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In our white paper Death of the Retail Bank?, we argue that delivering an improved customer experience using digital technology may be crucial to retail banks’ survival. So what exactly did we mean? It’s fair to say that customer service and retail banks have not always...

The second problem of the install journey happens on the day of the visit. Even if the small fraction of successful calls from your call centre manage to schedule an installation date and time, a locked door is enough to undo the perfect alignment of...

Oh good, another cryptocurrency. And this time from the paragons of privacy themselves, Facebook.  ‘Libra’ (nice zodiacal jab at the Gemini cryptocurrency company backed by archnemeses, the Winklevoss twins) is reportedly being prepped for international rollout sometime in 2020. I must say, I’ll be very...

Take a moment to think about the most important thing you have to do today. On a weekday, the chances are it’s something to do with an impending work deadline; perhaps its conducting a job interview or performing your best at an important meeting. On...

We opened an office in Bletchley Park recently. It’s quite a special place which helped to shorten the Second World War and saved countless lives as a consequence of its top-secret work. Famous alumni included Tommy Flowers and Alan Turing, the latter more famous than...

I’ve been involved with investors most of my career, I’ve raised money from friends and family, angels, VCs, PE firms, done a bit of venture debt and had pension funds pile in. I’ve started three companies, floated one on the London Stock Exchange, and built...

I used to have a problem with ethics. Thing is, I was trained as a biologist and our glorious leader was one beardy Victorian geezer called Charles. He had this idea. It was a really good idea. It was called the Origin of Species. Now...

Dr Mark K. Smith, founder and CEO of ContactEngine, shares his stories on the road to becoming a founder. Mark is an experienced entrepreneur having launched several companies with an academic background and a PhD in biotechnology. In this interview, Smith discusses the psychologies of a founder,...

When I was a school boy an old English teacher - Mr Burrows - always insisted that the first sentence you write is the most important one of all; it sets the scene for the essay and must therefore entice the reader to persevere. If...

Could a Central Bank Digital Currency be the death of retail banks? There are many winds of change surrounding the banking industry today, but one that should be front of mind for retail bankers is the possibility of a CBDC. This white paper explores the...

Argumentation is an incredibly complex area of language – so much so that philosophers have devoted millennia to studying it. Simple questions, such as what makes a debate successful, and which assumptions are legitimate, have very challenging answers. This is why the field is so interesting...

Multi-award-winning Professor Roberto Navigli from Sapienza University of Rome joins CEO Dr Mark K. Smith to discuss his NLP research (part 1) and his latest project, BabelNet® (part 2)- the largest multi-lingual semantic network, encyclopedic dictionary and knowledge repository for multi-lingual applications. Roberto Navigli is a...

Multi-award-winning Professor Roberto Navigli from Sapienza University of Rome joins CEO Dr Mark K. Smith to discuss his NLP research (part 1) and his latest project, BabelNet® (part 2)- the largest multi-lingual semantic network, encyclopedic dictionary and knowledge repository for multi-lingual applications. Roberto Navigli is a...

Emoji! A huge topic! This has been a source of much discussion in the company recently, with many strong opinions and some lively debate. So, of course, it was time for a blog. One of the first things I found when I began my research, with...

I went to see an insurance company recently and their building was full of people making and taking calls. No surprise there. ContactBabel – a research company that I really like - estimate that there are 772,500 people employed in call centres in the UK...

Inertia in the insurance market - has this long-standing tactic had its day? Mark Wilson, Aviva's ex-CEO drew much attention to this practice with his comments about the broken personal insurance market, but in reality it was already under scrutiny. This white paper examines the...

Not a lot of people know this…… MTV’s very first video was the irritating earworm by the rarely remembered, and winner of crappiest name for a band ever, ‘The Buggles’ with their only hit ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’. Yeah right, that prediction was rubbish. So...

Nick Jennings, Vice Provost (Research & Enterprise) at Imperial College, has been an AI researcher for more than 30 years and has seen the peaks and troughs in the field. He has encountered years where there was a huge amount of funding and interest, as...