Host: Lucy Hopkins, Digital Marketing Manager at WBB
Co-Host: Craig Pugsley, Director and Creative Lead at StudioFlow.
Lucy Hopkins: Hello and welcome to the Botcast by We Build Bots. This is our first ever monthly news digest. This will now happen on the last week of every month with myself and Craig Pugsley, the Director and Creative Lead at StudioFlow.
We’ll be chatting about the top news stories from the month which will generally revolve around voice as this is something that Craig specialises in and it’s also something that We Build Bots is moving towards. We’ll also drop in on general tech topics too. So, without further ado, I’ll introduce my co-host, Craig.
Craig Pugsley: Hello Lucy, how are you?
LH: I’m good thanks. How are you?
CP: I’m really good. It’s quite a blustery day here in Bristol today, so coming today in this weather – it’s like the end of days almost. But the sun is shining now and it’s awesome.
LH: I know, it’s beautiful now.
CP: Glorious. I brought this weather just for you.
LH: Thank you! So do you want to tell people a little bit about StudioFlow?
CP: Yes, so StudioFlow is a digital studio we have set up here in Bristol. We build voice experiences for organisations that want to move in to this space. So, Alexa, Google Assist, but also increasingly at the minute, people building bespoke services in to their IOS apps, or websites that are using bits and pieces of technology from the voice eco-system. So, we specialise in design, marketing, content creation, but all around voice experiences. I’m a strong believer as a technophile – technophobe? Technophobe is someone who doesn’t like technology isn’t it? I’m the exact opposite.
LH: Yes! You’re definitely not that!
CP: Technophile. I think this is the next big paradigm in the conversational experiences. Ambient computing, technology just disappears into the background, that’s obviously where we’re going. So, we thought, what a great time to build something that is dedicated to focusing on creating great experiences for consumers around that space. So, that’s where we are right now. So, get in touch if you want that kind of help.
LH: So, where can people find you?
CP: Best contact method is LinkedIn and Studio-Flow.co.uk is the website. Or just find me around Bristol generally. Just walk up to me in the street and say, I want to give you some work and we’ll have a great conversation and we’ll take it from there. But yes, LinkedIn is probably as good a place as any.
CP: Pitch over.
LH: Yes, shall we get started on the top news stories of the month? How exciting!
CP: Let’s start with Facebook Portal then, shall we?
LH: Yes let’s.
CP: I don’t think we could avoid this one. This is a big deal.
CP: So, how do you feel about Facebook, because I left Facebook years ago, and I haven’t looked back since?
LH: Do you know what? I wrestle with Facebook - I want to leave but I’m constantly on Messenger. I’m a big Messenger person. Obviously with the whole Cambridge Analytica thing, I am concerned about my privacy and my data, as everyone is but yes, I can’t see myself actually leaving Facebook.
CP: It’s tricky, isn’t it? They did such a clever thing breaking Messenger out. They saw that trend happening. They saw that – I suppose through their analytics, they saw people using their experience and moved that out to a separate thing. It was very clever.
LH: So, what was the final straw for you? What made you just leave?
CP: Just nonsense. People tagging me in photos I didn’t want to be tagged in. Not that I do the kind of things that I don’t want to be tagged in photos in, obviously.
CP: But it was just that lack of control.
LH: Was it?
CP: Yeah, just having to give that up for the benefit of being able to follow other people. And you know what, I’m on Twitter. It’s not like I don’t do social media at all, I love it. I love Twitter. LinkedIn for organisation – for work stuff, has been fantastic as well, but I just prefer talking to people. Other than Twitter, nothing beats that really. I just think all the friends that you have on Facebook that you know through other people, friends of friends, it’s not really that interesting what they’re doing and it got a bit stalkerish and a bit weird.
LH: It did get a bit stalkerish.
CP: I dropped off at that point. So, what’s keeping you hooked in then?
LH: It is probably just the Messenger, because I very rarely look at anyone’s timeline or my own. I don’t really post anything. Yes, it is probably mainly Messenger which actually really links in well with the Facebook Portal, because that’s why they’ve developed this.
CP: It really is, and you can see they’re really pushing Messenger Bots as well, very heavily. Obviously, one of the first commercial vendors to release something and as much as I may not use Facebook, I may not use the core function of that experience, Facebook as an organisation and what they’re developing is absolutely incredible. F8 last year – or this year, wasn’t it? Some of the stuff that they’re releasing around machine learning – did you see that demo they did where they mapped a room through video that people had recorded?
LH: No, I don’t think I saw that.
CP: It’s just insane amounts of computational working out. Some crazy intelligent people obviously worked on this. But they’re taking videos that people have filmed of a room – say your family have taken videos over two or three Christmas’s when you all come together. Facebook then collate all those videos together and then through some crazy vision algorithms, map the space of the room, so you can go in to it in VR. Obviously, Oculus are now owned by Facebook and they’re pushing that space as well and creating environments for your friends to hang out in that space. But being able to go back to your childhood home and hang out with your parents in that space.
LH: That’s awesome.
CP: It’s so interesting.
LH: I love that.
CP: It’s the real tip of the iceberg I think for what they’re able to do with all this data that they’ve got, because as the classic phrase goes, if you’re not paying for something, you’re the product. Of course, we don’t pay for this, therefore all of our content is the product and this is what they’re doing with it. These are the applications for it. It’s really interesting stuff.