Thursday, May 26, 2016
Posted by CAMACOL at 8:42 AM
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
SoftBank's Pepper, MasterCard and Pizza Hut Asia are gunning for so-called "conversational commerce experiences to merchants and consumers." The big picture is about more automation and replacing pricey humans.
MasterCard and SoftBank's Pepper robot are preparing to take Pizza Hut Asia orders to gauge customer interaction and service by the end of the year. Get used to these headlines as automation takes hold and raises questions about the future of human labor.
The collaboration is among the first e-commerce applications for Pepper, which is a humanoid robot. MasterCard has equipped Pepper with MasterPass, a digital payment service. As detailed earlier by Asha Barbaschow, Pizza Hut Asia is the launch partner for the effort, which came from MasterCard Labs in Singapore.
What MasterCard is really gunning for is so-called "conversational commerce experiences to merchants and consumers." Pepper will provide customer service, assess to information and sales pitches. Pizza Hut is piloting the order-taking and engagement with Pepper.
Will Pepper do better than humans, especially those younger ones that text more than talk? Perhaps.
More on Pepper: Google I/O: SoftBank, maker of AI Pepper robot, has news for U.S. developers | IBM bringing Watson's brainpower to SoftBank's Pepper robot | Brisk sales for Pepper, but Romeo is primed to be the first hit humanoid | Emotional robot Pepper goes on sale, first run sells out
The Pizza Hut Asia effort is notable in the U.S. given that an increase in the minimum wage is likely to speed up a move toward more automation. Another must read on the labor vs. automation topic is HfS Research's Phil Fersht weekend rant on the subject. He wrote:
It suddenly dawned on me what the core issue is with the future of the workplace: the simple fact that company leaders and their stakeholders started viewing employees as walking costs at some stage over the last 30 years, and have devoted a huge amount of focus and energy trying to figure out how to remove as many of them from their business as possible... without it impacting the top line.
Surely, people, human labor should be viewed as a valuable commodity that adds value to a business, not some burden on the profit margin that needs to be eliminated at all costs? So what's really gone amiss here?
Fersht makes valid points that people are performing tasks that don't align with business value. Part of the blame falls on employees as well as companies. But from a CXO standpoint, one of the core goals is to nurture what Gartner dubs a digital workforce. You'll be all about your algorithms. How much can digital replace these walking costs called humans?
Pepper will be able to engage as a consumer greets the robots and taps MasterPass or scans a QR code held by the robot. From there, Pepper will assist consumers with recommendations, information and checking out. Pepper will initiate, approve and complete transactions. Assuming the NFC works, Pepper will be as good as a human and may even leave some of the attitude at home on a bad day.
MasterCard in a statement noted that the Pepper move isn't about replacing humans. A spokesman said:
We think that applications like these will vastly improve the quality of customer service and care. Self-service kiosks and ATMs have existed in the retail environment for years and customer frustration with these often non-intuitive user experiences is well known. Automated ordering is especially prevalent in Asia and with Pepper and digital payment applications like MasterPass, retailers can now bring more intelligence to what was previously reactive machines and provide better consumer experience. We see robots complementing services provided by people.
Restaurant businesses these days have become a blend of high-touch and high-tech experiences. The need to deliver personalized experiences is higher than ever before and the focus on ensuring customer experience remains competitive.
Core to Pizza Hut's digital transformation journey is the ability to make it easier for customers to engage, connect and transact with Pizza Hut. With an order-and payment-enabled Pepper, customers can now come to expect personalized ordering at our stores, reduce wait time for carryout, and have a fun frictionless user experience.
Agreed. There's no need to portray the Pepper and Pizza Hut Asia collaboration as anything more than a robotic commerce experiment. In addition, Japan's aging population will demand more robotic help.
But for us humans -- aka "walking costs" -- you can see where the labor ball is bouncing in a few years.
Posted by CAMACOL at 11:31 AM
Monday, May 23, 2016
Posted by CAMACOL at 7:41 AM
Friday, May 20, 2016
Si, así es, a veces hay personas que hablan más que "un perdido cuando lo encuentran" y por tanto se apoderan tanto de la palabra que los oyentes dejan de serlo y se mantienen en silencio para luego dispersarse huyendo de la “cháchara” de esos insoportables conversadores.
Y es que pocas cosas hay más fastidiosa que las que se sufren en un “diálogo”, si es que así se le pudiese llamar al cuasi monologo de un parlanchín, quien no para de hablar y de sentar cátedra en la conversación, olvidándose que ella es de dos, tres, o quizás más participantes, y no de uno solamente, el que casi no respira por seguir en su permanente diatriba.
“En boca cerrada no entran moscas” y por ello, ojalá este aserto, lo aplicaran aquellos para los que les es más que difícil permanecer en silencio y así tener la capacidad y la delicadeza de escuchar la opinión de los demás pues, como dice un famoso poema, “ellos también tienen algo que agregar”.
Video Coach #12 "Filtrando las opiniones de los demás"
Posted by CAMACOL at 10:28 AM
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Uber has finally confirmed testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, PA, according to a report out of the Pittsburgh Tribune.
Though we’ve known about Uber’s autonomous vehicle ambitions, especially considering the opening of its Pittsburgh-based Advanced Technology Center more than a year ago, this is the first time the company has publicly admitted testing these vehicles.
In fact, Uber’s John Bares took a Tribune-Review reporter on a ride in one of the company’s Ford Fusion hybrids, which reportedly drove itself for some portions of the trip.
The company also wrote a blog post about it.
Bares said that Pittsburgh provides a perfect testing ground for Uber’s autonomous vehicles because of its snowy and rainy weather, narrow and hilly streets, and outdated infrastructure.
Essentially, if Uber can do it there, they can do it anywhere.
Through a combination of multiple cameras, lasers and sensors, Uber’s self-driving cars can see as far as 100 meters in any direction. Thus far, there have been no crashes with regular cars, according to the company.
Uber is one of a handful of companies, including Google, Lyft, Volvo and Ford, that has joined the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, lobbying to the government to rapidly draft legislation for autonomous vehicle penetration while keeping safety top of mind.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said it could have legislation for self-driving cars ready as early as July.
That said, Uber is a relatively new entrant to the space when you remember that Google has been testing its self-driving cars on California streets since 2009.
Bares confirmed that the technology showed off on Wednesday was at an early stage, so don’t expect a driverless Uber to pick you up any time soon.
Posted by CAMACOL at 10:32 AM