Welcome to another edition of This Week Today, our roundup of the best retail + tech links from the last seven days. This week’s installment is coming to you a day early to get it front of you info-hungry marketers before you take off early for Labor Day weekend.

Here’s This Week Today vol. #nine for Thursday 9.3.2015.

 get it? the new york times used to be printed on a printing press 1. The NYT built a Slack bot to help decide which stories to post to social media [Nieman Lab]

“Blossom, an intelligent bot within the messaging app Slack, predicts how [New York Times] articles or blogposts will do on social and also suggests which stories editors should promote by drawing from enormous stores of data, including information on story content and performance metrics such as Facebook post engagement.”

why would a robot need a hardhat 2. Technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed, says 140 years of data [The Guardian]

“Their conclusion is unremittingly cheerful: rather than destroying jobs, technology has been a “great job-creating machine.” Findings by Deloitte such as a fourfold rise in bar staff since the 1950s or a surge in the number of hairdressers this century suggest to the authors that technology has increased spending power, therefore creating new demand and new jobs.” [Via Tech REDEF]

3. How does a DMP really work? [Gartner]

Not exactly a thrilling read, but a must-read for those wanting to learn more about using offline customer data to deliver personalized experiences online.

4. Facebook launches M, its bold answer to Siri and Cortana [Wired]

“It’s not hard to imagine the business opportunities that M could spawn. For one, should Facebook discover a business is getting lots of inbound requests, it could partner with that company to offer a more direct, efficient service over Messenger.”

Invisible phone 5. Brand building in the age of invisible technology [Contagious]

“You’ve probably heard the argument that for an app to be truly successful it needs to earn a place on your home screen… we could see another whole class of apps that not only don’t need to fight for a home screen slot, they don’t need to be opened at all to add value. And that’s interesting.’”

[Tweet “What retailers can learn from the @nytimes & more #thisweektoday”]

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