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Designing a Winning E-Commerce Customer Experience
January 11, 2020
An optimized customer experience can tip the balance toward gaining a purchase instead of losing a customer. Excellent CX has transitioned firmly from something nice to have to a business requirement. No matter how good a product or service is, the e-commerce Web and mobile design surrounding it will play a key role in maintaining engagement and ensuring consumers complete their shopping journey.
Chatbot or Human? Combine Both to Achieve Customer Service Success
January 7, 2020
Companies across industries are shifting toward an automated approach to customer relations. With the help of chatbots, businesses can reduce their customer service costs by up to 30 percent and save both employees' and customers' valuable time. In fact, many customers welcome chatbots in the customer service process. So, if chatbots offer all of these advantages, why not automate everything?
Tapping AI for a Future of Better, Faster, Cheaper Gift Shopping
December 2, 2019
If you are like me, every Christmas you dread shopping because figuring out what everyone wants is a bit of a nightmare. You don't know what folks want in your price range. If you find out, there is no easy way to be sure they haven't bought it themselves, or that someone else didn't get it for them. Choosing sizes and colors adds to the nightmare. These problems aren't limited to Christmas.
Harnessing Visual AI to Boost E-Commerce Sales
October 26, 2019
Each person interprets an image in countless subjective ways, based on individual biases. However, when searching for a product on the Internet, most people prefer accuracy over multiple interpretations of a single object. Putting the appropriate tags on images ensures better searchability for users. Doing this manually, though, can be inefficient and prone to errors.
3 Coming Tech Advances That Could Boost Our Safety and Smarts
October 21, 2019
I was moved by the recent news about a woman being shot in her home by a police officer who had come to check up on her. Once again, I found it frustrating that people immediately jumped to apply blame before all the facts were in. From my reading, three mistakes contributed to the incident. The first was by the neighbor, the second by the police, and the final mistake was by the woman herself.
Now Is the Time for Sales Organizations to Embrace AI
October 11, 2019
Artificial intelligence is arguably the most disruptive technology to emerge over the last few decades. Consumers are producing data at record levels. It's estimated we'll produce 463 exabytes per day by 2025. Yet humans aren't equipped to process that complex information. We're starting to rely more on AI to interpret massive amounts of consumer and third-party data in real time.
Art Project Uncovers Bias in AI Training Models
September 24, 2019
A website created to gather faces for an art project has created a controversy over the use of AI to classify human beings. The faces collected at the ImageNet Roulette site are being incorporated into a work of art in Milan. ImageNet Roulette "acts as a window into some of the racist, misogynistic, cruel, and simply absurd categorizations embedded within ImageNet," the creators wrote.
Taking the AI Approach to US Problem-Solving
September 9, 2019
At an IBM briefing on its joint AI project with MIT, it struck me that some of the training concepts could improve the quality of political decisions to shift attention more to fixing problems rather than using them as weapons against opponents. I'm not talking about using artificial intelligence systems directly. I'm suggesting we apply methods similar to those used to train them.
Cerebras Debuts Big Chip to Speed Up AI Processes
August 20, 2019
Startup chip developer Cerebras has announced a breakthrough in high-speed processor design that will hasten the development of artificial intelligence technologies. Cerebras unveiled the largest computer processing chip ever built. The new chip, dubbed "Wafer-Scale Engine" -- pronounced "wise" -- is the heartbeat of the company's deep learning machine built to power AI systems.
AI in Healthcare: Independent Living for Consumers
July 22, 2019
AI applied to healthcare includes a collection of technologies that enable machines to sense, interpret, act and learn. AI implementations for digital health can be relatively simple when they are focused largely on personal patient engagement, or vastly complex when working with big data sets, highly specialized diagnostics, and the workflows of multiple highly complicated organizations.
Code Cracker Turing to Be on 50-Quid Notes
July 16, 2019
Alan Turing, the British mathematician known for his World War II code-breaking exploits and for a test to distinguish between human and machine intelligence, will be on 50-pound notes in the UK by the end of 2021. The Bank of England, which made the announcement, explained that Turing, who died in 1954, was chosen from a field of 989 eligible characters after a public nomination period.
Better Customer Satisfaction Through AI-Enabled CRM
May 22, 2019
You don't have to be entrenched in the tech world to have heard the term, "artificial intelligence," but what is artificial intelligence, or AI, as it's commonly known? Simply put, AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes performed by machines or computer systems. Nowadays, AI is being used to carry out many jobs previously held by humans, but there's no need to panic.
How Artificial Intelligence Is Reshaping the Workforce
May 17, 2019
Shoppers soon might see a lot more robots in Walmart stores -- but not toy robots or even human assistant gadgets that are available for purchase. Walmart's new robots will be taking over repeatable, predictable and manual tasks that up to now have been carried out by human employees. At Walmart stores, robots will scan shelf inventory and track boxes as part of its inventory management.
Google Showcases AI, Preaches Privacy at I/O Keynote
May 8, 2019
Google showed off its chops in AI and ML, renewed its commitment to giving users greater control over their data, and introduced a new economically priced smartphone during a keynote presentation at its annual I/O conference. "They were there to hammer home the point that when it comes to AI, they are ahead of their peers," said Paul Erickson, a senior analyst at IHS Markit.
The Critical Role of Artificial Intelligence in Payments Tech
May 2, 2019
Long an obsession of science fiction writers, "artificial intelligence" in the modern era of fast-paced technological innovation is a term that is as ubiquitous as it is nebulous. For the payments technology industry, however, the term describes advanced analytical technology that has an outsized potential to improve the payments ecosystem for banks, payments processors, merchants and consumers.
AI Raises the Bar for Home Network Security
May 2, 2019
Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the hacking of their devices and data as they hear about more data breaches and have their own experiences with issues such as ransomware, identity theft and botnet attacks. Concerns about data security also have been shown to increase with ownership of more connected devices. Currently, U.S. broadband households own an average of 10.4 connected devices.
AI-Powered Inventory Management: A Make-or-Break Tool for Retailers
March 22, 2019
Retail is facing battles on all fronts. Up against Amazon's streamlined operations on one side, and a higher demand for flawless customer service and experience on the other, it's either think or sink for many. However, AI has thrown some early adopters a lifeline. As Amazon has proven with its stranglehold on the retail industry, online shopping is unquestionably the future.
Michael Cohen and the Creation of a Deep Learning AI Lie Detector
March 4, 2019
Like many of you I was fascinated by the Michael Cohen testimony last week in what was more performance art than fact-finding. It tends to be fascinating to watch disgruntled ex-employees testify, but they often aren't the most reliable witnesses. The personal nature of their termination tends to push them toward exaggeration, and many were fired for legitimate reasons.
Google Taps ML to Boost Wind Farm Output
February 28, 2019
Predicting the power output of wind farms has been challenging, but it's becoming less so with the use of machine learning. Google and British AI company DeepMind have been using ML algorithms to improve predictions of the wind power output at Google's wind farms in the Midwest. The farms use the algorithms to predict wind power output 36 hours ahead of generation.
Why You Should Source Foreign Talent for AI, IoT and ML
February 27, 2019
The artificial intelligence revolution has been going on for a while, but that does not mean all of software research and development is part of it. It is, nonetheless, an interesting example of what pushes the software industry forward. The ideas and techniques that brought machine learning into existence were developed over the span of several decades.
New AI, Mixed Reality, Customer Insight Tools Coming to Microsoft Dynamics 365
February 22, 2019
Microsoft announced a number of artificial intelligence, mixed reality and customer insights tools for Microsoft Dynamics 365 at its Microsoft Business Forward event in Paris. There is "a lot of hype around AI and MR, but these are real applications delivering value to customers today" noted Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of research at Nucleus Research.
Trump Order Gives Artificial Intelligence a Boost
February 12, 2019
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order aimed at boosting artificial intelligence R&D in the U.S. The order sets up the American AI Initiative, which instructs federal agencies to move projects involving artificial intelligence to the top of their priority lists. No funding is proposed in the order, but the initiative directs federal agencies to focus on five areas.
Future Whisper Coaching: Will AI Do All the Whispering?
January 23, 2019
The customer experience battle is being fought in the contact center. Whether it's a service line or an inside sales call making first contact, the phone is often the medium that matters in moments of truth. When customers are talking to an inside sales rep or an agent in a support organization, the ideal interaction is often described by customers as "a conversation."
IBM Chief Sounds Cautionary Note on Deep Data, AI, Quantum Computing
January 9, 2019
Powerful technologies like deep data, AI and quantum computing should be introduced into society carefully, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty declared in opening remarks at CES. "These tools are so powerful they will solve some of the most enduring problems -- like food safety, waste," she said, "but like all powerful tools, we've got to usher them in safely into society."
Sales Chatbots Tell a Story
December 11, 2018
You can roughly chart a product's lifecycle based on how it is sold, and this may be having a profound effect on CRM. In general, product categories start with disruptions but commoditize over time, and because of this, the economy needs to be refreshed with new disruptions to drive it. Disruption dominates the early phases of category growth, and the best use case is not always apparent.
AI Meets VR in New Nvidia Tech
December 4, 2018
Nvidia has announced a breakthrough in 3D rendering research that may have far-reaching ramifications for future virtual worlds. A team led by Nvidia VP Bryan Catanzaro discovered a way to use a neural network to render synthetic 3D environments in real time, using a model trained on real-world videos. With Nvidia's technology, worlds can be populated with objects "learned" from video input.
Amazon Is Just the Tip of the AI Bias Iceberg
November 16, 2018
Amazon recently disclosed its 2015 decision to scrap a recruitment tool used to hire talent, after finding that it had a bias against women. While this story has been covered sufficiently, there is a much greater story still to tell: A substantial amount of the AI technology that currently is used for recruitment and human resources purposes has been acting independently for some time.
From Browser to Buyer: How Smart Solutions Are Transforming E-Commerce
August 24, 2018
Shopping: It's not what it once was. Forget the long drive to the mall and countless hours of browsing. Customers now simply log in from the comfort of their own home to have the world at their fingertips. The massive uptake of e-commerce is an unprecedented shift in consumer behavior, expectations and purchases. The evidence is clear: Internet shopping is the most popular online activity.
The Two Sides of the Artificial Intelligence Coin
August 16, 2018
The growth of artificial intelligence in recent years has been astounding -- yet AI is still in the very early stages of growth. Where are we today with this new technology, and where are we heading? Which companies are struggling, and why? What's coming next? AI for years has been a staple of science fiction. Now AI has moved beyond sci-fi and become real, with all sorts of technologies.
Android Pie Is Filled with AI
August 8, 2018
AI plays a big role in Android 9, the latest version of Google's mobile OS. Called "Android Pie," it is designed to learn from its users' behavior, and apply those lessons to simplify and customize their phone experiences. Android 9 adapts to your life and the ways you like to use your phone," noted Sameer Samat, Google's vice president of product management for Android and Google Play.
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How will the pandemic influence your holiday shopping habits this year?
I will shop online exclusively, for my own safety and to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
I will do some shopping online, and some in-person because I want to support merchants in my area.
I will shop online definitely, and I will consider local retailers -- but only if they provide curbside service.
I will only shop in-person because the risks associated with e-commerce outweigh my chance of catching COVID-19.
I will not do any holiday shopping this year due to circumstances related to the pandemic.
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