News Round-Up: 12 July

This week’s news roundup is as AI heavy as ever. With more firms looking to ‘out-shiny’ each other it’s no wonder that we’re seeing a big conference launch to celebrate the good the bad and the ugly in AI. Also, as Google is dragged over the coals for admitting to having contractors review conversations recorded on their Google Home devices, the EU has said that fines aren’t the best method of changing behaviour amongst the tech behemoths.

We hope you find this interesting reading as you head into your weekend.

Data gathering in retail as a possible saviour for the high street

The retail industry is known to be struggling, with British Retail Consortium figures published this year indicating that one in 10 shops are lying empty in town centres across the UK. However, designer and retail entrepreneur Karen Millen told the BBC that “retail isn’t dead – it’s taking a new direction”. Although Millen’s solution was about placing more emphasis on the shopping experience, other recently published Market Study Reports have predicted that an expected rapid growth in AI in the retail market might be what saves the nation’s high street.

Xcelerate conference to show how AI can revolutionise the retail industry

The dates have been announced for this year’s conferences that will bring together the world’s top providers of AI-enabled revenue growth management solutions and customer-centric insights for retailers and CPG manufacturers. The first Xcelerate conference will be held in Paris on 18-19 of September and the second in Dallas, Texas on the 8-9 of October.

The event aims to “help attendees identify new revenue growth opportunities, activate a plan to seize these opportunities and realize results” while organised sessions will aim to “illustrate the ways retailers and CPG companies are using AI and machine learning to substantially improve the speed, accuracy, flexibility and value of their customer insights, personalized marketing, supply chain, category management, and more”.

Smart-concierges helping to boost efficiency and growing revenue in the hospitality industry

The coastal Californian resort, Ranch at Laguna Beach, is the latest implementer of Go Moment’s award-winning AI-powered concierge- ‘Ivy’.

The smart-concierge provides conversational and contextual assistance to guests, and was developed as a hybrid model that would increase efficiency and allow for staff to engage more with guests. The new technology has already shown to generate more revenue and increase operational efficiency, according to the Rooms Division Director at the resort.

Europe looks beyond fining companies as a means of regulating the Big Tech industry

The EU is looking to change its business model in order to do more to change the behaviour of large companies in Big Tech. The change was backed to regulatory authorities by European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli and Britain's Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, who said that fines are not effective enough of a deterrent for Big Tech companies and business model changes need to be made instead.

The call for more regulation comes after Google was subject to fines of over 8 billion euros by the office of Margrethe Vestager, European commissioner for competition. Although fines serve a political function, “their effect on the market in terms of helping smaller competitors remain to be seen,” said Politico in their coverage of this story.

Bill proposed by US senators to get companies to disclose the real value of their big data to users

Senators Mark R. Warner and Josh Hawley have proposed the new Dashboard bill that would require companies with over 100 million users to reveal how much the data gathered on them is worth, including the revenue from "obtaining, collecting, processing, selling, using or sharing user data." The bill would also allow users to ask for the data on them to be deleted from the company databases.

Written for The Conversation , author Samuel Lengen, who is a researcher exploring the ethical and political implications of digital platforms and big data, wrote: “I'm sympathetic to the bill's ambition of increasing transparency and empowering users. However, estimating the value of user data isn't simple and won't, I believe, solve privacy issues.”

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