Connect with us

Big Data

Customer engagement strategies that heed power of social media

Avatar

Published

on

The power of social media to alter customer engagement strategies — for a product rollout, an executive hire, a policy change — is impressive.

Case in point: Legendary Entertainment did not anticipate the kind of response it would get when it released its trailer for The Great Wall. The decision to cast Matt Damon as the hero in a film centered around the iconic Chinese landmark drew immediate criticism on Twitter and Facebook as another example of a white savior narrative and of whitewashing.

“The whole storyline was meant to be about someone coming into a new culture and learning and growing in that culture,” Matt Marolda, chief analytics officer at Legendary, said at the recent HUBweek, an arts, science and innovation festival in Boston. “But the perception was not that.”

Social media platforms and the swift judgment of the internet are forcing companies to engage in ways they’ve never had to before. And executives from Legendary and Microsoft are sharing their experiences with the new tools for — and rules for — customer engagement.

New tools of engagement

On paper, The Great Wall made sense, according to Marolda. It was 2016, and the U.S. and China were the two biggest movie markets in the world; the East-meets-West film reflected Legendary’s sale to Wanda Group, a massive entertainment company in China. And, based on an analysis Marolda and his applied analytics team did, Damon had an active following and a reputation for taking on high-quality projects.

But what looked good on paper did not translate well to audiences — especially those in the U.S. Marolda said the company reacted to the criticism quickly. For example, the company released a statement from Zhang Yimou, the film’s director whom Marolda characterized as “the Steven Spielberg of China,” defending the casting decision.

After that, the team stood still and observed. “We had time on our side,” said Marolda, adding that the film wasn’t scheduled to be released for nine months. “We could see analytically that the best thing to do was nothing.”

The public ire did cool, but the film couldn’t completely escape the negative press it had received, according to Marolda. The company ultimately decided to shift its marketing strategy. “We then realized that emphasizing the movie’s possibilities outside of the U.S. was as important as emphasizing the movie’s possibilities inside the U.S.,” he said.

The decision appears to have been a good one. While the film bombed in the U.S., it was moderately successful worldwide, and has helped spark a larger conversation about how to make blockbuster films for a global market.

Executives onstage at HUBweek.
Matt Marolda, chief analytics officer at Legendary Entertainment, and Kathleen Kennedy, director of special projects at the MIT Sloan School of Management, onstage at HUBweek.

Customer engagement strategies: Ask three questions

How do companies develop customer engagement strategies that acknowledge the power of social media? A reactive approach — no matter how swift the response or how successful in the short term — doesn’t cut it.   

Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer at Microsoft, talked about the role companies should play in the public discourse and stressed that companies need a moral compass today.

“You have to know the issues for which you’re going to take a stand. And you have to be grounded in a certain set of principles,” he said during a fireside chat at HUBweek with Adi Ignatius, the editor in chief of the Harvard Business Review.

Before weighing in on a controversial issue, Smith suggested that companies ask three questions. First, is the issue important to the business? Smith described this question as “an easy space,” and can include tax law or intellectual property law — topics companies have always weighed in on.

Second, is the issue important to its customers? As data has moved to the cloud, companies have entered into a new kind of relationship with their customers, according to Smith. He said it’s vital that they think about the security and protection and actively take a stand on issues like surveillance and privacy.

Third, is the issue important to employees? The company believes a safe work environment doesn’t automatically equate to employee success. Employees could be hindered by issues outside of the office such as an inability to buy the home they want to buy, get the kind of healthcare coverage they need, or marry the person they want to marry, according to Smith.

So when a bill in North Carolina looked like it would restrict LGBT rights, Smith said it “was not a difficult decision” for Microsoft to voice its opposition. The company has a pretty significant presence in Charlotte, employing about 1,000 people there, and Smith said the issue was “important for our employees outside of the workplace.”

In an effort to be as effective as possible and preserve its relationship with the community, Microsoft will often seek out a local business community — a trusted organization that uses its voice to speak up on issues such as these — to partner with. “I prefer a course that’s going to maximize our chances of being effective and not just maximize our chances of being seen,” he said.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://searchcio.techtarget.com/news/252451024/Customer-engagement-strategies-that-heed-power-of-social-media

AI

Deepfake detectors and datasets exhibit racial and gender bias, USC study shows

Avatar

Published

on

Join Transform 2021 this July 12-16. Register for the AI event of the year.


Some experts have expressed concern that machine learning tools could be used to create deepfakes, or videos that take a person in an existing video and replace them with someone else’s likeness. The fear is that these fakes might be used to do things like sway opinion during an election or implicate a person in a crime. Already, deepfakes have been abused to generate pornographic material of actors and defraud a major energy producer.

Fortunately, efforts are underway to develop automated methods to detect deepfakes. Facebook — along with Amazon  and Microsoft, among others — spearheaded the Deepfake Detection Challenge, which ended last June. The challenge’s launch came after the release of a large corpus of visual deepfakes produced in collaboration with Jigsaw, Google’s internal technology incubator, which was incorporated into a benchmark made freely available to researchers for synthetic video detection system development. More recently, Microsoft launched its own deepfake-combating solution in Video Authenticator, a system that can analyze a still photo or video to provide a score for its level of confidence that the media hasn’t been artificially manipulated.

But according to researchers at the University of Southern California, some of the datasets used to train deepfake detection systems might underrepresent people of a certain gender or with specific skin colors. This bias can be amplified in deepfake detectors, the coauthors say, with some detectors showing up to a 10.7% difference in error rate depending on the racial group.

Biased deepfake detectors

The results, while surprising, are in line with previous research showing that computer vision models are susceptible to harmful, pervasive prejudice. A paper last fall by University of Colorado, Boulder researchers demonstrated that AI from Amazon, Clarifai, Microsoft, and others maintained accuracy rates above 95% for cisgender men and women but misidentified trans men as women 38% of the time. Independent benchmarks of major vendors’ systems by the Gender Shades project and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated that facial recognition technology exhibits racial and gender bias and have suggested that current facial recognition programs can be wildly inaccurate, misclassifying people upwards of 96% of the time.

The University of Southern California group looked a three deepfake detection models with “proven success in detecting deepfake videos.” All were trained on the FaceForensics++ dataset, which is commonly used for deepfake detectors, as well as corpora including Google’s DeepfakeDetection, CelebDF, and DeeperForensics-1.0.

In a benchmark test, the researchers found that all of the detectors performed worst on videos with darker Black faces, especially male Black faces. Videos with female Asian faces had the highest accuracy, but depending on the dataset, the detectors also performed well on Caucasian (particularly male) and Indian faces. .

According to the researchers, the deepfake detection datasets were “strongly” imbalanced in terms of gender and racial groups, with FaceForensics++ sample videos showing over 58% (mostly white) women compared with 41.7% men. Less than 5% of the real videos showed Black or Indian people, and the datasets contained “irregular swaps,” where a person’s face was swapped onto another person of a different race or gender.

These irregular swaps, while intended to mitigate bias, are in fact to blame for at least a portion of the bias in the detectors, the coauthors hypothesize. Trained on the datasets, the detectors learned correlations between fakeness and, for example, Asian facial features. One corpus used Asian faces as foreground faces swapped onto female Caucasian faces and female Hispanic faces.

“In a real-world scenario, facial profiles of female Asian or female African are 1.5 to 3 times more likely to be mistakenly labeled as fake than profiles of the male Caucasian … The proportion of real subjects mistakenly identified as fake can be much larger for female subjects than male subjects,” the researchers wrote.

Real-world risks

The findings are a stark reminder that even the “best” AI systems aren’t necessarily flawless. As the coauthors note, at least one deepfake detector in the study achieved 90.1% accuracy on a test dataset, a metric that conceals the biases within.

“[U]sing a single performance metrics such as … detection accuracy over the entire dataset is not enough to justify massive commercial rollouts of deepfake detectors,” the researchers wrote. “As deepfakes become more pervasive, there is a growing reliance on automated systems to combat deepfakes. We argue that practitioners should investigate all societal aspects and consequences of these high impact systems.”

The research is especially timely in light of growth in the commercial deepfake video detection market. Amsterdam-based Deeptrace Labs offers a suite of monitoring products that purport to classify deepfakes uploaded on social media, video hosting platforms, and disinformation networks. Dessa has proposed techniques for improving deepfake detectors trained on data sets of manipulated videos. And Truepic raised an $8 million funding round in July 2018 for its video and photo deepfake detection services. In December 2018, the company acquired another deepfake “detection-as-a-service” startup — Fourandsix — whose fake image detector was licensed by DARPA.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:

  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more

Become a member

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/05/06/deepfake-detectors-and-datasets-exhibit-racial-and-gender-bias-usc-study-shows/

Continue Reading

Big Data

U.S. listing ban on Luokung lifted after judge’s decision

Avatar

Published

on

By Karen Freifeld

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nasdaq Inc has withdrawn a decision to delist the shares of Luokung Technology Corp, the Chinese mapping technology company said on Thursday, after a U.S. judge suspended an imminent investment ban imposed under the Trump administration.

The ruling and listing news sent shares of the company nearly 20% higher. Luokung issued a news release on Thursday saying Nasdaq notified the company it has withdrawn its delisting letter and shares would continue to trade on the market, not be suspended on May 7. A Nasdaq spokesman declined to comment.

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Luokung is the second company on a U.S. list of alleged Communist Chinese military companies subject to an investment ban to win a preliminary injunction halting the designation. 

U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras in Washington issued a similar order in March in favor of Beijing-based smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp.

In granting an injunction in the case brought by Luokung challenging the ban, Contreras said the U.S. Department of Defense’s designation process was flawed.

“Many of the associations the Department of Defense seemed most troubled by – such as Luokung’s purported forays into space systems or its potential future contracts with the Chinese National Geospatial Information Center … do not appear to have materialized, nor are they likely to bear fruit before this case can be decided on the merits,” the judge wrote in his decision.

He added the government has not identified a single technology transfer from Luokung to the People’s Republic of China.

More than 40 companies were added to a list of U.S. companies subject to the investment ban in the waning days of the Trump administration.

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

Image Credit: Reuters

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://datafloq.com/read/us-listing-ban-luokung-lifted-judges-decision/14477

Continue Reading

Big Data

Nikola may seal order for 100 EVs from port trucking firm

Avatar

Published

on

(Reuters) – Nikola Corp said on Thursday it signed a letter of intent with port trucking firm Total Transportation Services Inc for trials and possible order of 100 vehicles from the electric-truck maker.

Shares of the Phoenix, Arizona-based company surged 7.5% in premarket trading after the announcement.

Total Transportation is a large player at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in southern California, which see up to 14,000 trucks on location in a month.

“The LOI is for 100 zero-emission trucks beginning with a four-truck pilot slated to start in the first half of 2022 and consisting of two BEVs and two FCEVs,” said Nikola.

Nikola’s Tre BEVs are designed for local deliveries up to 350 miles, while its Tre FCEV trucks are aimed at longer hauls of up to 500 miles.

(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

Image Credit: Reuters

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://datafloq.com/read/nikola-may-seal-order-100-evs-port-trucking-firm/14476

Continue Reading

Big Data

North American companies buying more robots to keep up with demand

Avatar

Published

on

By Timothy Aeppel

(Reuters) – North American companies boosted spending on industrial robots in the first quarter as they scrambled to keep up with surging demand in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Companies ordered 9,098 robots in the first quarter, a 19.6% increase over a year ago, according to the Association for Advancing Automation, an industry group based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The orders were valued at over $466 million in total.

Robots were once concentrated in the auto industry but are now moving into more corners of the economy, from ecommerce warehouses to food processing plants. For the first time last year, most of the robots ordered by companies in North America weren’t destined for auto factories or their parts suppliers.

The strongest growth in the latest quarter was to metal producers, where orders surged 86%. Orders to life science, pharmaceutical and biomedical companies rose 72%, while orders to consumer goods companies increased 32%.

“The strong economy obviously helps,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of the Association for Advancing Automation, “It gives companies the confidence to invest in more things — including in more automation.”

Burnstein said the pandemic froze many businesses, as operations shut down to protect human health. “But ultimately it accelerated the adoption of automation, because companies recognized if they were going to do it, now would be the time.”

Tyson Foods Inc, the U.S. meat company, is among those looking to use more robots on its production lines. In 2019, the company opened a 26,000 square foot automation research center near its headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas.

“For the most part, it’s still too soon for some of the really innovative and proprietary systems we’re developing,” said Marty Linn, the center’s director of engineering. Automating jobs such as deboning chickens is extremely difficult, he noted, because the size and shape of each chicken can vary greatly. Robots work best when they can handle uniform items.

With that in mind, Linn said, Tyson has already started installing at its plants robots that sit at the end of production lines and automatically stack and wrap boxes on pallets – a process that involves standard shapes and the repetition of precise movements.

(Reporting by Timothy Aeppel; Editing by Dan Burns and Andrea Ricci)

Image Credit: Reuters

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://datafloq.com/read/north-american-companies-buying-robots-keep-demand/14475

Continue Reading
Blockchain4 days ago

Ethereum hits $3,000 for the first time, now larger than Bank of America

Blockchain4 days ago

Munger ‘Anti-Bitcoin’ and Buffett ‘Annoyance’ Towards Crypto Industry

Blockchain2 days ago

The Reason for Ethereum’s Recent Rally to ATH According to Changpeng Zhao

Blockchain20 hours ago

Chiliz Price Prediction 2021-2025: $1.76 By the End of 2025

Gaming5 days ago

New Pokemon Snap: How To Unlock All Locations | Completion Guide

Blockchain4 days ago

BNY Mellon Regrets Not Owning Stocks of Companies Investing in Bitcoin

Aviation2 days ago

American Airlines Passenger Arrested After Alleged Crew Attack

Blockchain2 days ago

Mining Bitcoin: How to Mine Bitcoin

Automotive4 days ago

Ford Mach-E Co-Pilot360 driver monitoring system needs an update ASAP

Blockchain2 days ago

Mining Bitcoin: How to Mine Bitcoin

Fintech5 days ago

Telcoin set to start remittance operations in Australia

Blockchain5 days ago

Mining Bitcoin: How to Mine Bitcoin

Blockchain5 days ago

Thiel Capital Director: “Don’t Let Short Term Losses in Bitcoin Sour You on Bitcoin”

Aviation4 days ago

TV Stars Fined After Disorderly Conduct Onboard British Airways

Blockchain4 days ago

Here’s the long-term ROI potential of Ethereum that traders need to be aware of

Fintech3 days ago

Talking Fintech: Customer Experience and the Productivity Revolution

Blockchain5 days ago

Coinbase to Acquire Crypto Analytics Company Skew

Blockchain4 days ago

Turkey Jails 6 Suspects Connected to the Thodex Fraud Including Two CEO Siblings

AR/VR5 days ago

The dangers of clickbait articles that explore VR

Blockchain5 days ago

A Year Later: Uzbekistan Plans to Lift its Cryptocurrency Ban

Trending