Artificial intelligence the star of Google I/O

 

Google I/O was full of announcements about upcoming products and enhancements. The most notable, such as Google Assistant and Google Home, revolved around AI.

We’re in a seminal moment, said Google chief executive (CEO) Sundar Pichai kicking off the company’s annual I/O Conference in San Francisco.

Looking back at the past 17(!?) years, Pichai discussed Google’s evolution to the live audience of 7,000. As technology gets more sophisticated, he sees artificial intelligence (AI) playing a huge role in the company’s next 17 years.

“Leveraging our state-of-the-art capabilities in machine learning and AI, we truly want to take the next step in being more assistive to our user. Today, we are announcing the Google Assistant,” said Pichai, one of the only people in the world who’s allowed to use the “L” word on Search Engine Watch. “We think of it as building each user their own individual Google.”

Right now, 20% of Google searches are queried by voice. Google Assistant is the next step in that, combining voice search with the rest of Google’s AI capabilities. For example, if you were standing in front of that giant bean in Chicago, you could ask, “Who designed this?” without any mention of where you are; Google already knows.

What separates Google Assistant from other digital assistants is its various integrations, including Uber, Fandango and OpenTable. While Siri can tell you what time The Jungle Book is playing, you can’t actually purchase tickets through her.

google-junglebook

Another new product is Google Home, the search giant’s answer to the Amazon Echo. Like Alexa, Google Home – which is customizable with different fabrics, materials and colors to match your home aesthetic – can play music and TV shows, and control various aspects of your connected home.

“What makes Google Home really shine is that it has search built in,” added Mario Queiroz, vice president of product management at Google. “It draws on 17 years of innovation to answer questions, which are difficult for other assistants to handle.”

Google Home is meant to be a more intelligent version of AI, able to answer both your generic (“How much fat is an avocado?”) and personal (“What time is my flight on Sunday?”) questions. That same level of personalization will be applied to Allo, a messaging app that will be available this summer.

Allo is a bit like the GIF-heavy Peach app (RIP) with Google’s AI built in. The suggested responses will be, rather than canned replies, based on what your past responses have been, to both text and images.

“The more you use Allo, the better the suggestions become. The suggestions will be unique to you,” said Erik Kay, Google’s engineering director.

Other features include a built-in Google Assistant – which allows you to book a restaurant on OpenTable directly in the app while messaging, for instance – and Whisper and Shout, complementary features that amplify your reaction, making it larger or smaller.

whisper-shout-google

Other highlights from the Google I/O keynote include:

  • An upcoming video calling app, Duo, will includes a live stream of the person calling, allowing you to potentially gauge their mood. For instance, if my boss Graham was calling me with Duo, I’d be able to see if he looked really angry and ready to yell at me for using the word “leverage” earlier.
  • More details of Android N were revealed. Among them are the introduction of the Vulkan graphics API to Google’s mobile platform; a “Clear All” button to simultaneously dismiss all active apps; and split-screen and picture-in-picture modes for multitasking.
  • Google is building a virtual reality (VR) platform, Daydream, on top of Android N. Unlike Cardboard, which works with any smartphone, Daydream will only work on new phones with specially-built sensors and screens. The platform will include VR versions of Google properties such as YouTube, StreetView, and Play Movies, in addition to Netflix and Electronic Arts.
  • Android Wear, Google’s smart watch, will be updated to include a tiny keyboard, the ability to show data from any application, and automatic activity activation. For example, if you start running, an icon will pop up asking if you want to play your workout playlist on Spotify.

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Artificial intelligence the star of Google I/O

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Content marketing has been one of the industry’s buzz phrases for the last few years, but as the medium rapidly evolves and consumers’ expectations change, are businesses still getting it right?

Amy Nicholson, managing editor at content strategy agency Sticky Content, says it’s time for businesses to install their own great content leaders, who can bring together expertise from every division in their company to create a great content strategy.

ClickZ caught up with Amy to find out more in advance of her talk at this year’s Shift event.

Why is now the time for businesses to install a great content leader?

Because content is bigger, faster and stronger than it’s ever been, and it deserves the respect of its own department. Why? It’s not a conceit or a vanity project – content makes people money. And its value is easier to prove than ever.

Content is everywhere – on dozens of channels that didn’t exist 10 years ago and performing 1,000 functions that cannot be limited to the old marketing and PR pots we’re used to. We’re not just talking about another slew of “10 winter skincare dos and don’ts” either, we’re talking sophisticated personalisation models, heavily optimised transactional processes and gorgeous, immersive video. Content is everything.

Because it’s such a powerful force, it needs a firm hand. It needs someone who can work across these divisions with enough influence to make real changes and enough strategic thinking to see the cumulative impact. It needs someone who can draw the distinction between useful, valuable content and something that adds to the noise.

But unfortunately for a lot of companies – especially the big, old ones – the structure they’re working in doesn’t support this change in thinking.

So they might have someone in digital or even IT looking after the back end of the website, product teams managing product pages, and then SEO, CRM and marketing teams doing a load more work besides, with no one at the top pulling all of these crucial operations together.

Where might an organisation that doesn’t have a dedicated content leader find someone within their company who fits the bill?

Look for people who really know your customers. Sometimes you’ll find great content people in marketing, customer service, or digital. Find someone who can, without bias, balance your customers’ needs with those of your business.

You can outsource a lot of your content strategy, but not all of it. Any organisation that wants to do better at content needs to remember you’ve got to keep some of the work at home – usually the bits that draw directly on your business strategy.

That said, a smart content agency can help on almost every element of the execution – from helping you define and shape your tone of voice, coming up with some brilliant, creative ideas and also helping in distribution and measurement.

But that big, overall direction has to come from you.

What are businesses getting wrong with their content strategies?

They don’t appreciate how wide and deep they need to go. A real content strategy defines everything it touches.

So it’s not an editorial calendar or a CRM plan. It’s not a tone of voice, an attribution model, some templates or guidelines. It’s not just a spreadsheet (no matter how hot the colour coding) or a meeting agenda. It’s the idea that ties all of those things, and plenty more besides, together.

The other thing that tripwires content projects of all kinds is the people. Shooting some video or writing some nice blogs is the easy bit – getting the right people on board first and making sure the strategy actually gets executed is the much more nebulous (but much more valuable) work.

For that, you’ll need someone who can balance creative and commercial needs with a really clear sense of how to get things done.

Good content is always collaborative. We’re not writing novels here, we’re selling things on the internet. You need a varied, skilled and ego-free squad to do that really well.

What trends should content marketers be aware of for 2016?

Content marketers should spend less time worrying about trends and more about figuring out what’s actually going to make their customers’ lives better.

Sort your CRM out, then worry about whether or not you need a better presence on Snapchat, or whether or not VR is A Thing.

Who should attend your session at Shift?

Anyone who’s not sure if they’re taking content seriously enough. And anyone who’s sure they’re not, but isn’t quite sure what to do about it.

Don’t miss Amy’s session ‘7 behaviours of brilliant content leaders’ at ClickZ & SEW’s flagship event Shift, taking place from 24th to 25th May.

Excerpted from:
Shift Q&A: “Content is not a conceit or a vanity project, it makes people money”

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Content marketing has been one of the industry’s buzz phrases for the last few years, but as the medium rapidly evolves and consumers’ expectations change, are businesses still getting it right?

Amy Nicholson, managing editor at content strategy agency Sticky Content, says it’s time for businesses to install their own great content leaders, who can bring together expertise from every division in their company to create a great content strategy.

ClickZ caught up with Amy to find out more in advance of her talk at this year’s Shift event.

Why is now the time for businesses to install a great content leader?

Because content is bigger, faster and stronger than it’s ever been, and it deserves the respect of its own department. Why? It’s not a conceit or a vanity project – content makes people money. And its value is easier to prove than ever.

Content is everywhere – on dozens of channels that didn’t exist 10 years ago and performing 1,000 functions that cannot be limited to the old marketing and PR pots we’re used to. We’re not just talking about another slew of “10 winter skincare dos and don’ts” either, we’re talking sophisticated personalisation models, heavily optimised transactional processes and gorgeous, immersive video. Content is everything.

Because it’s such a powerful force, it needs a firm hand. It needs someone who can work across these divisions with enough influence to make real changes and enough strategic thinking to see the cumulative impact. It needs someone who can draw the distinction between useful, valuable content and something that adds to the noise.

But unfortunately for a lot of companies – especially the big, old ones – the structure they’re working in doesn’t support this change in thinking.

So they might have someone in digital or even IT looking after the back end of the website, product teams managing product pages, and then SEO, CRM and marketing teams doing a load more work besides, with no one at the top pulling all of these crucial operations together.

Where might an organisation that doesn’t have a dedicated content leader find someone within their company who fits the bill?

Look for people who really know your customers. Sometimes you’ll find great content people in marketing, customer service, or digital. Find someone who can, without bias, balance your customers’ needs with those of your business.

You can outsource a lot of your content strategy, but not all of it. Any organisation that wants to do better at content needs to remember you’ve got to keep some of the work at home – usually the bits that draw directly on your business strategy.

That said, a smart content agency can help on almost every element of the execution – from helping you define and shape your tone of voice, coming up with some brilliant, creative ideas and also helping in distribution and measurement.

But that big, overall direction has to come from you.

What are businesses getting wrong with their content strategies?

They don’t appreciate how wide and deep they need to go. A real content strategy defines everything it touches.

So it’s not an editorial calendar or a CRM plan. It’s not a tone of voice, an attribution model, some templates or guidelines. It’s not just a spreadsheet (no matter how hot the colour coding) or a meeting agenda. It’s the idea that ties all of those things, and plenty more besides, together.

The other thing that tripwires content projects of all kinds is the people. Shooting some video or writing some nice blogs is the easy bit – getting the right people on board first and making sure the strategy actually gets executed is the much more nebulous (but much more valuable) work.

For that, you’ll need someone who can balance creative and commercial needs with a really clear sense of how to get things done.

Good content is always collaborative. We’re not writing novels here, we’re selling things on the internet. You need a varied, skilled and ego-free squad to do that really well.

What trends should content marketers be aware of for 2016?

Content marketers should spend less time worrying about trends and more about figuring out what’s actually going to make their customers’ lives better.

Sort your CRM out, then worry about whether or not you need a better presence on Snapchat, or whether or not VR is A Thing.

Who should attend your session at Shift?

Anyone who’s not sure if they’re taking content seriously enough. And anyone who’s sure they’re not, but isn’t quite sure what to do about it.

Don’t miss Amy’s session ‘7 behaviours of brilliant content leaders’ at ClickZ & SEW’s flagship event Shift, taking place from 24th to 25th May.

Original post:
Shift Q&A: “Content is not a conceit or a vanity project, it makes people money”

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Content marketing has been one of the industry’s buzz phrases for the last few years, but as the medium rapidly evolves and consumers’ expectations change, are businesses still getting it right?

Amy Nicholson, managing editor at content strategy agency Sticky Content, says it’s time for businesses to install their own great content leaders, who can bring together expertise from every division in their company to create a great content strategy.

ClickZ caught up with Amy to find out more in advance of her talk at this year’s Shift event.

Why is now the time for businesses to install a great content leader?

Because content is bigger, faster and stronger than it’s ever been, and it deserves the respect of its own department. Why? It’s not a conceit or a vanity project – content makes people money. And its value is easier to prove than ever.

Content is everywhere – on dozens of channels that didn’t exist 10 years ago and performing 1,000 functions that cannot be limited to the old marketing and PR pots we’re used to. We’re not just talking about another slew of “10 winter skincare dos and don’ts” either, we’re talking sophisticated personalisation models, heavily optimised transactional processes and gorgeous, immersive video. Content is everything.

Because it’s such a powerful force, it needs a firm hand. It needs someone who can work across these divisions with enough influence to make real changes and enough strategic thinking to see the cumulative impact. It needs someone who can draw the distinction between useful, valuable content and something that adds to the noise.

But unfortunately for a lot of companies – especially the big, old ones – the structure they’re working in doesn’t support this change in thinking.

So they might have someone in digital or even IT looking after the back end of the website, product teams managing product pages, and then SEO, CRM and marketing teams doing a load more work besides, with no one at the top pulling all of these crucial operations together.

Where might an organisation that doesn’t have a dedicated content leader find someone within their company who fits the bill?

Look for people who really know your customers. Sometimes you’ll find great content people in marketing, customer service, or digital. Find someone who can, without bias, balance your customers’ needs with those of your business.

You can outsource a lot of your content strategy, but not all of it. Any organisation that wants to do better at content needs to remember you’ve got to keep some of the work at home – usually the bits that draw directly on your business strategy.

That said, a smart content agency can help on almost every element of the execution – from helping you define and shape your tone of voice, coming up with some brilliant, creative ideas and also helping in distribution and measurement.

But that big, overall direction has to come from you.

What are businesses getting wrong with their content strategies?

They don’t appreciate how wide and deep they need to go. A real content strategy defines everything it touches.

So it’s not an editorial calendar or a CRM plan. It’s not a tone of voice, an attribution model, some templates or guidelines. It’s not just a spreadsheet (no matter how hot the colour coding) or a meeting agenda. It’s the idea that ties all of those things, and plenty more besides, together.

The other thing that tripwires content projects of all kinds is the people. Shooting some video or writing some nice blogs is the easy bit – getting the right people on board first and making sure the strategy actually gets executed is the much more nebulous (but much more valuable) work.

For that, you’ll need someone who can balance creative and commercial needs with a really clear sense of how to get things done.

Good content is always collaborative. We’re not writing novels here, we’re selling things on the internet. You need a varied, skilled and ego-free squad to do that really well.

What trends should content marketers be aware of for 2016?

Content marketers should spend less time worrying about trends and more about figuring out what’s actually going to make their customers’ lives better.

Sort your CRM out, then worry about whether or not you need a better presence on Snapchat, or whether or not VR is A Thing.

Who should attend your session at Shift?

Anyone who’s not sure if they’re taking content seriously enough. And anyone who’s sure they’re not, but isn’t quite sure what to do about it.

Don’t miss Amy’s session ‘7 behaviours of brilliant content leaders’ at ClickZ & SEW’s flagship event Shift, taking place from 24th to 25th May.

Read the original here:
Shift Q&A: “Content is not a conceit or a vanity project, it makes people money”

Share/Save/Bookmark

 

Content marketing has been one of the industry’s buzz phrases for the last few years, but as the medium rapidly evolves and consumers’ expectations change, are businesses still getting it right?

Amy Nicholson, managing editor at content strategy agency Sticky Content, says it’s time for businesses to install their own great content leaders, who can bring together expertise from every division in their company to create a great content strategy.

ClickZ caught up with Amy to find out more in advance of her talk at this year’s Shift event.

Why is now the time for businesses to install a great content leader?

Because content is bigger, faster and stronger than it’s ever been, and it deserves the respect of its own department. Why? It’s not a conceit or a vanity project – content makes people money. And its value is easier to prove than ever.

Content is everywhere – on dozens of channels that didn’t exist 10 years ago and performing 1,000 functions that cannot be limited to the old marketing and PR pots we’re used to. We’re not just talking about another slew of “10 winter skincare dos and don’ts” either, we’re talking sophisticated personalisation models, heavily optimised transactional processes and gorgeous, immersive video. Content is everything.

Because it’s such a powerful force, it needs a firm hand. It needs someone who can work across these divisions with enough influence to make real changes and enough strategic thinking to see the cumulative impact. It needs someone who can draw the distinction between useful, valuable content and something that adds to the noise.

But unfortunately for a lot of companies – especially the big, old ones – the structure they’re working in doesn’t support this change in thinking.

So they might have someone in digital or even IT looking after the back end of the website, product teams managing product pages, and then SEO, CRM and marketing teams doing a load more work besides, with no one at the top pulling all of these crucial operations together.

Where might an organisation that doesn’t have a dedicated content leader find someone within their company who fits the bill?

Look for people who really know your customers. Sometimes you’ll find great content people in marketing, customer service, or digital. Find someone who can, without bias, balance your customers’ needs with those of your business.

You can outsource a lot of your content strategy, but not all of it. Any organisation that wants to do better at content needs to remember you’ve got to keep some of the work at home – usually the bits that draw directly on your business strategy.

That said, a smart content agency can help on almost every element of the execution – from helping you define and shape your tone of voice, coming up with some brilliant, creative ideas and also helping in distribution and measurement.

But that big, overall direction has to come from you.

What are businesses getting wrong with their content strategies?

They don’t appreciate how wide and deep they need to go. A real content strategy defines everything it touches.

So it’s not an editorial calendar or a CRM plan. It’s not a tone of voice, an attribution model, some templates or guidelines. It’s not just a spreadsheet (no matter how hot the colour coding) or a meeting agenda. It’s the idea that ties all of those things, and plenty more besides, together.

The other thing that tripwires content projects of all kinds is the people. Shooting some video or writing some nice blogs is the easy bit – getting the right people on board first and making sure the strategy actually gets executed is the much more nebulous (but much more valuable) work.

For that, you’ll need someone who can balance creative and commercial needs with a really clear sense of how to get things done.

Good content is always collaborative. We’re not writing novels here, we’re selling things on the internet. You need a varied, skilled and ego-free squad to do that really well.

What trends should content marketers be aware of for 2016?

Content marketers should spend less time worrying about trends and more about figuring out what’s actually going to make their customers’ lives better.

Sort your CRM out, then worry about whether or not you need a better presence on Snapchat, or whether or not VR is A Thing.

Who should attend your session at Shift?

Anyone who’s not sure if they’re taking content seriously enough. And anyone who’s sure they’re not, but isn’t quite sure what to do about it.

Don’t miss Amy’s session ‘7 behaviours of brilliant content leaders’ at ClickZ & SEW’s flagship event Shift, taking place from 24th to 25th May.

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Shift Q&A: “Content is not a conceit or a vanity project, it makes people money”

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