Jonathan Vanian, a San Francisco-based reporter, covers everything business technology and cybersecurity to data privacy for Fortune. He has interviewed some of the most prominent tech executives, top researchers from top universities, as well as many other notable and interesting people. He was previously a journalist for Gigaom where he covered enterprise startups and cloud computing. He has also been a reporter for a legal news newspaper, an editor online at a magazine about software, a contributor in a Santa Barbara business journal, and an editorial fellow at salon. He is currently an intern at The Center for Investigative Journalism. Follow Jonathan’s stories Robots need to be more intelligent if they are going to pack boxes into warehouses, scan inventory at stores, or even care for the elderly.
Machine learning has made this possible in recent years. Robots can now “learn” from their surroundings and grasp delicate objects without being crushed. This is thanks to steady innovation. Recently, some of the most prominent robotics investors and companies in America and Japan met in Menlo Park to discuss artificial Intelligence in robotics and how it impacts business. Their conclusion? Robots are on the horizon. It may take some cooperation between the U.S. government and an important overseas ally. Japan is a long-standing leader in robotics. This is due to its desire to automate its manufacturing and automotive industries. These robots are old-fashioned and lack the machine-learning software to help them improve their job. Recognizing this problem, Japanese robotics companies have partnered with U.S. companies who specialize in A.I. software. It is our goal to get the best of both countries.
Tomochika Uyama from San Francisco, Consul General of Japan said that “the Bay Area is great at software engineering and Japan at hardware engineering.” He said that the combination is “a perfect pairing.” IHI Corporation, a Tokyo-based industrial equipment company, has recently partnered up with OSARO in San Francisco. OSARO creates reinforcement software that allows robots to learn by trial and error how to pick up objects they haven’t seen before. IHI’s warehouses now use the spawn of this partnership to grab items like toothpaste and water bottles, and place them on conveyor belts.
Kohei Taya, vice president of IHI, stated that “We are a hardware manufacturer and are looking for a partner to bring us the new power A.I.”
Amazon is a leader in robotics. It uses thousands of robots to operate its warehouses. In 2012, Kiva Systems, a robot maker, was purchased by Amazon for $775 million. Since then, the company has used its technology to increase its internal use of robotics. Amazon showcased two new robots last week at an event in Las Vegas. They can move and sort packages more efficiently than the older models. These robots are designed to save money and speed up warehouse work.
Facebook parent has opened up new avenues of advertising on Instagram, Messenger and Messenger to reverse the downward trend that has recently pushed stock prices to their lowest level since early 2019. Meta presented a new way to advertise on Instagram’s Explore Page. This page shows users content based on their routines and preferences. It also displays ads on all non-teen Instagram users’ profile pages. Select influencers can now allow ads to appear in their feeds as part of a test of the new ad format.
Facebook’s Messenger messaging service will launch a tool that uses machine-learning software to show ads to people most likely to buy, said Maz Sharafi. This is Meta’s vice president for marketing and growth in business messaging. Sharafi stated that the company does not use Messenger messages for ads. This means that it will not analyze Messenger messages in order to decide which ads are placed. These announcements are made just three weeks before Meta will release its third quarter earnings report. It is expected that Meta will show a second consecutive period with declining revenue. The majority of the company’s sales come from mobile ads. This is a business that has been hit hard by Apple’s privacy changes to its operating system, as well as a slowing economy and growing competition from TikTok. Meta’s stock lost nearly 60% of its value in this year.
Meta is looking to the future and is betting on virtual reality and metaverse growth. It is now exploring how advertisers might exist in this world. Nicola Mendelsohn (Meta’s vice president for the global business group), stated that Meta is testing augmented reality ads in Instagram’s main feed. AR is a common experience for consumers today, when they interact digitally with the filters on photos and videos that they see on social media platforms like Snapchat and Facebook. Mendelsohn stated that brands can use AR to encourage people to try out the product and interact with the effects in their environment.
Multiadvertiser ads, an Instagram ad product that allows businesses to advertise on Instagram, will offer users a variety of promotions that can be used in conjunction with the original ad. Meta did not provide pricing information on any of its new offerings. Facebook’s biggest challenge this year was its large investments in TikTok competitor Reels. This is because there’s no established ad format that can be used for viral short-form videos. Meta has launched post-loop ads to capitalize on the popularity of Reels. This is a new format for companies and creators. These video ads can be run by creators between Reels. This feature is only available in the core Facebook app. Businesses have the option to embed a carousel ad on the bottom of creator’s Reels, if the creator approves.