Collaborating Authors


Three Priorities for Businesses Looking to Attract Connected Customers


Customer expectations are constantly changing in the business landscape due to digitization. Before, a website or a mere digital presence was enough to separate you from your nearest competitor. But today, businesses have to continuously innovate and ensure they are providing new, exciting digital experiences– or risk being left behind. Case in point, an HBR report cites the number one reason more than half (52 percent) of the Fortune 500 have disappeared since the year 2000 is their failure to achieve digital change. Though a relatively new term, the Connected Customer describes those customers that interact with brands through digital channels such as websites, apps or Alexa skills.

The Future for Contactless Delivery


The future for contactless product delivery is already here, and a pandemic seems to already be moving this trend forward. It just needs companies to implement and customers to accept the new delivery and tracking methods, along with other innovations, that will make this so. When this happens, we may one day look back and quietly thank the lowly coronavirus for catapulting us into a brighter future. One of the more iconic images from the early days of this disease comes from late March 2020, during San Francisco's citywide coronavirus lockdown, when "aspiring drone racing pilot" David Chen delivered a single roll of much-needed toilet paper to his friend Ian Chan in another part of the city. Chan captured the delivery on video and posted it to his Twitter feed, which ironically went viral.

Google: The Next Big Fintech Vendor


A sign of Google is seen at Google's stand during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum ... [ ] (WEF) in Davos, on January 21, 2020. In an article titled Amazon's Impending Invasion Of Banking, I wrote: "Amazon has no incentive to cut banks out of the lending or deposit business. Amazon can make more money by providing technology services to help financial institutions underwrite, process, and service loans. Banks will gladly pay for this, because Amazon will do it for a lower cost that what banks incur to do it today." My argument then, as it is now, is that Amazon is poised to be a vendor--not a competitor--to financial institutions.

AI Robot Debuts At S. Korean Coffee Shop


A smart factory in South Korea has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) solution to help people stay socially distanced and keep the coronavirus contained as the country reopens. A cafe in Daejeon, South Korea is using a robot barista to serve people lattes and make it easier for consumers to stay the recommended six feet apart, according to a report in Reuters on Monday (May 25). The robot was developed in collaboration with smart factory Vision Semicon and a state-run science institute, according to Lee Dong-bae, director of research at Vision Semicon. "Our system needs no input from people from order to delivery, and tables were sparsely arranged to ensure smooth movements of the robots, which fits well with the current'untact' and distancing campaign," he said. The robot can make 60 different types of coffee and serves orders to consumers at their tables.

CIOs and the circular economy: 'Ultimately, businesses will need to go this way'


In 10 years, the circular economy will be the only economy, replacing wasteful linear economies, predicts Gartner. According to Gartner, circular economic business models encourage continuous reuse of materials to minimise waste and the demand for additional natural resource consumption. "The circular economy creates an ecosystem of materials," notes Sarah Watt, senior director analyst at Gartner. "What was previously viewed as waste now has value. However those ecosystems are complex, and include many interdependencies and feedback loops."

Fashion turns to technology to tailor sustainable solutions

Al Jazeera

Paris, France - Highlighting the growth of fast fashion - at least in the form of increasing volumes of cheap and disposable clothing - TRAID's warehouse in London was receiving around 3,000 tonnes of donated clothes every year before coronavirus hit. "We're sorting through more volume and finding less that can go into our shops than a few years ago," said Leigh McAlea, head of communications at TRAID, the United Kingdom-based clothes charity that aims to reduce the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry by encouraging people to shop second-hand. "We're seeing a lot of fast fashion items, a lot of clothes that have been barely worn or still have tags on. Items that go into our 12 charity shops have to be good enough quality to resell, whether they're Primark or Prada. We want to encourage people to buy better quality and then donate items when they have finished with them," McAlea told Al Jazeera.

Chatbots and their Increasing Role in Business


Innovations and development in the field of AI are offering numerous opportunities for business to increase their efficiency. Chatbots are one such AI-powered technology observing heavy demand as they offer functionality. These bots are capable of interacting with humans through text or voice format. It utilizes natural language for text and voice-based assistants, as a result, they are increasingly deployed to engage and interact with customers. Companies are trying to reduce the time required to resolve a query and enhance employee productivity by automating several tasks.

Alibaba to invest $1B on AI integration with smart speaker


Alibaba plans to invest 10 billion yuan ($1.15 billion) to boost the artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem that supports its smart speaker, Tmall Genie. Such efforts will include integrating Alipay mini-apps as well as more content and services from Alibaba's wider ecosystem that spans entertainment, healthcare, online shopping, and education. The Chinese e-commerce giant added that it planned to develop proprietary AI and IoT technologies to enhance natural voice and visual interactions between the smart speaker and consumers. This development work would be carried out alongside its cloud and R&D unit, Alibaba Cloud and Alibaba DAMO Academy, respectively. From July 1, mini-apps currently running on its mobile payment platform Alipay will be integrated with Tmall Genie, Alibaba said in a statement Wednesday, In addition, its live streaming service featuring merchants on its Taobao online marketplace can be viewed on the smart speaker's screen.

The car of the future is connected, autonomous, shared, and electric


Mobility systems have been integrated for the past decade and continue to shape the user experiences in cars. Experiences Per Mile (EPM) is a movement centered on addressing the mobility industry's transformation to an experience-driven vision, which puts the consumer first. The Experiences Per Mile Advisory Council was formed to encourage collaboration among an exclusive group of automotive executives, analysts, and industry insiders regarding the changing value chains in automotive being driven by the connected movement. The purpose of the Advisory Council is to uncover best practices and foster cross-industry innovation to define and improve the in-vehicle experience for consumers. I am a member of the EPM advisory council.

Artificial Intelligence in Marketing Report


The advertising landscape has transformed dramatically in the last two years. A huge part of that transformation is related to developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. This IAB guide is designed to help brand marketers and their agencies identify the opportunities that artificial intelligence and machine learning present, the range of options available, and some recent best practices for applying AI to marketing and advertising. Developed by the IAB AI Working Group which was formed to help marketing and technology executives navigate the impact AI and machine learning will have on the world of digital advertising, this is the first guide of its kind to offer a full picture of the benefits of AI in marketing, real-world use cases, best practices, and key takeaways for marketers looking to leverage AI to better engage with customers at scale. When IAB put out the call to its members to form an AI working group, the response was overwhelming: 115 members raised their hands to contribute to our collective industry understanding of this nascent and essential topic. Their responses informed the basis of this IAB guide, focusing on the areas of greatest importance to the marketing industry at this time.