Facebook bots: The Greatest Thing Since Apple’s App Store or an Annoying Disaster Waiting to Happen?

Posted on May 4th, 2016 by REFUGE Categories Artificial Intelligence

By Vlad Vidaeff
For the generation that grew up with AOL Instant Messenger, you are likely already familiar with bots.  In an era where boredom as a child was a common occurrence (something that has disappeared these days with advancements in technology and limitless entertainment options), “IM’ing” your friends was a popular activity for children and teens.  In addition to your real friends, there were several bots you could chat with such as SmarterChild.  While they were not especially useful in any way, bots were a way to pass the time.  Most of us would make fun of bots by insulting them or making ridiculous statements to see how they would react.  Fast forward to 2016.  Bots are being lauded as the next big thing.  In fact, at Facebook’s recent F8 developer conference, the social media giant announced bots for Messenger.  This blog will explore Facebook’s attempt to become the leader in bots, the benefits for brands, and whether consumers will likely adopt the service. (more…)

Toyota Invests $1 Billion in Artificial Intelligence

Posted on November 11th, 2015 by REFUGE Categories Artificial Intelligence

By Vlad Vidaeff
As humans, we have always had a fascination with robots and the technological wonders that the future will provide.  The popular children’s television show The Jetsons had flying cars.  An artificially intelligent robot, Data, was a popular character on Star TrekBattlestar Galactica took a look at what happens when advanced robots revolt.  The Terminator franchise covers a similar theme.  Last week, on November 6, 2015, Toyota announced that it’s investing $1 billion in artificial intelligence research.  Toyota is creating a new company, Toyota Research Institute, to focus on the initiative with headquarters at Stanford and a second laboratory at MIT.  The company will begin operations in January 2016, just a few short months away. (more…)