Amazon has launched a new set of tools to allow businesses to use its Alexa-driven smart speakers in offices and conference rooms.
Alexa could be coming to a conference room near you soon. The artificial intelligence (AI) technology that underpins Amazon’s Dot and Echo smart speakers got bumped up the corporate agenda yesterday, with the announcement of Alexa for Business.
Alexa for Business is a set of tools for using the voice-activated virtual assistant in the workplace, explained Amazon’s chief technology officer Werner Vogels, speaking at the Amazon Web Services Reinvent conference in Las Vegas.
Voice, he said, is “a natural way of interacting with your systems. You ask your environment to give you the right answer.”
There are, for example, new integrations for popular office software, including communications tools from Microsoft Exchange and RingCentral; customer relationship management software from Salesforce; and SAP’s Concur and SuccessFactors applications, for travel and expenses and talent management, respectively. Meanwhile, tools are provided to enable IT administrators to set up and manage smart speakers on corporate networks.
Work-based virtual assistants could be useful in all sorts of ways, as AWS explained in a blog post.
Devices shared by teams, for example, could be used to start meetings in conference rooms, turning on video conferencing equipment and dialing into conference calls. Or they might enable employees to use voice to request directions around an office building, find an open conference room, report a problem with building equipment or order new supplies.
Devices dedicated to individual employees, meanwhile, could help busy executives make phone calls, send messages, check calendars, schedule meetings or find information in applications such as Salesforce or SAP Concur.
In fact, many businesses are already using Alexa in the workplace, sometimes without the IT department’s knowledge. A recent survey by security tools company Armis of its clients showed that over four-fifths (82 percent) have at least one Amazon Echo in their corporate environment, “sometimes in very sensitive environments.” Armis warned that these devices could be vulnerable to the Blueborne malware.
Hello everyone and welcome to another Touchstone Tavern, our weekly roundup of the best news stories and videos from the world of Hearthstone [Free]. As you would expect, last week was all about the upcoming Kobolds & Catacombs expansion, so we’ve got plenty of stories and videos about the latest card reveals and what they might mean for the game. There’s also more talk about Dungeon Runs and the Recruit mechanic, a story on possibly the most powerful card ever, and plenty of video reviews. And, just to break from the expansion monotony, we have a story about all the Overwatch heroes turned into Deathknight cards. Enjoy.
TouchArcade and Value City Reveal Three Shaman Cards
If you want to see some cool Shaman cards that are all about Totems, check out our reveal of three Kobolds & Catacombs cards. The reveal took place in a video podcast alongside Value City. The cards themselves are great for those stubborn enough to build totem decks, so check out the story here and the video below.
If you’re still unsure about Recruit, the new mechanic coming in the upcoming expansion, read this story. The writer talked to Peter Whalen and Dave Kosak about Recruit and got some interesting information out of that chat. The story talks about Recruit and deckbuilding, how it plays out in different classes, and more. The story also has an exclusive video on Dungeon Run that’s also worth watching.
Silver Vanguard Reveal
Would you like an expensive, low-stat minion with a strong Deathrattle? If yes, Silver Vanguard is for you. This 7-cost 3/3 minion Recruits an 8-cost minion once it perishes. This reveal article goes into a lot of detail about Silver Vanguard’s potential and how Recruit might play out. What do you think of Silver Vanguard?
Paladin Legendary Unveiled
Each class will receive a Legendary minion and a Legendary weapon, and Lynessa Sunsorrow is the Legendary Paladin minion. This 7-cost 1/1 minion has a Battlecry “Cast each spell you cast on your minions this game on this one.” As you can imagine, it’s very easy to boost this Legendary to crazy heights if you have played the right spells before casting it. Read more about this Legendary here.
Some of the New Legendary Weapons Have Voice Lines
In this article, Ben Thompson, Hearthstone Lead Artist, reveals that some of the Weapons we are getting in the next expansion have things to say once played. Those weapons have death lines, lines for when they come into the game, and lines when they are used. Not all weapons have those lines, but those who do will be fun to play with. Read the whole story here.
Is This 3/3 Dragon One of the Most Powerful Cards Ever?
Duskbreaker is a 4-mana 3/3 Priest Dragon that deals 3 damage to all other minions if you’re holding a Dragon, and many players think this card is one of the most powerful cards in the game ever. It can clear up the board and give you a free 3/3 body on the board, a combination that can put you in the driving seat. The writer goes into more details about why many are fearing Duskbreaker, and you can read all that here.
As is usually the case, each new expansion brings along some cards with crazy RNG, and Grand Archivist is one of those cards. This 8-mana 4/7 card casts a spell from deck on random targets at the end of your turn. While it’s a very expensive card for the stats, it can bring all kinds of crazy RNG to the game, and that’s always fun. Read more about Grand Archivist here.
Paladin and Mage Spellstones Unveiled
Spellstones are a new kind of card coming to the game, and this week we got to see the Paladin and Mage ones. The Mage Spellstone adds a random Mage spell to your hand and gets upgraded when you play two Elementals. The Paladin one summons one 2/2 minion with Taunt and gets upgraded when you restore 3 Health. The writer thinks the Paladin one has more potential. Are you sold on the Spellstones?
Shaman Legendary Grumble, Worldshaker Makes Minions Cheap
Grumble, Worldshaker, the new Shaman Legendary, sounds like a fun card to play because it returns all your minions to your hand when played and drops their cost to 1. The writer of this article sees this card as having massive possibilities. While it’s early to know it’s power, I do like the art on it. Check out the whole story here.
New Priest Legendary Gives Two Turns to Everyone
Now, this is a fun idea. Temporus, the new Priest Legendary, lets your opponent have two turns in a row and then you take two turns. Isn’t that fun? Whether it will be strong or not remains to be seen, and you could easily lose before you get a chance to play those two turns. But still, this is a fun Legendary. Head here to read the whole story.
Check Out These Overwatch Deathknights
If you ever wondered how Overatch heroes would look as Deathknights, look no further than this reddit post. You can see Mercy and her Caduceus Staff, Ana, and all the other Overwatch heroes as Deathknights here, and it’s definitely worth checking it out if you like Overwatch.
Businesses are struggling to recruit employees with the skills needed to make a success of IoT, according to Canonical, creator of the IoT operating system, Ubuntu Core.
The company’s report, Defining IoT Business Models, for which 360 IoT professionals, developers and vendors were surveyed, found that 68 percent struggle to identify and hire employees with relevant IoT expertise.
The most difficult to hire are employees with knowledge of big data and analytics, with 35 percent of IoT professionals saying they struggle to recruit this skillset. This is problematic, because having a knowledge of big data and analytics is also identified as the most important skillset for IoT professionals, with 75 percent of respondents deeming it to be necessary attribute for anyone claiming to be an IoT expert.
The next most hard-to-find skillsets for IoT professionals are knowledge of embedded software development (33 percent), embedded electronics (32 percent), expertise in IT security (31 percent) and an understanding of artificial intelligence (30 percent).
Explaining the findings of the study, Mike Bell, executive vice president of IoT and devices at Canonical, told Internet of Business that, since the IT skills gap has posed a challenge for years, the industry is “bombarded with guidance on how to better hire, train and retain talent.”
“What our research uncovered, though, is that there is an opportunity in the Internet of Things arena for companies to take a different approach entirely: to change their practices in a way that would reduce their need for scarcely-available talent, and make the job at hand achievable with the team they have,” he continued.
“Instead of chasing a shrinking pool of skilled IoT technicians, or waiting for the next generation of talent that may or may not arrive, companies can simplify the technologies behind their IoT implementations to make their deployments easier to build, manage and upgrade. That enables greater agility, reduces the hiring burden on companies, and accelerates their ability to derive real returns on their IoT investments.”
You'll now have a bigger chance of beta testing upcoming iOS, tvOS, watchOS and even iMessage apps from your favorite developers. Cupertino has expanded the number of beta testers devs can invite on TestFlight to a whopping 10,000 from a measly 2,000… Engadget RSS Feed