Apple acquires smartphone app company

In a move said to boost its Siri app, Apple has acquired machine learning startup Laserlike. Laserlike had built a smartphone app, now no longer available in Google and Apple’s mobile app stores, that let users follow topics in which they were interested, such as news, music and sports. The team from Laserlike has joined Apple’s new artificial intelligence group headed by Senior Vice President John Giannandrea.

Link: The Information

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Microsoft acquires AI chatbot experts XOXCO

Microsoft has acquired XOXCO, a software product design and development studio known for its conversational AI and bot development tools Howdy and Botkit. XOXCO will be absorbed ty the Microsoft Bot Framework, which Microsoft says will help democratize AI development, integrating conversational experiences where people communicate. The Microsoft Bot Framework, available as a service in Azure and on GitHub, supports over 360,000 developers today.

From the release: “Our goal is to make AI accessible and valuable to every individual and organization, amplifying human ingenuity with intelligent technology,” wrote  Microsoft’s Lili Cheng, Corporate Vice President, Conversational AI on the company blog. “To do this, Microsoft is infusing intelligence across all its products and services to extend individuals’ and organizations’ capabilities and make them more productive, providing a powerful platform of AI services and tools that makes innovation by developers and partners faster and more accessible, and helping transform business by enabling breakthroughs to current approaches and entirely new scenarios that leverage the power of intelligent technology.”

Link: Microsoft Blogs

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Appier releases AIQUA, an AI-enabled personalization tool

Appier has launched AIQUA, a personalization tool that uses AI to help serve content to the customer ready to buy. AIQUA allows enterprises to take the customer data they already have, matching it with the behavior and interests of audiences gathered outside owned channels. Using this new combined source of information on the customer, AIQUA data helps the marketer personalize communications accordingly via web and app push notifications, SMS and messaging platforms.

From the release: “During our interactions with our many clients around the region, it became clear to us that there’s immense room for improvement when it comes to engagement and personalization,” said Chih-Han Yu, Appier’s CEO and founder. “We’re excited to introduce a solution that addresses these gaps by drawing on the power of AI.”

Link: Marketing Tech News

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Flytxt updates NEON-dX analytics dashboard platform with AI

Analytics dashboard NEON-dX has been updated with artificial intelligence tools. The platform now has an added feature, Robo-X, which utilises AI and machine learning to support marketing professionals in a range of tasks, including campaign construction and automation, performance guidance and personalization. Robo-X is available as an add-on module to the company’s market-leading, flagship product NEON-dX, an analytics and dashboard for omni-channel engagement.

From the release: “Robo-X is one example of how society is witnessing the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The powerful amalgamation of technologies, such as Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, is influencing so many aspects of our lives, both personally and professionally,” said Dr. Vinod Vasudevan, CEO of Flytxt. “Robo-X is an AI that can take marketing decisions on its own. As an intelligent companion for marketers, it will act as a force multiplier, increasing uplifts in revenue through campaigns run on NEON-dX.”

Link: Arabian Industry

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Microsoft acquires Semantic Machines to boost AI-enabled Cortana, Azure Bot Service

Microsoft has announced it will acquire Semantic Machines, a Berkeley, California-based firm that has a new approach to building conversational AI. Microsoft’s acquisition will boost the company’s Cortana digital assistant, as well as the company’s Azure Bot Service that’s used by 300,000 developers.  Microsoft will also leverage the acquisition to establish a conversational AI center of excellence in Berkeley to push forward the boundaries of what is possible in language interfaces.

From the release: “With the acquisition of Semantic Machines, we will establish a conversational AI center of excellence in Berkeley to push forward the boundaries of what is possible in language interfaces. Combining Semantic Machines’ technology with Microsoft’s own AI advances, we aim to deliver powerful, natural and more productive user experiences that will take conversational computing to a new level. We’re excited to bring the Semantic Machines team and their technology to Microsoft,” wrote David Ku, CVP and Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft AI & Research, on the Official Microsoft Blog.

Link: Official Microsoft Blog

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Cisco intends to acquire Accompany

Technology company Cisco recently announced its intent to acquire Accompany, an AI-driven relationship intelligence platform, for $270 million in cash and assumed equity awards. With Accompany, Cisco will be able to improve its collaboration and customer experiences for successful sales to new prospects and stronger relationships with existing clients.

From the release: “Amy has proven to be an effective and innovative leader through her years as an entrepreneur, an engineer, and CEO, and I couldn’t be more pleased to have her and the Accompany team join Cisco,” said Chuck Robbins, Cisco chairman and CEO. “Together, we have a tremendous opportunity to further enhance AI and machine learning capabilities in our collaboration portfolio and continue to create amazing collaboration experiences for customers.”

Link: Cisco

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Continue Reading uses AI to set up account-based marketing tools has updated its relationship intelligence platform with an account-based sales solution that can start without any configuration.’s account-based relationship intelligence creates and manages lists that dynamically reflect target accounts. then enables sales to target accounts through automated contact tracking, rich sales insights, simplified follow-up, and smart templates, as well as insightful relationship analytics. The platform works within existing email and CRM tools that sales reps are already using including Gmail, Outlook, Salesforce, SalesLoft, and Outreach.

Link: newsroom

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Robin is the new AI-enabled sales assistant from SalesHero

Robin is an AI-enabled sales enablement tool created to automate the menial tasks of sales. Robin is powered by a scalable distributed event processing system designed to easily handle trillions of records in a highly secured environment. SalesHero uses standard Salesforce APIs to map data and does not require any installation or download. Users only need to connect their company email and Salesforce account. SalesHero seamlessly integrates with all other products in the ecosystem.

From the release: “As personal household AI assistants become the de facto, we believe that business AI assistants will grow in tandem,” said Stefan Groschupf, founder and CEO of SalesHero. “In less than 10 years all information workers will have a personal AI business assistant with SalesHero chief among them.”

Link: Martech Series

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Kahuna launches its first Cloud Service for Marketplaces

Kahuna, the AI-driven marketing automation service, is branching out from a focus on mobile buyer insights. Kahuna’s new Cloud for Marketplaces optimizes the content and timing of messages so that the content resonates with the buyer and seller.

From the release: “Today the most modern form of commerce is not manufacturer or warehouse to consumer but rather, millions of sellers to millions of buyers, represented by marketplaces in almost every category, amounting to more than $500 billion in commerce,” Sameer Patel, Chief Executive Officer of Kahuna, said in the release. “Kahuna has built a modern operating system for this underserved but fastest growing segment of e-commerce by providing technology to connect the right sellers with the right buyers and to get the flywheel constantly moving to generate liquidity. No other platform is intently focused on serving this market.”

Link: MarTech Today

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