embrace Virtual Reality in the coming days. Guangzhou Zoo has been open for 60 years now, but even at their age it’s never too late to introduce new technology. On January 1st, 2018, Guangzhou Zoo will be introducing Virtual Reality to its zoo. Specifically, this will manifest in the form of

Read More...

Artificial Intelligence, Business, Companies, Education, News, startups

AI Startup Fano Labs Is Getting Funds From Horizons Ventures

Horizons Ventures, the private Hong Kong based investment arm of Li Ka-shing, the wealthiest man in Hong Kong, has made an “early-stage investment after it backed AI startup” Fano Labs. Horizons is a leading investor in some of the world’s most innovative companies and disruptive technologies, including Facebook, Spotify, Impossible Foods, Improbable, Zoom, Blockstream, Soul Machines and ChromaDex. Now, they decided to put undisclosed money into Fano Labs, which recently graduated AI accelerator program Zeroth. This deal also marks the firm’s first investment in a Hong Kong-based company. “We are a team of scientists and engineers. Our world-class technical expertise in speech and NLP technologies would empower

Read More...

Education, Mobile, News, Smartphones, Space and Science, Tablets, Virtual Reality (VR)

University of Toronto grad student first to use VR in biochemistry research lecture

A University of Toronto graduate student is seemingly the first to utilize virtual reality in helping to present research findings during a biochemistry research lecture. PhD student Aidin Balo and his PhD supervisor Professor Oliver Ernst delivered a lecture to 200 people in 2016 at a conference in Berlin, which had the audience use cardboard-based tools in conjunction with their smartphones to immerse themselves in a VR experience. That experience, which was assisted by Autodesk, helped the audience visualize, in real-time, changes to the eye’s pigment in response to light. The lecture and VR experience were later presented to a larger audience at ShanghaiTech University.

Read More...

Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, Education, Entertainment, News, Smartphones, Tablets

With Parker AR Bear kids learn through play

I guess many of us remember Tamagotchi or Furby. Those first tech-enhanced toys were already then thought of as a “parents nightmare”. They were blinking, beeping (often in the middle of the night), they needed batteries and sometimes they were a cause of a humongous amount of child tears (when mum accidentaly washed it). However, nowadays it’s easier to live (at least for parents). Parker: Your Augmented Reality Bear is a new iPad and iPhone-enhanced toy from Seedling. This charming bear is fully squeezable with no caveats: it doesn’t have any wires or batteries inside, and it won’t make a peep or start to glow

Read More...

Education, News, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR)

Aquinas Training releases new VR “microsimulation” platform

Connecticut-based continuous learning software company Aquinas Training has this week unveiled their new Microsimulation Engine. Recently demonstrated at the NYVR Expo, the software simulates the types of pressures individuals experience in high-stress business presentation environments, such as boardrooms or auditoriums. The new microsimulation platform builds upon the company’s existing learning reinforcement product. The latter is intended to address the tendency for individuals to forget much of what they have learned shortly after attending training seminars. A core feature of the new product is easy customization; the company indicates that this flexibility means they can substantially cut development time and cost for VR simulations. According to

Read More...

Artificial Intelligence, Business, Companies, Education, , News

Facebook: New AI could prevent suicides

Facebook says it has successfully tested a computer program that can help keep users from taking their own lives. The social media network now says it will expand the use of the pattern recognition software to other countries. In a Facebook post this week, Mark Zuckerberg announced the company is deploying artificial intelligence software that will detect possible suicidal intent among users, which it says it built in consultation with suicide prevention groups. The software will use pattern recognition to identify potentially at-risk individuals, and then alert human Facebook staffers, who will assess the situation and contact emergency responders if needed. “In the last month alone, these A.I. tools have helped us

Read More...

Education, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

PIXO VR demos new emergency responder training platform

PIXO VR, a virtual reality safety training company, has unveiled their new training platform for emergency response personnel. The platform was demonstrated during the Emerging Technologies Symposium for Emergency Solutions at Concordia University Portland, Oregon, earlier this month. At the conference, teams of first responders worked to contain a virtual oil truck fire within a PIXO VR-created virtual environment. According to the company, virtual reality simulations of this type has many advantages over conventional field training techniques, in terms of safety, repeatability and cost. These constraints on standard training techniques can leave first responders ill-prepared to best handle emergency situations. “Training in virtual reality allows

Read More...

Blockchain, Business, Cryptocurrency, Education, Entertainment, News, startups, Virtual Reality (VR)

Learn about the Bitcoin Blockchain in 3D VR

In the world of virtual reality, everything (well, almost everything) can be perceived and understood better. Same goes with cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin can definitely be hard to imagine, as it’s not physical asset. Even if you are familiar with the way blockchain works, it is still hard to put it in the real picture. Usual graphs and charts make the life even more miserable, so somebody actually discovered more evocative way of depicting bitcoin. We are presenting you – Blockchain 3D Explorer. Kevin Small has created a blockchain explorer that enables anyone to view the bitcoin blockchain in 3D or VR. The British developer is planning

Read More...

Artificial Intelligence, Business, Education, News, Space and Science

Vocktail is now turning your water into wine

Researchers at the National University of Singapore have designed an intelligent cocktail glass which is capable of tricking your senses into thinking that the water you’re drinking is actually whatever you want to drink in the moment. Whether it is tea, cola, wine or beer – this invention by Nimesha Ranasinghe could make it happen. The Vocktail, short for virtual cocktail, sits in a 3D-printed structure, which holds three scent cartridges and three micro airpumps. These release “smell molecules” that should change the drinker’s perception of the flavour of the beverage. For example, a lemon scent will be pumped out for a lemonade drink. On the rim of

Read More...

Companies, Education, Entertainment, Google, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Discovery and Google collaborate on immersive VR experiences

This past Friday, Discovery Communications and Google launched the first chapter of Discovery TRVLR, a collaboration that they herald as a “groundbreaking new immersive series,” which aims to provide a 360-degree cross-cultural experience. This new content is viewable by using the Discovery VR app. The app supports a range of mobile and VR platforms, including the new Google Daydream View headset and Google Cardboard. To date, the app has been downloaded over four million times. Each new chapter of Discovery TRVLR will explore a different continent, and immerse viewers in the rituals, traditions, quests, and environments of those regions. A total of 38 episodes will

Read More...

Artificial Intelligence, Education, News, Technology Security

Stephen Hawking Concerned about Robots Replacing Humanity

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking expressed his concerns that one day robots will actually replace humanity completely. During a new interview, the physicist said that he thinks that artificial intelligence will eventually end up becoming so advanced that it’s able to outperform humans and become a new form of life. “I fear that AI may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that improves and replicates itself. This will be a new form of life that outperforms humans,” he said. A recent report has found that four in 10 jobs are at risk of being replaced by robots. It said 38 per

Read More...

Back to School, Biotech, Companies, Education, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Technical and industrial VR applications improve safety

Although many tend to focus on gaming and entertainment when thinking about VR technologies, virtual reality is proving transformative in technical and industrial applications, too. Three recent announcements illustrate how VR can directly improve safety: Osso VR In October, the US Department of Education announced the winner of their EdSim Challenge, which saw 249 immersive simulation submissions vie for a grand prize of $430,000 in cash and prizes from IBM and Microsoft. Osso VR won this year’s competition with a surgical training system that allows new surgical techniques to be practiced on virtual patients. Michael E. Wooten, a deputy assistant secretary at the US Department

Read More...

Audio/Video, Biotech, CPU, Education, Graphics, Hardware, News

Promising display technique may help avoid VR sickness

European researchers today announced a display technique that may help many virtual reality users avoid nausea, one of the most common symptoms of “virtual reality sickness.” Virtual reality sickness, which often causes symptoms similar to motion sickness, can result from latency between eye movement and displayed changes in the VR environment. Often, there is a trade-off when using higher resolution images in VR: although they improve realism, they also increase computational processing demands, which can increase nausea-inducing latency. These latest findings by researchers at Brunel University London, and the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences and Saarland University in Germany, builds upon a technique called “foveated

Read More...

Biotech, Education, News, VR World

Technique using VR reduces phantom pain in paraplegics

New findings announced today by Swiss neuroscientists working at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) appear to be a breakthrough in treating phantom body pain in those suffering from paraplegia. This research is especially significant because such pain is completely resistant to conventional drug therapy. In their study, now published in the journal Neurology, researchers created a bodily illusion for their subjects, using a VR setup including a pair of dummy legs, a camera, and virtual reality goggles. “We tapped the back of the subject near the shoulders and the subject experienced the illusion that the tapping originated from the paralyzed legs,” explained Polona Požeg,

Read More...

Business, Companies, Education, News, Virtual Reality (VR), Wearables

First Oscar for VR Installantion Goes to Alejandro G. Inarritu

The Board Of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has voted a special honorary Oscar (statuette) to director Alejandro G. Inarritu’s extraordinary virtual reality installation Carne y Arena. It’s the first Academy Award presented to a work in the medium of virtual reality, one of less than two dozen special Oscars to ever be awarded, and the first to be given out since Toy Story, in 1995. Carne y Arena combines physical spaces — a sand-covered floor, a spare and cold waiting room, a multi-screen video installation — with the Oculus Rift. Imagery both representational and abstract guide the viewer through an experience designed after

Read More...

Companies, Education, News, Space and Science, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Virtual Reality Is Making Waves In Healthcare

As VR’s influence continues to be felt across all industries, its rise to prominence in healthcare could be seen by many as a foregone conclusion. After all, medical and scientific fields have long been fans of the latest, greatest computing technologies, especially for working with advanced sets of data. Virtual Reality has two particular applications in healthcare: treatment and training. In the context of treatment, Virtual Reality is being used to relieve pain, to assist in treatments for Parkinson’s, and even to help people work through anxiety and PTSD. Virtual Reality is particularly effective for psychologists who want to have an easier time guiding their

Read More...