AI/Machine Learning/NLP/AR/VR 2018-03-13T16:28:30+00:00
Quantilus AI NLP ML

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Augmented and Virtual Reality

Intelligent Automation for Work and Life

At Quantilus, we have been working with AI before it became cool (and scary). Our first foray was in the field of Natural Language Processing – which we used for automated grammar and style checks of written content. Subsequently, we built tools to classify untagged content in intelligent, usable ways, and to present it for consumption with a high degree of personalization. More recently, we have been working on personality assessment of individuals based on 1) the words they speak (a relatively simple task), and 2) changes in their facial patterns based on verbal and visual cues (a much more complex task).

Want to build Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality apps for your business? We built some of the first business-focused AR apps for mobile and wearable platforms through our SAP partnership. Our apps help technical support personnel visualize product models, and also let customers visualize retail products in empty space. With the added complexity of tight integration with backend ERP systems.

FEATURED WORK

Appliqant - Automated Video Interviews
APPLIQANT – the Automated Interview Robot. Disrupt recruitment through the automated screening of job candidates.
Appliqant - Automated Video Interviews
Wearable Apps for Technical Support

Discover Simple Assist – Wearable Apps for Technical Support

Wearable Apps for Technical Support
Visual Showroom - Augmented Reality

Visual Showroom – Augmented Reality App for Product Display

Visual Showroom - Augmented Reality
Deloitte - Automated Document Editing, Data Extraction

Deloitte – Automated Document Editing, Validation and Data Extraction

Deloitte - Automated Document Editing, Data Extraction
Intel - Machine Learning

Intel – Machine Learning for Customer Classification and Segmentation

Intel - Machine Learning
Intelligent Lease - Data Extraction using NLP

Intelligent Lease – Automated Data Extraction from Unstructured Lease Documents

Intelligent Lease - Data Extraction using NLP
BluePencil - Grammar and Writing Style Checks using NLP
BluePencil – Automated Grammar and Writing Style Checking using NLP
BluePencil - Grammar and Writing Style Checks using NLP

TECHNOLOGY STACK

Some of the frameworks and tools that our development teams have used recently. A list that grows by the day.

RELATED RESEARCH

Relevant, interesting and current curated research content in the field.

Apple WWDC 2020: One Seamless Ecosystem

July 1st, 2020|Categories: AI, NLP, Machine Learning, Mobile Development, News and Announcements|

Image credits: Apple 

The announcements from this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference can be summed in three wordsefficiencyconsistency, and control. As software and app developers, Quantilus is keenly interested in Apple’s vision as it determines what we are able to create and build for clients on Macs, iPhones, and iPads. New features and capabilities mean new possibilities. The news with the most impact relates to the Mac but has broader implications across iPhone and iPad in the future.  

Custom-built Apple CPU: A Monumental Shift 

The significant announcement—and certainly the one with the most buzz—is Apple’s plan to transition Mac products from Intel processors to its homegrown ARM-based chips called Apple SiliconThe new silicon chips are similar to the processors Apple uses for iPhones and iPads. Apple plans to release the first siliconpowered Mac by the end of 2020, with the full transition of the entire Mac product line occurring over the next two years. But not to worry, Apple will continue to support and release new Intel-powered Macs for years to come, so it’s not exclusive (at least for now). It does send a clear message that Apply will not rely on Intel moving forward. The move will end Apple’s dependence on a third-party CPU, which tended to dictate what, when, and how of its product lineup. Apple will now have complete control and will reap efficiencies with the integration of hardware, software, and services across its entire family of products. As a result, Apple can build better products across the board.  

So, what does this all mean for developers, clients, and end-users? The fact that iOS and iPadOS apps can run natively on silicon-powered Macs is a key benefit because an app can now work across all devices. One common and scalable architecture across all the Apple devices makes it easier for developers to create software across Mac laptops/desktops (MacOS), iPhones (iOS), and iPads (iPadOS), which equates to reduced time and costs. Additionally, the new processors are faster and offer higher performance at lower power consumption, which means better processing, improved graphics performance, and longer battery life—all valuable features for end-users.  

MacOS Big Sur: Bridging the Gap 

Touted by Apple as the biggest design update since MacOS X, the release of Big Sur (MacOS 11) offers refreshed designs for all apps on the system, including calendar, notes, podcasts, and music. The new operating system also boasts a revamped Safari browser with improved tab management capabilities, new privacy features, browser extensions, and built-in language translationOther notables include updates to Messages that offer better conversation management and group messaging options and a redesigned Maps app featuring Guides from trusted sources and 360-degree views of destinations.  

More so than the new visual look, Big Sur represents Apple’s vision of a consistent experience across its family of productsIt is a look that Apple describes as “entirely new but instantly familiar.” While the modern user interface and user experience are new to the Mac, one can’t help to notice that it looks like iOS on a computerAdditionally, the unique experience of Big Sur includes some features, such as widgets, messages, and guides, touted in the next release in the fall for iOS and iPadOSThe underlying theme is a cohesive experience across devices for Apple customersThe average American household owns 2.6 Apple products, and that number jumps to 4.7 products for affluent households. Consequently, the familiarity here is a positive takeaway because of the universal apps and features means that the user experience is consistent. Users will not need to learn how to do the same task different way on a different device.     

iOS14 and iPadOS 14: Improved usability and access 

The news for iPhones and iPads focused on updates to system software. Apple’s next iOS and iPadOS release in the fall will offer users new and improved usability, features, and experiences with their phones and tablets. All great news for the 193 million iPhone users in the United States.  

Apple has wholly rethought apps management and organization on the iPhone. Common user frustrations are addressed, and app content will be served and customized to the user thanks to on-device machine learning. Consequently, developers, clients, and end-users will have better access and visibility for installed and/or frequently used apps.  

The new capabilities to look forward to with iOS14 include: 

  • WidgetsWidgets—offering timely content at a glance—can be added to the home screen based on your interests. Additionally, smartstack will surface the widget you’ll want to use next based on the user’s behavioral patterns of activity, time, and location. 
  • App Library: The new App Library will put an end to the endless sifting and search for apps across multiple screens. App Library will organize all the apps into smart folders  and in an easier-to-navigate view. And, like the widgets, the App Library will organize and predictively serve up the apps when you need it. 
  • Compact Call User Interface: No more full-screen takeovers while on a call or using Siri.  A new compact design for these interactions allows simultaneous access and use of your screen Additionally, picture-in-picture comes to the iPhone, allowing for multitasking while on a Facetime call or watching a video. Users now will be able to Facetime chat with friend about where to go for dinner while searching for restaurants on Google 
  • App Clips: Looking to pay for your parking or coffee with an app? App Clips allow users access to certain parts of product or service apps without downloading the full app through scan of App Clip code, QR code, or NFC tags. To leverage this capability, developers need only to create a clip under 10MB in size and ideally use sign-in with Apple and Apple Pay to ensure the user won’t need to login or create an account.  
  • Updated Messages: The new features for Messages offer better management, control, and communications. With the new release, users will be able to pin messages, seamlessly keep up with group threads, and further customize images, emojis, and Memojis.  

Most of the new capabilities in iOS14 apply to iPadOS 14, so best to focus on what’s going to make the iPad experience even better and users more productive and creative. These include:  

  • New Search Tool: With a new streamlined user interface, search on the iPad will look and perform much like that on a MacAdditionally, search on iPad will be more comprehensive and capable of finding anything on your device or on the internet. This indicates further convergence between the iPad and the Mac.  
  • Scribble: Apple Pencil users will be thrilled to know that their handwritten text will now automatically convert to typed text when scribed in any text field. Write a response with Apple Pencil to a text in Messages or a keyword search in Safari. Additionally, on-device machine learning will enable the iPad to distinguish between handwriting and drawing. Notetakers can now easily select, cut, and paste handwritten notes as typed text in documents.  
  • Enhance Augmented Reality: A new ARKit will allow developers to create augmented reality apps with such depth and precision that experiences will seem even more real. The capability will impact the ability to accurately depict virtual try-on experiences, interior design, and more. And the introduction of Location Anchors will allow developers to pin their AR experiences to a specific location anywhere in the world.  

The Bottom Line 

Picture a line representing user experience with Mac at one endpoint and iPhone/iPad at the other endpoint. Now, picture each endpoint moving toward one another, inching closer and closer togetherThe implications point to complete convergence in the future across Mac, iPad, and iPhone experiences. And while these will continue to be separate products with different use cases, it signals a warm welcome for those users who have use for two or all three products 

For Apple, getting consumers to buy into the ecosystem is what it’s all about. Luckily, the experience will be seamless for the consumers who do.  

 

Implementing Cybersecurity During The Coronavirus Pandemic

June 29th, 2020|Categories: AI, NLP, Machine Learning, Data Science and Analytics, Emerging Tech - AR, Cloud, Blockchain, News and Announcements|Tags: , , |

Quantilus Innovation continually monitors cybersecurity news and developments that could impact companies like ours—and yours. Our team has compiled useful information and resources below to grow awareness of potential threats and prevent any compromise to systems.

Most of the working world continues to be a participant in a massive experiment on distributed, remote work structures. However, the coronavirus pandemic combined with the unprecedented, massive work-from-home shift creates another kind of threat—a breeding ground for cyber criminals to capitalize on vulnerabilities. The public health crisis has sparked a rise in cyber incidents, from phishing scams and malware to VPN DDoS attacks and vulnerabilities with teleconferencing and cloud SaaS applications, so here’s the latest on what you need to know:

Contact us to discuss penetration testing and other assessment options.

The cybersecurity specialists at Quantilus can identify your company’s susceptibility to specific external and internal threats and collaborate to mitigate the short-term and long-term risks. Call 212-768-8900 or email info@quantilus.com.

How Social Distancing Guidelines will Accelerate Adoption of Existing Technologies

June 19th, 2020|Categories: AI, NLP, Machine Learning, Emerging Tech - AR, Cloud, Blockchain, Mobile Development|Tags: , , |

As the reopening phase continues to accelerate across the globe, people and businesses are entering the beginning of a new normal with social distancing, health, and safety moving to the forefront of technology. The adoption of emerging digital tools that can help promote social distancing guidelines and limit pandemic spread is increasing every day, so here are few that you should know about:

CompanyTRAK

In cooperation with the CDC, many states require specific measures to be taken by businesses beginning to reopen their workplace. CompanyTRAK is one digital solution that is leading the way in contact tracing and social distancing technology.

CompanyTRAK’s solution would trace employee interaction within a building with the use of Bluetooth scanners and geofencing. Employees would receive notifications when they move within the 6-foot distance that the CDC recommends or if they’ve come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Another daily exercise that may become a new normal for workers across the United States is called Self-Declaration. This tool would allow companies to ask employees COVID-19 related questions daily (such as temperature) to help the employee understand if they’re prepared to go into the office or work from home.

Pending a patent, CompanyTRAK will help companies reach new regulation requirements that many states are now enforcing.

NOVID

Another solution is utilizing sound and echoes to help promote social distancing guidelines. NOVID points out that Bluetooth and GPS technologies can provide inaccurate measurements at times, and their solution uses ultrasonic technology and a phone’s microphone to listen to inaudible sounds.

While some might worry about the potential privacy infringement with increased Bluetooth technology, location tracking, or voice recording, NOVID suggests their solution doesn’t record any audio in the human voice range.

Wearables

Wearables are an existing technology that is finding another use to help with social distancing guidelines. Some applications, in particular, can monitor and alert people within six feet of each other in a workplace by equipping a wearable device. Estimote created a wearable device that works out of the box, keeps track of social distancing stats, is connected to a local and secure database, and can immediately report the health status of employees. The employer, meanwhile, has access to a contact tracing dashboard, tracking each device.

Also, Amazon recently announced a pilot in which they’ll be testing wearables that will send alerts to workers when they might violate rules that encourage social distancing in the warehouse. The wearable features a plastic sleeve, LED lights, and an audio system.

Contactless ATMs

An area of concern for financial institutions is supporting customers with new technology that will provide for their current safety concerns when they’re in contact with their bank.

 In a recent interview with ATM Marketplace, Simon Powley, head global advisor consultant for Diebold Nixdorf, echoed how customers feel right now: “You want your customers to be safe. You want to leverage devices that can be kept clean. You want to set up contactless transactions at an ATM or pre-stage them through a mobile phone.”

So what’s an example of the technology Simon Powley mentioned? The scenario of this type of contactless ATM transaction might include walking up to an ATM and being able to connect your phone’s banking app to the nearby ATM. In this scenario, you’d never have to touch the ATM to deposit checks or to take cash out.

Three Indian banks recently started testing contactless ATMs that featured QR codes for customers to access the ATM through their mobile devices. All PINs and cash amounts can be entered through a mobile banking application.

Contactless Elevators

Another Indian company, TechMax Solution, has been working on a touchless elevator panel for any store, office, or residential buildings. The panel “buttons” are activated when pointed at from about half an inch’s distance. Also, the panel can be added next to current button layouts, so there’s no need for building managers to worry about switching out the technology in the elevator.

From social distancing guidelines monitored from mobile devices to never needing to use your hands on communal surfaces again, the adoption of existing technology is accelerating across the globe in several industries. With this movement comes the new priority of creating efficient solutions that promote the health and safety of the user. The new normal in technology was on its way already, but recent events have the adoption of this technology a necessity.

Learn more about what Quantilus has to offer here.

What is Cognitive Computing and How Can Retail Benefit?

June 19th, 2020|Categories: AI, NLP, Machine Learning, Emerging Tech - AR, Cloud, Blockchain|Tags: , , , , |

The massive shift to online shopping has resulted in unparalleled changes in how the retail industry operates. From focusing efforts on website development and online retail to requiring more timely shipping speeds, the retail industry is continuously evolving and will continue to grow. With all the changes to the retail ecosystem and the continuous move from traditional brick and mortar, one thing that is instrumental in their success is cognitive computing in retail.

What Exactly is Cognitive Computing?

Cognitive computing is essentially self-learning systems and algorithms that imitate the human brain’s thought process to look at big data extremely efficiently. So efficiently, that no human could analyze massive amounts of data and form conclusions at the same rate and accuracy. These algorithms become more intelligent as they are introduced to more data, similar to a human. 

Cognitive computing is more than crunching numbers; it can also understand natural language, understand images, recognize patterns, and more. However, employees should not stress about cognitive computing replacing their jobs. Instead, employees should view it as a tool that will help them be more accurate, efficient, and knowledgeable in their line of work. Cognitive computing in retail facilitates decision-making.

One of cognitive computing’s key elements is the integration of self-learning systems that utilize natural language processing, data mining, and pattern recognition. The self-learning feature also means the system can learn from its experiences, thus becoming more intelligent and have more cognitive capabilities over time.

 

How Does This Apply to Retail?

Cognitive computing in retail is becoming essential as marketers can collect more data than ever. This data is then studied and utilized to make retailers more efficient and adaptive. In return, companies diving into digital transformation can generate more sales.

North Face is an example of a company that integrates cognitive computing into their e-commerce site to help select the best product for consumers. This is done by having potential customers enter the details they are looking for in a desired product. The tool then further inquires about when, where, and what activities the product will be used during. From there, the system begins to analyze multiple data sets such as customer reviews, weather for the geographical location the consumer provided, and their gender. 

The end result is a customized list of recommended products based on the information the user provided, mixed with the other data points the system can access. Using cognitive computing allows North Face to identify customers’ wants and needs, accurately match consumers to products, have more satisfied customers, and ultimately drive sales.

 

Price Optimization

Price optimization is a valuable feature of cognitive computing. Price optimization considers the demand for a particular product and looks to see if the product’s price should be lowered or raised. For example, price optimization will look at demand for all products in a store. If sales for a pair of jeans are not as high as predicted, price optimization will illuminate this and recommend an appropriate price for the product to help clear out the inventory, all while maximizing profits.

Price optimization is also used for competition benchmarking when it comes to pricing. The purpose is to shed insight into how a retailer’s prices compare to others in their space. Retailers then use the information collected to make informed decisions on optimizing their prices best.

 

Demand and Trend Forecasting

Demand forecasting is the science of predicting the number of sales certain products will garner during a specific period. Forecasting is imperative in retail because when retailers have excess inventory, they lose money due to not being able to sell all of it. On the other hand, if retailers do not buy enough inventory, they will miss out on sales.

Cognitive computing has made demand forecasting a much more accurate procedure than when humans spearheaded all calculations and analyses. This is a result of cognitive computing being able to examine substantially more data, illuminate patterns across seemingly unrelated information, and provide real-time adoption of information instead of focusing solely on historical data.

Fast-fashion retailer H&M, is a company utilizing demand forecasting to manage store inventories. The software analyzes customer receipts to determine the stock levels of products. This allows the stores to determine which products need greater promotion and which products need to have their stocks replenished. Patterns can also be found during this process. For example, H&M might discover they sell the most leather jackets on the east coast and may adjust store inventory accordingly.

 

Website User/Customer Experience Design

Companies can analyze the data of users interacting with a website. Whether it is investigating the step-by-step route of a customer’s journey upon entering the site until they make a purchase, identifying ways to improve customer service, improving social media engagement, or determining which pages experience the most visitors, companies can use cognitive computing to collect this data and adjust their interface accordingly. Therefore, the site can be modified to become more user-friendly and/or drive more conversions and mobile payments.

 

The Wrap-up

Cognitive computing in retail and cognitive technology has brought numerous advancements to the industry. Through demand forecasting, price optimization, and website design, cognitive computing has provided retailers with the tools to become more agile businesses.

Have a potential project in mind? Contact us at info@quantilus.com for a consultation and learn more about what Quantilus has to offer here.

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