IBM's Watson Now A Customer Service Agent, Coming To Smartphones Soon - Forbes

IBM’s question-answering Watson supercomputer is building quite the résumé. First it won a much-publicized showdown against the two greatest Jeopardy! champions of all time, then it went to medical school and emerged as a budding oncologist. Now Watson has a new job–as a customer-service agent with the mostest. The help desk is a bit of a step down from fighting cancer, but IBM is nothing if not pragmatic. U.S. organizations spend $112 billion on call center labor and software, yet half of the 270 billion customer-service calls go unresolved each year, presenting a fairly sizable opening for an enhanced cognitive computer. Let’s face it: Rare is the occasion when you a) reach a live person and b) they know what they’re talking about. Why not give silicon a chance?

Starting in the next few months, IBM will be rolling out with several key customers an “Ask Watson” feature that will greet and offer help through various channels:  Web chats, email, smartphone apps and SMS. Some customers will eventually equip the service with voice recognition from a partner such as Siri or Nuance. The guinea pigs include Australia’s ANZ Bank, Nielsen, Celcom, IHS, and Royal Bank of Canada.

We’re heading for a world with more smartphones than bank accounts – Quartz
Bank accounts are out, smartphones are in. In 2011, some 2.5 billion people in the world were “unbanked” (pdf), as the lingo goes, according to the World Bank. By 2016, more people will have bank accounts, but in regions like the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, even more will have smartphones, research and consulting firm Analysys Mason predicts in a report today.

We’re heading for a world with more smartphones than bank accounts – Quartz

Bank accounts are out, smartphones are in. In 2011, some 2.5 billion people in the world were “unbanked” (pdf), as the lingo goes, according to the World Bank. By 2016, more people will have bank accounts, but in regions like the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, even more will have smartphones, research and consulting firm Analysys Mason predicts in a report today.

 Walt Mossberg Look Ahead to 2013 - Talk Gets Cheaper, TV Gets Smarter
Internet-Controlled Everything
Another trend I expect to see in 2013 is an expansion of apps and devices that let people wirelessly control many everyday objects, from light bulbs to appliances, using low-powered networks and smartphones or tablets. And we’ll likely see more smart devices with such intelligence built in, similar to the Nest intelligent thermostat, which is Wi-Fi powered.

 Walt Mossberg Look Ahead to 2013 - Talk Gets Cheaper, TV Gets Smarter

Internet-Controlled Everything

Another trend I expect to see in 2013 is an expansion of apps and devices that let people wirelessly control many everyday objects, from light bulbs to appliances, using low-powered networks and smartphones or tablets. And we’ll likely see more smart devices with such intelligence built in, similar to the Nest intelligent thermostat, which is Wi-Fi powered.

Last year we saw consumers waiting until after Thanksgiving dinner to start shopping. Now they’re shopping all day long. Your iPhone is now your newest utensil at the dinner table; sad, but true.

As Number of Smartphones Passes 1Bn, 2Bn is Tipped to Come by 2015
The number of smartphones in use worldwide has passed the 1 billion mark for the first time, according to analyst firm Strategy Analytics, which estimates the landmark was surpassed during the third quarter of 2012. Strategy Analytics believes that there were 708 million smartphones one year ago, during the third quarter of 2011, and that figure grew by nearly 300 million to hit 1.038 billion units during the most recent quarter.

As Number of Smartphones Passes 1Bn, 2Bn is Tipped to Come by 2015

The number of smartphones in use worldwide has passed the 1 billion mark for the first time, according to analyst firm Strategy Analytics, which estimates the landmark was surpassed during the third quarter of 2012. Strategy Analytics believes that there were 708 million smartphones one year ago, during the third quarter of 2011, and that figure grew by nearly 300 million to hit 1.038 billion units during the most recent quarter.

courtenaybird:

How Tech Has Changed How We Cook - The Atlantic

The cooking site AllRecipes was founded 15 years ago by a group of food-loving anthropology grad students. In 1999, the then-two-year-old site surveyed its users, asking them questions about why and when and how they cook. Now, to commemorate its birthday, AllRecipes re-conducted that same survey, asking its current users the same questions it asked back in 1999. 

courtenaybird:

How Tech Has Changed How We Cook - The Atlantic

The cooking site AllRecipes was founded 15 years ago by a group of food-loving anthropology grad students. In 1999, the then-two-year-old site surveyed its users, asking them questions about why and when and how they cook. Now, to commemorate its birthday, AllRecipes re-conducted that same survey, asking its current users the same questions it asked back in 1999. 

(via thenextweb)

Tapping aggregate smartphone data for new, community-level insights
A wealth of data is generated by smartphones around the globe every day, yet rarely is it tapped in aggregate form. The NextTrain app we profiled last year is perhaps one exception, but startup Behavio aims to take such efforts even further. Specifically, Behavio seeks to use the huge amount of data smartphones collect to identify patterns of behavior across society. READ MORE…

Tapping aggregate smartphone data for new, community-level insights

A wealth of data is generated by smartphones around the globe every day, yet rarely is it tapped in aggregate form. The NextTrain app we profiled last year is perhaps one exception, but startup Behavio aims to take such efforts even further. Specifically, Behavio seeks to use the huge amount of data smartphones collect to identify patterns of behavior across society. READ MORE…

State of the News Media 2012 - Pew Research Center
This year’s study also includes special reports on the impact of mobile technology and social media on news. Those reports, which feature new survey data, finds that rather than replacing media consumption on digital devices, people who go mobile are getting news on all their devices. They also appear to be getting it more often, and reading for longer periods of time. For example, about a third, 34%, of desktop/laptop news consumers now also get news on a smartphone. About a quarter, 27%, of smartphone news consumers also get news on a tablet. These digital news omnivores are also a large percentage of the smart phone/tablet population. And most of those individuals (78%) still get news on the desktop or laptop as well.
A PEJ survey of more than 3,000 adults also finds that the reputation or brand of a news organization, a very traditional idea, is the most important factor in determining where consumers go for news, and that is even truer on mobile devices than on laptops or desktops. Indeed, despite the explosion in social media use through the likes of Facebook and Twitter, recommendations from friends are not a major factor yet in steering news consumption.
In the post-PC present, we have news up the ying, exploding out of all our devices like volcanic magma. But the Pew verbiage about who profits misses an essential point — typified by the ‘news consumption’ viewpoint they still espouse — we have moved away from audience-centered media to experience-centered media. The experience is what matters, so that’s why the value shifts to the tools we use to use information shaped by the news form factor. Using information is not equivalent to ‘consuming media’, but the media companies don’t get it.
The new media folks desperately want to write for some hypothetical audience, one they can find the center of. They are like border collies, wired to herd sheep and frantic if they can’t find any.
Read the full report.

State of the News Media 2012 - Pew Research Center

This year’s study also includes special reports on the impact of mobile technology and social media on news. Those reports, which feature new survey data, finds that rather than replacing media consumption on digital devices, people who go mobile are getting news on all their devices. They also appear to be getting it more often, and reading for longer periods of time. For example, about a third, 34%, of desktop/laptop news consumers now also get news on a smartphone. About a quarter, 27%, of smartphone news consumers also get news on a tablet. These digital news omnivores are also a large percentage of the smart phone/tablet population. And most of those individuals (78%) still get news on the desktop or laptop as well.

A PEJ survey of more than 3,000 adults also finds that the reputation or brand of a news organization, a very traditional idea, is the most important factor in determining where consumers go for news, and that is even truer on mobile devices than on laptops or desktops. Indeed, despite the explosion in social media use through the likes of Facebook and Twitter, recommendations from friends are not a major factor yet in steering news consumption.

In the post-PC present, we have news up the ying, exploding out of all our devices like volcanic magma. But the Pew verbiage about who profits misses an essential point — typified by the ‘news consumption’ viewpoint they still espouse — we have moved away from audience-centered media to experience-centered media. The experience is what matters, so that’s why the value shifts to the tools we use to use information shaped by the news form factor. Using information is not equivalent to ‘consuming media’, but the media companies don’t get it.

The new media folks desperately want to write for some hypothetical audience, one they can find the center of. They are like border collies, wired to herd sheep and frantic if they can’t find any.

Read the full report.

(via underpaidgenius)

For the first time, more than 100 million Americans have smartphones, according to a report by research firm comScore MobileLens … About 234 million Americans over the age of 13 used cellphones in January, meaning that the penetration for smartphones in the U.S. is around 43.3%.