CanCon Podcast Ep. 63: Can voice recognition cross AI’s Uncanny Valley?

Google Home and Amazon Echo

Will the Internet of Things ruin everything? That’s the question the CanCon podcast crew is asking this week. For over a decade now, botnets have existed in the internet-enabled realm. Bruce Schneier of the MIT Technology Review has brought to our attention the reality that as the world is flooded with cheaply manufactured, internet-enabled gadgets, the possibilities for hacking become endless. Talking through the extreme examples, which include the takeover of autonomous cars, the notion has the CanCon podcast team feeling a bit uneasy.

As our world is consumed by internet-enabled devices, there remains a lot of ground to cover in regards to the development of underlying software technology. Voice recognition and natural language processing have long been two of the holy grails of AI research. However, Benedict Evans would argue that although our devices are now (mostly) capable of receiving and correctly parsing our requests, their ability to actually act upon or execute those requests is still severely lacking. Evans refers to this problem as the “uncanny valley of AI.” The CanCon crew is wondering what can cross it.

Tune in as CanCon’s podcast crew – Erin Bury, Managing Director of 88 Creative, Jeff Goldenberg, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Abacus, Rob Kenedi, TWG Entrepreneur in Residence, and Douglas Soltys, BetaKit Editor in Chief – asks if the value exchange for IoT is worth it.

Have some hot takes on the topics that were covered? Maybe you want to suggest something for a future podcast! Perhaps you have a burning question about something you read in tech news that we didn’t cover. Email us, post a comment below with the answer or question, or better yet, rate CanCon 5-stars on iTunes and post your thoughts there.

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CanCon Podcast Episode 63 (04/16/17)

The Internet of Things ruins everything
The Internet of Things will host devastating, unstoppable botnets
Rash of in-the-wild attacks permanently destroys poorly secured IoT devices
Securing Driverless Cars From Hackers Is Hard. Ask the Ex-Uber Guy Who Protects Them

AI’s Uncanny Valley
Voice and the uncanny valley of AI
Kik’s Ted Livingston says payments are the missing piece to making bots truly successful

The Canadian IPO drought is over?
Real Matters files to go public on the Toronto Stock Exchange

Canadian Content music clip (under fair dealing): “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult


Robyn Edgar

Robyn Edgar has a background in computer science, Arctic biology and bioinformatics, but she chose to leave the research world to bring science and tech to the public in the form of broadcast media. She's now BetaKit's resident audio producer. In her spare time, she volunteers at a campus radio station and practices her "old timey" radio voice impressions.

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