Extole Mixes Advocates and Loyalty Marketing for Retailers

I’d love to have made “the customer strikes back” into a theme for the day, but those stories are hard to find. Extole specializes in advocate marketing, which is sort of about empowered customers. But its big news is a new retail-specific system that can give separate rewards to new customers when they join a loyalty program and the advocates who recommended them when those customers make a purchase. This is all about companies shaping consumer behaviors: not that that’s bad, exactly, but it’s the normal scheme of things. Dog bites man: no news in that.

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GE Has a Mini-Acquisition Spree to Beef Up Its Machine Monitoring Technology

November 21, 2016

Speaking of acquisitions, GE Digital recently spent $915 million to buy cloud-based field service technology company ServiceMax, $153 million for Internet of Things data integration specialist Bit Stew, and an undisclosed amount for machine learning expert This is all intended to build its equipment monitoring business but if you don’t think equipment data can be transformed into customer insights, you might want to think again.

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Meta Releases Lying, Offensive AI and Pretends to Be Surprised

November 23, 2022

Like trouble, bad behavior by Meta shows up whether you look for it or not.  The latest is an open-source language model that was supposed to provide reliable search results because it was trained on academic papers.  Alas, it was quickly withdrawn after reviewers found that it returned results that were grammatical and plausible but also incorrect, not to mention filled with “antisemitism, homophobia, and misogyny.”  How can this be a surprise?

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