Technology is a big theme in this week’s digest, with stories on everything from chatbots and mixed reality, to AI-powered news stories and new live video features.
Microsoft invests in mixed reality
We hear a lot about virtual and augmented realities, but mixed reality isn’t so well-known. It’s like virtual and augmented reality’s cousin, taking the best of both worlds and fusing them together.
And now Microsoft is making mixed reality a priority, with Sharepoint Spaces. Users will be able to see your work in an immersive environment, visualising and interacting with data and objects in real-time. The idea being that this isn’t just a more engaging way to go about your work, but also allows you a deeper understanding of it.
We’re excited to see how people use it – check out the video below for a quick introduction.
Journalists join forces with robots
The Press Association (PA) has allowed newspapers and publishers access to templates for local news stories that have been co-written by AI and journalists.
The company is working with Urbs Media on a three-month trial of the scheme – known as RADAR (Reporters and Data and Robots) which is designed to take some of the work out of news reports. They’ll do that by creating pre-written templates for stories, which can then be amended and tailored by the local press.
It certainly sounds efficient – but we wonder whether this will do anything to reassure those who are worried about the ‘robots taking over’. Time will tell!
Facebook announces ‘new’ video features
Not content with just ripping off Snapchat’s greatest innovations, it looks like Facebook will be heavily borrowing from YouTube, as well.
This week the social media giant announced new features that will allow users to enhance their live videos with interactive elements like polls and quizzes. It’s not far at all from features YouTube rolled out back in November, when it revealed its Community tab.
Whether it will be enough to entice users away from YouTube and onto Facebook remains to be seen – but it seems like Facebook will take ‘inspiration’ from anyone if it keeps them in favour with their users.
Which industry is investing in chatbots?
With so much potential to offer, it’s no wonder some sectors are getting a bit excited about chatbots. From fashion to fast food, the technology offers an engaging way for customers to interact with brands – something we’ve learned through our chatbot experiments here at Redweb.
It may be surprising then, that it’s actually the insurance industry that’s investing the most heavily in AI – outspending 12 other industries by quite a way. Who knew?
On reflection however, it makes perfect sense. AI-powered chatbots can offer customers 24/7 service and provide quick answers to typical questions in a brand’s voice. That means greater customer satisfaction and reduced load on call centres – what’s not to love?
That’s all for this week – leave us a comment if we missed anything. We’ll be back next week with another collection of content news and stories.