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Chatbots spotlight machine learning’s trillion-dollar potential

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Chatbots spotlight machine learning’s trillion-dollar potential

The global industry potential of artificial intelligence is well-documented, yet the vision of this AI future is uncertain.

AI and automation trends are generating significant debate among economists and governments, particularly around employment impact and uncertain social outcomes. The mainstream attention is warranted. According to PwC, AI “could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030, more than the current output of China and India combined.”

AI is at a crossroads, and its long-term outlook is still hotly debated. Despite social media giants, automotive companies and numerous other industries investing hundreds of billions of dollars in AI, many automation technologies are not yet directly generating revenue and instead are forecasted to become profitable in the coming decades. This creates additional uncertainty of AI’s true market potential. The realistic potential value of AI is unknown, yet, as the technology advances, the ultimate impact could be of great consequence to virtually every economy.

There are many reasons to view AI’s future from an optimistic lens, however: chatbots provide significant evidence for AI’s positive impact on both business growth and employment markets. Today, chatbots are increasingly capable of mimicking human interactions and conversations to assist business-to-business, business-to-consumer, business-to-government, advertising audiences and other diverse groups. The evolution of the cognitive computer science behind conversational chatbots is perhaps one of the best examples of AI technologies driving revenue. Further, chatbot technology shows some of the greatest promise for augmenting, rather than replacing human workers.

AI is driving value while augmenting human workers

Chatbots are delivering real revenue today for some of the world’s leading financial services (Bank of America), retail (Levi’s), and technology companies (Zendesk) . We’re seeing more consumers taking the next step in a transaction or even making a purchase decision based off conversations with chatbots. Beyond driving sales, chatbots have numerous applications to a wide range of organizations. Nonprofits, NGOs, and even political campaigns find value in deploying chatbots to help handle the influx of inquiries from stakeholders and relevant audiences.

Rather than these chatbots replacing human workers, organizations are finding chatbots to be a helpful and value-creating opportunity that frees employees to focus on more strategic tasks. Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana aren’t replacing executive assistants today, but these technologies are all capable of supporting the executive assistant function in the workplace.

Gartner predicts AI augmentation, defined as a “human-centered partnership model of people and AI working together to enhance cognitive performance,” could generate $2.9 trillion of business value by 2021. Many industries see potential for chatbots to augment functions like sales, customer support and IT, enabling workers to create value in more strategic ways. Bain & Company finds chatbots to be among the most notable examples of artificial intelligence and automation in practice: “Companies use AI applications to understand industry trends, manage their workforce, address problems, power chatbots and personalize content to enable self-service.”

Clearly, the implications of scaled, human-like engagement are stunning in their capacity to carry out tasks. A chatbot’s ability to simultaneously hold tens of thousands of conversations — pulling from many millions of data points — is comparable to what a human customer service rep could accomplish in more than 1,000 years of nonstop work. Scaling customer service via AI allows service professionals to focus on big picture and more complex issues, and it provides rich data on customer interactions. We anticipate seeing more companies look to build better customer service experiences through chatbots, as Google and Salesforce announced in April.

The transformative impact of chatbots across industries

From our research and work with leading global companies, it’s clear that enterprises are finding that chatbots bring about tremendous value while supporting both people employment and long-term business growth opportunities today. Ultimately, chatbots are on track to showcase some of the most optimistic examples of AI augmentation. Consider three examples:

Published at Thu, 12 Dec 2019 15:26:07 +0000

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Man who drove $75 pickup for 44 years sells it to original owner’s grandson for $75

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MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota man sold the 1957 Chevy pickup he drove for 44 years for $75, the same price he paid decades ago.

Bob Sportal of Prinsburg handed over the key last month to the grandson of the man he bought the truck from, KARE-TV reported.

Sportal was in his early 20s when he bought the rusty pickup from a retiring farmer. He drove the truck to work every day at a local grain elevator until he retired five years ago.

Sportal kept driving the truck but decided to sell it to Tom Leenstra, grandson of the late John VanDerVeen, who originally sold the truck to Sportal.

“It’s like riding with my grandpa again,” Leenstra said.

The truck is an antique but pretty rusted through. And considering the buyer, Sportal decided to sell it for what he paid for it.

“It’s going in the family, so that’s the most important thing,” Sportal said.

Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/08/06/minnesota-man-sells-75-pickup-after-44-years/

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Cadillac Lyriq EV unveiled as brand’s first electric vehicle

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Your author has already seen it, back in March, and has had to wait until today to show you the new Cadillac Lyriq electric luxury crossover. We were excited about it then, we’re still excited about it now, but we’ll see if we can maintain that excitement for another two years. After some fanfare, a delay, a name explanation and a bit of teasing, Cadillac has finally taken the wraps off the Lyriq, and we like what we see.

The bad news — we’ll get it out of the way right now — is that the Cadillac Lyriq won’t go on sale until late 2022.

Moving on, let’s bask in the photos and video we’ve long awaited, and dig into what we know about the first all-electric Cadillac. First, it will come in two drivetrain configurations: rear-wheel drive and performance all-wheel drive. It’ll use GM’s new Ultium modular battery technology, giving it a driving range targeting north of 300 miles, plus a center of gravity about 3.9 inches lower than that of the similarly sized Cadillac XT5. It will be capable of “over” 150-kilowatt DC fast charging, with a Level 2 charging rate of up to 19 kW.

In terms of styling, the Lyriq is a substantial move forward both inside and out — and a lot of it has to do with lighting. On the outside, it gets vertical headlights, plus a bunch of little light-up elements in the grille, include a logo that is animated on startup. In fact, the face will light up as you approach, not unlike a dog seeing its best friend ready to play. We see some more nifty lighting signatures in back that carry on a similar theme with more vertical lights. Inside, the lighting situation gets even more interesting, with another light-up crest on the steering wheel, plus wood veneer over aluminum door panels, all backlit.

As for its stance, the Lyriq has a long wheelbase, and rides on 22-inch wheels. At the back, we see a slick vented spoiler hanging over the raked rear glass. The side doors of the Lyriq automatically open with the touch of a button in door handle outlines that are flush with the body. Similarly, they close automatically, slowing down at the end to pull the doors fully shut. We wouldn’t be surprised if this doesn’t make it to production.

Moving around the interior, the curved, 33-inch combination digital driver display and infotainment screen sprawls across the dash. It uses advanced LED technology, and is capable of displaying over a billion colors, according to Cadillac. Complimenting that technology is a dual-plane augmented reality head-up display that can put info like speed in the near plane, while the navigation directions on the far plane help you sort out your next move on road ahead. Other internal design touches we see here are a cantilevered armrest that doesn’t quite extend to the center stack, enabled by the omission of a transmission tunnel. In front of that, on the dash, is a slick little drawer that pops out below some of the controls, a special little place to stash, say, a pouch of gems (hey, Cadillac did liken it to a jewelry box). 

Of course, the Lyriq will offer the new generation of Super Cruise advanced driver assistance system, which, in addition to allowing you to take your hands off the wheel on the highway, can perform automated lane changes. Cadillac also plans to include supervised remote parking, which will allow the Lyriq to perpendicular or parallel park itself with or without a driver in vehicle (we don’t envision a Boston accent being used in the marketing, however). Another included tech feature: over-the-air updates. “The car will continually get better [throughout] the ownership experience,” said GM President Mark Reuss.

There are a few other things of note that Cadillac is proud of, and can be attributed in part to the electric powertrain. We’re told that in addition to the low center of gravity, the Lyriq will have a near 50/50 weight distribution in the AWD version, with the RWD Lyriq being within a couple percent of that, so expect good handling from this EV. This also allows for the smooth ride customers expect, with minimal body roll and Cadillac levels of comfort. The Lyriq’s electric powertrain offers nearly instantaneous torque, though exact figures aren’t yet available. We’re told this show car represents 80-85% of production intent, so there’s still room for changes and plenty of information yet to make its way public.

With the launch still two years away, there’s ample time for that. In the meantime, there are other exciting EVs — from GM and others — to keep our attention.

Related Video:

Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/08/06/cadillac-lyriq-electric-crossover-unveiled-photos-range-details/

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Stank dank in the tank: 350 pounds of pot seized from septic truck

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You’ve heard the phrase “sticking your nose in other people’s business,” and that’s exactly what a Fayette County, Texas, deputy did during a traffic stop when he opened the hatch of a septic-service tank truck and discovered 350 pounds of marijuana inside. 

Drug investigator David Smith stopped the truck Tuesday near Flatonia, Texas, which is midway between San Antonio and Houston on Interstate 10, a busy drug smuggling corridor where traffickers typically use commercial vehicles. Smith said the driver appeared nervous and had no license. Her male passenger was also on edge. 

The deputy said the two gave consent to search the truck, but they may not have counted on him so thoroughly discharging his duty. He opened the tank and found “multiple bundles which were wrapped in plastic cellophane, axle grease and tape consistent with illegal narcotics,” said Sheriff Keith Korenek in the Austin American-Statesman. We sincerely hope the bundles were expertly wrapped to be waterproof and everything-proof, because they contained 350 pounds of pot that was bound for a bong near you.

We’ve seen pot smuggled lots of ways over the years, from inside Ford Fusions and Lincoln MKZs again and again, to a senior Santa and Mrs. Claus thoughtfully delivering 60 pounds of Christmas “presents.” But we haven’t seen a pipeline quite this potent.

We leave you with a commenter’s contribution on the sheriff’s Facebook page: “Wow! That’s some good sh*t …”

Related Video:

Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/08/06/pot-smuggled-in-septic-tank-truck/

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