Around the Corner: AI’s Impact on Local Commerce

In its launch of its new Pixel phone, Google harkened to artificial intelligence (AI) as its future. IBM, Microsoft and Apple have made noises in the same direction.

Clearly, the software giants hope that their scale in developing AI will give them a leg up on the next wave of tech drivers. What’s involved? Here’s my short list: Connected cars, custom learning and entertainment, mobile/ instant communications, business services, shopping, payments, virtual/ augmented reality and targeted media.

But when is “artificial intelligence” really more than the sum of its parts? As noted by a new White House report, Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence, AI constitutes a comprehensive, synergistic vision made up of four key pieces:

(1) Systems that think like humans (e.g., cognitive architectures and neural networks)

(2) Systems that act like humans (e.g., pass the Turing test via natural language processing; knowledge representation, automated reasoning, and learning)

(3) Systems that think rationally (e.g.,logic solvers, inference, and optimization)

(4) Systems that act rationally (e.g., intelligent software agents and embodied robots that achieve goals via perception, planning, reasoning, learning, communicating, decision-making, and acting).

A lot of it is already here. Sub-fields of the broad AI vision are already being applied in programmatic ad buying services, marketing automation, predictive leads, chatbots, voice commands, mapping, and electronic calendars.

Your phone is already telling you the weather when you pull up your flight reservation, right? We’ll see a lot more impact on local services in the not too distant future, as AI ties together data, identification services, geographic indicators, graphic processors and Bluetooth.

Facebook Launches ‘The Marketplace’: Entry into Local Commerce?

Facebook has formally relaunched its peer to peer local marketplace for used goods, setting up a strong challenge to Craigslist, cutting into new marketplaces from NextDoor and others, and potentially cutting in on eBay’s turf as well. The app carries a tagline of “Discover it. Buy It. Sell It.” In a news release, Facebook described […]

Home Advisor: On Demand May (Eventually) Account for 25% of Requests

Where do home services fit in vis a vis on demand? While expectations are modest for the segment — home services are often complex, “considered” purchases — emergency home repair services (locksmiths, plumbers, flooding) and certain types of basic commodity services seem to be fairly good candidates. Home Advisor dived in to the market last […]

Borrell’s Local Forecast: Digital Surpasses Traditional in 2017

Local ad sales will earn $143.6 Billion in 2017, with digital channels representing a larger chunk than traditional media for the first time, according to a new forecast by Borrell Associates. The forecast was developed from Borrell’s midyear survey of 7,500 SMBs and 250 media companies. Digital will jump 22.4% in 2017 to $80.7 Billion, […]

LocalOnliner Bookshelf: Chaos Monkey’s Inside View of Facebook

Disgruntled workers are writing the history of Silicon Valley, based on Dan Lyons’ funny and articulate Disrupted (actually, a book about HubSpot in Boston) and now, Antonio Garcia Martinez’s Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley. The latter, a hefty 496 page tome, goes through Garcia Martinez’ early experience as a quant-grunt […]

Local Onliner’s Top 10 List of Local Services and Features (2016-17)

All of us in local marketing have had awkward conversations with the local plumber or vacuum repair shop that could care less about Yelp, Google, Facebook or Groupon. But they are in the minority. Just 22% of SMBs aren’t using digital marketing this year, per InfusionSoft. Some national franchises also haven’t figured out how to […]

This Fall’s Local Events: What to Look For

There are lots of competing events taking place this Fall for the local community. Among them: LSA’s Place conference in Chicago (Sept. 21), The Street Fight Summit in New York (Oct. 25), Borrell’s Local Online Advertising Conference in San Francisco (Nov. 1-2), Yext’s Location World conference in New York (Nov.2-3), and BIA/Kelsey’s Next Conference in […]