Categories
AI

InRule: 64% worry about job security while working with AI

Where does your enterprise stand on the AI adoption curve? Take our AI survey to find out.


Nearly two-thirds (64%) of enterprise decision-makers with responsibility for machine learning, application development, and decision management in their organizations are worried about job security, according to new research by business software company InRule.

People working with AI worry about job security.

Above: 64% of decision-makers consider job security as their biggest personal challenge with AI technologies.

Image Credit: InRule

There are many use cases for AI in the enterprise, from driving market and customer insights to testing new products, mitigating compliance, and addressing privacy risks, and many decision-makers report feeling overwhelmed by the options. At least one-third of decision-makers report too many use cases across business functions like sales, marketing, and customer experience. There were 53% of respondents in the survey who said customer experiences was the top business function for AI — and that they have too many AI use cases in that area.

The problem of having too many use cases will continue to increase as 67% of decision-makers said they expect their AI/ML usage to increase over the next year-and-a-half.

Challenges with collaboration impede AI success. More than half (51%) of decision-makers say their organization has too much data, and 42% struggle to identify and gain access to the right data. Organizational silos exacerbate the inaccessibility of data, hindering collaboration between experts and data scientists.

AI operations are critical to gaining essential insights about customers and markets, but there are myths and misconceptions that may stifle AI projects before they can get off the ground, InRule’s study found. One such misperception is that AI projects can’t be done without enough data scientists, when the reality is that there are many AI and ML tools available.

Another is that using AI can have unintended consequences that could harm the business. Sixty-four percent of decision-makers said it is “Important” or “Critical” for their organization to defend or prove the efficacy of its digital decisions. With the growing number of privacy regulations, enterprises have to be able to justify what they are doing with the data. Even so, 58% of decision-makers find defending or proving the efficacy of their digital decisions challenging. They are willing to share visual representations of their outcomes and inputs used, but less likely to show the code they used or the questions driving the decisions, the study found.

Part of that may be because many organizations don’t have the right tools, technology, process, and culture to identify the right questions for digital decisioning, InRule found. More than half (57%) of decision-makers report not having the tools and technology in place to identify the right questions for their digital decisions and 42% don’t have the right processes or a culture of collaboration, the study said.

The study, which consisted of three interviews and an online survey of 302 U.S.-based individuals, focused on decision-makers’ perceptions of AI. “AI is a critical source of industry competitiveness. The fastest path to AI solutions is to formulate and execute a strategy to scale AI use cases based on reality unencumbered by myths,” the report said.

Read the full report from InRule.

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Categories
Computing

Norton 360 Premium Antivirus More Than Half Off at Staples

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As we approach the July 4 long weekend, we’re seeing some spectacular deals on all kinds of tech, accessories, and software, like in these VPN deals. In fact, right now, at Staples, you can get $55 off the Norton 360 Premium antivirus package for your PC, Mac, or Android device. Norton is probably the best-known name in computer safety, and this is a chance to save more than 50% on Norton 360 Premium, which is down to $45 from its original price of $55. Get it today!

Whether it’s for home use or your small business, Norton 360 Premium could be the best way to protect your devices’ safety, in terms of both viruses and privacy. Norton 360 Premium is perfect for users who want to have the peace of mind of knowing that their computer and connected devices are safe from prying eyes and dangerous viruses. Adding this version of Norton 360 Premium, which is pre-paid for a year of protection, means that you can relax while doing your online banking, shopping, and browsing, whether you’re at home or using public Wi-Fi.

A nice feature about this Norton 360 Premium deal is that it automatically renews after a year, so you never have to worry about gaps in your devices’ safety (and, of course, you can cancel your account at any time). Norton 360 Premium provides real-time threat protection against all kinds of troublesome potential attacks on your system, including ransomware, spyware, viruses, and phishing. It also provides 75GB of secure PC backup, which automatically backs up your files in the cloud, not only giving you extra storage space but also protecting you from threats like hard drive failure or theft of your device (which can happen to the best of us).

Also, the Norton 360 Premium dishes up a secure VPN service, so you can browse anonymously and safely, and leave no trail behind. This VPN has bank-grade encryption that will ensure that no one can steal important info like your passwords or bank and credit card information. There’s also dark web monitoring, which lets you know if any of your details are floating out there in the darker corners of the internet. For everyday simplicity, there is a password manager that helps create, store, and manage passwords. There are parental controls so that the kids will only see what you want them to, and a smart firewall service to monitor your network. Best of all, Norton puts its money where its mouth is: If your computer is infected by a virus that Norton’s professionals cannot remove, the company will give you your money back.

We live so much of our lives through our devices that there’s really no excuse not to have an extra layer of protection. Norton 360 Premium can provide this, and it’s currently, $55 off at Staples; that’s a 55% discount. This awesome protective software is down to $45 from its regular price of $100 — get it while you can!

More VPN deals available now

Norton can be a great way to protect your privacy, but there are other options below.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

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Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Game

‘Control’ is getting a co-op spin-off game

Remedy Entertainment’s excellent is one of the of the past few years. The developer has some good news for fans of the mind-bending adventure: there’s much more Control on the way.

The studio and 505 Games agreed to co-publish and develop a multiplayer spin-off. Condor (which is a codename) is a co-op player vs. environment game. You’ll be able to team up with three friends and tackle enemies — most likely controlled by the otherworldly force called the Hiss. Condor is being developed for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

But that’s not all. According to , Remedy and 505 have initial plans “to further expand the Control franchise with a bigger-budget Control game, to be agreed in more detail in the future.” So, it sure sounds like there’s a proper Control sequel on the way too.

Don’t expect to learn much more about those games anytime soon, though. “It is going to be a long time before we show off these projects,” Mikael Kasurinen, game director of the Control series . However, “there are other Remedy experiences coming from our studio that I know you will love.” The studio is working on the single-player campaign for CrossfireX, which is slated to arrive this year.

“Control is an extremely successful game,” said Rami and Raffi Galante, the co-CEOs of 505’s parent company Digital Bros Group. It has sold more than two million copies, and it’s been a freebie on and . You can also play it through Xbox Game Pass too, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Categories
AI

Today I learned about Intel’s AI sliders that filter online gaming abuse

Last month during its virtual GDC presentation Intel announced Bleep, a new AI-powered tool that it hopes will cut down on the amount of toxicity gamers have to experience in voice chat. According to Intel, the app “uses AI to detect and redact audio based on user preferences.” The filter works on incoming audio, acting as an additional user-controlled layer of moderation on top of what a platform or service already offers.

It’s a noble effort, but there’s something bleakly funny about Bleep’s interface, which lists in minute detail all of the different categories of abuse that people might encounter online, paired with sliders to control the quantity of mistreatment users want to hear. Categories range anywhere from “Aggression” to “LGBTQ+ Hate,” “Misogyny,” “Racism and Xenophobia,” and “White nationalism.” There’s even a toggle for the N-word. Bleep’s page notes that it’s yet to enter public beta, so all of this is subject to change.

Filters include “Aggression,” “Misogyny” …
Credit: Intel

… and a toggle for the “N-word.”
Image: Intel

With the majority of these categories, Bleep appears to give users a choice: would you like none, some, most, or all of this offensive language to be filtered out? Like choosing from a buffet of toxic internet slurry, Intel’s interface gives players the option of sprinkling in a light serving of aggression or name-calling into their online gaming.

Bleep has been in the works for a couple of years now — PCMag notes that Intel talked about this initiative way back at GDC 2019 — and it’s working with AI moderation specialists Spirit AI on the software. But moderating online spaces using artificial intelligence is no easy feat as platforms like Facebook and YouTube have shown. Although automated systems can identify straightforwardly offensive words, they often fail to consider the context and nuance of certain insults and threats. Online toxicity comes in many, constantly evolving forms that can be difficult for even the most advanced AI moderation systems to spot.

“While we recognize that solutions like Bleep don’t erase the problem, we believe it’s a step in the right direction, giving gamers a tool to control their experience,” Intel’s Roger Chandler said during its GDC demonstration. Intel says it hopes to release Bleep later this year, and adds that the technology relies on its hardware accelerated AI speech detection, suggesting that the software may rely on Intel hardware to run.

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Categories
Tech News

AI study claims tennis is the most ‘euphoric’ sport. I’m not convinced

If you’re captivated by the drama of the European Football Championship, have you considered watching Wimbledon instead? Tennis is, after all, a more euphoric sport to watch. Or so claims a new AI analysis.

The study by British TV platform Freeview explored emotional reactions to different sports by analyzing the expressions of viewers.

The 150 participants were sent content from 10 sports consisting of 30,750 frames, which were standardized to capture the same format of low, medium, and high-intensity clips.

Their responses were measured by software developed by startup RealEyes, which analyzed reactions caught by cameras on viewers’ devices.

According to the analysis, tennis is the most euphoric sport to watch at home, followed by gymnastics, football, and cricket.

Formula 1, meanwhile, was deemed to evoke the most shock, which was identified by movements such as sudden wide eyes and the dropping of the jaw. But F1 was also ranked as the most confusing sport, based on factors such as narrowing eyelids and furrowing of the brow.

More routine-based Olympic sports, such as equestrian and synchronized swimming, were deemed the tensest, as they maintained the highest quality of viewer attention.

Consider me unconvinced.

Measuring emotions

Emotion recognition technology (ERT) is an extremely controversial area of AI. Scientists have argued that the systems are not only inaccurate and biased, but akin to phrenology.

The skepticism is rational. People show their emotions in countless ways, which makes analyses based on facial movements unreliable at best.

Research shows that emotions are expressed differently across cultures and societies. ERT has also been found to interpret Black people’s faces as angrier than white people’s — regardless of their expressions. The consequences could be horrendous when the tech’s deployed in public spaces, policing, and hiring.

In addition, there are countless variables to consider when analyzing emotional reactions. The Freeview study only analyzed the responses of British viewers, whose tastes will somewhat reflect their country’s sporting culture.

Reactions to sports could depend, for example, on their level of coverage. Football is constantly shown on British TV, which may trigger different responses to those observed in less exposed sports.

Ultimately, the study makes dubious generalizations about individual reactions. It’s also demonstrably incorrect: tennis is objectively a boring sport.

Yes, I said objectively. Don’t believe me? Well, let me prove it with my own scientific findings:

  1. More than 3.5 BILLION people tuned into the 2018 World Cup Final. That year’s Wimbledon finale? A measly 900 million.
  2. In 2019, only TWO players shared all four of the men’s tennis majors. That’s not very exciting. In England’s Premier League alone, more than 20 players tasted title success that year.

If that’s somehow still insufficient evidence for my finding, compare the emotions in these randomly selected images of mathematically average tennis and football fans.

Football fan:

Tennis fans:

I rest my case.

Greetings Humanoids! Did you know we have a newsletter all about AI? You can subscribe to it right here.



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Categories
Game

Resident Evil Village: The Mercenaries Beginner’s Guide

Mercenaries Mode was noticeably absent from Resident Evil Biohazard after being included in every game since Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Thankfully, the franchise’s latest installment, Resident Evil Village, has revived the fan-favorite mode. The Mercenaries pits players against swarms of enemies as they keep their eye on the clock. The goal is to achieve the highest rank possible on each map to unlock unique in-game rewards. Here’s how to unlock The Mercenaries in Resident Evil Village, along with some helpful strategies for achieving high scores.

How to unlock and play The Mercenaries in Resident Evil Village

To unlock The Mercenaries in Resident Evil Village, you have to beat the campaign. Afterward, you’ll earn Completion Points, or CP, to spend in the Extra Content Shop. Don’t worry, The Mercenaries only costs 200 CP, and you should have upward of 30,000-40,000 upon completing your first playthrough. You can now access The Mercenaries from the Bonuses menu. It’ll be right at the top.

The Mercenaries: mechanics and gameplay

There are eight stages in The Mercenaries, beginning with The Village, The Castle, The Factory, and The Mad Village. Those four stages repeat on a more challenging difficulty and are called The Village II, The Castle II, etc. We’ll refer to them as “front four” and “back four.” Spread around these stages will be gold time-extending orbs and blue ability orbs. These will play a crucial role in achieving high scores in The Mercenaries.

Before you embark on your Lycan-slaying adventure, you’ll purchase weapons, equipment, and upgrades from The Duke. Each mission has a set number of areas for players to clear, and they’ll be stopping at The Duke between each location. Spend your Lei wisely, and make sure to upgrade your guns before heading back out. Conserve ammo, avoid damage, and, most importantly, keep your combo alive. Let’s get into some of the more nuanced strategies.

All abilities and what they do

Resident Evil Village Mercenaries mode choose an ability screen.

Keep an eye out for blue ability orbs spread around each area in The Mercenaries. Approach and interact with the orb to break it and gain a new ability. These are like perks or power-ups for Ethan that will aid in his quest for SSS rank. Here is a list of every ability in The Mercenaries and what each does.

  • Agile – Speed increases
  • All Brawn – Attack increase but speed decreases
  • Adrenaline – HP recovers slightly when attacking with a gun
  • Blade Master – Knives do 5x more damage
  • Break Shot – Initial attack does more damage when enemy’s HP is full
  • Corpse Combustor – Enemies will likely explode when killed with a gun
  • Fiddle Shooter – Attack increase when switching between enemies
  • Gruesome Gourmet – Recover a little HP when an enemy is defeated
  • Healthy – Max HP increase
  • Infighter – Close-combat attacks do more damage
  • No Brainer – Headshots do more damage
  • Out of Reach – Long-distance attacks do more damage
  • Pistol Master – Handguns do more damage
  • Shotgun Master – Shotgun damage increases
  • Slow Motion – Enemies’ movements decrease
  • Thick Skinned – Damage taken decreases

Additionally, you can unlock four other abilities by achieving A ranks on the front four stages. You can activate orbs while on the move and even have a split second to do a quick turnaround before entering into the ability selection screen. Those milliseconds add up quickly when trying to keep your combo alive.

The front four stages

The Duke from Resident Evil Village.

While these first four stages aren’t a walk in the park, they are significantly easier than their level II counterparts. The absolute best thing you can do is buy and upgrade the sniper rifle. Before embarking on a new area, sell all your handgun ammo and most of your shotgun ammo. Skilled players can afford to sell their first aid spray as well for extra Lei.

Players who can achieve a B rank on each stage will be permanently rewarded with 5,000 bonus Lei for that mission. To unlock new stages, you must achieve an A rank on the last stage unlocked. For example, The Village is the first stage available. To unlock The Castle, you must get an A rank on The Village.

The rewards really ramp up once you achieve S rank. Players can increase their score even further for SS and SSS ranks. We’ll get into those rewards later. S ranks on the first four stages will reward you with new abilities. They are:

  • The Village S Rank: Magic Magazine – Ammo capacity doubles
  • The Castle S Rank: Execution – Attack greatly increases when enemy health is below 30%
  • The Factory S Rank: Lightning Speed – Movement speed increase, but so does damage taken
  • The Mad Village S Rank: Masamune – Knife attacks are 10x stronger, but damage from other attacks decreases greatly

How to get S rank (front four stages)

The gunsmith in Resident Evil Village.

To achieve an S rank on the front four stages in The Mercenaries, you’ll want to focus on upgrading your Sniper Rifle. Assuming you’ve already achieved a B rank and gotten the bonus Lei, you can sell your shotgun ammo, handgun ammo, and First Aid Spray for an additional 11,250 Lei, giving you a total of 51,250 Lei to spend. Here’s how to spend it.

  • Buy the Sniper Rifle for 15,000 Lei
  • Max out Rate of Fire and Reload Speed
  • Upgrade Ammo Capacity twice

We aren’t worried about the Sniper Rifle’s firepower during these first stages as it’ll one-shot every enemy. You’ll also start with 10 bullets in your pistol and find plenty of handgun ammo along the way. You probably won’t need it, though.

Try your best to get multi-kills with the sniper. Let enemies line themselves up to kill two or three at a time. This will save precious ammo. Multi-kills will also aid in keeping your combo alive and bumping you up to a 1.5x and 2x score multiplier.

Memorize the map layout and enemy spawns. The Mercenaries will spawn and trigger enemies the same way every time, similarly to Dark Souls. However, those enemies will still think for themselves and may not attack in the same fashion each time. Other than enemies, Time Extending and Ability Orbs will spawn in the same spots. However, the abilities will be randomized each time.

Memorize the enemy spawns to determine the best path through the level. You want to be constantly running and gunning. Don’t feel pressured to kill every enemy in front of you as fast as you can. Weave in and out to extend your combo, grab the orbs, and avoid damage.

Killing all the enemies in an area will net you 50,000 bonus points toward your score. You’ll hear the announcer say, “Great!” once the last enemy falls. Killing every enemy without breaking your combo will net you the best possible score. You’ll know you’ve done this when the announcer says, “Amazing!” Of course, the faster you can pull all of that off, the better. You’ll receive additional bonus points based on how much time you’ve got left on the clock. The most important thing to remember before completing the area is don’t reload.

Once you’ve cleared an area, you’ll end up back at The Duke. Now’s the time to upgrade your Sniper Rifle damage and buy the W870 Shotgun. Again, sell off your First Aid and handgun ammo. However, don’t sell all your shotgun rounds. Save between 10 and 15.

Upgrade the ammo capacity on your sniper to fill up your current magazine. That’s why you can’t reload before going back to The Duke. It’s free ammo. If you can, upgrade the Ammo Capacity and Fire Rate on your new shotgun as well.

The Factory is, by far, the most challenging stage in The Mercenaries. The best thing you can do to achieve an S rank on the first Factory stage (other than what we’ve mentioned above) is to memorize where the Sniper Ammo is on the map. Right before entering The Foundry room at the beginning of Area 1, look to your left to find ammo. Then, in the room where the Propeller Head enemy spawns in, you’ll find more Sniper Ammo on the low maze-like walls.

How to get S rank (back four stages)

Resident Evil Village Mercenaries Mode Drill Enemy.

The back four stages of The Mercenaries in Resident Evil Village ramps up the difficulty. Ethan will take more damage from incoming attacks, and he’ll be significantly handicapped by the items The Duke has available. You’ll no longer have access to a Sniper Rifle and Shotgun. Instead, you can buy the Magnum and Grenade Launcher. However, the Magnum only comes with a handful of shots and doesn’t allow for additional rounds to be picked up or bought. Use them wisely. You can buy Explosive and Flashbang rounds, but at 50,000 Lei for the weapon itself, you’ll never make it through the first area.

It’s imperative that you stun-lock weak enemies with your pistol. Shoot the skinnier enemies in the legs to make them fall down and then unload on their heads. If you can’t manage to get the kill, you’ll be able to escape and reposition. Stun-locking enemies is also a great way to damage them, grab an orb, and kill them to keep your combo alive.

For Lycans, you’ve got to score headshots. They don’t stun as easily as the skinny enemies do when shot in the legs. Headshots will stagger them and occasionally cause them to fall backward.

How to S rank The Factory (back four)

The hand gun gunsmith from Resident Evil Village.

As mentioned, The Factory is the most challenging Mercenaries stage, and the back four stages exemplify that. It was hard enough taking down all those drill enemies with the sniper; now you’ve got to do it with your pistol or with a well-placed magnum shot.

Do the following at The Duke before embarking on the first area of The Factory II:

  • Sell 50 handgun ammo and 1 First Aid Spray
  • Buy the Magnum
  • Upgrade your handgun to LVL 4 damage
  • Max out your Fire Rate
  • Bring Reload Speed to LVL 2
  • Bring Ammo Capacity to LVL 2

Remember, you’ve only got a limited number of shots in the Magnum, and you’ll need at least three to take out Lady Dimitrescu’s daughters. However, you don’t have to kill every enemy on the back four stages to achieve an S rank. Conserve ammo, and once you’ve defeated the three daughters, book it for the finish line. As long as you’ve managed to build a decent combo prior, you should earn enough points from the first stage when combined with your time bonus.

When you’re back at the Duke, sell the Magnum and buy a Grenade Launcher. Buy as many launcher rounds as possible as well. Use any leftover Lei to purchase First Aid spray and pipe bombs if you’d like.

Try to use your pistol as much as possible in the second Factory area. Use the Grenade Launcher to stun the drill enemies, then quickly switch to your pistol and blast away at their red cores.

Keep an eye on your score and book it to the escape area as soon as you’ve killed enough enemies. The time bonus should get you to the desired score of 545,000.

The Mercenaries rewards

Resident Evil Village lightsaber and enemies.

Other than unlocking more stages, abilities, and Bonus Lei, players can unlock a secret reward in Resident Evil Village Mercenaries Mode. We are, of course, talking about the LZ Answerer melee weapon. To unlock the LZ Answerer, you have to get an SS rank on all missions in The Mercenaries.

The LZ is a lightsaber that will eviscerate enemies through the entire Resident Evil Village campaign. It’s red and dual-sided like Darth Maul’s iconic weapon. Once you’ve gotten SS ranks on all Mercenaries maps, you can buy it for 70,000 CP from the bonus content shop. Then, while playing the campaign, buy it from the Duke. The LZ Answerer is essential for completing the Knives Out challenge. Knives Out requires players to complete the story using nothing but close-combat weapons, i.e., melee weapons.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Security

World’s Largest Cruise Line Operator Hit by Cyberattack

The largest cruise line operator in the world has been hit by a ransomware attack, with customer data also believed to have been accessed.

Carnival Corporation, which operates more than 100 vessels across 10 different brands that include Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Costa Cruises, notified the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this week after detecting the attack on August 15.

In its report to the SEC, Florida-based Carnival said that its investigation so far shows that the perpetrators accessed and encrypted some of its computer data, and also downloaded a number of data files. It added that it’s likely the security incident also saw “unauthorized access to personal data of guests and employees.”

The company said it believes the attack targeted only one of its brands, but added that at this stage it could offer no assurance that the computer systems of its other brands were not affected.

Digital Trends has reached out to the company to ask which brand suffered the attack, how many customers may have been impacted, what personal data may have been taken, and for details of the ransomware demand. We will update this piece when we hear back.

Carnival told the SEC that when it spotted the attack, it immediately notified law enforcement, and called upon the services of cybersecurity firms to bolster the security of its computer systems and help it in its investigation.

A ransomware attack uses malicious software to lock a computer system by encrypting files. Once locked, hackers demand payment from the owner of the system in return for a decryption key to regain access to the data.

Such incidents can cause huge disruption for victims — whether individuals or companies — with some feeling they have little choice but to pay the hackers. Retail currency dealer Travelex for example, reportedly paid $2.3 million to regain access to its systems following a ransomware attack at the start of this year, while GPS and fitness-tracker firm Garmin, which suffered a damaging attack last month, may have paid a substantial sum to get its systems up and running again.

To avoid falling victim to a ransomware attack, you should make sure your computer’s security software is fully up to date. You’re also advised to avoid clicking on unverified links in emails that could deliver the malware to your system or your company’s servers. Downloading files from sites you know little about is best avoided, too, and steering clear of unfamiliar USB sticks is also recommended.

If a company does fall victim to a ransomware attack, those with robust back-up procedures are usually best placed to deal with it as they can reset their systems using safely stored data.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Tech News

Slack’s new Huddles feature adds casual voice chats for remote workers

Slack, the robust chat-based service popular with remote working teams and large companies, has added a new feature called Huddles. With this feature, users are able to ‘huddle’ with one or more coworkers in a voice chat, imitating the kind of conversations you may have previously had by heading over to someone’s office or cubicle to talk in person.

Many companies are transitioning to remote workflows, meaning teams of people who used to share the same office space now find themselves working from their home offices, bedrooms, and the local Starbucks. This is largely fine for many types of work but does require the right tools to facilitate communication without hassle.

Slack is one popular solution to this issue, allowing teams to create channels, message each other, share files, use commands with third-party services, and more. The new Huddles feature expands this by adding casual voice chat into the mix, the same kind you may have enjoyed in the office.

The new functionality is similar to the voice chat feature offered on Discord; users simply turn on the Huddles feature for the channel, then join a coworker or existing Huddle to participate. The feature includes the option of sharing your screen, which will make it easier to get help with an issue or get input on a project.

Huddles can be started in DMs, as well, for those times you need your conversations to stay limited to one person. If the Huddle is in a channel, anyone who is in that channel can pop into the conversation similar to the way they’d be able to overhear your conversation in a physical workplace. The feature is rolling out now to paid teams.

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Categories
Game

Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters begin releasing in July

Earlier this month, in the middle of Square Enix’s E3 showcase, we saw a very intriguing (albeit brief) reveal. Square Enix revealed that it’s remastering the first six Final Fantasy games and bringing them to PC and mobile. These so-called Pixel Remasters would remake the graphics for all six games once again, attempting to update the look of each game for modern platforms while staying at least somewhat true to the originals.

At the time, we didn’t get any kind of release date out of Square Enix for these Pixel Remasters but fast forward to today and we now know when the first three games will release. As spotted by Nibellion on Twitter, the Steam listings for all six Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters are live, with the first three launching on July 28th.

The descriptions for all three games are very similar. After giving us a synopsis of each game’s story, Square Enix says that each title will include “universally updated 2D pixel graphics” alongside a “beautifully rearranged soundtrack.” We’ll also get some modern gameplay features, including an updated UI and auto-battle options, along with some “supplemental extras” like a bestiary and a music player.

Each game has a list price of $11.99, but currently, they’re all on sale for 20% off, bringing their prices down to $9.59. Sadly, the listings for Final Fantasy IV through VI do not indicate when they might be launching, saying only that they’re “coming soon.”

Just yesterday, we learned that Square Enix is planning to pull the existing Steam versions of Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI on July 27th, clearing the way for their Pixel Remasters. The Steam versions of Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV won’t be going anywhere, however, as Square Enix apparently considers those 3D remakes different enough to exist alongside the Pixel Remasters. We’ll let you know when Square Enix announces release dates for the other three Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters, so stay tuned for that.

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Categories
AI

Moveworks raises $200M to automate enterprise IT tasks

Where does your enterprise stand on the AI adoption curve? Take our AI survey to find out.


Moveworks, a platform designed to automate support at work, today announced that it closed a $200 million series C funding round led by Tiger Global and Alkeon Capital, with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sapphire Ventures, Bain Capital, ICONIQ Growth, and Kleiner Perkins. The proceeds bring the company’s total raised to $315 million and value the company at $2.1 billion post-money, representing one of the largest investments in an AI platform for employee service to date.

With conventional approaches, support teams take an average of three days to address issues including IT tickets, HR requests, and policy questions by hand, causing disruptions that can delay work. Nearly one-third of departments regularly affected by technical problems say that an hour of downtime costs them $1 million or more.

Moveworks aims to ease the IT burden with a combination of natural language understanding, conversational AI, and semantic search. Using the platform, employees can describe what they need via a chatbot in an existing messaging tool, like Microsoft Teams and Slack.

“AI has become a necessity to support employees in the work-from-anywhere world,” Moveworks CEO Bhavin Shah said in a press release. “People expect to get the help they need right away — no matter where they are, no matter when they ask. But to create such a simple experience, we had to engineer advanced deep learning techniques that didn’t exist before, and then make that complexity completely invisible to our users. With this investment, Moveworks will bring AI support to every employee at every enterprise.”

AI-powered

Moveworks’ cloud platform integrates with service management systems, identity and access management systems, knowledge bases, email accounts, workflow automation, and facilities management dashboards, applying an engine trained on over 100 million real-world scenarios to identify troubleshooting steps for support issues. A semantic search component leverages context to sift through and extract answers from articles, documents, and FAQs. This complements Moveworks’ remediation solution that fields a range of requests automatically, and that lets employees self-serve email list requests while automatically routing support tickets to the right group.

In March, Moveworks announced the launch of the Employee Service Platform, which can handle human resources, finance, and facilities issues end-to-end, from the initial request to the final resolution. Beyond answering questions about unlocking accounts, resetting passwords, and provisioning software, the Employee Service Platform helps surface forms, pull answers from knowledge bases, and route requests to the right subject-matter experts.

“We engineered a unique approach to understanding the language used in the enterprise, which we deployed prior to this product expansion to resolve IT issues — without predefining specific intents or hard-coding rigid workflows. That approach is our multifaceted intent system,” CTO Vaibhav Nivargi told VentureBeat via email in a previous interview. “At a high level, it is a generalized natural language understanding system. Rather than predefining specific user intents, our multifaceted intent system determines the overarching action and resource type needed to resolve each issue. Once we’ve established this generalized intent, we then evaluate the utility of potential resources.”

While the platform competes indirectly with Electric in an IT solutions segment that’s expected to reach $35.98 billion by 2025, Mountain View, California-based Moveworks claims to have seen a 700% increase in active users over the past few months as remote work became commonplace during the pandemic. Current and former customers include Palo Alto Networks, Slack, Western Digital, Broadcom, Autodesk, Belkin, Stitch Fix, and LinkedIn.

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