DialogTech’s proprietary technology provides marketers with transparency into the voice of their consumers through AI-driven conversation insights. DialogTech’s analytics suite helps marketers identify key behaviors that lead to conversion events, deliver deeply personalized consumer experiences, and improve effectiveness across channels by linking every consumer activity, from click to conversion to loyalty. Consistently recognized as the leader and pioneer in call analytics, DialogTech is the trusted voice management platform for leading brands and agencies. Tell us about your role and journey into technology. What inspired you to start at DialogTech?I have always been interested in how technology can disrupt mature industries, and that interest intensified while I was in business school during the dot com boom. Technology at the time was a disruptor and brought a different focus – on the data-based decision; the objectivity was something I was drawn to. This passion came to fruition in 2004, when I was a consultant for Performics and helped start their search marketing business. At the time there were no platforms to help advertisers bid optimally in a scalable manner across millions of keywords. So, I developed DART Search – the algorithm known today as Google Ad Manager – and sold it to Performics, who brought me on board to build out the business around it. That business was eventually sold to DoubleClick, which Google later bought, and the rest was history.Since then, I have been deeply involved in orchestrating optimal consumer experiences through data, analytics, and automation. It is what inspired me to work at DialogTech. DialogTech provides AI-powered call analytics and attribution for search, social, programmatic, and other marketing channels. I first heard about it during a conversation with a DialogTech board member, and my initial reaction was disbelief. I think I said something about how ‘phone calls are dead — marketers don’t care about calls!’ But he showed me the data that opened my eyes. Thanks to smartphones, search and digital advertising drive over 160 billion calls a year to businesses. And when you get a consumer to call you, they convert to revenue 10-15 times more than the next best digital tactic. I then saw that having analytics on calls will be crucial for marketers to compete and win in search and digital.What is DialogTech and how does it make Call Analytics more powerful?Over a decade ago, DialogTech pioneered what most marketers know today as ‘Call Tracking‘ or ‘Call Attribution‘. It is Marketing Technology, that attributes each phone call to the marketing interaction that drove it. So, when a consumer calls your call center or business location, DialogTech captures the originating channel, ad, search keyword, and webpage, as well as data on who the caller is, their location, the day and time of the call, and more.What helps set DialogTech apart is that our solution not only attributes calls but, it also records and transcribes them, and has AI and Machine Learning algorithms familiar with each customer’s business, analyze those conversations to uncover important data points around the intent, urgency, preferences, outcomes, and value of each caller. DialogTech then passes all those insights on callers as structured first-party data to digital ad platforms, CRM, bid management tools, and DMPs for businesses to leverage to drive better business results. It is truly end-to-end call analytics, powered by AI, built for enterprise marketers.Why should Marketing and Sales teams leverage Call Analytics platforms? What are the benefits? Call Analytics provides the literal ‘Voice of the Customer’ to the marketer in a packaged up, structured format. It is the only channel that is truly real-time where you get the facts about demographics, behavioral, and geographic information. Digital Media does a good job, but it is still triangulating data to arrive at best assumptions on the consumer. Call Analytics enables marketers to understand how their channels, campaigns, keywords, and website drive calls that convert to customers. So, they can prove the full impact of their marketing on business results and allocate budget to what drives the most customers and revenue. Without call data, the full attribution path is incomplete and marketers are only curating experiences based on partial information.DialogTech also takes it a step further by providing Marketing Insights on what drove each call and what was said during each conversation. That is a very granular data that marketers can use to deliver more personalized 1-to-1 experiences. For example, you can put a caller who did not convert into the best audience segments for more effective search and display retargeting. Equally important to a marketer is understanding when to suppress ads from audiences who will likely not convert. Or you can personalize the content of your website homepage based on the product a caller expressed interest in during a previous call. Personalized experiences are what convert consumers into loyal customers, and call data plays a big role in enabling marketers to do that optimally.You asked about the sales team, and Call Analytics platforms like DialogTech are also used to help sales organizations improve operational efficiencies and drive revenue growth. First, Call Analytics platforms can use the information on callers and why they are calling, to determine if they are a sales or support call and dynamically route the sales calls to the best sales agent to convert them to a customer. Call Analytics platforms can also identify the calls that were good sales leads but did not convert and compare those conversations to calls that did, to help sales managers understand what on-call strategies to use, to close more business.How do you focus on bringing AI and Data Analytics together at DialogTech? What are the core technologies driving your product? The DialogTech Call Analytics platform has four main products. Our core AI product is called DialogAnalytics™, a conversation analytics tool that uses AI and Machine Learning to uncover the actionable insights at scale from conversations. So for each call, DialogAnalytics’, AI automatically determines if it is a sales or support call, what products or services the caller is interested in and if there was any contextual relevance in the advertising they saw, if the caller converted, how the sales agent or location performed, and more. We expose these insights to the marketers within DialogTech through a wealth of reports and dashboards, as well as via email alerts that notify our customers of issues on calls, such as when good leads call a location but don’t convert, so they can take immediate action.Those AI-driven conversation insights from DialogAnalytics are tied to the marketing source driving the call, which is captured by our SourceIQ™ call attribution product. All that data is then passed to the marketing platforms and tools that our customers use, from Google Ads to Adobe Experience Cloud to Salesforce, via our IntegrationStudio™ product for better outcomes. And finally, when consumers call, our ExperienceHub™ product uses data from the other three products to dynamically route each call to the best agent or location to handle them based on who the caller is and why they are calling. ExperienceHub™ is a seamless and self-serve and, can be controlled in real-time, ensuring the consumer has the most relevant caller experience. It is pretty amazing. Five years ago, I would never have imagined that the marketers could have this much control and visibility into the call, but now it has become integral to the success of many brands.Which set of industries is the fastest to adopt Call Analytics for their Digital Transformation? Calls are an important part of the customer journey for industries with complex, expensive, infrequent, or urgent purchases. Consumers looking for those products or services want to call and speak to a real person before finalizing a purchasing decision or booking an appointment. So, those industries have been the fastest to adopt DialogTech and call analytics – industries like automotive, financial services, healthcare, insurance, home services, travel, and technology.What’s interesting is that we are now seeing many of the big brands in retail and e-commerce express interest in Call Analytics. It may seem counter-intuitive, but online shoppers do often need to call and speak to a person before making an online purchase, especially if that product is expensive. And the retail marketers need analytics on those calls to measure and optimize their impact on sales.What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in AI and Data Management technology for 2019-2020?Everything that is happening around voice – with voice search, voice assistants, and conversational AI – is exciting. Voice as a platform is disrupting and transforming how people find and interact with brands. Historically looking across verticals, not many marketers engaged broadly with the voice as a channel. However, with the habitual changes that voice assistants and smartphones bring, more and more consumers want to talk to a business. So, now businesses who never had a way to directly engage with their consumers (like CPG and pharma) – along with the expected businesses in healthcare, travel, banking, and retail – have access to a more complete consumer journey. Marketers will need deep analytics on voice interactions to ensure that they are providing the best contextual experiences to win and retain the customers.I’m excited about the work DialogTech is doing around applying AI to uncover intent, interest, disposition, and sentiment from conversations at scale and tying that to the source of the call. This is game-changing data that can be used to deliver more personalized experiences both online and via voice.What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now? I do like what I’m seeing from Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). I spent the last 15 years of my career obsessed with how businesses can apply data to improve results. But when I started, everything was about third-party data. Now with CDPs and other technologies, we are seeing a shift to first-party data and leveraging what we know about our own customers to drive better business outcomes.The potential of leveraging first-party data is something that also drew me to DialogTech. Is there a richer source of first-party data than what a consumer actually says when they call you? What data gives you a more accurate picture of their intent, urgency, or sentiment than their own words?How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Business Leader?We live and breathe AI every day at DialogTech. It is everything to our business -helping customers use AI to go deep into their consumer conversations, to uncover insights that marketers could only dream of three years ago.How do you inspire your people to work with technology? I don’t need to inspire our people to work with technology – they inspire me. We hire people that are passionate about technology and data. So, working with technology is something we do it intrinsically – it is in our DNA. We use it every day to work smarter and collaborate more efficiently. For DialogTech, that starts with using our technology to attribute, analyze, and manage calls, and integrate that data with all the marketing and sales tools our business uses. But, technology helps facilitate all our business processes, from analyzing customer data to interacting with co-workers in other offices and countries.One word that best describes how you work.Collaboration. I’m a big proponent of hiring smart people and then working with them to develop repeatable processes that drive growth.What is the best advice you have ever received?Heroes don’t scale. Your greatest individual will never outperform a solid team with the right processes supporting them.Thank you, Doug! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon. “Call Analytics enable marketers to understand how their channels, campaigns, keywords, and website drive calls that convert to customers.” Doug Kofoid is responsible for overall business strategy and corporate leadership as the CEO of DialogTech. He comes to DialogTech with over 25 years of experience and nearly 20 years in digital marketing.Doug joined DialogTech after a successful run as an early member, builder, and President of VivaKi, Publicis’s data, technology, and innovation hub for all of its agencies. Doug helped build the 500-person organization that drove over $200 million in revenue across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC, while also building out the Publicis Groupe’s offshore operations in New Delhi, India.With a strong passion for finding market inefficiencies and fixing them, Doug wrote the algorithm that was developed into DART Search – the first SEM platform and one of the first real-time bidding tools – in 2004 while at Performics. Performics and the DART Search technology were sold to DoubleClick, which ultimately was sold to Google, where Doug also held a position as Director of Search. Earlier in his career, he held positions at Ford, CVS Caremark, and FastWeb (acquired by TMP/Monster.com).Doug earned his MBA in Finance, Strategy, and Entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago and his B.S. in Marketing from Indiana University. About DialogTech MarTech Interview with Doug Kofoid, CEO, DialogTech Sudipto GhoshJune 3, 2019, 3:15 pmJune 10, 2019 The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick. 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Tell us about your role and the team you work with at Return Path.My name is Scott Ziegler and I am senior vice president of product management at Return Path. In my role, I set the strategic direction for Return Path’s product portfolio by leveraging input from customers and analyzing market trends. I joined Return Path in 2014 and have led product teams in email optimization, consumer insight, and data. You may catch me at conferences or events as I am active in the email community as well as the product management community, and I’m a frequent presenter at industry events.How much has the email marketing landscape evolved in the last two years?Over the past two years, we’ve seen smaller changes in the email marketing landscape, but those changes seem to have had an outsized effect. The changes we’re seeing are geared toward giving the end user more ways to manage the deluge of emails delivered to their inbox. We’ve also seen deliverability become more personalized. What one person may consider spam, another may consider a treasure. And now thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, our inboxes know what we want—and what we don’t.Because of all these factors, solving deliverability issues is now more complex. Delivery decisions are based on engagement metrics, and how engaged a subscriber is with a particular brand or email relative to everything else he or she is receiving. Not all email marketers have access to the data they need, making it particularly challenging to improve or solve deliverability issues.What role does data science and analytics play in clearly understanding email engagement metrics?Data science and analytics clearly have a larger role to play in today’s email marketing world. Most marketers are focused on the basic metrics like opens and clicks, which they compare against historical performance. However, the inbox shouldn’t be viewed so simply. It’s always changing, and subscriber engagement metrics can be influenced by many other factors: when they check email, how many other messages are competing for their attention, whether or not the email was delivered to spam, the readability and rendering of the email on the devices where they check email, or even data collection issues.In order for marketers to effectively use email to engage, retain, and convert subscribers in today’s world, organizations need to leverage all the data available to them to understand their email audience. Data science and analytics can help marketers connect and analyze these data sources to help optimize programs around individual behaviors.How does your latest report with Demand Metric help marketers to understand subscriber engagement strategies?Because this report is based on the experiences of real life marketers, its findings can help marketers determine which engagement tactics are most effective—and therefore, where they can get the most impact from their limited time and resources. For example:List segmentation is a major driver of deliverability. Almost 80 percent of study participants report that they are doing some degree of list segmentation. Less than half of those who don’t practice list segmentation report good or very good deliverability, compared with two-thirds of those who segment their email lists.Email personalization has a positive impact on engagement. The vast majority of study participants (80 percent) personalize marketing email content at some level. Marketers who personalize email content reported a 16 percent higher open rate and nine percent higher click-through rate than those who do not personalize.Opt-in strategy has little to no effect on engagement. Conventional wisdom would say that a double opt-in strategy results in better list quality and fewer subscriber complaints. However, our data showed no correlation between email effectiveness and these permission methods. Of course, this doesn’t mean that email marketers can abandon the practice of securing permission before adding a subscriber to their list—just that there’s no engagement benefit to a double vs. single opt-in strategy.Could you tell us about the critical nature of this report for successful email marketing?An email marketing campaign can only succeed if it reaches its intended audience, and engagement is a critical factor in inbox placement. Major mailbox providers like Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo use subscriber engagement as a key indicator of whether email messages are truly wanted by their users. However, according to survey responses, most marketers lack a clear understanding of how mailbox providers evaluate their messages when making critical spam filtering decisions. For example:More than half of the survey participants were neutral or disagreed with the statement, “Mailbox providers use subscriber engagement to determine where to filter (e.g., inbox, spam) the email you send.”Marketers who agreed with this statement were much more likely to report good (42 percent) or very good (24 percent) deliverability.By reviewing and applying the findings of this report, marketers can game a more complete understanding of what factors influence subscriber engagement and how to improve subscriber engagement in their own email programs. This, in turn, leads to better inbox placement and improved overall email performance.What does your product roadmap look like for 2019-2020?Our main focus is always to make email marketing easier for our clients, and in 2018 we took that mentality to greater heights. Our dedication to working with our clients and the market to build better solutions, content, service offerings, and industry events put us on a strong path to 2019. We took what we learned in 2018 and applied it to what we know to be the path to success for an email marketer, and that path led us to our 2019 theme: An Eye on the Future.When we started thinking about what success looked like in 2019, we decided to focus on three key areas: enhancing our data offerings, building additional offerings on top of our new platforms, and growing our Certification program.Our 2019 roadmap is based heavily on our data, EmailDNA, and the future of data and products Return Path is putting out into the market.We take pride in our email marketing platform and we’re planning on releasing big, innovative new products and additional features in 2019. We’ve already started ramping up our engineering efforts to create these offering while expanding the types of data available through them. And we’re not only investing on the product side of the platform; we’re also turning our attention to our expert service teams and service offerings. With access to new types of data that build on what we have currently available, we’re producing additional ways to assess our customers’ email programs, both in the platform and through our services team. and arming them with solutions to help solve their email marketing issues using advanced analytics, data visualizations, and modeling.At Return Path, we’re committed to bringing the whole package to the table. We’re also investing in Certification, the industry’s most powerful and unique whitelist. In 2019 we plan to grow this product with a renewed focus so Certified clients are reaping even more benefits. And we wouldn’t be able to do any of this without continued investment in our data feeds and partnerships. 2019 is going to be all about customer outcomes and the future via more data, an incredible deliverability platform, and a better-than-ever Certification program.How do you see AI further disrupting the era of email marketing?Email is certainly set to see some disruption, thanks in part to AI applications, and email marketers who adopt AI are already seeing significant gains. A recent Relevancy Group study done in partnership with Return Path found that senders leveraging AI for personalization generate 41 percent more revenue than those doing it the old fashioned, manual way. It’s also not hard to see that by using AI, marketers could easily implement best practices and consistently apply them across their entire email marketing program.We asked email marketers their thoughts about artificial intelligence in our State of Email Engagement survey. Adoption is still low, with only 5 percent of respondents currently using AI. But another 39 percent reported that they are evaluating or learning more about AI and how it can help. Despite low adoption, marketers have high hopes that AI will help increase subscriber engagement (62 percent), personalization (59 percent), and maintain their lists (47percent).With regard to email deliverability, our survey revealed that 37 percent of marketers believe AI will help with deliverability. We agree, and we’re applying our data science and advanced analytics capabilities to help make this a reality. However, it’s also important to remember that improving subscriber engagement, personalization, and list maintenance will always translate into improved deliverability.Thank you for answering all our questions! Return Path analyzes the world’s largest collection of email data to show businesses how to stay connected to their audiences and strengthen their customer engagement. We help mailbox providers around the world deliver great user experiences and build trust in email by ensuring that wanted messages reach the inbox while spam doesn’t. About Scott About Return PathAbout Scott About Return Path AIanalyticsdata scienceEmail Automationemail marketinggoogleMicrosoftMLreturn pathScott ZieglerTechBytesYahoo Previous ArticleSplunk Expands Data Access with Splunk Connected Experiences and Splunk Business FlowNext ArticleNew Study: Streaming Services Rapidly Replacing Traditional TV Scott is Senior Vice President of Product Management at Return Path. Scott sets the strategic direction for Return Path’s product portfolio by leveraging input from customers and analyzing market trends. He joined Return Path in 2014 and has led product teams in Email Optimization, Consumer Insight, and Data. He is active in the email community as well as the product management community and is a frequent presenter at industry events. TechBytes with Scott Ziegler, SVP of Product Management, Return Path Sudipto GhoshMay 8, 2019, 4:18 pmMay 8, 2019
An executive with 15 years of professional experience in Technology, currently Lucas is responsible for expanding CI&T’s businesses in NYC and Toronto. Overseeing multi-million projects and leading multiples teams to deliver value to our customers.With CI&T since 2004, and spearheading CI&T’s expansion to North America in 2006, he has been able to help our customers transition to a more Lean and Agile approach on Software Development.Specialities: Digital Transformation, Enterprise Agile, Business Development, Lean IT, Project Management, Software Architecture and Development, Mobile initiatives, Innovation Portfolio CI&T, the lean Digital Transformation partner for the world’s biggest companies, is a pioneer at delivering speed-at-scale through the application of design thinking, lean methodologies and advanced tech, including Machine Learning/AI, Advanced Analytics, Cloud and Mobility.For over 20 years, CI&T has been a trusted partner for the most complex global engagements inside companies including Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, AB-InBev, Itau Bank and Motorola.Together with Comrade, a strategy and Customer Experience design agency in the San Francisco Bay Area, we quickly and efficiently deliver high-quality products and experiences people love. TechBytes with Lucas Persona, Chief Digital Evangelist at CI&T Sudipto GhoshJune 11, 2019, 3:30 pmJune 11, 2019 About LucasAbout CI&TAbout Lucas About CI&T Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle in your current company.My primary role at CI&T is helping my team leverage advanced and emerging technologies in ways that will provide the most significant impact on our clients’ businesses.Most of my team’s focus is on the role that AI and Machine Learning will play in the future. We also validate other emerging technologies like Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality.How much have the Machine Learning-based Commerce standards evolved in the last two years?Internally-Focused Optimization, such as forecasting price, assortment, fraud protection, and other factors is where Machine Learning has historically had the most significant impact on commerce.More recently, particularly among Digital and Machine Learning-native organizations, there’s been a strong uptake in implementing Machine Learning to improve the Customer Experience.Tell us about the recent and futuristic application of Machine Learning and Data Science across various online platforms?A future with self-driving cars, general Artificial Intelligence, Medical Diagnosis, and Robotics is what we tend to read about in the media.However, I believe that Machine Learning will have a profound (if primarily ‘silent’) impact on the continuous augmentation of existing platforms.Teachable Digital platforms that continually refine and adapt according to customer needs is where the real future of Machine Learning in organizations lie. For example, take a music subscription platform that only plays the music you want to hear, because it understands your listening habits and tastes. It may not feel futuristic, but it fundamentally transforms the experience.The most futuristic application of Machine Learning is providing a unique and personalized journey for every single customer. It is platforms like these that will increase customer loyalty, generate new revenue streams, and accelerate growth more than any other technology.Which industries are most-responsive in delivering meaningful Customer Experience? How do these industries leverage Machine Learning differently in their operations?Customer-centric focused cultures that integrate Machine Learning as a critical element across business segments (as opposed to operating in a silo) is the key driver in enabling responsiveness.Digital-native organizations that span a wide variety of industries, including companies like Airbnb, Google, and Spotify, are really driving the use of Machine Learning for Customer Centricity and Data-Driven decision making.Retail is adopting Machine Learning as a matter of survival, seeking to create meaningful Customer Experiences. And while the financial services industry has historically used machine learning and advanced Analytics, the industry is now trying to use Machine Learning as a means to provide better Customer Experiences, given the increased competition faced from FinTechs.How does Machine Learning unlock opportunities in mobile growth?It’s essential that organizations view every customer interaction as an opportunity. Machine Learning can help reduce cognitive load, resulting in better Customer Experiences.Long-term customer loyalty is strongly correlated to fulfilling customers’ needs.Tell us more about your recent report on Machine Learning models for delivering relevant Customer Experience?The report ‘Machine Learning: The Next Generation of Customer Experience’ from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, in association with CI&T, outlines how Machine Learning has become more accessible than ever and can be applied across all organizations today.The report also recognizes that traditionally in the past, most organizations had implemented Machine Learning for internal optimization, but that leaders in the space such as Airbnb and Uber are now aggressively applying ML to optimize the customer journey and unlock potential throughout that journey.Customer Experience is defined as the perceived combination of desires, expectations, emotions, decisions, and outcomes that every customer acquires throughout their journey with a particular organization. Machine Learning continually raises the bar by personalizing each customer’s experience in ways that are simply not achievable without it.What are the key differences between Customer Experience and Personalization?Personalization is part of successful Customer Experiences. Some organizations try to create personalization through customization, where the customer selects what and how they want to do things. Others use a ‘blanket approach’ by applying Personalization and clustering strategies to personas.I believe both are decent directions but, fall short of true personalization for meaningful Customer Experiences, where a customer sees the organization, brand or service as a companion.True personalization occurs when an organization or brand seeks to understand the customer for the customer’s benefit. This is only possible by embedding Machine Learning-based personalization throughout the entire customer journey.Consider the case of the medical diagnostic presented in the report. It’s undoubtedly already a stressful time for the patient. A situation of unknown lab results is exacerbated by trying to decipher the names and meanings of complicated tests. But then a Digital Companion comes along and establishes empathy by showing the patient that they are not alone. The companion reduces stress and cognitive load by clearly spelling out the details of those complicated tests.A successful Customer Experience delivers Personalization that positively affects the emotions, expectations, and perception of outcomes of that customer.Are companies getting distracted with CX? Do you think customer service is getting replaced by Customer Experience Initiatives?Customer Experience represents the entire set of interactions between a customer and service, brand or organization. There will always be a customer service component as part of those interactions. The key thing for organizations is a mindset shift toward a culture that focuses on the customer experience as a whole, rather than the typical siloed approach that we often find today.The problem is that many companies deal with customer service issues reactively. Proactive Customer Experiences, on the other hand, may actually reduce these reactive customer service practices.I recommend that companies focus on Customer Experience as part of their core business in reaching out and fully delivering products and services for customers.Tell us about some outstanding Customer Experience campaigns that you have participated in the last two years? How do you measure the success of these CX campaigns?I believe that Customer Experience goes way beyond campaigns. As mentioned in the report, Airbnb and Uber have been creating excellent Customer Experiences for some time. Similarly, Spotify and Google use the power of Machine Learning to improve every interaction customers have with their products.Success is measurable with both business and customer results. From the business side of things, it means longer customer retention, additional revenue, and increased customer satisfaction, among other factors. For customers, it means efficiency, surprise and delight, and reduced cognitive load.f AIARbitValorblockchainCI&TIoTLucas Personamachine learningSpotifyTech BytesVR Previous ArticleDrift Launches the First Enterprise-Ready Video Platform Built to Start Conversations and Make Buying EasyNext ArticleNew Research Sponsored By Precima Shows Shoppers Expect Even More Personalization in Digital Food Retail
Marketing TechnologyNewsOutreachsales engagement platformVoice engineering Previous ArticleCox Media Group Chooses Veritone for AI-Driven Advertising Analytics and Online Content CurationNext ArticleAcorn International’s Digital Services Division Adds Chef Works to Growing Roster of Brands Outreach, the leading sales engagement platform, is adding to its leadership ranks as three new executives join the fast-growing Seattle startup. Margaret Arakawa has joined as Chief Marketing Officer, Amritansh Raghav now serves as the Executive Vice President of Product and Engineering, and Abhi Abhishek serves as the company’s Vice President of Voice engineering for the platform.“Outreach has already experienced incredible growth, but we’ve been looking to add leaders who will help get us to that next phase,” said Manny Medina, Chief Executive Officer of Outreach. “Finding leaders who are the right fit for our culture and have the right experience is key. Margaret, Amritansh, and Abhi are already proven leaders in their respective fields and their experience will be instrumental in shaping the growth of the platform. Under their leadership, we are continuing to scale our marketing efforts and further our technological capabilities in artificial intelligence as we deliver a complete system of action through a single pane of glass for all customer-facing teams.” Marketing Technology News: Medallia Announces Launch of Initial Public OfferingArakawa brings significant experience in building brands and delivering revenue growth. She joins Outreach from Microsoft where she spent almost 20 years in positions of increasing responsibility in the global Windows, Security, and Cloud & Enterprise business groups. Most recently, she was responsible for leading the multi-billion dollar U.S. Windows and Surface businesses. At Outreach, Arakawa oversees all aspects of marketing including brand, communications, demand generation, and product marketing. Arakawa earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The Wharton School and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kellogg School of Management. She and her husband are passionate fundraisers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Firefighter Stairclimb, which raises money to combat blood cancers – the most common cancer impacting children. Arakawa lives in the Seattle area with her husband and 11-year-old son.Raghav is well-versed in both the large enterprise and startup world. He spent significant time at Microsoft, including overseeing Skype as the Corporate Vice President of Product and Engineering. He was also in a leadership role at Fuze as the Senior Vice President of Engineering and Product, and at Google as the Engineering Director of the Google Compute Engine. At Outreach, Raghav is responsible for overseeing the Product, Engineering and Design organizations. He has a Bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication Engineering from IIT Varanasi in India and a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from Binghamton University. Raghav currently lives in Palo Alto, CA with his family, including his two sons, ages 11 and 7.Marketing Technology News: Sponsorship Made Simple for Personal, College, Sports, Community Events etc.Abhishek has led product engineering organizations for more than 15 years. Most recently, he served as head of engineering and applied science for the Ambient Intelligence solution area in the Business Artificial Intelligence organization at Microsoft. Throughout his career at Microsoft, he is most proud of his work on Skype Translator, a groundbreaking technology that transcended boundaries of real-time human-computer interaction. At Outreach, Abhishek’s knowledge of voice infrastructure and applied AI will help Outreach deliver a best-in-class intelligent voice offering to help Outreach in leading the development and application of AI for customer-facing team.Marketing Technology News: SeQuel Response Hires New Director of Marketing to Propel Brand Awareness Newly-Minted Unicorn Outreach Looks to Next Phase of Growth with the Addition of Three Key Executives PRNewswireJuly 11, 2019, 5:29 pmJuly 11, 2019
congressDinesh Gundu RaoHD KumaraswamyJD(S) First Published: May 1, 2019, 4:57 PM IST Bengaluru: In a major embarrassment to the ruling Congress-JDS coalition, a minister in the HD Kumaraswamy government on Wednesday admitted there are Janata Dal (Secular) workers who voted for the BJP in some places in Mysore.JDS Minister GT Deve Gowda was speaking to mediapersons in Mysore when he let slip that he felt there are areas in the Mysore-Kodagu Lok Sabha constituency where JDS workers may not have voted for the coalition candidate CH Vijayshankar, the Congressman fielded by both parties. “There is some wrongdoing, not just by one party but by both parties. It took a long time for us to decide which seat goes to which party. If the top leadership takes such a long time to decide this, how can we sort out or bring in control over our grassroots-level workers? Nobody could sort out the differences in the local level,” Gowda said, in what was perhaps just the voicing of an open secret.Differences between workers of the JDS and the Congress run deep in south Karnataka though the two came together to form a coalition government in the state after the Assembly elections in April 2018. The two parties also have a pre-poll pact for the Lok Sabha elections, but convincing workers of both parties to work together has been an uphill task. South Karnataka is the region where both parties had fought tooth and nail during the Assembly poll.Citing the example of Udburu gram panchayat that comes under his Assembly constituency of Chamundeshwari in Mysore, Gowda said he was aware that Congress workers here voted for the candidate, but JDS workers voted for the BJP candidate.”If we had decided two months ahead of elections on how we (the two ally parties) are sharing the Lok Sabha seats between us, then we could have worked harder at the village level and sorted things out. If both parties had worked hard and remained united, BJP would not have won even five seats,” he said.There are 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka, and the Congress and JDS are jointly facing the BJP in all these seats. In Mysore, BJP’s Pratap Simha has been the sitting MP since 2014, and is seeking re-election.The Mysore candidate fielded by the coalition, Vijayashankar brushed away Gowda’s remarks, saying that personal opinions of leaders will not affect his chances.”We should win based on people’s decision, not anything else. And I have faith in that decision. It has been exercised and now safely locked up and put away in machines (EVMs),” he said.
Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar said his party had nothing to with the incident and, in a sarcastic vein, asked the state government to provide Kunkolienkar a security detail of “100 guards and five escort vehicles”. BJPGoapanaji First Published: May 17, 2019, 9:58 PM IST Panaji: Hours after BJP Panaji bypoll candidate Siddharth Kunkolienkar’s car was attacked, the opposition Congress refuted allegations that its workers couldbe behind the incident.Kunkolienkar filed a complaint with Panaji police station in the early hours of Friday after two unidentified youth threw bottles on his car.”In the light of cowardly attack, I request my @BJP4India karyakartas and people of Panaji to remain united and calm. We will not get disturbed by such acts of #Goondagiri. Let us stay focused and work hard to ensure a @BJP4India win in Panaji with a historic margin,” he tweeted Friday morning. The bypoll is slated for May 19.
July 9 marks Guru Dutt’s 94th birth anniversary. Called the Orson Welles of Indian cinema, the Indian filmmaker, producer and actor, is known for cult films Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and Chaudhvin Ka Chand. In a short life span on only 39 years, he wrote 4 films, produced 7 and directed 8. As lovers of cinema remember the legend, here’s looking at 5 films by Guru Dutt one must watch.Pyaasa The 1957 film starring Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman and Mala Sinha is set in Calcutta, West Bengal and tells the story of Vijay, a struggling poet trying to make his works known in post-independence India, and Gulabo, a prostitute with a heart of gold. In 2005, Pyaasa was rated as one of the 100 best films of all time by Time magazine.Kaagaz Ke Phool The 1959 film starring Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman was considered to be a box office dud at the time of its release but later became a cult classic. The film has the eternal Waqt ne Kiya Kya Haseen Situm, sung by Geeta Dutt and tells, in flashback, the story of Suresh Sinha (Guru Dutt), a famous film director whose subsequent failed marriage and affair leads to his untimely death.Sahib Bibi Aur GhulamThe 1962 film produced by Guru Dutt is based on a Bengali novel, Saheb Bibi Golam by Bimal Mitra, and is a look into the tragic fall of the haveli-dom and feudalism in Bengal during the British Raj. The film starred Guru Dutt, Meena Kumari, Rehman, Waheeda Rehman and Nazir Hussain. While the film was chosen as India’s official entry to the Oscars, it was not accepted as a nominee, with the academy writing a letter to Guru Dutt saying a woman who drinks was not permissible in their culture.Chaudhvin Ka ChandThe 1960 film was a box-office hit, one of the top-grossing films of its time, and centres on a love triangle between Guru Dutt, Rehman and Waheeda Rehman.Mr & Mrs ’55Contrary to the kind of films Guru Dutt was better known for, the 1955 romantic comedy is a socially critical film set in contemporary Mumbai.Follow @News18Movies for more Chaudhvin Ka ChandGeeta DuttGuru DuttGuru Dutt birth anniversary First Published: July 9, 2019, 5:58 PM IST
arun jaitleyBJPexit poll results 2019Finance Minister First Published: May 20, 2019, 11:28 PM IST New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Monday said that the Gandhi family has become a liability for the grand-old party. “… in the Congress the first family is no longer an asset but an albatross around neck of the Party. Without the family, they don’t get the crowd, with it they don’t get the votes,” he said.Jaitley also expressed hope that the results of 2019 general election would be in consonance with the outcome of multiple exit polls, which predicted a second term for the Narendra Modi-led NDA government. Most exit polls have forecast another term for Prime Minister Modi, with some of them projecting that BJP-led NDA will get more than 300 seats to comfortably cross the majority mark of 272 in the Lok Sabha.”Many of us may continue to squabble over correctness and accuracy of the Exit Polls. The hard reality is that when multiple Exit Polls convey the same message, the direction of the result broadly would be in consonance with the message,” Jaitley said in a blogpost titled ‘The Message of Exit Polls’. Observing that EVMs play no role in exit polls, the minister said if the actual results of the general election are in the same direction as exit polls, “the opposition’s fake issue of the EVMs would also lose its non-existent rationale”.”If the Exit Polls are read along with the 2014 election results, it would be clear that there is a huge maturing of Indian democracy taking place. The electorate keeps national interest paramount before exercising a choice on whom to vote for. When well-meaning people with similar ideas vote in the same direction, it leads to the making of a wave,” he said.He also said the personalised campaign against Prime Minister Modi did not cut much ice in 2014 and may not cut any ice in 2019.”Leaders are judged on merit and not on caste or family names. Thus, the Prime Minister’s style of rising above caste and concentrating on performance related issues received far more acceptability with the electorate,” Jaitley said.He said the voters are no longer willing to trust ‘Coalition of Rivals’ as their alliances are untenable.The arithmetic of caste coalitions is no longer valid and has yielded place to national interest. “Fake issues only satisfy the ‘manufacturers of fakery’. The voters don’t buy them,” Jaitley added.
Hyderabad: AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday hit out at yoga guru Baba Ramdev over his comments that the country is not ready to deal with its population explosion and for suggesting measures like limiting voting rights to two children only.”There is no law preventing people from saying downright unconstitutional things, but why do Ramdev’s ideas receive undue attention?,” Owaisi tweeted. “That he can do a thing with his stomach or move about his legs shouldn’t mean @narendramodi lose his right to vote just because he’s the 3rd kid,” the tweet said.Owaisi was re-elected from Hyderabad constituency in the recent Lok Sabha election.The yoga guru on Sunday opined that India is not ready to deal with its population explosion and suggested some measures like denying voting rights and other government services to the third children onwards.Addressing a press conference in Haridwar, he said the country’s population should not be allowed to go beyond 150 crore.”This is only possible if we enact a legislation denying voting rights to the third or higher children of a parent. Such children should also be denied right to contest elections and other government services,” he had suggested. AIMIMAsaduddin OwaisiBaba RamdevPopulation Explosion First Published: May 27, 2019, 1:50 PM IST | Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
BJPcongressGuruvayur Templekerala First Published: June 7, 2019, 11:13 AM IST Congress president Rahul Gandhi is set to begin his three-day visit to his constituency in Kerala’s Wayanad. This is Gandhi’s first trip to Wayanad since winning the seat in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls. “I will be in Wayanad, Kerala starting this afternoon and till Sunday to meet citizens & Congress Party workers. It’s a packed schedule with over 15 public receptions planned over the next 3 days,” Gandhi tweeted on Thursday morning. The Congress had performed dismally in the Lok Sabha elections, and had even lost out on its bastion of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. Kerala had been the only bright spot as the grand old party managed to win 19 seats in the state. Gandhi’s visit to the state, being touted as a rare celebration for the party, will be spread over the three districts that form the Wayanad constituency. He will be visiting Malappuram followed by Wayanad and finally Kozhikode district. In his first action as a lawmaker, Gandhi had last week written to CM Pinarayi Vijayan to inquire about a farmer’s suicide. The Congress chief at the time had said that the death was “not isolated”. Vijayan had in turn prompted the party chief to raise the issue in Parliament. Gandhi’s visit comes just a day ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the southern state. Modi will offer prayers at the Sri Krishna temple in Guruvayur on Saturday and pray at the Lord Venkateswara shrine Sunday.An official release in Kochi said the Prime Minister will arrive at 11.35 pm Friday and stay at the Government Guest House there overnight. He will offer prayers at the Guruvayur temple on Saturday morning after reaching there by a special helicopter from the Naval Airport in Kochi. Modi will return to Kochi at 12.40pm.
MahabubnagarTelanganaTelangana pollsUnion Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy First Published: June 8, 2019, 6:41 PM IST Hyderabad: Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy has asked police to take tough action against those responsible for the killing of a 22-year-old man, who is claimed to be a BJP activist, in Mahabubnagar district following the rural local body polls in Telangana.”There are many activists who have sacrificed themselves for this ideology. We have seen in Mahabubnagar, a BJP activist, Prem Kumar, was murdered because he worked for BJP’s victory in MPTC (rural local body) elections,” he said. Such attacks were still taking place at Nagar Kurnool, Siddipet and other places in the state, he alleged late on Friday night, addressing a meeting organised here by the BJP to congratulate him on his assumption of office.”As BJP (leader) and Union Minister I severely condemn the murder of Prem Kumar in Mahabubnagar. I am also ordering police officers to definitely take tough action against the individuals who perpetrated these murders and attacks. I am urging the police officers,” he said.Reddy arrived here on Friday evening from Delhi, on his first visit to Hyderabad after assuming charge of his office and reached the BJP office in a rally late in the night.Observing that BJP always stands by its workers whenever injustice takes place towards them, Reddy said the Modi government would stand by them.The TRS government need to understand that BJP activists would not keep quiet if they face suppression, he said.On the occasion, he thanked BJP leaders and workers for their support.He paid tributes to late BJP veterans from undivided Andhra Pradesh, including V Rama Rao, Bangaru Lakshman, Ale Narendra and Baddam Bal Reddy, for their guidance when he was an ordinary party worker.Reddy garlanded a statue of independent India’s first Home Minister Sardar Patel here on Saturday.The NDA government is inspired by the ideals of Patel, he said.Six people, including the son of a losing TRS candidate, were Thursday arrested in connection with the killing.Prem Kumar was fatally attacked at Dokur village after a quarrel with the son of a losing TRS candidate and others over him joining the celebrations by supporters of the victorious BJP rival Tuesday night, hours after the results of the poll were declared, police had said.A case was registered and during course of investigation, police arrested P Srikanth Reddy, son of a TRS candidate who lost MPTC poll to a BJP candidate, along with five others, an investigating official said.State minister S Niranjan Reddy has said the incident was totally unfortunate and it should not have happened even as he indicated there was no political angle to it.”The incident is 100 per cent unfortunate. It should not have happened. BJP and TRS are not connected or related to it,” he had said, condemning the incident.
New Delhi: The idea of ‘one nation one election’ got its strongest endorsement from none other than the President of India, who in his address to the parliamentarians of the newly elected 17th Lok Sabha on Thursday said simultaneous polls were the need of the hour.”‘One nation – simultaneous elections’ is the need of the hour, which would facilitate accelerated development, thereby benefitting our countrymen. With such a system in place, all political parties, according to their respective ideologies, will be able to better utilise their energy towards development and public welfare,” President Ram Nath Kovind said. “I urge all members of Parliament to seriously ponder over this development-oriented proposal of ‘one nation – simultaneous elections’,” he added.The President also talked about India having “amply demonstrated both her intent and capabilities, first through surgical strikes and then through air strikes” following the Pulwama attack in February. “In future too, all possible steps will be taken to ensure our security,” he said.Speaking in the central hall of the Parliament, Kovind talked about the Narendra Modi government’s plans to make India a $5 trillion economy by 2024, and of the government’s efforts to “to create strong, secure and inclusive India.”In his joint address to members of both houses of the Parliament, the President talked about the achievements of the past government, highlighting events like the designation of Jaish terror group chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. He also talked about the path that the country should take in days to come by emphasising on the need to eradicate ‘triple talaaq’, which is one of the 10 ordinances that the new Modi government is likely to introduce in the lower house of Parliament.”To secure equal rights for every sister and daughter in the country, eradication of social evils like ‘Triple Talaq’ and ‘Nikah-Halala’ is imperative. I would urge all the members to cooperate in these efforts to make the lives of our sisters and daughters better and dignified,” Kovind said.Kovind also touched upon topics such as national security, women’s rights, growth of the Indian economy and forex reserves, successful diplomatic initiatives, action against economic offenders, and government’s efforts to clean Ganga.On the subject of national security, the President also backed the process of ‘National Register of Citizens’ while claiming that illegal infiltrators were posing a serious threat to India’s national security.”(The illegal infiltration) is leading to social imbalance in many parts of the country, as well as putting a huge pressure on limited livelihood opportunities. My government has decided to implement the process of ‘National Register of Citizens’ on priority basis in areas affected by infiltration. Security along the border will be further strengthened to prevent infiltration,” Kovind said. As part of India’s modernisation of armed forces, Kovind said India was going to receive delivery of first ‘Rafale’ fighter aircraft and ‘Apache’ helicopters “in the near future.” 17th lok sabhaOne Nation-One ElectionparliamentRam Nath Kovind First Published: June 20, 2019, 1:03 PM IST
Walmart using A.I.-powered cameras to spot dodgy shoppers at self-checkouts Amazon Go store opens in New York City — and it’s the first to accept cash Walmart Grocery challenges Amazon with a new $98-a-year delivery option Amazon Prime Day glitch saw pricey camera gear given crazy discounts Target chases Amazon and Walmart with same-day delivery, but can it compete? Editors’ Recommendations Sainsbury’sThe U.K. has just opened its first checkout-free store that lets shoppers leave without having to wait in line to pay.It’s located in central London and operated by Sainsbury’s, one of the nation’s biggest supermarket chains.But the system is different from the one used by Amazon Go, which tracks customer movement using cameras and sensors. Instead, Sainsbury’s requires shoppers to use its app to scan each item as they make their way around the store. At the end of the visit, the customer pays via Apple Pay or Google Pay before scanning a QR code to finish the shop. Such a system costs less to set up than Amazon Go’s as it has no reliance on sophisticated tracking technology and can be installed at low cost at existing stores.A number of Sainsbury’s stores have been testing the app-based experience for a while, but they’ve retained the checkouts for those who want to use them. As part of a three-month trial, the central London location has removed all of the checkouts though it does have a help desk for anyone wishing to pay using traditional methods.Other changes to the store include the removal of alcohol and tobacco products to eliminate time-consuming age-verification processes, which helps to create as frictionless an experience as possible.According to Sainsbury’s, the store’s items have been tailored specifically for busy customers buying breakfast or lunch and other food to eat on the go, including snacks, breakfast pots, freshly baked pastries, sandwiches, and drinks.“We know our customers value their time and many want to shop as quickly as possible [and] technology is key to that,” Clodagh Moriarty, Sainsbury’s chief digital officer, said in a release. “This is an experiment rather than a new format for us; it hasn’t been done in the U.K. before and we’re really excited to understand how our customers respond to the app experience.”Moriarty said the company would be listening carefully to customer feedback before deciding whether to roll out the system to more of its stores.Recent reports suggested Amazon was close to opening its first checkout-free Go store in the U.K., though it has yet to do so. Seattle-based Amazon currently operates 10 Amazon Go sites across the U.S. — four in its home city, four in Chicago, and two in San Francisco, and there have been reports that it’s planning to open as many as 3,000 stores by 2021.Amazon Go launched in early 2018 and uses an array of sensors, cameras, and artificial intelligence technology to track what you put in your bag, with your selected items automatically charged to your Amazon account as you exit the store. If you have yet to visit a Go store, Digital Trends offers an account of what it’s like following its experience at the first such store to open.
The Kinda Blue color, for those who haven’t been keeping up with Google’s own Pixel phones, is a play on the 2016 original generation Pixels. That one had a “Really Blue” hue that some may have found to be a bit too garish. Hence the more toned down and Almost Not Blue Kinda Blue.That color was previously available only on Verizon. Which is sort of ironic considering Verizon’s nickname is “Big Red”. But Pixels, for better or worse, have had some exclusivity with Verizon and since there’s no red Pixel 2, it had to settle for that.Now anyone can kinda buy a Kinda Blue Pixel 2. That is, if they’re going to buy it from the Google Store or via a Project Fi subscription. There are no price differences from the Just Black or Clear White options. Sadly, there is still no Kinda Blue Pixel 2 XL. The larger phone, however, does have the Black & White “Panda” color that the Pixel 2 doesn’t have in turn. CES week might not always be the best time to announce new smartphones which could quickly be swept away in the flood of other electronics. It is, on the other hand, the perfect time to do things that would be OK, maybe even preferable, to go under the radar. That might be the case with the Pixel 2 this week. No, there isn’t a new bug or problem to add to the still long list. It’s all good this time, now that the Kinda Blue Pixel 2 is available for all to buy.
Unlike some of Roush’s other Ford vehicles (like the Mustang) the Roush Super Duty F-250 appears to have no performance modifications done to the engine. The company says that the Roush truck will have all the safety, reliability, and towing capability that the truck had from the factory. Essentially what Roush is doing is making the truck look better.Each Roush Super Duty F-250 gets a Roush/Fox 2.0 suspension upgrade that levels the suspension at 1.5-inches and maintains payload and towing capability. That lift gives room for larger wheels with Roush 20-inch units featuring integrated bead protection offered with black and grey rings. The wheels are shod in BFGoodrich KO2 All-Terrain 35.3-inch tires.Roush fits the truck with a special stainless DPF-Back exhaust system for diesel versions for more sound and looks. A new grille is fitted that is compatible with the adaptive cruise control. A variety of graphics options are available to choose from.The Roush massaged truck maintains the 3-year, 36,000-mile warranty. Buyers can also add a console vault, off-road utility kit, and full body side stripe graphics. Pricing for the Roush Super Duty F-250 starts at $13,880 above the price of the base vehicle. If you tick all the boxes, the upgrades are a bit over $16,000.SOURCE: Roush Roush has announced that it has jumped into the heavy-duty truck market with a hopped-up version of the 2018 Ford Super Duty F-250. The truck is dubbed the 2018 Roush Super Duty F-250 and it is hailed as a truck that “looks incredibly intimidating and isn’t afraid to get dirty.”
How it worksAt its most basic, camera AI on smartphones is used for scene recognition. You fire up the camera app, point your phone at your subject, and it will automatically tune the settings for the best possible shot, depending on what category the subject falls under and other factors like lighting conditions. It’s pretty much the camera’s mode on steroids but that belies the heavy computational processing that happens, especially even before the camera app is installed on a smartphone.Like any other AI, there are two parts to the process. The first part happens at the manufacturer’s or software developer’s side. This is where the AI learns and builds up its mental models. In this specific case, the AI is fed thousands upon thousands of images in order to teach it how to properly categorize them into, for example, food, landscape, people, and more. This is the most computationally intensive part, as the neural network has to learn in just a few minutes, at most hours, something that humans learn over years.Image courtesy of XDAThe other half of the AI is the actual application of what it has learned and happens on the phone when you launch the camera app. This is the part that applies the mental models developed in the learning stage to whatever image is being fed through the camera sensor. While there is still some algorithmic wizardry happening behind the scenes, it’s not as extensive as the learning process.Everyone’s invited. AlmostThat last bit is important for smartphone makers. It practically means that almost every modern smartphone from the mid-range and higher is already equipped to handle camera AI applications. Sure, you will benefit from having a dedicated “neural processing unit” ala Huawei’s Kirin 970, but you don’t have to wait for cheap silicon to become available.Much of the heavy lifting has already been done on the developer’s side, with models simply being downloaded on the device and taking up not much space. Even without offloading the AI processing to the cloud like virtual assistants, which would introduce unnecessary latency, the actual scene and object recognition can easily happen on the smartphone itself. Even tiny smart hearing aids, which only have a fraction of the processing power and storage size of smartphones, are able to have some AI-powered capabilities because of this. Even before Google demonstrated its frighteningly believable and controversial Duplex AI, artificial intelligence and machine learning was already a big topic on smartphones. But with very few exceptions AI on smartphones have so far been limited to one common use case: photography. You might be tired of hearing about it every new phone launch event but, sooner than later, it’s going to cease being just a buzzword. Pretty soon, “camera AI” will be something that all but the cheapest entry-level smartphone will have as a basic feature. Just like dual cameras. It will only be a matter of time before mobile processor makers make such an AI a staple feature on their silicon. Qualcomm has already begun touting first its Spectra image processor followed by the Snapdragon 845’s AI chops. Of course, there’s also the aforementioned Kirin 970. Expect MediaTek to follow suit soon and for Qualcomm to make the feature available on the Snapdragon 600 series as well.Leaving it on AutoSo it’s possible and even easy to implement camera AI on almost all smartphones moving forward. It’s no longer a question of “can” but of “should”. The smartphone market is moving towards this kind of mobile photography not just because of the AI hype but also because it’s what users never knew they needed.While there’s a great deal of professional mobile photography going around, where settings are manually and carefully tweaked to frame the perfect shot, majority of smartphone users only have a few seconds to press the shutter button before the moment disappears forever. They’re not going to spend those precious seconds dealing with ISO levels, white balance, aperture, and the like. They will simply point, maybe pause, and shoot and hope that it turns out great.Camera AI is meant to work during that pause to think the things humans would be too slow to think of in a split second. While we are naturals at identifying objects and scenes, it takes months even years of training to immediately know what camera settings to use in a given situation. And that’s just for one shot. Imagine going on a tour where each shot happens in a different place under different conditions and on different subjects. Human brains would overload. That tiny chip in your smartphone would jump in glee.That’s not to say there is no room in the mobile world for “pro” manual controls. With manufacturers putting their focus on camera AI, however, those will become more luxuries than staples. They will become selling points and differentiating factors in a sea of smartphones that all have some camera AI feature.Privacy mattersThis may be well and good, but one conversation around camera AI doesn’t seem to be happening. Which is pretty ironic considering the latest issues regarding user data privacy. While the machine learning process doesn’t have to happen on the device itself, the mental model could still do with some adjustment and refinement after the phone or the camera app has shipped. This means feeding the AI additional images. Your images, that is.If you ask Google, it will always answer that is AI, and pretty much all its services, can be improved for all if you agree to upload pieces of your data to its servers. In fact, in some cases Google makes it mandatory because processing happens on its servers. Sharing text and voice data has already raised a few red flags. Imagine the concern when more personal, and sometimes intimate, photos are involved.Some manufacturers may have subtle notices and disclaimers about sending (presumably) anonymized data for the sake of improving services. Like almost any disclaimer or warning, users are prone to just dismiss them without a second thought. Given the potential for abuse, whether intentional or accidental, it should be something manufacturers should be clearer about and user should be more aware of.Wrap-upIt might all seem like a fad for now. After all, everyone is jumping on the AI train. Pretty soon, however, Camera AI isn’t going to be on a banner but simply a bullet point. And smartphones that don’t have the future will be shunned as an artifact of the past. It will undoubtedly be useful, helping users take even better photos without really thinking much about it. But as with anything these days, every new, sophisticated feature comes with a price. And often that price is your data.
Story TimelineAndroid officially “adopts” external storage devicesSamsung Galaxy S7, LG G5 ditch Android Adoptable StorageEnable adoptable storage on your Galaxy S7, no root needed Introduced way back in 2015 with Android 6 Marshmallow, Adoptable Storage was Google’s compromise over expandable data storage like microSD cards. It never liked them and saw them as headaches and liabilities, especially considering the fact that you could pull those cards out any time. With Adoptable Storage, Android would format and see the microSD card as part of the internal storage and you can’t pop out the card without messing up the phone.Samsung didn’t see eye to eye with Google on that part and removed the feature from its TouchWiz/Samsung Experience UX. It saw the feature as something that mostly benefited phones with low internal storage, where a microSD card could turn an 8 or 16 GB phone into a 136 or 144 GB phone. But according to SamMobile, it seems that with Android 9 Pie and Samsung’s new One UI, it will finally be one with the rest of the Android world in offering that functionality.While it’s good news definitely, one has to wonder what for. With internal storage ranging from 128 to 256, even 512, GB, microSD cards have almost become redundant. And when you do put in a microSD card there, it might be for transferring files, in which case you wouldn’t want to format it as Adoptable Storage.AdChoices广告Then again, it could be some strategy on Samsung’s part to get in Google’s good graces as well as get in line with the rest of the Android world. Or it could also be used for marketing. With a 512 GB Galaxy Note 9 and a 512 GB microSD card, Adoptable Storage will really give you 1 TB of unified storage. Or at least it would look like that to the system. It seems that Samsung is finally trying to play the good Android citizen card lately. In addition to cleaning up its act as far as monthly security updates go, it has also opted to work with Google right from the start in supporting its grand vision of foldable phones. Now based on leaked firmware for its Android 9 Pie beta, Samsung may finally be adopting the Adoptable Storage feature introduced a few years ago. That said, such a feature may not make much sense considering smartphones these days have generous amounts of internal storage.
Story TimelineXiaomi Mi Mix 3 slider will test your self-controlXiaomi Mi AirDots true wireless earbuds are affordable, out of reachXiaomi Black Shark coming to Europe, no US launch yetXiaomi Mi Laser 150in Android TV projector debuts as Walmart exclusiveIKEA Xiaomi products are just the beginning Lin Bin posted a photo (or a very nice rendering) of the smartphone we’re speaking of today in his micro-blog this week. The image shows an extreme close-up on what appears to be a smartphone with a dual-LED flash and a camera along the long end – near the device’s volume rocker. This indicates we’re not working with a device with more than a couple lenses – but certainly more than one. If I had to bet based solely on Xiaomi’s current schedule of phones, I’d suggest this was going to be the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 or the Xiaomi Mi 9. I can’t imagine either of these devices really rolling with the biggest, baddest camera array in the world right out the gate. But, stranger things have happened.“Tried for a few weeks, not bad! Released in January,” said Lin Bin. A safe bet would be that this next Xiaomi phone is set to roll with a Sony IMX586 image sensor. It’s expected that Sony will release this image sensor on its Xperia XZ3 at IFA 2018 – but it could well come with a Xiaomi smartphone first. Sony’s not the sort to get fussy about who’s first with these things. There’s a Xiaomi smartphone coming with the fruits of the company’s labor in their new camera department (established earlier this year). In the first month of the year, Xiaomi suggests, they’ll have a device that’ll have a whopping 48MP sensor onboard. This device is ready for prime-time already, appearing in the micro-blog of Xiaomi company co-founder and President Lin Bin. ABOVE: VIA Sony, for their IMX586 image sensor with 48 effective megapixels, as revealed on July 23, 2018. The IMX586 stacked CMOS image sensor for smartphone cameras was revealed by Sony back on July 23rd, 2018. At that time, this was the one and only highest effective megapixels on a single smartphone-aimed image sensor in the world. Sample shipments were planned for September of 2018, which leaves plenty of room for Xiaomi to accept shipment, develop a new phone, and get a demo unit to Lin Bin in time for him to use it for a few weeks before his post this week, here at the start of December.Above you’ll see the Xiaomi Mi A1, just to give you an idea of what the two-lens camera array looks like from Xiaomi’s perspective. This turned sideways with the LED flash fits in real nice next to that volume rocker below.