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Do You Have a Conversational Interface?

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We think the next era will belong to "the conversational layer" -- both text- and voice-driven -- that will use chat, messaging, or natural language interfaces to interact with people, brands, services, and bots. This interaction will occur at the exact time the user demands a product or service, and in the exact terms she thinks of that product or service, in the language and communication methods she typically uses (intent, words, shortcuts, emojis, etc.). In order to reach user conversations today, brands will need to decide which platforms to target and build on. Many of the tools that are provided by the messaging and bot platform providers are from the open-source space, and companies can perform low-cost experiments with a reduced set of users to learn more about conversational interactions and use cases that yield the desired results.


Samsung buys AI assitant Viv, whose creators sold Siri to Apple

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A resident expresses her anger about police-involved shootings in South Los Angeles. A resident expresses her anger about police-involved shootings in South Los Angeles. Prop 64 divides medical marijuana community, the battle to seize Mosul, the vice presidential debate is tonight, and Southern California's earthquake fears. Prop 64 divides medical marijuana community, the battle to seize Mosul, the vice presidential debate is tonight, and Southern California's earthquake fears.


Branding Once Meant Logos. Today, It Means AI

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After all, consider that bees' markings are instantly distinctive to each other and across species as a biological imperative. The idea of the brand goes from optimistic (bees were a brand, man!) Will we ever start to see distinct, convincing personalities emerge as brands--or at least a few decent archetypes? Because right now, I don't think that most of us could really distinguish a Siri response from a Cortana response from an Alexa response, beyond the specific voice.


Tech Giants Team Up To Tackle The Ethics Of Artificial Intelligence

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Called the Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society, the group consists of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and IBM. Executives from four of the five founding members of the Partnership on AI (from left): Eric Horvitz of Microsoft, Francesca Rossi of IBM, Yann LeCun of Facebook and Mustafa Suleyman of Google's DeepMind. Executives from four of the five founding members of the Partnership on AI (from left): Eric Horvitz of Microsoft, Francesca Rossi of IBM, Yann LeCun of Facebook and Mustafa Suleyman of Google's DeepMind. But Banavar hopes the group's work will make its way into educational curricula around the world that will inspire the new generations of AI researchers.


How chatbots will help local business across the world

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Now, the big brands are starting to leverage chatbots to promote their products. According to a recent survey carried out by Facebook IQ, 63 percent of consumers are using messaging apps (in this case, Facebook Messenger) to contact companies, find information, and buy products. According to the Facebook survey, 67 percent expect to message businesses more frequently over the next two years. Currently, businesses can build bots that carry out simple tasks, answer simple questions, and help with the steps laid out above.


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Our culture and tools change, but the base stuff of human nature in all our ignorance, corruption and short-term frame of reference of the individual, family, tribal and national unit remains the same. In many fields, there are such cases of artificial intelligence impacting human society and contributing to creativity in ways we did not anticipate. In the process of being served by a chat-bot, perhaps better than a human being ever could, I'm experiencing a social landmark of artificial intelligence given a social role that can scale to nearly any service, sales or customer service situation. With Amazon Echo and Google Home, this will also change our home environments and family situations.


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Plus, bots live in mobile messaging apps -- the fastest-growing online sector within the social landscape over the past five years. And like any advertising campaign, branded chat campaigns perform best when rooted in strategy -- specifically, a mobile messaging strategy. This means ensuring everything from the objectives, key performance indicators (KPIs), key messages, and creative content are aligned and working cohesively. Like any other branding, marketing, or advertising campaign, chatbot campaigns perform best when wrapped with other engagement experiences.


The state of bots: 11 examples of conversational commerce in 2016

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Retailers and technology firms are experimenting with chatbots, powered by a combination of machine learning, natural language processing, and live operators, to provide customer service, sales support, and other commerce-related functions. The company first integrated peer-to-peer payments into Messenger in 2015 and then launched a full chatbot API so businesses can create interactions for customers to occur within the Facebook Messenger app. While the most common uses of the device include playing music, making informational queries, and controlling home devices, Alexa (the device's default addressable name) can also tap into Amazon's full product catalog as well as your order history and intelligently carry out commands to buy stuff. Through Amazon's developer platform for the Echo (called Alexa Skills), developers can develop "skills" for Alexa that enable her to carry out new types of tasks.


Wanted: Creative types to shape the personalities of virtual assistants

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Now, she is applying her creative talents toward building the personality of a different type of character: a virtual assistant, animated by artificial intelligence, that interacts with sick patients. Unlike the fictional characters Ewing developed in Hollywood, who are put through adventures and plot twists, most virtual assistants are designed to perform largely prosaic tasks, such as reading through email, sending meeting reminders or turning off the lights. Writers for medical and productivity apps make character decisions, such as whether bots should be workaholics, self-effacing or eager beavers. At a recent meeting of Microsoft Cortana's six-person writing team -- which includes a poet, a novelist, a playwright and a former TV writer -- the group debated how to answer political questions.


Microsoft's artificial intelligence 'chatbot' messes up again on Twitter

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Almost a week after being shut down for spewing racist and sexist comments on Twitter, Microsoft Corp's artificial intelligence'chatbot' called Tay briefly rejoined Twitter on Wednesday only to launch a spam attack on its followers. "Tay remains offline while we make adjustments," a Microsoft representative said in an email. It was taken offline following the incident, according to a Microsoft representative, in an effort to make "adjustments" to the artificial intelligence profile. According to its Twitter profile, Tay is "an artificial intelligent chatbot developed by Microsoft's Technology and Research and Bing teams to experiment with and conduct research on conversational understanding."