/* ---- Google Analytics Code Below */

Friday, April 29, 2016

Enterprise Ontology Frameworks

An investigation brought this to my attention.  Ontologies can give organization to many kinds of analytics processes.

The Enterprise Ontology Reference Framework
The Global University Alliance (GUA) is an open group of academics with the ambition to provide both business and academia with state-of-the-art insights. Through its ties with the LEADing practice community, which includes large firms and governments, the GUA is able to evaluate and valorize its scientific output. Since 2004, the members of the GUA strive for a continuous improvement of their expertise through the research, comparison, analysis and development of Best and LEADing Practices in Business. Throughout this process, the GUA built its own implicit ontology that revolves around its expertise of Best and LEADing practices.

As ontology formally represents knowledge as a set of concepts within a domain, and the relationships between those concepts, it can be used to model a domain and support reasoning about concepts. The Global University Alliance has used the concept of ontology as both a shared vocabulary and the very definition of its objects and concepts. In order to go the next steps and fully use the potential of its ontology. .... " 

NY Times Continues to Push Virtual Reality

Continued effort to change a basic form delivery of journalism.

In Engadget: 
NY Times sends 300,000 Google Cardboard viewers to subscribers
The Gray Lady wants to virtually fly you to Pluto. .... " 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Samsung's Personal Assistant: Otto

And yet another assistant example: Samsung's Otto.  Always attentive.  Seemingly more oriented to the internet of things. Video directed like a security camera.   Still a prototype.   In the Verge:

" ... Samsung is pushing hard into the Internet of Things, and in an effort to show off its new ARTIK IoT platform, the company created Otto, a personal assistant robot similar to the Amazon Echo, but a bit creepier. Otto has a microphone and speaker, can answer questions when prompted like Siri or Alexa, and can control smart home devices like thermostats and lights, just like the Echo.

But it also comes with an HD camera and can stream live video to your mobile device or PC, essentially acting as a security camera when you're not home. Users can adjust the viewpoint of the camera from their phone as well. We all know that just about anything can be hacked these days, and having a device that's always listening is already concerning for some people, but adding an HD camera that can stream live video of your home to the mix brings it to another level. ... " 

And in Engadget. 

Seeing AI Interest and an AI Talent Grab

Indications of where the interest is, and where the talent is coming from.  I see it myself in a number of general inquiries I see that ask  How do we do that? And what is cognitive?  How much is available and how much ready-built.   And especially how it works in the enterprise with existing technology investments and other technologies still expanding, like Data Science. More In Nature: 

McDonalds and Gaming Tablets

In the Verge: A look at how McDonald's is testing and potentially integrating tablets into store experiences.  Not enough detail in the article.  This opens the conversation to many new possibilities.  For example,  the use of Bots.

" .... McDonald's is installing Samsung Galaxy tablets in its fast food restaurants across the UK as part of new initiative called "Experience of the Future." While the tablets won't be used to order food, they will offer basic access to the internet, mobile games, and social media apps. It's not clear which model of Galaxy tablets will be used, but the devices are being loaded with software from an enterprise company called SOTI instead of Samsung. ... " 

Wal-Mart Largest IT Investor

Surprising that they are tops across industries:  Details.  In RISNews: 

" ... For the second year in a row retail powerhouse Walmart has spent the most money on IT ($10.5 billion) — more than another other company across industries, by a lot. IDC annual report, Worldwide IT Wallet, ranks Walmart ahead of second place finisher Wells Fargo & Company by over 65%.

When it comes to scale few companies can come close to rivaling Walmart in shear IT maintenance costs, let alone on developing new technologies — which the retailer has done plenty of over the past few years. ... " 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Smartstones and Speech

Mentioned here a number of times, I have a small connection ...

An Entrepreneur Makes Speech a Reality for All
" ... Smartstones, Inc., a company taking great leaps in improving communication technology, is today releasing a new product that will directly improve millions of lives. GlobalMindED is proudly committed to supporting the innovative efforts of companies like Smartstones, whose products and services increase access, equity and opportunity for people of all backgrounds and abilities. Smartstones’ new development impacts not only those with communication challenges and their families, but also serves to democratize education and the exchange of information. ..... " 

Cisco and Much Smarter LED Lighting

Taking LEDs beyond lighting, to the Internet of Things:
" ... In PoE lighting, both electricity and data flow over Ethernet cables that connect to LED troffers and luminaires, which become network nodes and which typically include sensors detecting not only lighting conditions, but also things like room occupancy, temperature, and security. It is taking root the way Ethernet-powered Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony did some 20 years ago before becoming today's office staple. ... " 

Research in a Virtual World

Can you do research in a virtual world?  Simulation has often been used to create a model of a system, and then do research, such as sensitivity analysis, in that world.  Here a step beyond that in CACM.

Power of How Google Search Works

Its been a while since I have thought of Google search beyond the basics.  I knew there was more power and subtlety there, but not how to apply it.  Now in the BBC,  I was re-introduced to Google search and implications of how it works.

Big Data's Problem

Good piece with an apt warning.  Its always about some form of sampling.  Even if you could get all observations of the data, say if you are controlling an experiment,  you won't have all the contextual metadata.   I have have had many people say that they have all the data, and that's why big data will work.   Better than in older days when they said they had a handful of observations. But ...

Big Data’s Small Lie – The Limitation of Sampling and Approximation in Big Data Analysis by Alexander Gray

Volume is the most prominent of big data’s “3 Vs.” Yet, the “big” in big data analysis is often a misnomer. Most big data analysis doesn’t look at a complete, large dataset. Instead, it looks at a subsample and works on approximations, which prevents enterprises from getting the most valuable insight from their data. .... " 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kasisto Virtual Assistant

My continued look at virtual assistants "  ..... AI-Driven Virtual Assistant from Kasisto Powers India's First Mobile-Only Bank ... Asian banking innovator DBS Bank makes strategic investment in Kasisto ... "  Some good details in the press release.

Processor Runs from Ambient Radio Waves

In Extremetech: Consider the Internet of Things or Wearable implications

" .. A new research initiative between a University of Washington team and TU-Delft in the Netherlands has created a microprocessor that can power itself through stray radio waves and receive programmable updates in the same fashion. While the CPU in question is exceedingly weak by modern standards (it’s a RISC-derived 16-bit microcontroller clocked at just 16MHz), it’s an order of magnitude more powerful than any other device that’s powered by ambient energy in the environment with no battery required. This has significant implications for Internet of Things development and for ambient computing as a whole. ... ". 

Boosting Scientific Discovery CSI Talk

Dear Professors, Students, IBMers and others, 

Just a reminder about our Cognitive Systems Institute Group Speaker Series on Thursday April 28, 2016 at 10:30 am ET US (7:30 am PT US).  Our presenter this week is Xiaolin (Andy) Li,  from the University of Florida, who will present “CognitiveEngine: Boosting Scientific Discovery.”  

Please point your web browser to https://apps.na.collabserv.com/meetings/join?id=2894-8491password=cognitive.   

Use audio on computer or 855-233-7153 in the US (other countries numberhere) PIN Code: 43179788    Non-IBMers and Non-Members, please use the "guest" option instead of entering your email.   

Please find the schedule of presenters herefor the next several calls and please sign up for making a presentation by sending a note to me (fodell@us.ibm.com).   A link to slides and a recording of each call should be available on the CSIG website (http://cognitive-science.info/community/weekly-update/).   

We encourage those who join the calls to add questions and comments to the https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Cognitive-Systems-Institute-6729452 on LinkedIn and please ask questions at the end of the call.

Thank you and please let me know if you would like to be a presenter on an upcoming call!  
Dianne Fodell

Knowledge for Discovery

Brought to my attention, a topic always brought up that we also experimented with:

Accelerating Discovery: Mining Unstructured Information for Hypothesis Generation
by Scott Spangler ( Principal Scientist for Watson Health Innovations )

October 9, 2015 by Chapman and Hall/CRC
ISBN 9781482239133 - CAT# K23259
Chapman & Hall/CRC Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery Series

They write:

Provides you with an awareness of the key technologies and benefits of accelerated discovery in science

Describes a general methodology for accelerating scientific discovery through unstructured analytics

Presents tools, techniques, and best practices for implementing text mining in practice
Includes ten real-world problems and examples that illustrate applications of accelerated discovery in molecular biology, pharmaceutical research, microbe analysis, and other areas
Summary

Unstructured Mining Approaches to Solve Complex Scientific Problems

As the volume of scientific data and literature increases exponentially, scientists need more powerful tools and methods to process and synthesize information and to formulate new hypotheses that are most likely to be both true and important. Accelerating Discovery: Mining Unstructured Information for Hypothesis Generation describes a novel approach to scientific research that uses unstructured data analysis as a generative tool for new hypotheses.

The author develops a systematic process for leveraging heterogeneous structured and unstructured data sources, data mining, and computational architectures to make the discovery process faster and more effective. This process accelerates human creativity by allowing scientists and inventors to more readily analyze and comprehend the space of possibilities, compare alternatives, and discover entirely new approaches.

Encompassing systematic and practical perspectives, the book provides the necessary motivation and strategies as well as a heterogeneous set of comprehensive, illustrative examples. It reveals the importance of heterogeneous data analytics in aiding scientific discoveries and furthers data science as a discipline. .... " 

Omnichannel Complicates Demand Planning

Interesting conversation in Retailwire:

How is omnichannel complicating demand planning?
By Tom Ryan

Demand planning "has become an enigma" for supply chain professionals, according to the sixth annual "State of the Retail Supply Chain" from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and Auburn University's Center for Supply Chain Innovation.

Broadly, the challenges include an ever-increasing number of SKUs, tremendous price pressures, demanding customers willing to switch loyalties in a moment, and a multitude of order fulfillment options. .... " 

Monday, April 25, 2016

NeuroWine Claimed

A more direct sensory link than the usual examples.  

SA neuroscientists develop first NeuroWine
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 20 Apr 2016
.....
A South African team of neuromarketers and neuroscientists created the world's first NeuroWine, a wine that was developed by taking the tools and technologies that are traditionally used in neuroscience and applying them to the art of wine-making.   ... " 

Retirement a Flawed Concept

Interesting thoughts in the HBR: Retirement is a Flawed Concept.  Will comment when I finally try it.

New Sensors for an Internet of Things

An internet of things is also connected to its environment, which needs sensors to detect context.  Context can drive analytics with data.  Looking for new ways to connect and interact in the smart home.

 " ... Helium is releasing new sensors, applications and development tools as it builds out a comprehensive product line. The company's latest product is a new sensor called Helium Green, which can monitor temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, motion, and light. ... 

The sensor hardware offers three years of battery life on two AA batteries. It can be plugged into a mesh network of interconnected devices through the emerging IEEE 802.15.4 standard, which is behind Zigbee and Google's Thread protocols. .... "  

An IKEA Virtual Reality App

Always liked the innovation that has come out of IKEA,  Here a sims-like VR App.  Have not tried yet, but will.  How well does this work as VR, as engagement?

Basic Apache Spark Utilization

Good basic, mostly non technical introduction:

Basic Spark Utilization for Analytics in Big Data
by Atif Farid Mohammad

Apache Spark is a Big Data Analytics Engine, which runs in both memory as well as on disk. It is 100 times faster, if we run it using in-memory processing. It is still 10 times faster than standard MapReduce on the disk also. Apache Spark process interactive processing using Spark SQL to process real time queries. The use of Spark is also helpful for the Data Scientists to run their Machine Learning algorithms, as Apache Spark provides iterative processing also.  ... " 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Beginners Guide to Chatbots

Well done article in Medium, with reasonable definitions and pointers to examples and resources.  The distinction is made between those driven by machine learning and AI.  Of course do also take a look at the bot examples featured in this blog over the years.  A very early example of engaging bots that used AI.  See also the Facebook Chatbot Group.

Supply Chain Numbers at Amazon and Wal-Mart

A look at retail heavyweights, their numbers and some key innovations:

Supply Chain News: Walmart and Amazon by the Numbers 2016
Our Annual Review of the World's Two Most Important Retailers

I think it is rather safe to say that the two most prominent US retailers today are Walmart and Amazon.com.

Walmart earns that place due to its stature as the world's largest merchant (and company) and one that represents often a substantial share of many consumer goods companies' total sales. Amazon obviously earns a spot as the dominant ecommerce company, which is where all the action seems to be right now. Amazon continues its phenomenal growth - hardly even slowing down in the face of the law of big numbers - and has been an innovation machine in terms of fulfillment and more (e.g., Dash button). .... " 

Failing and Succeeding in the Digital World

Podcast in Knowledge@Wharton: 

It is counterintuitive to celebrate failures as well as successes. But that is precisely what needs to happen if companies wish to spark a culture of innovation, says Ganesh Ayyar, CEO of Mphasis, a major IT services company. Fear of failure can paralyze many firms from taking on the kind of experimentation needed to face smaller, nimbler digital competitors. At the forefront of this change is the CEO, who has to go through his or her own digital transformation to ably lead the troops. And the journey is worthwhile because analog companies can learn to become digital aggressors instead of victims, Ayyar says.

Knowledge@Wharton recently discussed with Ayyar the personal and enterprise-wide digital transformation required for executives and companies to thrive in the digital age. What follows is an edited version of that conversation. ... " 

A Look at the Virtual Assistant Landscape

Nicely done visual of what is going on, with considerable variance in the definition of assistant.  Useful to see the extensive examples here.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Browsing the Web in Virtual Reality

Has been proposed a number of times.   Is this useful?  Likely to be created and used?  In the relatively early days of the Web you could browse 2D representations of the organization of the web as a tree.  To my knowledge this was not widely used.  VR could take this further, into something called WebVR, which would visualize and gameify the interaction as a 3D space, wearing a viewer.   The article covers what this is all about, and why it is not happening as fast as we might have expected.

Procurement Undergoing Digital Revolution

Thoughts on a Deloitte study in Supply Chain Digest.  " .... After a Period of People Expansion, Procurement Now Being Asked to Do More with Less; the Two Tracks for Digitization ... " .  An area I have followed for years, further, see the tag below.

Soft Robotic Fingers

We addressed this issue for a robotics application.  Haptics is touch.

In the CACM:

Soft Robotic Fingers Recognize Objects by Feel

Daniela Rus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has led the development of bendable, stretchable robot fingers that can lift and handle delicate objects.

The silicone rubber digits do not need specific commands for grasping various objects, but instead expand to accommodate an item and grasp radially. ....  "

Alexa Voice Service with Java on Raspberry Pi

I am very late to this, I see lots of people have it working.  All the steps are there, but its an advanced project that requires buying a number of additional parts, some programming understanding, and attention to detail, should be considered experimental ...

https://github.com/amzn/alexa-avs-raspberry-pi
This project demonstrates how to access and test the Alexa Voice Service using a Java client (running on a Raspberry Pi), and a Node.js server.    .....