Amazon Is Adding New Features To Alexa…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week – Forbes

Close-up of the base of an Amazon Echo smart speaker using the Alexa service, with Amazon logo … [+] visible, on a light wooden surface, San Ramon, California, May 31, 2018. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?
1— Amazon is adding new features to Alexa to make it easier for users.
Many changes are coming for Alexa by Amazon, and the biggest one is how Alexa mitigates individual routines. Amazon will also make these new features easier to use by having Alexa’s voice activation use a virtual command that helps with urgent needs. This new Alexa is still in the development process. (Source: The Verge)
Why this is important for your business:
Keep an eye on Alexa for Business too. Amazon is quietly building tools based on Alexa’s technology so that workers can get things done by voice commands. Sending an invoice to a customer. Generating a report for a manager. Initiating a returns claim. Onboarding a new employee. There are endless ways voice technology can increase productivity in an office…and it’s all coming.
2—Cyber hackers are using “Deepfakes” to attack organizations.
Deepfakes are AI generated images to portray fake people or to cosplay as real people. The cyberattackers have been using this technology to get through safeguards in order to collect information from major companies. The rise of these specific attacks have been caused by the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine. The hackers use this type of cyber attack to collect ransom in exchange for getting the victim’s personal information back. (Source: Silicon Republic)
Why this is important for your business:
Deepfake technology is becoming more common – as predicted – and it will be important for business owners and their employees to become even more cognizant of scams being built on this new type of technology. It’s not just video, it’s also voice – as one bank manager found out after losing $35 million. Get training.
3—The text to image AI system—DALL-E 2—has been released to the public.
It’s been only a few weeks since OpenAI released the DALL-E 2 system and people have noticed a few kinks. The system allows for businesses and customers alike to search for items and have a computer generate an image that fits the description. However, there is still a lack of volume licensing as well as some unstableness within the human models. Although this system isn’t perfect, many companies such as Heinz have taken this as a way to creatively market their products. The leaders of this product see a world of possibilities for DALL-E 2 and other AI systems. (Source: Tech Crunch )
Why this is important for your business:
According to OpenAI, E 2 is a new AI system that can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language. concepts, attributes, and styles. DALL-E 2 can make realistic edits to existing images from a natural language caption. If your business in the arts or graphics industry it could be a powerful way to create new products. Or, like Heinz, it could be an innovative way to create marketing materials.
4—15five receives funding for more human centered talent management.
Software company 15five has received $52 million in a Series C funding in order to create innovative ways for workplaces to increase productivity within employees using human resourcing skills. What they hope is to incentivize managers to enforce a space where workers can achieve their greatest success post-pandemic. (Source: 15five)
Why this is important for your business:
According to their blog the company will use the new round of funding “to invest in research and development to further connect the ability to measure performance (via engagement surveys, performance reviews, and OKRs) and accelerate the integration of software with coaching. The goal is for every manager to impact team performance more effectively and efficiently.” 15five is one of many HR tools to create more productivity and worker satisfaction.
5— Google Meet is upping the ante with new features amidst their merger with Duo.
Google Meet is now partnering with Duo to release a variety of new applications. This is all in part to keep up with other streaming services like Zoom who have excelled from the COVID-19 pandemic. The new services that are said to come from this merger are access to Spotify, Youtube, and even games like UNO. However, these apps won’t directly be featured on the video call but rather through a separate app that is only available for Android. (Source: XDA Developers)
Why this is important for your business:
As Google writes on its blog, the company has upgraded the Google Duo experience “to include all Google Meet features and bringing our two video calling services together into a single solution. This upgrade, which started rolling this summer, gives everyone access to new features like scheduling and joining meetings, virtual backgrounds, in-meeting chat and more, in addition to your current video calling features.” If your business is working with these applications it may be worth the time to understand the new features.


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