Square Off, the team that introduced the world to the smartest chessboard, has come up with their latest innovations – Square Off Neo and Swap.
Square Off Neo, an ultra-affordable, automated chessboard, and Swap, a first-of-its-kind, multi-board game device, have scored big – raising more than $625,000 from 3700+ backers in no more than 29 days. On the last day of their campaign, Neo and Swap stood at 1253% funded over the goal amount of $50,000.
So how did Square Off manage to grab the attention of backers?
Square Off’s products function in the upcoming realm of connected board gaming, with a focus on automated movements, adaptive AI, multi-gaming, global connectivity, and personalized coaching – all at an affordable price point – making the boards quite desirable in the innovators and early adopters’ circles.
Square Off launched their pioneering automated chessboard in 2016. For the first time, players could connect with and play against other players from around the world, on their very own board through the power of telerobotics. What started with the first successful Kickstarter campaign, turned into more than 20,000 satisfied users, over $4 Million dollars in revenue, and $1.6 Million in equity funding from investors like Kstart Capital, India Quotient and RB Capital.
Speaking about their recent success, Bhavya Gohil, CEO, said, “The last few months have been an exciting and enriching roller-coaster ride. We went into this with utmost faith and conviction in our idea and while we knew it has legs, we were absolutely overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the response we received. However, this is just the beginning for us. With Neo our vision was of the quintessential chessboard that’s meant for every home and with Swap we’ve attempted to revolutionize the board gaming surface and hence experience altogether. We are pushing the envelope for smart, automated board games and we plan on following it up with more innovations in the near future.”
Features of Square Off Neo
Square Off Neo is the next generation of smartboard games that is taking chess to the future. It’s a lighter, faster, affordable chessboard for every household that’s packed with adaptive AI that can be challenged up to 30 difficulty levels, personalized chess coaching, and 1.5X faster movements. With a seamless, no-press movement of pieces and an absolutely silent machinery, the board is quite an update from its predecessors.
Features of Square Off Swap
Square Off Swap offers users the convenience of playing multiple board games on the same surface. Think of it as a pioneering console for board games. The board comes with four games – Chess, Draughts, Halma or Connect 4 – to begin with and it also allows players to develop their own games which can be played on its 8X8 checkered surface. Like Neo, Swap too is globally connected – so whether your opponent is in a different room or a different continent, the game still goes on! Swap also packs in the Blitz Chess feature which introduces speed chess to the Square Off range of products.
Speaking on the journey ahead for Square Off, Atur Mehta, Co-founder & CTO, said, “Since Kickstarter comprises of tech and innovation enthusiasts, it makes for the perfect testing ground for innovations like ours, before we launch the product into the actual market. We’ve received a lot of valuable feedback and insights over the last month and our next step is to head to China to complete the R&D and work on the mechanics of the boards. We aim to start the delivery for both the boards by June 2020.”
In this Interview, Leading AI Expert Mariojose Palma Talks About the Evolution and Future of AI
Mariojose Palma is a Florida based Artificial Intelligence Expert. Apart from his expertise in AI, he has successfully developed software applications for his clients throughout his career. An advent believer of the fact that AI is there to change the world for the good, Mariojose has written a famous blog ‘COVID-19 scenario planning using Artificial Intelligence’.
In this Interview, he discusses in detail the application of AI in various sectors and what AI holds in future for us.
Mariojose, Thank you for talking with us. Kindly describe your journey as an Entrepreneur so far.
This great journey started at the age of 15 years old when I began designing websites and developing applications which could play my favorite online games and of course win my friends because while I was sleeping or studying, my computer would be playing for me. Since that moment without me consciously knowing, I was trying to emulate human behavior through a machine to get certain actions as a response.
Later on, I started to work with different companies in my home country Venezuela, where they had the need to automatize processes taking data from different sources and with that data have the application make different decisions on its own.
One of the most interesting projects I worked on in my US first years was to develop an application which would obtain and show cars and boats real-time data in a user-friendly manner to make better decisions. In that time, I formally learned a lot about AI and how to apply it in a large-scale project considering smaller time frames where we would make it possible to get real-time data in 300 milliseconds which at the time was considered an “impossible” thing to achieve.
Currently I find myself working as a consultant for several companies in the financial and real state fields most of the time.
They way we perceive AI and ML has changed rapidly in the last few years. In your view, how things have changed in the last few years.
In my opinion, AI has substantially grown in the past few years. It just didn’t exist before, as a programmer you were limited to certain conditioning elements (ifs and else) to make a software work based on the current data but that did not mean it was an intelligent software as we see it now.
It is incredible the high number of Artificial intelligence frameworks that’s been born and keep getting better in only five years like TensorFlow, Keras and Cognitive Tools from Microsoft. These frameworks help to a great extent to comprehend how to solve AI problems without having the need of diving in each and every neuron of the neural network. The way AI has evolved makes me believe that with today’s tools it is possible to construct superior and stronger solutions, not only for high-end companies but for everybody in a very near future.
How can AI revolutionize health sector? Do you see its potential in the fight against Covid 19?
It seem to me AI could be of great help in the health sector specially in the preventive side due to the large amount of data a single person can have, considering all the family history for example, it is humanly impossible to analyze all the data from everyone, that is the reason AI will revolutionize this industry satisfying the need for more accurate percentages and patterns. Imagine how helpful would be for health care providers to view on their screens the key points of the patient they are about to see, that indeed would help recognize patters of symptoms and catch up with any disease in its early development.
In the case of already existing diseases like Covid-19 AI would be crucial because as I mentioned before the large amount of data that needs to be processed in order to find the best solution takes a lot of time and it is just impossible for humans to do it faster, in the meantime people die, AI is going to be essential in the fight of viruses like Covid-19.
In your experience, which sector has best used the powers of AI? Also, what are some of the untapped powers of AI?
I would definitely say the automotive industry is one of the pioneers using AI since we now have self-driving cars available for the public to buy. Cybersecurity of course, implements AI to detect credit cards frauds based on the transactions data, to name one.
The education industry could take a great deal of advantages from AI taking into consideration each and every student’s data, how does he learn? what does he likes best to learn? which is the best way he learns more? Is he a visual learner? Is he a participation-focus learner? There are so many things to be considered so our students can perform at their best, therefore AI will be a teacher’s best friend in order for them to personalize education and reward each student the proper way to maximize their outcome.
There are concerns around how AI can be detrimental to certain sectors. Moreover, there are fears around the possible misuse of the powers of AI. Are these fears justified?
As every new industry has faced in their beginnings with difficulties due to the instant and natural rejection we feel towards the unknown, AI industry is not the exception owing to the apparent fear of AI overtaking most of our jobs, such as repetitive kinds of jobs where machines take over, this staff needs to reroute and find a more challenging job which the machine itself can’t do, for instance controlling or repairing the machines.
The dark side of AI is not the AI itself but the humans behind it. AI could be wonderful or it could be dangerous if it ends up in the wrong hands, what I mean is that the same AI used in cybersecurity that prevents a credit card fraud could be used to actually perform the fraud, “attack” applications, servers, etc. What’s more there’s something called “Deep fake” which is an AI able to make any public person’s face “say” what you want, with the person’s voice and expressions. The way it works is by allowing you to video tape yourself saying whatever you want to say and the AI will transform that into the celebrity or public person of your choice, as a consequence in the near future we are not going to know for sure if what we are watching was recorded indeed by that person.
What future Trends do you see in Software Development?
In my view the trends will be towards developing applications with AI to communicate with us as if they were humans too. For example, the bots used in customer service call centers which sometimes are helpful and most of the time annoying, in this new trend, humans are not going to identify whether they are talking to a human or a bot, making this calls a lot more satisfactory and keeping the wait times very low. On the other hand, the people working on call centers are going to encounter the AI threat.
What suggestion would you like to give to someone who wants to make a career in AI and ML?
If you ask me, I think anyone who wants to learn can do so, there’s so much information on the internet and YouTube, anyone could learn anything. I’m not saying you’ll become an AI expert in one day, week or even a year but you will definitely have a better understanding on AI. I’ve been working in the AI industry for over five years and I keep learning with every project I involve myself in and It excites me that there’s still a lot more to be discovered.
Here is how Artificial Intelligence Changing the E-commerce Industry
Artificial Intelligence or AI is considered as the most dominant technology in the eCommerce industry, it takes the eCommerce sector to the next level.
It is changing the way we think about eCommerce by helping brands reach out to customers in personalized ways.
Today lots of e-commerce businesses are using AI to better understand their customers, definitely, it helps to generate new leads and provide an enhanced customer experience.
Artificial Intelligence is the kind of mechanism that is intelligent and capable enough to perform tasks and function on their own.
The machines that assimilate AI are designed in a way that they can think, understand and perform faster than the human interface.
AI has revolutionized the e-commerce Industry. A few examples are listed below.
AI Assistant/ Chatbots
Most eCommerce sites provide 24/7 support through AI assistance/ chatbot. These chatbots understand and reply to customer’s queries and give them a proper solution/ assist them on their issues. Google Assistant is well-known chatbot for assisting cell phone users.
Several online shopping sites have chatbots functionality to help people make buying decisions. These machines chatbots communicate with the user or visitors by using either speech or text.
ECommerce sites can drive consumers to engage in a CHATBOT experience, on top of popular social messaging applications like Facebook Messenger, so that a company can re-engage the consumer in future commerce.
These AI technologies will fundamentally change the way we engage in online commerce. Moreover, for companies, the don’t have to rely always on Human Resources when it comes to engaging with customers.
Product Recommendation Engine
This software analyzes the customer behavior on your site and accordingly recommends products that a customer might be interested in.
This Product recommendation is visible to customers on your site, by email or banner ads. It is found that this software is most important for improving eCommerce sales.
A virtual assistant with good customer service skills can answer customer questions via phone, live chat, email and on social media.
It can handle processing your company’s orders including order entry, shipment and invoicing.
It compiles the orders, sends customer invoices to your drop-ship vendors and/or Shipping companies, and other daily tasks.
Virtual Assistant can also manage the returns and exchanges of products for you.
AI technology is present within each segment of CRM namely sales, marketing, and customer service. Most of the companies offering AI powered CRM Solutions, help in increasing your sales with a recommender system, develop better marketing strategies, and offer personalized and immediate services that your customers want.
AI helps you to manage your business and provide good customer experiences by tracking and organizing important data, so you are able to predict Both real-time and future inventory needs for your business.
ECommerce companies across the globe are already implementing many of these AI-powered tools to increase their customers and reach wider audiences.
It is not a secret Now that the top brand Retailers like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba are investing heavily in Artificial Intelligence technology.
Artificial Intelligence has the ability to process a large amount of data (i.e. stored in the company’s CRM or derived from big-data predictions about customer habits) And use them to effectively engage and guide users in many processes.
It handles marketing notifications to buying or post-processing. Sale of services; for example, help users navigate a website, search for products from a real-time image, determine the optimal fit characteristics of a product, decide on a purchase by comparing prices Etc.
Upcoming REWIRE: AI & Tech Event Gathers Leading Innovators to Wuxi, China
An impressive panel of guest speakers has been announced for Wuxi, China’s upcoming AI & Technology event REWIRE: EDUCATION. Scheduled for Sept.21st, the event is the first of many industry-specific Artificial intelligence events hosted by REWIRE.
“Every major industry is on the verge of being drastically changed by AI technology. Businesses of all sizes need to learn what can be done to adapt to these changes to ensure long-term sustainability in their respective industries”, said Errol Vas, REWIRE’s co-chair, “At the moment, many AI & Technology events do a great job at showcasing the latest innovations in the AI field, but they fail to relate these new technologies to the industries that will be affected by them”.
The upcoming REWIRE: Education event will examine AI’s influence on the education industry – specifically the advantages AI will offer to learners, the trajectory of school technology use, the impact on the multi-billion dollar education industry, and solutions for educational institutions to ensure future success & profitability in a rapidly changing business climate. And to achieve this, REWIRE: Education boasts a powerhouse panel of guest-speakers that includes renowned Chinese artificial intelligence experts, CEOs from China’s leading tech companies, Entrepreneurs & professionals in the Education Industry and industry specialists from top academic institutions such as Harvard and Dartmouth.
The event is set be held in China’s Wuxi City, an upcoming IoT authority and hotspot. “Being on the forefront of IoT innovation, an industry that clearly overlaps with AI, Wuxi is the perfect city to host the REWIRE: AI & Technology Seminars”, explained REWIRE’s creator, Johan Knapp, “REWIRE brings together leaders from every corner of industry and connects them with China’s most innovative technology companies – many of which are located right here in Wuxi”.
REWIRE: Education 2019 Guest-Speaker lineup:
AI Technology Expert, CEO,Founder,BSc. MSc. MBA.
With a BSc in Computer Science and an MSc in AI Technology from China’s prestigious Tsinghua University, as well as an MBA from Ohio State University, Fang Yi Min has placed himself at the forefront of technological development in China. During his career, he’s served as Deputy Chief Designer for the Eight-Five Plan’s 《National Operations System》, CEO with Zhongshan Ming Ren Computer Science, and Founder of Edutech company Hao Ji Xing.
International College Admissions Expert, BA, Dartmouth Alumnus
A graduate of Dartmouth University, a prestigious IVY League institution in the United States, Trevor is one of the most reputable Admissions Experts in China and regularly facilitates admissions into Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, MIT, Columbia and UCLA. With over 10 years of experience, Trevor knows what criteria elite schools are using to select students, and the trajectory of the College Admissions Industry as a whole. His work has been published by top Universities, Education Boards and Governments.
Wu Xaio Xin
CEO, Co-Founder, Serial Entrepreneur, Multi Patent Owner, BSc.
With over 16 years of product development & project management experience, Wu Xiao Xin has led multiple teams in creating highly competitive products in multiple sectors, including aircraft technology and the education industry. In addition, he owns 4 invention & utility model patents and is the Co-Founder & CEO of Zhongyu Science & Technology Company in Wuxi.
CEO, Entrepreneur, Educator
After a career as a primary school English teacher, Wendy founded OLEAN Children’s Education brand. Olean children’s education brand. Her company developed a highly sought-after online curriculum system that has proven to be both innovative and incredibly effective for young learners.
Those interested in hearing what this panel has to say about the future of AI & Education can access the REWIRE: Education event via Live Stream at (www.errolvas.com/rewire). Tune in at 7:30 Beijing time, September 21st 2019.
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