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Conversational Platform Trends for 2021
January 19, 2021
Live chat and conversational platform technologies have made significant advancements in recent years. Thanks to AI and machine learning, these implementations have gone beyond just being a customer support tool, to a crucial component of an e-commerce revenue engine. Here's what retailers need to know to get maximum conversions and satisfied customers from live chat tools in 2021 and beyond.
CES 2021: What Worked, What Didn't
January 18, 2021
We still seem to do these remote activities as we did when we met in person. Streaming and video conferencing tools we are using still don't allow us to do what we once did face-to-face, but they have other advantages that aren't being utilized to make the experience better. Let's talk about who did a great job, and what worked at CES; and then what sucked at the event. We'll close with a look at a promised new vehicle from GM: the Cadillac Lyriq.
Consumers Becoming More Tolerant of Chatbots for Certain Tasks
January 15, 2021
If you want to smooth over irate clients and offer more efficient customer services, consider conversational bots instead of a roomful of human company reps. Researchers see consumers' comfort levels with a variety of chatbot technologies softening towards customer service, scheduling, banking, and therapy.
Young Entrepreneurs Bring High Tech to Quell Surgical Fears
January 14, 2021
The last thing George Kramb expected from years of walking surgeons through actual operations using medical machinery was to step into a role that helped guide patients worldwide through their own medical journeys. Kramb and his partner Patrick Frank are now listed on the "2021 Forbes 30 Under 30" list in recognition of their status as rising stars in the business world.
The Critical Role of High-Tech R&D in the COVID-19 Era
January 12, 2021
Maintaining and increasing research and development spending in the COVID-19 era is critical for high technology vendors to deliver new solutions and services, continue to innovate, and position their businesses to rebound from the negative effects of the global pandemic. Analysts, financial advisors, and investors concur that, wherever possible, vendors should continue to aggressively invest in R&D.
Virtual CES
January 11, 2021
This year, due to COVID restrictions, CES is all digital. Let's talk about what you'll see at the show, and what might make an event like CES work better virtually. I used to teach a class on how to put together tech events, and I'm pulling out my old notes for this. We'll close with the product of the week, a monitor launched by Dell that is focused on video conferencing in the new normal.
Scientists Press AI Researchers for Transparency
January 8, 2021
An international group of scientists is demanding scientific journals demand more transparency from researchers in computer-related areas when accepting their reports for publication. They also want computational researchers to include information about their code, models and computational environments in published reports.
2021: The Year of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
January 4, 2021
While the pandemic has been painful, it has caused things to accelerate in several areas impressively rapidly. Two of those areas are robotics and artificial intelligence, which we'll see adapted broadly this decade with a considerable bump in 2021. Let's talk about all of that this week, and we'll close with the first product of the week in 2021, the Somnofy AI Sleep Monitor.
The Evolution of Personal Communications Technology Through 2050
December 14, 2020
Sometime in the 2030s PCs and phones will merge, if they hadn't already. In the 2040s people and personal technology will merge as humans and robotics evolve into hybrids of each other. Since we're approaching the end of 2020, let's talk about what's on the way over the next three decades, and build up to what's in store for personal communications technology in 2050.
Qualcomm's Powerful Preview of 2021's Premium Smartphones
December 7, 2020
Qualcomm last week launched its Snapdragon 888 platform which will show up in premium phones next year. This promises to take the high-end of Android smartphones to levels of performance they've never seen before. Let's talk about what is coming to market in Android phones -- and likely iPhones -- next year, because you've got to believe Apple watched this launch and is now furiously working to create similar functions.
Machine Learning Is Changing the Future of Software Testing
December 3, 2020
Machine learning, which has disrupted and improved so many industries, is just starting to make its way into software testing. Heads are turning, and for good reason: the industry is never going to be the same again. Let's delve into the current state of affairs, and explore how ML techniques are radically changing the software testing industry.
Tech Gift Ideas to Help Tackle Your Holiday Shopping List
November 30, 2020
Today is Cyber Monday, which doesn't mean as much this year because the related sales have been going on for much of November as retailers try to bring in every available dollar they can. This week, let's look at some of the best deals or products that stand out as game changers in their segment.
IBM, Microsoft, and the Future of Healthcare
November 9, 2020
Healthcare is a mess, not just here in the U.S., but in most countries. Some of the biggest problems in this data-rich era are the lack of interoperability and fact-based advice. Two companies that stand out as aggressively trying to fix this are IBM and Microsoft. Let's contrast IBM's and Microsoft's healthcare efforts this week -- and we'll close with my product of the week: the most advanced electric motorcycle on the market.
Open Source Groups Merge for Better High-Tech Traction
November 4, 2020
The Linux Foundation is doubling down on open source collaboration to drive more innovation in technology that uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning. The LF AI Foundation and ODPi merged on Oct. 25 to form the LF AI & Data Foundation. This new organization will build and support an open community and a growing ecosystem of open source AI, data, and analytics projects.
A Momentous Week for 4 Tech Vendors
November 2, 2020
Powerful events and product launches by Cisco, Lenovo, Microsoft, and Qualcomm promise to make our future brighter. From more effective courts and legislators, to flexible and intelligent robots, to tools we can use to improve remote productivity, to validation that our justice system works -- last week was remarkable.
AI's Potential to Manage the Supply Chain
October 30, 2020
Artificial intelligence has made noticeable changes to technologies around the world. Perhaps AI's most notable potential, however, is its role in the supply chain industry. The value of shrinking and localizing the supply chain process through the use of AI is more apparent than ever, and positions the technology as a vital tool.
A Vision of the Future From Dell World
October 26, 2020
One of the most interesting parts of Dell World is the session on the future. This year, they spoke on a new branch of engineering that is solely AI-focused, the blended technology revolution surrounding food production, how AIs were intentionally corrupted, and how music, math, and the Internet create new entertainment types.
HP Takes Us One Step Closer to a Virtual Tomorrow
October 5, 2020
We're moving at an impressive rate to create virtual worlds, but we have missed several critical elements. Now HP has taken a considerable step to usher us to a future where we really can mostly exist in a virtual, rather than real, office environment; and not only get more done, but be safer as well.
Microsoft Ignite and Dominating the Future of Tech the Right Way
September 28, 2020
At Microsoft Ignite last week, the breadth and focus that Microsoft demonstrated were arguably well beyond what any other company is capable of doing. This lesson is worth remembering because Microsoft, unlike its peers facing antitrust action, is showing how to become powerful without becoming a threat. The result is far more powerful and far less risky than the company's prior path.
Virtual Travel Marketing's Cure for Wanderlust
September 25, 2020
While many people have been stuck at home during the pandemic, virtual travel marketing has emerged to help fill the void felt by those who yearn for faraway places. The E-Commerce Times caught up with some virtual travel experts to discover how they're using various technologies to give folks the opportunity to explore the world without leaving their homes.
Nvidia + Arm Will Dramatically Change the Technology Landscape
September 21, 2020
Nvidia last week announced they are buying Arm, which will result in some exciting changes. This merger will open up opportunities for the company to create new, innovative, and compelling products across the technology ecosystem. Let's talk about that this week, and we'll close with my product of the week -- a new business class notebook from HP, the EliteBook 840 G7.
Tech Job Market Hot for the Near Future
September 15, 2020
Computer systems design and related services added 13,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's August jobs report. IT employment in July was up by more than 203,000 positions since the COVID-19 outbreak; and there were more than 235,000 job postings by U.S. employers, according to the Computing Technology Industry Association.
SugarCRM Adds AI to Sweeten the Customer Experience Pot
September 8, 2020
SugarCRM last month announced its acquisition of AI-as-a-Service provider Node. This marks the fourth acquisition by SugarCRM since the company's investment by Accel-KKR in August 2018. CRM Buyer discussed the current state of CRM platforms with SugarCRM CEO Craig Charlton, and how artificial intelligence is key to improved sales, service, and predictability in automated CX.
Applying AI to Bring a 'Better You' to Video Meetings
September 7, 2020
The fact is that people tend to judge us by our appearance. For a lot of folks on video calls, that appearance has degraded sharply this year. Wrinkled clothing, no makeup, partial beards, hair on men down to their shoulders, and work locations that are sloppy, dingy and dark. These all have become everyday experiences on video calls. A few vendors recently showcased new tech to address how we look and sound in online meetings.
CRM is Failing: It's Time to Transition to CXM
September 1, 2020
Centralizing all tools and customer-effecting services into one system delivers great efficiencies for businesses. However, enabling customers to have the same experience in real time is the difference between a CRM and CXM. CRM Buyer pursued the potential transition process -- and the impact of both CRM and CXM products -- in a conversation with Thryv VP Ryan Cantor.
How Chatbots Improve Employee Productivity in the 'New Normal'
August 31, 2020
Coronavirus has ushered upon us an era of isolation and curtailed face-to-face operations in favor of virtual interactions. The service of demand and delivery has shifted mainly to digital channels. While this trend was visible in the pre-COVID world, the pandemic has accelerated digital-first engagement. Here are six ways to improve employee productivity and streamline business operations in the new normal.
Credential Harvesting Attacks Take Aim at Video Meeting Apps
August 27, 2020
Users of video conference tools should be aware of the growing risk of impersonation attacks. Cybercriminals are capitalizing on the exponential increase of users turning to Zoom and other platforms to collaborate across work and friend networks. Researchers have identified attacks stemming from Australia, Germany, the U.S. and elsewhere.
Health and Fitness App Exercises AI for Competitive Advantage
August 20, 2020
In-person workout sessions these days might seem like a thing of the past, while solitary workouts at home replace gym visits as an ongoing result of the pandemic. The use of artificial intelligence is not yet a common feature in fitness apps, but it is a main component in a popular India-based app now focused on growing users in the U.S. and Canada.
Consumers Expect More From Brands to Earn Loyalty
August 18, 2020
Customer loyalty has increased drastically in the last five years, though it has not reached boom status for many brands. Winning repeat business is increasingly difficult, especially with the economic uncertainty brought on by COVID-19. New studies reveal how solidly personalization in marketing drives brand loyalty, however consumers still feel that brands fail to do enough to recognize them as individuals.
The Long Journey Into Holographic Transportation
August 14, 2020
Who can forget Princess Leia's hologram asking for Obi-Wan Kenobi's help in the movie Star Wars? That was perhaps the best-known hologram of the many used in the Star Wars franchise movies. The power and promise of holographic technology have been depicted in science fiction stories for years. Today, several companies are at work to bring immersive transportation to the real world.
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Which of these tech skills will provide the best career opportunities during the next five years?
Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality
Blockchain
Cloud Computing
Cybersecurity
Data Analytics / Data Science
Digital Marketing
Edge Computing / Internet of Things
IT Support
Mobile or Web Application Development