Google and Walmart's Partnership Will Be a Real Test For Amazon

WIRED

It's hard to overstate Amazon's online retail dominance. With 76 percent market share of online retail, it's as if the 95-96 Chicago Bulls entered your local rec league. No one can challenge Amazon today, but a newly announced partnership between Google and Walmart--allowing you to order groceries with from the latter with Google Assistant, or online via Google Express, starting late September--may ultimately present a threat. In Walmart, Google adds a retail behemoth to its Google Express service, an online shopping bazaar in need of an anchor. In Google, Walmart gains a foothold in the voice-enabled future of commerce.


Google Assistant beats Amazon Alexa, even for online shopping

#artificialintelligence

SAN FRANCISCO: Despite Amazon Alexa being more popular globally, Google Assistant has outperformed her -- and other voice assistants like Apple Siri -- in a test meant to understand the effectiveness of smart speakers. In the 2018 edition of "Smart Speaker IQ Test" by research-driven venture capital firm Loup Ventures, Google Assistant (tested on Home smart speaker) managed to answer 87.9 per cent of the questions correctly -- up from 81.1 per cent in 2017, The Street.com reported on Sunday. Alexa (tested on Amazon Echo smart speaker) saw its accuracy improve to 72.5 per cent from 63.8 per cent and Microsoft Cortana (tested on Harman Kardon's Invoke speaker) improved to 63.4 per cent from 56.4 per cent. Interestingly, Alexa was not the leader in the shopping category -- despite Amazon heading the global e-commerce space -- as Google Home returned more correct answers when asked about product information. "Google Assistant was the only assistant to properly understand all 800 of the questions, but the others were able to understand 99 per cent or more," said the research firm.


Machine Learning In The Real World

#artificialintelligence

Over the past few decades, machine learning has emerged as the real-world face of what is often mistakenly called "artificial intelligence." It is establishing itself as a mainstream technology tool for companies, enabling them to improve productivity, planning, and ultimately, profits. Michael Jordan, professor of Computer Science and Statistics at the University of California, Berkeley, noted in a recent Medium post: "Most of what is being called'AI' today, particularly in the public sphere, is what has been called'machine learning' for the past several decades." Jordan argues that unlike much that is mislabeled "artificial intelligence," ML is the real thing. He maintains that it was already clear in the early 1990s that ML would grow to have massive industrial relevance.


Use Case Focus: AI in Action, by H2O.ai's Vinod Iyengar

#artificialintelligence

Vinod Iyengar is Director of Marketing at California-based developer H2O.ai. H2O.ai are the makers behind H2O, the leading open source machine learning platform for smarter applications and data products. They work across a number of mission critical applications, including predictive maintenance, operational intelligence, security, fraud, auditing, credit scoring, user based insurance, ICU monitoring and more in over 5,000 organizations. And with customers including Capital One, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Comcast, Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Macy's and Aetna – to name just a select few – they are clearly in a prominent position in this space. Vinod details some key use cases of artificial intelligence in specific industries, while also sharing H2O.ai's vision for AI and the challenges we face in adopting it… Across industries and business disciplines, businesses use artificial intelligence to increase revenue or reduce costs by performing tasks more efficiently than humans could do unaided.


How This Company Is Using Deep Learning to Change the Retail Game

#artificialintelligence

Online shopping has the potential to be so much smarter. If you stumble across a rug or lamp you like in a photo, shouldn't it be easier to track down where to buy it? One home design website is aiming to do just that, with the help of artificial intelligence. Palo Alto-based Houzz is a platform for people who want to remodel or redesign their homes and are looking for inspiration. Consumers and design professionals alike can upload photos of their completed projects, where they can then tag specific furniture and accessories offered by merchants Houzz partners with--letting other users easily buy any product they see and love.