Telefonica's chairman Alvarez-Pallete speaks at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

AI innovation at MWC

While the revival of the Nokia 3310 caused a huge buzz at Mobile World Congress, many companies exhibiting used MWC as an opportunity to launch their latest ventures into artificial intelligence. We’ve rounded up the top developments so you can stay in the loop.

Answering to Alexa

Japan’s largest messaging platform, Line, have launched their AI platform. At the heart is ‘Clova’, which is set to rival the likes of Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. Unlike Alexa, Line is designed with the Asian markets at its heart. It’s expected to launch in the next few months, but only time will tell how it will impact against other major platforms.

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-07-25-05Meanwhile, Google rolled out Google Assistant to Nougat and Marshmallow operating systems in the US, English speakers in Australia, Canada and the UK, as well as German speakers in Germany. It means users can access their devices with a verbal ‘OK, Google’ to take photos, browse through apps and get directions.

Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, CEO at Telefónica explained on the main stage why their AI assistant, Aura is “more than” an assistant because of the control that customer will have over the platform.

These developments seem to support the views of  IBM fellow and CTO, Rob High who told TechCrunch: ‘Everybody and their mother is out to create their own specialized voice-activated devices’

Better customer experience 

Nexshop Training, from Samsung SDS is an AI-powered virtual assistant that will teach retail workers how to manage customers and their space. It will help staff learn more about products (for example, ‘what are the features on XYZ’.)

Aside from the training, there’s also a marketing system and a sales assistance system. It was developed to generate marketing strategy by observing customers in stores, while the sales assistance is meant to make inventory management and logistics easier so retailors have a deeper insight into their historical transactional data.

Training the next generation

It’s been a long time coming (since December 2015), but the UK government launched their Digital Strategy plan during MWC. They’re undertaking a major review of how AI affects the UK economy, led by computer scientist Dame Wendy Hall and Jerome Persenti, CEO of BenevolentAI. They also announced a £17.3 million commitment to fund research into robotics and AI at UK universities.

Planes, trains and automobiles 

Robocar is a self-driving electric AI car. The developers feed data into a platform capable of 24 trillion AI operations per second and the cars can exceed 320KPH!

Ford unveiled their latest concept; an electric self-driving delivery van that can launch a fleet of drones to pick up and drop off packages in hard-to-reach places. This comes off the back of Ford’s acquisition of the driving start-up, Argo AI for $1 billion.

If you’re interested in driverless cars, learn about what they can teach marketers in a piece written by LoopMe CEO, Stephen Upstone and published in Digital Marketing Magazine.

Why-not AI:

The Olay Skin Advisor uses AI to deliver a smart skin analysis and personalized product recommendations, apparently ‘taking the mystery out of shopping for skincare products’.

 


 

Interested in staying up to date with the latest AI news? Our newsletter rounds up AI developments from all industries. Sign up here.