Categories
Game

Pokemon GO leak data shows iPhone-only eggs and SMS contact

Those iPhone Pokemon GO users that were bummed to see Google Play sponsoring the Pokemon GO Fest 2021 event will be glad to see iOS-specific eggs in the near future. The latest update to the game files for Pokemon GO revealed this (iOS-specific eggs) and a wide variety of wild new updates and teasers for future items and features in the game. Also found were new fitness tracking mods, dynamic re-load of map elements, cross game settings between other Niantic games, and an expansion of the ways in which a player can work with their address book.

This new set of updates comes in a big way from exploration done by PokeMiners Toronto as posted with The Silph Road on Reddit. Data and code for Pokemon GO found in this way doesn’t always guarantee real live features, but given their appearance in the game’s release build file, there is (or has been in the past) a REALLY GOOD chance we’ll see what’s teased make its way to live play.

The iOS eggs element appears as such: IOS_EGGS and IosEggs, right alongside HATCHING, NON-HATCHING, and HATCHED. It may be that Niantic needed to make a specific element to account for Apple’s rules for “loot boxes” and such, but given the still largely free set of rules surrounding eggs, it’s difficult to see why that’d be true. It might also be that “IOS” does not refer to iOS, the operating system – but we shall see!

Map Update were given a bit of a boost in this update. Code “cachedMapSettings” and other elements indicate that the user will have more control over how and when the map is updated, and – we hope – how much data a user is using when they play the game. Cross your fingers this means we’ll see less of this recurring app data bug situation in the future.

Fitness Updates just keep coming! In this latest update, Niantic added a “get_NumOfHours” element to the fitness section of the game. This sits beside number of days, number of weeks, and so forth.

Niantic games cross-talk increases with this update. We’ll soon be able to set Niantic Profile, online status, cross game friends lists, game invites, a shared friend graph, nickname, cross game online status, and work with address book imports.

In the address book arena, Niantic also continues to attempt to get users to invite friends and family. Syncing your contacts list with the game will continue to be pushed, invites for friends will be encouraged. Niantic is also attempting to add some “contact method” system elements with email and SMS messaging – weird!

Take a peek at the timeline below for more information on recent updates to Pokemon GO. Also stay tuned – there’s a BUNCH of Shiny action on the horizon.

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Categories
AI

Lusha raises $40 million to surface sales lead contact info in your browser

Lusha, a Tel Aviv-based startup developing a crowdsourced data community for business-to-business salespeople, today announced it has raised $40 million. The company plans to use the funds to further grow its sales platform as it looks to invest in R&D.

According to HubSpot, over 40% of salespeople say prospecting — making outbound calls or emails in hopes of creating opportunities — is the most challenging part of the sales process. The industry is dominated by lengthy cycles, organizational buy-in, and yearly contracts costing tens of thousands of dollars. Salesforce found that today’s professionals spend just 34% of their time selling and that 57% expect to miss their annual quotas as a result.

Lusha, which was cofounded in 2016 by Assaf Eisenstein and Yoni Tserruya, provides an assistant in the form of Chrome, Firefox, and Edge extensions that live on users’ LinkedIn, Gmail, social media, and Salesforce accounts. Before Lusha, Tserruya worked as an iOS developer and Eisenstein created tech solutions for HR specialists.

Lusha’s assistant spotlights contact details like emails, phone numbers, and company info, filling out the fields for prospects when they reach lead forms and allowing users to save contacts directly to a dashboard. From the dashboard, salespeople can build lists of contacts and export them into a spreadsheet or custom relationship management platform, while admins can allocate usage credits and limit usage between team members.

“Lusha’s algorithm cross-checks data from multiple sources and over 2 billion records in real time to create the most accurate and up-to-date result for the end user,” Tserruya explained to VentureBeat via email. “To do so, we train the latest AI technology and machine-learning models based on the feedback received by our salespeople community. This ensures that users are able to find and access all the information they need about a prospect in one place, rather than having to search through numerous sites to manually compile a complete contact profile.”

Lusha

Lusha also offers an API for real-time data lookup. Provided with a prospect’s name and company, the API enriches data with emails, phone numbers, location, social media info, and more.

“Lusha’s mission is to turn the challenges of salespeople into business opportunities. We do this by making business-to-business data accessible and affordable for all salespeople, no matter their company size or budget,” Tserruya said. “Salespeople only spend one-third of their time on selling due to limited access to data and the need for extensive research. Lusha’s community challenges the status quo and provides salespeople with the data that they need to reach the right person in the right organization at the right time. Even during a time of great uncertainty, with so many people working at home during COVID-19, many of our salespeople in the Lusha community are having the best sales months of their careers.”

Lusha claims to offer access to over 36 million C-level profiles, 100 million business profiles, and 15 million company profiles through its database. The company says over 520,000 sales professionals and 120,000 sales organizations — including Facebook, Zendesk, Google, Dropbox, and Uber — currently use its tools.

PSG led the series A round Lusha announced today, the company’s first public fundraising. Lusha has 120 employees.

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Categories
AI

Avaya expands its alliance with Google for AI for contact centers

Avaya has extended the capabilities of its contact center platforms to include an enhanced version of Google Cloud Dialogflow CX that can be employed to create virtual agents infused with AI capabilities that can verbally interact with customers.

Residing on the Contact Center AI (CCAI) cloud service provided by Google, the conversational AI capabilities being provided by Avaya are enabled using an instance of the service dubbed Avaya AI Virtual Agent Enhanced. In collaboration with Google, the company has optimized that offering for its enterprise customers to provide, for example, barge-in and live agent handoff capabilities, said Eric Rossman, vice president of technology partners and alliance for Avaya.

Earlier this week, Google also announced the general availability of its Dialogflow service within the Google CCAI platform.

While Avaya has a long-standing alliance with Google, the CCAI service is only one of several AI platforms that Avaya has integrated into its contact center platforms, said Rossman. In some cases, those services are complementary to each other. In other cases, the end customer has decided it prefers one AI service over another, noted Rossman. But, he added, in all cases, organizations are trying to move beyond the simple bots that are now widely employed across web sites.

He said that regardless of the AI platform selected, Avaya is dedicating engineering resources to both optimizing those platforms and building its own AI models to automate a wide range of processes. Avaya machine learning algorithms, for example, can be applied to Google Cloud CCAI to determine the next best action for an agent. Google Cloud Insights, combined with Avaya AI, uses natural language to identify call patterns as well as generate sentiment analysis.

Avaya AI Virtual Agent Enhanced is being embedded within the Avaya OneCloud CCaaS and OneCloud CPaaS offerings. The latter is a platform-as-service (PaaS) environment for building applications on top of the core contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS). Those offerings can be deployed on a public cloud, a private cloud, or across a hybrid cloud as IT organizations best see fit. Overall, Avaya claims more than 16 million agents currently access contact center platforms.

Interest in virtual agents enabled by AI that could be employed to augment customer service spiked in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rossman said. With more people working from home to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of service and support calls made to organizations increased dramatically, he added. At the same time, most customer service representatives were working from home. Virtual agents enabled by AI provide a means to offload many of those calls. “The supply of agents was limited,” said Rossman.

Of course, the use cases where a virtual agent that has speech capabilities need to be carefully considered, said Rossman. One of the things that distinguishes Avaya is that it makes available a professional services team to work with the end customers on where and how to employ virtual agents, he said.

As AI continues to evolve, organizations will need to make a classic “build versus buy” decision. Google, along with IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), are all making available AI services that can be consumed via an application programming interface (API). Alternatively, some organizations will decide to invest in building their own AI models to automate a specific task. In the case of virtual agents, Avaya is trying to strike a balance between both approaches, depending on the use case.

Naturally, not every end customer will want to engage with a virtual agent any more than they did an interactive voice response system (IVR). However, for every customer that prefers to speak to a human, there is another that would just as soon have their issue resolved without having to wait for a customer service representative to be actually available. In many cases, the interaction with virtual agents may lead to an engagement with a human representative that has been informed of the issue at hand by the virtual agent. The younger the customer, the more willing they tend to be to rely on a virtual agent, but as always, there are never any absolutes when it comes to customer service.

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