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Hyundai made a smart car AI that might actually be useful

Talking to car voice recognition systems is typically about as productive as cursing at other drivers, but Hyundai aims to change that with its new Intelligent Personal Agent. The new virtual assistant promises to be Alexa for the dashboard, offering not only control over features but proactive information based on the individual driver. According to Hyundai, it could be included in new cars as soon as 2023.

For now, it’s a prototype that’s housed in a “Personal Agent Cockpit” that Hyundai will be bringing along to CES 2023 in a few weeks time. Co-developed with SoundHound, the system promises functionality far from the usual stilted voice interfaces available on current cars. Indeed, the goal is a more conversational interface, which doesn’t require drivers to remember specific keywords or even break up their requests into separate parts.

On the one hand, the Intelligent Personal Agent will allow pretty much all of the commonly-used features in the car to be controlled by voice. That includes setting the air conditioning, opening and closing the sunroof, and triggering the power locks. As you’d expect, there’s also integration with phone calls, music and destination search, and dictating text messages. It’s part of Hyundai’s efforts to reduce the amount of time drivers are spending looking for buttons or touchscreen UI elements.

The system goes further than that, however. A “Car-to-Home” service allows for remote control over connected home devices – whether those be lights, locks, garage doors, or something else – through a voice command in the vehicle. It wakes up with the “Hi, Hyundai” trigger, at which point you can talk to it as you might the Google Assistant on a Google Home.

As with a Google Home, there’s support for combining multiple instructions into a single phrase. For example, Hyundai suggests, you could say “Hi Hyundai, tell me what the weather will be like tomorrow and turn off the lights in our living room.” The assistant would automatically recognize that included two different tasks, and complete each individually.

However, it goes further than just issuing commands. Hyundai says it has made the assistant proactive, so that it can look at things like upcoming meetings on a schedule, check real-time road traffic reports, and then make suggestions as to when the driver should leave so as to be on time.

Hyundai is using SoundHound’s Houndify AI platform – an extension of the technology the automaker has been using for music recognition for some years now – which has been customized with automotive tasks in mind. It’s a server-based system, so the car will need to be connected in order to recognize instructions. Unclear at this point is what happens if the car is out of a service area, and whether there’ll be a fall-back system with local processing for more basic functionality.

The Intelligent Personal Agent is set to show up on future Hyundai production cars from 2023, the automaker says. However, early next year a more simplified version will be deployed as part of a Korea-only trial of next-gen fuel-cell vehicles. That will have the ability to pull in local sports results among other information.

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Ai Might Be The Future. But Can It Also Predict It?

We all know that artificial intelligence has been the hot topic of recent times and that it has been adopted by companies covering virtually every sector. So these days, when you’re dealing with an automated answering service, it’s highly likely that there is no human intervention at all. This trend is set to continue and reach into many new areas. But there are even more exciting prospects ahead that suggest that the algorithms used in AI may soon start to enable increasingly accurate predictions of future events. Indeed, this is something that has also started to occur – and in some quite surprising ways. The theory behind it is quite simple: by combining the processing of big datasets and using the algorithms that drive AI, an ever-more accurate model of future events can be created. One of the leading exponents in this reasonably new field is

We all know that artificial intelligence has been the hot topic of recent times and that it has been adopted by companies covering virtually every sector. So these days, when you’re dealing with an automated answering service, it’s highly likely that there is no human intervention at all. This trend is set to continue and reach into many new areas. But there are even more exciting prospects ahead that suggest that the algorithms used in AI may soon start to enable increasingly accurate predictions of future events. Indeed, this is something that has also started to occur – and in some quite surprising ways. The theory behind it is quite simple: by combining the processing of big datasets and using the algorithms that drive AI, an ever-more accurate model of future events can be created. One of the leading exponents in this reasonably new field is Black Swan Technologies whose clients include Disney. Among the work they have carried out for the entertainment giant was predicting the likely popularity of Frozen before release. By looking at the data around similar animated titles as well as examining popular genres and types of film on YouTube it enabled them to accurately gauge even how many copies would be sold once the movie was released on DVD. Retailers have also been quick to start experimenting with Black Swan’s technology with supermarkets using it to project just when and how many of their customers will be choosing to barbecue on any given weekend. Western Canada Fashion Week 2023 Spring ” ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ) by IQRemix The fashion industry is also one that is always looking towards what are going to be the trends for future seasons. Again, AI is being used to help these predictions to become more accurate. This is facilitated by a system that scours social media and e-commerce sites to analyze colors, sizes and patterns that appear most frequently and which may be pointing towards the direction that styles may be headed. On a less frivolous note, healthcare is another sector in which the ability to predict future situations is being trialed. One of the best-known exponents is Diagnostic Robotics , a business founded and headed up by Kira Radinsky Ph.D. with offices in Tel Aviv and New York. The fact that much of medicine is already so heavily statistics-based is obviously useful, but it needs AI to add that extra dimension. Trading in stocks, shares and currencies is another area in which being able to accurately predict the future can also mean the difference between success and failure. More and more trading platforms appearing and being listed on sites like Stockapps UK . There is already plenty of choice and most offer extensive support. The above site rates the platforms according to a vast array of key features, such as commission or products offered, such as CFD trading. It’s therefore logical to imagine that one day AI support could number among those factors. This would obviously give an edge over the competition – it could well take many providers to the next level. So we can confidently predict that AI will become increasingly effective in defining what the future holds in a wide variety of ways. And, when it does reach its full potential, it will create a very different world indeed.

Fuser Might Be The Music Game For A Post

FUSER might be the music game for a post-music game era

At this point, it’s definitely safe to say that the era of rhythm and music games sparked by Guitar Hero is well and truly dead. We haven’t seen a Guitar Hero title in five years, nor have we seen a proper Rock Band release in three. When you consider that we used to get multiple Guitar Hero games each and every year, it’s safe to say that we’ve moved beyond that particular craze.

Music and rhythm games are still around, no doubt, but they’re decidedly less mainstream than they were 10 years ago. FUSER, an upcoming game from Harmonix that puts you in the shoes of a festival DJ, could very well change that.

Last week, I sat down with some folks from Harmonix (virtually, of course), and they gave me a closer look at the game before providing me with a demo to play myself. It’s safe to say that I understand FUSER now – I get what it’s trying to achieve and I’m sold on the idea. Though what I’ve played myself amounts to a small portion of the finished game, the content I got to see and demo shows a lot of promise and suggests that FUSER could be a music game for a mainstream crowd that is largely over music games.

On the surface at least, FUSER feels like a game that’s less about developing a skill – learning to play your instrument as you progress through the ranks, like in Rock Band – and more about being creative. That’s because you’re not trying to play along with someone else’s song. Instead, you’re taking bits and pieces of different songs and putting them together to make your own mix, just as a festival DJ would.

Before you start a performance, you get to pick which songs go into your crate. The demo build I had the chance to play only had a portion of the songs that will be in the finished game, but Harmonix is actually announcing a new collection of songs today – the new additions and the list of all the songs that have been revealed up to this point can be seen in the galleries below. As you play, you can drop parts from each of those songs on the turntable that’s in front of you, which has space for four different discs.

You could, for instance, group the bassline from The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights, the synth from Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff, the horns from Amy Winehouse’s Rehab, and the vocals from Grouplove’s Tongue Tied to create your own mix. You’re not just limited to pulling various parts from famous songs either, as you can apply filters to each part, change the BPM of your mix on the fly, or even create your own loops using various instrument samples and drop them into your song.

As someone who played so much Rock Band and Guitar Hero that I could play most songs on expert and who also spent an obscene amount of time and money grinding Dance Dance Revolution back in my younger days, I’m not really a stranger to rhythm games, but that doesn’t really help me here. Dropping discs with the downbeat is an important aspect of playing this game, so experience with rhythm games will help in that regard, but success in this game isn’t all about timing. You also have to please the crowd, and you can do that by granting requests throughout your performance.

Maybe someone wants to hear a guitar part – any guitar part – or another person wants to hear Shania Twain. You’ll only have a few seconds to grant those requests, and if you do, the crowd will like you more. Ignore the crowd’s wishes or mess up your timing with disc drops and the crowd’s opinion of you will drop, eventually ending your performance early if it gets too low.

Harmonix told me that in FUSER, the idea isn’t to reward players who create the “correct” mixes and penalize those who don’t. In Rock Band, the failure condition is clear because the song you’re playing should really only be played one way; mess up enough notes and you fail the song. What makes a good mix is entirely subjective though, and what sounds good to me might sound awful to you. So, instead of failing because you mixed the wrong kind of song, you’ll fail when you don’t please the crowd or pay attention to the timing of your drops.

Aside from goals that you’ll be presented with throughout the song (many of which aren’t very specific), you’ve got a lot of freedom in how you create your mix. That kind of experimentation might be the most addicting part of FUSER, and I can see it being just as replayable as Rock Band or Guitar Hero but for entirely different reasons.

I have no qualms telling you that I’m completely awful at this game, as I failed two of the three stages that were available to me in this demo multiple times before finally succeeding. You have a lot of options when it comes to creating your mixes, and while that can ensure that you’ll be doing something unique each time you play a stage, it can also be overwhelming. Just like in Rock Band or Guitar Hero, it seems that practice will make perfect in FUSER.

Of course, the single-player campaign is just one part of FUSER, though it’s the part I spent the most time with in the demo. There will also be competitive and collaborative multiplayer modes, a freestyle mode that gives you a bit more freedom in experimenting with songs, and even a social aspect that lets you share the mixes you create and follow other players so you can see their mixes too. There also seems to be a lot of options when it comes to customizing your DJ, with a ton of choices for clothes, makeup, hairstyles, and facial features.

All in all, I’m impressed by what I’ve seen of FUSER so far. There’s certainly a lot to take in, but this could be one of Harmonix’s most accessible games for the simple fact that it doesn’t require a bunch of different peripherals – all you need to play is a controller or a keyboard and mouse (and the game, of course). I’m looking forward to seeing the full game in November, because at the moment FUSER shows a lot of promise.

Rumors Intensify That Apple Indeed Is Building A Car

Reviving an old ‘iCar’ rumor, Business Insider on Monday ran a story citing an Apple employee as saying that the Cupertino company has been in fact working on something in “vehicle development“ that will “give Tesla a run for its money.”

“Apple’s latest project is too exciting to pass up,” the source said. “I think it will change the landscape and give Tesla a run for its money.”

The following day, Bryan Chaffin, co-founder of The Mac Observer, wrote he was “certain” that Apple’s building a car after talking to sources who estimated there’s an “80 percent chance” of it working on an actual car rather than some car-related tech.

Could Apple be really building an automobile? What’s going on here?

Another circumstantial piece of evidence Chaffin provided after talking with another source is that “a lot of people at the top in Silicon Valley consider it a given that Apple is working on a car.”

“I should add that when I asked one of my sources flat out to put a percentage chance on Apple working on an actual car — rather than some kind of car-related technology — I was told, ’80 percent,’” he added.

Then there’s Seth Weintraub, the guy who runs 9to5 sites and chúng tôi a blog dedicated to Tesla and electric cars. He shared some inside info during yesterday’s Happy Hour podcast.

“I’ve heard some crazy stuff,” he said.

While acknowledging we’re too early in the game to make educated guesses, Weintraub proceeded claiming “Apple’s hiring people in the auto and audio industry that aren’t doing CarPlay stuff, they’re doing actual car stuff.”

Quick rewind back to last week, when Apple Insider ran images of a camera-mounted van, first spotted by Claycord. The vehicle was photographed while driving around the Bay Area.

Sightings of nearly identical vehicles bearing California license plates were reported last September in Brooklyn, New York and later in Hawaii, Madison, Wisconsin and Panama City, Panama.

The discovery prompted Apple watchers to speculate the purpose of the mystery vehicle. Could these photos be our early indication of an autonomous Apple automobile?

Although Apple’s not been issued permits for testing autonomous vehicles, it could have partnered with a firm that already has the necessary clearances, speculated technology analyst Rob Enderle.

And if the placement of the camera and radio equipment on the vehicle is anything to go by, Apple’s Dodge Caravans are probably just some specialized vehicles to capture street-level data for Apple Maps, akin to Street View.

What we do know for a fact is that Apple leased the vans under its own name, as established by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

 Moreover, the iPhone maker is hiring robotics engineers to work in ”a unique development team.” Back in 2013, it hired a revered roboticist from Yale who was one of the leading engineers behind the Segway project.

According to a Wired report, Apple’s mystery van does have the equipment to be a self-driving vehicle. In all likelihood, these vehicles are cruising the streets in order to capture some kind of data, self-driving or not.

In that regard, capturing high-resolution street-level photography could help the company improve three-dimensional Flyover mode in Apple Maps, which is known to render distortions, like the one you see below, when one zooms in on tightly-packed city streets.

Meanwhile, die-hard fans continue to believe Apple is in fact testing its own self-driving car technology. For what it’s worth, Apple has thus far hired at least 50 Tesla people with expertise that is most suited to cars and focus on battery and materials technology.

But that’s hardly your smoking gun.

Commenting on the meme on his Daring Fireball blog, Apple pundit John Gruber said he knows nothing of any such project. “I know a lot of people at Apple, at all levels of the company, who love watches,” he hinted, adding “I also know many who love cars.”

It may be heretic to even exercise the notion that an iCar is on the horizon because conventional wisdom teaches us that Apple is a consumer electronics company.

But on the other hand, Apple board member Mickey Drexler said in 2012 that Steve Jobs did want to build a car and apparently had even met with German car-maker Volkswagen back in 2007 to discuss the project.

“Look at the car industry; it’s a tragedy in America. Who is designing the cars?” Drexler said. “Steve’s dream before he died was to design an iCar.” “And,” Drexler added with a coy smile, “it would’ve been probably 50 percent of the market. He never did design it.”

And we also learned from Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller’s testimony in the Apple vs. Samsung mega trial that the project wasn’t just a late-night brainstorming session, but actually something Apple brass tossed around in executive meetings.

People suggested all kinds of things Apple could do, Schiller recalled: “Make a camera, make a car, crazy stuff.”

You connect the dots…

Source: Business Insider, The Mac Observer

Magician: A System Monitor App That Is Actually Worth Using

What is Magican’s Mission?

The free software, Magican, is meant to not only let you know the software that is wearing down your system, but also to help you get rid of the software itself. The main focus of Magican is on the memory aspect of your Mac, allowing you to free up your memory that various files and applications seem to take up. For example, when you create a video in iMovie, the software saves various parts of your clip into various pieces of cache, as a way of backing up your video. Once you have the finished video product, these caches are no longer necessary, but you have no idea where to remove them. Magican is here to get rid of these unnecessary pieces for you.


Magican can either be viewed in a full screen or in a smaller page. Magican is meant to not intrude too much on your desktop and allows you to work on what you have to in the background. Magican allows you to see how much memory is used, how much is free, your CPU status, system temperature, and fan speed. At the top right, you have the ability to access the settings. When Magican is left in the background, a window is always there to show the amount of kilobytes per sec being transferred. Also, in an initiative to be more useful, Magican gives you the local weather in your area. That’s a nice touch, though not very much relevant to what it does.


The most common occurrence, even for a system with few applications, is overheating. It occurs to me a lot, especially when I’m hard working on new posts or editing a photo or video. Occasionally, I notice that the fan goes off and that’s when it becomes a bit nerve wrecking. What is good about Magican is that it lets you know when your system is close to that point. For many individuals, they may not know what to do when their fan goes off. However, this is a sign that your Mac is winded and needs a bit of a break. If you must work, at least close other applications that are not required to reduce the processor burden.

Scanning Your System Suggesting and Informing

If you haven’t had enough junk to get rid of, Magican gives you more software suggestions in the Software section. The software suggestions aren’t junk or games, they are other cleaning software that allows your Mac to stay in tip-top shape. The updates section gives you information on which one of your own third part applications (games and other apps included) that are in need of an update. You may wonder why this is in a cleaning app, but it’s often overlooked about the value of a software update. When you don’t update software, you are opening yourself to a less secure app. Lastly, the uninstall section allows you to uninstall other apps (even if they aren’t junk) one at a time. Lastly, just how a doctor gives you a final bill of health, Magican gives you a final checklist of your hardware status. Magican allows you to see any problem areas, the status of your memory, and more, all in simple and easy to understand terms.

What We Liked and Didn’t Like

I loved how Magican seemed to magically be able to provide all of the information I needed to know about my Mac. I am able to delete unneeded applications and files which helped to keep my Mac’s performance in check. Did I also mention before that it is free?

Ari Simon

Ari Simon has been a writer with Make Tech Easier since August 2011. Ari loves anything related to technology and social media. When Ari isn’t working, he enjoys traveling and trying out the latest tech gadget.

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Buying A Company? 7 Red Flags That Are Actually Great Buying Opportunities

The idea of purchasing a business from someone else is alluring. Entrepreneurs understand how to start a business from scratch, but many underestimate the risks involved in buying an existing company. Without enough research and forethought, it’s easy to wind up purchasing a colossal dud.

Further, what may seem like a poor business opportunity at first could turn into the deal of a lifetime. Here are the most common red flags that could be actual goldmines.

7 Red Flags That are Actually Great Buying Opportunities 1. Suspect Reason for Selling

Business owners never sell their companies on a whim. There are many reasons companies go up for sale. For instance, the owner might be ready to retire.

Sometimes, business is booming, and the owner just wants one final payout before exiting. Others may be nervous about a competitor moving into the area and worry they will lose customers.

It’s up to the buyer to determine if there’s any merit behind the owner’s reasoning. Buyers can use the owner’s reason for selling as a price negotiating tactic. It may even turn into a blessing in disguise.

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2. Shady Financial Status

Once an entrepreneur purchases a business, they are also responsible all of its financial obligations. A potential buyer should investigate the company’s financial statements thoroughly before making a deal.

Never take the owner’s word at face value. Instead, compare all internal financial documents against past tax returns.

It’s also wise to audit the accounting department to ensure there aren’t any outstanding invoices. If there are unpaid bills, determine if the company has enough working capital to repay them.

Knowing any financial pitfalls will help the buyer during the negotiation process. Too many outstanding bills should make it easier to demand a lower selling price.

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3. Costly Repairs

Just like most home buyers wouldn’t make an offer without seeing the property, entrepreneurs shouldn’t purchase a business without touring the premises. If the seller hesitates to schedule a tour, it’s crucial to find out why.

They may be hiding something they hope a potential buyer won’t see. During a showing, be sure to inspect everything. Is the equipment outdated or inoperable?

Does the building need costly repairs? Answering in the affirmative will cost money upfront, but that doesn’t mean buying the business is a bad idea.

Repairing the facility will improve employee morale and reduce turnover. Upgrading the equipment will streamline production and increase revenue over time.

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4. Low Customer Reviews

Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to find customer reviews for nearly every business out there. Before making an offer, be sure to see what former and current customers have to say about the company. Never rely only on the brand’s own website for reviews.

Instead, check out third-party platforms, such as Yelp or Google, for completely unbiased reviews.

Is there a lot of negative feedback? Don’t run away from the deal just yet. Rebranding could entice former customers to come back and draw in a new audience.

Since rebranding can be a long process, the buyer should demand a reduced price before taking over the business. After an effective rebranding, customer satisfaction surveys will improve, and the company will start making a lot more money.

5. High Turnover Rate

Buying a business also means acquiring its current employees. How many of these workers are happy to be there? Always inspect a company’s employee records before making a final deal.

These documents show how often workers are terminated or quit. A high turnover rate may indicate unhappy employees or mismanagement.

A high turnover rate is a red flag, but it’s a fixable one. Since it costs an average of $4,000 to onboard a new employee, retaining existing talent is a must. It’s possible to improve morale through team-building exercises, better communication, and transparent management.

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6. Discretionary Earnings

How much cash flow is left after calculating all expenses? This amount is known as discretionary earnings, and no, it’s not always the profit or loss reported when filing taxes.

Many business owners run expenses through the business that aren’t necessary for daily operation. Anyone looking to buy a business should analyze the company’s discretionary earnings before making an offer.

Revenue alone doesn’t always paint a clear picture of a company’s success. For example, a decrease in discretionary income could suggest issues with sales and profits. Instead of running away from the deal, it’s time to negotiate a lower price.

The right buyer should view these financial discrepancies as a prime opportunity to reduce expenses, improve accounting procedures, and boost overall revenues.

7. Market Trends

The world is constantly evolving, and companies thriving today could become a thing of the past tomorrow. That’s why it’s vital to perform plenty of market research before buying a business.

Examine how the industry is performing in the area. Is there still a need for this type of product or service? Finding direct competitors in the area is a good sign.

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Negotiate These Red Flags

When browsing businesses for sale, prospective buyers are bound to run into a few red flags. However, that doesn’t mean it’s time to write off these companies.

It may be possible to turn these warning signs into lucrative opportunities. Negotiate to buy a company for a lower price today and you could make a fortune in the future.

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