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I’ve been looking into Electric cars (or Electric Vehicles — EVs — as they are generally known). I’ve been trying to work out if one would work for me, what the costs are and what they’re like to drive.

I’m not interested in the top end — cars like Teslas. I’m interested in rather more run-of-the-mill options — Minis, Kias, Hyundais, VWs, etc. Teslas are great, but they’re too expensive to have an impact on the mass market. I’m interested in how we’re all going to move to EVs, not just those with large disposable incomes. …

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The very first Mac that I used, the original Macintosh 128k, was silent. It was silent because it didn't have a fan and it didn’t have a hard drive. It’s said that Steve Jobs insisted on the absence of both. Without fans and hard drives, the original Mac had no way to make noise. Sadly, the way that technology went for the next 32 years, meant that the Mac — and computers in general — needed fans. I think that Steve Jobs would be proud of my new m1 Macbook Air because, like the Macintosh 128k, it’s blissfully silent due…

Building Virtual Assistants is tough. The work frequently includes some form of AI environment, bespoke servers for custom logic, caching servers and databases that provide dynamic content to your VA, etc. That leads, often, to a development environment that’s quite complex — not something for an iPad, you would think.

But it turns out, that with the help of some very cool apps, an iPad can be a surprisingly effective machine. I’d like to share with you how this seemingly impossible task can be achieved…

As the basis of our VA we can use Rasa, an open source conversational system…

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Back in early March, my team at Humanise.AI were asked to immediately evacuate the co-working space that was our base. There’d been a suspected case of COVID-19 in the building and, at that early stage, nobody was taking any risks. Turfed out onto the streets by our blue-gloved (!) hosts, we were left in a state of confusion. Soon after, the UK entered lockdown and it’s fair to say that, ever since, each week has brought further confusion to our lives.

But it’s time for the confusion to stop. It’s time for us to start to understand what’s happening; what…

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I’ve witnessed and been part of some difficult and stressful conversations over the past week. COVID-19 is dramatically changing our world and we’re all struggling to process what this means.

Workers in many industries are facing an uncertain future. Those working in or dependent upon airlines, hospitality, restaurants, travel, entertainment, etc have already seen their customer numbers drop off the edge of a cliff. Those customers probably won’t return for many months and these are not industries that have a large financial cushion. If governments don’t put in place significant safety nets, many businesses will fail and jobs will be…

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Last week the Humanise.AI team made the decision to become home-workers 🏡 for the foreseeable future.

The co-working space that we use had been dramatically shut last week for a suspected COVID-19 🦠 infection, which turned out to be a false-alarm (phew!).

However, that brush with the virus brought it home to us that we don’t need to be in an office and we don’t need to travel on public transport at this time. Of course, there are benefits to sitting together and we love our co-working space — but those benefits aren’t great enough to outweigh the additional risk…

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It’s a question I sometimes get asked. “Why couldn’t I do this on a website?”, “What is it that a conversational system offers, that a website cannot?” I should confess that if you ask this question, it marks you out as an unbeliever.

So this post is dedicated to all those unbelievers. I hope to convert you in the next few minutes.

I have three simple answers (after carefully inserting a pin into the voodoo doll of the unbeliever) that I commonly offer:

  1. 🤩 We can engage, entertain and retain attention in ways that websites do not.
  2. 😎 We can…

A confusing array of deeply technical NLP announcements, coupled with a healthy degree of press hype, make it tough to understand what’s happening. Here, I attempt to make sense of things.

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We’ve seen an exciting array of Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms and technologies announced over the past year – many of which sound incredibly exciting. But should we get excited, or not? This post outlines my findings in a way that, hopefully, anyone can follow. I will try to avoid the intricacies of machine learning models and focus instead on their implications and impact. …

Don’t believe anyone who tells you that chatbots are all about customer service — they can be surprisingly good at sales.

The prevailing opinion seems to be that the purpose of Conversational Systems (chatbots) is in customer support. But that conventional wisdom might be wrong.

Most (every?) business is driven by sales. Sales is what keeps the lights on. It’s what ensures there’s money to pay employees. Without sales, few businesses (except maybe those funded by Softbank) can survive. Not surprisingly, many businesses have a high degree of focus on sales.

So when our client said to us “our boss…

We’re on the “slope of enlightenment” of the hype cycle and 2020 is shaping up to be an interesting year.

Photo by Evie S. on Unsplash

As the founder of a Chat technology company, I’ve been in the lucky position to experience first hand the ups, downs and shifts happening around Conversational Systems. For us at Humanise.AI, we closed 2019 by selling £1.5m of accommodation reservations though a chatbot in the space of just a month. It feels that both ourselves, and others, are cracking the “what’s the business value of this stuff” question. …

Duncan Anderson

Eclectic tastes, amateur at most things. Learning how to build a new startup. Former CTO for IBM Watson Europe.

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