• Magento: An Adobe company.

    In May this year, Adobe acquired Magento for $1.68 billion. 

    The larger platform companies out there like Adobe, SAP and Oracle have been trying for years to own the complete digital customer experience market from start to end. Providing support for marketing, commerce, data management, personalization, content creation and more.

    Adobe was lacking an e-commerce platform. After multiple failed attempts at acquiring other e-commerce platforms, this acquisition comes as no surprise.

    The addition of the Magento Commerce Cloud will enable commerce to be seamlessly integrated into the Adobe Experience Cloud, delivering a single platform that serves both B2B and B2C customers globally. The Magento Platform brings together digital commerce, order management and predictive intelligence into a unified commerce platform enabling shopping experiences across a wide array of industries.

    In my opinion, this is where it gets a bit messy.

    The functional overlap between the two platforms is huge – from content workflows and editing, page building, SEO, user management, themes and many more. The competing functionality between the two solutions will make for a poor developer experience and for a poor merchant experience.

    The amount of innovation taking place in the martech landscape is astonishing. It would be impossible for any one company to have the best product suite across the many categories. The only way to get around this hurdle is integration. This is what they hope to achieve.

    Open Source

    I think one of the biggest things to watch in this acquisition is whether or not Adobe adopts Magento’s open source nature. Although it has been lacking in the past years, Magneto has made a huge effort to rekindle its open source community in recent years. It would be a shame to see this go to waste. Adobe has typically been open source “second” whereas Magento has been open source “first”.  My hope is that these Open Source efforts continue now that Magento is part of Adobe. If they do, its an amazing win for the Open Source community.

    Magento Commerce is a leading provider of cloud commerce innovation to merchants and brands across B2C and B2B industries. In addition to its flagship digital commerce platform, Magento Commerce boasts a strong portfolio of cloud-based omnichannel solutions that empower merchants to successfully integrate digital and physical shopping experiences. Magento Commerce is the #1 provider to the Internet Retailer Top 1000, the B2B 300 and the Top 500 Guides for Europe and Latin America. Magento Commerce is supported by a vast global network of solution and technology partners, a highly active global developer community and the largest eCommerce marketplace for extensions available for download on the Magento Marketplace. More information can be found at

    Do you use Magento? Quidtree will soon be adding Magento functionality. Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date. Or get in contact with us and let us know what you want to see in a tool like Quidtree.

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  • Sexism in Machine Learning

    Could our technology be partly to blame for the sexism in the workforce?

    Gender inequalities in the workplace are not something new to our ears. On average women are paid less and make fewer advances in their careers. The New York Times reported that in 2015 more men named John ran S&P 1500 firms than women alone. Sexism and racism are rife throughout tech companies. The pay gap is closing but at the current rate, women will not be paid equally until the year 2119. But as of late, what goes on in these companies is not staying in these companies. Anyone using the technology can be affected by it, not just those who make it.

    The Study “Man is to Computer Programmer as Woman is to Homemaker” says the machine learning has the ability to amplify “female/male stereotypes to a disturbing extent”. Googles natural language processing program was trained using Google News articles and researches have found that the neural network called word2vec has adopted the same sexist and racial characteristics as our very own news.

    To understand more on how this can happen we need to delve into how word2vec actually works.

    The letters A, P, P, L and E form to make the word apple but it gives us little information on what an apple is or if its the company or the fruit we are talking about. Because words are simply a combination of characters that hold very little information when looked at individually, word processing can be difficult. And thus word2vec was born and a computers ability to understand human speech created. It works by compressing the words into a numeric representation of the information that you would need to recreate that same word. Training the programme to comb through Google News articles in order to learn the relationships between words.

    “King is to Man as Queen is to Woman” and “Paris is to France as Tokyo is to Japan” is an example of some of the analogies that the system could come up with. But it didn’t stop there. One would have hoped that it would exhibit little gender stereotypes, as articles the neural network was learning from were written by professional journalists. This was not the case. The neural network simply started to reflect the Google News data that is was built from. Returning relationships such as “Man is to woman as computer programmer is to homemaker,” or “Man is to architect as woman is to interior designer.”

    The effects of this can be huge.

    More and more studies are are showing this has an effect on job searches for women, showing them lower paid search options. And another shocking report claimed that a computer program used by a US court for risk assessment was biased against black prisoners.

    These flaws may seem small and easy to mitigate but they are painting a picture of what our tech industry looks like, an industry that is often out of touch with the people who are using their products. Fundamental change needs to be made or it will continue to be this way. Although a lot of progress has been made, we have so far to go. Not until the hostility to diversity is removed can we start to build incredible technology that works for everyone.

    At Quidtree we pride ourselves on being diverse. Everyone is treated equally.

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