March 2020 round-up

At the beginning of the month, I wrote in my journal that March would be a month in two halves. And it was. But not at all as I had imagined it would be. To be fair, my months rarely pan out as planned. But, boy, has this month been unexpected?!   The first half … Continue reading March 2020 round-up

Role of robot appearance vs behaviour on users’ perception

Robots are increasingly playing a role in customer service – be it taking orders in restaurants, providing information in banks, or delivering items in hotels. For the investment in customer service robots to be worthwhile, though, customers need to enjoy interacting with them, and they need to trust them. A robot’s appearance has a key … Continue reading Role of robot appearance vs behaviour on users’ perception

New paper: How AI can destroy business value

As we enter the fourth industrial revolution, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies are being used to automate business processes in more and more areas, from calculating optimal transport loads to shortlisting loan applicants without human input. These technologies promise to create business value, for instance, by improving productivity and reducing mistakes. However, … Continue reading New paper: How AI can destroy business value

[Miscellany] Automated news, Deepfake Christmas video, and Innocent newsletter

Automated news It has emerged that, last week, the BBC used computers to compose nearly 700 news articles relating to the election’s results. The news corporation is describing it as "machine-generated journalism", and justifying it as thus: "Using machine assistance, we generated a story for every single constituency that declared last night with the exception … Continue reading [Miscellany] Automated news, Deepfake Christmas video, and Innocent newsletter

What it feels like when the computer knows more than you

I have been thinking and talking about artificial intelligence a lot, this past week. For instance, on Wednesday, I went to the Parliament with two other colleagues from Brunel, to talk about the impact of AI on workers, work and the workplace; and, on Thursday, with those same colleagues, we hosted a workshop to examine … Continue reading What it feels like when the computer knows more than you

The impact of the type of task on AI acceptance and use

Earlier this week, the FT Advisor reported on a study by Openwork, which showed that “despite a surge in robo-solutions in the market consumers still prefer face-to-face advice when it comes to planning their finances”. According to the study, “71 per cent (of respondents) had concerns robo-advice would not be appropriate for their financial needs … Continue reading The impact of the type of task on AI acceptance and use

The customer perspective on AI

There is considerable interest regarding the potential of AI for various customer facing tasks – from market prospecting, to sales and after-sales. But what will customers think of these technologies? Will they be happy that their delivery query is being handled by a chatbot, or that their meal is being delivered by a robot? Jochen … Continue reading The customer perspective on AI

[Miscellany] AI survey, AI summit and AI Workshop

This week, a collection of miscellaneous notes related to Artificial Intelligence.   1. AI survey The Artificial Intelligence Research Centre, at Brunel Business School, is looking at the impact of AI on the nature of work and the relationship between workers and their employers (my branch of work concerns on the consequences of these changes … Continue reading [Miscellany] AI survey, AI summit and AI Workshop

Self-driving cars may disproportionally harm those in minority and in low income groups

Self-driving cars continue to attract the attention of the media, the imagination of pundits and the money of investors and governments alike. For instance, earlier this year, the UK government announced its plan to test self-driving cars on public roads. Self driving cars present various technical challenges, such as how to ensure passenger safety when … Continue reading Self-driving cars may disproportionally harm those in minority and in low income groups

Seeing the smart speaker as a servant vs a master vs a partner – Why it matters

I just came across a very interesting study published in the Journal of Marketing Management, which examined how smart speaker users viewed their devices, and how that related to their experiences of using the device. The study was conducted by Fiona Schweitzer, Russell Belk, Werner Jordan and Melanie Ortner, and its title is “Servant, friend or master? … Continue reading Seeing the smart speaker as a servant vs a master vs a partner – Why it matters