What’s new in tech
Protecting your Facebook data
IBM offers firms their own AI assistant
IBM has unveiled a new service for companies looking to develop their own voice-activated virtual assistants, said James Vincent in TheVerge.com. Watson Assistant allows companies to build unique conversational interfaces into their products and services, bypassing Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. A hotel company, for instance, could build its own AI assistant to “remember a guest’s preferences for air-con,” or a car manufacturer could develop a unique voice-activated dashboard. IBM believes companies will want their own AIs for “branding, personalization, and privacy.” Clients will be able to train their assistants using their own data sets, and to assuage privacy fears, each AI integration will “keep its data to itself.”
Getting more out of LinkedIn
Microsoft is on a mission to get LinkedIn’s 546 million members to use the site more, said Jay Greene in The Wall Street Journal. The software giant paid $27 billion for LinkedIn in 2016, and two years on, the site is still struggling to “prove it is worth it.” Only 18 percent of LinkedIn users engage daily, according to Pew. To get users to log in more frequently, LinkedIn has been revamping the news feed and the messaging service. Over the next few months, it will “roll out a passel of features,” including an “interest panel” on members’ home pages to notify of them of content relevant to their interests. Microsoft is hoping that if users update their job titles, contacts, and achievements more often, it can pump that data into AI offerings, business-software services, and even its Office productivity tools.