Microsoft Can Now Talk Better Than Humans And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

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

1 – Microsoft says its speech recognition is now as good as humans.

Based on a study it did, the software giant put its speech recognition technology up against professional transcriptionists. The result? Humans made more mistakes than the software. (Source: VentureBeat)

Why this is important for your business:

According to the VentureBeat article, Microsoft has called this a milestone in human parity and believes that it will have “broad implications for consumer and business products that can be significantly augmented by speech recognition.” I don’t doubt that.

2 – Facebook announces new features to help small businesses sell more products and services.

The social media leader has released updates so that restaurants can receive orders and service providers can accept appointments directly on their Facebook pages and have them land on Microsoft’s new Bookings app that will soon be included with Office 365. It’s also enhanced its ability to make buying recommendations when users ask a question. (Source: Recode and Microsoft Office Blogs).
Why this is important for your business:

All these enhancements are free and are designed to not only make it easier for your Facebook customers to do business with you, but to receive new business through recommendations, too.

3 – You will soon be able to receive customer texts directly from a Google ad.

Google says that advertisers will soon be able to allow recipients of their ads to send texts with questions directly to the advertiser. (Source: VentureBeat)

Why this is important for your business:

When customers see your ad now and they have a question, they have to go searching for ways to contact you – with many losing interest in the process. Allowing them to quickly text their questions right from the ad will solve that problem and hopefully keep customers buying.

4 – Now your employees can quickly see if you’re paying them enough.

Recruiting service Glassdoor has released a new tool that lets employees better calculate their “worth.” (Source: Forbes)
Why this is important for your business:

In these competitive times, you must be compensating your employees competitively. This tool will help your employees figure out if you’re doing that and if you’re not…you may lose them.

5 – A new expense account app will pay your people for underspending.

It’s from TravelBank, and they say they can predict what an employee should be spending on a business trip, help with the accounting and then give cash rewards if they come under budget. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

This is an app designed for small businesses that can’t afford larger expenses management apps and have a need to better control their travel expenses. Want to guess where the cash is coming from?

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