tech in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 28, 2013 03:22 PM
It’s been more than two years since IBM’s Watson made its hit TV debut on Jeopardy! And now, Watson is the latest “cognitive, expert personal shopper” developed by an early stage partner in the IBM Watson Developers Cloud, digital shopping company Fluid.
Their Watson-powered app—the Fluid Expert Personal Shopper—marries Watson’s transformational cognitive computing that provides dialogue-driven assistance with product recommendations and content, letting consumers make queries using Watson’s natural language processing (NLP).
But, “Watson’s natural language capabilities are not what make it special,” Brooke Aguilar, VP Global Business Development at Fluid told brandchannel. “The big differentiator is that Watson is a learning machine and one that quickly learns from and adapts with each interaction. In the context of digital shopping this presents a tremendous opportunity for Fluid to give consumers highly engaging and rich shopping experiences that are personalized and become more so with continued use.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 14, 2013 09:14 AM
GM could see exit of CEO Dan Akerson next year, Reuters says.
Crocs considers ways to go private.
Snapchat becomes one of most sought-after tech businesses after reportedly turning down $3 billion buyout from Facebook.
AT&T creates mystery of locked, used iPhones.
Alitalia prepares restructuring aimed at getting more resources out of Air France.
American Airlines and US Airways set up major-airport route grab with their merger as deal cruises through courts.
Ateliers Pleyel stops piano production in France.
Baidu faces suits over video piracy.
Boeing sees unionists reject new labor deal for 777X production.
Burberry is weighed down by beauty business.
Cisco tells of big revenue dropoff in emerging markets.
Cracker Barrel shareholders reject activist's third bid to be on board.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 12, 2013 07:28 PM
Using technology to better understand consumers' wants and needs has hit a new stride as brands compete to target promotions and deliver personalized customer service.
While most major retailers have used predictive analytics for years, new technologies have augmented the statistical game to nuances heretofore unknown. For instance, IBM has begun testing technology that essentially assigns core psychological traits by analyzing a consumer's tweets.
“We need to go below behavioral analysis like Amazon does,” said Michelle Zhou, lead of the User Systems and Experience Research Group at IBM’s Almaden Research Center where the software was created, according to Mashable. “We want to use social media to derive information about an individual—what is the overall affect of this person? How resilient is this person emotionally? People with different personalities want something different.”
The software builds a personality profile based on the most recent hundred or thousand Twitter updates, scoring them against the "big five" traits used in psychology: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. It also scores on “values” (hedonism and conservatism) and “needs” (curiosity and social harmony).Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 11, 2013 03:53 PM
IBM may have made a TV star of Watson, but can he rock? GE's brilliant Brilliant Machines campaign touting the power of the Industrial Internet has spawned Compressorhead—a band of robots that will be performing live in New York's Union Square on Tuesday, Nov. 12. The indie band with its own Facebook and Twitter presence was conceived in partnership with BBDO New York. Now they're being brought to life in a free concert scheduled to run from 1:00 p.m. through 8:00 p.m.
Hailing from Germany (as GE's blog post quipped, "Move over, Kraftwerk"), Compressorhead is comprised of three 5 foot tall humanoids—drummer Stickboy, bassist Bones and lead/rhythm Fingers—rendered from scrap metal, with heavy metal music such as Pantera covers via Midi, and moves aided by electro-pneumatics.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 11, 2013 09:11 AM
BSkyB shares hit by BT Champions League football rights deal win.
CBS criticized for not running more extensive apology over flawed Benghazi report.
Alibaba set for US$5B boost from China's online "Singles Day."
Adidas sprints for lead with Smart Run watch.
Amazon taps U.S. Postal Service to establish Sunday delivery for Prime customers.
Apple finds surprising market growth in Japan as China supply chain practices face fresh criticism.
Bank of America may have to pay US $864M over "Hustle" loans.
Bloomberg curbs reporting that might anger China.
Boeing and Japan Air Lines face another Dreamliner battery incident.
Bottega Veneta unveils new 'green' headquarters.
Cadillac's new CMO aims to focus brand around design.
Charmin pulls cheeky Twitter ad campaign.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 8, 2013 04:14 PM
Book lovers have long had a love/hate relationship with Amazon. It’s nice to have access to the world’s books at the click of a button but it has come at the expense of the local bookstore, putting plenty—from mom-and-pop owned storefronts to major chains like Borders—out of business because they can’t keep up with the amount of stock and low prices of their online counterpart.
Now Amazon hopes to appeal to those same shops by asking them if they’ll sell Kindle e-readers in their locations, the New York Times reports. In exchange, the bookseller gets “a small payment on each sale and a commission on all e-books that the reader buys in the next two years.” Previously, Target and Walmart stopped selling Kindle products due to the effects of showrooming, so perhaps this outreach to smaller sellers hopes to make up for the loss of retail presence.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 5, 2013 04:54 PM
In what might be the best/worst timing, IBM this week has made claims that Twitter has infringed upon at least three of its patents. According to Ad Age, one of the complaints filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is over Twitter’s, “Method for presenting advertising in an interactive service.”
The filing raises some concern ahead of Twitter's highly-anticipated IPO, which is set to launch Thursday. But, as the magazine points out, the complaint would also seemingly apply to other companies such as Facebook and Google.
IBM is looking to negotiate a settlement with the microblogger, though it's not clear whether that will take place before or after the IPO, the Wall Street Journal reports. Twitter, meanwhile, is occupied wrapping up its road show. After a positive response, the company boosted its share price this week from $17 to $20 to $23 to $25.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 5, 2013 09:14 AM
Apple opens Arizona plant with 2,000 workers.
Frito-Lay tests chocolate-covered potato chips.
Johnson & Johnson pays $2 billion fine for false marketing of drugs.
AOL boosts ad sales but sees profits hurt by local news services.
Allen Edmonds sells to private-equity firm.
BlackBerry abandons sale process.
Christie's starts out new auction season badly.
Coca-Cola predicts personalized beverages using genomics.
DirecTV profit rises on more subscribers.
Dodge expands Ron Burgundy campaign to entire brand lineup.Continue reading...