8×8 Taps AI Startup for Talent, Technology

Looks to imbue customer interactions with 360-degree contextual understanding

Seeking to draw ever more insight from and provide value out of the customer data it amasses, cloud communications provider 8×8 today disclosed that it has acquired MarianaIQ (MIQ), an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered B2B marketing startup, for an undisclosed sum.

Not seeing a connection between B2B marketing and communications? 8×8 really didn’t at first, either, Bryan Martin, 8×8 CTO, shared in a No Jitter briefing on the announcement. That’s to say, 8×8 began discussions with MIQ founders with the thought of grabbing AI and machine learning talent, he said. But, he added, the more 8×8 learned about the MIQ platform, the more the acquisition also became about the underlying technology.

As Venkat Nagaswamy, MIQ founder and CEO, described in a May 2017 read more

Microsoft and Google Both Announce a Bunch of New Stuff…And Other Small Business Tech News …

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Launching Today…The Institute For Block Chain Innovation

You can always tell when a new technology vertical starts to mature and to organize itself as an industry.  In 2018, the block chain industry began that transition.   In January, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, many of the official sessions and off-site events were about bitcoin, crypto currency and block chain.  It was not clear how many of the WEF attendees understood the real impact that these technologies and their variations are going to have on society in the long run, but the World Economic Forum provided an important vehicle to start thinking about it in earnest.

Today, in another step forward, the Institute for Blockchain Innovation was launched by several leading companies and investors from the United States and Canada.    The objective of the Institute is to help envision and read more

Google Gets Clobbered…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Google’s stock clobbering shows just how freaked out Wall Street is about the online ad business right now

The share price of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. fell this week amid a market selloff that also affected some of its top rivals. In addition, the company’s traffic acquisition costs rose 37% and took up a greater percentage of revenue than the same quarter last year. Two reasons for the price drop – according to the Business Insider report – could be the possibility that new rules in Europe regarding user privacy might hurt Google’s ability to collect the kind of information that advertisers want as well as the fallout from Facebook’s scandal regarding Cambridge Analytica. (Source: Business Insider)

Why this is important for your business:

Google’s fortunes impact our fortunes. There’s the obvious effect on the value of mutual funds read more

Gmail is Getting a Major Re-Design…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘Privacy to us is a human right…a civil liberty’

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in Washington D.C. Tuesday to testify before Congress about customer privacy, this after it was revealed in March that research firm Cambridge Analytica gained access to the personal information of as many as 87 million Facebook users.

The scandal and resulting fallout have made privacy an issue of immediate concern for the wider tech industry. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently reiterated his views on the subject, taking a strong stance.

“We care about the user experience. And we’re not going to traffic in your personal life,” Cook said of Apple. “I think it’s an invasion of privacy.”

Cook made the comments during an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Recode’s Kara Swisher, which was taped in late March and aired April 6.

“Privacy to us is a human right. It’s a civil liberty,” he said. “[I]n something that is unique to America, you know, this is like freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and privacy is right up there for us.”

Cook said Apple has always protected the data of its customers: “This is not something that we just started last week, when we saw something happening. We’ve been doing this for years.” Apple has opted to prioritize privacy in controversial situations. For example, in the wake of the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, Apple resisted the FBI’s request to unlock the iPhone of one of the terrorists.

“The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand,” read more

Badly implemented AI could ‘jeopardize democracy,’ says French president Emmanuel Macron

China couple find missing daughter after 24-year search China couple find missing daughter after 24-year search Over the years, authorities attempted to identify several women who could be Qifeng, but DNA tests always came back negative. Last year, a police sketch artist found out about the story and made a decision to draw a picture of an older Qifeng.

Facebook bans over 200 new Russian accounts Facebook bans over 200 new Russian accounts Facebook will release a tool that will let you check if you interacted with an account controlled by the troll factory. Facebook has been heavily criticized for its slow response to the IRA’s activities before and after the 2016 election.

Facebook finds hundreds more accounts run by Kremlin-linked troll group Facebook finds hundreds more accounts run by Kremlin-linked troll group The IRA is a Russian agency the Facebook has discovered to have interfered in elections in the US, Europe, and Russia itself. Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor asked Google for an explanation, saying that it needed to protect free speech.

U.S. read more

Apple Launches a Cheap iPad…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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Elon Musk To Facebook: Mmm…K, Bye

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has become the latest tech billionaire to jump on #DeleteFacebook movement. John Raoux/AP hide caption

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John Raoux/AP

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has become the latest tech billionaire to jump on #DeleteFacebook movement.

John Raoux/AP