• Kyoto University researchers are teaching a robot to laugh like a person
  • RLF AgTech has launched its new Veridium Seed Priming Technology
  • DigitalX completes fund tokenisation proof of concept on ASX Synfini


Researchers at Kyoto University in Japan have designed a robot called Erica that creepily responds to human laughter.

Erica’s artificial intelligence (AI) can detect laughter and then decide whether or not to laugh, and what kind of laughter is appropriate for the situation – with the ability to differentiate between a chuckle and peal of laughter.

“We think that one of the important functions of conversational AI is empathy,” lead author Dr Koji Inoue said. 

“We decided that one way a robot can empathise with users is to share their laughter, which you cannot do with a text-based chatbot.”

To test the system, the researchers used dialogues from speed dating and students from the university to create a creepy matchmaking marathon to test Erica’s three subsystems – one to detect laughter, a second to decide whether to laugh and a third to choose the type of appropriate laughter.

While the system still needs development to make sure the conversations with Erica accurately resemble those between real people – and reflect situations like unshared laughter – the researchers say robots being able to laugh will be a defining feature of their character.

“We do not think this is an easy problem at all and it may well take more than 10 to 20 years before we can finally have a casual chat with a robot like we would with a friend,” Dr Inoue says.


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The AgTech player has released its new Veridium Seed Priming Technology – which it says is primed to increase sales by increasing farm yields and ROI. 

Essentially the tech delivers plant-available nutrition directly to the seed, improving soil moisture and fertiliser uptake.

And the company says trials have shown large gains in wheat, maize (corn) and rice over and above existing technology. 

Global release is now underway, supported by a patent application and trademark filing, which is good idea really since the global seed treatment market is projected to be valued at US$13.5 billion by 2025 growing at a CAGR of 12.19%. 



DigitalX says it’s completed a technology proof of concept for digital investment funds by creating a distributed ledger-based token representing fund units on the ASX Synfini test platform.

Asset tokenisation is the process by which ownership of an asset is recorded digitally and can be exchanged by transferring ownership of the digital token. 

The company says the benefits include lower transaction costs with greater automation, elimination of counterparty risks using instant settlement and expanded access to asset returns through fractionalised ownership of assets. 

DigitalX is one of the first organisations to receive access to the Synfini test environment through development of its Drawbridge application, which is used by ASX listed companies to realise improved governance around insider trading risks through greater digitisation. 

Following this proof of concept, the company is working on tokenisation projects designed to make ownership of the DigitalX Fund more accessible to investors in a robust and regulatory compliant manner. 

“We are excited by the opportunities that are emerging as tokenisation becomes more widely embraced and technology develops concurrently,” CEO Lisa Wade said.

“This project issuing digital tokens representing fund units on the ASX’s Synfini platform is an example of how established financial players might combine in the future to offer new products and potentially lower risk exposure to digital assets.” 


RLF and DCC share prices today:



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