Jul

Lessons for Businesses from Brazil’s World Cup Disaster

1. Mental, or psychological, state of your team is important: you can put so much pressure on people before they crack. Brazil players didn’t become unqualified professionals overnight. They failed because they were overwhelmed by their country’s expectations, distorted sense of history, and the right to win considered divine. They were too emotionally charged, not in the proper state of mind to compete. So better keep calm, relaxed atmosphere in your team even before launch, or important deadline.

2. Manage customer expectations. Brazil were ramping them up unreasonably. Aggressive messages like the 6th[title] is coming, statements by their coach about two more steps to heaven massively backfired by creating an unhealthy emotional frenzy in the society, which in return influenced the players (see 1.)

3. Logic, organization is the key to successful execution. Germany are not a great team. But they are very well organized. They had a detailed game-plan where every team member knew his task and several different scenarios where prepared. They were able to adjust when the situation on the field changed to squeeze maximum advantage. Sounds simple? That’s because it is. 

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Abundance of Information Often is a Liability

A massive change has occurred in the world during the last ten to twenty years. Until recently and throughout the history of mankind information was hard to access. Obtaining and sharing information was either a laborious process or impossible, and the underlying assumption was that information can never be enough.

Today, of course, we have the opposite picture. Not only information is easily available, it keeps pouring in from a growing number of sources, and we continuously find ourselves in situations when there is more information than we want or able to process.

A major task we, as species, are facing is therefore how to reduce or filter out relevant information. It is, to repeat, in direct opposition to the task we’ve been accustomed to during all previous centuries, which was how to obtain information.

Since this change took place only recently, within a lifetime of one generation, we didn’t have time to develop efficient set of procedures to address the new problem. But the work has started and will only accelerate with time.

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AI unmasked: Have chatbots failed?

It is becoming increasingly popular to say that chatbots have failed and are overhyped.

While it is true that in many cases expectations from chatbots significantly exceed the results on the ground, the anticipation of chatbots’ demise are somewhat premature. 

One of the main problems for chatbots is that the market is inundated with low quality solution providers who deliver low quality results. This happened because conversational AI seems to have low entry barriers. Unlike other recent technological darlings such as space technology or renewable energy, conversational AI is purely software and therefore does not require vast sums of initial investment. 

What this approach is missing however,  is that conversational AI, in addition to being a software, also requires an accurate understanding of how language works. And there is a limited number of people in the world that do have such understanding.

When conversational AI is delivered by AI experts who understand the way human language works, the results are good and convincing, just as how you would expect them to be.

Suffering from unsatisfactory product quality is a common problem for many new and emerging industries.  The rules of the market dictate that most of the low quality players will eventually disappear. Poorly created chatbots will therefore not be around for too long.

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