Pinterest hires Walmart CTO Jeremy King as head of engineering

  • “Just a few days after VentureBeat reported that Pinterest chief technology officer (CTO) Vanja Josifovski was jumping ship for Airbnb, the game of musical chairs is continuing with news that Pinterest has hired Walmart CTO Jeremy King as its new head of engineering.
  • The announcement comes less than 24 hours after an internal memo revealed that King was leaving Walmart after nearly eight years at the company. Most recently, King served as EVP and CTO for Walmart U.S., where he spearheaded the company’s ecommerce technology efforts.
  • Pinterest is, of course, an entirely different kind of business from Walmart — but there are enough similarities to make King a good fit for the role. The San Francisco-based company has evolved a great deal over the past decade, transitioning from being an online social pinboard of sorts to become more of a “visual discovery engine” that leans heavily on computer vision and artificial intelligence. A big part of its current business is making it easier for people to buy things that they see online and in the real world.”

https://www.google.com/amp/s/venturebeat.com/2019/03/21/pinterest-hires-walmart-cto-jeremy-king-as-head-of-engineering/amp/

Forget Go, Google helps AI learn to book flights on the Web

“Researchers at Google’s AI labs created a couple of novel neural networks that can succeed in navigating Web forms, such as an online flight-booking site. Although baby steps at the moment, the program succeeds as well or better than some models trained using human demonstrations of pointing and clicking.

“As an example, in the flight-booking environment the number of possible instructions/tasks can grow to more than 14 millions, with more than 1700 vocabulary words and approximately 100 Web elements at each episode.

The first, “QWeb,” is a Deep Q-Network that is enhanced by breaking up the webpage into rewards for each step in a travel booking exercise, such as entering the date of a flight. That tends to increase the rewards that the neural net receives as it goes along. 

The second, called “INET,” is another Deep Q-Network that gets rewards as it properly generates instructions for QWeb to follow. It’s the INET’s job to digest the Web page, in the form of a “document-object model,” or “DOM,” and come up with the steps QWeb should take to make choices in the Web form, such as picking an airport code from a drop-down list of “destinations” in the form.”

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.zdnet.com/google-amp/article/forget-go-google-helps-ai-learn-to-book-flights-on-the-web/

Artificial Intelligence ‘playing a role in 84% of households this Christmas’ – NetImperative.com

Key findings:

  • Only 20% of people say they would trust AI to help them run their perfect Christmas Day
  • Yet 84% are already planning on using AI-powered technologies this holiday season
  • 70 per cent will use AI-powered ecommerce platforms to do their festive shopping
  • 67 per cent will use AI-powered music or video streaming services for their holiday entertainment
  • 30 per cent will use AI to help them get home for Christmas, from smart cars to AI-powered travel apps
  • 19 percent will use voice assistants, whether that’s to contact friends and family, search for Christmas trivia, or check the snow forecast

http://www.netimperative.com/2018/12/artificial-intelligence-playing-a-role-in-84-of-households-this-christmas/

How Merchants Are Driving Conversions With Five Features – PYMNTS.com

  • “Just over eight in ten merchants — or 81.5 percent — had implemented site help live in the second quarter.
  • Just over seven in 10 merchants — or 72.5 percent — had implemented free shipping in the second quarter.
  • Approximately one-fourth of merchants — or 27.8 percent — had implemented rewards in the second quarter.
  • About half — or 48.2 percent — of merchants had implemented a guarantee or refund in the second quarter
  • About two-thirds — or 67.5 percent — of merchants had implemented product ratings, reviews or recommendations in the second quarter.”

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2018/ecommerce-merchants-online-customer-checkout-conversion/amp/

And they’re off! Black Friday, the Super Bowl of shopping, kicks off holiday season

CSONDY, GETTY IMAGES

  • On Thanksgiving Day, the traffic flowing through mobile devices represented 68 percent of all online traffic, according to Salesforce. And 54 percent of all digital orders that day were made through smart phones, the most of any day this year and roughly 30 percent more than in 2017.
  • Social media is also playing a growing role, with nearly 8 percent of traffic on Thanksgiving Day generated by platforms like Instagram and Facebook — a more than 40 percent uptick over 2017.
  • Digital research firm eMarketer has similar figures, saying that e-commerce spending will rise 16.6% to $123.73 billion, making up 12.3% of total holiday retail sales — the largest chunk ever.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.usatoday.com/amp/2056063002