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Facebook F8 Takeaways – The Future is Private

F8, what was an 8- hour hackathon is now Facebook’s annual 2-day conference for developers, creators and entrepreneurs all around the world.

Conducted in McEnergy Convention Center in San Jose, CEO Mark Zuckerberg stressed his vision of building a privacy-focused social platform “as a product”  as he debuted the newest version of the company’s core app.

Digital Equivalent of a Living Room:

With the expansion of the digital world, Privacy fills the vacuum with a unique sense of purpose — giving us the power to be ourselves. F8 spent much time discussing privacy upgrades and improvements to social impact from the client side. The problem area of concern being security, algorithm fairness, privacy, misinformation, inclusion safety and care, accessibility, election integrity and content policy.

“For the last 15 years or so, we have focused on building Facebook and Instagram into the digital equivalent of town squares. But I believe that the future is private and over time, a private social platform will be even more important in our lives than digital town squares. So today, we’re going to start talking about what this could look like as a product”, said Zuckerberg which worked to set the tone for the rest of the conference. The core techs being implemented to resolve the problem area for every product team are computer vision, natural language processing, encryption, data framework, speech recognition, text-to-speech, liability tools, AI infrastructure, OCR and embedding.

Zuckerberg aims to change their business trajectory to win back the trust of the users by focusing their vision on 6 privacy principles for every one of their digital platforms.

  • Private Interactions
  • Encryption
  • Reduced Permanence
  • Safety
  • Interoperability
  • Secure data storage

“This isn’t just about building features,” Zuckerberg said. “We need to change a lot of ways we run this company.”

Privacy First Approach:

Facebook:
Initially designed as an alternative to the then social-media-champion, MySpace; Facebook’s design, flexibility and the key focus on amplifying social connections and distribution of public information, rocketed to become the social media sovereign within a span of 5 years.

In early 2018, plagued by public data breaches and scandals, the social media giant was under heavy scrutiny for its management of user data. Zuckerberg didn’t dodge the issue at F8.
“I know we don’t have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, but I’m committed to doing this well and starting a new chapter for our products.” He meant it as a joke that wasn’t.
Instead of what Facebook is, F8 was about what Facebook wants to be.

The first thing to have been rolled out in the conference is FB5 with its big redesign making it lighter, faster and cleaner.De-emphasising its news feed and prioritizing groups and events. “Friends” are  no longer the centre of the experience. With the launch focus has been made to build a community and make “communities as central as friends”.

Messenger:
The Facebook Messenger also got an overhaul for its upcoming LightSpeed with a rebuilt architecture making it 2x faster, 7x smaller, simpler, more reliable and more secure. With the last year messenger launch M4, it was the first step towards the vision.
“People’s communication styles are migrating toward messaging way faster than anyone thought,” said Stan Chudnovsky, head of Messenger. “And people want to communicate with businesses the same way.” With messages being end-to-end encrypted, the messenger is now the fastest and most secure messaging platform.
For business, an automated system has been created that allows customers to book an appointment through messenger.

The all-new desktop app has some new features for business users. It also allows its users to host group video calls and collaborate on projects. The AI smart camera is using the “pose detection” tech to give a hasslefree and even more life like experience.

Instagram:
Instagram updates basically focused on giving the users the ability to shop directly from the makers and “Support the people who make”, and raise funds within the app.
Instagram is also testing hiding the total number of likes a post receives to bring back the focus on connection than posting for likes.
Stories now don’t have to start with the camera anymore. Users can now get more creative with their stories. They can now raise money for charitable causes with a new donation sticker on their stories.

Finally, the Instagram camera will be updated with the “create mode” allowing to post effects and interactive stickers without having to take a photo or record a video.

Whatsapp:
Whatsapp updates deliver a private and intimate experience with end-to-end encryption. It now allows users to send their location privately with their friends and families. The company rolled out a product catalogue feature for small WhatsApp businesses and payment process that is being tested in India.

Zuckerberg left the audience with one final notion:
“This is about building the kind of future we want to live in. To build a world where we can be ourselves and live freely and know that our private moments are only going to be seen by the people they want, where we can come together around community and commerce, where we build in the tools that we need to keep us safe from the beginning and prevent harm and we then are able to focus on all the good people are able to do. Both in private and in public, both the living room and the town squares.”

How do you think Facebook’s new direction would affect the users?  We’re hoping to see some more updates?
Let us know by commenting.
To know us in person, drop a Hi at hello@mantralabsglobal.com

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Chatbots are the assistants of the future and they are taking the Internet by storm. Ever since their first appearance in 1994, the goal was to create an AI that could conduct a real dialogue with their interlocutors. The purpose is to free up customer service agents’ time so they could focus on more delicate tasks- which require a more human approach.

If you are thinking about including a chatbot on your website, here are the things you need to keep in mind to boost customer engagement and deliver high-quality services.

Define your audience

First things first- think about who will be interacting with the chatbot? Who are your customers? How do they talk? How can you address them in a way they’ll enjoy? How can you help them?

For instance, if your company sells clothes that are mostly designed for young adults, using a less formal tone will be much more appealing to them.

Lisa Wright, a customer service specialist at Trust My Paper advice: “Customer service calls are usually recorded, so listening to a few of them can be a good place to start designing your chatbot’s lines of dialogue.”

Give your bot some character

People don’t like to talk to plain, simple robots. Therefore, giving your chatbot some personality is a must. Some brands prefer naming their chatbots and even design an animated character for them. This makes the interaction more real.

For example, The SmarterChild chatbot- designed back in 2000, was able to speak to around 2,50,000 humans every day with funny, sad, and sarcastic emotions.

However, the chatbot’s character needs to match your brand identity and at the same time- appeal to customers. Think about – how would the bot speak, if they were real? Are there some phrases or words they would never use? Do they tell jokes? All these need to be well-thought through, before going into the chatbot writing and design phase.

According to a report published by Ubisend in 2017, 69% of customers use the chatbot to get an instant answer. Only 15% of them would interact for fun. Thus, don’t sacrifice the performance for personality. 

Also read – 5 Key Success Metrics for Chatbots

Revise your goals before chatbot writing

Alexa- Amazon bot has 30+ skills which include scheduling an appointment, booking a cab, reading news, playing music, controlling a smartphone, and more. However, every business bot doesn’t need to be a pro in every assisting job.

Before entering the writing phase, think over once again – WHY you need a chatbot? Will it help customer service only? Or will it also help in website navigation, purchase, return, refund, etc.?

Usually, customers want one of the three things when they visit your site: an answer to something they’re looking for, make a purchase, or a solution to their problem. You can custom build your chatbot to tackle either one or all of these three situations. Many brands use chatbots to create tailored products for their clients.  

Cover all possible scenarios

When you start writing the dialogue, consider the fact that a conversation can go in many directions. To ensure that all the situations are covered- start with a flowchart of all possible questions and the answers you chatbot can give.

To further simplify your chatbot writing, take care of one scenario at a time and focus on keeping the conversation short and simple. If the customer is too specific or is not satisfied with the bot’s response, do not hesitate to redirect them to your customer service representatives.

For instance, Xiaocle is one of the most successful interactive chatbots launched by Microsoft in July 2014. Within three months of its launch, Xiaocle accomplished over 0.5 billion conversations. In fact, speakers couldn’t understand that they’re talking to a bot for 10 minutes.

Also read – Why should businesses consider chatbots?

This article is contributed to Mantra Labs by Dorian Martin. Dorian is an established blogger and content writer for business, career, education, marketing, academics, and more.

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The antiquated commodity of Financial ‘Coverage & Protection’ is getting a new make-over.  Conventional epigrams like ‘Insurance is sold and not bought’ are becoming passé. Customers are now more open than ever before to buying insurance as opposed to being sold by an agent.  The industry itself is witnessing an accelerated digitalization momentum on the backs of 4G, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence-based technologies like Machine Learning & NLP.

As new technologies and consumer habits keep evolving, so are insurance business models. The reality for many insurance carriers is that they still don’t understand their customers with great accuracy and detail, which is where intermediaries like agents and distributors still hold incredible market power.

On the other hand, distribution channels are turning hybrid, which is forcing carriers to be proficient in their entire channel mix. Customer expectations for 2020 will begin to reflect more simplicity and transparency in their mobility & speed of service delivery.

A recently published Gartner Hype Cycle highlights 29 new and emerging technologies that are bound for greater business impact, that will ultimately dissolve into the fabric of Insurance.

For 2020 and beyond, newer technologies are emerging along with older but more progressively maturing ones creating a wider stream of opportunities for businesses.

Gartner-Hype-Cycle

Irrespective of the technology application adopted by insurers — real, actionable insights is the name of the game. Without it, there can be no long term gains. Forrester research explains “Those that are truly insights-driven businesses will steal $1.2 trillion per annum from their less-informed peers by 2020”.

Based on the major trends identified in the Hype Cycle, 5 of the most near-term disruptive technologies and their use cases, are profiled below.

  1. Emotion AI
    Emotion Artificial Intelligence (AI) is purported to detect insurance fraud based on the audio analysis of the caller. This means that an AI system can decisively measure, understand, simulate and react to human emotions in a natural way.

    F0r Insurers, sentiment and tone analysis captured from chatbots fitted with emotional intelligence can reveal deeper insights into the buying propensity of an individual while also understanding the reasons influencing that decision.

Emotion-Intelligence-Market



Autonomous cars can also sensors, cameras or mics that relay information over the cloud that can be translated into insights concerning the emotional state of the driver, the driving experience of the other passengers, and even the safety level within the vehicle.

Gartner estimates that at least 10% of personal devices will have emotion AI capabilities, either on-device or via the cloud by 2022. Devices with emotion AI capacity is currently around 1%.

  1. Augmented Intelligence
    Augmented Intelligence is all about process intelligence. Widely touted as the ‘future of decision-making’, this technology involves a blend of data, analytics and AI working in parallel with human judgement. If Scripting is rules based automation, then ‘Augmenting’ is engagement and decision oriented.

    This manifests today for most insurance carriers as an automated back-office task, but over the next few years, this technology will be found in almost all internal and customer facing operations. Insurers can potentially offer personalised services based on the client’s individual capacity and exposure to risk — creating opportunities for cross/up-selling.
Gartner-Data-Analytics-Trends-Forecast-2019


Source: Gartner Data Analytics Trends for 2019


For instance, Online Identity Verification is an example of a real-time application that not only enhances human’s decision making ability, but also requires human intervention in only highly critical cases. The Global value from Augmented AI Tools will touch $4 Trillion by 2022.

  1. AR Cloud
    The AR Cloud is simply put a real-time 3D map of an environment, overlayed onto the real World. Through this, experiences and information can be shared without being tied down to a specific location. Placing virtual content using real world coordinates with associated meta-data can be instantly shared and accessed from any device.

    For insurers, there is a wide range of opportunities to entice shopping customers on an AR-Cloud based platform by presenting personalized insurance products relevant to the items they are considering buying.

    The AR ecosystem will be a great way to explain insurance plans to customers, provide training and guidance for employees, assist in real-time damage estimation, improve the quality of ‘moment-of-truth’ engagements. This affords modern insurance products to co-exist seamlessly along the buying journey.

  2. Personification
    Personification is a technology that is wholly dependent on speech and interaction. Through this, people can anthropomorphize themselves and create avatars that can form complex relationships. The Virtual Reality-based concept will be the next way of communicating and forming new interactions.

    VR Applications such as  accident recreation, customer education and live risk assessment, can help insurers lower costs for its customers and personalise the experience.

    Brands have already begun working their way into this space, because as they see it — if younger generations are going to invariably use this technology for longer portions of their day for work, productivity, research, entertainment, even role-playing games, they will shop and buy this way too.

  3. Flying Autonomous Vehicles and Light Cargo Drones
    Although this technology is only a decade away from being commercially realized, the non-flying form is about to make its greatest impact since its original conception. Regulations are the biggest obstacle to the technology taking off, while its functionality continues to improve.

    The Transportation & Logistics ecosystem is on the brink of a complete shift, which will create a demand for a wide array of insurance related products and services that covers autonomous vehicles and cargo delivery using light drones.

While automation continues to bridge the gaps, InsurTechs and Insurance Carriers will need to embrace ahead of the curve and adopt newer strategies to drive sustainable growth.

Mantra Labs is an InsurTech100 company solving complex front & back-office processes for the Digital Insurer. To know more about our products & solutions, drop us a line at hello@mantralabsglobal.com

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