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Google Assistant to make phone calls for owners

Google Assistant to make phone calls for owners

Technology
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceGoogle has unveiled artificial intelligence software that books appointments over the phone on behalf of users by conducting voice-based conversations on their behalf.Chief executive Sundar Pichai said that Google Duplex would launch as an "experiment" over the coming weeks.The facility was unveiled at the firm's annual IO developers conference.Experts have said that if it works it could give the firm a major advantage over rival virtual assistants.Pre-recorded demonstrations played back to the audience featured the software first booking a haircut and then making a restaurant reservation by speaking to two human employees.One of the cases involved Google Assistant coping with a worker who seemed confused by straightforward questions. The compute...
Tracking Parkinson's symptoms with phone app could improve treatment

Tracking Parkinson's symptoms with phone app could improve treatment

Health
March 26 (UPI) -- Smartphone software and technology can accurately track the severity of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, leading to better drugs and treatment, according to a study.Because Parkinson's symptoms fluctuate widely on a daily basis, it makes it difficult to track the progression of the disease and adjust treatment, researchers said.Data collected by the app, called HopkinsPD on Android and mPower on iPhone, allowed physicians to get an ongoing look at the patient's condition instead of their visits once every several months."This study demonstrates that we can create both an objective measure of the progression of Parkinson's and one that provides a richer picture of the daily lived experience of the disease," co-author Dr. Ray Dorsey, a neurologist at the University of R...
Rent-a-church spire plan to boost mobile phone coverage

Rent-a-church spire plan to boost mobile phone coverage

Technology
Church spires could be used to boost mobile and broadband coverage in rural areas under an agreement between the UK government and the Church of England.The government has committed to achieving good-quality mobile connectivity across the UK by 2022.While the agreement encourages churches to sign up, they will still have to negotiate the usual planning process.Digital analysts welcomed the development but said "the devil would be in the detail"."Getting access to suitable sites, particularly in rural areas, has been a real challenge for mobile operators, so any initiative aimed at improving this will be welcomed by the industry," said Matthew Howett, principal analyst at research firm Assembly.Local agreements"What's not clear, though, is what the commercial relationship looks like. There ...
Phone embeds fingerprint sensor within screen

Phone embeds fingerprint sensor within screen

Technology
Smartphones may soon have fingerprint sensors embedded within screens, thanks to new technological advancements.A prototype of the first ever phone with a scanner within the display was revealed at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.Rather than being developed by Apple or Samsung, the world-first was manufactured by Chinese technology company Vivo, which is little known in Western markets.As reviewed by technology publication 9to5Google, the in-display sensor is a lot slower than those previously seen in smartphones, but is just as accurate."In our hands-on demo of the product, the functionality was pretty much flawless," said 9to5Google."Clearly, this technology is still in its early days, but it's an impressive start nonetheless."Hopefully, we'll see this tech debut on mo...
What North Korea said to South Korea when they spoke on the phone

What North Korea said to South Korea when they spoke on the phone

World
The military hotline established between the two Koreas has served as a political tool to express either peace or animosity. It’s the only communication method, at least officially, that exists between the two countries still technically at war. When relations go sour, one side, usually the North, pre-announces that it will "disconnect the hotline" -- meaning it won’t pick up the phone. When relations are rosy, the North and South have made it routine to call each other twice a day, in the morning and afternoon. Now, in what seems like a love-chase game, South Korea has found itself eagerly waiting for a call from its neighbor to the North. When the leaders of both countries expressed a willingness to send and welcome, respectively, a North Korean delegation to next month's Winter Olym