EXPERIENCE


Artificial intelligence gaining favor with retailers

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A new study reveals 54 percent of retailers use or plan to use artificial intelligence to enhance the customer experience. The SLI Systems study noted many retailers have "concrete" AI plans for the next year, with 38 percent planning to use the technology for personalized product recommendation. Customer service and chatbots are also top of mind for ecommerce companies' plans for AI use. Virtual reality and voice-activated apps are least popular. Rent-A-Center's'Inner Circle' is about meeting customer needs and much more Kagan: Will Walmart win with Jet.com private label?


Reflektion uses AI tech to allow businesses to understand and leverage customer intent

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Set up by an ex-Google employee, Reflektion's customer data and insights enable businesses to influence customers at every relevant point of engagement. It may be the time of mobile phones and apps, but business websites are often the primary point for prospective customers to gather information. There are ad-tech companies that track why people visit a particular website and target them with relevant advertising. However, this form of technology is relevant to a media or publishing company. What about businesses keen to understand the profile of traffic coming to their website and convert them to prospective leads?


Baidu Plans Fully Self-Driving Bus in China Next Year

Wall Street Journal

But first, Baidu aims to complete a fully self-driving bus--running on a designated route--with a Chinese bus maker by next year. Baidu is hoping its open-source software is more appealing to car makers wary of joining with Waymo, the driverless-car unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc. GOOGL -1.08% Mr. Li said he pitches car makers that Apollo will give them more control of their data and user experience than a closed system like Waymo's. "You have much better control over your destiny," he said. Most industry experts agree, however, that Waymo has the most advanced self-driving technology, which it began developing in 2009.


What are mobile AI chips really good for?

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What are they actually good for? In the recent months we've heard a lot about specialized silicon being used for machine learning in mobile devices. Apple's new iPhones have their "neural engine"; Huawei's Mate 10 comes with a "neural processing unit"; and companies that manufacture and design chips (like Qualcomm and ARM) are gearing up to supply AI-optimized hardware to the rest of the industry. What's not clear, is how much all this benefits the consumer. When you're buying your phone, should an "AI chip" be on your wish list?


Number of AI roles in Britain up 485% since 2014, Indeed reveals - Recruitment International

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The number jobs in artificial intelligence (AI) in the UK has risen dramatically in the last three years, according to Indeed. Since 2014, the number of available AI roles in Britain has increased by 485% - representing a significant spike in demand for employees with the appropriate skills for the job. Yet Indeed's data also reveals there are over two times as many AI jobs available than there are suitable applicants, with a ratio of 2.3 roles available per candidate searching in the last quarter. Interest in AI roles has risen more steadily by 178% in the past three and a half years, not quite high enough to meet the fivefold surge in postings. The popularity of software in innovations including smart home devices and customer service chat bots demonstrate how the industry is developing at pace.


3 Rules for Being an AI-First Company - Datamation

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Earlier this year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that Google was moving from mobile-first to AI-first. If the company is as successful shifting away from mobile as they were shifting towards mobile, the change could alter more than just Google. It will likely force other companies to change the way they operate in order to keep up. In much the same way that mobile-first required a new approach to strategy, design and development, AI-first will require a new perspective to properly benefit from its impact. Many companies will say they're "AI-first," but how many will truly be able to transform?


AI is changing the hiring process, but will never replace recruiters

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Next to family and health, work is often the most important thing in an individual's life. It provides a livelihood, is an outlet for passion, and drives purpose and happiness. Few decisions have a greater impact on the shape of our lives than our career choices. But finding the right job (or hiring the right employee) is fraught with challenges. The odds have been historically stacked against finding the best fit.


Intel unveils SDK for third party Alexa devices

ZDNet

Intel unveiled a new software development kit that aims to bring voice-control capabilities from Amazon's Alexa to more third-party smart home devices. The chip giant said the Speech Enabling Developer Kit provides a complete audio front-end solution for far-field voice control. The SDK includes Intel's dual digital signal processor with an interference engine and an eight-mic circular array. The system also utilizes algorithms for acoustic echo cancellation, noise reduction, beamforming and custom wake word engine tuned to "Alexa." "There's a lot of engineering involved in getting speech recognition at high degrees of speed and accuracy to deliver the best customer experiences," Miles Kingston, general manager of Intel's smart home group, said in a statement: "The Intel Speech Enabling Developer Kit is based on a new architecture that delivers high-quality far-field voice even in the most acoustically challenging environments."


When VR meets human emotions (and sometimes, hallucinations)

Engadget

By its very nature, virtual reality is an immersive medium. But for Rama Allen, that bar is higher. The interactive artist and Executive Creative Director at The Mill has made a name for himself leading inter-disciplinary teams of designers, filmmakers, coders, editors, engineers and VFX artists to create new kinds of cinematic experiences. At the inaugural Engadget Experience, a tech-art installation happening in LA next month, Allen will share some of his strangest creations, including a collaboration with an emotional AI; a VR experience that uses biometrics for levitation; a sculpting tool for the human voice; and a mixed-reality galactic journey to spread peace across the universe. Buy your tickets here, and hurry because discounted pricing ends next week, on October 27th.


CIOs beginning to deliver real value from machine learning

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A survey of 500 chief information officers (CIOs) from around the world by ServiceNow has found that machine learning has arrived in the enterprise, and is making material contributions to everyday work. To realise its full value, technology leaders must find skilled talent to work side-by-side with machines, in addition to redesigning their organisations and processes. CIOs were interviewed in 11 countries across 25 industries, including 46 CIOs in the UK, to uncover the competitive benefits of adopting machine learning and hear how those leaders are driving results. See also: Government CIO I.T. budget breakdown: Gartner IDC estimates that investment in machine learning will nearly double by 2020, and recent analysis shows that machine learning specialists are among the fast-growing roles in IT. Humans are working side-by-side with smart machines for better accuracy, speed and growth of business.