A UCLA basketball coach is headed back to Indiana, but it isn't Steve Alford. Bruins assistant Ed Schilling has accepted a job as a member of new Hoosiers coach Archie Miller's staff, the school announced, after having worked under Alford the previous four seasons since his arrival in Westwood. "I'm especially grateful to Ed for all his hard work with our program the last four years," Alford said in a statement released by UCLA. "Working with Ed here on our coaching staff in Los Angeles was very special, and I'll miss being around him on a daily basis. He's a fantastic coach and an even better person, and I wish him and his family all the best as he returns back to the state of Indiana.
Xiaomi revealed through its Mi Community that it will offer a new voice assistant speaker for $30 in January. Sold by Xiaomi subsidiary Yeelight, the big deal with this device is that it will sport two virtual assistants: One based on Xiaomi artificial intelligence technology to be used within China, and Amazon Alexa for customers located in the Western market. This dual-A.I. support enables Yeelight to sell the voice assistant speaker on a global scale.
A common problem for any scaling business is bringing on the right help at the right time. Small-business owners often find that the people they can afford don't have the skills or experience to do the job well, and the people they want cost too much relative to the business's current cash flow. Most of the work is labor intensive, repetitive, boring and must be done correctly. As luck would have it, that's exactly the kind of tasks we build computers to do. In the past 15 or so years, outsourcing to international assistants and part-time workers has been the go-to solution for entrepreneurs looking to grow on a budget.
In the early days of the Information Age, people who wanted to interact with a computer had to learn to speak its language, like Fortran or BASIC. Today's devices are learning to speak our language -- not perfectly, but well enough to conduct a Google search, schedule an appointment or order a pizza. And smart devices seem to get smarter every day. Does that mean bots with artificial intelligence (AI) will soon replace virtual assistants -- human beings located offsite who provide executive support? We're not there yet, if a recent survey by Creative Strategies is any indication.