Give your chatbot some real personality

Chatbots are all the rage at the moment. These clever computer programs (algorithms, to be more precise) are popping up everywhere online to help you with mundane tasks from getting a weather forecast or currency exchange rate to travel planning to online shopping. Organizations everywhere are experimenting with these useful bits of technology, with varying degrees of success as part of the learning process (remember what happened to Microsoft’s Tay earlier this year?). If you use Siri on your iPhone, Cortana on a Windows 10 device, or say “Okay Google” on your Android device, arguably you’re using a chatbot. For the first two, Apple and Microsoft respectively sometimes describe these tools as “personal digital assistants” (PDA: there’s a déjà vu […]

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Meet the omni-channel experience that is Wimbledon 2016

The Championships, Wimbledon 2016 started yesterday, June 27, and run until July 10. During these two weeks of intense competition, Wimbledon and the competing players will be names and brands in an event that will not only be on television screens large and small across the globe in real time and recorded, but also available and accessible on myriad devices, from smartwatches to big-screen PCs, almost anything that can connect to the global internet any time anywhere. To be sure, there’s a terrific amount of great tennis to interest and captivate tennis fans as the process of elimination in these championships reaches its culmination in the finals on the Centre and No 1 Courts on Sunday July 10. The courts will […]

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The EU referendum was a political gamble that didn’t pay off: what’s next?

It’s been a tumultuous few days since polling stations closed at 10pm on Thursday June 23 and the UK awoke on the morning of Friday June 24 to the news that the result of the national referendum on whether this country would remain a member of the European Union or not turned out to be not. I am very sad at this result – one that took many people by surprise, me included – as I believe that our future is intertwined with that of our European neighbours, individually and collectively; that this is a very good thing; and that being an influential part of the European Union is mutually beneficial and will lead to greater prosperity for all. I’m […]

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A clear case for ‘Remain’ in the EU referendum vote

The simple cartoon above by Will Dawburn sums up many people’s feelings about political campaigning on the EU Referendum that we’ll be voting on in four days’ time, on Thursday June 23. For me, most communication by the Stronger In and Vote Leave campaigns, by other campaigners, by (a biased) mainstream media, by many politicians, by individuals with strong opinions across the social web, has been characterized by ugliness, lack of thought-leadership, relentless doses of FUD, half-arsed publicity stunts, and more, all of which deadens the senses, polarizes opinion and does little to help anyone grasp the issues and significance of them that might offer some insights into arriving at a decision on what to vote for on June 23. […]

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Hyper reality: merging physical and virtual realities

Augmented reality will be a huge part of our individual and collective experiences in the not too distant future. Our daily lives will be like a journey in virtual reality except in actual reality, immersively overlaid with personalized information that we will engage with, where everything we do is part of a giant contest that awards points to reward behaviours and actions. This is a future vision that I think is persuasively presented in a high-definition video (embedded below) that runs a little over six minutes, created by London based designer and film-maker Keiichi Matsuda. It’s a project Matsuda calls Hyper Reality: Hyper-Reality presents a provocative and kaleidoscopic new vision of the future, where physical and virtual realities have merged, […]

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