Afternoon Coffee: Apple Prods Suppliers toward Eco-Friendliness; Ivalua Unveils New AI-Based Products

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Apple's product suppliers are getting more eco-friendly, according to an article in the Washington Post. Just about four years ago, the company had launched its supply chain clean energy program, and 44 of its suppliers are already on board. In 2018, Apple had added 21 partners.

The suppliers range from components makers to assemblers. Apple’s eventual goal is to ensure its entire supply chain ends up using clean energy.

Thermal coal prices hit multi-year lows

Decreasing global demand for thermal coal has resulted in a price slump to multi-year lows.

U.S. exporters are finding it particularly tough to compete with mining giants in Australia among others. This is because it costs more and takes up more time for U.S. miners to ship their product to global markets.

Export prices on the East Coast are down 26% in the last month alone, and almost 50% compared to mid-2018. There is weaker industrial output in Europe, China is now looking to source local coal, and South Korea has raised coal taxes. All of this points to tough times ahead for U.S. coal exporters.

Ivalua announces AI-based procurement solutions…

Spend management cloud solution provider Ivalua has announced a new range of products powered by artificial intelligence (AI).

Unveiled at its Ivalua NOW conference in Paris, the new solutions include IVA, a digital assistant. IVA is able to retrieve information, process orders and even provide how-to help for users.

Ivalua’s fully integrated platform is built on a single code base with a unified data model. Read more details about the announcement here.

…while artificial intelligence slows down in the automotive sector

More and more automotive companies are abandoning AI research in their vehicles. This comes after many have found it difficult to perfect the technology while still show a return on investments, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In the current climate, it seems that financial returns are more important that demonstrating the full capabilities of the technology. According to the WSJ, Capgemini SE’s research arm claims that far fewer companies are experimenting with AI in vehicles compared to two years ago.

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