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Zomato unveils Zomato AI: Your personalized food assistant

Zomato, the food delivery platform and restaurant aggregator, has introduced a personalized chatbot called Zomato AI, that can help customers choose what they want to order. A blog post by Zomato stated that the bot is based on a multiple agent framework, meaning there are many decision-making agents involved, all of which are racing to achieve the same goal. The feature will be available to Zomato Gold customers only and will be rolled out in stages. Unlike most chat assistants which respond to one message at a time, Zomato AI allows the user to type in several messages hinting at what they feel like eating. Say, the customer is in the mood to have Italian cuisine, barring pizza and wants to stick to vegetarian, the bot will then take all these preferences into consideration, and respond in real-time with options for the perfect dish to order along with the restaurant options to get them from.  “One of the significant advancements we’ve made is the creation of numerous functions on Zomato that we are able to expose to our AI agents. This allows the AI agents to dynamically call for whatever data they need in order to best serve the customer query,” the blog stated. Because of this, the chatbot can handle a range of user queries.

Young consumers buying into brand narratives first

Many young consumers are preferring to base their buying decisions on brand narratives first and products second, according to new-age brand founders. In the age of sustainability and brand connect, founders of D2C and new-age companies feel their stories convince consumers for repeat purchases, but others feel that it is the product which convinces the consumer, because it solves a problem for them. Shark Tank fame oral care brand Perfora’s founder Jatan Bawa said that people buy into the narrative of a young brand which is challenging the status quo, unlike legacy brands whose founders or brand building story is not well-known. “The consumers of today buy into brand narrative first and product second, because they’re looking for transparency, and to resonate with the story of brands that they can be part of. With legacy brands the problem is that you don’t know who started them. But most people who are consumers of young brands know the founder and their story, because the founders are also out there engaging with the customers through a podcast or a talk. People buy into that narrative that I want to support a young brand trying to challenge the status quo in a large market with a product that’s fundamentally better than what exists.” Femtech startup Sirona’s co-founder and angel investor Deep Bajaj feels people buy brands for the promises they communicate, and startups that can’t advertise at mass scale can share their stories with the new generation. “Everyone loves stories. People buy brands for the promises they make through their communication. Brands earlier used to earn customers by using advertising at mass scale, for startups this isn’t a possibility but they can now share their story with millennials or digital consumers, who love being taken care of.” New-age brands are able to build on this.  “We genuinely care beyond just the product” narrative through paying attention to packaging, ingredients, mode of communication and personalisation, he added. People don’t buy a brand for its stories. People don’t necessarily purchase a brand for their stories. People purchase products because the product solves problems for them. The customer will go for the story when there are multiple products to solve a problem. product must take centre stage, especially in times when consumers are aware of the factors around product development. Sleepy Owl’s co-founder Arman Sood “In an era where consumers are increasingly conscious of product sourcing, ethics, ingredients, and environmental impact, the product itself must take centre stage to sustain meaningful conversations,” he said.

Once Hyped as the Next Big Thing, NFTs Now Face ‘Worst Moment’

NFTs first crossed Daniel Maegaard’s radar in 2018. He started investing in the tokens in 2019 and by 2021 held hundreds of them, ultimately ranking among the world’s best-known and influential NFT collectors. Under the pseudonym Seedphrase, he accumulated millions of dollars’ worth of the crypto tokens and famously sold one for a cool $4.45 million in 2022. But over the last few months, Maegaard has been downsizing his collection while a critical part of the market has, in his words, “completely tanked.” Non Fungible tokens, most popularly associated with the digital artwork and other collectibles recorded on crypto blockchains, have lost most of their value after once capturing the imagination of crypto enthusiasts as the next big thing. The hype and FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” around NFTs has faded since their all-time peak in January 2022, leaving beaten-down buyers and sellers struggling to find long-term value in the speculative assets. Monthly trading volume for NFTs plummeted 81% between January 2022 and July 2023, data from DappRadar shows. Over the same period, monthly NFT sales figures have dropped 61%, per DappRadar. And floor prices for blue-chip NFTs like Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks are at more than two-year lows, according to industry data tracker NFT Price Floor. “When you look at the charts, everything is down,” said Lorenzo Melendez, president at NFT project Pudgy Penguins, named for its digital art featuring cartoonish, cutesy versions of the flightless birds. “You are seeing just a lot of capitulation, `We don’t know what to do or where to go’.”  Investors aren’t the only ones suffering. NFT marketplace Recur, which is backed by billionaire Steve Cohen and known for its Hello Kitty NFT partnership, said it’s winding down due to “unforeseen challenges and shifts in the business landscape.” Mark Cuban- and Joe Lubin-backed NFT social media platform Nifty’s, which partnered with Warner Bros. on Looney Tunes themed NFTs before changing strategy, also said it’s closing shop, citing investment opportunities that “didn’t pan out.” Surviving platforms and projects aren’t faring well either: Leading NFT marketplace Blur has seen its sales volume measured in Ether drop 96% between a late June peak and early August, data from Dune Analytics shows.

Multi-app Feature in WhatsApp

Meta-owned WhatsApp is reportedly rolling out a multi-account feature with a new interface for the app settings to beta testers on Android. With this multi-account feature, users will be able to add an additional account on the same device directly right within WhatsApp Settings, according to WABetaInfo. The second feature is a redesigned settings interface, which will give users a more modern experience when navigating through the app’s various options. The update also includes a redesigned profile tab right within the chat list. Moreover, this new feature will allow users to manage their conversations from multiple accounts with a single app.

Nearly 63% firms use cloud services for monetising data and insights

Indian companies are scaling up their investment in cloud computing, the on-demand delivery of information technology (IT) resources over the internet, as they seek to improve revenue and services. As many as 63% companies use cloud services for monetising data and insights, according to a report by EY & Ficci. The report surveyed 700 firms in more than 20 sectors in seven Indian cities. 78% have more than 30% of data on cloud. 80% use it for data, analytics. 58% firms are moving new workloads to cloud services. 20% of costs are optimized by large companies which are using the cloud. 47% mid-size firms save 10-15% in costs. Firms in India use cloud services to modernize data infrastructure, business growth, collaboration, workplace  productivity. It is also used for data privacy, security.

Ahead of festival season, 54% consumers say they prefer hybrid shopping

Over 54% consumers claim that they prefer hybrid shopping, which includes both online and offline methods, according to a report by InMobi. In the lead-up to the festival season, as many as 84% of consumers have increased their shopping budgets compared to last year, the report said, which surveyed over 1,000 Indian mobile users. “With 78% of consumers planning to shop on their smartphones, mobile is the most crucial channel for brands this festival season, making it imperative for them to embrace a mobile-first approach in their marketing strategies. This approach will enable an authentic connection with the Indian festive shopper of 2023,” said Vasuta Agarwal of InMobi. Only 2% prefer offline shopping. 44% prefer online shopping. 7% of shoppers’ budgets exceeded Rs 10,000. 26% spend uptill Rs 50,000. Mobile Apps are used by 70% of shoppers, physical stores by 14% and Desktop PCs by 7%. Consumers learn about offers via brand websites/Apps (15%), physical stores (11%), Whatsapp nudges from brands(3%). 

OpenAI Unveils ChatGPT for Businesses

OpenAI launched a corporate version of ChatGPT with added features and privacy safeguards, the startup’s most significant effort yet to attract a broad mix of business customers and boost revenue from its best-known product. As with consumer versions of the company’s artificial intelligence powered chatbot, users can type in a prompt and receive a written response from ChatGPT Enterprise. The new tool includes unlimited use of OpenAI’s most powerful generative AI model, GPT-4, as well as data encryption and a guarantee that the startup won’t use data from customers to develop its technology. The offering also offers the ability to type in much longer prompts. The rollout of ChatGPT Enterprise is a move forward in OpenAI’s plans to make money from its ubiquitous chatbot, which is enormously popular but very expensive to operate because robust AI models require lots of computing power. openAI has already taken some steps toward generating revenue from ChatGPT, such as by selling a premium subscription and offering companies paid access to its application programming interface, which developers can use to add the chatbot to other apps.

Lenders Working on Common Portal to Handle Digital Frauds

Banks are planning to set up a common negative registry of fraudsters that would make information accessible in real time to all the banks to prevent digital frauds and provide faster resolution of such issues, people familiar with the development said. They have initiated discussions with the Reserve Bank on the proposed portal, they said. The portal will help lenders connect seamlessly on such fraud cases and stop and trace funds being transferred from one account to multiple accounts. “In most cases of digital fraud, money is transferred into multiple accounts spread across various banks and financial entities. This becomes too difficult to trace at times, leading to delays. The portal will put an end to these issues. Deliberations are on to find synchronization between Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) by RBI and Unified Dispute and Issue Resolution (UDIR) provided by the National Payments Corporation ofIndia. During 2022-23, public sector banks reported 3,405 frauds involving Rs 21,125 crore, while private banks reported 8,932 cases involving  Rs 8,727 crore. This is for cases of fraud involving Rs 1 lakh and above. A standard operating procedure, or SOP, is being prepared as per the RBI’s direction to ensure that unauthorized transactions are stopped mid-way and an effective, robust system is put in place. If all stakeholders are following the same process, it will be faster to address such fraudulent transactions. Such processes will have clearly defined roles for the remitter and beneficiary bank to prevent further downstream flow to the victim’s funds. Also, it will cover the process to be followed in refunding victims’ funds and transactions in third party accounts.

Musk Says X Will Offer Video and Audio Calls in Move Toward Super-App

Users of X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, will be able to make video and audio calls through the platform without having to share their phone number, owner Elon Musk said in a post, in the latest expansion of services as he seeks to create an “everything app.” Video & audio calls coming to X: – Works on iOS, Android, Mac & PC – No phone number needed – X is the effective global address book. That set of factors is unique. Musk wants X to become more like China’s Tencent’s WeChat, a messaging service turned super-app that offers everything from social media and video games to fintech. X Chief Executive Officer Linda Yaccarino has said X will include features such as payments and banking. X will serve as an “effective global address book” for the new features and that users will be able to make calls through X on iOS, Android, Macs and PCs. The announcement came after the platform updated its privacy policy to include the collection of biometric data. X doesn’t define what it considers biometric, though other companies have used the term to describe data gleaned from a person’s face, eyes and fingerprints. X also said it would gather information about users’ jobs and education histories. X Plans to Collect Biometric Data, Job and School History Since acquiring Twitter, Musk has axed the signature blue bird logo and introduced a raft of changes, including reinstating formerly banned users and scrapping the ability to block accounts.




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