Gilbane Advisor 4-18-17 — chatbots, nextgen IT, AR, marketing data, CX and distribution

What to do about the chatbot crisis

It’s never been clear that messaging apps had a future as platforms. It is also a stretch to think of voice as a platform, at least in any general purpose sense. In either case it seems like a misuse of ‘platform’. Messaging and chat systems will continue to proliferate because they are relatively simple communication tools with simple interfaces, and because there will always be heavy competition for control of the final short distance to eyes and ears. Even with only 3-4 major platforms, countless use cases, devices, and integrations guarantee severe user experience challenges. (Cartoon by XKCD)

And that’s before adding chatbots to the mix. As amazing as the progress of machine learning is, no none knows when, or perhaps if, a general purpose AI will be available, and the better a general purpose AI gets the more unpredictable and less understandable it will be. John Brandon takes you through his enlightening experience using multiple chatbots daily. Read More

The second coming of IT

It is easy to forget that the center of gravity for commercial computing and software innovation used to be in, mostly large, businesses focused on solving purely business information technology problems. Consumer applications only trickled out slowly after personal computers had been around for awhile. This was mostly due to cost, and capability, not necessarily lack of imagination. Sam Lessin makes the case that for many of the same reasons, businesses will again be the first to benefit at scale from machine learning and AI. Read More

The first decade of augmented reality

This article by Benedict Evans has something in common with the two articles recommended above — that while there are amazing technologies promising profound business and consumer benefits, we are still in the early stages learning what they can do and how to build products and use them. Evans is one of best at asking original questions, 38 in this this post. A sample…

It does seem to me, though, that the more you think about AR as placing objects and data into the world around you, the more that this becomes an AI question as much as a physical interface question. What should I see as I walk up to you in particular? LinkedIn or Tinder? When should I see that new message – should it be shown to me now or later? Do I stand outside a restaurant and say ‘Hey Foursquare, is this any good?’ or does the device’s OS do that automatically? How is this brokered – by the OS, the services that you’ve added or by a single ‘Google Brain’ in the cloud? Read More

Why distribution still matters in the internet age

Abhishek Madhavan cautions about taking the “distribution is free in the digital age” mantra too literally, or out of context. Distribution of physical products is not free, and last mile physical distribution is a critical, sometimes the most important, component of customer experience. Building a digital business that does not include a way to control the cost and physical distribution experience is risky business. Read More

5 data assumptions that marketers should avoid

Brand managers, striving to maximize spend and performance, have an opportunity to embrace advanced marketing analytics and positively impact collaboration, real-time decision-making, and revenue. This starts by removing the perceived barriers to entry for working with data. Read More

Also…

Very cool machine learning aid for those of us drawing-challenged… Fast Drawing for Everyone via Google

A more thoughtful take on the issue than most… We Need More Alternatives to Facebook via Technology Review

It’s complicated. Danny Sullivan digs in… A deep look at Google’s biggest-ever search quality crisis via Search Engine Land

You Don’t Get AMP, it’s more than one thing. via 153.io

A unique and useful resource… Global 5000 Database Update — Q1 2017 via theglobal5000.com

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Conference: November 28–29, 2017
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Frank Gilbane’s Gilbane Advisor curates content for content, computing, and digital experience professionals. See previous issuesSubscribe to email or feed. Contact.