“Trademarked by Alibaba in 2009, Single’s Day – 11th November – has grown into the world’s largest online shopping event. With record sales year-on-year, particularly in Southeast Asia, the seasonality of the day reportedly resulted in a 191% spike in sales for Lazada, an eCommerce platform owned by Alibaba.
“Data-driven personalization drove additional product discovery,” said Mense. “Alibaba’s AI-powered customer service robot handled 95% of customer service inquiries.”
“Investing in e-commerce directly benefit our customers, and anything that we can do to simplify their grocery shopping experience to save valuable time is a win,” said Narayan Iyengar, SVP Digital and eCommerce at Albertsons Cos. “While our partnership with Takeoff Technologies will streamline eCommerce fulfillment and improve our efficiencies, we’re excited that Takeoff’s AI solution will make it even easier for customers to get their groceries how and when they want. This is a major step in our commitment to being a customer-centric player in the digital food and wellness ecosystem.”
“Yandex(NASDAQ:YNDX), which owns Russia’s top search engine, recently launched an online marketplace called Beru, which it claims could become one of the country’s top three e-commerce platforms for local goods by the end of 2020. AliExpress now controls 69% of Russia’s e-commerce market according toEcommerce News Europe. Alibaba also launched a dedicated version of Tmall for Russian shoppers last year, and recently inked a $2 billion Kremlin-backed e-commerce venture with billionaire Alisher Usmanov.
To counter Google and lock in its users, Yandex aggressively expanded its ecosystem of services — which include cloud and email services, a virtual assistant called Alice, an AI-powered recommendations platform, streaming videos on its homepage, rides and food deliveries from Yandex.Taxi”
“Today, thousands of products integrate with the company’s Alexa platform to make use of its voice search and query capabilities. Just as it once foresaw e-commerce, streaming, and cloud computing as the future of the internet, Amazon saw AI as not just something that could live within the smartphone — as Apple established with Siri and Google with its Assistant — but also in the home.
As it stands today, Amazon employs more than half a million people, more so than any other technology company in the country and second only to Walmart in the US. But the eventual result of its investments in robotics and AI is that technology’s biggest and fast-growing workforce could see that growth start to slow and, perhaps years down the line, even shrink as robots tackle ever more complicated tasks. In the process, the company may develop robots for use outside its fulfillment centers. Amazon has already changed how we shop and, by extension, how we live our lives. Its next big step could be changing how we work.”
“Almost a year ago, we published our now-annual landscape of machine intelligence companies, and goodness have we seen a lot of activity since then. This year’s landscape has a third more companies than our first one did two years ago, and it feels even more futile to try to be comprehensive, since this just scratches the surface of all of the activity out there.
As has been the case for the last couple of years, our fund still obsesses over “problem first” machine intelligence—we’ve invested in 35 machine intelligence companies solving 35 meaningful problems in areas from security to recruiting to software development. (Our fund focuses on the future of work, so there are some machine intelligence domains where we invest more than others.)”
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