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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 Noobpreneur.com.

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 Noobpreneur.com.

Clinc is building a voice AI system to replace humans in drive-through restaurants

Clinc is expanding its focus on fintech into new verticals that could take advantage of its conversational artificial intelligence. The Ann Arbor-based company recently took the wraps off its new system that aims to provide quick-service restaurants like McDonald’s and Taco Bell with a voice assistant in the drive-through window. I got a demo of the new system. For the most part, even in its early state, it works as advertised. Want a double cheeseburger without pickles and mayo with a side of fries and a Coke? With Clinc’s system, a person can order food as if they were talking to a human. Have questions or want to make changes to the order? Again, the person ordering the food does not have to modify their speech pattern or use a voice menu tree — just talk to the system normally. This is Clinc’s second implementation of it conversational AI system. This isn’t Siri or Alexa. This technology is from the next generation. The company started with a solution for fintech and currently has several contracts with major banks such as USAA, Barclays and S&P Global. In most cases, when integrated into the bank’s system, Clinc’s technology emulates human intelligence and can interpret unstructured, unconstrained speech. The idea is to let users converse with their bank account using natural language without pre-defined templates or hierarchical voice menus. Clinc was founded by University of Michigan professors Dr. Jason Mars, Dr. Johann Hauswald, Dr. Lingjia Tang and Dr. Michael Laurenzano. Mars tells me Clinc spun up the quick-service restaurant (QSR) product in about two weeks. He explains that Clinc’s platform allows programmers to drag and drop a restaurant’s menu to add items to the voice service. I watched a Clinc engineer use the system for about an hour. Over and over again, the system processed the order correctly, but occasionally it got it wrong. It seems changing an order is just as easy as placing one though, and the engineer was able to modify the order on the fly. When using the system, it’s obvious a computer is speaking. Good or bad, if implemented…

Y Combinator invests in non-invasive breast cancer screening bra EVA

According to a report by the American Cancer Society, an estimated 266,120 women will be newly diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year and (according to a 2016 estimate) can expect to pay between $60,000 and $134,000 on average for treatment and care. But, after hundreds of thousands of dollars and non-quantifiable emotional stress for them and their families, the American Cancer Society still estimates 40,920 women will lose their battle to the disease this year. Worldwide, roughly 1.7 million women will be diagnosed with the disease yearly, according to a 2012 estimate by The World Cancer Research Fund International. While these numbers are stark, they do little to fully capture just how devastating a breast cancer diagnosis is for women and their loved ones. This is a feeling that Higia Technologies‘ co-founder and CEO Julián Ríos Cantú is unfortunately very familiar with. “My mom is a two-time breast cancer survivor,” Cantú told TechCrunch. “The first time she was diagnosed I was eight years old.” Cantú says that his mother’s second diagnosis was originally missed through standard screenings because her high breast density obscured the tumors from the X-ray. As a result, she lost both of her breasts, but has since fully recovered. “At that moment I realized that if that was the case for a woman with private insurance and a prevention mindset, then for most women in developing countries, like Mexico where we’re from, the outcome could’ve not been a mastectomy but death,” said Cantú. Following his mother’s experience, Cantú resolved to develop a way to improve the value of women’s lives and support them in identifying breast abnormalities and cancers early in order to ensure the highest likelihood of survival. To do this, at the age of 18 Cantú designed EVA — a bio-sensing bra insert that uses thermal sensing and artificial intelligence to identify abnormal temperatures in the breast that can correlate to tumor growth. Cantú says that EVA is not only an easy tool for self-screening but also fills in gaps in current screening technology. Today, women have fairly limited options when it comes to breast cancer screening.…

Landbot gets $2.2M for its on-message ‘anti-AI’ chatbot

Who needs AI to have a good conversation? Spanish startup Landbot has bagged a $2.2 million seed round for a ‘dumb’ chatbot that doesn’t use AI at all but offers something closer to an old school ‘choose your adventure’ interaction by using a conversational choice interface to engage potential customers when they land on a website. The rampant popularity of consumer messaging apps has long been influencing product development decisions, and plenty of fusty business tools have been consumerized in recent years, including by having messaging-style interfaces applied to simplify all kinds of digital interactions. In the case of Landbot, the team is deploying a familiar rich texting interface as a website navigation tool — meaning site visitors aren’t left to figure out where to click to find stuff on their own. Instead they’re pro-actively met with an interactive, adaptive messaging thread that uses conversational choice prompts to get them the information they need. Call it a chatty twist on the ‘lazyweb’… It’s also of course mobile first design, where constrained screen real estate is never very friendly to full fat homepages. Using a messaging thread interface plus marketing bots thus offers an alternative way to cut to the navigational chase, while simultaneously creaming off intent intelligence on potential customers. (Albeit it does risk getting old fast if your site visitors have a habit of clearing their cookies.) Landbot, which was launched just over a year ago in June 2017, started as an internal experiment after its makers got frustrated by the vagaries of their own AI chatbots. So they had the idea to create a drag-and-drop style bot-builder that doesn’t require coding to support custom conversation flows. “Since we already had a product, a business model, and some customers, we developed Landbot as an internal experiment. “What would happen with a full-screen conversation instead of the regular live-chat?,” we thought. What we got? A five times higher conversion rate on our homepage! Ever since, our whole strategy changed and Landbot, born from an experiment, became our core product,” explains CEO and co-founder Jiaqi Pan. At the same time, the current crop…

UPS Is Using Predictive Analytics. Here’s What Your Business Should Do Says Ramon Ray

The Wall Street Journal reports that UPS is using predictive analytics to “gather and consolidate data from various applications within the company’s logistics network to better predict package flow, volume and delivery status, says Juan Perez, chief information and engineering officer.” According to Webopedia, predictive analytics, is  “the practice of extracting information from existing data sets in order to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends. Predictive analytics does not tell you what will happen in the future.” Every business can leverage the power of predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to help them make smarter decisions and faster decisions. While you can’t spend billions of dollars to do this for your company, you can rely on companies such as Intuit, NetSuite, Salesforce, SAP and Microsoft who embed these “smarts” into their software products to help make your business smarter.

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