This week, Travis and Stewart have the opportunity to interview Adelyn Zhou of Topbots. We find out the latest in AI, how smaller businesses can get involved (it isn’t just for Fortune 500 types), what’s going on with chatbots, and whether she prefers Decepticons or Autobots.

We also discuss the latest news (including some AI startups, of course), debate why it is now OK for Amazon Echo to get voice ads, and compare and contrast our experiences at both CUBE Tech Fair in Berlin and Martech 2017 in San Francisco.

And don’t forget: You can win a Huawei MediaPad M3 tablet in our fantastic giveaway, details of which you can find at the end of this article.

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  • Welcome to VB Engage episode 52! [0:10]
  • Stewart is in Berlin right now for the CUBE Tech Fair, where Enlitic received 1 million euros for winning the CUBE Challenge Startup Competition. [01:40]
  • Travis, on the other hand, is in San Francisco for the MarTech Conference, where he moderated eight different sessions for Scott Brinker and his team. [02:10]
  • Enlitic uses machine learning to help health care professionals diagnose and settle health issues. [04:00]
  • Nvidia announced that it will be training 100,000 developers in Deep Learning AI Technology. [05:15]
  • Christian Plagemann, vice president of content at Udacity said there is a real demand for developers who not only understand artificial intelligence, but know how to use it in commercial applications. [06:00]
  • Stewart is looking for a collective noun for AI developers. If you have a great suggestion, go to Twitter and use #VBEngage to share it with us. [07:30]
  • After the furore around Google Home voice ads, Amazon declared that it is restricting ads within Alexa, with exceptions for streaming music, radio, and flash briefing apps. [09:00]
  • Is it really a surprise that we are getting ads in our voice devices? [09:45]
  • While there are a lot of chatbots, the better ones are using AI and natural language processing. [10:15]
  • Please welcome our guest, Adelyn Zhao! She is the CMO of TopBots, a research and strategy firm focusing on AI and bot technology. [11:00]
  • What is the deal with Facebook and why is bot discoverability still an issue? [12:00]
  • Facebook is driving consumer growth, which has been the company’s focus for the last two years. [12:20]
  • It took a long time for Facebook to implement chatbots in group chat due to privacy issues. [13:20]
  • Facebook is pushing for paid bot ads as a way to help people discover bots. [13:50]
  • Not all bots are artificially intelligent, most are just decision trees. [14:45]
  • Because of AI, there are a lot of tools that help with customer service and content creation. Narrative Science uses AI to help marketers create blog posts, find the best titles, and actually create entire pieces of content. [15:30]
  • Coca-Cola is using an AI company to create images for its ads. [15:50]
  • Salesforce is using plugins to help determine what type of client to go after and what type of email journey they should receive. The company is now using sophisticated technology that is predictive. [17:00]
  • What are some tools that small to medium-sized businesses can use so they get AI at an early stage without spending too much? [18:20]
  • TopBots is writing about software or systems that have an AI plugin or use AI technology without increasing costs. You can find the list here. [20:00]
  • What can chatbot developers do to help with user retention? [20:45]
  • If you are building a bot to replace an app, you need to continuously create new content. Octane AI helped Maroon5 create a chatbot. Every other week they will create a new conversation that gives users a reason to come back. [22:10]
  • Get people to opt in to notifications so they will be reminded to come back. [22:15]
  • Poncho, a weather app, had really bad retention rates. After a few tweaks, including asking people to turn on notifications, changing how users are messaged, and asking consumers for location-based information, the app was able to double its retention rate. [23:10]

Competition time!

To mark our podcast-iversary, we’re giving away a Huawei MediaPad M3! Entering the competition is easy — just click the image to get started with your entry below and earn extra points by completing simple tasks. The more points you have, the more chance you’ve got of winning the MediaPad. Our special thanks go to Huawei for donating such an awesome prize. Good luck!

Above: No image? That’s OK – just click here to enter.

Make sure you tune into last week’s conversation with Sujan Patel of WebProfits and Ramp Ventures. He is managing five startups simultaneously, and we talked about how he makes that work.

Next week, we will have the CEO of Super Evil Mega Corp, Kristian Segerstrale. We talk about building communities and enjoy maniacal laughter.

And don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review VB Engage on your favorite podcast platform. Or your least favorite. Thanks!

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