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Thursday, August 25, 2016

New and Improved Wolfram Alpha

Another of the general virtual assistants.  It has been a while since I have checked it out, but was impressed then.  I have yet to see this applied in a real situation to how it might perform as a useful assistant.  Can someone show me an example?   In this new version, there are quite a few domain template examples at the link you can explore for free.


New and Improved Wolfram|Alpha »

We've made big changes to Wolfram|Alpha and Wolfram|Alpha Pro. Current Pro subscribers will automatically get access to new features like Web Apps that provide a custom, form-based interface organized by topic. Web Apps are ideal for new and longtime users wanting help structuring queries for unfamiliar topics.

If you aren't currently a Wolfram|Alpha Pro subscriber, choose from the following options to get these and other great benefits:

Wolfram|Alpha Pro: Use Wolfram|Alpha Web Apps to explore personal and professional interests in areas like fitness, culinary math, personal finance and much more, plus analyze and visualize your own data.

Wolfram|Alpha Pro Premium: Go Premium for the highest upload limits, extended computation time, access to all Web App collections and priority product support.

More in their newsletter.

Talk on Understanding Cognitive Systems

Our presenter this week was Jim Spohrer from IBM. who presented  "Understanding Cognitive Systems."   Worth taking a look at.   

Slides here.  .... (Presentation to follow)

We encourage those who join the calls to add questions and comments to https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Cognitive-Systems-Institute-6729452  

Emotion Analysis API

More companies are looking at text analysis ....

AlchemyLanguage Emotion Analysis API is Generally Available, and It’s Getting Better

Many in the field of Cognitive AI research and development speak of the importance of context. Context could be visualized similar to that of an onion, with multiple levels of nested, related and non-related context. But perhaps one of the most important layers is Emotional context, as it has the power to transform dynamic decision making internal to the intelligence.”

—Brennon Williams, Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Iridium Systems and Robotics Corporation

On July 1st, 2016, the Emotion Analysis capability in AlchemyLanguage became Generally Available for production use. Now, with our latest updates, you can use Sentiment & Emotion Analysis to understand social data at a deeper level than ever before.

AlchemyLanguage users take their Sentiment Analysis one step deeper to detect five distinct emotions in text – joy, fear, sadness, anger, and disgust. Users employ our sentiment and emotion capabilities to discover emotional trends in social media, prioritize inbound social data, and more. ... " 

Power BI Now Does Twitter Analytics

Been looking at the analysis of twitter streams lately, new from MS Power BI.  A campaign management solution template.

Microsoft Power BI Blog
Announcing the brand & campaign management solution template for Twitter  Justyna Lucznik, Program Manager

Today we are excited to announce the release of the brand and campaign management solution template for Twitter. Imagine you are an event manager who has spent the past few months planning a conference, lining up speakers, and coordinating catering, venues, and transportation. The big week is approaching, and you want to make sure everything goes smoothly. You want to understand what is well received and respond to negative sentiment immediately. You want to recognize which topics related to your event are trending and how those change across time. You want to find your biggest influencers, fans and critics.

Now imagine that you can set up sophisticated analytics that could answer all those questions for you in the space of five minutes.

Our new brand and campaign management solution template will help you do just that. Whether you manage an event, product, or marketing campaign, you can use our template to quickly and easily do analytics on top of Twitter data. All you will need to get started are Twitter credentials, the search terms you want to track, and an Azure subscription. (Don’t worry if you don’t have one – we help you get started with a trial as well).  ... "  

FindFace at Large

Was reminded by the Economist: Frankenstein's Paperclips. of the rogue Russian face recognition system called FindFace. Can we expect AI from beyond our regulated world to create new dangers?  Yes, we can.  Introduction in Kaspersky.  And in The Atlantic:   How Russia's New Facial Recognition App Could End AnonymityFindFace's technology may one day allow anyone to identify you with their phone.

Language Modeling a Billion Words

This is a technical, but interesting, tutorial on how to use noise-contrastive estimation (NCE) to train a multi-GPU recurrent neural network language model on the Google billion words data set.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Not all Data Created Equal

Interesting piece that gets to my mantra of data assets.  And combining data for additional and profitable leverage. Requires free registration.

Some of the most profitable decisions are made by combining data in novel ways, but creative combinations of data can also spawn unknown risks. Learn how your organization can balance risk and reward in a data-driven economy.

By Gregory Fell and Mike Barlow

Macy's and Mall Intelligence

In CustomerThinks.  Mall AI,  Previously described.  To what degree is conversational retail enough?

If you follow retail trends, you know that department stores are in trouble.

As shoppers have headed online and to discount stores, traditional mall department stores are struggling to define their niche and halt falling profits. Many are now focused on creating a better in-store experience in hopes of motivating customers to shop in person.

One of the most interesting customer experience initiatives is coming from Macy’s, which also announced last week that it is closing 100 of its stores.

In 10 of its U.S. locations, Macy’s shoppers can now use artificial intelligence through their mobile devices to help them navigate the shopping experience. The “Macy’s on Call” service allows customers to type natural language questions into Macy’s website instead of asking a sales associate. But unlike most online chat tools, this one is powered by IBM’s Watson cognitive computing service. Over time, Watson will learn to give better answers and customize them to specific stores.  ....   " 

Internet IoT everywhere

In ReadWrite:  Good review, nontechnical and even addressing part of the CPG space:

" ... The Internet of Things is taking over the world. Well, maybe not in a literal global domination kind of way, but just about every “thing” we interact with these days has the potential of becoming part of the growing Internet of Things. This is a big opportunity for companies that produce these products to expand their reach into the rich tech sector.

A toothbrush is worth $5 by itself. A toothbrush that tracks how well you brush your teeth can be sold for many times that amount. The toothbrush company goes from creating plastic handles and bristles to producing electronic devices with transmitters, sensors, and more. This can be a great thing for that company. It expands its reach and makes it a more tempting target for investors. ... " 

One Click Product Placement

When I first read this I was confused.  What does this mean?  We had studied product placement approaches since Soap Boxes in the silent era. And the general idea has existed for a long time.  But now take it further and make it adaptive by product segment too.  Good discussion at the link ..

Amazon tests one-click product placement

While offering original movies and TV shows has long been touted as a perk to boost Prime membership, Amazon is rolling out another way to capitalize on its content: product placement.

In Japan, Amazon has teamed up with entertainment company Yoshimoto Kogyo to insert product placements into an Amazon Prime Video TV show exploring Japanese cuisine.

“The first shows will exhibit dishes from the northern island of Hokkaido and feature local comedy duo Taka and Toshi, who found nationwide fame with Yoshimoto,” according to Nikkei.

Viewers will be able to tap Amazon’s “1-Click” icon to order certain products featured in the program.

The initially planned four episodes will run around 40 minutes each. Future videos will feature other places in Japan, as well as “some locations overseas,” Nikkei says.

“The idea that you could have whatever you want by just clicking a button is certainly enticing, but having the ability to constantly consume is a weird future, to the say the least,” wrote Leslie Horn on Vocativ, a news site focused on media and technology. “Although, I’m sure most people have had the experience of watching, say, an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations,’ and wondered what the culinary oddity he’s sampling tasted like. With Amazon’s new strategy, one wouldn’t have to wonder.”

The one-click proposal expands on the Dash Button, Amazon’s one-click replenishment system launched in 2015; the one-click “Buy it Now” button on its website, as well as the one-command ordering through the Echo voice-enabled assistant.  .... " 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Data Snooping in Practice

Good piece on the topic, though I had never called it that.    Thought it was something about security.  Another example of the lack of standards in the industry. Too many terms have come from different disciplines.   Here described as a bias of human nature,    Also known as:   Data dredging, data fishing, data snooping, and p-hacking.

" ....Data snooping is essentially the practice of finding patterns in data that don’t actually reflect the real world. Data scientists may know it by other names, like overfitting the curve or confusing the noise for the signal. The simple definition makes it sound like data snooping would be fairly easy to avoid. However, because of the way the human brain works and how it’s wired to spot connections in seemingly disparate pieces of data and events, it’s one of the most difficult biases to eliminate.

Data scientists are particularly prone to data snooping bias when they’re doing freeform exploratory data analysis, as opposed to attempting to prove or disprove a hypothesis before digging into the data. Traditionally, the best way to eliminate the data snooping bias is to institute strict controls in their experiments before they begin. Chasing interesting results once the experiment has started is a good way to fall victim to the snoops.

Over the years, data snooping has been one of the toughest biases to correct for in the world of applied statistics. In particular, data scientists and statisticians who work in the financial field are more prone to data snooping than in other industries, argues MIT professor Andrew Lo.  .... " 

On Quantum Computing

In the Edge,  a conversation with Seth Llyod, Professor, Quantum Mechanical Engineering, MIT; Principal Investigator, Research Laboratory of Electronics; Author, Programming the Universe.
Non technical, practical and thoughtful view of where we are going.

" ... Thinking about the future of quantum computing, I have no idea if we're going to have a quantum computer in every smart phone, or if we're going to have quantum apps or quapps, that would allow us to communicate securely and find funky stuff using our quantum computers; that's a tall order. It's very likely that we're going to have quantum microprocessors in our computers and smart phones that are performing specific tasks.

This is simply for the reason that this is where the actual technology inside our devices is heading anyway. If there are advantages to be had from quantum mechanics, then we'll take advantage of them, just in the same way that energy is moving around in a quantum mechanical kind of way in photosynthesis. If there are advantages to be had from some quantum hanky-panky, then quantum hanky‑panky it is.   ... " 

Dangers of Marketing Optimization

Have been involved in a number of marketing optimization projects in the brands.   Are the new attempts at predictive analytics causing us to expect too much with these methods?   We called this 'analytics', and now its called 'Predictive Data Science'. Bottom line this is an attempt to allocate marketing dollars for best results.

All indications are that 'optimizing' is better than using gut feelings.  But that was determined long ago.  How much better are modern methods?   No indications that this is causing any strangulation of efforts due to mis-allocation of resources.  Adjustments are always made when changes in context change occur.

The efforts involved are covered in this Adage article.  A look at consumer behavior.   When you add the consumer behavior suggested,  the results are not 'optimal',  saturation is not a new thought.   The model is just wrong.

" ... It's often cheaper to reach that level of overkill on mobile and digital media, but it's not impossible to do it on TV, either, with narrowly focused cable TV or other low-rated buys that can end up serving lots of impressions to the same people.

The problem isn't entirely the narrowness of the targeting. It's also too much spending on media relative to creative. Brands using more targeted media need multiple ads and creative approaches to avoid wear-out or advance a storyline, particularly if they value frequency of impressions or need to keep their brands top of mind in product categories with short purchase cycles, said Mr. Briggs. ... " 

Visual Consulting Book

Friend and colleague David Sibbet who taught us many visualization techniques is writing a new book.  Many links below at the tab to his work.

" ...President and Founder of The Grove Consultants International—organizational consultant and information designer, building on years of experience in leadership development, strategic visioning, organization change, and futures study—author of leading-edge group process tools and models for facilitation, team leadership, and organizational transformation. These reflections are for Grove colleagues worldwide.

Preparing to Write—Visual Consulting
I am preparing to write a new book called Visual Consulting: Designing & Leading Change, potentially as a fourth in the Wiley visual leadership series. This one will be co-authored by The Grove’s VP of Global Learning, Gisela Wendling, Ph.D., an expert on personal and organizational transformation. It seems right that after so many changes in our own lives, that we focus now on our learning about change, and engage the exploding global network of visual practitioners about how to become skilled consultants with this orientation. Our leading of The Grove’s new Designing & Leading Change workshop the past two years is fueling this new project. .... " 

Samsung Scoop Speaker

A competitor to the Amazon Echo?   Indications of voice activation.  Samsung Scoop.  Advanced cognitive skills are unclear.  But note Samsung previous devices like S Voice, and Otto, which hinted at cognitive AI skills.

" .. Samsung has designed a Bluetooth-connected speaker with a microphone that certainly looks like it could compete with Amazon’s voice-activated Echo and the forthcoming Google Home.

Samsung today submitted documents for the device, currently named Scoop, to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. The documents include photos of the device and a manual. ... 

Clearly the Scoop is meant to be mobile, as it comes with a strap, suggesting that you could carry it around while it’s hanging from your wrist. You’d be able to use “Samsung-approved chargers” to power it up, including one for the Scoop that would be sold separately. And a light on the top of the gadget would tell you when it’s out of juice, according to the manual. Also on the top are volume up and down buttons, as well as a play button that doubles as a Bluetooth pairing button, the manual indicates. Next to a power button on the side, a cover hides a USB jack and a charging port, a photo shows. ... " 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Limits to Prediction

Santa Fe Institute workshop on the limits to prediction.   Every practitioner knows there are limits to prediction.  Systems may be chaotic, or influenced by unknown context.   The implications?   Fundamental thoughts.  Have now worked with several entities that depended on their capabilities of prediction.  

Case Based Reasoning and Chatbots

 Resources for integrating Case based reasoning (CBR) and bots. The integration could be a natural way to deliver intelligence in a bot.  We used CBR in a number of early applications.

" ... The main goal of jCOLIBRI is to provide a reference platform for developing CBR applications. With the term “platform” we mean that it defines a clear architecture to design CBR systems plus a reference implementation of the components required to build them.  This architecture has been designed to be extensible and reusable across different domains and CBR families.

''... Although the main scope of the framework is the research community, a relevant feature of jCOLIBRI is its support for large scale commercial applications. It means that our software can be used not only to do rapid prototyping of CBR systems but also for developing applications that will be deployed in real scenarios. This feature is exemplified, for example, by its straightforward integration into web environments.

jCOLIBRI takes advantage of several years of experience from the first version released in 2005. Therefore, the current architecture solves many problems found in its predecessor but reuses the design choices that demonstrated to be good ideas. ..  ' 

Via Jim Spohrer, some examples of CBR architectures:

jCOLIBIRI (CBR)   http://gaia.fdi.ucm.es/research/colibri/jcolibri

MyCBR (CBR) http://www.mycbr-project.net

The image at the upper right is in an article from the University of Trier.

Re Emergence of Google Glass

According to this piece it has never gone away.  We spoke with Google on uses, and never got a very supportive answer.   I get the idea that at the time the snarky press had already eroded some of the possible augmented reality style possibilities.  Saw some impressive medical applications demonstrated, without a scary headset.

Algorithm/Problem Categories for AI and Data Science

Like this statement of solution categories:  10 Algorithm Categories for A.I., Big Data, and Data Science by Chris Pehura:  

Crunchers:  These algorithms use small repetitive steps guided with simple rules to number crunch a complex problem ... 
Guides: These algorithms guide us on how to best navigate a policy, process, or workflow ... 
Advisors:  These algorithms advise us on our best options ... 
Predictors: These algorithms predict future human behaviors and events by using small repeatable decisions ... 
Tacticians:  These algorithms tactically anticipate short-term behaviors and react accordingly. ... 
Supervisors: These algorithms strategically anticipate behaviors and plan accordingly. ... 
Lifters:These algorithms help us by automating our mundane and repetitive work freeing us to do what we’ve been hired to do. ...  
Partners: These algorithms bring out the best in us. They have a large amount of subject matter expertise in our area allowing us to be more productive and more focused ...  
Okays:  These algorithms have subject matter expertise in multiple areas allowing groups of us to do all our foundational analytical work ...
Supervisors:  These algorithms have key subject matter expertise for how our business works. They manage us and our efforts  ... 

Details are debatable, I would have kept it simpler, five would have done it sufficiently, and there will always be overlaps. but does make you think of the activity involved, and data and methods needed.   plus value represented.   Good descriptions at the links, with much further supporting information.

Original article with much more detail.  http://bizcatalyst360.com/10-algorithm-categories-for-a-i-big-data-and-data-science

DSC Quote, with more background:  http://www.datasciencecentral.com/profiles/blogs/10-algorithm-categories-for-a-i-big-data-and-data-science

Impact of AI on Jobs

Thoughtful piece with many interesting links.  Good this pointed me back to Irving Wladawsky-Berger's blog.  Was on a panel with him in the 90s.

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A collection of observations, news and resources on the changing nature of innovation, technology, leadership, and other subjects. ... 

The Long Term Impact of AI on Jobs - Some Lessons from History
The June 25 issue of The Economist includes a special report on artificial intelligence.  AI has been making extraordinary progress in the past few years.  It’s ironic that after years of frustration with AI’s missed promises, many now worry that its mighty power is now upon us while we still don’t know how to properly deploy it.  Some fear that at some future time, a sentient, superintelligent general AI might pose an existential threat to humanity.  But while being dismissive of such dire concerns, many experts worry that the real threat is that AI advances could lead to widespread economic dislocation. ... " 

Forklift Simulation Using VR

Interesting idea.  If was one of the ideas we considered for warehouse and plant training, but the technology was not well enough evolved to make it workable.  A related example addressed common issues of machine and line repair.  Probably should be a service provided or adapted by the forklift suppliers or manufacturing system designers.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sway Storytelling

Brought to my attention, Microsoft's Sway storytelling system.  Lets you bring in other content from  systems and create stories.  Has been criticized as not different enough from Powerpoint to avoid its falling into its problems.

" ... Sway is a digital storytelling app for work, school and home that makes it quick and easy to create and share interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more. Add your content, and Sway will do the rest. -- Tell your story with interactive content -- Bring your Sway to life with interactive multimedia content. It's easy to add text and your images from OneDrive and your device, or snap them right into Sway with your built-in camera. 

Also add videos, maps, tweets, Vines, interactive charts, graphics and GIFs. -- See suggested search results based on your content -- Sway suggests searches to help you find relevant images, videos, tweets, and other content that you can drag and drop right in to your creation. No need to juggle apps and web pages to find what you want.   ...... " 

More Smart Dust

More on Neural Dust.  More IOT nodes in more places?   Heard this called 'motes' before, but this takes it smaller yet.    The passive use of power generation is very interesting.  Applications, especially in medical applications, at the link.

Is smart dust the IoT vector of the future? by Cate Lawrence
The notion of smart dust sounds like a work of science fiction but scientists at University of California Berkeley have developed a “neural dust” that can be implanted into the body, to monitor internal nerves, muscles or organs in real time.

The sensors are about the size of a large grain of sand contain a piezoelectric crystal that converts ultrasound vibrations from outside the body into electricity to power a tiny, on-board transistor that is in contact with a nerve or muscle fiber. A voltage spike in the fiber alters the circuit and the vibration of the crystal, which changes the echo detected by the ultrasound receiver, typically the same device that generates the vibrations. The slight change, called backscatter, allows them to determine the voltage. .... " 

AI in Business

Remember outlining a similar report some time ago.   Really helps to layout who will use it and how.  I am seeing a move back to the term 'AI' too.

The AI business landscape
A data-driven analysis of companies that are adopting artificial intelligence.   By Aman Naimat 

This post is the beginning of an investigation into the business market for artificial intelligence, which culminated in a free report about the larger AI market.  ... " 

Download the full report at the link.

Free NASA Online Research Archive

A wealth of information.  Does not contain all research papers produced by NASA.

NASA’s new online archive is a treasure trove of free research articles
" ... NASA launched a free online archive for science journal articles that were funded by the space agency. The archive, which was announced this week, is called PubSpace, and it will make available research and data that are often hidden behind the subscriptions and paywalls of scientific journals. PubSpace will be managed by the National Institutes of Health as part of its own database called PubMed Central. ... "      Service is here.

GIF's and All that

A considerable look at the history of the GIF, a graphic format, developed in 1987,  that opened the door to online visualization.  Even animating things.   We recall when you had to do considerable work in getting GIF's to display in a simple browser, used them to communicate with researchers. How there was an attempt to eliminate them.  But they are still here,  as controversial as ever.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Future of Retailing Technology is Now

Forbes article.  Generally put, but good piece:

The Future Of Retailing: The Technology Revolution Is Now
by Walter Loeb ,   Contributor

I believe that retailing is undergoing a revolutionary change. Merchants are no longer the driving force for retailers. This is a major change that will be hard to swallow. In the past merchants interacted with customers. They talked to them as a market. Now these same customers are demanding products and services that match their specific needs. In other words, the customer is now in charge.   ....  " 

Using Neural Networks with R

Back in the first go around with neural networks we had to write our own, but now its easily available via R.  (And many other places)  This is a reasonable introduction, but not really best for an actual application.    But if you know how R is used already, it gets you to what you need to test a solution architecture.    In KDNuggets.

Software and Management

Technology and the “End of Management”
FrontiersBlog July 27, 2016    Lynda Gratton

No, software will not render managers obsolete, but you will need to be more skilled than ever before. ... "  

Agree with that, but also expect to be 'augmented" more, and get lots of analyzed data while you manage.

Google on Beacons Reshaping Marketing

In ThinkwithGoogle:

" ... Beacon technology is poised to change the way consumers interact with brands, making devices more helpful and revolutionizing the way retailers measure the offline impact of online ads.

 When it comes to cutting-edge marketing, one technology is top of mind: beacons. In fact, more than a million beacons are expected to be installed in U.S. retail stores this year alone. But right now, many marketers only think about using beacons to push phone notifications. At Google, we think beacons have the potential to do much, much more for consumers, brands, and marketers. 

To realize this potential, we created Eddystone and the Google beacon platform. With these platforms, beacons are no longer limited to communicating only with a brand's app. Brands can integrate beacons with Google products and services, as well as their own and their partners' apps. For consumers, this means a frictionless shopping experience, with fewer gaps between channels. For retailers, it means reaching the right person at the right time with the right message, with new and improved metrics to measure success.  ... "

Friday, August 19, 2016

Alexa and the Emerging Art of Conversation

An interesting exploration of conversational interfaces using the Amazon Echo.   What has it shown us so far?  I like it, but it still has a long way to go. You adapt as you use it, like you would with any conversational partner.  Is that the ultimate learning, we will learn?

What would Alexa do? Alexa shows what’s possible when conversational interfaces just work. By Tim O'Reilly

ROI of Customer Engagement

Always looking for new ways to measure.   But it takes lots of trials in different contexts, to understand the implications of measurement.

Calculating the ROI of Customer Engagement by Rachel Happe
We know that customer engagement matters. Yet much of our thinking about engagement remains simplistic. Most current definitions of engagement are bimodal – someone is either engaged or they’re not. But this is a limited view that hampers our ability to manage engagement in meaningful ways.

A more sophisticated understanding of engagement allows community managers to effectively influence and change it, and even to calculate an ROI for engagement. ... " 

Flying a Horse and other Creations

Been reading my former colleague Kevin Ashton's book:  How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery.  Very nicely done, worth the read.

Publishers description: 

To create is human. Technology pioneer Kevin Ashton has experienced firsthand the all-consuming challenge of creating something new. Now, in a tour-de-force narrative twenty years in the making, Ashton demystifies the sacred act, leading us on a journey through humanity’s greatest creations to uncover the surprising truth behind who creates and how they do it.

 From the crystallographer’s laboratory where the secrets of DNA were first revealed by a long forgotten woman, to the Ohio bicycle shop where the Wright brothers set out to “fly a horse,” Ashton showcases the seemingly unremarkable individuals, gradual steps, multiple failures, and countless ordinary and usually uncredited acts that lead to our most astounding breakthroughs. Drawing on examples from Mozart to the Muppets, Archimedes to Apple, Kandinsky to a can of Coke, How to Fly a Horse is essential reading for would-be creators and innovators, and also a passionate and immensely rewarding exploration of how “new” comes to be. ... 

Microsoft Links Power BI to R

 ... By Sharon Machlis

I remain pleasantly surprised at Microsoft's enthusiasm for adding R to its analytics ecosystem (and not [at least yet] fulfilling suspicions its end game is to fork a version of R that is semi-proprietary). 

Today offered another example, with an R for the Masses with Power BI webinar touting R as an option for data heavy-lifting within its Power BI platform. Granted, as an R user I'm biased, but it makes a lot more sense to lean on a language already in wide use for data work, as opposed to expecting people to learn its own DAX and M. During today's webinar, Microsoft revealed that its own survey showed more than 80% of respondents wanted to use R for advanced data work.

Power BI users could already run R scripts within the software to pull in data, to reshape and otherwise wrangle data, and to visualize data. During the webinar, Microsoft announced an R Script Showcase with examples designed to "find inspiration for leveraging R scripts in Power BI. There are already examples for using R to find clusters within your data, generate forecasts and create decision trees.   ... " 

On Patient Behavior

In every business where there are customers, its about their behavior.   Even in healthcare. Knowledge@Wharton talks about a new book:  How Patients Think: A Science-Based Strategy for Patient Engagement and Population Health. by Andrea LaFountain

Knowledge@Wharton: In this age of technology and big data, why is there still that disconnect between healthcare providers and patients?

" .... Andrea LaFountain: You kind of answered the question. Big data can be great, but it can also be an enemy depending on how we use the data. There’s an overreliance on what we call “claims data.” We look at the activities of the patient. We can see whether they are visiting the doctor or filling prescriptions, but it doesn’t give us the explanation behind the activities that we’re seeing. That’s what’s missing.

The data can show us the results of their decision. It doesn’t tell us why they are making the decision. So we can look at the data, and we can see that 26% of women with breast cancer stop taking their treatment early.

We can see that very clearly in the data. But how are they making that decision? That is not available in the data. So we speculate and we kind of impose our reasons why we think they are making that decision without actually getting into the scientific reasons behind why they are making those decisions.  .. " 

AliceBot Chatbot Engine

I am reminded of the Alice Bot which we experimented with in the 90s.   Now the idea has taken hold as a simpler way of delivering AI, especially for human natural language interaction.

About Alicebot:

A.L.I.C.E. (Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity) is an award-winning free natural language artificial intelligence chat robot. The software used to create A.L.I.C.E. is available as free ("open source") Alicebot and AIML software.

Try talking to A.L.I.C.E. just like a real person, but remember you are really chatting with a machine! A.L.I.C.E.'s Alicebot engine utilizes AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) to form responses to yourquestions and inputs.

Unlike other commercial chat robot software costing thousands of dollars, the Alicebot engine and AIML are freely available under the terms of the GNU General Public License (used by GNU/Linux and thousands of other software projects). The A.L.I.C.E. project includes hundreds of contributors from around the world.

You can read more about the history of A.L.I.C.E., or find out how you can participate in the A.L.I.C.E. development community. ... " 

More on the relationship to early AI.   And the Alicebot AI Foundation.  Relationship to the work of Joseph Weizenbaum.

Via Jim Spohrer.