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Do smart speakers and personal assistants have something good to say about your brand? If Apple’s voice-controlled personal assistant, Siri, were a real person she probably wouldn’t have many friends: she struggles to pronounce names, interjects spontaneously, repeats herself and when you ask her a question, nine out of 10 times she flatly tells you to just look it up online yourself. At the moment it would appear that Siri hasn’t gotten it right. But what if it’s you who has it all wrong? About 2000 years ago the Greek philosopher Epictetus was born. He didn’t have much, his parents weren’t known and at a young age he was taken into slavery. But though he was un-influential in his youth, he made up for it in his old age. He became a large philosophical influence on Marcus Aurelius, traditionally known as the last of the five good Roman emperors. He was depicted in the blockbuster Russell Crowe movie Gladiator. Epictetus famously said: “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can ...

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