Google cutting web cookies, ending lucrative tracking tool for advertisers

Reuters | January 15, 2020

Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google within two years plans to block a common way businesses track online surfers in its Chrome browser, endorsing costly changes to how the Web operates as it tries to satisfy increased privacy demands from users. Google's plan is to restrict advertising software companies and other organizations from connecting their browser cookies to websites they do not operate, the company said in a blog post on Tuesday. (bit.ly/2RmTYKK) Apple made a similar move in 2017 in its Safari browser, but Chrome’s global market share is more than three times greater at about 64%, according to tracking company Statcounter. Though the two-year goal is new, Google’s announcement had been expected within the industry for months. Financial analysts expect minimal effect on Google’s own ad business because it gathers data on users in many other ways.

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SOFTWARE

CircleCI Launches Native Support for GitLab SaaS Enhancing Flexibility and Speed for Developers

CircleCI | July 27, 2022

CircleCI, the leading continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform, today announced the general availability of support for GitLab SaaS customers. Now, joint customers can enjoy interoperability between tools from GitLab Inc., The One DevOps Platform for software innovation, and CircleCI. Software development teams using GitLab can now build, test, and deploy on CircleCI, and access CircleCI’s industry-leading speed, automatic test-splitting, and the largest array of resource classes and compute options anywhere. Founded in 2011, CircleCI has always been at the forefront of software development. Serving thousands of companies across the globe, CircleCI empowers its customers to take ideas to execution, at scale, by fine-tuning the development process from start to finish. As nearly every company in every industry becomes software-based, the pace of change is set to increase. With this rapid growth comes more complexities, broadening the responsibilities and importance of developers and software teams. “We are building a world where any change, anywhere in the software ecosystem, can be managed using CircleCI, giving software teams more confidence, choice, and control over their development and delivery processes. “As part of this mission, we’ve worked hard to provide support to GitLab customers, and look forward to what they’ll build in collaboration with CircleCI.” Jim Rose, CEO, CircleCI “At GitLab, we believe everyone can contribute, which is made possible by offering interoperability with industry peers like CircleCI,” said Nima Badiey, VP of Alliances, GitLab. “This integration allows easier migration paths for customers looking to leverage GitLab for source code management and more, further supporting GitLab's mission to provide customers with modern solutions." With native support for GitLab SaaS, joint CircleCI and GitLab customers have access to: GitLab-based triggers: Developers can decide when to trigger pipelines in CircleCI from GitLab forked merge requests, only merge requests, and commits for specific branches. Enhanced permissions models: CircleCI’s new comprehensive permissions management allows security, DevOps, and developer teams to safeguard their configurations with confidence that other contributors will make changes only to their areas of focus. Compatibility across toolchains: CircleCI connects with services developer teams already use like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Slack, Atlassian, and provides abilities to build on GitLab SaaS, GitHub, and Bitbucket. Enhanced engineering decision-making: With pipeline performance and health metrics customers can see real-time data on credit usage, success rates, flaky tests, pipeline duration, and more. Early adopters have already seen significant improvements to stay flexible and deliver business value quickly. In fact, Yoel Astanovsky from financial services provider Moneytor said, “The integration with GitLab worked flawlessly. It was easy, fast and productive.” “CircleCI is enabling developers to choose which tools work best for them. Their GitLab support creates an opportunity to expand how developers view and use CI/CD, resulting in improved productivity, higher code quality, richer integrations, and greater business value,” said Jim Mercer, Research Director of IDC DevOps and DevSecOps Solutions. About CircleCI CircleCI is the leading continuous integration and delivery platform for software innovation at scale. With intelligent automation and delivery tools, CircleCI is used by the world's best engineering teams to radically reduce the time from idea to execution. The company has been recognized as an innovative leader in cloud-native continuous integration by independent research firms and industry awards like the DEVIES, Forbes’ Best Startup Employers of the Year, and Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™.

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GENERAL AI

Accenture Uses Artificial Intelligence-Driven Database to Help Reduce Electricity Rates for Colonial Pipeline’s Interstate System

Accenture | July 16, 2022

Accenture is using a proprietary database powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to help Colonial Pipeline, the largest refined products pipeline in the United States, reduce regulated and deregulated electric utility rates for its interstate pipeline system. The energy-management project leverages Accenture’s Utility Tracking System (UTS), a proprietary database of approximately 30 million anonymized utility bills that the company has been aggregating for more than 20 years. Built to identify power tariff options around the world, UTS uses AI-powered insights and automation as part of Accenture’s SynOps platform to continuously improve the efficiency and reliability of electricity rate-savings recommendations. Accenture is using insights generated by UTS to evaluate power bills for operations at approximately 80 Colonial Pipeline pump stations along its 5,500-mile pipeline system, which delivers approximately 100 million gallons of refined petroleum products daily to markets in the Southern and Eastern United States. Armed with information about tariff options, Accenture presents lower-cost options — e.g., reduced cost per kilowatt-hour — to Colonial Pipeline, and then works with utilities to help implement new rates. “This initiative, which is part of our ongoing effort to optimize utility rates, has shown encouraging results early on and should continue to help us in our comprehensive review of all utility accounts on our system. “We look forward to our continued partnership with Accenture as we identify opportunities to transition to renewable energy to power our pump stations.” Tony Leo, manager of energy management and power optimization for Colonial Pipeline Yusuf Tayob, group chief executive of Accenture Operations, added, “Our work for Colonial Pipeline is a great example of how Accenture’s long-term investments in technologies are helping clients deepen business resilience amid evolving market conditions. We look forward to making further progress on this project and to helping Colonial Pipeline evaluate how it can buy green energy, which increasingly is powering infrastructure as consumers and stakeholders demand cleaner air and less environmental impact.” About Accenture Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Technology and Operations services and Accenture Song — all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 710,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities. About Colonial Pipeline Colonial Pipeline Company, founded in 1962, connects refineries ­– primarily located in the Gulf Coast ­– with customers and markets throughout the Southern and Eastern United States through a pipeline system that spans more than 5,500 miles. The company delivers refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, home heating oil, and fuel for the U.S. military. Colonial is committed to safety and environmental stewardship across its operations.

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AI TECH,GENERAL AI

Botco.ai Launches Instachat Builder to Enable Rapid AI Chat Deployment

Botco.ai | August 22, 2022

Botco.ai, the leading HIPAA-compliant conversational marketing solution, announced today the launch of Instachat Builder, a new product that accelerates AI chat deployment by allowing Botco.ai customers to directly train Botco.ai’s chatbot on any type of text information. Traditionally, chat applications required extensive manual training before they could begin fielding customer questions, but with Instachat Builder, companies can train Botco.ai’s conversational AI platform on any relevant text information in minutes. This new approach enables teams to launch intelligent chatbots immediately — thereby speeding up deployment, boosting response rates, and reducing fallbacks. "Historically, launching a chat application was time-consuming," said Jacob Molina, Product Manager at Botco.ai. "Companies needed to manually formulate the question and answer pairs they wanted their AI chat to handle. Instachat Builder shortcuts this entire process by automatically transforming any relevant text into training material, allowing our customers to launch powerful chatbots capable of instantly answering hundreds or thousands of questions — with only a few clicks.” Instachat Builder is an AI-driven application that derives question-and-answer training pairs from PDFs, HTML files, document files, call center transcripts, or any other kind of text information. Users can feed Instachat Builder presentations, product manuals, FAQ pages, etc., and the application automatically extracts the relevant content. After extraction, Instachat Builder translates the relevant raw content into question-and-answer pairs that can be used to train AI chatbots. Users can review all automatically generated pairs before they are used for training. The Instachat Builder is powered by a combination of machine learning and natural language processing (NLP), two technologies which Botco.ai has notably pioneered in the conversational marketing cloud. Instachat Builder helps Botco.ai customers by providing: Faster deployment: Instachat Builder accelerates the training process, allowing users to launch intelligent chat on day one with predictable 98% accuracy. Improved response rates: Instachat Builder improves response rates by enabling users to rapidly expand the range of topics intelligent chat can competently handle. Instant marketing insights: Marketers receive conversational reporting data directly following deployment, gleaning insights on the user journey, customer retention, SEO and more. Reduced fallbacks: Instachat Builder reduces the need for human intervention by making it easy to develop highly-capable intelligent chat. “The issue with AI-driven chat has always been doing the work required to deploy,” said Chris Maeda, Co-founder and CTO at Botco.ai. “That is where Instachat Builder comes in. Using this tool, we are able to transform useful content that companies have on hand into training material, cutting a process that used to take weeks down to a few minutes. Give us your existing text documents and we’ll give you a chat application." About Botco.ai Botco.ai is a HIPPA-compliant, AI-powered conversational marketing cloud solution that can be implemented at scale to improve engagement rates. Today, the company offers industry-leading authoring, webchat, and AI machine-learning capabilities to quickly and effectively convert more customers in healthcare, wellness, addiction, behavioral health, physical therapy, and senior living centers. Botco.ai's Integrated Analytics Dashboard provides a comprehensive view of chat campaigns across multiple messaging channels such as web and Facebook Messenger. The API-based interface can be used to transfer leads, transcripts, and data into enterprise sales and marketing automation products like Salesforce, Hubspot, Adobe Marketing Cloud, Zoho as well as leading EHR and scheduling systems. Botco.ai is the recipient of the Arizona Innovation Challenge "Most Outstanding Startup" award and a graduate of Alchemist Accelerator Class XXV, the #1 accelerator for enterprise startups.

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