Press Releases

Voice Purchasing Rose in 2018 Among US Smart Speaker Owners, Voice-Assisted Product Search is Even Bigger

The U.S. Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report for 2019 revealed that 15% of U.S. smart speaker owners say they were making purchases by voice on a monthly basis at the end of 2018. That is up from 13.6% that were using voice for retail purchases at the beginning of the year. Keep in mind that this reflects a 10.5% rise in the relative use of smart speaker-based voice purchasing on top of a 40% rise in year-over-year device ownership. This voice shopping cohort reflects about 4% of all U.S. adults.

Jeff McMahon, CEO of Voicify, commented in this week’s Voicebot Podcast (N.B. segment starts at 39:49) that the rapid rise of voice purchasing in 2018 may be related to the six-fold increase in smart display ownership during 2018.

There is at least a correlation and future evidence may show there is causation as well…that [the rise in voice purchasing] is highly correlated with the new screen-based devices…I do think multimodal devices and their continued proliferation will also be a contributor to voice commerce.

Smart speaker owner behavioral data suggests McMahon’s prediction is correct. Smart display owners were 133% more likely to make voice purchases on a monthly basis in 2018 and 76% more likely to be conducting product searches using the devices.


While about 15% of smart speakers owners say they are making voice purchases regularly, 27.8% say they are using the devices monthly for product search. Voicebot’s current assessment is that voice-assisted product search is having an even bigger impact today than voice-triggered purchasing. Much of the voice purchasing today is repurchase using the convenience of a smart speaker’s presence in the kitchen. Voice-assisted product search is about discovering new products and considering their merit. This is the front end of the buying process that may culminate in a purchase and a product or service acquiring a new customer.

Data published this week from CouponFollow also identifies the rise of this new voice shopping behavior. That report found 45% of millennials today have used voice assistants during the shopping process for product discovery and to find product reviews. This is a broader assessment than Voicebot’s smart speaker user data because it includes the use of voice shopping on other devices such as smartphones. However, both data points emphasize that voice assistants are already being used in the shopping process. You can learn more about voice shopping consumer behavior by downloading the 2019 smart speaker report below.


Adobe Says 91% of Business Decision Makers Investing in Voice Today and Voice Commerce is the Top Objective of 45%

  • An Adobe survey says 91% of “business decision makers” are making significant investments in voice technologies
  • 88% responded that they intend to support multiple voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri
  • Adobe says 22% of businesses surveyed have launched a voice app and 44% plan to do so in 2019
  • The top three objectives for voice initiatives are all voice commerce related including purchases and order tracking

Adobe is talking about a new survey it conducted with 401 “business decision makers” and says that 91% claim they are already making “significant investments in voice” today while 94% say they will increase their investment over the next year. And, these investments will not go to support a single assistant ecosystem. Adobe found that 88% of those surveyed said they planned to support multiple voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.

Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said they had already launched a voice app and 44% expect to do so in 2019. That would suggest voice apps for businesses may double in 2019 and as many as two-thirds will have a voice app of some kind published.

This survey sample may be a bit skewed toward early adopters as reports that “59% of [participants] are in leadership roles and 41% of whom are practitioners, across different functional areas and industries.” Multi-industry practitioners in the Adobe world will generally translate into agencies, consultants, and other service providers which have a higher likelihood of working with clients on new technologies. However, the trend data seems about right as many large companies are looking closely at voice technologies today and some of this may be customer service oriented.


The report says that voice commerce was the top objective cited by survey participants at 45% wanting to enable purchases followed closely by order tracking also at 45% and the ability to make repeat purchases 44%. That means the top three objectives for these businesses were all commerce related.

About two-thirds or the survey takers believe that their voice presence will enable lead conversion while 29% have enabled some sort of voice purchasing through their earlier voice app launch. This again, seems a bit high, as there are few Alexa skills and Google Actions that explicitly enable voice ordering, but there is clearly strong interest. Other expected benefits beyond revenue generation are improved user experience (71%), increased consumer engagement (65%), and higher customer loyalty (64%). Heidi Besik, group product marketing manager at Adobe, told that voice commerce may be conducted differently than what we are accustomed to on the web and mobile.

“Many have doubted the potential of voice-based shopping because they expected it to drive activity in the same way that websites do. A similar misconception happened when mobile shopping began to take off. Similar to mobile, voice has the ability to support the overall shopping experience. It certainly has the potential to drive new purchases, and brands are focusing on that. But even more important is how services like order tracking, quick refills, and product research can create more loyal shoppers who may close the deal elsewhere.”

This is consistent with Voicebot’s primary research around consumer behaviors and sentiment. The 2019 Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report found that monthly product search by voice (27.8%) was about two times more common than actual voice purchases (15.0%).

Voicebot’s Voice Shopping Consumer Adoption Report of 2018 also went into great detail on both consumer voice shopping habits as well as differentiating between purchase impact and the actual order placement. Voice has many ways to impact the revenue cycle for consumer brands and it looks like the business decision makers cited by Adobe see that potential.



General Vision Offers Yet Another Brain-inspired Chip, but is Shipping

PETALUMA, Calif., May 17, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — In today’s landscape of Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning and its numerous inference engines are monopolizing the front stage, but other technologies have essential benefits such as field training and real-time adaptivity, novelty detection, learning causality and traceability.

Among them, the NeuroMem NM500 chip is a digital neural network chip capable of intrinsic learning and recognition of patterns derived from multimedia such as images and sounds, but also instruments, text and other data types. Manufactured by nepes (Korea) under a license from General Vision, the NM500 features 576 neurons which can be trained on small datasets and cleverly tuned to deliver the best compromise between throughput and accuracy for a given application. For example, one may prefer to train a NeuroMem network acknowledging when it is uncertain or even ignorant rather than guessing or reporting a “closest” match which can still be quite far. This is made possible when the neurons are used as a Radial Basis Function classifier, and not as the commonly known K-Nearest Neighbor. It is this notion of ignorance and uncertainty which can trigger the intelligent decision to learn more or to have the wise recourse to another opinion. By combining multiple NeuroMem networks (or experts) trained differently on the same subject, accurate decisions can be made taking advantage of their complementarity or their domains of mutual exclusivity.

To experiment with NeuroMem networks, General Vision’s NeuroMem Knowledge Builder is a simple framework to train and test the neurons on your datasets while producing rich diagnostics. The company also offers simple APIs and tools for generic pattern recognition as well as image recognition. They all integrate a cycle accurate simulation of 8000 neurons and can also interface to a hardware NeuroMem network such as the Brilliant USB dongle (2304 neurons), the Arduino-compatible NeuroShield board (576 neurons) with expandable network capacity, and soon a cognitive SSD with high speed throughput and high network capacity. In addition to the NM500 chip, NeuroMem is available as an IP core for FPGAs from Xilinx, Altera and Lattice and also for licensing.


SOURCE General Vision

Eurasian Media Forum: Kazakhstan to Welcome US Strategist Steve Bannon and Other Speakers of Influence

ALMATY, Kazakhstan, May 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Steve Bannon, US President Donald Trump’s controversial election campaign strategist, will be appearing on a new stage this month: Central Asia.

The occasion will be the Eurasian Media Forum (EAMF), an annual East-West conference hosted by Kazakhstan.  The three-day event will take place on 22-24 May in Almaty, the country’s southern commercial hub.

Bannon is one of a number of key speakers announced by the organizers.  Others include George Galloway (UK) – British politician, broadcaster and writer, and Mark Siegel (USA) – Deputy Assistant to the U.S. President J. Carter, Executive Director of the National Committee of the Democratic Party (1973 – 1977).

All three will be taking part in the session CRISIS OF TRUST. GLOBAL POWER BALANCE, debating one of the Forum’s critical global issues.

The organizers are expecting to welcome more than 500 delegates from 60 countries, a unique mix of politicians, journalists and experts from East and West, including the Eurasian region.

Under the overall theme: ‘The World Today: Transforming Reality?’, the Forum’s topical news agenda will cover international relations, economic trends, consumption issues, environmental threats, and the impact of artificial intelligence.  Professional media questions – for example, ‘Bloggers: the new rock stars?‘ – and regional issues will complete the menu.

After a first day of expert masterclasses, the 16th Forum will be officially opened at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Almaty on Thursday 23 May.  The series was launched on the initiative of Dr. Dariga Nazarbayeva in 2002 to promote East-West understanding after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Manhattan and Washington.

Registration is open until May 17th on the official website .  Places are limited!

The general partner of the Forum “Samruk-Kazyna” JSC.

For media contacts:
Aida Haidar
+7 700 782 0648

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SOURCE Eurasian Media Forum

Microsoft and General Assembly launch partnership to close the global AI skills gap

REDMOND, Wash., May 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Microsoft Corp. and global education provider General Assembly (GA) on Friday announced a partnership to close skills gaps in the rapidly growing fields of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and data engineering, machine learning, data science, and more. This initiative will create standards and credentials for AI skills, upskill and reskill 15,000 workers by 2022, and create a pool of AI talent for the global workforce.

Microsoft company logo. (PRNewsFoto/Microsoft Corp.) (PRNewsfoto/Microsoft Corp.)

Technologies like AI are creating demand for new worker skills and competencies: According to the World Economic Forum, up to 133 million new roles could be created by 2022 as a result of the new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms. To address this challenge, Microsoft and GA will power 2,000 job transitions for workers into AI and machine learning roles in year one and will train an additional 13,000 workers with AI-related skills across sectors in the next three years.

“Artificial intelligence is driving the greatest disruption to our global economy since industrialization, and Microsoft is an amazing partner as we develop solutions to empower companies and workers to meet that disruption head on,” said Jake Schwartz, CEO and co-founder of GA. “At its core, GA has always been laser-focused on connecting what companies need to the skills that workers obtain, and we are excited to team up with Microsoft to tackle the AI skills gap.”

The joint program will focus on three core areas: setting the standards for artificial intelligence skills, developing scalable AI training solutions for companies, and creating a sustainable talent pool of workers with AI skills.

  • Standards. To create clear and consistent standards for AI skills, Microsoft will be the founding member of GA’s AI Standards Board, and will be joined by other industry-leading companies at the forefront of AI disruption. Over the next six months, the Standards Board will define skills standards, develop assessments, design a career framework, and build an industry-recognized credential for AI skills. Learn more about GA’s Standards Boards here.
  • Training. As businesses adopt AI and machine learning cross-functionally, business leaders and technologists alike must understand AI concepts and master AI tools. Today, Microsoft supports business in aerospace, manufacturing and other sectors with Azure, but many workers are not yet ready to leverage its full capabilities. The collaboration will focus on accelerating the workforce training needs of Microsoft’s customers so that more teams have the foundational skills needed to work with AI.
  • Talent. To ensure that businesses can meet ever-growing AI talent needs, GA and Microsoft will establish an AI Talent Network to source candidates for hire and project-based work. GA will leverage its existing network of 22 campuses and the broader Adecco ecosystem to create a repeatable talent pipeline for the AI Talent Network.

“As a technology company committed to driving innovation, we have a responsibility to help workers access the AI training they need to ensure they thrive in the workplace of today and tomorrow,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president of Global Sales, Marketing and Operations at Microsoft. “We are thrilled to combine our industry and technical expertise with General Assembly to help close the skills gap and ensure businesses can maximize their potential in our AI-driven economy.”

About General Assembly

General Assembly (GA), an Adecco Group company, closes skills gaps for individuals and companies. Offering training and assessments in software engineering, data science, digital marketing, and more, GA is building clear career pathways for people, and sustainable, diverse talent pipelines for employers. To learn more visit

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

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SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

Splice Machine Partners with Informatica to Make it Easier to Modernize Applications Using Operational AI

SAN FRANCISCO, May 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Splice Machine, provider of the first and only operational artificial intelligence (AI) data platform, today announced that it has partnered with Informatica®, a leading data integration and Cloud management company, to create a Connector that will remove latency from real-time, operational AI applications and accelerate the journey to AI for the enterprise. The Connector will leverage Informatica’s cloud data management capabilities to accelerate data migration onto Splice Machine’s operational AI data platform, streamlining the ETL process and making it easier to modernize enterprise applications without delay. Splice Machine will discuss its new Informatica Connector in the AI & Cloud Innovators Pavilion at Informatica World 2019.

Company Name: Logo

The announcement comes a month after the Company announced the launch of a beta program for ML Manager, a native data science and machine learning platform operating on top of Splice Machine’s data platform, adding machine learning workflow management capabilities and giving data scientists an integrated platform for rapid experimentation and robust model management.

“In our mission to power real-time applications, our partnership with Informatica allows us to remove a significant barrier that stands in the way to modernizing applications, which is slow data migration and latency,” said Monte Zweben, co-founder and CEO, Splice Machine. “The new Connector, combined with our operational AI data platform, will power intelligent applications by leveraging real-time data at scale, improving decision making and delivering better business outcomes.” 

For more information on Splice Machine, visit

About Splice Machine
Splice Machine is the operational AI data platform to simplify digital transformation. Unlike other data platforms that require duct taping separate systems together, the Splice Machine data platform is a scale-out SQL RDBMS, data warehouse and machine learning management solution in one. The Splice Machine platform powers intelligent, mission-critical applications that are woven into the operational fabric of companies in the financial services, healthcare, industrial and consumer verticals to improve operational efficiency, eliminate unnecessary costs and deliver superior service. The Splice Machine data platform can be deployed on-premise or as a fully-managed cloud service.

Splice Machine is a trademark of Splice Machine, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective registered owners. Trademark use is for identification only and does not imply sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement.

About Informatica
Informatica is the only Enterprise Cloud Data Management leader that accelerates data-driven digital transformation. Informatica enables companies to fuel innovation, become more agile and realize new growth opportunities, resulting in intelligent market disruptions. Over the past 25 years, Informatica has helped more than 9,000 customers unleash the power of data. For more information, call +1 650-385-5000 (1-800-653-3871 in the U.S.), or visit Connect with Informatica on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Note: Informatica is a trademark or registered trademark of Informatica in the United States and in jurisdictions throughout the world. All other company and product names may be trade names or trademarks of their respective owners.

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SOURCE Splice Machine

Global Voice and Speech Recognition Markets, Analysis 2011-2018 & Forecasts 2019-2024

DUBLIN, May 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The “Voice and Speech Recognition Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2019-2024” report has been added to’s offering.

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The global voice and speech recognition market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17% during 2019-2024

Voice and speech recognition refers to an authentication technology which assists in receiving and interpreting the human voice and carrying out the spoken commands. This technology primarily works on the principle of translating commands into electrical signals, converting them into coding patterns and sending them back to the device in digital format for the final execution.

While it was developed several decades earlier, this technology has recently been introduced in mobile devices and other consumer electronics owing to the advancements in processing capabilities and improvements in network connectivity.

This trend, coupled with the rising use of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual assistants, such as Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, etc. has proliferated the demand for this software in the electronics industry.

Global Voice and Speech Recognition Market Drivers:

On account of changing lifestyles, rising internet penetration, and increasing consumers’ spending on media, entertainment and mobile communication, there has been a rise in the sales of electronic devices, such as tablets, laptops and smartphones, which have voice and speech recognition software pre-installed in them. Moreover, in order to retain their position in the market, various developers are upgrading speech and voice recognition software and introducing innovative products.

For instance, Google has recently announced to launch Google Duplex which can conduct natural conversation with users and help them in booking their reservations. Apart from this, due to increasing road accidents, governments across the globe have implemented stringent road safety regulations for averting the utilization of mobiles while driving. As a result, users are now preferring to utilize voice commands for carrying out different tasks on their mobile devices while driving.

Further, with the growing concern for safety and need for a strong verification process in mobile banking, a large number of banks are now adopting voice-based authentication solutions for accepting transactions which, in turn, is creating a positive outlook for the market.

Key Questions Answered in This Report:

  • How has the global voice and speech recognition market performed so far and how will it perform in the coming years?
  • What are the key regional markets in the global voice and speech recognition industry?
  • What is the breakup of the market based on the technology?
  • What is the breakup of the market based on the deployment mode?
  • What is the breakup of the market based on the delivery methods?
  • What is the breakup of the market based on the end-use?
  • What are the various stages in the value chain of the global voice and speech recognition industry?
  • What are the key driving factors and challenges in the global voice and speech recognition industry?
  • What is the structure of the global voice and speech recognition industry and who are the key players?
  • What is the degree of competition in the global voice and speech recognition industry?
  • What are the profit margins in the global voice and speech recognition industry?

Key Topics Covered:

1 Preface

2 Scope and Methodology
2.1 Objectives of the Study
2.2 Stakeholders
2.3 Data Sources
2.4 Market Estimation
2.5 Forecasting Methodology

3 Executive Summary

4 Introduction
4.1 Overview
4.2 Key Industry Trends

5 Global Voice and Speech Recognition Market
5.1 Market Overview
5.2 Market Performance
5.3 Market Breakup by Technology
5.4 Market Breakup by Deployment Mode
5.5 Market Breakup by Delivery Methods
5.6 Market Breakup by End-Use
5.7 Market Breakup by Region
5.8 Market Forecast

6 Market Breakup by Technology
6.1 Voice Recognition
6.2 Speech Recognition

7 Market Breakup by Deployment Mode
7.1 On Cloud
7.2 On-Premises/Embedded

8 Market Breakup by Delivery Methods
8.1 Artificial Intelligence (AI) Based
8.2 Non-Artificial Intelligence Based

9 Market Breakup by End-Use
9.1 Automotive
9.2 Enterprise
9.3 Consumer
9.4 Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI)
9.5 Government
9.6 Retail
9.7 Healthcare
9.8 Others

10 Market Breakup by Region
10.1 North America
10.2 Europe
10.3 Asia Pacific
10.4 Middle East and Africa
10.5 Latin America

11 SWOT Analysis
11.1 Overview
11.2 Strengths
11.3 Weaknesses
11.4 Opportunities
11.5 Threats

12 Value Chain Analysis

13 Porters Five Forces Analysis
13.1 Overview
13.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers
13.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
13.4 Degree of Competition
13.5 Threat of New Entrants
13.6 Threat of Substitutes

14 Price Analysis

15 Competitive Landscape
15.1 Market Structure
15.2 Key Players
15.3 Profiles of Key Players
15.3.1 Nuance Communication
15.3.2 Microsoft
15.3.3 Google Inc.
15.3.4 IBM
15.3.5 Baidu Inc.
15.3.6 Facebook Inc.
15.3.7 Apple Inc.
15.3.8 Amazon Inc.
15.3.9 Advanced Voice Recognition Systems
15.3.10 M2SYSLLC
15.3.11 Sensory
15.3.12 BioTrust ID B.V.
15.3.13 Voicebox Technologies

For more information about this report visit

Research and Markets also offers Custom Research services providing focused, comprehensive and tailored research.

Media Contact:

Research and Markets
Laura Wood, Senior Manager   

For E.S.T Office Hours Call +1-917-300-0470
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SOURCE Research and Markets

Inspur Showcases Open Hardware Innovations at Open19 Summit 2019

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — This year’s Open19 Summit opened with the theme of “Accelerating Open19 Adoption” to explore innovation and deployment of Open19 in data centers of varying scales, edge computing, artificial intelligence and other arenas. As the initial member of the Open19 community, Inspur was the first to release product designs based on the Open19 standard, which has been implemented on a large scale in data centers.

Open19 is an organization initiated by LinkedIn in 2016, and dedicated to create open and flexible standards for 19-inch racks suitable for any scale data center to solve real-world problems such as energy consumption, density, and flexibility.

As a sponsor of Open19 Summit and lead vendor for Open19, Inspur is showcasing a 1U computing solution and storage solution, integrated with the OCP NIC card.  OB5162M5 is a half-width compute node supporting dual socket Intel 2nd Generation Scalable Processers, 16 DIMMs, 4* 2.5-inch SATA/SSD hard disks, and 1* M.2 interface, designed and optimized for data-intensive applications like news syndication,  search engines, AI inferencing and other high I/O request applications. OB5161M5 is a full-width storage node supporting 12 *3.5-inch hard disks and 2* M.2 SATA ports, with a motherboard integrated with 2* 1Gb NICs and 2 x8 PCI-Es, optimized for search engine and big data applications.

Open19 products are a one-stop hardware innovation platform that integrates computing nodes, storage, networking, hardware management, power supply and other modules into a solution to simplify IT infrastructure deployment and management, reducing energy consumption and overall costs. The two products on display at Inspur’s booth can be integrated into a 19-inch standard cage to deliver a rack scale solution to customers.

Inspur is increasing the investment on open computing standards like Open19 to promote the development of open compute technology and industrial ecology. Through Inspur’s JDM (Joint Design Manufacturing) model, these technologies can be quickly and precisely integrated with the customer’s requirements, enabling rapid time-to-market and large-scale deployment, thereby maximizing the benefits of open computing to the client.

Inspur has historically been an active supporter of open source technology. From Linux to OCP, ODCC and Open19, Inspur has participated in a number of open source communities in the realm of software and hardware. With the development of open technology and industry, product designs and cloud service provider (CSP) demands are becoming open and standardized. As a key member of OCP, Open19 and ODCC, the world’s three largest open computing standards organizations, Inspur is increasingly engaged in the open hardware community, from contributing IPs to developing and establishing standards. Inspur’s contributions include the first server based on Open19 standards, the first OCP standard motherboard based on the Intel Skylake platform, and the first four-socket server based on Project Olympus. Inspur also joined the OCP OAM project, led the establishment of the OpenRMC project, and developed the world’s first rack scale management architecture based on the OCP standard.

Inspur is currently a global leader in hardware design, particularly in multi-node cloud servers. According to Gartner, Inspur ranked first in the world in 2018 in sales volume of multi-node cloud servers, with a market share of 13.2%. Facing the coming transformation of the cloud data center, Inspur will continue to promote integration of data center architecture and smart computing strategy, accelerate innovation of open computing technology, and create a robust open data center ecosystem.

Inspur & Open19

As a member of the Open19 initiative, Inspur leverages its experience in all current open hardware standards to bring innovative open designs to the community. Inspur’s Open19 platforms offer further open hardware options to the traditional 19-inch data center form factor, serving a broader range of users and operators and helping them accelerate adoption of open designs with minimal disruption to their existing infrastructure.

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SOURCE Inspur Electronic Information Industry Co., Ltd

SmartAction chosen as a 2019 Red Herring Top 100 North America Winner

PASADENA, Calif., May 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — SmartAction today announced that it had been chosen as a winner of Red Herring Top 100 North America 2019, which recognizes the continent’s most exciting and innovative private technology companies. SmartAction provides AI-powered virtual agents for call centers to automate conversations traditionally handled by live agents over voice, chat, and text.

The Red Herring winners, celebrated at a special awards ceremony at the Westin Pasadena hotel, have been chosen from thousands of entrants, whittled down to hundreds making the trip to California. The ceremony, led by Red Herring chairman Alex Vieux, was preceded by two days of keynote speeches, discussions and finalist presentations.

Companies were judged by industry experts, insiders and journalists on a wide variety of criteria including financial performance, innovation, business strategy, and market penetration. Winners ran the gamut of verticals, from FinTech and Marketing to Security, IoT, and many more industries.

Red Herring’s editors have been evaluating the world’s startups and tech companies for over two decades. It gives them the ability to see through the industry’s hype to pick firms that will continue on a trajectory to success. Brands such as Alibaba, Google, Kakao, Skype, Spotify, Twitter and YouTube have all been singled out in Red Herring’s storied history.

“2019’s crop of Top 100 winners has been among our most intriguing yet,” said Vieux. “North America has led the way in tech for so many years, and to see such unique, pioneering entrepreneurs and companies here in California, which is in many ways the heartland of the industry, has been a thrilling experience.

“What has excited me most is to see so many people forging niches in high-tech and cutting edge sectors,” added Vieux. “Some of the technical wizardry and first-rate business models showcased here at the conference has been fantastic to learn about. We believe SmartAction embodies the drive, skill and passion on which tech thrives. SmartAction should be proud of its achievement – the competition was incredibly strong.”

Following SmartAction’s Top 100 win, [they] are invited to the next step, which is to present at the Top 100 Global event in November that will encompass the best-in-show from the Top 100 Europe, North America, and Asia. Red Herring is dedicated to support SmartAction’s continued path to success and innovation.

About SmartAction

SmartAction was founded as an Artificial Intelligence (AI) research company in 2002 and is now the leading provider of AI-powered virtual agents for customer service. SmartAction uses proprietary conversational AI to automate conversations that used to be handled by call center agents over phone, chat, and text. SmartAction has nearly two decades of development in AI, machine learning, and natural language processing/understanding (NLP/NLU) to mimic live agent behavior across hundreds of call types and chats in every industry. SmartAction was recognized by Deloitte as a Tech Fast 500 recipient in 2016, Gartner “Cool Vendor” in 2017, and “The Leader in AI-enhanced Self-service” by Frost & Sullivan in 2018.

CONTACT: Charlie Schrier,


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SOURCE SmartAction

Seng Yee Lau Decodes Tencent’s Global Innovation Model at the China Business Forum 2019

LONDON, May 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Tencent and London Business School (LBS) collaborated for the first time in developing the Innovation and Agility at Tencent’s WeChat case study, which has been officially added to the LBS curriculum on May 16. This is a first in Tencent’s collaboration with LBS, with hopes for further exchanges in business theory and practice, talent development and other areas in the future.

Seng Yee Lau, Senior Executive Vice President and Chairman of Group Marketing and Global Branding at Tencent expressed, “Openness, partnership and sharing, have become the value consensus in the digital era. With the digital wave sweeping across the global, China’s innovations are getting attention now more than ever. Tencent is in discussion with LBS to actively explore opportunities in this context.”

Seng Yee Lau, Tencent’s Senior Executive Vice President, talks with Professor Julian Birkinshaw, Deputy Dean at London Business School and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, during the China Business Forum 2019 hosted by LBS on May 17

The WeChat case study is developed by a top international business school for the first time, based on in-depth interviews with Allen Zhang, Senior Executive Vice President, President of Weixin Group, as well as early members of the WeChat team and other senior executives. The case study development is the first undertaking within Tencent’s “Global Business School Cooperation Program”, which was launched in 2018 with the goals of openly sharing Tencent’s business innovations and practices, collaborating with the world’s top business schools, exploring opportunities for joint research on cutting-edge business ideas, aiding the development of the industry, and enabling global talent development and exchange.

Seng Yee Lau was invited to attend the China Business Forum 2019 hosted by LBS. As a representative of China’s Internet technology sector, Lau shared his perspectives on the topic of “China’s innovations”. A flagship event of the school, the Forum builds bridges between the political, business, and academic sectors of the two nations. It is one of the largest and most influential business forums in Europe today.

An important topic at this year’s China Business Forum, “Created in China” is becoming a topic of global attention. Lau expressed that support on a national-strategy level has been the foundation, with the development of Internet technology providing a boost; the borderless nature of the Internet means technology created in China can be shared globally. He believes “Created in China” is driven by innovations, and shared how Tencent seizes the opportunities of the modern era and continues to innovate in business, ecosystems, and society.

At the business level, Tencent is deeply rooted in internet-based technology and culture. “The exploration of basic research and cutting-edge technology have profoundly shaped past technology revolutions in human history. Tencent doesn’t just rely on its own strengths, but also joins the business and academic sectors in contributing to the advancement of science and technology together,” Lau said. Tencent continues to invest in pioneering technologies – such as artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing, and robotics – and promote technological innovation and application in various fields. It also encourages young scientists to dedicate themselves to basic scientific research. To this end, the Tencent Foundation has committed 1 billion RMB in funding (approximately 112 million GBP) and teamed up with renowned scientists to establish the “Xplorer Prize.” Through industry investment, Tencent also works extensively with partners in various sectors all around the world, constantly exploring innovations and breakthroughs in disruptive technologies.

No matter how advanced technology is, however, culture is irreplaceable, Lau noted. Tencent’s commitment extends to fostering the new culture of the digital age. Tencent subsidiary China Literature brings together 7.3 million readers and is China’s largest digital reading platform, as well as online literary creation platform. Similarly, in the digital culture fields of music, video, gaming, and more, Tencent has maintained its industry leadership through platform innovation.

At the ecosystem level, Tencent enables innovation across businesses and sectors through its open and jointly created ecosystems. Lau shared industry innovation practices from China, such as how China Southern Power Grid was able to cut the time needed for a data sorting task from over one month to just a few days, thanks to Tencent Cloud AI computer vision technology. In retail, the YH Super Species supermarkets have placed QR codes on product labels so that consumers can scan and pay through a WeChat Mini Program, enabling them to quickly shop and be on their way, which significantly improves operational efficiency in retail. Lau noted that, “Tencent will be a good ‘digitalization assistant’ for all businesses and sectors – providing new forms of infrastructure such as cloud computing, big data analytics, and AI capabilities; stimulating partners to create their own digital innovations; and building a digital ecosystem and community together.”

At the societal level, Tencent follows the vision of “technology for good”, helping to build a sustainable world. “Innovation is only a means Tencent hopes that with the help of technological innovation, a smarter, more sustainably developed innovative society can be built,” said Lau. “That’s why we’re advocating in our industry and in society for ‘technology for good’ – using technology to solve problems from medical to educational or even address global challenges such as those relating to food, water, or the environment.” Lau gave the example of how Tencent used computer vision technology to develop the AI Medical Innovation System, which helps doctors interpret diagnostic images. To date, it has read over a hundred million images, with an accuracy rate of 96%, making it an AI system that saves lives. Tencent AI Lab also worked with agricultural experts to create an agricultural AI system that improves the agricultural output and resource utilization. The system improves output by more than five times as compared with human-managed planting, and it won second place at the 2018 Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge.

As the first Chinese internet product to break 1 billion monthly active users, WeChat is Tencent’s most iconic exemplar, and now a case study in a top business school’s curriculum. “Tencent’s open sharing of WeChat’s innovations and practices, together with analysis by LBS and subsequent research with top students around the world, will contribute to the advancement of global business thinking and the building of a more inclusive digital future,” said Professor Julian Birkinshaw, Deputy Dean at London Business School and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship. “The value of the WeChat case study is not just in its representation of China’s innovation. WeChat also demonstrates an advanced level of global innovation, which sets an example to entrepreneurs and is a research subject for innovators.”

Against the backdrop of Chinese innovations going global in recent years, Tencent has accelerated its establishment of international collaborations, adapting its business strengths in a new model of overseas expansion. In May 2018, Tencent and the UK Department for International Trade signed a Memorandum of Understanding to boost the rapid development of the cultural creative industries through digital means, working with the British Tourist Authority, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Springer Nature, and other organizations and enterprises. The initial set of collaborations focused on the three major areas of film and television, art, and gaming.

In January 2019, Tencent and the France National Museums Union (RMN) established a strategic cooperation. Based on Tencent’s New Cultural Creativity experience and digital capabilities, Tencent and RMN are carrying out a deeper cooperative exploration in the domain of cultural exchanges, as well as traditional cultural inheritance and innovation. Together, they also launched the “Global Digital Museums for National Treasures” program to digitize precious Chinese relics in international museum collections, using the power of the Internet to enable more Chinese people to overcome borders to enjoy their country’s historical treasures and experience traditional cultures.

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SOURCE Tencent