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Alexa gets meta, finds you the latest AI research

The Echo bot can find the 50 latest papers and read you the summaries.

AI research is so hot right now, it's hard for even scientists in the field to keep up. To stay on top of the 300-plus papers submitted per day to, machine-learning researcher Amine Ben Khalifa naturally turned to ... machine learning. He taught Amazon's AI-powered Alexa bot to find the latest AI research papers for the day, read the titles and give a summary of specific projects, all via voice control.

"Alexa changed the way I get my daily flash briefings," Khalifa said. "With the arxivML Alexa skill, I intend to skip paper browsing altogether, and instead get paper briefings while getting ready to go to work."

After it's asked, as shown in the video below, Alexa reads the top 50 papers of the day related to machine learning, AI and similar topics. If you want to know more about one of them, it'll then read the abstract, and you can stop it anytime, or say "Alexa, next" to skip to the next title. The app also shows titles and abstracts in the Alexa app to help you keep track of where it is.

Staying on top of the latest work is a must for machine learning researchers, Khalifa notes, and using Alexa is a pretty apt way to do that. (If you'd rather read about the latest AI work, there's also the "Arxiv Sanity Preserver" from AI researcher Andrej Karpathy.) The arxivML Alexa skill is available to anyone who wants it on Amazon's Skill Store, and in the spirit of the field, Khalifa also posted the code on GitHub for anyone who wants to tweak it.

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