Why You Should Start Talking to Your Devices

 

If you haven’t already started, it’s a good idea to start getting used to interacting with your hardware with voice commands. As Bose releases the Bose QC35 headphones with native Google voice assistant, it’s clear that almost all personal computing hardware is moving towards voice command.

Two other stories we’re paying attention to this week:

• Ethereum is Getting Bigger and Bigger: Recently, the founder of Ethereum said that he believes that the Ethereum network will facilitate around the same number of transactions as Visa, the global credit card processor, by 2020. You can watch a great interview with him to learn more about Ethereum and the future of this arena with AngelList founder Neval Ravikant at http://bit.ly/decentralizeeverything

• Visualizing Google Data: The Google News Lab has just finished a massive collaboration with some of the world’s most creative data visualization artists to come up with beautiful new ways of visualizing data related to culture, news, and sports data and it’s amazing! One Spanish team used data from Google Translate to show the most commonly-translated words from different countries. Worldwide, the most translated word is “beautiful.” That’s rad. You can see the whole collection at http://bit.ly/visualizebygoogle

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Direct Brain/Computer Integration is (Really) Close

How soon will human brains and computers be one? The technology is advancing fast. Faster than you might think. Interestingly, advanced human/machine integrations seems to have built a lot of momentum by helping people with disabilities overcome their disabilities and even be stronger by augmenting their human capabilities with machine capabilities.

Modified Humans
Rob Spence is blind in one eye and is a filmmaker so naturally, he decided to replace his eyeball with a camera. Now, he’s one of the many humans who are getting modified. Also, a team at Stanford has successfully enabled a paralyzed woman to type by building direct connections with her brain.

What’s Going on at Facebook’s Building 8
Facebook has been leading the charge in the human/machine integration area and the person leading this effort is a former head of the US Department of Defense’s Innovation squad. Her name is Regina Dugan and you can follow her on Facebook. Currently, they’re building systems that enable people to type at 100 wpm by decoding brain activity, decoding it into “virtual speech,” and deploying it as text. They’re also working on a way for humans to *hear through their skin*!

Towards Computer/Human Oneness
Here are some ways to keep up with what’s happening with computer / human integration:

Follow Facebook Building 8’s Regina Dugan
Connect with Dustin Tyler, an engineering professor who is at the front lines of developing physical objects that can feel, on LinkedIn
Follow Rob Spence, the guy with the camera eye who is working actively on this stuff at and check out his work and TED Talks

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Ethereum is more important than Bitcoin

On June 6th of 2017, people owned $23.4 billion worth of Ether. That’s the cryptocurrency that powers the Ethereum ecosystem–a system that claims that it will be the “new internet.” The people building this ecosystem aren’t crazy, either. Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase, and Toyota are just a few of the 100+ enterprises betting big that Ethereum is the future of contracts, money, and business management.

Ethereum vs. Bitcoin
Ethereum is a blockchain-based technology like Bitcoin but while Bitcoin is primarily used for transferring money between individuals, Ethereum’s technology includes one huge evolution: Smart Contracts. Smart contracts are basically the combination of agreements between people and automatic flows of money based on the rules of the contract. So, for example, a marketer, a developer, and an investor could all enter into a smart contract that says that each person gets ⅓ of the money created from a new piece of software that the developer builds, the marketer sells, and the investor funds… and all of these distributions will be made automatically… and maybe even outside country-specific financial systems. This dramatic lowering of transaction costs has huge implications for banks, insurance companies, workers, and governments.

Big Companies are Paying Attention
Already, companies like Accenture, JP Morgan, Microsoft, BP, and more than 100 other enterprises have formed the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance which is is connecting these huge companies with startups to find ways of using their technologies at scale. Toyota is even working on using an Ethereum system to manage a fleet of self-driving cars.

How to Learn More 
1: Follow Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, on Twitter
2: Read a post on Ethereum and the DAO or “decentralized autonomous organization” to get familiar with some of the early successes and obstacles of this area of innovation
3: Learn more about the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance
4: Buy yourself a little bit of Ether at Coinbase — just try it out with as little as $5 to get yourself familiar

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Top Content on Chatbots and AI from Eazl

Chatbots and AI

We’ve been reporting on -and making content for- chatbots and AI for about a year now.  From Brain Boosts and courses to great content we’ve found online, here’s our current list of Top Content on Chatbots and AI.

1. Bots Can Now Power Your Business
How a company serves more than 5 billion downloads and streams with only 3 employees.

2. How to Create a Facebook Messenger Bot
Interested in using a chatbot for customer service and marketing? Facebook Messenger chatbots can help your followers get answers to frequently asked questions and more.

3. Build a Twitter Bot in 90 Minutes
In this course, you’ll create a Twitter bot powered by IBM’s cloud cognition technology that is able to understand which Tweets are relevant to you, filter them from all the Tweets around a topic, and present them to you through Google Sheets.

4. Chatbots are the Future of Online Marketing
We’ve gathered up all the resources we have for you on bots at the moment and put them all here so you can catch up with what’s happening in the world of bots and maybe even make one yourself!

5. The Top 10 Artificial Intelligence People and Places on the Web
AI is on track to change everything around us. In this Brain Boost: the top 10 artificial intelligence people and places on the web.

6. A New Milestone in Artificial Intelligence
A collaboration is happening between Google’s Deepmind team in the UK and Oxford University. They have been developing an AI platform designed to read lips and, recently, they published their astonishing results.

7. Are You Debating Robots on Twitter?
Researchers and data scientists at the University of Southern California have found that roughly 400,000 bots were tweeting and retweeting during the 2016 United States presidential election, responsible for roughly 20% of all of the election-related content on Twitter.

8. Artificial Intelligence is Disrupting the Job Search
Increasingly, software built on machine learning and early-stage artificial intelligence determines the desirability of a candidate.

9. Monetizing Chatbots
Sponsored recommendations are likely to come in-stream with responses from these AI assistants in the future.

10. Adidas Robots, AI + Humans, and Getting Started with Crowdfunding
Professor Sandy Pentland of MIT, says that artificial intelligence is best used in collaboration with humans. 

11. OpenAI and Shocking AI Salaries
OpenAI’s team of researchers were reportedly mobbed with huge employment offers from some of the tech world’s biggest firms.

12. Jobs and AI
The Financial Times has released an extensive new report on career management in age of robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation.

Build an AI Twitter Bot Powered with IBM Watson (No Coding!)

*Check out the full course here*

Build Cool AI Technology in ~90 Minutes and Learn by Doing (No Coding!)
If you’re reading this, you probably know that, arguably, artificial intelligence is the most significant technological developments of our time. There will be people who are able to use AI to do incredible things and others who watch technology and the world change around them at a blistering pace without understanding fully what’s going on. If you’re someone who stays “in the know,” you need to learn about AI. We think that you can best learn by doing. Plus, it’s fun! And you’ll get some pretty amazing technology that you can use for free forever.

Create a Customizable “Smart” Twitter Bot Powered by IBM Watson Step by Step
You’ll create a Twitter bot powered by IBM’s cloud cognition technology that is able to understand which Tweets are relevant to you, filter them from all the Tweets around a topic, and present them to you through Google Sheets. We’re calling it the Prospector Bot and this bot has practical uses for businesses, personal use, non-profits, government, and more. Through completing the project, you’ll learn:

*How to build apps (no coding required) in IBM Bluemix

*How to train IBM Watson’s Natural Language Classifier, a Watson service built on machine learning, to curate Tweets on your behalf

*How to use Twitter’s Advanced Search functions

*How to use Google Sheets as an automation hub / bot headquarters
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Bots Can Now Power Your (Huge) Business

⍾ Build Your Own Artificially-intelligent Twitter Bot in a New Project-based Course from Eazl 

Philip Kaplan is the founder of DistroKid, one of the largest digital music distributors on the planet. They’ve served more than 5 billion downloads and streams and… wait for it… they only have 3 EMPLOYEES. Philip has created an army of bots that do everything from standardize song information, process and distribute payments, communicate between the company and distributors, and a lot more. That’s enabling DistroKid to beat out firms with millions of dollars in funding an 100+ employees.

Links mentioned in this Brain Boost:
• Read about Philip’s approach to deploying bots for his business
• Read about Bill Gates’ thoughts on taxing bots and robots
• Build an AI Bot powered by IBM Watson with no coding in under 2 hours (project-based course… learn by doing!!)

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From Social Media Examiner: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot

facebook messenger chatbot

“Does your business want to do more with Facebook Messenger?

Interested in using a chatbot for customer service and marketing?

Facebook Messenger chatbots can help your followers get answers to frequently asked questions and more.

In this article, you’ll discover how to set up a Facebook Messenger chatbot for your business.”

facebook bot

successful content

Learn how to set up a Twitter bot here.

Chatbots are the Future of Online Marketing

chatbots

At Eazl, January is the month to #beyourowninspiration. We’re featuring people who are working on interesting and important things AND we’re empowering each member of our community (including you) to believe that they have the ability to achieve the seemingly inevitable.

In the world of business and marketing right now, it’s all about AI and chatbots. In the next 5-10 years, you can expect chatbots to become much more a part of our lives and how we interact with companies.

The thing is…you can make one right now. And you don’t even have to know how to code!

We’ve gathered up all the resources we have for you on bots at the moment and put them all here so you can catch up with what’s happening in the world of bots and maybe even make one yourself!

Chatbots: The Next Frontier
What’s a business bot?

They’re text-based services that let users perform tasks like scheduling a meetings, ordering a product, booking a flight, or getting recommendations–all via chat. Chat apps also integrate beautifully with what’s happening in AI and machine learning.

Three big players are already getting into the game: Microsoft, Kik, and Facebook are all likely to announce chatbot marketplaces soon. Chatbots would serve many businesses much better than having a full-fledged app.

The Scoop on Using Bots for Social Media Marketing
Often times, using bots for social media marketing violates the policies of platforms like Twitter and Instagram. There are some kinds of bots invited to participate in the network, but generally, any bot that “pushes” interaction onto users is outside of platform policy, and therefore can result in warnings or account bans. In practice, the platforms don’t always police bots effectively.

The easiest bots to deploy are those like Roboliker (robolike.com). These bots basically follow a search query that you design and “like” content related to that search from your account. The result is that, often, you attract followers who legitimately share interest in topics related to your search query.

We’ve tested Roboliker here at Eazl and it was pretty effective. Note that this kind of bot is officially OUTSIDE of platform policy.

For more sophisticated bots, one way to approach bots is to blend something like Google Sheets with a social media platform’s API. By developing in the backend of your Google Sheet (you’ll be developing in Javascript), you can automate recurring actions that pull data from the platform, “massage” it in some way, and then take actions on the result. More on this to come!

From Diversity in the Ocean to Twitter Bots
Twitter has been on a downward trend recently (lower users, etc.) but they’ve released some great new tech. Now, it’s pretty easy to build your own Twitter bot.

If you visit Amit’s tutorial (below), you’ll be able to do it in less than 10 minutes.

Building with IBM’s Cloud Brain
IBM Watson is spawning an exploding world of AI-powered technologies and this tech isn’t that complicated. YOU can build the skills it takes to use Watson… it’s not that hard!

 

Attend Eazl’s Twitter / IBM Watson bot building webinar with Davis Jones and Tanmay Bakshi on January 19th. Early bird registration is free here.

If you want to learn some more advanced information about bots, you can follow the conversations on this bots Facebook group. We are affiliated in any way…we just think it’s a good group that enables further learning on this topic.

Build Your Own Twitter / IBM Watson Bot (No Coding!) with Eazl

ibm watson

Join Davis Jones from Eazl and Tanmay Bakshi, IBM’s 12 year old programming wizard, and go from zero to intermediate in your ability to use IBM Watson, your “artificial intelligence brain in the cloud.” During the event, you’ll get access to a brand new Twitter Bot interface designed by Davis and Tanmay. After the live event, the replay will be only avilable for a paid replay. Click on the video below to learn more about what Watson is and how it works:

During this event with Davis and Tanmay, you’ll learn how to:

  • Set up an IBM Bluemix account
  • Launch a Watson service (we’ll be working with the Natural Language Classifier)
  • Copy and then integrate the Google Sheets/Watson interface we’ve built
  • Use Twitter’s advanced search functions
  • Train Watson to automatically find Tweets that are meaningful to you
  • Automate the tool to “listen” to Twitter for you all the time

 

 

We can’t wait to unveil this new Twitter / Watson Bot and we hope you’ll join us! To find out more about Eazl, visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/c/eazlco.

Are you debating robots on Twitter?

In this week’s Brain Boost: are you debating robots on Twitter?

Researchers and data scientists at the University of Southern California have found that roughly 400,000 bots were tweeting and retweeting during the 2016 United States presidential election, responsible for roughly 20% of all of the election-related content on Twitter.

They were used by both candidates though Donald Trump was employing around 300,000 bots and Hillary Clinton was using around 100,000. Also, the content of each of the candidates’ bot armies was strikingly different.

Here are some sample tweets from each of the candidates’ bots…

Top anti-Clinton Tweet by a Trump Bot:

“@dreamedofdust: #NeverHillary ! https://t.co/pmuRci7RhL Without A Doubt That FBI Director James Comey Covered Up Hillary Clinton’s Lies, Gave Immunity To …”

Top anti-Trump Tweet by a Clinton Bot

“@natespuewell: #NeverTrump Those fake, nonsense polls are actually real, good polls, Trump’s spokesman insists — Campaign of lies https://t.co/Mvja0PPeaH”

Now, what these researchers and data scientists found out is that the human users of the network are not capable of distinguishing between a bot and human. In fact, human users of Twitter retweeted bots at the same rate that they retweeted humans.

Even the researchers themselves were often not able to distinguish between a Tweet that was generated by a human and one that was generated by a bot.

There are some key differences, though, between bots and humans. First of all, these bots produce a huge volume of Tweets. They generated around half a million tweets with the hashtag #election2016 alone and many of these bots have been engineered with artificial intelligence so they can search for, read, and respond to human users in human-like bursts.

So, that Twitter debate that you might have gotten into during the election might not have been with a human. It might have been with a bot.

Now, we’ve grown to think of Twitter as good for providing a discussion forum for the connected citizens of the world, however, social media platforms are starting to pose a major risk to people because they can be manipulated with technologies like bots. Misinformation, rumors, and conspiracy theories can seem legitimate because of the sheer volume of artificially created conversation.

This will leave real people to wonder what is true and what is fiction.

You can check out more about this study here and keep an eye out for the brand new episode of What’s Next as the Eazl team takes you to Washington DC to meet the innovators and entrepreneurship hubs of the city…all politics aside.