Cisco opens up its MindMeld voice AI platform

    • “Cisco announced Wednesday that it’s releasing MindMeld under an open-source Apache 2.0 license. The move is meant to lower the adoption barrier for enterprises looking to add voice features to their applications.
    • Since acquiring MindMeld, Cisco has integrated the platform its Webex video conferencing platform. The company last month launched a feature called Webex Assistant the enables workers to use voice commands to join virtual meeting rooms, call colleagues and control the volume settings on their microphone.
    • ‘By making this open source software and companion documentation available to partners and developers, Cisco is committed to helping more enterprises find success building and deploying a wide range of conversational applications,’ Karthik Raghunathan”
  • Who is Zoovu?

    I found an article today on Zoovu, and hadn’t heard of them to date. Their premise is that they’ve developed a self-service platform that enables businesses of all sizes to easily manage voice assistant, Chatbots and other emerging technologies by leveraging AI, machine learning and natural language processing.

    Rob Mullen is the CEO and has a background including time at both IBM and Tata.

    Here’s a link to his LinkedIn profile:

    Here are a few key takeaways:

    • “Gartner recently predicted that by 2022, 72% of customer interactions will involve emerging technologies such as machine learning applications, chatbots and other virtual personal assistants
    • Zoovu found that nearly one-in-four marketers said that their current digital assistant solutions aren’t intelligent, scalable or adaptive enough, underscoring the need for an augmented product offering.
    • The new offering provides over 200 bespoke templates, each with unique layouts, designs and conversational flows, empowering brands
    • ‘The Zoovu platform provides real-time reporting and insights into what products are selling, which are struggling, which customers are drawn to and more, delivering real-time ROI contributions.'”

    Check out the full article

    Microsoft launches a drag-and-drop machine learning tool

    • “Microsoft today announced three new services that all aim to simplify the process of machine learning.
    • The new interface for Azure’s automated machine learning tool makes creating a model as easy as importing a data set and then telling the service which value to predict.
    • For those who want a bit more control from the get-go, Microsoft also today launched into preview a visual interface for its Azure Machine Learning service that will allow developers to build, train and deploy machine learning models without having to touch any code.
    • The new hosted notebooks in Azure Machine Learning are clearly geared toward the more experienced machine learning practitioner.”

    Walmart vs. Amazon: Who Will Win in 2019?

    Image Credit: RIS News

    “For perspective, it’s worth noting that eMarketer expects Walmart to account for 4.6% of ecommerce sales this year, up from around 4% in 2018. The company expects to come off its 40% growth in 2018 with 35% growth in 2019. This doesn’t compare with Amazon’s strong double digit growth rate especially off its 50% share. At the same time, Amazon’s share of physical retail sales is next to nil and that’s where Walmart generates most of its business.

    Both companies have a ton of data on their users. But while Amazon has transformed that into tech-enabled market intelligence, Walmart is a little behind in that race (although it’s already testing its own AI, visual search techniques, AR capabilities and the like). Additionally, Walmart has a much more comprehensive physical presence, so it is far better able to cater to popular formats with greater near-term relevance like order online and pick up at store.

    So the race is far from over and both companies look about evenly poised to capture a growing share of the market mostly at the cost of smaller players, or those with limited resources to really take technology support to all it can be, i.e. artificial intelligence, robotics, AR, et al.”

    Intellimize raises $8 million to optimize websites with AI

    • “’Last year, marketers spent $100 billion in paid media to drive traffic to websites, yet 98% of those visitors left without becoming customers,’ Yalif said.
    • Yalif, who was previously head of global product and vertical marketing at Twitter and who held leadership roles at Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group, Yahoo,
    • Intellimize’s product taps AI to generate bespoke webpages for each unique visitor in real time,
    • Yalif claims that in 2017 and 2018, Intellimize helped the average customer test 177 different ideas and 78 million combinations of webpages.
    • According to one paying customer — Looker — optimizations made by Intellimize’s platform drove five times return on investment by nudging prospective customers to content, demo requests, and other web forms.”