IPsoft has just announced that their creature, Amelia 2.0 got another step closer to passing the Turing test. But what is Ipsoft? Who is Amelia? What is the Turing test?
All the enthusiastics are surely familiar with these; however for non-expert readers let’s start from the beginning.
Ipsoft is an IT sercives company, established in 1998 by Chetan Dube. It offers solutions to enterprise customers for outsourcing global Internet operations. They focus on four fields of services: Big Data analytics, cloud services, automatic IT services and Amelia. It has a worldwide network of data centres and network operations centres located in North America, Europe and India.
Their project, Amelia is a cognitive knowledge worker, interfaces on human terms. She is a virtual agent who understands what people ask – even what they feel – when they call for service. Using the same instruction manuals as, for example, call centre operators, Amelia can be deployed straight from the cloud in a fraction of the time. She learns as she works and provides high-quality responses consistently, every day of the year, in every language your customers speak.
The first release of Amelia was in 2014, now the newest version has really good result in passing the Turing test.
The Turing test is named after Alan Turing, who was a famous mathematician in the 20th century. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer.
The Turing test is about to distinguish the machine from another human being. The person, who judges, asks questions through a screen and a keyboard for the two test subjects. None sees and hears each other. One of the test subjects is a human, another is machine, but both of them try to convince the asker that they are humans. It the asker cannot decide after five minutes that which one is human and which one is the machine, then the machine passed the test.
In this October Amelia graduated to version 2.0, bringing the technology another step closer to passing the Turing test, according to IPsoft. Her physical appearance and expressiveness have been transformed to create a more human-like avatar for deeper customer engagement. The developments are that she gained maturity and core understanding capabilities, thereby broadening the range of roles it can assume. Amelia 2.0 has new advances in comprehension and emotional engagement through improvements to memory, contextual comprehension and emotional responsiveness. Her memory functions as the human memory, for instance, she can have more natural conversations. Amelia 2.0 has richer mood and personality attributes, enabling her to personalize the customer service she provides. What is more she has a lot of architectural change, the entire backbone has been rewritten so that the technology can scale seamlessly and remain resilient throughout extreme peaks in volume.
According to IPsoft, she speaks 20 languages and has an emotional quotient. Also new is that the technology can interpret the user’s facial expressions as conveyed by a camera and generate appropriate ones in return.
To sum it up the biggest development in version 2.0 is what is called semantic understanding, however, tools like Amelia are becoming cognitive-like, but they still can’t pass a Turing test.
Other virtual assistant such as Siri and Cortana and Amelia 1.0 did not pass the test. Amelia 2.0’s first performance is going to be on this week at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando. We will see if she passes or not.
I believe that artificial intelligence is not going to beat the human intelligence. I think our feelings and developed emotional intelligence is always going to differentiate ourselves to machines and to animals. Maybe a computer can make better decisions because they decides everything on facts, but there are many situations that our human attributes are needed to make the right decisions.
Nowadays one of the most emerging fields of studies is neuromarketing. The Japanese clothing retailer, Uniqulo just set up its unique system to get to know what is inside of the customers’ brain in Australia. They use brain waves to match customers with the right T-shirts.
Uniqulo is a well-known Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer. It was established in 1974 by Ube Yamaguchi. Uniqulo currently has over 1,400 stores in 16 markets worldwide, the first shop was opened in April 2014 in Australia. Uniqulo was always at the forefront of research and innovation. For example in 2007 they had a project called “UT Project” it was a futuristic convenience store for T-shirts, Each T-shirt style is displayed on forms in stainless steel display cases, with individual T-shirts packaged in clear plastic canisters resembling tennis ball cans. The aim was to provide a virtually self-service shopping experience.
What is neuromarketing?
Nowadays one of the most emerging field of studies is neuromarketing. It is a field of marketing research that studies consumers’ sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli. Researchers use technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain, electroencephalography (EEG) and Steady state topography (SST) to measure activity in specific regional spectra of the brain response, or sensors to measure changes in one’s physiological state, also known as biometrics, including heart rate and respiratory rate, galvanic skin response to learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and which brain areas are responsible
The new shopping experience
On 7 October 2015 Uniqulo released the UMood, which is a system to match the right t-shirt to a person based on a brain-wave analysis. With this application the marketers could get inside of the customers brain and they can make the product better and more attractive as the consumer wants. What is more it also helps to customers to choose the perfect item, so we can ignore our friends opinion and just concentrating on our decision.
It works by us ing a headset which is designed by a Japanese neuro science company, Dentsu Science Jam. The headset is an electroencephalography (EEG) device. This device is often used in the medical field but for instance it can be useful for gaming and assisting the disabled. After the headset is personalized for the customer, he/she is then shown a sequence of images on a large screen, such as rippling waves, a dog, someone blowing confetti or anything else, and the headset records brain waves 20 times a second. Then the record is analyses by an algorithm, and gives usable and practical information for marketing experts.
The signal of the brain has five different elements: interest, like, stress, concentration and drowsiness. According to this observation Uniqulo great selection of T-shirts, which have been subjected to surveys that were used to determine a sort of average mood that people felt when looking at one. After the algorithm has determined the person’s mood, the appropriate t-shirt is shown. Hopefully the customer is also going to be satisfied with the choice.
Of cousre, customers can cheat on the system with gimmicks. This is a very initial version and its aim is to make the shopping experience fun. However, I think it has a great potential for marketing managers to get to know their customers and also good for customers because the choice is getting bigger and bigger and it is really hard to find the best one for us. Unfortunately this application does not help us to find clothes which fit to our body shape as well. But I think it is a small step to get to know ourselves too. In my opinion this application is more for marketing researches and campaigns.
UMood will move to various Uniqlo stores in Australia over the next three weeks.
- Susan Blackmore:Evolution and Memes: The human brain as a selective imitation device,This article originally appeared in Cybernetics and Systems, Vol 32:1, 225-255, 2001, Taylor and Francis, Philadelphia, PA. Reproduced with permission. http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/Articles/cas01.html
Our topic of the technology of the week is in connection with information goods, we chose two knowledge-sharing website for comparison, Wikipedia and Quora. Firstly we explained what the information goods are then we introduced the two companies, we made a SWOT analysis and finally we predicted the possible future strategies of them.
As Varian and Hutter say, information goods include anything that can be digitized that is answering to consumer needs concerning telecommunication services, entertainment, education, and other forms of information. Due to low reproduction costs of today’s information goods, ‘access’ becomes more and more important than ‘property’. This explains why nowadays, many information goods are (partly) produced by the consumer himself.
Wikipedia is well-known website by everybody, used day by day, if someone is looking for information in Google the first results are the Wikipedia sites. It was founded by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in January 2001. Wikipedia is financed through its parent organization, the Wikimedia Foundation. This organization is a non-profit organization that collects donations at its annual fundraiser and through individual donations in order to provide Wikipedia.
Quora is question-and-answer (Q&A) website; it was founded in June 2009 by Adam D’Angelo. Users can ask personalized questions and these are answered by registered users. The answers can be evaluated by the upvoting system. It is a for-profit company, however, not making any revenues at the moment. Due to angel and venture capital investments, Quora is in a position to focus all its efforts on smooth operations, as well as its growth and its user base.
We compare the two website trough SWOT analysis.
They have similar strengths: both webpage are free to use, free from advertisements and protect their users by anonymity. However, Wikipedia builds its business on the neutral and objective articles. These are constantly updated and opened for everyone for editing. One of Wikipedia’s biggest advantages is that it is multilingual. While Quora’s main strength is that the questions and answers are personalized and the answers are evaluated by users.
However the main disadvantage of these sites, that they are not recognized as reliable sources. More, sometimes Wikipedia contains false information and the editing takes long time and done by amateurs. Quora’s disadvantage is that it is available only in English and not every question has answer.
There are many opportunities in front of these companies. The more population has Internet access in the future; Internet is going to be available on more electric devices. People are interested in lifelong learning and these sites encourage them for critical thinking. More, Quora has big potential in access its website in more languages.
The biggest threats are the cyberattacks for these websites and the dependence on Internet.
In the future they develop in different directions. Quora has a big potential to grow, however it is not going to be as big as Wikipedia. The financials are going to be the same, as well as the marketing actions.(no marketing). Quora has more potential in itself, because it was funded later, however Wikipedia can develop too, by introducing sharing articles on social media websites.
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