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What is Visual Search?

As per a statistical report, 62% of millennials and Gen Z would use visual search over all other search methods.

Before we dive into the best practices, let’s see what Visual Search is and the best practices to implement one, if you haven’t already.

Source: fullestop.com

What is Visual Search?

Visual Search exploits Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help people perform their search by means of the real-world imagery rather than text search.

For example, if a person takes a photo of an object by Google Lens for example, teh software can identify the object within the image and provides feedback and details about it to the user.

This technology is especially useful to retail and eCommerce businesses — if you implement well-optimized content, you can stand a chance of being the returned search result for a user.

Such an approach will result in attracting more users and increased profit.

Source: analyticsinsight.net

How does Visual Search differ from Image Search?

Visual Search involves searching for the specific item via text, voice and vision — it belongs to a category known as ‘sensory search’.

Both visual and image search are based on imagery but there is an important difference — for image search, people still use words while for visual search, users can utilize an image to handle the same search.

Image search has been present for a long time, nearly 20 years — Google introduced this search format back in 2001 due to the inability of a search engine to cope with all the searches of Jeniffer Lopez and the green dress she wore on Grammy Awards back in 2000.

Visual Search works with a combination of Computer Vision and Machine Learning.

Computer Vision helps machines to interpret what they ‘see’ before deciding what to do with the information.

Computer vision has been present for a long time but with the progress of Machine Learning it became more advanced.

Machine Learning brings details that Computer Vision needs to understand better what is on the image.

Google lens, with help of this technology, cross-referenced the details with Google Knowledge Graph.

Source: youtube.com/h&m

The Biggest Platforms in Visual Search

Google and Bing visual search are mainly used for information retrieval alongside shopping while each of the major visual search platforms offer slightly different search options.

Pinterest Lens

Pinterest Lens was introduced in 2017 and already in 2019, they announced that the technology is able to recognize over 2.5 billion items.

With Pinterest Lens, users can submit images of almost anything and the platform can save the or shop the object on the photo. Pinterest stated that 90% of users’ purchasing decisions were enabled via the information gathered through this technology.

Clothes retailers can post ‘shop by look’ pins so that users may identify or search for garments within a certain image.

The engine can also find similar items to recommend to users in case a user decides that they do not want the exact product but would like something else similar to the original one.

Google Lens

Google Lens was launched back in 2017 and due to its advanced visual search abilities, it quickly became the most popular visual search platform.

In the following year, Google Lens was integrated with Google Image Search and in 2019, a study was published stating that their image recognition technology was more accurate than other similar platforms.

Google Lens technology is present in many Android applications like Photos, Google Assistant and Google Search.

The capabilities to combine multiple apps gives Google Lens a head start over the other similar engines — for example, if a user takes a photo of a sign in a foreign language via Google Lens, it can instruct Google Translate app to provide a translation in their own language.

Source: selesti.com

Bing Visual Search

Bing Visual Search is a bit different as it provides users with both information and products, similar to Bing search engine. It provides users with related items and pricing details.

Bing works similarly to other visual search engines and it has an extensive developer platform.

For example, if Bing guides a user to a particular item on your website, a developer has the ability to define the actions that will be offered to the user.

Source: mspoweruser.com

Amazon StyleSnap

Amazon’s visual search app was announced in June 2019 — it allows users to take photos of objects or products using this function within Amazon’s mobile app and then users are provided with the relevant details and similar items.

Amazon StyleSnap has already been working with Instagram platform for creating an integrated shopping experience for its users.

This technology is very useful for companies that sell on Amazon as they can get their products in front of consumers in an already competitive market.

Developers are also given the opportunity to read the latest guides for implementing StyleSnap.

Source: newsroom.snap.com

Snapchat Camera Search

Snapchat announced their Camera Search in September 2018 inviting users to search for products on Amazon via their app.

It works in a way that the app recognizes a barcode and then an Amazon card is provided to a user offering a link to a specific product or selection of similar products from their store. If the user has their app, they can click on the app and will be directly led to the wanted page.

Unfortunately, Snapchat did not post any latest updates or additional features, but you can read more about their AR and other features in their help guide.

Visual Search Best Practices

There are numerous benefits if implemented visual search but we will talk about these in one of the future articles.

Let’s check the best practices that websites should stick to so to appear in visual search:

Use Structured Data

One of the most important things is to provide as much information as possible to search engines, when adding any kind of content to your website.

The best is to use structured data for images as it can help your website to appear in Google rich snippets.

There are general structured data guidelines in Google for you to learn more about but also the type of structured markup that you can also add.

Add Alternative Text

Alternative texts are also known as ‘alt tags’ or ‘alt descriptions’ — it appears in place of an image in case it fails to load on the screen.

Alternative text is ‘read’ by search engines to help understand the meaning of the image. Users that use screen readers would also need alt text to understand the context of the photo. Alternative text should be authentic, concise and well written.

For example, if your image shows a man holding a red cup of coffee, your alternative text may sound like this: ‘Young man holds a red cup of coffee at home’ or in more details.

Source: moz.com

Use Descriptive Filenames

A popular phrase today says: Context is everything.

Majority of image files are commonly named like this: ‘IMG 12345.JPG’ but you should try better and provide as many details as you can.

If we follow the above example, instead of using such an impersonal name, rename it to: ‘man-with-red-cup-of-coffee.jpg’.

Although it is difficult, try to provide a unique filename to that image besides being clear and concise.

Have an Image Sitemap

If you provide an image sitemap, you can increase a chance for your images to be discovered by search engines. This is especially useful if you have Javascript loaded images.

If you provide an image sitemap, Google will easily identify, crawl and index your images.

Source: mural.co

Use Suitable Image Size and File Type

Having optimization of your content in mind, it is important to use the appropriate file size of images as it can affect the loading time of your site for your users. A site with slow loading speed can trigger users to leave your site.

There are some sites which are excellent for compressing images like: TinyPNG, CompressNow, Optimizilla and more.

Besides file size, pay attention to the type of files you use on your website. For example, Google Images supports the following file types:

  • Bmp
  • Gif
  • Jpeg
  • Png
  • WebP
  • SVG

Each file type has its pros and cons, where for example GIFs may not be suitable for some commercial websites.

Other Elements

The above listed recommendations relate only to images, but you should consider the other elements like SEO and other associated items to appear in visual search results:

  • Overall site speed
  • Overall site performance
  • Your site’s accessibility
  • Quality of images
  • Originality of the content and the images

FINAL WORD

Today’s technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) can help provide users with sensory search in all its forms.

As major search platforms push the boundaries of search features, it is vital for marketers and website owners to make plans for the future search options.

Keep in mind that younger internet users will expect such features so try to decide which approach can be the best for your business to follow.

Boosting Business Through Internal Communication Tech

While many companies tend to focus on their external communication, internal communication amongst staff and between different departments is just as important, if not more so. How your company runs internally ultimately determines how good of a service you provide to your clients and customers, which in turn impacts the success of your overall business. 

And when it comes to boosting internal communications, the right tools are key. If your company is still relying on outdated methods of communication, you may find yourself falling behind. But by adopting new technologies, you can improve internal operations and the growth and success of your company.

Source: peoplematters.in

What is Internal Communication?

Before jumping into the benefits of internal communication and why it’s important, it’s helpful to understand what internal communication is and how it works.

As the name suggests, internal communication is essentially the sharing of information between internal staff, teams, and departments. And the purpose of internal communication is to ensure there is an effective and efficient flow of information between everyone that needs to be in the know so everyone stays informed and there is no miscommunication.

This can include communication of various types, such as:

●      Management: Communication between managers, supervisors, team leads, and executives to discuss strategies, high-priority information, and other general communications

●      Team: Communications between colleagues that are on the same team and working on the same project. Or communications between different teams that are working together to get something done

●      Face-to-face: Communication between individuals, such as briefing someone on a task or project

●      Peer: Informal communications between colleagues

●      Digital: Communications over the internet, email, messaging, video and telephone calls, and even social media

Overall, the communication types above can occur verbally in person, using paper, or electronically. And as most things are going digital today, the best way to improve these communications and optimize your operations is to use internal communication technologies.

Source: myhubintranet.com

The Importance of Internal Communication Tech

Without an effective internal communication strategy that makes use of the latest tools and technologies, your company may fail to keep up with the demands of today’s fast-paced, digital world. Customers and clients have higher expectations today, as do employees. So to meet those demands, you have to optimize your internal operations to ensure everything is running as efficiently as possible.

There are numerous benefits to implementing the latest tech and improving internal communications, including:

  • Boosting employee engagement and the overall employee experience
  • Increasing productivity
  • Optimizing workflows
  • Creating more information and data transparency
  • Improving trust between colleagues, managers, and teams
  • Mitigating risks
  • Avoiding conflicts and misunderstandings
  • Improving the sharing of goals, tasks, and objectives
  • Helping with the implementation of new policies
  • Improving insight
  • Promoting collaboration
  • Improving reliability

Additionally, improving your internal communications using tech can also help your company avoid serious legal issues. When communication is lacking, there are a number of things that can go wrong. But the worst is when poor communication leads to a critical error that creates a legal problem, such as accidentally sharing sensitive information with the wrong person.

With internal communication tech, however, there is more security, and you can more easily track who is communicating and what information they are sharing. For example, if you are discussing sensitive client data, there are certain communications tools that you can use to protect that information to make sure it doesn’t get leaked or shared with the wrong person.

Source: appkode.com

Best Practices For Updating Your Internal Communication Strategy

Before you start rolling out a new internal communication strategy and investing in new technologies, it’s important to have a plan and make some preparations to ensure your new strategy sticks and will be a success.

This should include:

●      Analyzing your current situation to identify what is working and what needs improving

●      Defining and setting realistic goals, objectives, and timelines

●      Identifying the specific communication needs of teams and departments

●      Researching the various tools available to decide which ones will work best for your needs

With any new digital transformation or adoption of new technologies, is also incredibly important to get your employees on board. As your staff will be the ones using these tools and technologies the most, it’s crucial to prepare them for the changes that are being made and ensure they are comfortable with using the new tech.

The best way to get your employees on board and ensure a successful transition is to meet with them to discuss the vision and your plan, demonstrate strong leadership to guide them through, and offer training and give them time to become acquainted with the new tools and how to use them.

Source: clintechresearch.com

The Latest Tech and Tools That Can Boost Your Company’s Internal Communications

With the latest advancements in technology, there are numerous tools and applications available to companies that can be used to improve internal communications. Artificial intelligence (AI), for example, is making business technologies overall much smarter and more efficient. And so many tools and applications today use some level of AI or machine learning to allow businesses to run as optimally as possible, including communications tools.

Below are some of the best and latest internal communication tools available:

Multi-Channel Intranets

An intranet is an internal communicator’s best friend. It is a centralized channel or software that is specifically designed for internal communications where employees can easily and safely share and access information.

Internal Newsletters

Company-wide newsletters sent out on a regular basis are an excellent way to keep everyone in the know and up-to-date on the latest happenings, such as projects, policies, changes, updates, and any other important information. You can even make specialized newsletters just for certain teams or departments. And with so many tools available, there are numerous ways to share this information, such as using mobile apps, intranet boards, and emails.

Collaboration Tools and Plugins

Communication isn’t just about passing things down from upper management, but it’s also about allowing for better lateral communication between employees for a wide variety of reasons. Messaging apps like Slack, for example, allow employees and colleagues to easily and quickly communicate with one, which is incredibly helpful for bonding and collaboration.

Video Conferencing Tools

With flexible, remote, and hybrid work schedules becoming increasingly popular, it’s essential for employees to have a way to communicate more efficiently and have meetings without everyone needing to be in the same place at the same time. And video conferencing and video chat software make this possible.

Messaging and collaboration tools don’t always cut it because you still need to be able to look at someone to read their body language and facial expressions to communicate more clearly and effectively. But if everyone isn’t in the same location, communicating face-to-face becomes a challenge, but one that is easily remedied with video tools and software.

Source: techstudiojax.com

Wrapping Up

These are just a few of the wide variety of tools and technologies that are available today to help with internal communications. The list could go on and on. 

This is why it’s important to do some research to determine your company’s specific goals and identify your areas of need. A freight company, for example, might not need the same kinds of internal communication tools as a finance company.

It’s all about creating the right strategy and implementing the right tools that work for your individual company and your teams to help you grow and achieve success.

6 Reasons To Implement ABM Into Your B2B Marketing Strategy

Account-based marketing (ABM) has been increasingly popular with B2B marketers recently as it allows brands to personalize their content. As a result, it optimizes the customer experience on a more lasting basis.

The ABM approach combines sales and marketing, providing a shortcut to the sales cycle.

However, what does a successful ABM strategy entail? 

The answer is a systemic activation of predefined personas and giving them a satisfactory customer experience.

Source: https://www.itsma.com/

How Does ABM Work

Many companies find success with an ABM strategy, however you must follow the appropriate steps and optimize your campaigns to get the best results.

Here are three primary ways how ABM can work between two teams:

  • One-to-one: A senior marketer will work with the account team to get the best strategy.
  • One-to-few: A marketer works with 5-15 accounts, usually within the same industry, and gets similar issues.
  • One-to-many: Working with a high number of carefully chosen accounts

Using one of the following methods, your marketing team can focus on the campaign.

Source: marketo.com

Here are the six reasons to implement ABM into your B2B marketing strategy:

1. Efficient Use of Marketing Resources

ABM allows you to structure your marketing efforts and resources within your key accounts, driving the most revenue.

With a narrow focus, account-based marketing initiatives enable you to optimize your most valuable resources, saving you time and money.

By integrating your sales and marketing efforts, your marketing team can work directly with sales. That way, you can easily target and create content for key accounts.

This will help you maximize the efficiency of your B2B marketing resources and helps build communication channels with sales to help you have an aligned sales and marketing organization.

The top three challenges of implementing ABM are creating a scalable strategy for multiple accounts, producing customized content, and coordinating programs across marketing, sales development, and sales teams.

TOPO

2. Defined Return on Investment (ROI)

Your marketing strategy needs to be measurable, which is no different from ABM.

Data from the Information Technology Services Marketing Association shows that 84% of businesses say that ABM provides them with higher ROI than any marketing strategy.

Measuring the ROI of any marketing initiative is vital and is possible because of the automation and software tools available in the market.

With ABM, you can easily see the return on investment for ABM initiatives and other areas for improvement based on how people respond to your content.

Source: abmagency.com

3. Identify Account-Based Marketing Measures

Usually, account plans have specific measures that need to be noted as part of the ABM campaign. It helps you create structure and coordinate all the steps involved.

Moreover, the following aspects also need to be considered:

●   What channels need to be utilized for your ABM campaign?

●   What specific type of content works well with your target group?

●   Who are the key decision makers within your target company?

●   How are ABM and the sales process integrated?

Account-based marketing is solidifying your relationship with target accounts beyond your campaigns. The extent to which a campaign can support your goals could be measured in KPIs such as:

●   The number of deals that are concluded

●   Engagement

●   Interactions on social media

●   The number of content people

Tracking these metrics allows you to save time and resources. Check out this handy guide to account based marketing metrics– what to track and why. 

If any weaknesses are found in your analysis, you’ll know precisely the points you need to channel your efforts. Doing so allows you to optimize your ABM campaigns better.

4. Closer Alignment of Sales and Marketing

Perhaps your sales and marketing teams function independently of each other but it would be good to change, especially if you’re keen on implementing a true ABM strategy.

Your sales and marketing team should work with one another to identify target accounts, creating solid communication and outreach strategies. You also need to monitor the progress of your campaigns.

ABM functions as a way to unite teams and not divide them. It allows teams to work hand in hand rather than working independently.

Moreover, ABM is an excellent way for B2B marketers to align strategically with sales while creating personalized campaigns targeted at specific accounts that drive revenue.

However, ABM isn’t intended to replace mass marketing initiatives that drive awareness and traffic.

However, you can use it to level up your B2B marketing strategy so that you can drive organizations towards a clear ROI with measurable sales results.

Source: jk-squared.com

5. Cultivate Your Information Contacts

Once you’ve acquired contacts, you must deepen your relationship with your target group. It would help if you also strengthen your customers’ trust in your brand.

Offering direct communication, individualized content, and having a professional presence in meetings provides you and your brand a solid foundation in retaining contacts through account-based marketing in the long run.

87% of account-based marketers say that ABM initiatives outperform other marketing investments.

ITSMA

6. Define Your Target Accounts

To pay off your investment in ABM, you need to pick target accounts wisely.

Several factors, such as the company size, number of employees, and location, let you identify target accounts that are attractive to your brand within the framework of your B2B marketing strategy.

Over to You

There’s no better time to jumpstart your ABM strategy than today, especially since many of your competitors haven’t completely maximized usage of this strategy yet.

By implementing these tactics targeting and investing in account-based marketing, you’ll be on your way to success. That’s because the future of B2B marketing lies in account-based marketing.

Good luck!

The Pros and Cons of Technology in Education

Technology has brought better learning solutions to various institutions. It has changed and improved the teaching and learning approaches in various dimensions. 

Although innovations have always influenced the education system, the emergence of new technologies has caused major shifts in the learning process.

Some people believe that distancing from the traditional learning system is a good idea. Others believe in combining the traditional system with digital learning. 

Every stakeholder in the education sector should be aware of the benefits and limitations of technology in education.

edtechnology.com

Pros of technology

Saves Energy and Time

Technology helps to reduce human effort and minimizes the possibility of errors during the teaching-learning process. It helps teachers to assess performances, track attendance and establish learning gaps without using too much energy and time. 

With the automated mechanisms, teachers can review their student’s learning and create time to focus on other vital tasks. Tech-savvy teachers can use their time to improve the learning processes through innovative solutions. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly influenced the education sector worldwide. 

In April 2020, the pandemic got at its peak leading to closures of learning institutions and affecting over 90% of the student population worldwide. These institutions shifted to the use of technology in learning, which allowed teachers to interact with their learners with minimal time and effort. 

Source: fablaconnect.com

Reduced Academic Stress

Poor lifestyle, academic requirements, and parents’ expectations make students suffer stressful situations, especially in a traditional learning environment. 

The online learning environment can significantly reduce academic stress. Through digital learning, students can thrive, and this can support the learning outcomes for all types of learners.

Introverts and gifted learners can enjoy being in a safe environment when learning digitally. This education mode also allows them to explore their learning potential. 

Homeschooling and online schooling are perfect solutions to deal with the problems of regular learning platforms. Students can escape threats such as bullying, abuse, and school violence.

Source: mdreducation.com

Saving Environment

Technology in education remains a solution to different global environmental challenges. Over the past 40 years, wildlife land has declined by over 60%. To date, many nations risk losing the ecological balance that is important for human and wildlife survival. The notable environmental benefits of technology in education are as follows:

  • Minimal energy consumption. Learning institutions use a lot of power to support their enormous buildings. Typically, the buildings consume an annual average of $100,000 worth of power. Through technology, reduced energy consumption could save the institutions some money and decrease the carbon footprint.
  • Reduces pollution. Virtual learning can significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions every semester. It saves time, reduces transportation, and helps the planet. 
  • Reduces plastic waste. Online learning offers the benefit of reduced plastic waste. When students learn from home, it reduces the need for disposable products such as plastic water bottles and plastic bags.
Source: bel-india.com

Learning Mastery

Through technology, students can become masters of their own learning. They can choose the style and the pace to master their subjects depending on their abilities. The control over learning helps them to discover their strengths, weaknesses, and abilities, leading to efficient and meaningful learning. 

Some digital learning platforms use advanced systems that allow students to select their preferred learning mode and material. This is the best way for them to optimize their self-paced learning programs. The goal is to help learners find answers to what they learn and discover how they learn. Teachers can communicate knowledge and become effective evaluators, mentors, and coaches. 

Cons of technology

Digital Divide

In some countries, the digital divide is a major concern, and it hampers service delivery in learning institutions. Research shows that:

  • 9% of students above 15 years in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries (OECD) don’t have quiet places to learn in their homes
  • Only about 50% of the children are enrolled in institutions with online learning facilities. 
  • Over 35 children above 15 years are enrolled in institutions where tutors don’t have the necessary technical and pedagogical skills to support digital learning.

The gender divide, urban-rural divide, and inequalities make technology-based education inaccessible to the disadvantaged group. Worse still, half of the students who had to stay home due to COVID-19 (about 800 million learners) don’t have access to a basic computer. 66% of the school-level learners don’t have internet access in their homes. 

The Maintaining Cost is High

Modern technology requires regular updates and maintenance, which many people tend to overlook. Innovations in digital technologies happen very often. Institutions must keep up with technology to make the most out of it and to meet the teaching-learning goals. 

Upgrading applications and software continuously requires powerful hardware devices. So, educators should not fully believe that relying on technology is the solution to the problems in the education sector. For institutions not to regret the use of technology in learning, they must estimate the long-term costs of the investment. They need to determine how the investment will affect the tuition fees the students need to pay. 

Technology is Distractive

Educationists often forget that many learners often continue using their digital devices outside their classrooms. The daily dosage of video games and social media makes the learners’ brains accustomed to entertainment. The short-term and intensive content can make the students unproductive as a result of wasting time.

Regular interaction with digital devices lowers the attention span making the students perform poorly in school. Although educators have good intentions, it becomes challenging to control how learners use their devices outside classrooms. Teachers should discourage students from using applications that are not related to learning and use technology in class only when it is necessary. 

Source: digitiallearning.com

Conclusion

Implementing technology in education is a good idea, but it should be done with proper planning. Most institutions introduced online learning so abruptly after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers and students have benefited from technology, although it has had its limitations. The institutions should analyze the pros and cons of technology in education before making investment decisions. 

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Dennis Lodge is a freelance journalist, blogger and copywriter who provides college paper help in the field of education, career and finance. He works for Superiorpapers and is an accomplished traveler and extreme sports enthusiast.

Use of Modern Technologies in Documentaries

As technology makes the world more accessible to us, so too does it open our eyes to the many stories and experiences out there to tell. Documentary filmmakers have been telling these stories for ages, and their platform for producing and presenting these stories has only continued to widen, also due in large part to technology.

It’s only fitting, then, that technology has availed itself to documentarians to help make their filmmaking process more efficient and effective and even improve the quality of the documentaries they create.

Cinema itself was a revolutionary technology in storytelling and journalism at one time. Now, revolutionary technologies like virtual production, volume technology and LED walls, AI, remote editing and storage and real-time rendering have made it even easier to make films that tell those stories more vividly than ever before.

Virtual Production

In early 2022, French documentarians became one of the first in their country to incorporate virtual production techniques into a filmed production with the documentary series 2080.

Appropriately focusing on innovations in modern technology, the show incorporates not only motion capture and CGI technology but virtual effects (VFX) projected on an LED wall rather than a green screen (a virtual production technique known as “volume technology.”)

Virtual production is somewhat of a catch-all phrase for any filmmaking enterprise incorporating at least one virtual or CGI-based element. Many of the other technologies discussed here, in fact, could qualify as or contain an aspect of virtual production.

Among the technologies falling under the canopy of virtual production include those to produce:

●       Performance and volumetric capture

●       Virtual camera outputs, such as pan, tilt heads and master wheels

●       The feel of a handheld camera

Cinematographers can now use simple and convenient drop-down menus to alter lighting and switch between lenses.

Though its applications for documentary filmmakers may only just be emerging, filmgoers can already see elements of virtual production in action in science fiction films—an apt genre for experimenting with new storytelling technologies—like 2013’s Oblivion, which used back-projection techniques to bring high resolution to backdrops containing actual footage rather than green screens. (You can see Oblivion’s masterful use of virtual backgrounds for free on DIRECTV STREAM.)

While it may be easier, certainly, to see how fictional films can incorporate virtual characters, worlds, elements and effects, documentarians can also benefit from this technology.

For example, to explain the workings of a complex engineering or biochemical mechanism, a documentarian can employ CGI. To recreate a setting or scene to convey a critical narrative within the film, a documentarian can create a virtual rendering of that environment and even the characters concerned.

What started as a technology for video game engineering providing an innovative way of manipulating polygons, backgrounds and VFX creations has become an increasingly valuable asset for filmmakers.

Source: mediafactory.org.au

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the first and foremost modern technologies working its way into film production, as filmmakers are discovering the many ways it can play a major supporting role in the filmmaking process.

Scriptwriting and Analysis

AI makes the task of coming up with new stories that have the potential to wow modern audiences more efficient. AI algorithms can be fed large quantities of film scripts from which to cull and analyze data and apply what they learn to the writing of new scripts.

When it comes to documentaries, this can be incredibly helpful in coming up with effective and compelling narration. The time this use of AI can save filmmakers in finding good stories to tell can ultimately save production money.

Another application of AI for the writing of films is script analysis. Once documentarians compose their footage into a script, they can use AI to analyze that result and identify any weaknesses in its narrative structure or holes in its presentation of the information. It can then ask questions and suggest revisions to improve the script.

Pre-production Planning

AI can help simplify and streamline pre-production by helping automate necessary processes such as schedule planning and location scouting. By helping to efficiently coordinate schedules of talent (interviewees, etc.) crew and location availability, AI can again help save productions time and money.

Source: simbasible.com

Performance Predicting

AI can help productions predict how successful a film may be with audiences and how much revenue it may pull in.

This can be useful for studios deciding whether or not to produce or distribute a particular documentary and how many resources to put behind it. Studios and filmmakers can also use AI to help match a film to its most likely audiences.

Cast Selection

While cast selection may not be as big a factor with documentary filmmakers as with fiction filmmakers, there are still decisions to be made as to what faces and voices to show audiences to help tell their story.

Many documentaries have figures that must appear in the film to present the full story. However, they may also have parts of the story that several personalities may be qualified to convey, such as multiple officers, lawyers or friends of a victim or suspect in a crime documentary or multiple first-hand participants, witnesses or analysts involving a central event. In deciding which of these people to include in the film, AI can turn out to be quite useful.

Movie Promotion

It’s commonplace nowadays for studios to use AI to market their films.

They’ll use AI to analyze a film’s audience base and the popularity of the subject with filmgoers in various locations and demographics to help determine where and how best to promote the film. They may even use AI to help come up with those advertisements.

Source: huffingtonpost.co.uk

Music Composition

Using a technique called reinforcement learning, AI can develop musical patterns based on data it analyzes from other compositions as “inspiration.”

It can also base these musical patterns and their changes throughout a film on the tone or atmosphere of the movie at any given moment. It can even account for factors of the genre.

Algorithmic Video Editing

Using AI to edit films according to a defined set of rules is known as algorithmic editing. Nearly all films in the modern age use this technology to some degree in their editing process.

Some of the ways algorithmic editing can help streamline and improve the editing process of a film include:

●       Organizing footage based on faces, landscapes or other visual identifiers

●       Automatically cutting footage to suit a particular style or narrative flow, such as the flow and balance of interviews with direct footage

●       Optimizing post-production workflow

Audio/Visual Restoration and Recovery

For his acclaimed documentary The Beatles: Get Back, a behind-the-scenes look at the band’s production of the album Let It Be, Peter Jackson used AI in a process called “demixing” to reveal muted conversations in the studio between the bandmates. (Stream The Beatles: Get Back on Disney+.)

Another example of AI’s use in film restoration and enhancement is how it was used to restore the Lumière Brothers’ seminal 1896 documentary short L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat (Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat) and then enhance it into 4K at 60fps.

Remote Editing and Storage

Documentarian filmmakers Jim Rota and Dean Gonzalez faced dual difficulties when trying to edit What Drives Us featuring Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl. COVID forced them to work from home, so they turned to remote editing to get the film completed. But, to remote edit the film, they needed a sufficient means of remotely storing the over 1,000 photographs and hours of B-roll footage and video interviews they compiled, comprising in total of about 54 TB of data.

Not only did they need a reliable remote storage solution to remotely access that data and save their progress working with it; they needed enough throughput with that storage to handle various key editing components, like playback, review and editing and sequencing scenes.

Rota and Gonzalez used an enterprise-grade NAS storage solution from OpenDrives called Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 17. It allowed them to use a MacBook Pro for all post-production processes, from compositing many images into a single one to adding effects to correcting color for consistency to mixing sound–all from the same platform.

It also allowed them to transfer video files directly between the camera storage card, a workstation and an editing interface without needing to change the file format. (You can stream What Drives Us on The Coda Collection through Amazon Prime Video.)

Real-Time Rendering

Another outcropping of the video game industry, real-time rendering allows filmmakers to make changes to a digital environment almost instantaneously, avoiding the cumbersome render times that formerly stifled progress on production.

With the ability now to see and adjust how a production’s digital and physical components interact in real-time, they can work quicker and more precisely than ever.

 While not a documentary, this technology can already be seen in films like the sci-fi epic Gods of Mars.

Source: blogs.nvidia.com

Summary

These are just some of the newest software technologies documentary filmmakers are using on their projects. Modern tech has also given documentarians a slew of filmmaking hardware innovations and improvements to advance their craft, from high-quality, pocket-sized cameras to drones.

 One day soon, other modern innovations like virtual reality (VR,) augmented reality (AR) and AI voice synthesis and voice cloning will work their way into the documentary filmmaker’s standard toolkit.

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Frank Moraes is the editor of the cord-cutter website HotDog.com

4 Ways to Use Blockchain to Improve Supply Chain Management

The supply chain in the past was way simpler than it is right now. With the world becoming more interconnected, the current supply chain has become incredibly complex. 

With larger networks, multiple products, millions of customers, multimodal transportation, several stages, several locations, etc. it has become much harder to manage the whole logistics process.

Problems Due to Complex Supply Chains:

Owing to its complexity, it becomes challenging for the organizations to coordinate, cooperate and keep a track of the whole logistics process to make it transparent. The lack of transparency and loss of track can result in the mishandling of the product, information or financial sprawl, counterfeiting, and above all the dissatisfaction of the customer.

These disruptions, in turn badly impact revenues, the overall cost of the product, sales, and, the speed of production and distribution in the longer run. 

Many companies have been looking for ways to make the supply chain transparent and increase visibility across the whole logistics process. Then blockchain came to the rescue.

Source: walletweekly.com

How is Blockchain Helping?

Blockchain operating principles are based on its three important features:

  • Immutability
  • Transparency
  • Decentralization

Immutability

All the links in the supply chain have become increasingly complex. Also with the involvement of third parties, suspicion of illegal practices increases. 

With immutability, meddling with the data becomes impossible. Whatever changes are made, all the information is shared with the people involved. Hence, the chances for fraud and counterfeiting are almost reduced to zero. Blockchain can help improve the efficiency of the whole logistics process. 

Providing a single source of information that is too dominated by the features of transparency and immutability, blockchain helps build trust among the stakeholders.

Decentralized Data Structures

Blockchain having decentralized data structures provides public and private digital ledgers that can assist in the coordination of important information and in keeping a track of it. 

As they are decentralized, they are not owned by a single entity, and the data is shared among everyone who is a part of the whole network.

Source: btcmanager.com

Transparency and Traceability

Blockchain can help logistics and freight forwarding companies handle their business with a larger network that may be spread across several cities or countries efficiently. Not only this, but blockchain can also build up a system that ensures better security and more transparency across the supply chain giving the organization opportunities to grow exponentially.

Technology has transformed all aspects of our lives, intending to make it easy and efficient. Though the technology of blockchain was developed for bitcoin, it is considered to be the game-changer in the field of logistics as it brings reliability and integrity to a company. 

The companies with the help of blockchain can track the shipment at every step; from the order placement to its delivery with guaranteed transparency. Thus, it can help organizations to improve customer relationships by earning their trust.

Tracking in Real-time

As discussed earlier, blockchain can provide tracking at every step of the supply chain. From the order placement to its delivery, all the stages can be easily and speedily traced without any hassle. 

Blockchain can be used to track the whole life-cycle of a product and trace its movement and status from the manufacturer to the consumer.

Tracking Eatables and Medicines

It has proven to be extremely beneficial for companies that deal with eatables. Checking on the credibility of the food items including vegetables and fruits has never been that easy. 

Moreover, it helps ensure the safety of the product. Data security in the health department is paramount. 

The transportation of temperature-sensitive items including medicines is a huge responsibility. 

Security of Product Ensured

Any kind of delay or product manipulation could result in grave consequences. 

But with blockchain, as the tracking becomes easier, the product’s security can be ensured.

Source: supplychain247.com

Building a Customer’s Trust

Some companies are using this technology to let their customers look up the chain history by using blockchain-based QR codes with the help of a smartphone app. 

This traceability protocol is allowing its customers to trace the product to the point of its origin leading to sustainable consumption and building trust in the customers.

Digitally Secure Transaction

Blockchain agreements allow digital transactions to offer a transparent and secure process. Moreover, it can help spot any sort of financial anomaly in billing, invoices, and payments by taking care of all the critical data and the chances of counterfeiting are reduced to zero. 

With a single data silos, blockchain enables multi-party transactions resulting in transparency and facilitating automated business transactions. It offers innovative business models with more transparency and more visibility.

Automation

Many parts of the logistics procedure are still required to be done manually and depend on some paper-based documentation which can create trouble to track the product. Blockchain can help overcome these problems. 

Blockchain enables automation. Having the ability to store a large amount of unstructured data digitally, the commercial process can be automated as soon as the terms and conditions of the contracts are met. 

The self-regulation of the contracts saves time, and hassle and secures the interests of the people involved.

Trusting Each Other

Blockchain’s feature of immutability makes it impossible for anyone to manipulate or corrupt the data. So blockchain helps build a good level of trust and credibility in the supply chain. 

Whether it’s about the transactions or the safety of the product, all can be ensured using blockchain as it also enhances the visibility in the supply chain. Nothing can be tampered with.

suuplychainbeyond.com

Confidence and Trust

The efficiency and reliability of the supply chain can considerably be improved using blockchain as it requires minimal bureaucracy and paperwork. 

The lengthy paperwork can be replaced by an automated digital data structure that can’t be played with. It ensures that the information is accurate as controlled access is given to everyone involved giving confidence and trust.

Security

Blockchain provides security against the prevalent risks of hacking or data manipulation. The information and data breach in the older ways of agreements could be easily compromised.

Blockchain-Based Smart Contracts

As discussed earlier, smart contracts can be self-executed and are fully autonomous after being launched.  

Moreover, the regulation of manual contracts often requires the involvement of lawyers, brokers, litigators, etc. which costs a lot of money. This money can be saved with the help of blockchain technology.

Source: cubix.com

Locating Any Condition in Agreement

Business agreements often involve a great number of pages and hundreds of clauses and sometimes it becomes hard to keep a track of them and to make sure that every step is being followed. 

With blockchain, it becomes easier to locate any clause and the parties agreeing to a contract can easily ensure if the conditions are being taken care of or not.

Avoiding Delay

The contracts and agreements between different parties require time and the services of lawyers and bankers for their regulation. This can cause a delay in the whole process and a lot of costs.

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Danielle Gregory is a full-time Writer, Traveler, and Marketing Expert at Al Sharqi Shipping. She writes about a range of subjects such as Supply chain, Logistics, and IoT.