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From automating your pizza order to managing customer feedback, the uses of chatbots are far more than the novelty applications they arrived as.

Put simply, a chatbot is a piece of software that interacts with customers through a familiar chat interface. It’s a simple way of helping a user complete a complex task or query while also helping the business gather more usable data (that magic currency we’re all after). When used correctly, chatbots can help businesses scale their marketing and customer service operations at a low cost.

Here are five reasons why your business should be using chatbots today.

1. They’re available 24/7

While there are a variety of technologies that are being heralded for their potential in shaping the future, AI is likely to take the crown of being the most consequential. This is because AI, unlike other technologies, is not just there enable or assist, but think and act as well. It’s enabling machines to enter the realm previously dominated by humans alone — the cognitive niche.

We can now outsource parts of our thinking and decision making, the processes we used to think were uniquely held by sophisticated animals and humans, to AI. …

“AI is akin to building a rocket ship. You need a huge engine and a lot of fuel. The rocket engine is the learning algorithms but the fuel is the huge amounts of data we can feed to these algorithms.”

Andrew Ng adjunct professor of Computer Science at Stanford University

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For thousands of years, we have designed tools to aid us in achieving goals. From the spear, to the wheel, to the plough — we have developed instruments to help us change the physical world around us with greater efficiency and effectiveness.

In the 20th century, something changed. In 1936…

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Credit: Unsplash

Artificial intelligence is being hailed as the next digital frontier — and for good reasons.

The ability to think and act based upon the information at hand used to be the sole domain of human beings but the capabilities of computers have grown to such a degree that they may soon join us. And they’re coming fast.

So fast, in fact, that within the next two decades it’s predicted 47% of jobs in the US will be automated in a transformation dubbed the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The job destruction is already happening. Earlier this year J.P. …

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We live in a world where different technologies are advancing at varying rates. The most famous example of these growth rates is Moore’s Law, which describes how the number of transistors that can fit onto a circuit board roughly doubles every two years.

Other technologies follow similar exponential curves (like storage space, fiber optic capacity, pixels per dollar to name a few). However, subtle differences in growth rates can manifest in huge differences in small amounts of time.

Here’s a simple example:

  • Technology A grows 5% each year
  • Technology B grows 10% each year

Tech A after 50 years: 1.05⁵⁰ = 11.5

Tech B…

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Your face says a lot more about you than you might think. A study from Stanford has shown that one’s sexual orientation can be accurately determined using facial recognition. In China, it’s even being used to read the facial expressions of loan applicants to assess their likelihood of repayment.

The confluence of cheap cameras, networking technologies and developments in AI makes it possible for facial recognition technology to be used widely and to great effect.

The facial recognition market is worth approximately US $3 billion and is expected to grow to US $6 billion by 2021, with the Asia Pacific…

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Every business day, I seek out the most important news pieces across technology, research, and innovation. I then summarise them for you in a daily email, delivered every morning. My goal is to share some inspiration, keep you informed, and equip you to be part of the discussion as digital technologies continue to change the way we live and work. My sources include The Australian Financial Review, The Verge, The Wall Street Journal, MIT Tech Review and many others. You may opt out at any time, and I won’t share your details with anyone else.

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Chief technology officers, not unlike your grandma, have mastered the art of knitting.

For the most part their bodies seem calm, their gaze steely and focused. But within their hands is a set of needles flitting furiously as different stitches, colours and yarns meld together to form a pattern that either flows perfectly or, quite literally, pulls apart at the seams.

And sometimes, as most CTOs who have ever had the task of uniting new software with a legacy business structure that resembles that of an Italian parliamentary meeting would know, that’s just about the best you can hope for.

When I gave my TedX talk about the Internet of Things last year, I kicked off with a simple message that “in a digital world, we can make everything talk to each other”. It’s actually a nice sentiment that easily crosses the divide from the digital to the human world of relationships and work.

But in the era of emerging tech and innovation that sentiment is failing us and the economy, and the deeply fracturing issue is this: Big Innovation is a handbrake on real innovation, and it’s going to hurt everyone if we don’t fix it.

Firstly, what the…

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A tonne of buzzwords and phrases have taken over the vocabulary of business in recent years from digital disruption (the computers will take over) to deep diving (an in-depth look) and customer experience (help people buy stuff).

One phrase at the top of the business vocabulary list is “business process automation”.

In the interests of full disclosure, I plead guilty to regularly saying this when talking about what our team does at Buckham & Duffy and how we can best assist clients.

In my defence, regardless of how you term it, business process automation — or the act of doing…

Buckham & Duffy Insights

Footsoldiers of the 4th Industrial revolution. We arm organisations with the technologies that will shape tomorrow.

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