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Archive for the ‘Innovations’ Category

Artificial intelligence gives us more and more opportunities every day. Chatbots and their developing for client-communication are the hottest topics today. Many experts say that chatbots are the future. Let’s get a short review.
 
Who are they?

Chatbots are essentially programs pretending to be people that you can interact with through text or even voice. They are closely connected with a wide messenger’s distribution and I believe everyone has been already acquainted with them. It’s obvious that chat- bots’ popularity is starting to take off.
 
How can they enhance e-commerce?

1. First of all chat bot doesn’t get tired, being late or absent – it assists your clients 24/7 365 days per year and get significant workload on its shoulders. That is why they seem to be the best answer for e-commerce business owners to manage thousands of one-to-one conversations with customers.

2. The second point is that chat bots can understand natural language and communicate with people in the same manner making conversations realistic and trustworthy. So chat bots give online shop owners an opportunity to provide pleasant shopping experience for customers.

3. Chatbots are proactive. They can understand what the particular customer wants not only through a simple conversation, but also through analysis and collecting of personal and profile page data ( smartphone data, cookies and so on). All this information might help to improve the marketing strategy and provide customers with the best user experience.

4. Additionally, chatbots simply save customers’ time. You don’t need to waste time for searching the appropriate item, click on mass of characteristics, study a market and etc. You can simply say : Hey, I want to buy an efficient computer for my child. Bot does it for you with a great pleasure and at a quick pace.

5. Finally, all this points give more advantages for businesses: services become much more better and faster, the conversion becomes higher, sales increase, operational costs and salary charges reduce.

 

 
Fresh examples of using

The most outstanding example is already occurring in China, where consumers are using WeChat to fulfill their daily living and commerce needs. Soon, this system will gain prominence in the United States.

Further more brands like Walmart and Hyatt are testing customer service and shopping within apps on the new Facebook Messenger for Business App. A free messaging app, called Kik, has a bot shop for companies such as Sephora, Vine, and H&M. So it can be said that the part of the technology is already there.

Amazon’s voice bot messaging has brought the idea of personal assistant to the next level. Customers can talk to the bot and ask it to order items through Amazon Prime, get a pizza, purchase flowers and call for an Uber. Voice commands are making shopping easier than ever, but there are still many issues to work out.

 

 
What’s Coming in the Future?

Voice-based AI and mobile chatbots are the dominant trend right now, but it’s not crazy to think that this could evolve into something more personal and user-based. E-commerce data is there to help you segment and automate email messaging to certain customers, so it’s not silly to assume that this data will eventually merge with bots.

Imagine a personalized bot that talks to you, and only you, when you shop on the Target website. They’d know the last items you bought, deliver the most relevant products and even stock your shopping cart with suggestions. The days of taking hours to shop online will soon knock the pad. In the near future, all the work will be done for you.

Are you ready for this?
 

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Kate Kviatkovskaya

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The demand for healthcare services is growing at rapid pace due to constantly increasing number of people with chronic diseases. These days approximately every one of two individuals has one or more chronic diseases, and one of four has two or more chronic conditions. At the same time, there are more medical information today about different diseases and their treatment options than ever before.
 

According to IBM, healthcare data doubles every 2 years. It is also calculated that doctors would have to read 29 hours each workday to keep up with new professional insights. Obviously while dealing with this huge information flow, doctors don’t have enough capacities to decide how appropriate an option might be for a specific patient.

Additionally, the most expensive part of healthcare is the human resources, which adds to the supply-and-demand issues. I guess no one will doubt the fact that professional healthcare is costly.

These insights bring up several questions. How can we benefit from explosion of information in healthcare industry? Is it possible to cut the costs for people who seek healthcare treatment without sacrificing the quality of such services? Or even improving it? How do we find a balance after all?

The answer lies in two words: cognitive computing. It is a system that can handle massive amounts of unstructured data to enable a new class of data interpretation and learning systems. Cognitive systems process information by comparing it to a teaching set of data. So that the more data such a system can analyze, the more it learns, and therefore the more accurate it becomes with the course of time. To mimic the way the human brain works cognitive systems use data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing.

The main advantage of these machine-learning systems is their ability to find patterns in datasets too large and complex for human brains to embrace. For doctors this means assistance of paramount importance in keeping track of records and making accurate clinical decisions. IDC predicts that by 2018 somewhat 30 percent of healthcare systems will be running cognitive analytics against patient data and real-world evidence to personalize treatment regiments. What’s more, IDC projects that during the same year physicians will tap cognitive solutions for nearly half of cancer patients and, as a result, will reduce costs and mortality rates by 10 percent.

For patients the ability of cognitive computing to act as an advisor and give an additional opinion allows an extra level of assurance in the service provided by the healthcare sector. Eventually the patients will have more confidence in the service they are receiving. Besides, involving cognitive computing into healthcare means availability of remote check-ups, including areas with relatively little healthcare provision. It is predicted that in the U.S., for example, in the nearest future 40% of primary care encounters will be delivered virtually, which will be possible thanks to cognitive systems.

Summing up, cognitive computing can help:

  • Healthcare specialists to manage all the data that is available to make more precise conclusions over the patients’ conditions
  • Patients by advising, and providing answers to the questions they have
  • Decrease costs for healthcare services

As data becomes more complex and diversified, cognitive computing will have an incredible impact on the healthcare industry.

In conclusion, let me give you one single real-life example. Watson (famous IBM cognitive system used to diagnose patients) was able to determine a rare form of leukemia in an old woman, while oncologists at the University of Tokyo had puzzled for about a year over her illness. After analyzing 20 million research papers Watson came up with the proper diagnosis. It took the system no more than ten minutes. Impressive, isn’t it?

 

alexandra-presniatsova

Alexandra Presniatsova

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Technological progress doesn’t stand still and products like Google Home and Amazon Alexa have already made a splash this year and will continue to grow next year. GSV Asset Management VP Li Jiang made a list of the more nascent and emerging products. Li points out that majority of projects are connected with robotics, alternative energy resources and augmented reality. So let’s see what new products the world’s expecting in the upcoming year.
 
10. Snap Spectacles

The Snap Spectacles allow you to move around, make videos from your perspective and stream them to Snapchat. Such spectacles are already available in California and in 2017 will get a much broader expansion.

 
9. Starship Technologies

Little delivery robots are believed to revolutionize the whole delivery processes. In late 2016 first robots appeared in Washington D.C. and Redwood City, CA and have already rolled around 11,600 miles and made 1.8 million people happy.

 
8. Electron (Rocket Lab)

Electron, Rocket Lab’s latest launch vehicle is going to deliver small satellites to low Earth orbit at an unprecedented frequency and at a dramatically decreased price. The company unveils its product as having revolutionary design, plug-in payload, carbon composite materials, avionics and has an ambitious goal of launching more than 100 rockets a year.

 
7. Zipline

Zip is a small robot airplane designed for delivering important lifesaving medicine. At present they are working in Rwanda and other markets to drop medical supplies and expected to go worldwide.

 
6. Remedy

Meet Remy, the world’s smartest medical AI. Remy works alongside your personal doctor and, using data from numerous other cases and its AI engine, can treat 70% of cases remotely and quickly find additional help for you as needed.

 
5. Tesla Solar

Tesla is making cost-effective roofs serving for saving solar energy for domestic use and as a backup energy source. The new lineup includes attractive roofing tiles that contain solar cells inside. Integrating solar cells inside roofing materials is a natural way to accelerate solar adoption.

 
4. Anki Cozmo

Cozmo is a miniature robot on tracks which is believed to become a part of your family. Endowed with AI, it has a talent to recognize people, remember their faces, change expressions on its ‘face’ and communicate with people. Cozmo is managed through an iOS or Android mobile app. It’s already launched on the market, but a bigger roll out is expected for 2017.

 
3. Octane AI

Octie is a real breakthough in the entire chatbot industry. Octane AI lets your business create a basic chatbot that will showcase products and answer customer service questions. Octie is easily customized, integrates with all possible social networks and makes real-time analytics. Real profit for business owners who prefer to focus on bigger strategy work.

 
2. Tesla Model 3

Not all technical characteristics are revealed yet, but Model 3 is expected to be most affordable among Teslas, expected starting is $35,000 before incentives. All Model 3s come with full autopilot hardware and can receive ever improving self-driving software updates over the air, i.e. your Model 3 would be able to get you to the office and back home itself.

 
1. Magic Leap

If Magic Leap releases its product in 2017 and it works the way the teaser videos show, it would be a real Magic Leap forward. For now we can just watch teasers and imagine how such a product will change our lives and attitude to technology.

So my question to the audience is: which one you will buy first?:)

 

Yulia Nenadovich

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The history of filmmaking can be traced back to as early as the 17th century, where magic lanterns were used. Back then, films were all made in shades of black and white only. Also, many of the times, special effects are done manually by workers.

As time progressed, technology improved the quality of films largely, thus producing colored films. However, such improvements do not halt there. Movie makers and producers worked endlessly to create films that leave people in awe. Therefore, the creations of computer-generated imagery, animation and 3D have been invented and improved. Such creations have moved the movie industry one step forward.
 

But now we can observe that the development of modern technology has also allowed producing games that are not inferior to high-budget projects in the movie. According to recent research the market of computer games have outgrown the motion picture industry. West countries were the first whose major entertainment companies have long invested in the development and promotion of games, as well as in movies and TV shows.

Industry and technical components also influenced on the active development of the game. I mean the popularity of mobile devices, which allows you to run games in good quality. The user of such device is more likely to spend free time playing than go to the cinema. What is more the availability of mobile Internet has given the opportunity to play in popular network games and now it has become so popular that even has grown to the size of a single universe. Users spend real money not only to pay for Internet or account in the game, but also for the purchase of virtual items that give them a number of advantages in the game. As a result the amount of money involved in the game world, exceeded box office results of all movies in the cinemas.

Many experts consider that today “lazy” users bring most of the profits to the games. The availability of media products has led to the fact that the consumer is looking for a content that will satisfy his needs in entertainment and communication with people. And as we can see modern games have all these qualities, that’s why they are becoming so popular.

What more psychologists think is that movies do not give such interactivity as it is offered by games. That is why while watching the film people are only able to imagine yourself as a magician or superhero, but in the game they have a unique opportunity to transform, to control their speech and actions.
 

But it’s not so simple as it may seem, as a mass product not always has a high quality, it is more often designed for consumption. As a result new solutions in design or gaming technology are becoming smaller, it leads to mass copying, so in most of the games we can see that only the main characters are changed.

Scientists from the UK tried to find out the average age of players. It turned out that experienced computer gamers are not only teenagers. The statistical average player is an adult, a married man of 35- year old (man and woman). The most common group of people playing online games is office workers – they spend about 12 hours a week on playing.

These results may be useful for producers of video games as an existing stereotype is completely wrong, producing a video game, you must orient on a completely different consumer. Video games don’t have to be something reserved only for children and young people. It’s a big business which must be refocused and produce more games for adults than for minors.

In conclusion we can say that the gaming industry will only grow. Users can choose the platform that suits them. Most of their free time will be spent on playing or “pumping” the character of online games. And as a result the movies will never gain the popularity that they had before.

 

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Kate Kviatkovskaya

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Introducing ASP.NET Core:

ASP.NET Core is a new open-source and cross-platform framework for building modern cloud based internet connected applications, such as web apps, IoT apps and mobile backends. ASP.NET Core apps can run on .NET Core or on the full .NET Framework. It was architected to provide an optimized development framework for apps that are deployed to the cloud or run on-premises. It consists of modular components with minimal overhead, so you retain flexibility while constructing your solutions. You can develop and run your ASP.NET Core apps cross-platform on Windows, Mac and Linux. ASP.NET Core is open source at GitHub.

The framework is a complete rewrite that unites the previously separate ASP.NET MVC and Web API into a single programming model.

Despite being a new framework, built on a new web stack, it does have a high degree of concept compatibility with ASP.NET MVC.

ASP.NET Platform exists for more than 15 years. In addition, at the time of System.Web creation it contained a large amount of code to support backward compatibility with classic ASP. During this time, the platform has accumulated a sufficient amount of code that is simply no longer needed and is deprecated. Microsoft faced a difficult choice: to abandon backward compatibility, or to announce a new platform. They chose the second option. At the same time, they would have to abandon the existing runtime. Microsoft has always been a company focused on creation and launch on Windows. ASP.NET was no exception. Now the situation has changed: Azure and Linux occupied an important place in the company’s strategy.

The ASP.NET Core is poised to replace ASP.NET in its current form. So should you switch to ASP.NET Core now?

ASP.NET Core is not just a new version. It is a completely new platform, the change of epochs. Switching to ASP.NET Core can bring many benefits: compact code, better performance and scalability. But what price will be paid in return, how much code will have to be rewritten?

.NET Core contains many components, which we are used to deal with. Forget System.Web, Web Forms, Transaction Scope, WPF, Win Forms. They no longer exist. For simple ASP.NET MVC-applications changes will be minor and the migration will be simple. For more complex applications, which use a great number of .NET Framework classes and ASP.NET pipeline situation is more complicated. Something may work and something may not. Some part of the code will have to be rewritten from scratch. Additional problems may be caused by WebApi, because ASP.NET MVC subsystems and WebAPI are now combined. Many libraries and nuget-packages are not ready yet. So, some applications simply will not have a chance to migrate until new versions of the libraries appear.

I think we are waiting for the situation similar to the transition from Web Forms to ASP.NET MVC. ASP.NET Framework will be supported for a long time. First, only a small amount of applications will be developed on ASP.NET Core. Their number will increase, but sooner or later everyone will want to move to ASP.NET Core. We still have many applications running on the Web Forms. However, no one comes to mind to develop a new application on the Web Forms now, everybody chooses MVC. Soon the same happens to ASP.NET Framework, and ASP.NET Core. ASP.NET Core offers more opportunities to meet modern design standards.

The following characteristics best define .NET Core:

  • Flexible deployment: Can be included in your app or installed side-by-side user- or machine-wide.
  • Cross-platform: Runs on Windows, macOS and Linux; can be ported to other OSes (Operating Systems). The supported OSes, CPUs and application scenarios will grow over time, provided by Microsoft, other companies, and individuals.Command-line tools: All product scenarios can be exercised at the command-line.
  • Compatible: .NET Core is compatible with .NET Framework, Xamarin and Mono, via the .NET Standard Library.
  • Open source: The .NET Core platform is open source, using MIT and Apache 2 licenses. Documentation is licensed under CC-BY. .NET Core is a .NET Foundation project.
  • Supported by Microsoft: .NET Core is supported by Microsoft, per .NET Core Support.

The Bad:

  • As for the “cons” one of the biggest issues are gaps in the documentation. Fortunately most of the things for creating and API are covered, but when you’re building an MVC app, you might have problems.
  • Next problem – changes. Even if you find a solution to your problem, it could have been written for a previous version and might not work in the current one. Thanks to open source nature of it, there is also support available on github. But you get same problems there (apart from searching).
  • Another thing is lack of support in the tooling. You can forget about NCrunch or R# Test Runner. Both companies say they will get to it when it gets more stable.
  • ASP.NET Core is still too raw. Many basic things, such as the Data Access, is not designed for 100%. There is no guarantee that the code you are using now will work in the release version.

The Good:

  • It’s modular. You can add and remove features as you need them by managing NuGet packages.
  • It’s also much easier and straightforward to set up.
  • WebApi is now part of the MVC, so you can have class UserController, which will return a view, but also provide a JSON API.
  • It’s cross-platform.
  • It’s open-source.

ASP.NET Core is the work on the bugs of the classic ASP.NET MVC, the ability to start with a clean slate. In addition, Microsoft also aims to become as popular as Ruby and NodeJS among younger developers.
NodeJS and ASP.NET have always been rivals: both – a platform for backend. But in fact, between them, of course, there was no struggle. The new generation of developers, the so-called hipster developers, prefer Ruby and Node. The adult generation, people from the corporate environment, are on the side of .NET and Java. .NET Core is clearly trying to be more youthful, fashionable and popular. So, in future we can expect the .NET Core and NodeJS to be in opposition.

In its advertising campaign, Microsoft is betting on unusual positions for it: high performance, scalability, cross-platform. Do you think that ASP.NET “crawls” on the territory of NodeJS? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us.

Thank you in advance!

Ref: MICHAL DYMEL – DEVBLOG

 

Darya Bertosh

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Programming cells may soon become as easy as programming a computer. Just as computer software designers create programming for computers, scientists have created a programming language that allows them to design DNA-encoded circuits that can give new function to living cells.

Using this language, anyone can write a program for the function they want, such as detecting and responding to certain environmental conditions. They can then generate a DNA sequence that will achieve it.

“It is literally a programming language for bacteria,” says Christopher Voigt, an MIT professor of biological engineering. “You use a text-based language, just like you’re programming a computer. Then you take that text and you compile it and it turns it into a DNA sequence that you put into the cell, and the circuit runs inside the cell.”

In the new software — called Cello — a user first specifies the kind of cell they are using and what they want it to do: for example, sense metabolic conditions in the gut and produce a drug in response. They type in commands to explain how these inputs and outputs should be logically connected, using a computing language called Verilog that electrical engineers have long relied on to design silicon circuits. Finally, Cello translates this information to design a DNA sequence that, when put into a cell, will execute the demands.

dna

The good thing about it is that it’s very simple, without many of the intricacies often encountered in programming.

“You could be completely naive as to how any of it works. That’s what’s really different about this,” Voigt says. “You could be a student in high school and go onto the Web-based server and type out the program you want, and it spits back the DNA sequence.”

For now, all these features have been customized for the E. coli bacteria, one of the most common in studies, but researchers are working on expanding the language to other strands of bacteria.

Using this language, they’ve already programmed 60 circuits with different functions, and 45 of them worked correctly the first time they were tested – which is a remarkable achievement. The circuits were also strikingly fast, and the whole process promises to revolutionize DNA engineering. Before, it could take months or years to design such a circuit. Now, it can be done in less than a day.

Dr. Voigt’s team plans to work on several different applications using this approach — bacteria that can be swallowed to aid in digestion of lactose; bacteria that can live on plant roots and produce insecticide if they sense the plant is under attack; and yeast that can be engineered to shut off when they are producing too many toxic byproducts in a fermentation reactor.

What do you think about this rapidly developing revolutionary computer industry? Can it replace drugs and medicine in future? Can it help to cure cancer and AIDS? Will it make a living cell immortal?

Please feel free to share with us your opinion and thoughts here below.

 

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Kate Kviatkovskaya

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altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

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Over the last half century, managers have faced one wave of information technology innovation after another, each promising to change the way companies do business. Sometimes this even happened 🙂
The need for IT innovation leads to an obvious question: How can we encourage IT to be more pro-active in being originators of innovation? After all, for years IT has understood itself as strictly a support function that only responds to the explicit and implicit demands of the business. But there is just too much brain power in our IT organizations for us to ignore its potential larger impact on the business. As IT managers, we have to take steps to make sure we use it for something other than just optimizing database performance and storage capacity planning.

Here are three simple suggestions for stimulating IT people to think more about how they can help your business innovate:

1. Ask for it. Few IT people have any sense that the business is interested in their ideas, despite the fact that they know more about Smartphone apps, social networking, and big data than anyone else at the company. A good first step is to let them know that their ideas would actually be welcome.
2. Recognize it. The first few suggestions you get from your IT staff may not be game-changers. But, it makes sense to encourage more and better thinking about business innovation by recognizing the effort people are making to contribute to the success of the business. Post suggestions to give them visibility and let others add their own comments and criticisms.
3. Reward it. Innovation can have a powerful positive impact on company performance and it makes sense to offer powerful positive incentives for coming up with such innovation. Yes, this can include cash.

Of course, IT people should also be encouraged to be excellent at their primary responsibilities as well. Are you doing anything to stimulate creative thinking about the business in your IT organization?

Best Regards,

Kristina Kozlova

Marketing Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

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www.altabel.com


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