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DNA Leader May 10th Election Date continues to be held by one

first_img Elections will not hamper Defense Force HMBS Flamingo Memorial Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, April 12, 2017 – Nassau – Leader of the DNA, Branville McCartney, says the election date cannot continue to be held by one man! In a statement issued by the party leader, McCartney says this does not represent a true democratic state, as the power remains “in the hands of the Prime Minister, who can choose to call it at a time pleasing to him or his party, without regard for the current state of the country.”McCartney expressed concerns over the date clashing with National Assessment Examinations and the disruptions students will face to facilitate the polls.  The DNA Leader echoed sentiments over May 10th polls clashing will the HMBS Flamingo Tragedy. He says it’s “a reminder that this Bahamaland is a place to be protected and defended, and its citizens deserve the opportunity to observe this event without distraction”.McCartney reminded the public of the Carnival date changes to accommodate the polls, but was later forced to be reinstated following public outcry.  He says under his party, calls continue to be made for fixed election dates as it will remove the element of surprise and allow for proper planning and execution of the electoral process.Story by: Kimberly Ramkhalawan#MagneticMediaNews#BahamasGeneralElection#May10thisdayinhistory#electiondateheldbyoneman Related Items:#BahamasGeneralElection, #electiondateheldbyoneman, #magneticmedianews, #May10thisdayinhistory DNA on Election Date The significance of this year’s election date – May 10th Recommended for youlast_img read more

Hurricane Maria Advisory Number 26

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppUnited States, September 22, 2017 – Miami, FL – …MARIA STILL PRODUCING 125-MPH WINDS AS IT PASSES NORTHEAST OF THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS…SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT…1500 UTC…INFORMATIONLOCATION…22.3N 71.0WABOUT 55 MI…90 KM N OF GRAND TURK ISLANDABOUT 445 MI…715 KM ESE OF NASSAUMAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…125 MPH…205 KM/HPRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 325 DEGREES AT 8 MPH…13 KM/HMINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…958 MB…28.29 INCHES WATCHES AND WARNINGSCHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:The government of the Dominican Republic has discontinued all warnings for the Dominican Republic.SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…* Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern BahamasA Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…* Central BahamasA Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.  Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.  A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.  Interests elsewhere in the Bahamas should monitor the progress of Maria.  For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOKAt 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 22.3 North, longitude 71.0 West.  Maria is moving toward the northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h).  A turn toward the north-northwest is expected later today, followed by a turn toward the north by late Saturday.  On the forecast track, Maria’s core will move away from the Turks and Caicos Islands today, and pass northeast and east of the Bahamas through Sunday.Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 125 mph (205 km/h) with higher gusts.  Maria is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  A gradual weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.   Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles (260 km).  The minimum central pressure based on data from the reconnaissance  aircraft is 958 mb (28.29 inches).HAZARDS AFFECTING LANDWIND:  Hurricane and tropical storm conditions are occurring over portions of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas and will continue through tonight.  Tropical storm conditions are expected in the central Bahamas beginning tonight.STORM SURGE:  A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 9 to 12 feet above normal tide levels within the hurricane warning area of the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.RAINFALL:  Maria is expected to produce the following rainfall accumulations through Saturday:Turks and Caicos…8 to 16 inches, isolated 20 inchesPuerto Rico…additional 3 to 6 inches, isolated maximum storm total amounts 40 inchesEastern Dominican Republic…additional 4 to 8 inches, isolated storm total amounts 20 inchesWestern Dominican Republic and northern Haiti…additional 3 to 6 inchesMayaguana, southeast Bahamas…4 to 8 inchesInagua Islands and Crooked Island, Bahamas…2 to 6 inchesRest of eastern Bahamas…1 to 3 inchesRainfall on these islands will continue to cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.SURF:  Swells generated by Maria are affecting Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the northern coast of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas.  These swells will reach portions of the United States southeastern coast today and Bermuda tonight.   These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.  Please consult products from your local weather office.Release: NHC Related Items:center_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Rapist using internet to fool 14 year old girl sentenced to 24

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, December 6, 2017 – Nassau – A Bahamian rapist using the internet as his vice is sent to jail for 24 years for sexually assaulting a 14 year old girl which the trial exposed that he lured to a tattoo parlor under a false identity and then raped her.   The girl is now 17 years old, but in September 2014 the child was drawn to Jamal Daniels’ home on Carmichael Road through a fake Facebook profile.In sentencing now 29 year old Daniels to 24 years in prison, Justice Bernard Turner said he aimed to protect society from the predatory behavior Jamal Daniels displayed in this instance.    Daniels never completed the tattoo on the young girl’s stomach; testimony revealed that he held her down and raped her.Justice Turner called the incomplete tattoo a permanent scar.#MagneticMediaNews#Danielssentencedto24yearsinprison#JamalDanielssentencedforrape Related Items:#Danielssentencedto24yearsinprison, #JamalDanielssentencedforrape, #magneticmedianewslast_img read more

first_img Apple Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Microsoft is jumping on the digital health bandwagon. Gety Images For the past couple years, tech companies like Apple, Google and even Facebook have been doing something seemingly against their interests: Encouraging us to stop using them. On Monday, Microsoft joined those companies by encouraging business people to be more mindful of their time too. The new features, built into the company’s Office 365 business productivity service for Windows PCs, Macs and mobile devices, tracks how people use their computers and then displays that information on a dashboard.For example, Microsoft’s software will soon start showing people how often they focused on a task and for how long. And it will also cheer them on if they successfully disconnected after work. You can even set goals for how often you have quiet days, Microsoft said. Read on ZDNet: Microsoft Build 2019: Azure is the star, and Windows is a bit player The new features, announced at the company’s Build developer conference in Seattle, are the latest in a growing trend of tech companies aiming to make us feel better about using their devices and services. They’re doing this by encouraging us to be more mindful about how much of our lives get taken up by technology in the first place. At Apple, this comes as part of a feature called Screen Time, which shows you how often you use your phone and what types of apps you’re using most. You can also set limits on how long you can use specific apps, like Facebook. Google’s Android software for phones and tablets has a tool called Digital Wellbeing that offers similar features. Even Facebook and Instagram, which are often derided as places people zone out and lose hours tapping and scrolling, have a screen time feature. For Microsoft, these features are part of a broader refinement to Microsoft’s Office 365 business software. The suite, which includes access to the company’s popular Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook apps, is used by 180 million people. Microsoft said the new features will be available “in the next few months.”  Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Share your voice reading • Microsoft, at its Build 2019 conference, says you need to put down that phone Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 • Post a comment 0 Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Microsoft Office Google Microsoft Apple See All Computers Software Tech Industry Tagslast_img read more

first_imgKorean auto giant Hyundai officially launched the new variant of its entry level small car Eon in India at a price point of 3,83,130 (ex-showroom, New Delhi).The new avatar of Eon with 1.0 litre Kappa engine will go on sale in India alongside the current 800cc Eon. The Eon’s new powerful model will be available only in Magna+ variant. Powered by the advanced 1.0 litre three-cylinder engine, latest Eon is expected to churn out a power of 69PS@6,200 rpm and peak torque at 9.6 kgm at 3500 rpm. The car promises to deliver a fuel efficiency of 20.3 Kmpl (ARAI Certified).Hyundai Eon, a stylish small car offering in the domestic market competes with Maruti’s entry level cars Alto and Alto 800. With the launch of new powerful engine equipped Eon, Hyundai hopes to give stern competition to its rivals.”Hyundai Eon has been a trendsetter of style, performance, design and finesse in its segment and has received good acceptability and appreciation from its customers. Hyundai consistently innovates to meet and exceed the demands of the customer and the 1.0 litre Kappa engine now offered in Eon is an extension of our modern-premium brand philosophy and will delight our customers with unparalleled driving experience and further consolidate Hyundai’s position in the domestic market,” B S Seo, Managing Director and CEO, HMIL said at the launch.Hyundai, which is planning to expand its car line up in India, is expected to launch 2015 i20 in coming months. The car, codenamed ‘IB’ has been spied testing many times in the country, hinting that the launch is not far.In April, Hyundai registered 8.78 percent growth in domestic sales, as against the 32,403 vehicles sold in last April. The total sales of the company for the same month declined by 11.81, when compared o the 56,953 units sold in the corresponding month last year.Image credit: Hyundai press release(Ed:AJ)last_img read more

first_imgBloomberg founder Micheal BloombergReutersFormer New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg rejoined the Democratic Party on Wednesday, going back to his political roots weeks before the November 6 congressional elections and amid speculation that he might run for the White House in 2020.Bloomberg, the billionaire founder, and chief executive of global media company Bloomberg LP, said in a post on social media he was re-registering as a Democrat, citing a potential constitutional crisis under Republican President Donald Trump, a fellow New York businessman.”At key points in U.S. history, one of the two parties has served as a bulwark against those who threaten our Constitution. Two years ago at the Democratic Convention, I warned of those threats,” Bloomberg wrote in a post on Instagram.”Today, I have re-registered as a Democrat – I had been a member for most of my life – because we need Democrats to provide the checks and balance our nation so badly needs.”Bloomberg, 76, was a longtime Democrat who became a Republican before running for mayor of the largest U.S. city in 2001. He left the Republican Party to become an independent in 2007 and served three terms as New York’s mayor, stepping down in 2013.He has considered running for president in the past as an independent but never did. The Guardian newspaper reported in August that he was considering running in 2020 as a Democrat.Representatives for Bloomberg could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday.A frequent critic of Trump, Bloomberg has donated $80 million to help Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives and $20 million to help Democrats running for U.S. Senate, which Republicans now narrowly control 51 to 49.Democrats are aiming to pick up 23 seats in the House to win a majority in the lower chamber, something political analysts have said is more likely than gaining an edge in the Senate.Taking control of either chamber would give Democrats leverage to oversee Trump and his administration, including the ability to hold hearings and subpoena officials.Bloomberg has used his fortune, which Forbes magazine has pegged at $51.8 billion, to push a number of liberal causes including efforts to tackle global warming and gun deaths.last_img read more

Race for Houston School Board Headed for Runoff Election

first_img Share Florian MartinFour candidates competed for the open seat for District VII, which includes Lamar High School and Wisdom High School.Two candidates, Anne Sung and John Luman, appear headed for a runoff in the battle for District VII on the Houston Independent School District’s board of trustees.Houston Public Media’s Coverage of Election 2016There was no outright winner Tuesday night because no candidate in the four-way race won a majority vote. It’s an open race, as longtime trustee Harvin Moore is retiring early.Sung, a former teacher and education advocate, came the closest to winning: She won about 47 percent of the vote, with more than 68 percent of ballots counted. It’s the second time Sung has run for District VII, which spans River Oaks to Harwin and includes Lamar and Wisdom high schools.Luman came in second, with about 30 percent of the vote and also securing a spot in the runoff. Luman is a lawyer and lobbyist, who led a successful fight earlier this year to stop an affordable-housing complex near his children’s school in Briargrove.The other two candidates, Victoria Bryant and Danielle Paulus, trailed in the vote count.It’s not clear yet when the runoff election will be scheduled.last_img read more

Rakuten Viki Inks Streaming Deals for Japanese Shows From Nippon TV Asahi

first_img“These shows are a great fit for our platform, which has a proven ability to build communities around fandoms of content from around the world,” Sarah Kim, SVP of content and partnerships for Rakuten Viki.Viki has specialized in K-drama programming, and Kim said there is “a lot of crossover among fans of Japanese and Korean dramas… Since a majority of our fans are avid K-drama fans, the J-drama stories resonate well with this passionate audience.”For the shows from Nippon TV and Asahi TV, Rakuten Viki has streaming rights outside of Asia, mostly in the Americas and Europe, while some are also available in India and Oceania.Titles on Viki are available to watch free with ads. Viki’s ad-free, HD service regularly costs $49.99 annually in the U.S. Viki Pass Plus, which includes access to Kocowa’s Korean programming, is regularly $99.99 per year (currently available in a special promo for $59.99 per year).All told, Viki now offers more than 2,000 shows in the U.S., spanning content from Korea, Japan, Taiwan and China. Worldwide, Viki has over 17 million registered users.Asked whether Rakuten Viki is looking to negotiate rights for titles that had previously been exclusively available in the U.S. on DramaFever — the K-drama service that Warner Bros. Digital Networks shut down in October — Kim said “we’re always looking to onboard more K-drama content, especially those that will resonate well with our audiences within the romance and romantic comedy genres.” However, she declined to identify specific shows Viki might be seeking to license.Over the past year, Viki also has released popular classics from Japan’s SPO Entertainment, including: “You’re My Pet – Kimi Wa Petto,” “Hakuouki SSL: Sweet School Life” and “I Am Reiko Shiratori! – Shiratori Reiko de Gozaimasu!”“We are actively identifying other markets in Asia and other regions from which content that share similar traits might be a strong fit for our platform,” Kim said. “We are also exploring further co-productions with companies beyond Korea.” The Japanese television shows arriving to the Viki platform will be subtitled by the site’s fan community, which has already translated content into more than 200 languages.Rakuten Viki also is kicking off a Japanese content “sub-a-thon” for its subtitling community. The contest will let users compete with other teams and earn points for exclusive perks by subtitling the Japanese TV shows. Additionally, the Viki platform’s Learn Mode language-learning feature, which is available directly on the video player, will now let fans learn Japanese while watching TV shows.Rakuten, a diversified Japanese Internet services company, acquired Viki in 2013.Pictured above: “Overprotected Kahoko” from Nippon TV Rakuten Viki, a streaming provider specializing in Asian TV shows and movies, has reached deals with major Japanese broadcasters Nippon TV and Asahi TV to bring a collection of their shows to audiences outside the country.The collection of new shows coming to Rakuten Viki under the pacts include 10 series from Nippon TV and six from Asahi TV.The titles from Asahi TV, tentatively scheduled to premiere in the first quarter of 2019, are “Holiday Love,” “Adult High School,” “Anino Dating Agency,” “Age Harassment,” “Sumika Sumire” and “Good-bye, Enari-kun.”Of the 10 titles acquired from Nippon TV, five are now available on Viki.com: “Overprotected Kahoko” (pictured above), “Caution, Hazardous Wife,” “Criminologist Himura and Mystery Writer Arisugawa,” “A Girl’s Breakfast” and “Frankenstein’s Love.” In addition, five more from Nippon TV are coming soon to the platform: “May I Blackmail You?,” “SWIM!,” “Tokyo Tarareba Girls,” “Pretty Proofreader” and “Your Home is My Business!” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today remembered mountaineer Chhanda Gayen, the first civilian woman from the state to summit Mt Everest, on her birth anniversary. Describing the mountaineer as “brave”, the chief minister said that her courage may become an inspiration for everybody. “Fondly remembering the brave mountaineer Chhanda Gayen on her birth anniversary. In her memory, the Bengal Government has instituted the Chhanda Gayen Bravery Award for successful mountaineers. May her courage inspire us all,” Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle this morning. Chhanda Gayen, who had scaled Mt Everest in 2013, went missing along with two sherpas in an avalanche while descending the western side of Mt Kanchenjunga, also known as Mt Yulan Kang, in Nepal in 2014. She was declared missing/dead after rescuers failed to spot her and the three accompanying sherpas. On her honour, the Mamata Banerjee government introduced the ‘Chhanda Gayen Bravery Award’ for women for their outstanding achievement in the field of adventure.last_img read more

French Consul General pays visit to Chandannagar

first_imgKolkata: The Consul General of France in Kolkata, Virginie Corteval, made a day-long visit to Chandannagar, a former French colony, as part of an effort to shape the people-to-people contact between France and Bengal. As a tourist, she had visited the town about 20 years ago. In a statement issued on Sunday, Corteval said she took great pride in announcing that “we are formalising our relationship and institutionalising our partnership, working as collaborators between the government, private sector and civil society.” During her visit, the diplomat also dropped in at some Jagaddhatri Puja pandals and learnt about their themes. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Jagaddhatri Puja is a major festival of the heritage town that attracts crowds from all over West Bengal. She thanked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her commitment to develop “river tourism along the river Hooghly.” The diplomat referred to the ‘Bonjour India’ initiative of France and said the restoration and reuse of the Registry Office building in Chandannagar has given impetus to a proposal to revitalise and redevelop the entire Strand area of the town. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedChandannagar, formerly spelt as Chandernagore, situated on the banks of the Hooghly, became a French colony in 1673 when France wanted to set up a trading post. The French lost the town to the British in 1757 and regained control of it in 1816. It remained a French territory in India till 1950. “We are very grateful to the Government of West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Minister of Tourism Goutam Deb, Minister of State for information and Culture Indranil Sen…” for their endeavour to widen this initiative to not just restoring buildings but creating livelihood opportunities and economic development for the people of this town,” the consul general said.last_img read more

Lowering GST on handlooms will motivate younger craftspeople Ritu Kumar

first_imgVeteran fashion designer Ritu Kumar says it is important to lower the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on handlooms to sustain the sector and improve the livelihood of craftspeople. India today has 16 million craftspeople who are working on textiles as an everyday profession, she noted. “This is… the size of most small countries; the population. It is very important to both sustain the craft and the art behind (handloom) as well as the livelihood of so many people,” she told in an interview, adding that the sector had the potential to be a huge generator of income. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Today you see a lot of craftspeople’s children moving to the city and not taking up traditional crafts. It is important to provide incentives for them to come back and work. If we can lower the GST, or eliminate it, from the handicraft or handloom areas, it will give an incentive to the younger craftspeople to come back to this livelihood,” she added. Handloom fabrics and handloom apparel have been made taxable with GST rates of 5 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveKumar started her career in 1969 and has great understanding of traditional design and the innovative use of traditional crafts. She started with just four hand-block printers and two tables in a small village near Kolkata and pioneered the term “fashion” in the Indian context.With an over four-decade-long journey in the industry, Kumar, whose list of clients include Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra and international celebrities such as the late Princess Diana and Mischa Barton, has seen the evolution in the fashion world. “Textiles, in India in particular, have involved in a fairly spectacular manner. From almost being non-existent after the colonial ban on most handlooms and handicrafts, it has today evolved into the best of each discipline… whether it is weaving, printing or embroidery,” said Kumar.”This has not happened in any other country where most textiles and crafts were systematically decimated and were found in museums rather than in everyday use. This is the miracle that I’m seeing in India,” she added.The designer, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2013 for her exceptional service in the field of fashion, textiles and craftsmanship, feels the history of Indian textiles was ignored in the 150 years of modernisation.”And we, from being one of the countries with the largest exports of textiles, became one of the largest importers of Lancashire and Manchester produced goods. So what we completely ignored was the historical significance of India as a creator of textiles and an influencer of fashion for centuries, a place where I think its slowly going to get back,” said the designer.Kumar is currently showcasing at the fifth edition of the Nayaab exhibition that celebrates the magnificence of Indian weaves. It is curated by Rupa Sood and Sharan Apparao.”This is our first time being a part of Nayaab. It’s an effort to celebrate Indian textiles, which falls in line with our brand DNA. Nayaab strives for excellence and believes in celebrating the finest of Indian weaves by curating and showcasing the wonders of Indian textiles. This edition aspires to embody the traditions of Indian textile heritage and epitomises the stories of the countless hands that have worked to create these masterpieces.”last_img read more

Nuts boost memory in elderly

first_imgWhile age is known as the strongest risk factor for cognitive decline, eating a handful of nuts every day can improve mental health and memory skills by up to 60 per cent, finds a study. The findings showed that consuming nuts for a long period of time could be the key to better cognitive health, including improved thinking, reasoning and memory in older people. “By eating more than 10 grams (or two teaspoons) of nuts per day older people could improve their cognitive function by up to 60 per cent – compared to those not eating nuts – effectively warding off what would normally be experienced as a natural two-year cognition decline,” said lead researcher Ming Li from the University of South Australia. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe reason could be because peanuts have specific anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that help reduce cognitive decline including dementia. Nuts are also known to be high in healthy fats, protein and fibre with nutritional properties that can lower cholesterol. The study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, included 4,822 Chinese adults aged 55 and above. According to the World Health Organization, the number of people living with dementia globally is at 47 million. By 2030, this is projected to rise to 75 million and by 2050, global dementia cases are estimated to almost triple. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”Population ageing is one of the most substantial challenges of the twenty first century,” Li said. “Not only are people living longer…they naturally experience changes to conceptual reasoning, memory, and processing speed.While there is no cure for age-related cognition decline and neurogenerative disease, variations in what people eat are delivering improvements for older people.” “If we can find ways to help older people retain their cognitive health and independence for longer then this is absolutely worth the effort,” Li suggested.last_img read more

first_img The wave of chatbots darkening the horizon has been frightening for those who are in customer service and support jobs. Many news articles have been written saying that chatbots will be the end of live customer service, and agents should start looking for new jobs now. But that’s not the whole truth; not at all.Enterprise cloud contact center Aspect Software wanted to get to the bottom of whether customer service was really on the outs, so they put together some comprehensive surveys, and the results may surprise you.I spoke to Joe Gagnon, SVP, GM, and Chief Customer Officer of Aspect Software’s Cloud Solutions. For over 20 years, Joe has had his eyes and ears on the company-consumer relationships, and I was lucky enough to get his take on Aspect’s recent consumer and agent experience surveys, which brought some striking results to light.Give me a sense of what you do and what has brought you to this industry.I fancy myself a “Consumerist.” I’ve spent most of my career looking at the evolving relationships between companies and consumers, and how content and customer engagement affects that relationship. On a daily basis, the agents that we support with our software touch over 100 million consumers globally, so it seemed a likely place to work at scale to improve the overall relationship between consumers and companies.In my role as Chief Customer Officer I get the opportunity to work globally with our customers to move beyond just fixing their customer service problems. I help them engage more deeply with the consumers that they serve and set the foundation for a durable and long standing relationship with them.Core to the work right now is how to evolve the way that the consumer interacts with a company, from using the phone primarily to make calls to using text or messaging as the primary way that they interact with a company. In partnership with our customers, we design strategies and approaches that help them better embrace consumers, enable them to serve their needs, and set them up with new capabilities that allow them to operate in a contemporary and captivating way.Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your BusinessWhat is the main problem today that keeps you up at night?I have a simple mantra that I believe in deeply: human potential is infinite. In both my personal and professional life, I think about this every day, write about it, and use it as a call to action for me and everyone, everywhere. It is founded on the principle that we can all do more than we think we can, and I have made it my life’s mission to find out how true this is. In addition to my work roles I have focused on becoming an ultra-endurance athlete, and I started down this path to give myself an opportunity to continue to push myself to the physical and mental max and to see what happens when I do this.I’d say the big problem that keeps me up at night is the fact that all too often, we stop short of creating a truly compelling experience for the consumer. There is just a tremendous amount of untapped potential that is there for the taking. Knowing that we can do more keeps me pushing our customers to think differently.I have a unique opportunity as the CCO to collaborate with our customers to deliver a “wow” experience and to systematize a mindset that an enabled consumer is one that lives the spirit of “surprise and delight.” There are many, studies that show the positive ROI on customer service investment: improved loyalty, a greater share of wallet, and more. Chatbots are a perfect example of this. They operate at a significantly lower expense than a live person, provide a 24/7 solution for the consumer with conversational support, they don’t have any of the constraints that humans have like calling in sick or time constraints, and they can provide such a consistently high level of service that many consumers prefer to use them.Related: Enterprise Chatbots Platforms and the Future of WorkAspect has been in the customer service space for some time. What do you see as the biggest problem facing customer service today?I think at a macro level, the biggest challenge is the alarmingly slow reaction time brands show to the changing shifts in consumer preferences. More than half of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of a poor customer service experience. Are those experiences really poor? Or are they really just the same experiences that those companies have been providing for the last 10 years, and they’re not adequately meeting today’s consumer expectations? Consumers were probably okay with them back in 2007, but because consumer expectations have risen so rapidly over the past several years, they are not okay with that same experience today.Many of the companies I talk to know that they are not fully meeting the needs of their customers, and fail to act anyway. We did a consumer survey late last year which found that two-thirds of consumers feel good when they can handle a customer service issue without having to talk to an actual person — and yet, few companies are doing this well. This could be in the form of a text or a chatbot, or even through an intelligent IVR. Companies do become satisfied in the “good enough” out of fear, and can’t rationalize or embrace the change.Related: Enterprise Chatbots and the Conversational Commerce Revolutionizing BusinessHow did Aspect end up getting into AI?In 2013, we purchased Voxeo, a leading self-service IVR company based in Orlando. Then in 2015 we purchased the technology assets of LinguaSys, a provider of Interactive Text Response (ITR) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) solutions. We’ve combined Voxeo’s self-service CXP platform and the capabilities of LinguaSys, creating the ability to transform one-way notifications such as outbound text into automated, conversational self-service dialogues, which is really the essence of a chatbot — actual chat, not just providing yes-or-no response options.Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without CodingIn your opinion, do you think consumers are ready and willing to have the majority of their brand interactions with a chatbot?Oh, very much so. In our consumer survey, we asked that exact question. Fortyfour percent of consumers said that they’d prefer to interact with a chatbot for customer service versus talking to a live person. The key, though, is that they don’t want the experience to be in isolation. Too many bad experiences with poorly-designed bots have left many consumers wary of an automated interaction that they find frustrating and unproductive. This is why 86 percent of those consumers said that they should always have an option to transfer to a live person (agent).  What we believe is that chatbots will become the new entry point to the entire customer service experience, much like how we use Google first before we buy, make dinner reservations, or take action on a medical issue. We like the idea of interacting first with bots, or “digital employees” as I like to call them, before we dive into deeper engagement where advice, experience, or judgment are required.We’ll be asking that same question in our Fall consumer survey and I’m fairly confident that that number is going to be at least 50 percent or higher.Related: Make Chats With Chatbots WorkYou just completed a customer service agent survey that revealed some pretty interesting findings, one of which is that the proliferation of chatbots will actually make customer service agents happier. Why?Well, imagine if you had to answer the same 20 questions every day, with an occasional curveball or challenging question. How engaged or happy would you be in your work? Probably not much. Chatbots are designed to take on the easy, often-asked questions and leave the more complex and less frequently asked question for the agents.In the survey, nearly 80 percent of the agents we talked to felt that handling more complex customer issues would improve their skills. And 72 percent said doing so makes them feel that they are having a bigger impact in the company. By creating a more challenging environment for the human employee, made possible by the digital employee, you create a happier, more engaged workforce, which has a direct impact on the customer experience.Related: The How-To: Using Chatbots As A Tool For Customer ServiceWho do you think is going to be more impacted, the agent or the consumer?In the long run, the agent will be more impacted. The better and smarter chatbots become, the less consumers will care who they are talking to, as long as they can get their question answered or their app working again. By taking on the complex issues, the agent now becomes a greater asset to the organization. They’ll know more about your product or service, they will have developed more defined problem-solving skills, and happier agents will have a more positive impact on the work environment.So what is next? What do you see as the next emerging trend or technology?I definitely think conversational user interfaces are going to explode. Just this week, Amazon announced that it is opening access for developers to add Alexa to commercial products. This could provide a profound acceleration of machine learning adoption. The printed manual will become a nostalgic novelty as we will be able to ask the flat screen directly why it’s acting off. We won’t be far from evolving from chatbots to chatovens or chattoasters. The device becomes the new channel, eliminating even the need for a smartphone. I don’t have to call or have an AI chat with Acme Products to find out why the refrigerator is making funky sounds, I’ll just ask the refrigerator. Just start with the question and everything else flows from there!  Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 9 min read August 28, 2017 Register Now »last_img read more