Google’s machine-learning improves video calls

My Post (15).pngAI fills in the blanks when audio data gets lost

Increased usage
With a vast amount of people around the world now relying on video calls for face-to-face interaction with their work colleagues or to fill the social void, video-calling platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams have taken centre stage.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have also had to adapt to the extra demand for broadband services to accommodate this increase in usage. At peak times internet speeds may be slower for some users, meaning that video-calling could be disrupted and users may see noticeable delays in calls.

Google Duo
Google has rolled out a new technology to improve audio quality in calls when the service can’t maintain a steady connection. It features useful auto-complete technology for speech that can cover up any glitches in video calls with Artificial Intelligence (AI) generated ‘speech’.

Duo, one of Google’s video calling services, is a cross-platform app which allows up to 12 participants to communicate over video call. Although the app doesn’t offer the same capacity as rival apps, it is end-to-end encrypted and the AI runs on the device rather than in the cloud.

Packets of data
When users are making an online call, their voice is separated into tiny pieces that are then transmitted across the internet in data blocks known as packets. The packets often arrive to the receiver in a disorganised sequence and the software has to reorder them, and sometimes they don’t arrive at all, which then creates glitches and gaps in conversations.

The aim of the technology is to mimic an individual speaker’s manner of talking so that it can smooth over the cracks with snippets of generated speech.

The team at Google built the speech generator on a neural network developed by DeepMind, which generates realistic speech from text. The network, named WaveNetEQ, was trained on a large data set of 100 recorded human voices speaking in 48 different languages. The AI was trained until the speech generator could auto-complete short sections of speech, based on common patterns in the way that people talk.

During a video call, WaveNetEQ learns the characteristics of the speaker’s voice and generates audio snippets that match the style and content of what the speaker is saying. If a packet containing the original speech sounds was lost, the AI-generated voice would be inserted in its place.

Currently the AI can only generate syllables rather than whole words or phrases, but in the short samples that Google shared online, it showed how realistic the speech generator could be. – Read more

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Cloud integration is becoming a business imperative

My Post (14).pngCreating a single view of infrastructure provides the connective digital tissue businesses need to innovate and create.

Cloud integration is a critical link that will ensure the automation of digital business. Increasingly known as IPaaS (integrated platform as a service), when appropriately executed, it supports an organisation’s desire to build heterogeneous infrastructure environments and connect disparate environments for a single cohesive experience.

According to global research organisation Orbis Research, the Global Cloud Integration Software Market is expected to register a CAGR of 12% during the forecast period (2020- 2025). The researcher further highlights that successful cloud integration enables companies to avoid creating new silos of information in cloud applications and ensures that a company can attain the highest levels of security when connecting clouds.

“Cloud computing is already an integral part, or component, of just about all IT infrastructures, but the integration of cloud applications and information assets across cloud remains a stumbling block for business,” states Clinton Scott, managing director at TechSoft International. “Cloud integration, or IPaaS, has to form a part of a cloud migration strategy or organisations simply won’t get a cohesive view of all of their infrastructure assets and the information they own.”

The cornerstone of effective cloud integration is the use of APIs across platforms, to integrate applications and data. Using TIBCO Cloud Integration, Scott says TechSoft is now able to help clients connect assets no matter where they reside. Critically, the platform supports an API-led approach, which is its key differentiator as it simplifies integration and doesn’t require data or applications to be stored in a single environment.

Further, by taking an API-led approach to cloud integration, a business can connect hundreds of connectors to endpoints and applications. Now, business analysts and application owners can connect to a wide variety of SaaS applications, databases and business applications such as your ERP, automation systems and CRM solutions, to name a few. – Read more

What is Remote Desktop?

My Post (15).pngBringing the office to you


Working remotely
As all the normal rules for business no longer stand in light of the recent Coronavirus outbreak, working remotely has become a lifeline for UK companies.

But how can users securely access their work files and data from their home PCs whilst working remotely?

What is a Remote Desktop?
Remote Desktop is essentially a virtual office environment which allows users to access their files, data and applications from any device, anywhere in the world.

Users can connect to their office PC remotely in a simple and secure way and interact with their workplace PC as if they were using it locally. Remote Desktops are charged on a monthly basis for the number of virtual desktops that are required.

Hyve’s Remote Desktop solution
With increasing numbers of people trying to access their office PCs during the working day, connecting to a remote solution through a normal office network could cause performance problems. As office networks are not designed for hundreds of users trying to connect from outside, the network wouldn’t be able to cope with the number of connections and could fail under the pressure.

Hyve’s Remote Desktop solution provides users with a cloud-hosted virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), where all desktop systems are hosted on a high-performance cloud platform in a secure data centre, instead of running it from the office location.

With Remote Desktop, the office server is essentially moved into Hyve’s cloud infrastructure, providing far better performance, flexibility and security. Users connect to the Remote Desktop solution from their home with every user having an individual network in the cloud.  – Read more

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