Can AI really benefit cash-strapped SMBs?


Over the last few years, Artificial Intelligence (AI), has spread beyond the realm of IBM's super-computer Watson, into the houses and pockets of billions around the globe courtesy of the likes of Apple's Siri & Amazon's Alexa. While AI may have evolved from a rather abstract, sci-fi concept, to a real-life, practical part of our conscious everyday lives, there are many around the globe who question its relevancy & impact to the small-medium business (SMB) community -- a community that is still so important to the economic prosperity of almost every country around the globe. One of the first & most obvious challenges to the SMB space is the associated cost. Fortunately, for businesses on a budget, AI investment & deployment doesn't need to break the bank. While developing your own AI is undoubtedly a complex and time-consuming process requiring a considerable amount of investment, fortunately, several tech companies have open-sourced their AI efforts in a bid to make AI more accessible to greater sections of society (including SMBs).

How Travel Chatbots are Disrupting Tourism & Transportation


Travel chatbots are changing the tourism and transportation industries the same way that Kayak, Travelocity, and Expedia changed the landscape of bookings 15 years ago. They're becoming an essential tool for travel companies to stay competitive. Tourism chatbots address two major challenges that travel companies face today: rising operational costs and growing customer service expectations. As the travel and tourism sectors continue to grow, so do operating costs. Fuel prices are rising, real estate is appreciating, and labor gaps are driving up wages.

Conversational AI: Design and Build a Contextual AI Assistant - DZone AI


Though conversational AI has been around since the 1960s, it's experiencing a renewed focus in recent years. While we're still in the early days of the design and development of intelligent conversational AI, Google quite rightly announced that we were moving from a mobile-first to an AI-first world, where we expect technology to be naturally conversational, thoughtfully contextual, and evolutionarily competent. In other words, we expect technology to learn and evolve. Most chatbots today can handle simple questions and respond with prebuilt responses based on rule-based conversation processing. For instance, if user says X, respond with Y; if user says Z, call a REST API, and so forth.

10 Ways Enterprise Organizations Can Use Chatbots


Many global enterprise companies are benefiting from deploying useful chatbots for customer service, marketing, human resources, communications, and scheduling. Customer service chatbot applications are the most popular, followed by using chatbots for marketing purposes. Many companies using chatbots for marketing are finding them effective in personalizing the experience and improving sales results. Another place to use a chatbot for enterprise businessefforts is in human resource management as a recruitment tool. Chatbot technology can be used effectively to communicate with both the public and employees.

Deep Learning Chatbots: Everything You Need to Know


When you're creating a chatbot, your goal should be to make one that it requires minimal or no human interference. This can be achieved by two methods. With the first method, the customer service team receives suggestions from AI to improve customer service methods. The second method involves a deep learning chatbot, which handles all of the conversations itself and removes the need for a customer service team. Such is the power of chatbots that the number of chatbots on Facebook Messenger increased from 100K to 300K within just 1 year.

Chatbots Opportunities For Insurance: Is It Ready? Insurance Market


We can describe a chatbot as a computer program that conducts a conversation in natural language via auditory or textual methods, understands the intent of the user, and sends a response based on the business rules and data of the organization. Another way to describe chatbot programming is the concept of "micro-engagement," or technology designed to communicate with customers and prospects at various intervals and via multiple channels in order to drive business interactions. Whatever the digital classification, it's important for boards of directors and C-level executives within the insurance industry to understand that chatbots are an increasingly effective way to improve business processes -- but are not a panacea. Roughly 65% of customer interaction can now be automated, and in order to maximize their effectiveness, chatbots must be wed to a comprehensive communications process that also includes humans (who can step in at the appropriate time). Being able to extract information from an insurance claim is a fairly complex task that demands a human component.

The Bank of the Future Will Have Data Vaults and Money Vaults


The financial services industry has seen a great deal of disruption from digital-based alternatives. Many of these challengers use advanced technology and expanded data sets to offer apps that provide financial solutions at a lower cost, with less friction and greater personalization than traditional bank or credit union offerings. Toronto-based startup Flybits believes that the best way to compete in the future is not just by developing innovative products and services, but by becoming the repository of choice for data in addition to money. "I definitely see that banks are in a perfect position, if they innovate right, to be the perfect data vaults for the future – managing the privacy and also the data of their customers," says Hossein Rahnama, CEO and Co-Founder of Flybits, in an exclusive interview for Banking Transformed, a new podcast from Jim Marous and The Financial Brand. "Using AI and machine learning, there is the potential to build a'data marketplace' for banks, fintechs and other data providers to partner and build more services together."

How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Digital Marketing


When you imagine what artificial intelligence (AI) "looks like," you might be thinking of a synthetic consciousness developed by humans, as many sci-fi movies portray. Apart from the realm of fantasy, AI is simply a system that can perform tasks that normally requires human intelligence. These include problem-solving, recognizing emotions, and even diagnosing diseases. AI marketing is a method of leveraging technology to improve the customer journey. It can also be used to boost the return on investment (ROI) of marketing campaigns.

Microsoft harvests unintentional audio in program that listens to Xbox users via Cortana and Kinect

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Microsoft's listening program continues to grow in scope after a new report reveals that contractors harvested unintentional audio from Xbox users through Cortana and the Kinect. Motherboard reports that Xbox users were recorded by Microsoft as part of a program to analyze users' voice-commands for accuracy and that those recordings were assessed by human contractors. While the program was designed to only scrape audio uttered after a wake-word, contractors hired by Microsoft report that some recordings were taken accidentally without provocation. The practice, reports Motherboard, has been ongoing for several years since the early days of Xbox One and predates Xbox's integration with its voice assistant, Cortana. Xbox users were being recorded by Microsoft in a listening program that scraped audio from Cortana and its augmented reality hardware, Kinect.

14 of the Best AI Chatbot Platforms to Increase Your Conversions in 2019


Have you ever placed an order through the Starbucks app? If you have, you might have noticed that an AI-powered chatbot takes your order. You can speak to it or type in your message. These AI chatbot platform will help you when your order is expected to be ready and the total cost. Similarly, the Pizza Hut chatbot on Facebook messenger can help you order your pizza. It can tell you all about their ongoing deals too. Smart businesses are integrating conversational chatbots into their inbound marketing strategies.