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Adobe Transforms Personalization With Artificial Intelligence

Adobe to Open Data Science Capabilities in Adobe Target, Allows Integration of Brand Algorithms with Adobe Sensei

)--Today’s most successful brands already use data science to personalize experiences and address customer needs. Brands are increasingly building internal statistical models and algorithms to tailor experiences and yet most are not fully leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
To help with this, Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced it will open up its data science and algorithmic optimization capabilities in Adobe Target, the personalization engine of Adobe Marketing Cloud. Brands will be able to insert their own data models and algorithms into Adobe Target to deliver the best experience to customers. Additionally, the company announced new capabilities in Adobe Target powered by Adobe Sensei, its AI and machine learning framework, to further enhance customer recommendations and targeting precision, optimize experiences and automate the delivery of personalized offers.
“Consumer expectations have sky-rocketed to the point that hyper personalization is no longer optional for brands, it’s imperative,” said Aseem Chandra, vice president, Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Target. “Progressive brands are already developing proprietary algorithms. When integrated into Adobe Target, brands can combine their own expertise with the power of Adobe’s AI and machine learning tools to predict what customers want and deliver it before they ask, driving strong business value and brand loyalty.”
The ability to bring in proprietary algorithms into a leading marketing platform is a first for the industry. Brands benefit from the ability to blend their industry expertise with Adobe Sensei’s powerful machine learning and AI capabilities in Adobe Target to deliver individualized customer experiences at massive scale. For example, a financial services company that created its own algorithm to predict which customers are most likely to respond to an offer can insert that algorithm into Adobe Target to test live traffic against the model to deliver the best possible offer to each customer.
In addition, Adobe unveiled new Adobe Sensei capabilities in Adobe Target to delight customers with more personalized experiences:
One-Click Personalization: With the new Auto-Target capability, marketers can rapidly deliver an unlimited number of personalized customer experience variations across their digital properties including websites, apps and IoT user interfaces. Auto-Target uses Adobe Sensei to determine the best experience for each consumer and continuously optimizes those experiences as the consumer takes additional actions. For instance, a hotel chain can feature its tropical properties and content for a reward member, knowing the individual prefers to travel to warm destinations based on bookings and mobile app engagement. The result is higher engagement and increased loyalty.
Personalized Recommendations: New recommendation technology in Adobe Target enables brands to leverage consumer intent to better predict what content and products customers might want next. Using techniques based on natural language processing, personalized recommendations convert the actions a consumer takes into word-like signals. These signals are grouped by commonality and used to deliver a more tailored customer experience. For example, a retailer can see that a customer watched its video on eco-friendly laundry techniques and purchased compostable dryer sheets. It can then provide a tailored recommendation about eco-friendly laundry detergents. Early test results show these data science advancements yield a 60 percent improvement over other algorithms.
Automated Offers: Brands can ensure the best offer—out of potentially hundreds—is automatically shown to the right person at the right moment. For instance, a financial services company can automatically personalize its mortgage, credit card and online bill pay offers based on each individual’s browsing paths, account status, search terms and more. This ensures the correct offer is delivered at the right step in the journey.
Precision Targeting: With the enhanced integration with Adobe Analytics Cloud, marketers can target more precisely by using behavioral analytics and audience data to inform deeper segmentation. For example, Adobe Target can personalize experiences to an automotive brand’s active car-buying audience even more by leveraging an insight from Adobe Analytics Cloud that indicates that most of these consumers are using smartphones to research their next vehicle purchase.

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Adobe accidentally leaks photo-editing app Project Nimbus

Project Nimbus is not a secret. Adobe already previewed the app at its MAX conference. But MacGeneration was able to download and play around with the upcoming app. Adobe told MacGeneration that it was available to some Creative Cloud subscribers for a short time by mistake. It has been removed since then.
In many ways, Project Nimbus feels like the Photos app and iCloud’s photo library on iOS and macOS — but on steroids. It lets you store your photos in the cloud, edit them and synchronize them between your devices.
Based on the leak, Project Nimbus gives you 1TB of storage to store all your photos, or at least your most recent ones if you’re a professional photographer. Project Nimbus supports RAW files and non-destructive edits. According to MacGeneration, you can revert any change you make from any device.
When it comes to editing tools, Project Nimbus isn’t a copy of Lightroom. There are fewer, more streamlined tools. It should be less intimidating for new comers and easier to provide the same tools on a computer, a tablet and a phone. If you need more tools, you can always edit your photos in another app. Project Nimbus isn’t going to replace Lightroom.

Finally, while you can still tag, flag and rate photos, Adobe is putting the search field front and center. Now that your photos are stored in the cloud, the company can identify the content of your photos. This way, you can perform powerful searches using natural language (“sunrise”, “penguins”, “mountains”…).
Project Nimbus isn’t going to revolutionize the way photographers edit their work. But it could become the backbone behind your photo library on all your devices. And while this leak isn’t particularly surprising, it proves that Adobe is still working on the app and that you could expect a beta or a final version at some point in the near future.
Here are a few screenshots from MacGeneration:

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Adobe launches redesigned Lightroom for Android

Adobe launched an update for its Lightroom photo management and editing apps on iOS and Android today. The iOS app for iPhone and iPad is getting a few new features, including support for Adobe’s selective brush, a new details tab and an interface update for the iPad version. That’s all pretty nice, but the biggest news here is that Adobe also completely redesigned the Android app from the ground up.
Adobe has long been an iOS-first shop and, while it now offers most of its apps on Android, too, it often felt as if the teams spent far more time polishing the iOS apps than the Android versions. Lightroom on Android was always a pretty competent mobile version of the desktop experience, but it never felt all that snappy and native.
“We wanted to provide the best Android experience possible so we redesigned Lightroom for Android from the ground up to be faster, more efficient, and, well, more Android-y,” Adobe says in today’s announcement. “Every screen has been redesigned with the goal of ensuring a natural, native Android experience while providing the highest quality, professional-grade mobile photo editing app ever.”

Sadly, new features like Selective Brush, which complements the currently available linear and radial gradients, and the Detail tab that gives you global control over sharpening and noise, are still coming to iOS first. Chances are we’ll have to wait a little bit longer to get these on Android.

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Get ready to finally say goodbye to Flash — in 2020

Adobe today announced that Flash, the once-ubiquitous plugin that allowed you to play your first Justin Bieber video on YouTube and Dolphin Olympics 2 on Kongregate, will be phased out by the end of 2020. At that point, Adobe will stop updating and distributing Flash. Until then, Adobe will still partner with the likes of Apple, Mozilla, Microsoft and Google to offer security updates for Flash in their browsers and support new versions of them, but beyond that, Adobe will not offer any new Flash features.
Adobe also notes that it plans to be more aggressive about ending support for Flash “in certain
geographies where unlicensed and outdated versions of Flash Player are being distributed.”
To some degree, today’s announcement doesn’t come as a major surprise. Given its wide distribution, Flash (and especially outdated versions of it) quickly became one of the main targets for hackers, and Flash offered them plenty of avenues for trying to get into their target’s machines. The fact that Apple never supported it on mobile (and Steve Job’s famous 2010 letter about that) only sped up Flash’s demise, especially as modern browsers and HTML5 allowed browser vendors to replicate Flash’s functionality without the need for third-party plugins. To be fair, Adobe probably wanted Flash do go away as much as everybody else and, by 2015, the company said as much. Since then, it has started to phase out Flash support from its applications and worked on providing its users with alternatives.
Similarly, browser vendors have also started deprecating Flash support over the last few years. Google made Flash a “click-to-play” plugin, for example, that users must explicitly enable if they really want to use it. The same holds true for all other major browser vendors.

At this point, there’s very little that Flash can do that HTML5 can’t handle. As Adobe noted during a press call ahead of today’s announcement, the number of companies that rely on Flash has steadily decreased over the last few years. Still, a number of holdouts remain, especially in the education and gaming space. Facebook says that it will help game developers on its platform migrate to open web standards.
As the company’s VP of product development Govind Balakrishnan also noted, Adobe remains proud of the legacy of Flash — and for all of its flaws, it’s worth remembering that it played a pivotal role in bringing video and gaming to the web, for example. Microsoft once tried to compete with it when it launched Silverlight back in 2007, but at that point Flash was already so ubiquitous that even Microsoft had no chance to displace it (though it’s still kicking around somewhere in the Windows ecosystem).
“We’re very proud of the legacy of Flash and everything it helped pioneer,” Balakrishnan noted. “During the 20+ years it has been around, it has played a key role in advancing interactivity and creative content on the web. Few technologies have had such a profound and positive impact in the internet era. But Adobe has always been about reinvention and creativity. And we’re excited to help lead the next era of digital content creation.”

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IRL Photoshop Installation 'CTRL+X' Revitalizes Derelict Cars

This painted illusion car was unveiled as a part of the Stenograffia street art festival in Russia.

This installation consists of a graffiti-covered car and dumpster, which look like they were removed from the scene surrounding them. This painted illusion car is called 'CTRL+X,' and is meant to look like a deleted segment in Adobe Photoshop, revealing the program's transparent background. Those familiar with Photoshop will know that when a segment of an image is erased, the program defaults to a white and grey checkered background. Additionally, the name of the piece references the keyboard command for deleting a section.

A team of artists painted the car and dumpster white, and with the help of a projector, drew the checkerboard design onto the targeted area. The piece was then spray painted grey to finish off its look.

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Adobe Redefines Live Television With Personalized Advertising

We have entered an unprecedented era of television, with more available on more devices than ever before. Traditional TV, over-the-top (OTT), video on demand (VOD) and connected TV apps all compete for viewer attention – and ad dollars. However, TV ads aren’t having the impact they once did. Less than one-third of Americans (26 percent) believe the TV ads they see are relevant to them, according to Adobe Digital Insights’ most recent Advertising Report. Legacy silos – between TV and digital, data and execution, and media planning and buying – are impeding advertisers’ efforts to reach viewers effectively.
To address these challenges, Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the launch of Adobe Advertising Cloud TV, the most widely used solution in the industry for automated, data-driven planning and buying of television advertising. The solution builds on recently-acquired TubeMogul’s PTV (Programmatic TV), an industry-leading solution first launched in 2014. The platform enables buying of TV ads in all of its forms – including live linear TV, addressable TV, connected TV, VOD and OTT – to reach over 95 percent of American households.
These new Advertising Cloud capabilities include an integration with Adobe Analytics Cloud to enable brands to use first-party audience data – a brand’s own audience segments gleaned from marketing and advertising efforts – to better target linear TV ads. Marketers can also plan and buy TV ads against audiences that have already demonstrated intent through online searches. Finally, additional datasets from pay TV providers, MRI and TV manufacturers boost marketers’ ability to plan, target, buy and measure discrete audiences.
“Adobe Advertising Cloud TV is knocking down the barriers between digital marketing and traditional TV ad buying to enable marketers to have a single strategy that works,” said Brett Wilson, vice president and general manager, Adobe Advertising Cloud. “Adobe Advertising Cloud TV builds on an already industry-leading product to enable new firsts, like the ability to use a brand’s data to better target audiences regardless of which device a viewer happens to be watching on.”
Adobe Advertising Cloud TV works with more broadcast and cable networks in the industry than any other programmatic TV Ad platform and offers access to linear and on-demand inventory from brands like Univision, A&E Networks, Discovery Communications and others.
“Programmatic TV has been a critical component for us as we work with clients to apply more data to increase the effectiveness of traditional TV buys,” said Mike Law, executive vice president and managing director, Video Investments at Dentsu Aegis Network. “The launch of Adobe Advertising Cloud TV enhances the back-end data access and tool set we can use to improve efficiencies and deliver targeted audiences at scale.”
Adobe Advertising Cloud was recognized as a leader in “The Forrester Wave™: Omnichannel Demand-Side Platforms, Q2 2017” report, which noted that Adobe’s acquisition of TubeMogul gives Adobe Advertising Cloud clients access to programmatic TV planning and buying capabilities.

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Adobe Unveils Plans for U.S. Site Growth

Adobe is growing. Over the past two years, our global employee base has grown by more than 30%. This growth includes our successful transformation to a cloud-based business, our expansion to lead the digital marketing category, and several acquisitions including advertising technology leader TubeMogul. 
To position Adobe for even greater success and growth in the future, today we unveiled our plans to expand our California and Utah facilities. This is a major investment in our U.S. presence and will add capacity for approximately 5,000 employees. Through construction of the new buildings, Adobe will also be able to increase the percentage of our employees in LEED/Green-certified buildings, which currently stands at 78%.
“Our people are our most valuable assets,” said Donna Morris, executive vice president of Customer & Employee Experience at Adobe. “Expanding our facilities will allow us to hire additional talent to research and build products, serve our customers and continue to grow across virtually every part of our business. We’re moving forward on the planning and building process as quickly as we can.”
Major San Jose Expansion
For our San Jose headquarters, we are under contract to buy additional land at 333 West San Fernando St. Once the land assessment and purchase is complete, we intend to build a fourth tower with capacity for approximately 3,000 employees. 
As an early pioneer to downtown, we are excited to continue our investment in the community. Adobe was the first major technology company to invest in downtown San Jose real estate, more than 20 years ago, building urban high-rise towers on Park Ave. rather than a typical sprawling tech campus. We have since grown to 2,500 employees and 900,000 square feet. The proposed new building will more than double our San Jose employee capacity to approximately 5,500.
“We’re thrilled to see many months of work with Adobe and its partners culminate in this announcement of Adobe’s bold expansion of their global headquarters in San Jose, further enhancing Downtown’s burgeoning momentum as Silicon Valley’s urban center,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “We applaud Adobe for its catalytic role in driving innovation in the Valley over the last quarter century, and we thank its employees for their strong ethos of corporate responsibility which has made the company a wonderful community partner, and a global leader in sustainability.” 
Specifics of our San Jose plans are still in development and we will share more details in early 2018.
New Building in Lehi, Utah
We first moved into Utah when we acquired Orem-based Omniture in 2009, and we built our marquee Lehi building in 2012. We are now embarking on a “phase 2” building in Lehi, adding capacity for approximately 1,000 employees. With working space expansion within our existing Lehi building, we expect to add capacity for approximately 1,260 employees altogether.
The state of Utah has approved Adobe for a post-performance tax incentive of approximately $25.6 million to support the expansion efforts.
“Adobe has been a pivotal asset to the strategic development of Utah’s Silicon Slopes,” said Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “They are an important influence in the community, and we are grateful for their continued investment in the state of Utah.”
Expanding Other Bay Area Sites
To keep up with our San Francisco and East Bay growth, we are expanding our leased space in San Francisco and Emeryville. In San Francisco, we are leasing the entire office space being developed at 100 Hooper St., with expected capacity for 1,200 employees. Expected completion of this new space is fall 2018.  In the East Bay, we intend to maintain our Emeryville facility acquired through TubeMogul and have increased our space capacity there to over 400 seats.
“There is really no comparison to working alongside your colleagues in a beautiful and cutting-edge space. These buildings are going to be the foundation for a lot of exciting work to come,“ said Morris.

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Adobe CIO: Optimizing Our Employee Experience

Very often, when someone takes on a new CIO role, they are handed a lot of problems. I’m happy to say that was not the case when I joined Adobe. IT was not broken, and that enabled me to hit the ground running on innovation. One of the areas that I was eager to tackle was the internal employee experience.
When you think about our offerings across Creative Cloud, Document Cloud, and Experience Cloud, Adobe is offering a phenomenal digital experience to customers. I wanted to make sure we were bringing those insights and the same world-class experience to our internal customers – our employees – because happy employees naturally lead to happier customers.
It wasn’t just about making their lives a little easier. The next-generation workforce has a new level of expectations. If their experience at work doesn’t match the personalized and design-led experiences they are used to in their daily life, they are likely to look around for another opportunity. To retain your best employees in today’s environment, you really need to think about their experience as a journey from the day an employee joins until the day they retire. How can you best equip them on their journey? In what ways can you give them the instantaneous response and concept of ease that is natural to them in their worldview?
Figuring this out can offer a number of benefits. If people find their work gratifying and are motivated by their environments, that’s going to show externally. For instance, if they have intuitive and powerful tools to work with internally, they can be more productive and provide better customer service. 
Personas Help Improve Employee Experience
As part of my IT re-organization, I took all the different components of functions, capabilities, everything that touches the employee, and put them in one group, which we call the “employee experience solutions group within IT.” This group is looking at the employee journey from the view of different personas, based on the type of work that an individual does.        
For example, one of our employee personas is a “builder” – anyone whose work is focused on creating experiences through building software. We also have a “leader” persona – anyone managing a team – and a “communicator” – one who influences and collaborates with others. If you think about personas in those terms, it’s easy to see that different types of tools are needed for the various ways these people work. How a builder uses our collaboration tools, for instance, is going to be very different than how a communicator uses them because of how they actually move around the company, travel, work remote, work in the office, or a number of other factors.
We’ve found that employees put a high premium on the design, ease of use of the experience, and the efficiency of their workflows. So, we are working to digitize as many of those employee experiences as possible.
Part of that is taking IT out of the equation. Not because IT isn’t needed, but rather, we are looking at IT as an enabler of self-service activities throughout the business – things that our employees can do for themselves without having to call the IT help desk. For instance, we are updating our intranet with easy-to-consume and informative knowledge documents around commonly asked questions. And we are enabling the ease-of-use of information and applications across mobile devices.  
Another part of digitizing the employee experience is going paperless. In HR, for example, 55 percent of new hire paperwork is signed with Adobe Sign and returned within 24 hours, closing candidates faster and saving time. We’ve also worked with the legal team on electronic workflows, which has helped them out tremendously with contract-processing and more accurate and secure documentation.
Unique Workspaces
Finally, we are challenging ourselves to create unique and standout workspace experiences. We are implementing more collaborative environments where people can use design thinking for ideation and problem-solving. We have a space within our corporate office in San Jose called Lab 82. The name is derived from the founding year of Adobe, 1982, and the fact that Adobe started with an idea in a lab. The company founders believed that good ideas come from everywhere in the company, and in that spirit Lab 82 was born. Within Lab 82, teams benefit from a creative well-designed space to help inspire innovation and creativity. 
Additionally, in Lab 82 we can observe how different people react to the new tools, whether they are a new employee or a more seasoned employee. And we’re learning some interesting things that are helping to shape how we put together the workplace and the tools of the future.  
We firmly believe that our customer success is dependent on the success of our employees. With digitization transforming businesses inside and out, we’ve reached an inflection point to re-imagine employee experiences. I encourage other CIOs to take similar steps to advance the inside of their organizations and empower their employees to take productivity and innovation to new levels.

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Adobe and Cornell's 'Deep Photo Style Transfer' Mimics Images

Dazzling photography takes skill with a camera and a fine touch with photo-editing software, but Adobe and Cornell University have made it a lot easier for amateur photographers to achieve the style of professionals with 'Deep Photo Style Transfer.' The machine learning algorithm is able to take the stylistic qualities from any photograph and transfer them to another, giving total photography novices the chance to look like Ansel Adams or Cindy Sherman.

Though Deep Photo Style Transfer isn't available as a consumer app just yet, it's reminiscent of the popular app Prisma. However, Prisma edits and adjusts photos to look like paintings — an intentionally unrealistic effect. Deep Photo Style Transfer, on the other hand, is designed to make its changes far less obvious or immediately perceptible, giving photographers the an extra tool to abet bragging about their skills.

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The 'Volume' Display by Looking Glass Uses "Lightfolding" Technology

The 'Volume' display by Brooklyn company 'Looking Glass' lets consumers use common 2D graphics software, like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Animate, to create vivid 3D holograms. Currently on display at the Fridman Gallery, a contemporary gallery near the Hudson River in downtown Manhattan, the exhibition lets artists uses the volumetric display to create 3D forms out of their 2D concepts.

The Volume display works through the use of depth, as the name implies. Its rectangular prism is filled with transparent slides that are programmed to display certain portions of an image input from common software. When a projector shines light on these slides, the complete effect is a 3D image. Because the slides are thin and wide, like a pane of glass, the images on the Volume display can only be seen from the front and the back (not the sides.)

Looking Glass is hoping to release a consumer version of Volume towards the end of 2016.

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