Steve “Woz” Wozniak to advise hologram emoji company that he calls “groundbreaking”

Apple’s co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak has found himself a new gig; Woz has joined the hologram emoji company, Mojiit, as an adviser.

In his role as advisor to Mojiit, the legendary entrepreneur and engineer will help assemble a world-class engineering team in addition to bringing investors and partnerships to the newly launched startup. Wozniak will also serve as mentor to Mojiit founder, Jeremy Greene.

“I’m thrilled to join Mojiit as an advisor,” said Wozniak. “Jeremy is a natural leader, the company is groundbreaking, it’s going to change the ecommerce space, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Created in 2017, Mojiit is the latest startup technology venture from Greene. The company’s tech essentially enables users to project and share 3D hologram emojis via smartphones.

The platform turns users into emojis by scanning their face, which can then be sent to loved ones and friends. Once a Mojiit message is received, it will map the area where it is received and place the Mojiit hologram there in real time, so it works in a similar way to Pokemon Go.

“Steve is one of the best and brilliant engineers in the entire world. But outside of that, he’s a wonderful man,” said Greene. “There isn’t anyone I’d want to be in business with more than this guy. He’s a legend. Who better to learn from than the guy who created the computer?”

Image courtesy of Nichollas Harrison. Featured image courtesy of Mojiit

In addition to consumer use, businesses of all kinds can tap into hologram emojis with Mojiit’s technology.

Mojiit investors already  include NFL alum Ed Reed, and the company was able to raise a total of $1 million in its seed round of funding.

Alongside the appointment of Woz, Entourage and Ballers producer Rob Weiss recently joined the company as a creative director.

“It’s exciting to expand beyond television and film to digital platforms,” said Weiss. “Hologram technology brings incredible opportunity to entertainment and media. I’m thrilled to be leading creative at Mojiit.”

Automation hits multilingual workforce with real-time translation software for businesses

With the rise of chatbots and automated phone systems, telephone-based customer service roles have seen increasing automation. One skill that has protected many workers from having their jobs replaced by software, however, is the ability to speak multiple languages.

But while software-based translation has traditionally paled in comparison to a multilingual human being, that’s beginning to change. The first gadgets allowing humans to carry out a conversation across two languages are starting to be launched, and even Google’s own free services are getting in on the act.

Now, however, companies are likely to follow suit, with the launch of a software suite for companies in need of multilingual support for helpdesks and service support.

Developed by Lionbridge Technologies, the snappily named GeoFluent for Enterprise Service Management is a package of business software that includes over-the-phone interpretation for over 350 languages, as well as a virtual translator for digital communications such as email and chat and a self-service document translator.

As a result, it effectively eliminates the need for major companies to hire multilingual workers for any form of customer service, instead replacing their skills with software.

Customer service has seen significant automation in recent years, but multilingual workers have until now been relatively safe

For businesses, the software’s main benefit is its ability to save them money, by not hiring staff to speak multiple languages or offer translation services.

“Service desk agents have historically had limited options to deliver multilingual support. Customised real-time translation technology is an increasingly important piece of IT service management solutions, providing a high-quality, cost-effective alternative to hiring bilingual staff,”  Robert Young, research director of IT service management and client virtualisation software at International Data Corporation, said in a press release about the software.

“It’s a significant challenge for service desks to communicate effectively across languages, channels, geographies, and time zones. GeoFluent for Enterprise Service Management eliminates that complexity by leveraging unified interpretation and custom-trained AI-based translation to existing communications platforms and channels,” added Tom Tseki, Lionbridge’s vice president and general management, customer care solutions.

“This platform and channel-agnostic approach allows service desks to cost-effectively eliminate language barriers wherever they exist.”

Manufacturing was one of the first industries to see significant automation in the modern era, but other roles are increasingly being affected

While those watching the technology’s developed will unlikely be surprised by the development, for many it will come as a surprise that multilingual skills can be so completely automated.

However, it is yet another example of skillset that not long ago was thought to be completely safe from the oncoming march of automation, but which is now under threat.

Many journalists, for example, are feeling less confident about their own roles with the advent of news-writing bots, while AI composers are likely to be raising some concern in the creative industries.