Artificial Intelligence: American Attitudes and Trends

N/A | January 23, 2019

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Advances in artificial intelligence (AI)1 could impact nearly all aspects of society: the labor market, transportation, healthcare, education, and national security. AI’s effects may be profoundly positive, but the technology entails risks and disruptions that warrant attention. While technologists and policymakers have begun to discuss AI and applications of machine learning more frequently, public opinion has not shaped much of these conversations. In the U.S., public sentiments have shaped many policy debates, including those about immigration, free trade, international conflicts, and climate change mitigation. As in these other policy domains, we expect the public to become more influential over time. It is thus vital to have a better understanding of how the public thinks about AI and the governance of AI. Such understanding is essential to crafting informed policy and identifying opportunities to educate the public about AI’s character, benefits, and risks.

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AI TECH

Nonprofit Storytelling in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Article | May 18, 2021

Nonprofit Storytelling in the Age of Artificial Intelligence In Colin Angle's words, "It's going to be interesting to see how society deals with artificial intelligence, but it will definitely be cool." A couple of years ago, if you mentioned the term "Artificial Intelligence" in a nonprofit board meeting, there's a good chance people would have rolled their eyes. Today, 73% of nonprofits believe that AI innovation aligns with their beliefs, and 75% believe that AI makes their life easier. Although the nonprofit sector is still catching up with the private sector when it comes to AI implementation, most believe it is a powerful tool. Low code and cost-effective AI solutions are starting to be used by nonprofits in a variety of different ways. From resolving the food and water crisis to streamlining donor communications, AI is a crucial value add revolutionizing how the nonprofit sector operates today. Building a culture of impactful storytelling using AI According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), there are more than 1.5 million registered nonprofit organizations in the US. But with only 20% of nonprofits' funding being unrestricted, about two-thirds of them struggle to raise their budget over $500,000. Most organizations at some point get stagnant and gradually diminish in a type of ‘dead-end alley’, even though they have seen huge fundraising successes before. As the nonprofit sector becomes more competitive, it becomes increasingly difficult for nonprofits to attract supporters to their causes. But in the world we live in today, charity organizations have their sway - the fine art of storytelling. The brain releases oxytocin (a hormone that acts as a chemical messenger in the brain) when it gets indulged in storytelling. Besides its various other functions, oxytocin also controls aspects of human behavior. That is why when stories unfold interestingly, they move us to tears, engage us and even inspire us to take action. Humans are social creatures who tend to affiliate themselves with strangers. Stories are an effective medium to transmit information and values from one person or community to another. The best action plan for nonprofits to bring good storytelling to life could be to play along with this concept and identify themes for ongoing and meaningful narrations. Source: Schwartz In the age of big data, organizations need to perform due diligence by collecting hard data to support their point. Churning a good story that can tug at the heartstrings by itself is not enough. Most organizations track different metrics to illustrate their effectiveness to stakeholders. Today, 87% of nonprofit professionals believe data is crucial for their organization. Data tells the donors that a campaign's purpose is not hypothetical but based on research. Additionally, data helps organizations narrate the same story in various ways to appeal to a larger audience group. You can use multiple data sets and present different angles of the single story or splinter it into pieces depending upon whom you want to narrate it to. Story or data by itself is not alone to capture audience attention. Building a context is only part of the game; data is the winning hand. Here's an example: Story only: Mental illness is a leading cause of disability in Canada. Our nonprofit is joining hands to support people in distress and help them cope with mental health issues. Data + Story: By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 deal with some form of mental illness. We need more hands joining our cause to help people cope with mental health problems. Using AI in different ways to churn your stories The actual cause, the mission of the nonprofit, and the direction of the campaign's story is a very human activity. Often, AI helps with the heavy lifting of executing a nonprofit story. Artificial Intelligence and humans are perfect co-creators. Stories by identifying content gaps: Nonprofits often struggle with content gaps across various communication channels because of which the right message does not reach the right audience group. Given the lack of resources (shoe-string budgets, lean teams), most organizations omit the hard work of getting to know their audience and their interests, and other nitty-gritties that would move the needle on their real goals - raising funds. Top-tier organizations today rely on intelligent machine learning and data analytics tools like Hopeful to make data-driven decisions. Hopeful Inc. is the first Social Fundtech and Storytelling AI company that helps nonprofits tell compelling stories by harnessing the power of data. It provides a single dashboard to manage nonprofit social campaigns and track effectiveness in real-time and offers a groundbreaking technology - Storytelling AI. This innovation empowers organizations with hard data and creative ideas such as best times to post, trending hashtags, and even content drafts to help them craft compelling stories. Stories inspired by fieldwork: Rainforest Connection uses Google's TensorFlow to detect illegal logging in vulnerable forest areas by analyzing audio-sensor data. The data helps scientists compare timely changes to the most endangered ecosystems. The organization uses this data for land management, implementing policy changes, and allocating resources to protect these species. Besides, all this data is used in different ways to tell people about their mission, their ongoing action plan, and how they need help from the public to realize their purpose. Creating stories by predictive analytics: The Whitney Museum of American Art built a predictive model and informed a large part of donors on their mailing list about their fundraising campaign. Within the first six months of modelling, they received a $10k donation from a donor they would not have mailed otherwise. Predictive analytics helps non-traditional fundraisers to boost their fundraising efforts by identifying whom to target and how to allocate resources to maximize fundraising results. From donor information to marketing touch point records, NPOs collect a lot of data that can be used for predictive analytics and converted into actionable insights. The breadth of information like the donor demographics, their age and occupation, their interest in philanthropy and their association with other nonprofits can all be used for predictions to create more effective storytelling. Wrapping up I guess most of you will agree that we have not yet seen Artificial Intelligence how we have envisaged it. The future is so much bigger than the present, and nonprofit storytelling is just one minuscule example of how much potential AI holds for this sector. To build a culture of storytelling, nonprofit leaders must leap to inspire and propel the practice of storytelling from the top down throughout the organization. The ability to weave ideas and data, insights into a strong narrative will enable organizations to improve their storytelling efforts. In the course, impactful storytelling will seep into day-to-day nonprofit communications.

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NVIDIA Helps Transportation Industry With AI Technology

Article | May 18, 2021

NVIDIA is helping the transportation industry by giving it access to its deep neural networks (DNNs) for autonomous vehicles. NVIDIA is providing access to its AI (artificial intelligence) model and introducing advanced training tools. This helps the company to strengthen its end-to-end platform for autonomous vehicle development and, eventually, deployment. Automakers and other companies that develop autonomous vehicles (AVs) on the NVIDIA GPU Cloud container registry will get access. NVIDIA DRIVE is pretty much the standard for the development of autonomous vehicles. It is used by automakers, truck manufacturers, and robotaxi companies along with related software companies and universities.

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How to Overcome the Three Biggest SaaS Marketing Challenges

Article | May 18, 2021

The Software as a Service (SaaS) sector is one of the most essential industries globally, and it's always more complex than general customer marketing. Of course, we do not mean that customer marketing is effortless. However, it's relatively more traditional than SaaS marketing. Many people are not familiar with the right strategies for selling non-physical products. As selling such products can possess its own set of challenges, SaaS marketing gets even more demanding. What is SaaS Marketing? Let’s begin with the basics of SaaS — Software as a Service or SaaS allows users to use cloud-based applications. Businesses or users hire SaaS applications for a variety of purposes. SaaS marketing is nothing but the process to market such applications. Marketers use various strategies to sell SaaS software and achieve the highest possible conversion rates. However, there are several significant challenges in this quest. First, SaaS tools don’t have any physical presence, and selling something that doesn’t physically exist is not easy. Furthermore, we live in a world where SaaS platforms are constantly changing. With newer features and updates being launched every day, marketers struggle to nail down even their most basic payment app before the next version is launched. If your company sells software, you must adopt the right SaaS marketing strategy to get more customers and, ultimately, higher conversions. But how will you get started? And, most importantly, how to overcome those three biggest SaaS Marketing challenges? Let’s find out! The Three Biggest SaaS Marketing Challenges The following are the three biggest marketing challenges faced by SaaS marketers. ● Earning The Loyalty from Customers ● Getting Noticed ● Dealing With Conventional Complainers If your company faces the same B2B SaaS marketing challenges, it will be fair to say that you are doing well. Their occurrence is pretty common. After working with several B2B companies, ranging from 2 million annual revenue to 2 billion, you will notice that most of them face the same challenges mentioned above. The demand for cloud-based services is increasing day by day. And eventually, this has birthed thousands of SaaS companies all around the globe. Locations beyond Silicon Valley are seeing the rise of several new SaaS providers ranging from government agencies to small and mid-size start-ups. As a result, the competition is mounting at an incredible pace, and the niches are getting overcrowded. Suppose you do not invest in improving your company’s digital presence, brand identity, and messaging. In that case, you are more likely to drown in the ocean of the current marketplace where new companies are entering every single day. Here’s how you can deal with these core SaaS Marketing Challenges: Getting Noticed Being a SaaS marketer, analyze your strategy by asking yourself this question — How can your company address the customers’ needs in areas that your competitors are not targeting? The SaaS marketplace is constantly evolving, and even the slightest functionality or design improvement in the competitor’s platform is enough to take away the sleep of your company leadership. Traditionally, most SaaS marketers sell their product by convincing companies that they have a problem, and only our SaaS platform can fix it. But, now things have changed, and there’s a lot to compete with. Several market analysts have claimed that smart process apps are overlapping with SaaS. While SaaS companies are focusing on only the US market (and ruling it as well), traditional software companies have taken their business to Asia and Europe and have established themselves there. As a consequence, SaaS marketers are faced with more than just indifference and ignorance. Being a SaaS provider company, you must make the most out of the predicted surge in growth and go beyond the traditional SaaS marketing strategy. Plus, you need to develop newer ways to stand out in the competition of sameness and simultaneously reach more customers. Earning Customer Loyalty There was a time when data migration was one of the most challenging tasks for SaaS marketers. Thankfully, we are past that time now. Today, companies can easily migrate data from their existing system to the cloud base. Moreover, they will have a painless process to manage it post the migration. But, here’s a catch! If you can do this with ease, your competitor can also do that. This drastically increases the importance of customer acquisition and customer retention. And for this reason, you must have an effective SaaS marketing strategy that aims at earning customer engagement and loyalty. Dealing with Conventional Complainers Many industries are yet to accept the benefits of cloud computing. However, if you target them in the right way, your state-of-the-art SaaS platform can replace their incumbent software system. Someone has spent years building that existing software system, and they are more likely to lose sleep because of this takeover. Such people, in most cases, are the decision-makers and won’t be keen to relinquish their hold on the existing system. It would help if you won them to sell your product. Your strategy should be able to handle an onslaught of their objections. They might claim that data migration is so complex that it’s not worth their time and money, or they will even say that the cloud is not secure enough. You have to do your homework and be prepared to tackle these hurdles. So, be excellent and well prepared. And, the chances are, you will convince them. How to Overcome SaaS Marketing Challenges? Any SaaS Vendor must dig deep into all the significant concepts of marketing. But, before getting started with it, it's essential to learn about the customer journey. It helps SaaS marketers to deploy and integrate an effective strategy that works well with all the following stages of the customer journey: ● Awareness ● Consideration ● Decision ● Retention ● Advocacy The reality is, there are hundreds of marketing strategies that can produce great results. However, the following ones are the best of all when it’s about marketing your SaaS products. Develop an Effective Content Marketing Strategy Be it any online business, content marketing is one of the most important marketing aspects. It can be beneficial for your SaaS company by letting your audience understand the advantages of your product and improving your online presence. You can also use various social media platforms to extend your approach for offering the same information. Credibility, trust, and existence are the critical aspects of every SaaS marketing niche, and content marketing is the most effective way to spread your valuable information and earn trust. Set Realistic Goals Directionless movements are a total waste of time. Instead, all successful SaaS marketing strategies begin with defining clear and realistic goals. To do that, you must figure your business most comprehensively. Then, set tractable and specific goals keeping the key metrics and KPIs in mind. And lastly, work on how the marketing and sales team can align to get the best results. Remember, bigger goals are more challenging to achieve. You can break them down into smaller ones to ease the process. Offer a Free Trial of Your SaaS Product This helps to attract new customers and make them aware of the benefits of your SaaS product. It will also help you with lead generation. Make sure to optimize the conversion rate during this trial period. And, present the best customer service to your prospects so that they will be with you for long. Frequently Asked Questions What are the most effective SaaS marketing techniques? The following are the most effective strategies to overcome various SaaS marketing challenges in 2021: ● Develop a content marketing plan ● Offer free SaaS trials ● Focus on SEO ● Refine your Call-to-Action ● Refine your PPC campaigns ● Strengthen SaaS review websites Why is Saas marketing important for businesses? Even though SaaS marketing is challenging and requires exceptional marketing strategy, it comes with its own advantages. They include: ● Customer marketing & customer communication ● Long term customers ● Brand awareness ● Short sales cycles ● Lead generation What are the biggest challenges in SaaS marketing? 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FUTURE TECH

Understanding Intelligent Automation (IA)

Article | May 18, 2021

In the area of computer intelligence where we have robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc. There is a new game-changing concept that is so profound that industries are already finding a use for it and it is paying off. This new concept is called Intelligent Automation (IA). Discussions with heads of global organizations as well as research, and experience of experts show that IA is establishing itself as a future key driver of competitive relevance and enterprise efficiency. This is why IA experts are convinced the concept can provide solutions to several urgent issues in the world right now such as improving our planet, education, and life-saving measures. The impact of IA is becoming more prevalent, and that saw the concept selected by Gartner as the number one tech trend in 2020. What is IA? The concept of Intelligent Automation otherwise known as Hyper automation leverages the new-gen software-based automation, which blends technologies and methodologies to implement business processes on automation for knowledge workers. This is achieved through IA imitating the skills used by knowledge workers to execute their work. All these are done to attain a business outcome via purposeful redesigning of automation carried out with little or no human oversight. The end game is cost reduction, which improves process speed, optimization of decision outcomes, improved process resilience, and improved quality and compliance. In the end, businesses and organizations will see an increase in revenues and enhanced employee and customer satisfaction. Who are the knowledge workers? Who are the knowledge workers that IA is purposefully designed for? For starters, knowledge workers' main currency is the knowledge they possess. We have examples like pharmacists, designers, programmers, architects, lawyers, physicians, engineers, public accountants, scientists. Any worker that has to “think for a living” is considered a knowledge worker. This type of worker is mainly domiciled in the service industries. A knowledge worker is information-based compared to manual labor that is material-based and mainly domiciled in the manufacturing industries. Where does IA feature here? We already know the importance of industrial automation to the manufacturing process. We can consider IA the “white collar” version of industrial automation. IA can be used to supplement the job of a knowledge worker such as call center agents, financial controllers, etc. Let us break down what IA does specifically for a knowledge worker. Imagine IA as a digital worker created to imitate the activities of a knowledge worker to deliver the same outcome as a human would. It mimics all the human business processes, which is a succession of tasks by reproducing the human capabilities of reading, speaking, learning, hearing, seeing, acting, and reacting to produce the same business processes as a knowledge worker. The synergy between IA and humans IA creates a synergy by merging the software-based workforce with the human workforce. On the task spectrum, IA shoulders a load of executing tedious, low value, and monotonous tasks like processing and digitizing paper invoices, reconciling data, etc. IA equips a worker with what we can call superhuman abilities like the ability to generate insights from millions of analysed data done in just a few minutes. That is on a human level is virtually impossible to do. The uniqueness of IA How is it that a concept so recent that its name was only created in 2017 by IEEE has witnessed a rapid expansion and is expected to have a lasting impact on us? We believe the answer lies in its unique features, which are listed below: The IA pools together new technologies, most of which are recently developed in the last decade. The application of several IA functionalities is universal. They are applicable across several business functions like finance, sales, etc., and industries such as retail, banking, among others. IA programs are scalable. Once developed, scaling can be carried out immediately and infinitely at no added cost. Its availability is unmatched; IA can deliver 24/7. IA is economically viable and reliable. It gives the same results based on settings repeatedly at a reasonable cost. In less than a year, the program will normally generate payback on the initial investment. AI and IA, two sides of the same coin? Here comes the inevitable question. Is Intelligent Automation (IA) any different from Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Are they not just two sides of the same coin? Well, in the world of computer intelligence, laying down the differences between robotics, AI, IA, among others is a very complicated process. The line between is so blurry that they can sometimes overlap due to the continuous evolution, emergence, and convergence of these concepts. However, that is not to say there are no areas where there are clear demarcations. For the purpose of clarity, a few key anchor points are drawn using the analysis of the survey of the opinions of more than 200 IA experts as well as our experience in IA. These are the main anchor points: AI and IA –Since IA has to do with the automation of knowledge work that is the area where AI and IA interrelate. That means IA comprises all use cases of AI in all industries excluding industries like fundamental research, arts, gaming, or any other that is not information-based. For robotics –physical robotics utilized in the manufacturing industries are not classified as part of IA. It only covers software-based robots. Lastly, under workflow, business process management, and cloud; only programs or platforms that exhibit a form of intelligence fall under the class of IA. Programs that have limited capabilities to process end-to-end tasks and offer little insight into business processes are not included. The unfolding potential of IA The adoption rate of this phenomenon is already significant to the extent that a recent survey of world business leaders shows that 86% of them believe they must implement IA in the next five years to stay competitive. According to a survey by Gartner, 42% of CEOs have embarked on the digital transformation process already with 56% reporting gains from the application. Due to the uniqueness of IA, in the next five year, experts believe that it is very likely to reach a sophistication and adoption level that took more than 200 year for industrial automation to achieve. A Deloitte survey already indicated that the adoption rate for IA is more than 50% and the rate is predicted to jump to over 70% in two years. If it continues at this rate, we could see a near-global adoption level achieved in the next five years. Despite being a new concept, IA is progressing very rapidly in terms of capabilities.

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Vology, a leader in Managed IT Services, delivers end-to-end solutions to design, build, monitor and protect your network. By allowing Vology’s team of proven, experienced engineers and technical staff to handle your IT operations, you can focus on managing and growing your business more efficiently and cost-effectively. You run your business. We keep it running.

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