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Tidio raises $25M to automate customer service interactions – TechCrunch

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During the pandemic especially, it's become overwhelming for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to answer all of their customer service requests. A Freshworks survey found that companies experienced a 71% increase in overall contact volume between February 2020 and January 2021, and expect it to increase further. At the same time, customers -- while empathetic -- have become more demanding. The same poll shows that 68% of customer service managers have seen an increase in customer expectations. What's a company to do? Automation is one route to more manageable customer experience workloads, potentially.


Deep North Launches Checkout IQ, a Solution for Retailers to Prevent Asset Loss

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Deep North, the intelligent video analytics company, announced the launch of Checkout IQ, its new retail loss prevention solution, which uses computer vision and AI to reduce shrinkage at checkout. The release reflects Deep North's ongoing commitment to empower retailers with data-driven tools to keep their businesses competitive, maximize revenue, and offer great customer experiences. With shrinkage at an all-time high and an increase in organized retail crime, Deep North is providing a new way for retailers to prevent fraud loss and improve their bottom line. Raises $10.5 Million Series A to Help CX Teams Turn Conversations Into Insights and Automation Designed to help retailers reduce retail fraud activities, Checkout IQ works with retailers' existing camera systems. By analyzing camera views, the application identifies items that are being scanned by the customer or the cashier, and this count is cross-referenced with the POS item count to detect any discrepancies.


The Engineer - AI tool tracks plastic waste from space

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Developed by Minderoo Foundation, the'Global Plastic Watch' tool uses advanced satellite data technology and machine learning to create a near-real-time, high resolution map of plastic pollution. The tool aims to help authorities better manage plastic leakage into the marine environment, and is said to provide the largest ever open source dataset of plastic waste across dozens of countries. Global Plastic Watch uses remote sensing satellite imagery from the European Space Agency and a novel machine learning model created in collaboration with digital product agency Earthrise Media. The tool can determine the size and scale of land-based plastic waste sites, which fuel the growing issue of plastic pollution in the world's rivers and oceans. By using the data, governments, industry and communities can evaluate and monitor the risk of land-based plastic waste sites as well as prioritise investment in solutions, Minderoo Foundation said.


Washington Post accused of activism for urging video game companies to take a stand on Roe v. Wade

FOX News

'Special Report' All-Star Panel reacts to the Senate voting to block a bill that would'codify' abortion nationwide. The Washington Post is facing accusations of activism over a report urging video game companies to take a stand on Roe v. Wade as the Supreme Court mulls overturning the decades-long precedent protecting the legalization of abortions on a federal level. On Wednesday, video game reporters Nathan Grayson and Shannon Liao penned a piece with the headline, "As Roe v. Wade repeal looms, video game industry stays mostly silent," documenting how giants in the gaming world are largely staying out of the abortion debate. The article began by citing Bungie, the "Destiny 2" studio owned by Sony that published a statement "in support of reproductive rights" that decried the overturning of Roe v. Wade among other studios and indie developers. The reporters appeared to side with the company as it faced viral backlash from critics, writing, "Bungie, for its part, stood firm."


Google confirms Pixel Watch coming this fall and more digital health briefs

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After months of rumors, Google announced its own smartwatch, called the Pixel Watch, will be coming this fall. Although the tech giant has supported smartwatches through its wearable operating system and completed its acquisition of Fitbit last year, this is Google's first branded smartwatch. The Pixel Watch will have a circular, domed design made with recycled stainless steel and customizable bands. Even though the watch also has plenty of features not concerned with health tracking, Rick Osterloh, Google's senior vice president of devices and services, teased the Pixel Watch's "deep integration" with Fitbit that will include heart rate and sleep tracking as well as workout metrics users can measure against their goals. Meanwhile, Google is entering a crowded market for health-tracking wearables, with competitors like Apple, Amazon, Samsung, Withings and Garmin.


Jersey Mike's to offer its subs by drone

ZDNet

Greg Nichols covers robotics, AI, and AR/VR for ZDNet. A full-time journalist and author, he writes about tech, travel, crime, and the economy for global media outlets and reports from across the U. You might think you should look down toward the water to spot a sub. If you're in North Carolina, you'd be better off looking up. That terrible joke is brought to you by a drone delivery services company called Flytrex, which just announced a partnership with Jersey Mike's Subs.


The EU AI Act: What you need to know

ZDNet

George Anadiotis got tech, data, and media, and he's not afraid to use them. It's been almost one year since the European Commission unveiled the draft for what may well be one of the most influential legal frameworks in the world: the EU AI Act. According to the Mozilla Foundation, the framework is still work in progress, and now is the time to actively engage in the effort to shape its direction. Mozilla Foundation's stated mission is to work to ensure the internet remains a public resource that is open and accessible to everyone. Since 2019, Mozilla Foundation has focused a significant portion of its internet health movement-building programs on AI.


Sonos is adding Voice Control to its speakers, so pleading for everything to stop will actually do something

Mashable

Sonos is introducing voice commands for its speakers, finally letting you start your depression playlist by groaning from the couch as God intended. Announced today, Sonos Voice Control will arrive in a free software update for all voice-capable Sonos speakers running the Sonos S2 operating system, including the Roam, Beam, Move, and Arc. This update will let you issue oral commands to find specific songs, ask what's playing, control the sound on their TV, and adjust volume and playback all without using your hands. You won't be able to set timers or reminders, as Sonos Voice Control isn't a fully fledged voice assistant. However if you have more than one Sonos speaker, you will be able to use it to change where your audio is playing.


Google Translate adds support for 24 new languages

Engadget

Google is adding support for 24 new languages to its Translate tool, the company announced today during its I/O 2022 developer conference. Among the newly available languages are Sanskrit, Tsongae and Sorani Kurdish. One of the new additions, Assamese, is used by approximately 25 million people in Northeast India. Another, Dhivehi, is spoken by about 300,000 people in the Maldives. According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the expansion allows the company to cover languages spoken by more than 300 million people and brings the total number of languages supported by Translate to 133.


The market for synthetic data is bigger than you think – TechCrunch

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"By 2024, 60% of the data used for the development of AI and analytics projects will be synthetically generated." This is a prediction from Gartner that you will find in almost every single article, deck or press release related to synthetic data. We are repeating this quote here despite its ubiquity because it says a lot about the total addressable market of synthetic data. Let's unpack: First, describing synthetic data that is "synthetically generated" may seem tautologic, but it is also quite clear: We are talking about data that is artificial/fake and created, rather than gathered in the real world. Next, there's the core of the prediction -- that synthetic data will be used in the development of most AI and analytics projects.