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AMAZON ECHO: We Are All Being Groomed To Interact With Robot ‘Virtual Assistants’ Using AI

Amazon’s Echo has made tangible the promise of an artificially intelligent personal virtual assistant in every home.

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Amazon’s Echo has made tangible the promise of an artificially intelligent personal virtual assistant in every home.

“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Revelation 13:15 (KJV)

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is amazing to me that, right here and now, we are living during the time of the greatest explosion of knowledge and technological advancement in human history. Revelation tells us that, in the time of Jacob’s trouble, the False Prophet makes an image of the Beast and it comes alive. So right now what we are seeing is the entire civilized world being groomed to talk with ‘virtual assistants’ like Alexa from Amazon, Cortana from Microsoft, Siri from Apple, and the list goes on and on. The future is happening now, exactly like King James Bible said it would be. 

Those who own the voice-activated gadget, known colloquially as Alexa, after its female interlocutor, are prone to proselytizing “her” charms, applauding Alexa’s ability to call an Uber, order pizza or check a 10th-grader’s math homework. The company says more than 5,000 people a day profess their love for Alexa.

On the other hand, Alexa devotees also know that unless you speak to her very  clearly . . . and . . . slowly, she’s likely to say: Sorry, I don’t have the answer to that question. “I love her. I hate her, I love her,” one customer wrote on Amazon’s website, while still awarding Alexa five stars.  “You will very quickly learn how to talk to her in a way that she will understand and it’s not unlike speaking to a small frustrating toddler.”

Voice recognition has come a long way in the past few years. But it’s still not good enough to popularize the technology for everyday use and usher in a new era of human-machine interaction, allowing us to talk with all our gadgets—cars, washing machines, televisions. Despite advances in speech recognition, most people continue to swipe, tap and click. And probably will for the foreseeable future.

How to use the Amazon Echo:

What’s holding back progress? Partly the artificial intelligence that powers the technology has room to improve. There’s also a serious deficit of data—specifically audio of human voices, speaking in multiple languages, accents and dialects in often noisy circumstances that can defeat the code.

So Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and China’s Baidu have embarked on a world-wide hunt for terabytes of human speech. Microsoft has set up mock apartments in cities around the globe to record volunteers speaking in a home setting. Every hour, Amazon uploads Alexa queries to a vast digital warehouse. Baidu is busily collecting every dialect in China. Then they take all that data and use it to teach their computers how to parse, understand and respond to commands and queries.

Is Siri still king?: A virtual assistant showdown

The challenge is finding a way to capture natural, real-world conversations. Even 95 percent accuracy isn’t enough, says Adam Coates, who runs Baidu’s artificial intelligence lab in Sunnyvale, California. “Our goal is to push the error rate down to 1 percent,” he says.  “That’s where you can really trust the device to understand what you’re saying, and that will be transformative.”

Not so long ago, voice recognition was comically rudimentary. An early version of Microsoft’s technology running in Windows transcribed “mom” as “aunt” during a 2006 demo before an auditorium of analysts and investors. When Apple debuted Siri five years back, the personal assistant’s gaffes were widely mocked because it, too, routinely spat out incorrect results or didn’t hear the question correctly. When asked if Gillian Anderson is British, Siri provided a list of English restaurants. Now Microsoft says its speech engine makes the same number or fewer errors than professional transcribers, Siri is winning grudging respect, and Alexa has given us a tantalizing glimpse of the future.

10 Ways Amazon’s Echo will Simplify Your Life:

Much of that progress owes a debt to the magic of neural networks, a form of artificial intelligence based loosely on the architecture of the human brain. Neural networks learn without being explicitly programmed but generally require an enormous breadth and diversity of data. The more a speech recognition engine consumes, the better it gets at understanding different voices and the closer it gets to the eventual goal of having a natural conversation in many languages and situations.

Hence the global scramble to capture a multitude of voices. “The more data we shove in our systems the better it performs,” says Andrew Ng, Baidu’s chief scientist. “This is why speech is such a capital-intensive exercise; not a lot of organizations have this much data.”

When the industry began working seriously on voice recognition in the 1990s, companies like Microsoft relied on publicly available data from research institutes such as the Linguistics Data Consortium, a storehouse of voice and text data founded in 1992 with backing from the U.S. government and located at the University of Pennsylvania. Then tech companies started collecting their own voice data, some of it garnered from volunteers who came in to read and be recorded. Now, with the popularity of speech-controlled software gaining ground, they harvest much of the data from their own products and services.

When you tell your phone to search for something, play a song or guide you to a destination, chances are a company is recording it. (Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon emphasize that they anonymize user data to protect customer privacy.) When you ask Alexa what the weather is or the latest football score, the gadget uses the queries to improve its understanding of natural language (although “she” isn’t listening to your conversations unless you say her name). “By design, Alexa gets smarter as you use her,” says Nikko Strom, senior principal scientist for the program. source

 

Artificial Intelligence

The ‘Dead Grandma’ Voice From Amazon’s Alexa Is Just The Beginning Of A Truly Creepy End Times Trend Of Deepfake Audio Of Your Deceased Loved Ones

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Whether or not you like the idea of ‘Dead Grandma’ Alexa, the demo highlights how quickly A.I. has impacted text-to-speech, and suggests that convincingly human fake voices could be a lot closer than we think.

Gone are the days where you could mention stuff from the book of Revelation, and absolutely no one outside of your Bible study group knew what you were talking about. Now when you talk about news and current events with strangers on the street, their response is invariably “dude, isn’t that just like what Revelation says?” So who wants to install an AI bot-powered digital assistant like Alexa in your home, and have it speak to your children in the voice of their beloved, but sadly, dead grandma? Count me out, man, like way out.

“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Revelation 13:15 (KJB)

Back in the mid-1990’s, me and a group of friends started our own Bible study, and it lasted for a little under 7 years, and we got a solid grounding in understanding prophecy. But as I recall, just about everything related to prophecy hadn’t yet arrived, there were harbingers for sure, but little else. Here in 2022, we are surrounded by prophetic fulfillment from cryptocurrency, biometric clothing, AR and VR in the Metaverse, to implantable digital identification and global government injections of gene editing technology. Stay the course, Christian, our flight leaves sooner than you think. Make sure you’ve ‘fulfilled your course’ before takeoff time.

Why Amazon’s ‘dead grandma’ Alexa is just the beginning for deepfake audio voice cloning

FROM FAST COMPANY: Earlier this summer, at the re:MARS conference—an Amazon-hosted event focusing on machine learning, automation, robotics, and space—Rohit Prasad, head scientist and vice president of Alexa A.I., aimed to wow the audience with a paranormal parlor trick: speaking with the dead. “While A.I. can’t eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last,” he said, before showing a short video that starts with an adorable boy asking Alexa, “Can Grandma finish reading me The Wizard of Oz?”

The woman’s voice that reads a few sentences from the book sounds grandmother-y enough. But without knowing Grandma, it was impossible to evaluate the likeness. And the whole thing struck many observers as more than a little creepy—Ars Technica called the demo “morbid.” But Prasad’s revelation of how the “trick” was performed was truly gasp-worthy: Amazon scientists were able to summon Grandma’s voice based on just a one-minute audio sample. And they can easily do the same with pretty much any voice, a prospect that you may find exciting, terrifying, or a combination of both.

The fear of “deepfake” voices capable of fooling humans or voice-recognition technology is not unfounded—in one 2020 case, thieves used an artificially generated voice to talk a Hong Kong bank manager into releasing $400,000 in funds before the ruse was discovered. At the same time, as voice interactions with technology become more common, brands are eager to be represented by unique voices. And consumers seem to want tech that sounds more human (although a Google voice assistant that imitated the “ums,” “mm-hmms” and other tics of human speech, though, was criticized for being too realistic).

That’s been driving a wave of innovation and investment in A.I.-powered text-to-speech (TTS) technology. A search on Google Scholar shows more than 20,000 research articles on text-to-speech synthesis published since 2021. Globally, the text-to-speech market is projected to reach $7 billion in 2028, up from about $2.3 billion in 2020, according to Emergen Research.

Today, the most widespread use of TTS is in digital assistants and chatbots. But emerging voice-identity applications in gaming, media, personal communication, are easy to imagine: custom voices for your virtual personas, text messages that read out in your voice, voiceovers by absent (or deceased) actors. The metaverse is also changing the way we interact with technology.

“There are going to be a lot more of these virtualized experiences, where the interaction is less and less a keyboard, and more about speech,” says Frank Chang, a founding partner at A.I.-focused venture fund Flying Fish in Seattle. “Everyone thinks of speech recognition as the hot thing, but ultimately if you’re talking to something, don’t you want it to just talk back to you? To the extent that that can be personalized—with your voice or the voice of somebody you want to hear—all the better.” Providing accessibility for people with vision challenges, limited motor function, and other cognitive issues is another factor driving development of voice-tech, notably for e-learning.

Whether or not you like the idea of “Grandma Alexa,” the demo highlights how quickly A.I. has impacted text-to-speech, and suggests that convincingly human fake voices could be a lot closer than we think. READ MORE

Amazon at the re:MARS conference has shows off an experimental Alexa feature that allows the AI assistant to mimic the voices of users’ dead relatives. Amazon has given no indication whether this feature will ever be made public.

Now The End Begins is your front line defense against the rising tide of darkness in the last Days before the Rapture of the Church

When you contribute to this fundraising effort, you are helping us to do what the Lord called us to do. The money you send in goes primarily to the overall daily operations of this site. When people ask for Bibles, we send them out at no charge. When people write in and say how much they would like gospel tracts but cannot afford them, we send them a box at no cost to them for either the tracts or the shipping, no matter where they are in the world. Even all the way to South Africa. We even restarted our weekly radio Bible study on Sunday nights again, thanks to your generous donations. All this is possible because YOU pray for us, YOU support us, and YOU give so we can continue growing.

But whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Time is short and we need your help right now. The Lord has given us an open door with a tremendous ‘course’ for us to fulfill that will create an excellent experience at the Judgement Seat of Christ. Please pray for our efforts, and if the Lord leads you to donate, be as generous as possible. The war is REAL, the battle HOT and the time is SHORTTO THE FIGHT!!!

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJB)

“Thank you very much!” – Geoffrey, editor-in-chief, NTEB

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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence Image Generator DALL-E 2 Was Asked What The Last Selfie Would Look Like, And It Looks A Whole Lot Like Revelation 9:6

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Horrifying images of what the ‘last’ selfies taken on Earth may look like have been depicted by DALL-E 2, an Artificial Intelligence image generator. It looks like Revelation.

The Artificial Intelligence image generator known as DALL-E-2 was asked to produce images of what the last, human selfie ever taken on earth would look like, and wouldn’t you know it, those last selfies look a whole lot like passages in the book of Revelation. In chapter 9, we see human zombies, under mind-numbing duress and agony, desperately looking to die while death flees from them, prolonging their agony. Those AI generated images pretty much show you an illustrated example of what that might look like.

And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” Revelation 9:6 (KJB)

You’ll never get past that dusty, old, antiquated King James Bible, not even with a 21st century AI image generator, so don’t even try. That Book is so far ahead of tomorrow’s headlines that, even when the end come, they’ll never catch up. The scripture of truth’s depiction of the true condition of lost mankind during the great Tribulation is ‘right on the money’ every time it opens it’s mouth. You should read it sometime, and then you too will know what comes next.

Artificial Intelligence program predicts what last selfie on Earth will look like, and it looks like Revelation

FROM THE NY POST: The haunting images, which look straight out of a Hollywood horror blockbuster, were posted to the “Robot Overloads” TikTok account, which provides “daily disturbing” AI-generated images to nearly 200,000 followers.

The creepy images show disfigured humans with elongated fingers and oversized eyes. One features a man maniacally staring into the camera as a huge explosion goes off over his shoulder. Another shows a frightening skeletal figure framed by a huge plume of smoke.

“OK no more sleeping,” one TikTok user replied.

“That’s exactly how it’s going to be,” another surmised.

One user suggested one of the images actually appeared realistic, while some said the disturbing potential future may be closer than we think – perhaps as early as 2024.

“Average day in Ohio,” one person quipped.

Some said the images appeared to show the aftermath of a nuclear bomb, but the account had entered “selfie of the end of the world” into the AI image generator. A second post showed more distressing scenes featuring several mutilated figures in a largely abandoned war-torn hellscape. One bloodied person’s eyes even moved in the disturbing creation.

“Moving?!” one commenter noted. “Like it wasn’t scary enough?”

“School will remain open,” another joked.

The DALL-E 2 AI system, created earlier this year, can “create realistic images and art” from a user’s description, according to its website.

“DALL-E 2 has learned the relationship between images and the text used to describe them,” the site explains. “It uses a process called ‘diffusion,’ which starts with a pattern of random dots and gradually alters that pattern towards an image when it recognizes specific aspects of that image.” READ MORE

Artificial Intelligence Predicts What The Last Selfie On Earth Will Look Like, It Looks Like Revelation.

Now The End Begins is your front line defense against the rising tide of darkness in the last Days before the Rapture of the Church

When you contribute to this fundraising effort, you are helping us to do what the Lord called us to do. The money you send in goes primarily to the overall daily operations of this site. When people ask for Bibles, we send them out at no charge. When people write in and say how much they would like gospel tracts but cannot afford them, we send them a box at no cost to them for either the tracts or the shipping, no matter where they are in the world. Even all the way to South Africa. We even restarted our weekly radio Bible study on Sunday nights again, thanks to your generous donations. All this is possible because YOU pray for us, YOU support us, and YOU give so we can continue growing.

But whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Time is short and we need your help right now. If every one of the 15,860+ people on our daily mailing list gave $4.50, we would reach our goal immediately. If every one of our 150,000+ followers on Facebook gave $1.00 each, we would reach 300% of our goal. The same goes for our 15,900 followers on Twitter. But sadly, many will not give, so we need the ones who can and who will give to be generous. As generous as possible.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJB)

“Thank you very much!” – Geoffrey, editor-in-chief, NTEB

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Artificial Intelligence

Dallas Love Field Airport In Texas Is Now Testing Giant 7-Foot Tall ‘SCOT’ Robots To Monitor The Unmasked And Track Passengers Using Facial Recognition

The 7-ft tall giant robots nicknamed SCOT were installed a month ago to “determine if they are capable of efficiently supplementing current airport operations,” said Dallas Love Field spokeswoman Lauren Rounds. The robots look like many other kiosks at the airport with a touch screen with wayfinding information, maps of parking garages and directions to ride-hailing and shuttle pickup. But SCOT is much smarter, capable of detecting what people are wearing and even whether they’ve got on a face mask.

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Love Field in Dallas Texas is testing out two Security Control Observation Towers at the airport, one near baggage claim and another near security checkpoints, to figure out whether ‘SCOT’ robotic assistants can both help customers get around and warn passengers who are breaking rules.

The forward progress of AI and robot technology progressed many fold during the halcyon days of the Plannedemic, as the world got used to wearing masks, keeping 6-feet apart, and mentally acquiescing to a perpetual state of lockdown. The lockdown is continuing as the world is waking up to the fact that we are now controlled by Artificial Intelligence and robot technology. Now in Texas, Dallas Love Field airport is testing 7-ft high robots nicknamed ‘SCOT’, which stands for Security Control Observation Towers, and they know if you are unmasked. In case no one told you, the giants are coming back.

There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6:4 (KJB)

Jesus says that the time of Jacob’s trouble with its great Tribulation is likened to the ‘days of Noah’, a time where giants who were created as the result of fallen angels fornicating with human women roamed the earth and caused great wickedness. Jesus says that time will return in the days after He comes to catch out His Bride from off the earth. So while we wait for that, enjoy ‘SCOT’, the giant 7-ft robot who will soon be tracking you with facial recognition at your local airport. He will not, however, be able to stop you from boarding Flight #777!

7-foot-tall ‘SCOT’ robots at Dallas Love Field are watching for unmasked travelers and curbside loiterers

FROM THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: While not quite Robocop, the machines, nicknamed SCOT, were installed a month ago to “determine if they are capable of efficiently supplementing current airport operations,” said Love Field spokeswoman Lauren Rounds. The robots look like many other kiosks at the airport with a touch screen with wayfinding information, maps of parking garages and directions to ride-hailing and shuttle pickup. But SCOT is much smarter, capable of detecting what people are wearing and even whether they’ve got on a face mask.

Airports have been at the forefront of technology, including facial recognition and other biometrics, for years, a trend that worries privacy advocates who say there are few, if any, laws or guidelines about how emerging technology should be used. Amazon took criticism in 2019 after testing its Rekognition technology with police departments before deciding to ban law enforcement from using it two years later.

Standing over 7’ tall, SCOT is capable of manning and monitoring locations 24/7, and at a fraction of the cost of manned security personnel. The unit’s 360° field of view through four high-positioned, hi-resolution, full-color, always-on digital cameras place eyes on property and periphery unlike any other product.

SCOT can be positioned and engaged to monitor and record both human and vehicle activity in any environment, indoors or outdoors. RAD’s feature of SuspectSpotter uses artificial intelligence for accurate detection of persons – and then can perform a variety of actions based on location, time of day and day of week.

But private businesses and airports have been more aggressive, and the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred more emphasis on touchless interactions using computers. Fort Worth-based American Airlines uses facial recognition for some customers to check bags and airports such as DFW partner with the U.S. State Department for facial recognition technology for incoming passengers.

Surveillance technology hasn’t stopped progressing because the rest of the world was in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. In fact, more and more institutions and companies are using artificial intelligence to monitor spaces, said Adam Schwartz, an attorney for digital privacy rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation.

“It is concerning that an airport has installed a new system of artificial intelligence,” Schwartz said. “It raises a lot of questions about what that technology is doing.”

Love Field is one of two airports to start using the technology from the company Robotic Assistance Devices, said the company’s CEO and founder Steve Reinharz. The other airport, which Reinharz said he was not able to disclose, uses a related technology from the company in parking lots to detour thefts and break-ins.

“This has more of a full-circle purpose to be a regular, physical deterrent,” he said. “That’s the direction the industry has to go because we have some significant labor issues.”

The robotic SCOT kiosks can detect passengers and behavior based on rules set by each user, such as the airport. For instance, people driving up to the curbside drop-off area late at night might get a series of verbal warnings that escalate in volume and severity. Finally, the machine can call police, notify on-site security or even allow someone to make an announcement remotely. The machines can also detect flagged individuals based on what they are wearing, especially if they are in areas susceptible to crime, such as baggage claim, Reinharz said.

License plate-scanning cameras can issue warnings to suspicious vehicles or prompt cars to move along if they’ve been waiting too long in passenger pick-up lanes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said it also pushed a technology that can detect whether subjects are wearing face masks. Face masks have been a point of contention on airplanes but remain a federal mandate until at least April 18.

“The units currently make scheduled and detection-based announcements directed toward our passengers and visitors,” Rounds said. “Some of these focus on reducing vehicular congestion at our curb using license plate recognition and increasing federal mask compliance using facial recognition technology while others provide standard information.”

The airport isn’t paying for the kiosks now while they test the capabilities, but Dallas Love Field did pay about $4,000 to have them shipped to Texas. READ MORE

Dallas Love Field ‘SCOT’ robots are watching passengers, checking for masks and loitering cars

The  giant 7-foot tall robots called SCOT use artificial intelligence to detect passenger behavior, give audible warnings and can even call police or security.

Now The End Begins is your front line defense against the rising tide of darkness in the last Days before the Rapture of the Church

When you contribute to this fundraising effort, you are helping us to do what the Lord called us to do. The money you send in goes primarily to the overall daily operations of this site. When people ask for Bibles, we send them out at no charge. When people write in and say how much they would like gospel tracts but cannot afford them, we send them a box at no cost to them for either the tracts or the shipping, no matter where they are in the world. Even all the way to South Africa. We even restarted our weekly radio Bible study on Sunday nights again, thanks to your generous donations. All this is possible because YOU pray for us, YOU support us, and YOU give so we can continue growing.

But whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Time is short and we need your help right now. If every one of the 15,860+ people on our daily mailing list gave $4.50, we would reach our goal immediately. If every one of our 150,000+ followers on Facebook gave $1.00 each, we would reach 300% of our goal. The same goes for our 15,900 followers on Twitter. But sadly, many will not give, so we need the ones who can and who will give to be generous. As generous as possible.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)

“Thank you very much!” – Geoffrey, editor-in-chief, NTEB

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