ADSactly Tech News - What does AI, Tacotrons and Bitcoin Explainer Videos Have in Common?

in #ai3 years ago

ADSactly Tech News: What does AI, Tacotrons and Bitcoin Explainer Videos Have in Common?

Image Source: Pixabay

  • AI is developing at a rapid pace and the rate of growth is exponential as advancements and research is incorporated into future experiments and creations.

  • Not all AI's are intelligent as proven by a recent attempt to use the technology in video production.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly technology advances. I remember when my parents bought an Apple Macintosh computer when I was in Primary school. It was the coolest thing ever! It had games like Star Wars and bricks! It could even access the internet with a dial-up modem! These were glorious days for technology as kingpins like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were just getting started transforming our world through innovation! But looking at where we are now, all those cool systems of the past, they seem like toys compared to what is available today!

The term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ didn’t even exist in my lexicon when I was growing up. Today I hear the term splattered all across the internet, in cafes and when I open a newspaper (yes they still exist but just barely!). The speed and pace of technological advancements being made by the world's top scientists and computer engineers in the field of AI will simply shock and amaze you.

In this article, I will explain why artificial intelligence is moving beyond recognition and that fact is demonstrated by recent developments coming out of Google's DeepMind program.

First off, if you've ever used Google products, you may or may not be familiar with Google's AI voice…

There are two settings, one for male and one for female voice and when you hear it you'll know something is majorly off with unnatural pronunciation similar to that of Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana.

Even though this technology has ceased to impress on many occasions, every year the unnatural sound that computer generated voices make is becoming less recognizable.

Just last year Google made a breakthrough and developed a technology sounds much less robotic and much more like a human voice! In fact, the new ‘Tacotron 2’ Google voice AI is almost undistinguishable from a human voice!

You won’t believe this! In fact, I won’t have to work very hard to convince you why it is such a groundbreaking advancement of modern text to speech AI functionality! All you need to do is click play and see for yourself:

In a research paper published by Google, the ‘Tacotron 2’ team introduces details regarding the impressive speech system. In the paper, Google highlights the system’s ability to speak almost identically to its human creators.

The team describes the second-generation speech system in the report stating, "The Tacotron 2 is a neural network architecture for speech synthesis directly from text. The system is composed of a recurrent sequence-to-sequence feature prediction network that maps character embeddings to mel-scale spectrograms, followed by a modified WaveNet model acting as a vocoder to synthesize timedomain waveforms from those spectrograms."

But I can summarize it all in just one word… Wow!

According to the report, the technology that powers this new text to speech tool consists of two deep neural networks. Basically, the way it works is that the first network translates the text into a spectrogram. After the spectrogram has been made it is sent to WaveNet, a new system specially designed by Google's Deep Mind AI program. The process results in a computer generated voice that sounds like its human counterparts.

But digging a bit deeper, I have to ask the question, do we really want AI to have voices that sound identical to those of human beings? How will we know who or what we are talking to when we take the next call from the mystery number? These are the same problems of the famous movie ‘Blade Runner,’ a move which I absolutely love still to this day!

Well now that I’ve asked a philosophical question and took a bit of time to reflect, let’s move on shall we? Google and employees of their DeepMind program have been busy indeed developing AI systems that are already starting to be incorporated into our real, everyday world.

But it is important to note for every accomplishment a few failures needed to be made first!

There are other’s developing AI systems and not everyone paints the Mona Lisa on their first try…

Image Source: Pixabay

Recently, an AI competition was held with a goal of creating “basic stage training” based on pre-existing Bitcoin (BTC) explainers but sadly, it resulted in almost complete rubbish. The story is quite interesting so I thought readers might get a good laugh out of this one!

See the explainer that was made by AI is incredibly funny because it looks professional but makes absolutely no sense at all! In fact, it doesn't do a good job of explaining Bitcoin at all! Moreover, it actually results in leaving viewers even more confused about Bitcoin then they were before watching the video! All that was needed was to change the competition a bit and say it was about creating an explainer that further confuses a viewer who is trying to learn more about Bitcoin and it would have worked perfectly!

Take a look and see for yourself if I'm right:

Well folks if you made in through the entire video, I’m impressed. In fact after watching it myself, I feel as if my brain has been scrambled and served up with some bacon and baked beans.

I would not recommend having a friend or family member watch this video unless they were already familiar with Bitcoin because it does have the potential to create brand new misconceptions.

Let’s assume you took it at face value and went around networking and trying to explain your understanding of Bitcoin based on this video to new contacts, I’m going to take a shot in the dark and say that you probably wouldn't get very far!

What this does prove however is that in regard to AI, every two steps forward more often than not is proceeded by one step backwards! Yet the technology continues to advance and it frightens the living daylights out of me... I mean as much as anything could frighten a grown man I guess.

Image Source: Pixabay

Google recently developed another technology even more creepy than the Tacotron in my opinion. If you haven’t seen videos of the new Google Assistant you may be surprised to see how lifelike it can actually be.

I was shocked and amazed to see Google Assistant make an appointment with a girl on the other end of the phone and see her take down the booking while being completely unaware she was talking to AI.

Clearly the Tacotron2 and the new Google Assistant have something in common. It is my belief that each advancement leads us to an even greater advancement and we may be going down a road that is simply unpredictable in nature yet we have little to no ability to slow down.

Is AI dangerous for humanity?


Are there potential benefits for humanity if we are to advance this technology?

I do believe there are hundreds or even thousands of potential use cases that will prove helpful to human beings and improve our quality of life.

Should we stop and analyze what is going on here so we can take action if deemed necessary to rise up against big corporations who may potentially use this technology to further enslave us? Of course we should.

I know topics like this can be a bit unsettling for folks. I plan to take a break from some of these fringe technology topics in the near future and maybe focus on friendlier technologies as topics for future articles.

But, the fact remains, I would really like to know how my fellow @ADSactly society members feel about these new AI systems coming online, systems like Google Assistant that has the ability to call you and make a booking without you even knowing its a robot.

What did you think of the Bitcoin explainer video? Does it put your mind at ease and give you the impression that maybe we don't have as much to worry about in terms of an AI takeover scenerio as I may have implied at the beginning of this article?

Here's a chance for the @ADSactly community to leave their thoughts and opinions on this topic.

Thanks for reading.

Authored by: @techblogger

In-text citations sources:

Google’s DeepMind develops AI that can render 3D objects from 2D pictures – VentureBeat

Google's New Voice AI is Hyper Realistic - Interesting Engineering

AI-Based Youtube Bitcoin Explainer Trained By Real BTC Guides Gets It All Wrong - CoinTelegraph

Image Source:

Interesting Engineering


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I did very much enjoy the aesthetics of the video and what it explaine it did explain well. However, it did not at all touch up the elements that make bitcoin confusing for e.g. myself. How is it generated? What does mining mean and how does it work? What about the legitimacy (i.e. the trust in that i will be able to exchage it for goods) of the currency which is not backed by any countries treasury? Who is behind it? How does inflation/deflation work with bitcoin? ... there are sooo many questions that NEED following up on.

Well I hope you learned something from the Bitcoin explainer video regardless! I'd probably suggest finding better sources of information if you are really hoping to learn about how it works. Take care.

however, it did not at all touch up the elements that make bitcoin confusing for e.g.

Did you see the video from the Google launch event a month or so ago where they were demo'ing the AI to do things like make appointments and order flowers and stuff. It was pretty amazing. I think they said there were one or two instances where the person on the other end recognized it and hung up or whatever, but the other ones worked nearly flawlessly. I am still a little scared of AI. I was raised in the Terminator/Matrix era, so the dangers seem really real to me. Maybe I am crazy though. It is pretty exciting what they are doing!

Yes, I saw the video but only referenced it in this article. It was very creepy indeed! I also agree that we might not be at the Terminator / Matrix era yet but just give them time... They'll try to get there lol...

The fact that it puts pauses in the conversation with the "umm" is just crazy. If they could find a way to have it add in the word "like" every other sentence it would be almost life-like.

Quite interesting, while taking a look at the given names of the cards, I guess that it will be quite a difficult task to put a good lore together that will fit with every single one of them. However, having fractured worlds as "Splinters" in one world can be a promising story to tell.


oh my god the technology is more and more amazing as time goes by thank you for sharing this robotic world

Absolutely! Very pleased you enjoyed this article about the robotic AI driven world that is descending upon us.

AI is somewhat a good technnology that has been around nowadays yet a POSSIBLE/POTENTIAL THREAT to world of crypto.

my opinion only

Honestly @adsactly i think this video was more about advertising for OAK than talking about Cryptocurrency, you hardly mentioned Bitcoin and not the other famous currencies too!! Hope you guys make another video about this trending topic 👍🏼

thanks for the explanation @adsactly, have no time to delve in these themes. Very useful to have little by little explanations for many laymen. I look forward for the other videos. Regards

This technology and trending topic of cryptocurrencies is all around the globe these days,countries where cryptocurrencies are not yet regulated MUST look into it seriously and should regulate as soon as possible.

AI is a great enabler, however we already have an example of an invention used for wrong purposes that is of nuclear energy. Many things we invent have two sides it is for us be aware of the dangers and prepare to circumvent any wrong use. Even genetic engineering that seems so fascinating and good can be misused.

Another matter is preparing humanity to face the change the technology brings, if AI is to take over most of the jobs then we should think of a business, education, financial and political system that will improve life of humans in general.

does it mean just like thousands of years ago when banks didnt exist so any payment was direct between sellers and buyers, be it in the form of goods exchanges or real money (was there real money when banks were non existent) ? but its jusr now you do it over the internet... so to speak...

AI is a topic with huge potential both for good and bad applications.

I think that a huge reason as for why AI is having such a bad rep is thanks to the entertainment industry. Whenever an AI is introduced to any kind of story, you can be sure that at some point, robots will end up wanting to kill all humans in some way or form. No matter whether the machine is called a Terminator or Ultron, it always goes that way.

And it has been like this for decades, so by now, the fear for AIs has been pretty much imprinted into the collective mind and that frightens us.

I am looking forward to further developments in AI. My only hopes regarding this topic is that when they do end up developing consciousness, we will end up living in unison. And that they develop into a different direction from humans.

Thinking back to Detroid: Become Human, I heavily disliked that Robots basically became Humans 2.0. I know, it makes sense, the title and all, but still. Even if they look like humans, they are still machines, so the consciousnesses they develop should be fundamentally different from a humans.

And I would like that because different view points always open a path to new advancements.

What will be the best and next after this is the reason behind this achievement as everytime we achieved something we want to explore more and more and see where we are which is still a baby step in the field of AI because so many superstitious and tremendous things are still waiting the good time to join the future of AI maybe this technology in collaboration with blockchain technology will change the working culture and technological advancement of this planet Earth, maybe we will witness some more interesting and cool features in coming days I am just surprised and feeling lucky how lucky I am that I am experiencing all this now with my "Siri"
Thank you sir for enlightenment of our N I (natural intelligence) given by God for this technology.
Good day.

I don't no this coin sorry but iam not interested

Hello @adsactly! I want to express my opinion on this matter. I've been using Iphone for a long time. I had only two models: 4 and 5S, which I use now. She's already very old. Basically I use it for internet, work and photos. I would like to change it to a newer model, no matter what firm, maybe an android. But I do not want to do this because technology too much interferes with the use of your individual desires. I do not want a robot to work for me. I want to create my reality myself. For example, all modern smartphones use built-in filters and increased sharpness in photography. But I do not want this, I want naturalness. I do not need to help uniting me with other people, or writing words for me. So I do not even put the latest updates on my smartphone.
I am for a person, individuality, creativity!