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These are the practical applications of AI for small businesses in the UK

We’re entering a period of exponential change in business. If SMEs don’t move from legacy technology systems to modernise, automate and innovate they’ll be swept away by the age of digital transformation. Nobody knows quite where AI will lead us, but we do know that if businesses don’t embrace new technologies they won’t survive. But The post These are the practical applications of AI for small businesses in the UK appeared first on Small Business.

Agtech startup Imago AI is using computer vision to boost crop yields

Presenting onstage today in the 2018 TC Disrupt Berlin Battlefield is Indian agtech startup Imago AI, which is applying AI to help feed the world’s growing population by increasing crop yields and reducing food waste. As startup missions go, it’s an impressively ambitious one. The team, which is based out of Gurgaon near New Delhi, is using computer vision and machine learning technology to fully automate the laborious task of measuring crop output and quality — speeding up what can be a very manual and time-consuming process to quantify plant traits, often involving tools like calipers and weighing scales, toward the goal of developing higher-yielding, more disease-resistant crop varieties. Currently they say it can take seed companies between six and eight years to develop a new seed variety. So anything that increases efficiency stands to be a major boon. And they claim their technology can reduce the time it takes to measure crop traits by up to 75 percent. In the case of one pilot, they say a client had previously been taking two days to manually measure the grades of their crops using traditional methods like scales. “Now using this image-based AI system they’re able to do it in just 30 to 40 minutes,” says co-founder Abhishek Goyal. Using AI-based image processing technology, they can also crucially capture more data points than the human eye can (or easily can), because their algorithms can measure and asses finer-grained phenotypic differences than a person might pick up on or be easily able to quantify just judging by eye alone. “Some of the phenotypic traits they are not possible to identify manually,” says co-founder Shweta Gupta. “Maybe very tedious or for whatever all these laborious reasons. So now with this AI-enabled [process] we are now able to capture more phenotypic traits. “So more coverage of phenotypic traits… and with this more coverage we are having more scope to select the next cycle of this seed. So this further improves the seed quality in the longer run.” The wordy phrase they use to describe what their technology delivers is: “High throughput precision phenotyping.” Or,…

Your AI Assistant Should Be Able to Answer These 4 Questions

Not all AI assistants are created equal. In fact, many that purport to be AI-powered are simply menu-driven chatbots that do more harm than good. Typically, chatbots designed for business fall short because they don’t really understand what the customer is asking. They’re good with simple questions and uncomplicated situations. But if the customer asks something that is off-script or follows up with a line of questioning that the bot is not programmed to understand—as people often do—the chatbot becomes hopelessly lost. And customers, on their end, become frustrated and angry. So, a tool that you purchased for the purpose of engaging customers ends up driving them away. And that can cost you real money. What you need is a truly conversational AI assistant that can better understand your customers. One that can conduct a relationship-based discussion and give customers get the answers they’re looking for. The result is happier customers, increased productivity and greater profitability. The trifecta.  And that is what we developed at Frontdesk AI. Let’s say you’re running a yoga studio. Your customers and prospects are calling your business to ask all sorts of different questions: Can I take a class if I’m six months pregnant? Do you have classes for kids? Is Brianna teaching the 4pm vinyasa flow class tomorrow? A simple chatbot won’t have the answers. Whereas a conversational AI assistant will be able to listen to what the customer is asking, seek information from you (the business owner) when needed and reply intelligently to as many of the questions as possible. But don’t get fooled by a chatbot that only pretends to have AI. Here are four questions to ask when trying to distinguish a mindless chatbot from a truly conversational AI assistant. 1: Does it learn over time? A true AI assistant gets better over time, as it handles more interactions with customers and engages in more conversations. The ability to learn really sets conversational AI apart from traditional chatbots. With each conversation, the AI assistant becomes more capable and intuitive, and builds expertise around your particular business. The key is the assistant’s…

Have You Met Freddy? Say Hello to a New AI Engine Set to Enrich Customer Service

Freshworks, who specializes in customer engagement software, has just released “Freddy”. “Freddy” is an Omnibot AI engine who is said to enhance sales, assist in marketing, and boost customer services for companies of all shapes and sizes. Freshworks first announced “Freddy”’s release at the Refresh 18 conference. Your customer services teams new bestie, Freddy, uses Google Artificial Intelligence (AI) to anticipate the answers to customer service issues based on “a mix of human and machine-based voice interactions.” According to Freshworks, “Freddy offers channel agnostic contextual self-service to customers. The Freddy AI engine also enables agent assist to help new agents onboard a team with relative ease by proactively and systematically troubleshooting customer queries.” Not Just a Chatbot According to founder and CEO, Mathrubootham,  Freddy significantly expands on the capabilities of chatbots. Afterall, modern-day customers are demanding better service. “Consumers demand better service in the communication channels they prefer, whether it’s modern messaging platforms, social media or even automated IoT applications. With Freddy the AI engine, possibilities become limitless and customer experience can be enriched at every touchpoint and across multiple channels.” How Freddy Seeks to Help Businesses Sales Salespeople who are currently taking advantage of Freshworks’ CRM will be able to will be able to auto-calibrate their available leads, making sales easier to conduct. Customer Service Freddie creates automatic replies to common queries in email, chat, voice-calls and even social media with context from the customer’s knowledge base. This way, easy questions can now be put on Freddy’s plate rather than on your support team. Customer Engagement If you’re a savvy customer, you’re usually pretty aware of when you’re chatting with a robot. But, with Freddy’s capabilities, the goal is for him to appear like he’s an actual support person. Customers want to feel heard and they want their concerns heard, Freddy is there to listen. With Easy Implementation Unlike traditional enterprise AI platforms, Freddy seeks to be less intimidating to implement. “Freddy removes that complexity and frustration by delivering timely customer information for representatives and instantly answering questions anytime or anywhere customers need support.” The post Have You Met…

SMB Essentials- “A New Best Friend for Small Business”

Ramon Ray, editor, spoke with Meredith Schmidt, EVP & GM Salesforce Essentials and Small Business Solutions (SMB) at Salesforce. They discussed SMB Essentials and why its a powerful CRM solution specially designed for business. Why is SMB Important to Salesforce? While you may have thought Salesforce was only for big enterprises, the company’s leadership is also highly committed to helping small businesses make their dreams come true. Did you know Salesforce started as a small business? If that wasn’t enough of a reason, small businesses were their first customers. Salesforce has over 150,000 companies who started out with Salesforce as small businesses. Meredith shared that small businesses and SMBs are, “the heart and soul of Salesforce” and after hearing her conversation with Ramon, we couldn’t agree more. So, What is SMB Essentials? Here is what you need to know about SMB Essentials and how it can work for your small business: 1. Meredith calls SMB Essentials “a new best friend for small business.” SMB Essentials is designed and built with small businesses in mind. No matter the size of your operation, whether you have 200 people, 50 people, or 2 people, this product is perfect for your small business. Furthermore, they designed it specifically for small businesses, but you still get the beauty of the platform and the benefits of being part of Salesforce. 2. Get Access to Salesforce AI. One of the benefits of being part of such a large company like Salesforce is having access to their AI. “It doesn’t matter if you are one user, you get AI at your fingertips,” Meredith continues, “It is powerful stuff.” 3. It’s Easy to Use Essentials takes everything Salesforce has to offer and makes it easy for small businesses. Meredith said it herself, “we built it so it’s easy.” 4. We used it! We tried it out and it is so easy! Set up is incredibly simple. With just a click of a button, it’s out of the box and ready to use! Essentials connects to your Gmail or Outlook account and that’s it, it’s done. It’s reading your…

ServiceNow to acquire FriendlyData for its natural language search technology

Enterprise cloud service management company ServiceNow announced today that it will acquire FriendlyData and integrate the startup’s natural language search technology into apps on its Now platform. Founded in 2016, FriendlyData’s natural language query (NLQ) technology enables enterprise customers to build search tools that allow users to ask technical questions even if they don’t know the right jargon. FriendlyData’s NLQ tech figures out what they are trying to say and then answers with text responses or easy-to-understand data visualizations. ServiceNow said it will integrate FriendlyData’s tech into the Now Platform, which includes apps for IT, human resources, security operations, and customer service management. It will also be available in products for developers and ServiceNow’s partners. In a statement, Pat Casey, senior vice president of development and operations at ServiceNow, said “ServiceNow is bringing NLQ capabilities to the Now Platform, enabling companies to ask technical questions in plain English and receive direct answers. With this technical enhancement, our goal is to allow anyone to easily make data driven decisions, increasing productivity and driving businesses forward faster.” The acquisition of FriendlyData is the latest in ServiceNow’s initiative to reduce the friction of support requests within organizations with AI-based tools. For example, it launched a chatbot-building tools called Virtual Agent in May, which enables companies to create custom chatbots for services like Slack or Microsoft Teams to automatically handle routine inquiries such as equipment requests. It also announced the acquisition of Parlo, a chatbot startup, around the same time.

6 Marketing Tools Using AI to Help Users Win More Clients

We live in an era where robots and artificial intelligence may well soon control us. With so much interesting AI on the horizon promising to perhaps one day be able… Read more » The post 6 Marketing Tools Using AI to Help Users Win More Clients appeared first on

How AI Can Make Your Customer Service System Seamless and Faster

Artificial Intelligence has captured the attention of the customer service industry for some time now. Sure, in the earlier days, the industry was pretty much skeptical about the ramifications that… Read more » The post How AI Can Make Your Customer Service System Seamless and Faster appeared first on

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