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Why Is It So Hard to Make a Computer Talk Like a Human?

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When our machines first began speaking to us, it was in the simple language of children. Some of those voices were even designed for kids -- my Speak & Spell was a box with a handle and a tiny green screen that tested my skills in a grating tone, but I still heard that voice sometimes in my dreams. Teddy Ruxpin's words played from cassette tapes popped into his back, but his mouth moved at just the right cadence, which made him feel almost alive. For adults, however, the clunky computerized voices of the 1980s, '90s, and early aughts were far from real. When the train's voice announced that the next stop was Port Chester using two words instead of "porchester" -- we knew: That was a machine.


Discover How to Use Artificial Intelligence for Marketing Your Business in 2019

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Some time ago when we talked about artificial intelligence we immediately thought of those futuristic films with technologies that seem impossible today. But just look around to realize that this area has evolved in such a way that it is already possible to integrate artificial intelligence into many of our day-to-day activities. Of course, because of the incredible possibilities that this type of technology brings, it has received attention from several industries, including marketing. By the way, did you know that artificial intelligence and marketing are already walking side by side? How does this partnership work?


5 reasons to get 'smart' about your thermostat: What you need to know about Nest, Ecobee

USATODAY

From the moment you see one, a smart thermostat looks cool. The cover plate is smooth, and there's a clear digital read out. Unlike that grimy little hockey puck, with its analog dial and worn-out numbers, the smart thermostat feels futuristic, like something out of a science fiction movie. Yet smart thermostats are real – and they're changing lives. And they also offer a level of convenience that most of us have never imagined before.


From WhatsApp to Alexa : why the ad-free era is over

The Guardian

So-called "native advertising" online, where advertising is presented in a similar way to editorial, has failed to take off. A US study last year from Stanford University found native advertising is no better at getting us to buy than standard online ads. "Consumers are very good at filtering out messages," explains Lisa Du-Lieu, a senior lecturer in marketing at Huddersfield University. "If you don't get their attention within the first couple of seconds, it just bounces off them." For that reason, brands are shifting their attention to platforms and formats that they know we are engaged with.


Upcoming Technologies with AI in 2019 - My Big Data Analytics by Dr. Kamal Gulati

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Artificial Intelligence is getting deeper into our daily lives, but this is not as scary as many may think. With Artificial Intelligence, we have seen things getting better and easier for us but this change does not stop at homes. Today many businesses are coming forward to use AI in new different ways so as to engage their customers, drive sales and make business processes simpler. In short, the demand for Artificial Intelligence development services will go high in the coming years. We have already seen how Facebook was using AI to improve its ad campaigns as well as seen the effective use of AI-powered chatbots.


Considering chatbots for your business? 5 key questions answered

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Chatbots are become increasingly popular, as they can not only improve an organisation's responsiveness to its customers, but also result in considerable cost savings. Here are five questions, you are likely to ask about chatbots when trying to determine whether they might work well in your business. As organisations continue to seek to manage costs and optimise the talent they have, many are considering chatbot to execute basic functions, especially in the areas where there is interaction with customers. In some instances, we as consumers might not be aware that we are not interacting with a human, and have a satisfactory experience. In other cases, it can be extremely frustrating, with limited options to escalate a matter, or to speak directly with someone – a human.


Four Ways AI Will Make a Difference in 2019

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AI gets warm and fuzzy. Conversational AI is fast becoming a fact of life; already, 20% of U.S. adults have access to smart speakers in their homes. Google Assistant's new "polite mode" even uses positive reinforcement to encourage the use of "please" and "thank you." In 2019, we'll see a breakout year for AI chatbots in customer service. When it comes to online commerce, chatbots and conversational agents have already begun to feel as natural as chatting with a human.


Microsoft Wants Cortana to Play Nicely With Amazon and Google

WIRED

Tech giants are battling to position their smart speakers as the center of the digital home. But Microsoft, which lost the mobile wars to Apple and Google, is trying to ensure that it will have a place, no matter who wins. Microsoft has its own voice-based digital assistant, Cortana, that could theoretically power a challenger to the Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple HomePod for countertop space. Indeed, Cortana is already core to a smart speaker from Harman Kardon. But CEO Satya Nadella is also thinking about how Cortana can live in harmony with other digital assistants.


How will AI redefine customer engagement?

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Customer experience is the next competitive battleground. It's where businesses are built or lost. Just a few years back, customer interactions were slow. Customers sent their queries through e-mail and spent weeks waiting for a response that might never arrive. All of that has changed dramatically now.


Amazon's Echo Dot Kids Edition is cheaper than ever

PCWorld

The Amazon Echo lineup has long been a popular pick for making homes a little smarter, and the Echo Dot Kids Edition brings those same smarts to the littlest members of your household. Today, you can snag the Echo Dot Kids Edition for $40 on Amazon, down from a list price of $70 and the lowest we've seen it. This compact smart speaker comes with Alexa built in for convenient voice control. Kids can do everything from controlling other connected devices to asking Alexa to answer questions and tell stories hands-free. With one year of included Amazon's FreeTime service included with your purchase, kids will be able to tap into a whole library of family-friendly content.