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City Union Bank launches India’s first banking robot Lakshmi in Chennai

India’s first banking robot named Lakshmi was launched by the Kumbakonam-based City Union Bank (CUB) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.  Lakshmi will be first on-site huamanoid (robot) in India.

Currently, CUB has readied only one version of huamanoid banker and but is planning to deploy 25-30 robots at key branches by end of year if Lakshmi proves a hit with customers.

Key Facts

  • Lakshmi is artificial intelligence powered robot. It can speak English, gesture and engage in a life-like manner in conversations.
  • The robot can interact with customers on more than 125 subjects including account balance and interest rates on loans.
  • It will not voice the sensitive financial information like account details rather display it discreetly on its screen.

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is the branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans. In contrast to normal hardware and software, artificial intelligence enables a machine to perceive and respond to its changing environment. The artificial intelligence machines learn automatically like humans during their processing by assimilating large volumes of information.


World’s first robot lawyer ‘ROSS’ hired by US law firm

The world’s first robot lawyer named ‘ROSS’ has been employed by a US law firm BakerHostetler.

The first of its kind artificial intelligence (AI) lawyer will assist the law firm and its various teams in legal research. The robot was built by the company ROSS Intelligence and its working is based on cognitive computing.

The project had started in 2014 out of research at the University of Toronto to build an artificial intelligence legal research assistant to allow lawyers to enhance and scale their abilities. The ROSS started functioning with first ten months after they began teaching it bankruptcy law.

Key facts

  • The ‘ROSS’ robot is built upon IBM’s cognitive computer Watson.
  • It will function using Watson’s cognitive computing and natural language processing capabilities.
  • Lawyers can ask ROSS their research question and which it will answer by reading through the law, gathered evidence, drawn inferences.
  • ROSS will also monitor the law around the clock to notify users of new court decisions that can affect a case.
  • It is programmed to continually learn from the lawyers who will in turn use it to bring back better results each time.

What cognitive computer?

  • Cognitive computing is the simulation of human thought processes in a computerized model. It involves self-learning systems that use pattern recognition, data mining and natural language processing to mimic the way the human brain works.
  • The objective of cognitive computing is to create automated IT systems that are capable of solving problems without requiring human assistance.
  • Cognitive computing systems use machine learning algorithms to continually acquire knowledge for processing desired information from the data fed into them by mining data.


Marvin Minsky, pioneer of artificial intelligence passes away

Marvin Minsky, the pioneer of artificial intelligence passed away on 24 January 2016 in Boston, United States due to cerebral hemorrhage. He was 88.

He was an American scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) who had created robotic hands that can manipulate objects. He also had developed new programming frameworks in this field and wrote several texts on AI and philosophy.

About Marvin Minsky

  • Minsky was native of New York and had earned a degree in mathematics from the Harvard University after returning from service in the US Navy during World War II.
  • He had co-founded the MIT Artificial Intelligence Project (AIT) in 1959 along with John McCarthy. Now AIT is known as Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AIL).
  • Famous inventions: In 1963, he had developed first head-mounted graphical display.
  • He had developed the confocal microscope which is considered as a predecessor present time’s widely used confocal laser scanning microscope.
  • He had developed the first Logo turtle with the help of Seymour Papert. In 1951, he built SNARC, the first randomly wired neural network learning machine.
  • His work also has inspired the creation of the personal computer and the Internet.
  • Famous books: Minsky has authored The Society of Mind, The Society of Mind, Perceptrons and A framework for representing knowledge.
  • Awards and Honours: AM Turing Award (1969), it is the highest honour in computer science.
  • Japan Prize (1990), IJCAI Award for Research Excellence (1991), Benjamin Franklin Medal (2001), Dan David Prize (2014).
  • He was inducted as a Fellow of the Computer History Museum (2006) and also was inducted into IEEE Intelligent Systems’ AI’s Hall of Fame (2011).

About Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  •  John McCarthy is being credited with coining the term artificial intelligence in 1955. He had defined it as the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.
  • In other terms, AI is the computer science field that studies the synthesis and analysis of computational agents that act intelligently.
  • It deals with creation of computers along with software that make machine hardware capable of intelligent behaviour.