Microsoft has released a new preview of a future Windows 10 taskbar that shows how it plans to display news and weather in the task bar. Microsoft is kicking off 2021 with more user interface changes as it gears up for the big Sun Valley UI update in for the 21H2 Windows 10 release. The widget panel features news and other tidbits that can be personalized or turned off, and are accessible from the taskbar. A point to keep in mind is that the feature isn't guaranteed to turn up in a future version of Windows 10, but if things go well, it probably will turn up in Windows 10 21H2. That the software giant is bothering to show off improvements to the feature bodes well for it.
If there's one obvious prediction that bore out over the course of what was otherwise a very unpredictable year, it was the acceleration in adoption of cloud computing. Just look at the continued very healthy double digit growth rates of each of the major clouds. For enterprises, it was about adapting to the virtual environment and constrained supply chains of a suddenly locked-down world. A year ago, (pre-COVID), we viewed cloud adoption as a series of logical stages, evolving from DevTest to development of new born-in-the-cloud apps, opportunistic adoption of new SaaS services, with the homestretch now coming into view with replatforming and/or transformation of core enterprise back end applications. But with hindsight, nor surprisingly, the headline for cloud adoption over the past year was for use cases enabling businesses to pivot into what became the new normal – the need to change or develop new services in a landscape where work and consumption was increasingly virtual, and where conventional supply chains came under stress.
This represents our fifth annual Voice AI predictions article and there is no question it is the most interesting and insightful to date. It is also the largest with over 100 predictions from 50 voice industry leaders. You will not that some of our guest contributors are confident enough to make multiple predictions. It increases the odds at least one of them will be correct. What is striking for our 2021 issue is the breadth of predictions and the interesting insights. The industry is simply more mature, has seen more, and has a better grasp on what is coming. I enjoyed reading this year's predictions and am sure you will as well. Despite the breadth of topics covered, there are at least two topics that arose with meaningfully higher frequency than the others. Predictions related to the rise of custom assistants were mentioned by at least 11 contributors followed by an increase focus on voice solution while on-the-go. Personalization, both in terms of the user preference and emotion recognition or empathy, and a rise in multimodal user experiences were next in line mentioned by about 10% of the contributors. After that, a number of topics showed some popularity ranging from more rapid voice AI adoption in customer service (including virtual humans) to more growth in voice assistant features for audio media. It was interesting to see two guests (Audrey Arbeeny and Kirill Petrov) mention an expected rise of voice assistant and custom synthetic voices in games, a couple who are optimistic about Apple making a big Siri update this year (Brian Roemmele and Max Child), and how AR might spur voice adoption (Joan Palmiter Bajorek and Craig Sanders).
"Both my co-founder David Vandegrift and I personally know how important successful relationships are in helping early-stage and highly-disruptive companies make it to the next stage of development" The 4Degrees platform was built by venture capital, private equity, and consulting industry veterans who decided there was a better way to manage their team's relationship network, versus trying to adapt complicated customer relationship management platforms to suit this purpose. "Both my co-founder David Vandegrift and I personally know how important successful relationships are in helping early-stage and highly-disruptive companies make it to the next stage of development," says Ablorde Ashigbi, CEO and Co-Founder of 4Degrees. "The problem is that manual and transactional systems are too often ineffective at facilitating this relationship development. Not only this, but they often fail to be widely adopted in the first place, with most estimates suggesting that 30-to-60 percent of CRM implementations do not achieve their goals. A few years ago, we both agreed that this needed to change in today's digitally-transformed enterprise. I'm proud to say, the industry has responded well to this change."
MUNICH, Germany and ANTWERP, Belgium, Dec 14, 2020 – The Nemetschek Group, one of the world's leading software providers for the architecture, engineering, construction, and building operations (AECO) industry, announced that its subsidiary Spacewell – headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium – has acquired 100% of DEXMA. Based in Barcelona, Spain, DEXMA is a fast-growing provider of innovative SaaS solutions with artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities for energy data management. The company enables over 4,000 customers in 30 countries worldwide to effectively measure, monitor, and manage their energy consumption and costs. "Buildings account for 30 percent of our total energy use and 28 percent of global carbon emissions. This acquisition is a huge benefit for our customers who are aiming to become more sustainable in their operations. Energy management is an important element in creating truly autonomous buildings that automatically adapt their behaviors to the occupants and stakeholders," says Koen Matthijs, Chief Division Officer, Operate & Manage Division at the Nemetschek Group.
DBIC Ventures, the venture arm of Dublin BIC, today announces details of a co-investment in AI-powered construction software company Evercam, representing the first investment by DBIC Ventures' new seed and early stage fund which is backed by Enterprise Ireland and a number of leading Irish technology entrepreneurs and business leaders. The investment round totalled €600,000 and will support the creation of 50 new jobs and the company's continued strong growth in international markets. It is the first investment by DBIC Ventures' latest fund which plans to back around 30 leading high growth early stage Irish tech companies over the next four years. Elkstone, the Irish multi-family office, is a co-investor in the round. Evercam enhances construction site productivity by improving project visibility with verifiable intelligence from high-resolution time-lapse cameras located on client sites.
How big is the market for artificial intelligence software? In our new report, "The AI Software Market Will Grow To $37 Billion Globally By 2025," Forrester forecasts that the size of the AI software market will approach $37 billion by 2025. That's a large number but still smaller than many investors and other analysts have projected. We believe our projection is more realistic, however, for two reasons. First, most business applications are adding AI functions without monetizing them.
The velocity of demand for AI technology, tools, platforms, and applications draws parallels to the demand for cloud. And, indeed, the market for AI maker platforms, AI facilitator platforms, and new AI-centric and AI-infused applications will grow to $37 billion by 2025. Still, this is much smaller than many investors assume.
Brightflag, an AI-powered legal spend management startup, today announced a $28 million round. The company says it will put the funds toward expanding its footprint while bolstering R&D to support existing customers. According to a recent Gartner survey, the share of corporate legal operations leaders responsible for coordinating law firm billing and tracking outside counsel spend increased in the past two years by 53% and 32% percent, respectively. According to one report, the global legal operations software market will reach $3.57 billion by 2027, growing from just $1.08 billion in 2018. Brightflag, which claims to manage "millions" in external legal spend, offers an AI platform to streamline legal bill review, legal matter management, and other related processes.