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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Revisiting Virtual Worlds

As I have chronicled here, we looked closely at the Virtual World Idea, with the support of some management.   But it never stuck well enough, had too many problems involved with just getting things done.  And the older generations rolled their eyes.  But now that is turning over, and changes are underway, does it have a place?

    Its not augmenting reality, but replacing it with one that's potentially built for the job at hand.   A piece about changes being considered.  More closely connected to an effort called Sansar, which appears to bring it closer to game environments, which we also sought to make this useful for business.   Note that IEEE has a Virtual Worlds Standards Group, but a quick look at it shows the work is still thin. 

MIT's Veil for Private Browsing

New to me, investigated this idea for looking at 'automatic' background searches to support research topics.  This was developed much later, after work with MIT.

MIT's Veil service will make private browsing more private
Because incognito doesn't always mean you're 100 percent secure.

By Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon in Engadget.

After reports and studies revealed that browsers' private modes aren't that secure, MIT graduate student Frank Wang decided to take things into his own hands. He and his team from MIT CSAIL and Harvard have created a tool called Veil, which you could use on a public computer -- or on a private one on top of using incognito mode and Tor if you have big secrets to keep or if you've just become paranoid after years of hearing about hacks and cyberattacks.  .... " 

AI Failures in the Past Year

I don't call these AI failures, because almost by definition they are not 'intelligent'.  But it does give some good examples about how things can fail,  just as people can.  Don't think we will ever rid ourselves of these.  Intelligent is not perfect. A worthwhile set of cautionary examples.

Artificial ignorance: The 10 biggest AI failures of 2017

From self-driving car accidents to Face ID hacks, artificial intelligence didn't have a flawless year.
By Olivia Krauth in TechRepublic ... "

Challenging Mechanical Turk

We did some dignificant work with Mechnical Turk, and looked for better ways, so this is particularly interesting.  Worry, though, about the crypto currency ties, can we rely on it?

 This Startup is Challenging Mechanical Turk -  on the Blockchain   By Miranda Katz in Wired

THE PROMISE OF the gig economy—that it would empower workers to be their own bosses, liberate them from tyrannical office culture, and let creative types chase their dreams while maintaining a side hustle—is wearing thin. On-demand startups like Uber and Postmates have spawned countless lawsuits from workers claiming they’ve been misclassified and underpaid, while platforms like Amazon Mechanical Turk have become infamous for pocketing 20 percent fees on microtasks that pay an average wage of $2 per hour. Now, two entrepreneurial brothers think they can rehabilitate a corner of the gig economy with blockchain technology—and they’ve just raised just over $60 million to do so.  .... "   

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Hype Outrunning Reality

The Future of Artificial Intelligence: Why the Hype Has Outrun Reality

Robots that serve dinner, self-driving cars and drone-taxis could be fun and hugely profitable. But don’t hold your breath. They are likely much further off than the hype suggests.

A panel of experts at the recent 2017 Wharton Global Forum in Hong Kong outlined their views on the future for artificial intelligence (AI), robots, drones, other tech advances and how it all might affect employment in the future. The upshot was to deflate some of the hype, while noting the threats ahead posed to certain jobs.

Their comments came in a panel session titled, “Engineering the Future of Business,” with Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett moderating and speakers Pascale Fung, a professor of electronic and computer engineering at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Vijay Kumar, dean of engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, and Nicolas Aguzin, Asian-Pacific chairman and CEO for J.P.Morgan..... " 

Kicking things off, Garrett asked: How big and disruptive is the self-driving car movement? .... " 

Ads on Voice Devices

Still looking at what it means to have effective ads on voice driven devices.

What It Would Mean for Amazon to Bring Ads to Alexa

It's inevitable for the retailer. Here's how it would change your experience.   By Christina Bonnington in Slate

It was only a matter of time. This year, your Amazon Alexa experience will cease to be ad-free as the retail giant reportedly works to secure advertising partnerships with a handful of consumer companies.

Amazon is currently in talks with Clorox, Procter & Gamble, and others to promote their products on Alexa, the company’s virtual assistant, according to a CNBC report. Amazon is reportedly testing out various ad types, including videos and promoted paid search results (a la Google). CNBC reports that Amazon is preparing for a “serious run at the ad market” that could begin as soon as this year. (Update, Jan. 3, 2017: In an emailed statement Wednesday, an Amazon spokesperson said that the company has “no plans to add advertising to Alexa.”)

As Wired noted in December, some brands already have a presence on Amazon’s Alexa platform through their own third-party apps, called skills. You can order a Starbucks frappuccino, a Domino’s pizza, or an Uber, for example. But while you might see some of these highlighted in Amazon’s Alexa app, they’re just skills—not ads. Up until now, true advertisements on Alexa have been extremely rare. You can listen to streaming music providers that include between-song advertisements, and you may also hear an ad or two if you get daily flash briefings. Otherwise, Amazon’s policy sagely bans ads in third-party skills. As a burgeoning platform, if customers had been bombarded with ads from the get-go, it’s unlikely that Amazon would have seen the tremendous success that it has. Now that it’s already in roughly 15 million homes, Amazon can slowly start tinkering with how to make more money off its captive, indoctrinated audience.  ...."

Computer Vision Assessing Cardiovascular Risk

From Google Research, an interesting application.  With considerable detail about the experimental approach.   Instructive.   Note its about risk rather than diagnosis.   Examples of retinal images.  Would like to see more medical /statistical commentary on the results.

Assessing Cardiovascular Risk Factors with Computer Vision
Posted by Lily Peng MD PhD, Product Manager, Google Brain Team 

Heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular (CV) diseases continue to be among the top public health issues. Assessing this risk is critical first step toward reducing the likelihood that a patient suffers a CV event in the future. To do this assessment, doctors take into account a variety of risk factors — some genetic (like age and sex), some with lifestyle components (like smoking and blood pressure). While most of these factors can be obtained by simply asking the patient, others factors, like cholesterol, require a blood draw. Doctors also take into account whether or not a patient has another disease, such as diabetes, which is associated with significantly increased risk of CV events. 

Recently, we’ve seen many examples [1–4] of how deep learning techniques can help to increase the accuracy of diagnoses for medical imaging, especially for diabetic eye disease. In “Prediction of Cardiovascular Risk Factors from Retinal Fundus Photographs via Deep Learning,” published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, we show that in addition to detecting eye disease, images of the eye can very accurately predict other indicators of CV health. This discovery is particularly exciting because it suggests we might discover even more ways to diagnose health issues from retinal images.  .... " 

Friday, February 23, 2018

More Cashier-less Stores Planned: New Shopping Data?

Amazon showing some seriousness about the test, with more locations, some word was out there to the contrary.  Now what kind of additional data will this provide to drive better shelf marketing?    These cameras are watching the entire physical selection process.  Trading privacy with convenience?  Comparison to online shopping engagement?  Linking it to virtualized shelf analysis?

Amazon plans to open as many as six more cashierless Amazon Go stores this year
New futuristic convenience stores could appear in Seattle and Los Angeles.   By Jason Del Rey @DelRey In Recode. 

Amazon’s much-heralded convenience store of the future, Amazon Go, may seem like a crazy experiment. But the company plans to open as many as six more of these storefronts this year, multiple people familiar with the company’s plans have told Recode.

Some of the new high-tech stores are likely to open in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle, where the first location is based, as well as Los Angeles, these people said. It’s not clear if Amazon will open up Go stores in any other cities this year. .... "

Competing with Amazon Go

Pointing to other efforts under way, such as Project Kepler.  The tech is there, will it be effectively applied to customers that will use it?

Will other Grocers Beat Amazon Go to the Punch? 

By Matthew Stern in Retailwire  with Expert discussion.

While the U.S. continues to wait for the arrival of Amazon Go, other retailers are entering the cashier-less store space — including Amazon’s biggest emerging e-commerce rival.

Walmart recently began discussing Project Kepler, an initiative headed by the co-founder of Jet.com which, according to Recode, aims to create technology that, like Amazon Go, will eliminate the need for cashiers in-store.

In China, online retailer JD is launching hundreds of cashier-free store locations using technology that appears similar to Amazon Go. A combination of cameras and RFID tracks movement and item selections throughout the store. Facial recognition, also expected to be employed by Amazon Go, identifies customers.

According to the Telegraph, “JD explained that cameras on the ceilings of the stores can recognize customers’ movement and generate heat maps of their activity to monitor customer traffic flow, product selection and customer preferences, which helps store owners to stock efficiently.” .... "

Computers Too Human

Saw some of this in our own chatbot testing.     Also famously mentioned in studies of how people react to obviously non-human images in chat interactions, like in the Media Equation.   Is the testing of this idea reasonably designed here?

Sometimes, Computer Programs Seem Too Human for Their Own Good
In The Economist

Researchers at Chungbuk National University in South Korea say they have demonstrated that increasingly human-like machines can invoke feelings of embarrassment in people, making some users hesitant to use assistive artificial intelligence. One experiment involved almost 200 volunteers who initially believed intelligence to be unchangeable, but who felt more embarrassed and incompetent after tests in which they were presented with 16 sets of three words and attempted to think of a fourth word that linked them, with half of the cohort given hints accompanied by an anthropomorphic computer-shaped icon. A second experiment permitted a different set of participants to ask for help rather than having it forced on them at random, which led to similar results. The researchers concluded some people appear to want to avoid losing face by seeking help from an anthropomorphic icon, suggesting there are situations in which the aggressive pseudo-humanization of machine-human interactions could usefully be reduced. .... "

Noise Robust Classifiers

May also provide better ways to understand how classifiers can be tested in varying environments.  Do not various contexts have likely kinds of adversarial noise?   In the areas I have worked with, that is true, in some cases the noise provided another level of classification.

Noise Warfare 
Harvard University 
By Leah Burrows

Researchers at Harvard University say they have developed noise-robust classifiers that are prepared against the worst case of added additional data that disrupts or skews information the algorithm has already learned, known as noise. The team notes these algorithms have a guaranteed performance across a range of different example cases of noise and perform well in practice. The researchers want to use this new technology to help protect deep neural networks, which are vital for computer vision, speech recognition, and robotics, from cyberattacks. "Since people started to get really enthusiastic about the possibilities of deep learning, there has been a race to the bottom to find ways to fool the machine-learning algorithms," says Harvard professor Yaron Singer. He notes the most effective way to fool a machine-learning algorithm is to introduce specifically tailored noise for whatever classifier is in use, and this "adversarial noise" could wreak havoc on systems that rely on neural networks. .... " 

Google Assistant to go more Multilingual

Given Google's considerable expertise in the space this could lead to some remarkable capabilities, see suggestions below and at link.   Here more about adding 20 languages, plus more on other advances planned for Google Assistant.  As we might have expected Google has more tricks up its sleeve in AI, conversational capabilities, and language.   Have one in test here, more reports to follow.

Multilingual Google Assistant to add more than 20 languages to its repertoire  in DigitalTrends

" .... At the moment, Google Assistant is available in eight languages, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese (Brazil), and Google’s plans would see that total expand to over 30, with Google claiming that the coverage would increase to 95 percent of Android users. Since that’s a pool of 2 billion users, that’s a heady boast. Users can expect to see updates that add Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish, and Thai in the coming months — on both Android and iPhone devices — while the rest of the planned updates will come throughout the rest of the year.

Other plans include the ability to make Google Assistant multilingual, so if you speak more than one language or live in a multilanguage household, then Google Assistant will soon be able to detect the language you’re speaking and respond quickly and fluidly. According to Google, it will be even able switch between languages for a single user, perfect for people who use different languages throughout the day, and also useful for anyone learning another language.    .... " 

Microsoft Expands Bot Framework

Was impressed when I saw a demo of Azure being used to build simple chatbots.  I thought then that it is about what services such systems could work with and their related data.  So why can't these frameworks work with Outlook, Linkedin, Cortana and now Teams?   And other Microsoft capabilities? This looks to be in the right direction.

Microsoft Bringing Python, Java Support to Bot Framework

Posted on February 22, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan

" ... The cross-platform bot-building service currently allows developers build bots that work across services like Skype, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, and more using JavaScript, and C#.   .... " 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence

Below is from the talk mentioned above from our Linked Cognitive Systems Group.  Join us in future talks, many will be mentioned here.

Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence  by Dr. Vugranam (VC) Sreedhar

Abstract: In this talk I will briefly introduce deep connection between the underlying models of blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) ..... 

Here are the slides from Dr. Vugranam's Lecture.  Quite technically oriented, but also some general embedded gems.  Following up:  http://cognitive-science.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/CSIG_Vugranam_Sreedhar.BlockChain-AI-02-22-2018-v1.pdf

(Update):  And more by Dr Vugranam, this more developer and detail oriented, includes specific information about architecture of Smart Contract blockchain approaches:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnUBzE9CQqg--

Time Inconsistent Planning

Could such a method be used to plug into process models to include planning functions?

Time-Inconsistent Planning: A Computational Problem in Behavioral Economics  By Jon Kleinberg, Sigal Oren 

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 61 No. 3, Pages 99-107  (Abstract)
10.1145/3176189

In many settings, people exhibit behavior that is inconsistent across time—we allocate a block of time to get work done and then procrastinate, or put effort into a project and then later fail to complete it. An active line of research in behavioral economics and related fields has developed and analyzed models for this type of time-inconsistent behavior.

Here we propose a graph-theoretic model of tasks and goals, in which dependencies among actions are represented by a directed graph, and a time-inconsistent agent constructs a path through this graph. We first show how instances of this path-finding problem on different input graphs can reconstruct a wide range of qualitative phenomena observed in the literature on time-inconsistency, including procrastination, abandonment of long-range tasks, and the benefits of reduced sets of choices. We then explore a set of analyses that quantify over the set of all graphs; among other results, we find that in any graph, there can be only polynomially many distinct forms of time-inconsistent behavior; and any graph in which a time-inconsistent agent incurs significantly more cost than an optimal agent must contain a large "procrastination" structure as a minor. Finally, we use this graph-theoretic model to explore ways in which tasks can be designed to motivate agents to reach designated goals.  .... "

(Full article requires subscription)

Can We Trust a Robot?

From Communnications of the ACM:

How Can We Trust a Robot?" by Benjamin Kuipers, says robots must be designed to understand and follow social norms. Kuipers describes the importance of instilling trust and ethics into robots in an original video at bit.ly/2om4z9X. ... 

" ... "Trust is essential for the successful functioning of society. Trust is necessary for cooperation, which produces the resources society needs. Morality, ethics, and other social norms encourage individuals to act in trustworthy ways, avoiding selfish decisions that exploit vulnerability, violate trust, and discourage cooperation. As we contemplate the design of robots (and other AIs) that perceive the world and select actions to pursue their goals in that world, we must design them to follow the social norms of our society. Doing this does not require them to be true moral agents, capable of genuinely taking responsibility for their actions. .... "


Georgia Tech Tests Assistants in Dorms

Like to see not only what is being done, but what skills are seen as being most useful in varying contexts, here in a Georgia Tech dorm, a university known for practical engineering.  Worked with them on Tech applications.   Can we get a read out about which skills provided end up being most useful? Especially beyond what you would typically call 'hospitality' functions.   Will follow up.

Amazon Alexa pilot begins in Towers dorm  at Ga Tech By Polly Ouellette
On the evening of Feb. 7, all residents of Towers Residence Hall were invited to pick up their very own Amazon Dot, a voice-controlled personal assistant that they would install in their dorm room.

The Dots, which can be paired with a bluetooth speaker, will respond to verbal commands that tell the device to play music, get the weather and listen to the news. Additionally, students will be able to perform several Tech-specific operations.  .... "

(Update) This was previously also tested at AZ State in August 2017.

Augmented Reality Glasses to Transform Vision

The emphasis on vision correction in context is interesting.

DARPA Awards $4.7 Million Grant to Transform Augmented-Reality Glasses 
Military Embedded Systems   By Lisa Daigle

Researchers at Columbia University, Stanford University, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have won a $4.7-million U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency grant to develop a lightweight glass that dynamically monitors the wearer's vision and displays vision-corrected contextual images. The goal is to create an ultra-high-resolution, see-through, head-mounted display with a large field of view and significantly reduced size, weight, and power consumption. The device also will be correct the user's vision deficiencies in real time and project aberration-corrected visible contextual information onto the retina. The augmented reality glass relies on the ultrafast generation of arbitrary wavefronts, both in visible and near-infrared wavelengths. The researchers will develop a scalable fabrication process based on standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor techniques, and well-established procedures to integrate the new materials into the silicon nitride-integrated photonics platform. The team will develop analytical and computational tools for modeling large resonator arrays and dynamics of device performance.... " 

Protecting Deliveries

More details from the world of direct to home delivery.  A Smart Home then needs to consider the and ensure the security of its acquisitions.

Are smart homes smart enough to foil package thieves?  by Tom Ryan in Retailwire, with further expert commentary

With e-commerce’s rapid expansion, so grow the number of incidents of packages being stolen from consumers’ doorsteps.

According to a survey from Comcast, three in ten Americans who live in houses or townhomes have been victims of package theft. And 53 percent know someone who has had a package stolen from outside their home.

The survey was released timed to the launch of Comcast’s Xfinity Home 24/7 video recording service. The camera is controlled by artificial intelligence to record movement so that a home owner can view suspicious activity outside their home through an app. ...."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Amazon, Whole Foods and Prime

Amazon improves connections between their online Prime buying club benefits and their brick and mortar acquisitions.  Whole Food 5% discount with Amazon Rewards Visa.  In the coming weeks I will be testing their 2 hour online direct delivery from a nearby Whole Foods. 

Via FMI Daily Lead:  Amazon will now give Prime members a 5% discount when they shop at Whole Foods Market stores using their Amazon Rewards Visa Cards, the company said. Amazon Prime members pay a $99 annual fee for benefits including free shipping and video streaming, and the Rewards Visa comes with other perks including 5% discounts on Amazon purchases. ... " 

Malicious Use of AI

Non technical, overview look at where we need

AI ripe for exploitation, experts warn   By Jane Wakefield in the BBC
Drones turned into missiles, fake videos manipulating public opinion and automated hacking are just three of the threats from artificial intelligence in the wrong hands, experts have said.

The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence report warns that AI is ripe for exploitation by rogue states, criminals and terrorists.

Those designing AI systems need to do more to mitigate possible misuses of their technology, the authors said.

And governments must consider new laws.  ..... 

Predicting Earthquakes

Had seen a number of research efforts here,  another move ...

Today, A.I. helps detect tiny earthquakes. Tomorrow, it might predict the big one

Earthquakes are notoriously difficult to predict. Even major quakes often occur with little warning. Meanwhile, there are many hundreds of thousands of smaller earthquakes that humans rarely ever feel but are occasionally detected on seismographs.

Now, researchers from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed an artificial intelligence (A.I.) neural network to better help detect earthquakes of all sizes. In a recent study published in the journal Science Advances, the A.I. system was shown to be more accurate than current methods, and may help bring seismologists closer to the elusive goal of earthquake prediction. .... " 

Thinking deeply about Reinforcement Learning

Remember reading about reinforcement learning, having designed more mundane neural network deep learning,  and thinking, but how do you design the 'objective function' to drive its action? 

Nicely constrained and goal oriented.  Below, from O'Reilly,  " ... A must-read series of posts by Ben Recht "unpacks what is legitimately interesting and promising in RL and what is probably just hype.".  ... Following.

Make It Happen    nbvcxz By Benjamin Recht  

This is the first part of “An Outsider’s Tour of Reinforcement Learning.” Part 2 is linked to.

If you read hacker news, you’d think that deep reinforcement learning can be used to solve any problem. Deep RL has claimed to achieve superhuman performance on Go, beat atari games, control complex robotic systems, automatically tune deep learning systems, manage queueing in network stacks, and improve energy efficiency in data centers. What a miraculous technology! I personally get suspicious when audacious claims like this are thrown about in press releases, and I get even more suspicious when other researchers call into question their reproducibility. I want to take a few posts to unpack what is legitimately interesting and promising in RL and what is probably just hype. I also want to take this opportunity to argue in favor of more of us working on RL: some of the most important and pressing problems in machine learning are going to require solving exactly the problems RL sets out to solve.  .... " 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Spotify to Build Own Speakers?

In CIO: Another competitor in the ranks.  Now from a Music aggregator.  What kind of  other Assistant aspects will it include?  Recall how Spotify was designing music based specifically on consumer demand.

Spotify is working on a line of "category defining" hardware products and is ready to start setting up the manufacturing process.

The streaming music company intends to create a hardware category "akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles," according to job adverts posted over the past year.

One ad for a senior product manager, posted last April, called for an expert to "define the product requirements for internet connected hardware [and] the software that powers it."

Today, a trio of job adverts (spotted by industry site MusicAlly) have been posted, seeking an "operations manager," "senior project manager: hardware production," and "project manager: hardware production and engineering" for the hardware. The first of those adverts states that "Spotify is on its way [to] creating its first physical products and set-up an operational organization for manufacturing, supply chain, sales and marketing." .... '

Work on 1000 Year Clock Begins

Also known as the most famous part of the Long Now Project.  About long term thinking.  Followed it closely in its early days via our work with the Institute for the Future.

Jeff Bezos writes:

@JeffBezos
Installation has begun—500 ft tall, all mechanical, powered by day/night thermal cycles, synchronized at solar noon, a symbol for long-term thinking—the #10000YearClock is coming together thx to the genius of Danny Hillis, Zander Rose & the whole Clock team! Enjoy the video.

Tweet and Video. 
Clock Details and more video:

" ... The full scale 10,000 Year Clock is now under construction. While there is no completion date scheduled, we do plan to open it to the public once it is ready. The essay below by Long Now board member Kevin Kelly discusses what we hope the Clock will be once complete. This is one of several projects by Long Now to foster long-term thinking in the context of the next 10,000 years.

Clock in the Mountain   by Kevin Kelly

There is a Clock ringing deep inside a mountain. It is a huge Clock, hundreds of feet tall, designed to tick for 10,000 years. Every once in a while the bells of this buried Clock play a melody. Each time the chimes ring, it’s a melody the Clock has never played before. The Clock’s chimes have been programmed to not repeat themselves for 10,000 years. Most times the Clock rings when a visitor has wound it, but the Clock hoards energy from a different source and occasionally it will ring itself when no one is around to hear it. It’s anyone’s guess how many beautiful songs will never be heard over the Clock’s 10 millennial lifespan.

The Clock is real. It is now being built inside a mountain in western Texas. This Clock is the first of many millennial Clocks the designers hope will be built around the world and throughout time. There is a second site for another Clock already purchased at the top of a mountain in eastern Nevada, a site surrounded by a very large grove of 5,000-year-old bristlecone pines. Appropriately, bristlecone pines are among the longest-lived organisms on the planet. The designers of the Clock in Texas expect its chimes will keep ringing twice as long as the oldest 5 millennia-old bristlecone pine. Ten thousand years is about the age of civilization, so a 10K-year Clock would measure out a future of civilization equal to its past. That assumes we are in the middle of whatever journey we are on – an implicit statement of optimism. .... " 

Talk on AI and Blockchain this Thursday

In our CSIG group.  Join us.  Relates to our work underway regarding Smart Contracts ...

Date and Time :  Feb 22, 2018 - 10:30am to 11:00am US Eastern
Zoom meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/7371462221
Zoom Callin: (415) 762-9988 or (646) 568-7788 Meeting id 7371462221
Zoom International Numbers: https://zoom.us/zoomconference
Website: http://cognitive-science.info/community/weekly-update/

Title: Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence

Abstract: In this talk I will briefly introduce deep connection between the underlying models of blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI).

Bio: Dr. Vugranam (VC) Sreedhar recently joined IBM GTS/TSS from IBM TJ Watson Research Center to lead all aspects of Blockchain solutions for Technical Support Services. He led several successful projects in broad areas, including compilers, programming technology, security, compliance, service delivery and blockchain. He is also ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) Distinguished Scientist and also member of IBM Academy of Technology. He earned is Ph.D. from McGill University, with Dean's Honor.

For a look at upcoming speakers and past presentations visit the CSIG website:   http://cognitive-science.info/community/weekly-update/ 

AI Platforms Extracting Corporate Knowledge

Quite a considerable claim.   Can we extract all the knowledge of a company for easy use? We developed and tried systems with similar goals.  Looking further.

Can This AI Platform Make You A Better Leader?
Half of executives fail within the first 18 months of being promoted or hired. Could software fix the problem?  By Lydia Dishman in FastCompany

A robot might not directly take your job, but chances are that automation will force you to learn new skills. In fact, according to experts at McKinsey, as many as 375 million workers globally may need to switch fields and learn new skills soon. That’s because at least a third of tasks in about 60% of jobs can be automated.

High-level thinking and creativity are beyond the capabilities of artificial intelligence. So how can a software platform claim to make executives and managers better at leading? After all, aren’t qualities like optimism,  empathy, and emotional intelligence rooted firmly in human behavior?

They are, but there are others that plenty of people struggle with like setting and keeping individual and organizational priorities. Enter Indiggo, a platform powered by a proprietary AI tool called “indi” that launched earlier this month.  According to Indiggo’s CEO and cofounder Janeen Gelbart, indi is a brain that has consumed all the knowledge the company has gathered in its 15 years of operation. That’s a massive data set of situational analysis, advice, and guidance for different types of leaders that Gelbart says is quite powerful and can provide a “return on leadership” much like ROI. .... " 

Immersive Terf

Immersive Terf.  Was reminded of Qwaq, which we examined for 3D Immersive collaboration.   To provide a virtual-world style collaboration.   Is it useful to have cartoon-like figures representing you and your collaborating colleagues, to provide an avatar inhabiting world with spaces that represent real conference spaces?  And is this more efficient than using advanced video driven spaces like Cisco's Telepresense? 

Keep Your Customers Coming Back

Good piece.  Not at all technical, but worth repeating what you need to get done.  The tech people I talk to don't seem to know these obvious things, and are always looking for some other tech magic.  But if they don't get these things right, it doesn't matter.

How to Keep Your Customers Coming Back    By Mike Dupuy in CustomerThink

In today’s competitive marketplace, how can you encourage customers to stay loyal to your brand and products when there are so many choices available? You have to provide an outstanding product, of course, and it must be appropriately priced, but there are a lot of companies that can do that. What will set you apart and build brand loyalty, however, is your customer support. .... " 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Samsung Patents the Drone Screen

In our innovation center we looked at many variants of the screen.  Especially as it related to in store and public retail advertising.  Here something new, a drone that resents a screen.  With lots of possibilities around scale.  The current winter Olympics showed how swarms could be impressive, why not displays integrated into such systems.  Nothing demonstrable as yet, just a patent.

Samsung patents a flying screen that could be used for hovering video
It may also be able to adjust its position based on the angle of your gaze.

By Mallory Locklear, @mallorylocklear in Engadget .... " 

GraphGrail AI

New to me, I like the attempt to create a broad solution ecosystem.   Send me some examples of useful applications in place.   Mentions Smart Contracts, which we are currently developing.

GraphGrail:   AI meets Blockchain

Graphgrail AI - is the World's first Artificial Intelligence Platform for Blockchain Built on top of Natural Language Undertstanding Technology with the Dapp's Marketplace. .... 

Decentralized platform, open to the world .... 
Ethereum for data-science professionals ..... 

Whitepaper:  https://en.graphgrail.com/whitepaper/en/index.html




#GraphGrailAi mission: the creation of a strong AI (Artificial general intelligence) that will be open to all, controlled and trained by developers throughout the entire world.... 


Portal for Scientific Discovery

Augmentation for discovery is something we examined for research.

Networking, Data Experts Design a Better Portal for Scientific Discovery
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory's Globus team have designed a new data portal to make information sharing faster, more reliable, and more secure. "Our new design preserves...ease of use, but easily scales up to handle the huge amounts of data associated with today's science," says ESnet's Eli Dart. The new portal design is based on Dart's Science DMZ, a high-performance network framework that connects large-scale data servers directly to high-speed networks and increasingly is used by research institutions for data transfer management. Another key platform is the cloud-based Globus service enabling developers to outsource responsibility for complex tasks such as authentication, authorization, data movement, and data sharing. An important system element is Globus Connect, which lets the Globus service transfer data to and from the computer using high-performance protocols as well as HTTPS for direct access. ....  "

Hacking Phone Pins with Sensor Data

Disturbing Situation ... You have to think about what data is being gathered by sensors, and if that new data can be used to predict other data ... and beyond.  A whole stream of inference to check.  Note the prediction does not necessarily have to be precise, just approximate. 

Hackers can guess your phone's PIN using 'harmless' sensor information
Six key sensors have no permission requirements, leaving their stored data open to any app that wants it .... " 

Dimensions of Digital Trust

Fascinating take.  A little skeptical about the approach to gathering this detailed information.  Why just 4 dimensions?   Worth the read.

The 4 Dimensions of Digital Trust, Charted Across 42 Countries  By Bhaskar Chakravorti, Ajay Bhalla, Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi in the HBR

The year 2018 is barely underway and, already, digital trust initiatives have captured headlines. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has said his platform will de-prioritize third-party publisher content to keep users focused on more “meaningful” posts from family and friends. Google has led off the new year by blocking websites that mask their country of origin from showing up on Google News. And the European Union’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will affect every organization around the world that handles personal data for EU residents. The regulations will also, no doubt, inform data protection laws and corporate trust-building strategies elsewhere.

Even China’s opaque behemoths have started the year with unprecedented acknowledgements of the need to address trust concerns: Tencent had to publicly deny that it collects user WeChat history after it was openly challenged; Alibaba’s Ant Financial apologized to users of its mobile-payment service for automatically enrolling them in its social-credit scoring service.

What these stories underscore is that our digital evolution and our productive use of new technologies rests on how well we can build digital trust. But is it possible to measure digital trust and compare it across countries? Are there countries where guaranteeing trust is a more urgent priority and will draw a larger share of trust-building resources and regulations? The Fletcher School at Tufts University and Mastercard have a launched a research initiative to address these questions by studying the state of digital trust across 42 countries. Here are some of our initial findings, drawn from the study, “Digital Planet 2017: How Competitiveness and Trust in Digital Economies Vary Across the World.” ... " 

Drop Ship Stress Panel

Does Drop Ship Put too Much Stress on the Supply Chain?
Dan Gilmore in Retailwire.

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Supply Chain Digest. .... 

A panel at last month’s Retail Value Chain Federation conference in Scottsdale explored the inventory challenges vendors face supporting drop shipping for their retail partners’ online operations.

Since RVCF is a semi-private function, the identities of the three manufacturers and one 3PL on the panel are kept anonymous.

Many approaches exist for managing drop ship inventories, including:

Having a dedicated inventory in a separate location in the DC;

Having one pool of co-located inventory for a company’s own piece pick/e-commerce business plus the retail drop ship;

Separating inventories logically but storing them together, if allocation and warehouse management systems can handle that.   One doesn’t seem to be preferred over the others.

All the panelists, however, tweak inventory availability information to guard against receiving a drop ship order for which they have no inventory, either because of accuracy issues or because someone else grabbed the merchandise first. One vendor reports no inventory to a retailer when the SKU count reaches five or less.

Almost all retailers want inventory information sent daily, although some want it refreshed multiple times throughout the day. The requirements seem to be based on the companies’ level of IT maturity. ... "