Collaborating Authors


The Sales Person's AI Dream


Throughout most of recorded history buying and selling has been part of daily life. Whether it's agricultural products or the latest software, selling is a communication process whereby one side works to fulfill the needs of a second party via their product or service. The ability of the sales person to properly communicate why a prospect should buy or sell is the reason their role exists. Once an account relationship is in place less human interaction may be required (or desired) and automating the ordering process probably makes sense, except for new products or up-selling opportunities requiring human sales interaction. AI sales tools can augment the sales process both today and in the near future in so many time saving ways (if the right technology is applied, the reps are properly trained, buy into it and use it every day).

Artificial Intelligence: A Free Online Course from MIT


That's because, to paraphrase Amazon's Jeff Bezos, artificial intelligence (AI) is "not just in the first inning of a long baseball game, but at the stage where the very first batter comes up." Look around, and you will find AI everywhere--in self driving cars, Siri on your phone, online customer support, movie recommendations on Netflix, fraud detection for your credit cards, etc. To be sure, there's more to come. Featuring 30 lectures, MIT's course "introduces students to the basic knowledge representation, problem solving, and learning methods of artificial intelligence." It includes interactive demonstrations designed to "help students gain intuition about how artificial intelligence methods work under a variety of circumstances."

Predictive Analytics 101


"Who cares if we find out we lost a customer after she left?" The objective of predictive analytics is not just understand why you lost a customer but how to prevent you from losing one before it happens. Insight, not hindsight is the essence of predictive analytics. How organizations instrument, capture, create and use data is fundamentally changing the dynamics of work, life and leisure. Analytics is the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data (corporate, product, channel, and customer). All of these need data. Data is the new oil. Cloud is the new pipeline. Digital use cases is the new experience frontier.

How Netflix's AI Saves It 1 Billion Every Year -- The Motley Fool


When you think of leaders in artificial intelligence, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) doesn't usually jump to the top of the list. But the streaming video service's VP of Product Innovation Carlos Uribe-Gomez and Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt published a paper that says some of its AI algorithms save Netflix 1 billion each year. In their paper, the two Netflix execs detail how the company's recommendation engine impacts its churn rate. Netflix no longer reports its churn rate, but the paper notes that Netflix's "retention rates are already high enough that it takes a very meaningful improvement to make a retention difference of even 0.1%." Let's dive into how the recommendation engine saves Netflix money -- and what the return on investment looks like.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos: 'It's the first inning' of AI


RANCHOS PALOS VERDES, California -- If you're excited about artificial intelligence and machine learning now, just wait until you see what's coming around the bend. Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the company behind one of the most popular consumer-grade home AI devices on the market -- Amazon Echo and its Alexa voice assistant -- told The Verge's Walt Mossberg at the annual Code Conference on Tuesday night that "It's the first inning. It might even be the first guys up at bat. Bezos revealed that Amazon was working on Alexa technology for four years behind the scenes before bringing it to market. "There is so much more to come.