Twitter Circle finally goes live… and other small business tech news this week

Twitter Circle finally goes live… and other small business tech news this week

Here are five things in technology that happened last week and how they affected your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Twitter Circle is finally going global live, which means deeper sub-tweets for everyone.

The new Twitter feature – called Twitter Circle – is now available to users around the world. The feature gives you the option to select an audience to send restricted individual Tweets to. With Twitter Circle, you can create an exclusive group of up to 150 followers on Twitter and the tweets shared in it will not be visible to users who are not in your exclusive group. The feature is now available on desktop, Android, and iOS. (source: Mashable)

Why this is important to your business:

This is an interesting feature for small businesses active on Twitter. You can create your own Mental Trust, groups of clients, partners, suppliers, or others in your industry and then share ideas with each other without the general public seeing.

2 – New York City’s Artificial Intelligence Bias Act maps out a new territory for employers.

New York City’s Artificial Intelligence Bias Act will penalize employers for bias detected in any AI recruitment tools. These tools include the algorithms used to identify ideal candidates for programs that analyze body language. The law is prompting companies to scramble and review their AI tools before January 2023, when the law takes effect. (source: Bloomberg Law)

Why this is important to your business:

Whether AI tools for recruiting and interviewing – and there are many of them hitting the market – are biased remains to be seen. But it is a growing issue. I would recommend these tools to my clients because the idea is that they help reduce bias in the interview process. But then again… people wrote it, right? I bet the New York law will be the first of many new regulations that will require employers to evaluate the tools they use for HR and not just assume they don’t have an inherent bias.

3 —ROBE Array could allow small businesses to access a popular form of AI.

Computer scientists at Rice University are working to make deep learning recommendation models (DLRM) more accessible to small businesses. ROBE Array – Rice’s “Random Shift Block Fusion Array” – uses an algorithm that greatly reduces the size of the memory structure in DLRM. This means that those without access to the engineering expertise or sophisticated hardware required for larger systems will still be able to benefit from the models. (source: science daily)

Elon Musk Lamented last year How difficult it is to create autonomous vehicles given the massive amount of AI processing that must happen inside the car’s computer to make decisions in milliseconds. ROBE Array may help solve this problem and may make it easier for devices to handle more AI processing, and as a result more powerful AI applications for small businesses in the not too distant future.

4 – Instacart launches mega fulfillment solution for retailers.

Instacart is rolling out a new feature called Big & Bulky. Big & Bulky will allow larger items – such as home office supplies, outdoor furniture and electronics – to be delivered the same day they are ordered on the Instacart app. Some of the early retailers to partner with Instacart are Office Depot, Staples, Spirit Halloween, Mastermind Toys, Container Store and Big Lots. (source: Retail Technology Innovation)

Why this is important to your business:

Obviously, it’s the big box stores that do that first. But smaller chains and individual retailers are likely to be next. If your store sends products to customers through Instacart, I think the Big & Buy solution could become important to you.

5 – Back to School Shoppers Take More ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Credits

A recent TransUnion study revealed that nearly 40 percent of shoppers will use BNPL to purchase back-to-school supplies. That number is higher than just 2 percent of consumers who responded to TransUnion’s 2021 holiday shopping survey of consumers saying they would use BNPL. Inflation appears to be the main reason for the rise in BNPL use, with 55 percent of survey respondents saying they expect to have to spend more on back-to-school supplies this year. (source: street)

Why this is important to your business:

BNPL has become more popular among retailers even as big tech companies like PayPal and Apple have entered, and current BNPL leaders like Klarna and Affirm have struggled. These solutions may be good consumer alternatives to credit cards but they come with risks for the consumer, especially if they do not pay their bills on time. If you are a small retailer, I think you should offer BNPL as one of your payment options. But warn your customers, too. Its the right thing to do.

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