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Big unknowns: what is consciousness?

6 Aug

What does it mean to be “you”?

Is a bee conscious? What about a monocellular organism? Surely humans are special? 

How do we think about ourselves, how can we be thinking about our thinking and behaviour (metacognition) and how is all that possible given the structure of our brains?

There are more questions than answers but the quest for answers is fascinating in itself.


The winning Omni-Channel Customer Experience

8 Oct

winning Omni-Channel Customer Experience

I just saw this really interesting and eye-opening infographic on LinkedIn and had to share.

Some really interesting statistics on current customer behaviour and attitudes towards brands and communication with them. E.g.

  • The probability of successfully Cross-selling and Up-selling to a potential customer is just 5%-20%, but a whooping 60-70% with an existing customer. (So, watch it and respect your existing customers please!)
  • More than 63% of customer service enquiries are initiated through social channels (So, watch your social media streams!)

Read more here

2014 was mainly about the METALOGUE EU project!

27 Feb

Here’s the 2014 annual report for this blog.

The EU METALOGUE project definitely dominated the year!

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,900 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Call Centre Training e-poll

11 Oct

As part of our METALOGUE project, we have created an electronic poll (e-poll).


Our goal is to collect actual real-world requirements from Call Centre professionals that will inform our system pilot design and implementation. Through this and a number of other e-polls, we are asking some basic questions on Call Centre Agent training goals, Call Centre Agent preferences, target functionality of an automated agent training tool, etc.

We are inviting anyone from the Industry, from Call Centre Operators and Managers, Agent Trainers, to Call Centre Agents (experienced and novice) to participate. Feel free to add your own input and comments.

If you can also use the Contact form below to indicate whether you are a Call Centre Operator / Manager, Trainer, or Agent (or all of the above!), we would be able to collect some data on the demographics of the e-poll respondents.

Thank you in advance!

2013 in review – 4,300 views! :)

12 Jan

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

XOWi: The wearable Voice Recognition Personal Assistant

30 Oct

I just found out about the new venture of my colleagues, Ahmed Bouzid and Weiye Ma, and I’m all excited and want to spread the word!

They came up with the idea of a Wearable and hence Ubiquitous Personal Voice Assistant, XOWi (pronounced Zoe). The basic concept is that XOWi is small and unintrusive (you wear it like a badge or pin it somewhere near you) but still connects to your smartphone and through that to all kinds of apps and websites for communicating with people (Facebook, Twitter, Ebay) and controlling data and information (selecting TV channels, switching the aircon on). Moreover, it is completely voice-driven, so it is completely hands- and eyes-free. This means that it won’t distract you (if you’re driving, reading, working) and if you have any vision impairment or disability, you are still completely connected and communicable. So, XOWi truly turns Star Trek into reality! The video below explains the concept:

The type of application context is exemplified by the following diagram.

XOWi architecture

And here is how it works:

Ahmed and Weiye have turned to Kickstarter for crowdfunding. If they manage to get $100,000 by 21st November, XOWi will become a product and I will get one for my birthday in March 2014! 😀 Join the Innovators and support the next generation in smart communicators!

TEDxSalford 2012: Best of

13 Apr

I can’t believe it’s already been a year since TEDxSalford! TEDxSalford took place on a very sunny Saturday (28th January) at the futuristic Lowry building in Media City, Salford.

I was tweeting for most of the event  and compiled a list of all my relevant tweets and retweets both from the day and in the build-up to the event in this post. Below is the Best of!

TEDxSalford Logo

Tweets – Best of!

Maria Aretoulaki

Jeremy Rifkin: Primitive man’s mind: food, shelter, sex / Modern man’s mind: beer, coffee, apps ! @TEDxSalford
30 Jan

Maria Aretoulaki

Amy Purdy: If you were writing a book about your life, how would you like it to go? TEDTalk 3 @TEDxSalford #TEDxSalford
In reply to TEDxSalford
30 Jan

Maria Aretoulaki

@herbkim @TEDxSalford was mindblowing! So much intellect, so much empathy, so much emotion, all rolled into one. A blog post is in order!
In reply to Herb Kim
30 Jan

“Nothing is impossible.” -@astro_ron #tedxsalford

Retweeted by Maria Aretoulaki

Maria Aretoulaki

Umut Kose: each of us produces 340 million neutrinos per day that reach the farthest corners of the universe #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

Gemma Cameron ‏ @ruby_gem

“Do you remember your first time with the Internet?” #TEDxSalford
Retweeted by Maria Aretoulaki
28 Jan

Maria Aretoulaki

Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets): old bands prob reform in order to make money to buy their sound recordings off the record labels#TEDxSalford
28 Jan

Maria Aretoulaki

Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets): that’s what record labels are now – content businesses #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

Maria Aretoulaki 

Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets): we’ve moved away from BC and AD to BEFORE INTERNET and AFTER INTERNET #TEDxSalford

28 Jan

Maria Aretoulaki

Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets): the current copyright laws are useless #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

TEDxSalford Programme