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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sharing Cokes as Advertising

Sharing Coke and user generated ads.

" ... Ogilvy's #shareacoke campaign for Coca-Cola has generated 250,000 tweets and almost 1 billion Twitter impressions, but that buzz may not have much long-term impact on consumers who aren't already Coke drinkers, writes Stephen Carter. "[W]ith younger consumers so fickle, the ability to turn marketing into magic will depend on part on whether the rising generation actually tries the product and likes the taste," he writes ... " 

" ... This is where Coke's challenges arise. Even if fans are tweeting like mad, recent work suggests that user-generated ads have little effect on the preferences of borderline customers, and even arouse their skepticism. True, this effect seems to be lessened when the audience thinks the consumers who created the messages are people much like themselves. But with younger consumers so fickle, the ability to turn marketing into magic will depend on part on whether the rising generation actually tries the product and likes the taste. ... " 

Gamification Study

An empirical study, they say.   Worth a look.

Does Gamification Work? Recent Empirical Study Shows Positive Results

" ... A research paper produced for the 2014 Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences carefully reviews twenty-four scholarly empirical research studies which all focused directly on the success of gamification. These studies were broken into three parts: motivational affordances, psychological outcomes, and behavioral outcomes. The motivational affordances predominantly included points, leaderboards, and badges. The psychological outcomes included motivation, attitude, and enjoyment. The behavioral outcomes “used experiments or statistical analyses from existing services or implementations designed by the researchers” to measure response patterns and task performance and also investigated use intentions through survey methods. ... "  

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Our Brain's Biases, as seen by Watson

Have long been involved with R&D, Laboratory and Product development data and tests.  So always interested in how bias can creep into data.   Often 75% of it is confirmation bias!    Early work in astrophysics, where much early bias research was founded, from observational data, made me alert to different kinds of bias.  So this piece in Engadget was confirming (?) and enlightening:  What IBM Watson can teach us about our Brains Biases.    Do we explicitly think of the risk of bias?  So can a Cog be unbiased?  Should it be,  to be humanly intelligent?  What is the relationship to creativity? See my text tab below for more on this.

New Features for Polinode Graph Analytics

Been following the Polinode graph analytics capabilities for some time.  Their blog reports a number of new network metrics have been added.  Based on a freemium usage model, so it is easy to test.   Has a unique survey metholology available, to readily develop its use with human networks.  Give it a try.

Evolution of Cognitive Computing Services

Rama Akkiraju of IBM writes:

Looking at the evolution of service composition, from SOA to cognitive services
Today, developers can create a wide variety of service compositions with a new breed of cognitive computing services. There are endless possibilities for creating service compositions, but that wasn't always the case back in the early days of service-oriented architecture (SOA) services. In this article, I review the history of service composition development and show how much it has evolved. ... " 

Thought Vectors for Common Sense

Note my recent post on solving the common sense problem,  and Hinton's work on deep learning.  quite an interesting direction, which if solved,  makes a big step towards intelligence.   Implicatons for capturing emotions and related human patterns.  Following.

Google Is Working On A New Type Of Algorithm Called “Thought Vectors”

Professor Geoff Hinton, who was hired by Google two years ago to develop intelligent operating systems, said that the company is on the brink of developing algorithms with the capacity for logic, natural conversation and even flirtation.

The researcher told the Guardian that Google is working on a new type of algorithm designed to encode thoughts as sequences of numbers – something he described as “thought vectors”.

Although the work is at an early stage, he said there is a plausible path from the current software to a more sophisticated version that would have something approaching human-like capacity for reasoning and logic. “Basically, they’ll have common sense.”   .... ' 

More in Extreme Tech.

Key Points about Big Data Assets

Intel Corp talks about data.     Very obvious, hardly a secret, but still ignored point:   "This is the dirty little secret about big data: No one actually knows what to do with it," Jason Waxman, an Intel vice president and general manager of the company's cloud platforms group, said Thursday in a webcast for investors.  ... " .

But it does go beyond that, we need to start thinking about data as an asset.  An asset based on specific analytics needs, that drive specific business process.  It also means that we have to collect the right data. Which includes required metadata essential for its use.   It not enough  to save 'all' of the data.  The combinatorics of 'all' is tough.   I have now seen a number of cases where the needed data has not been gathered for a long enough time.  Start with the asset in context idea.

Digital Copies of 3D Spaces

In Wired:   Commercial methods like those of Google, have led the way.   Now new work in making highly accurate representations of cities.   Ways to implement structural links to the smart city.  An Internet of things container?   New Orleans the example here.

" ... The same  technology that will guide the vehicles of the future is being used to preserve the architectural heritage of the past.

Autonomous vehicles need hyper-detailed 3-D maps to navigate, and the trickiest part of those maps is keeping them up-to-the-minute accurate so changes and closures are cataloged. The last thing you’ll want is your self-driving car barreling through a barrier into a construction zone because its map was outdated.

A California nonprofit called Cyark is using that same 3-D mapping data to create a detailed digital copy of New Orleans. ... " 

Reproduceability of Psych Results

In Mind Hacks: Always suspected that a number of social science results were hard to confirm. Interesting results here.

Superforecasting with Tournaments

I m a student of unusual markets and forecasts,  and this forecasting approach with  tournaments is described in some detail in a recent Edge article.  Quite an eminent science group of participants in the project are commenting.    Note mention of the Good Judgement Project.  Interesting connection to crowd sourcing methods.

" .... When IARPA originally launched this project, they thought that beating the unweighted average of the crowd by 20 percent would be an ambitious goal in year one, 30 percent in year two, 40 percent in year three, and 50 percent in year four. The Good Judgment Project, for reasons that are interesting, was able to beat IARPA's fourth year benchmark in the first year and in all subsequent years. For reasons that are also maybe a little less interesting, other teams were not. I say the reasons are less interesting, I don’t think it was due to them not having the right research expertise. There were issues of mismanagement, of how they went about it. We had a way better project manager.

Putting that to the side, the Good Judgment Project was able to do far better than IARPA or any of the other researchers who were consulted on the design of the project thought possible. We were able to knock out some pretty formidable competitors. Slide twenty-nine tells you what the four big drivers of performance were in the tournament: Getting the right people on the bus, the benefits of interaction, the benefits of training, and the benefits of that strange algorithm that I call the “extremizing algorithm.”
 ... " 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Telling a Brands Story with Graphics

In MIT Sloan:  Experiments with graphic presentation of data are making it easier for sales people to see how they’re performing right in the field, according to Joseph D. Bruhin, chief information officer of Constellation Brands.  .... " 

Machines as Talent

(More comments to follow)

Machines as Talent   via Deloitte

Collaboration, not competition
The impact of computing on work is not new, but it is accelerating. The increasing power of computers and software to perform cognitive tasks is challenging organizations to rethink the design of work and the capabilities their employees need to succeed.  ... " 

Innovation Exploitation Lagging

Good piece, the situation has been the case for some time.

Technology leads, innovation exploitation is lagging .... There is a growing, perhaps even an overwhelming business case, for transforming the innovation management structure. The new combination is the new connections through people and things (IoT) that we can achieve a new innovation potential. .... The whole discovery to final execution, is for most organizations still a very fragmented, often disconnected system. It is highly reliant on manual systems with people often disconnected from the real innovation engagement making decisions on inadequate data or insights. ... " 

Networks and the Nature of the Firm

 Note the use of graph analytics to address this problem, often mentioned here, see the tag below.   Do we need a way to quickly categorize a particular kind of connectedness to understand it?

Networks and the Nature of the Firm
The discussion around companies like Uber and Airbnb is too narrow. The issue isn’t just employment, but a huge economic shift led by software and connectedness.  ....  " 

Future of Product Design

The Future of Product Design   (Free EBook via Autodesk with registration)  How Emerging Technologies Are Disrupting the Product Lifecycle By Jonathan Follett

Design and production considerations change throughout any product's lifecycle—from prototype to market introduction, through growth and maturity, and finally into decline—with each stage introducing its own set of challenges. But emerging technologies such as 3D printing, robotics, wearables, the IoT, and genomics are disrupting every stage of this lifecycle as they reinvigorate existing categories and create entirely new ones. ..... " 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Viz Description of Machine Learning

From R2D3:

Very nicely designed scrolling and animated visual of specific machine learning methods.   An introductory, intuitive and clear look, with no need for math.  This appears to be only the first edition of this, there is more to machine learning.   How about drilling through, if desired,  to some of the math, to link it to the graphics?  Animate data gathering methods?   Testing methods?

I particularly like the visual description of building a decision tree and then visually simulating results of the prediction.  I used regression trees many times for applications.  Would have been a very effective way to show it someone,  with their own data.   Look forward to more.   Check out what they have done so far.  Link above.

" .... In machine learning, computers apply statistical learning techniques to automatically identify patterns in data. These techniques can be used to make highly accurate predictions.

Keep scrolling. Using a data set about homes, we will create a machine learning model to distinguish homes in New York from homes in San Francisco  .... "

Serious Games Institute

Revisited the Serious Game Institute.   " ... An International Centre for Excellence in Serious Games Applied Research, Business Engagement and Study .... " .    Been a few years since I have heard from them.      I see their work as different from gamification,  more serious, not necessarily including surface level games.     Simulation and emulation depth.  But would like to see more recent views.

What Kinds of Questions Can We Answer?

What kinds of questions can data science answer?  Fascinating piece by Microsoft Data Scientist. Very fundamental idea.   Good way to present the idea to management.

" ... This post, authored by Brandon Rohrer, Senior Data Scientist at Microsoft, is the second in a three-part series introducing data science with no jargon. The first post covered What Can Data Science Do For Me?

Machine learning (ML) is the motor that drives data science. Each ML method (also called an algorithm) takes in data, turns it over, and spits out an answer. ML algorithms do the part of data science that is the trickiest to explain and the most fun to work with. That’s where the mathematical magic happens. 

ML algorithms can be grouped into families based on the type of question they answer. These can help guide your thinking as you are formulating your razor sharp question. ... " 

Read it all for the examples, will read the other parts of the series myself.

On Seeking Knowledge of Causes

Excellent CSIG talk today on causal Bayesian modeling in healthcare reasoning and elsewhere. Linkedin Group discussion at link here.   Slides and talk will be at the link here.

Bud Mishra https://cs.nyu.edu/mishra/ from NYU,  presented "Causarum Cognitio: Seeking Knowledge of Causes."          

A CKO Pushing Change

Always an interest, how do we promote valuable change and expertise, adapted to local context?

How NASA’s Chief Knowledge Officer Drives Change
By Carla O'Dell on Aug 20, 2015  .. Posted in Knowledge Management Process and Performance Management

 As part of my quest to understand how people become experts more quickly in complex scientific and technical disciplines, I interviewed Edward J. Hoffman, chief knowledge officer (CKO) at NASA. Ed ought to know: he founded the NASA Academy of Program/Project and Engineering Leadership and was its director for 20 years before his current CKO gig. ... " 

Technology Making Social Skills more Important

In the HBR:   Research: Technology Is Only Making Social Skills More Important  by Nicole Torres ... Automation anxiety reached new heights in 2013, when Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, researchers at the Oxford Martin School, published a paper estimating that 47% of all U.S. jobs were “at risk” of being computerized over the next two decades. Although the jury is still out about robots stealing jobs, the pace at which AI and deep learning technologies have been advancing isn’t ebbing concerns over a future of disappearing work. As machines increasingly perform complex tasks once thought to be safely reserved for humans, the question has become harder to shrug off: What jobs will be left for people?    ... " 

New Normal OS Privacy Policies

In ArsTechnica: Criticisms about the normal state of how operating systems are communicating back to their builders.  Under the guise of helping them improving design,  but also useful for leveraging advertising.

" ... Windows 10, in normal usage and typical configurations, will send quite a lot of information to Microsoft. Windows 8, in normal usage and typical configurations, will also send quite a lot of information to Microsoft. On the other side of the fence, OS X, in normal usage and typical configurations, will send some information to Apple. It's hard to imagine a modern day operating system that doesn't do this, at least to some extent.   ..." 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mysteries, Experiences and Value of Unsupervised Learning

I am reminded of  a conversation with a manager  early in my data analytics career when I mentioned using "unsupervised learning" ... .  He asked in essence:   "How can you find a result if you don't supervise the process?   It sounds so messy and casual"  I answered:   " We will first simply observe and learn, so we can later  supervise ... ".    You can start with just observation.  Just like you should start every project with visualizing your data.

In O'Reilly. a David Beyer interview with " .... Ilya Sutskever ... a research scientist at Google and the author of numerous publications on neural networks and related topics. Sutskever is a co-founder of DNNresearch and was named Canada’s first Google Fellow .... "  

Very good piece,  some very technical thoughts, but further Sutskever remarks:

" .... Unsupervised learning is always a means for some other end.   In supervised learning, the learning itself is what you care about. You’ve got your cost function, which you want to minimize. In unsupervised learning, the goal is always to help some other task, like classification or categorization. For example, I might ask a computer system to passively watch a lot of YouTube videos (so unsupervised learning happens here), then ask it to recognize objects with great accuracy (that’s the final supervised learning task).. .... " 

Follows with thoughts on the evolution and direction of deep learning. 

Wi-Fi Aware as Beacon

Don't know where it is  currently being used, but Wi-Fi Aware can be used like a beacon in retail like those using Bluetooth Smart, the technology behind Apple iBeacon and Google Eddystone.   We experimented with Wi-Fi triangulation in the store lab for shopper location studies. It is said that some 100,000 beacons are in retail use today.   A more detailed comparison.

GMDC Connection

Brought back to my attention:  GMDC   

" ... GMDC is the premier nonprofit global trade association dedicated to serving Health Beauty Wellness and General Merchandise Retailers, Wholesalers and Suppliers. GMDC promotes critical connectivity to grow and expand member companies by uniting members through business building events and opportunities and enriching their thinking through education and training; consumer and business insights; and information resources.  ... " 

The Aha Moment and Working Memory

Fascinating.   Have had a handful of such aha moments.  Never tried to manage them.  How can that be done, or should it be?   How are our devices now a part of working memory?    Looking at the use of working memory.   In the HBR:

" ..... Having a high working memory capacity (WMC) generally helps with problem-solving by allowing us to avoid distractions, pull up relevant information, and complete multiple steps in a complex task. But not all problems benefit from that approach.

Previous research has shown that people with high WMC will choose problem-solving strategies that play to their strengths, adding more steps and complexity to the process than are strictly necessary — or efficient. Researchers have also found that high WMC individuals will direct the power of focused attention on activities that are actually performed better without it (such as dribbling a soccer ball or touch-typing).   ... " 

Making Smarter Long term Decisions

In K@W:   A classic issue.  And with the rocking of the market lately, an important one.

If we were rational, we would make choices based on our long-term goals, not our short-term desires. Spoiler alert: We’re not, and we don’t — which can present real dangers to us as individuals and as a society. But recent research from Wharton operations and information management professor Howard Kunreuther and Elke Weber of Columbia University suggests that it’s possible to hack our decision-making processes for the better. Their working paper is titled, “Aiding Decision Making to Reduce the Impacts of Climate Change.”

In an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Kunreuther talks about the flaws in our thinking that lead us to ignore major long-range problems until they become imminent disasters, and how, with the right incentives and strategies, we could be nudged into wiser behaviors.  ... " 

CSIG Algorithm

CSIG "Algorithm" and tracking cognitive system performance levels

The CSIG (Cognitive Systems Institute Group) is interested in tracking cognitive computing components and their performance relative to novice and expert human performance levels. 

CSIG mission is to develop cognitive assistants for all occupations to boost creativity and productivity of people in smart service systems. 

This requires creating an inventory of cognitive components - the capability of cognitive systems compared to human performance measures.  .... "

Real Time Computing

Interesting piece on real time computing and in particular how it relates to the Internet of Things. Real time interaction with data means more than just the need for faster computers and real time data, it also means knowing what to to with the results we get. That works in simple closed loop situations, like the iconic thermostat example, but not in other areas, where we have not modeled the underlying business process.  Conversations about enterprise architecture this week have made me think of the implications.

Common Sense Reasoning in Cognitive AI

Excellent piece in the ACM.  You need membership to read the full article, but even the abstract introduction makes the point very well.  To intelligently reason about the real world you need to have at hand a large amount of common sense.  And have the ability to reason using that common sense to make your way around a complex world.  What we call 'common sense' is a lot deeper than you think.

That has not changed very much since the last time we rode the AI hype curve.   We have found ways to make better intelligent choices in new and larger and changing contexts. Very useful.  But we have not solved the complete intelligence problem.  See CYC tag for one historic approach to address, but not yet solve this.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

YouTube Gaming Arrives

Launching tomorrow.  YouTube streaming games.   A place for for short interactive training games?   Ways to score to indicate results?    Ease of rewinding and reviewing results.  Rules to create a context for specifics.   Games for training with an element of competition.

New Head of UC Center for Business Analytics

My former colleague, Glenn Wegryn has been appointed director of the UC Center for Business Analytics. See  Much more about that announcement here.  Congratulations.   @UCBusAnalytics

Coke Trials Beacons in Theaters

Evan Schuman on:  Coke's movie theater trial shows beacon potential ... Retail beacons have huge potential, but it can only be met when chains move beyond seeing beacons solely as tiny ad broadcasters. Coca-Cola is starting to get creative about beacons, with a trial in Norway movie theaters to not merely communicate with moviegoers but to remember them for re-targeting later.
 ... " 

Continuous Design and PLM

Continuous Design: Had not heard of this concept.  Reminds me of product life cycle management (PLM) , but including operations more directly.  A good thought.   " ...  Towards continuous design  .... A deep integration across design, development, and operations is critical to digital business success..... " .   Mentioned book:  Design for Dasein by Thomas Wendt.  

Hearables as Advisory Systems

Had not heard the term 'Hearable' used,  but is a mobile device, integrated with an advisory system, linked with sound only to the user.  How much will people normally accept a sound only advisory interface?  Akin to Siri or Amazon Echo, but mobile.   In Retailwire:

" ... Wearable technologies such as Apple Watch, Google Glass and fitness trackers are already collecting information that ultimately may be used to make the wearers' lives easier. But "hearables" — delivering audio cues to users and accepting voice-activated commands — are set to have a huge impact on the Internet of Things (IoT), likely delivering all sorts of new capabilities, even voice-activated shopping, to consumers.

Hearable technologies are projected to rack up $5 billion in sales by 2018, according UK-based Wifore Consulting, or about the same amount as the entire wearables market will take in this year. Why? They tend to be more discreet than other wearable interfaces, and people are already accustomed to in-ear technologies.  ... " 

Introduction to Superforecasting

Despite my background in enterprise forecasting,   Superforecasting topic was new to me. Tales from a recent conference. A favorite topic.   Book by U Penn prof  Philip E.Tetlock:   Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction.  Also related:  The Good Judgement Project.   Somewhat Delphi method like.

HoloLens in the Workplace

In CWorld: HoloLens replacing PCs in the workplace?   Even outside the world of design.  Seems a stretch, but why not?    Interface would have to be greatly improved,    Display device light and inobstrusive.  Focused to specific tasks and contexts.   Automatically collaborative and cognitive.

" ... Workers may eventually use a HoloLens headset instead of a traditional Windows computer to communicate with co-workers on Skype or write a report in Word.

That's just one of the predictions from research firm Tractica, which looked at the effect wearable devices will have on enterprises and consumers as the technology becomes more widely used.

Microsoft is pitching its HoloLens augmented reality headset as the next computing platform, said analyst Aditya Kaul in an interview. ... "

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hypertext is 50 Years Old

Ted Nelson used the word in 1965.   Much later, but before the Web, we commissioned its use for a knowledge management application in the enterprise.  Now most everyone uses the very simple concept daily.  Be grateful. Hypertext in the WP, which makes the WP possible.   Pioneered by Vannevar Bush and Douglas Engelbart.

Google and Intel VR with Tango

In VRFocus: Hardware and software interaction for virtual reality.  " ... Google has lots of plans and one of those is its recent partnership with Intel for Project Tango. ...  Intel has recently integrated its 3D sensing RealSense Cameras into Googles Project Tango system, which allows for instant 3D mapping of real environments on a smartphone of tablet, reports Nasdaq.com.  ... "  (More details at the link)

Data and Analytics in the Cloud Today

Good piece by Tony Cosentino in Smart Data collective on the current state of analytics from the cloud.   My own observation from conversations say that insiders in the enterprise want these capabilities, plus the automation of contextual data science.  The latter to improve on the cost and universal application of analytics.

Interactive Affective Picture System

Brought to my attention:

" ... With its latest grant, the Prosper Foundation is pleased to continue to support the initiatives of the Applied Neuromarketing Consortium (ANC) at Northwestern University. The consortium consists of leading academics from the Medill School, Kellogg School and the Feinberg School of Medicine. This grant provides access to a new dataset of unique findings based upon questions around the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). It has been integrated with a 4,000 person subset from Prosper's annual Media Behavior & Influence™ (MBI) Study of more than 15,000 participants. The goal is to better understand and use media influence as a means for achieving improved advertising outcomes.

The Prosper Foundation has long supported academic and scholarly work at Northwestern, having worked closely with the Integrated Marketing Communications program since 2004. Together, Prosper and professors at Northwestern have written several books, made countless industry presentations at the ARF, ESOMAR, AMA, WOMMA and numerous other conferences, and written many articles which have been published in prestigious academic peer reviewed journals.  ... " 

Asked to look at this, does anyone have comments?   In particular the International Affective Picture System (IAPS),    I note that this has been used in gaming as well.   Contact me.

Future of AI and Work

Future of AI and Work - Millennium Report
"Future Work/Technology 2050 

The future of work and increasing income gaps are among the most discussed topics of long-term prospects at the moment. However, systemic perspectives and global as well as local strategies to improve the long-term outlook are often lacking. 

Stephen Hawkins, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates are warning the world about the potential dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) growing beyond human control. “Whether AI does or does not become the nightmare of some science fiction, we are certain it will have fundamental impacts on the nature of work, worldwide. And the world needs to think seriously about this now, because it may take a generation or more to make serious changes necessary to improve our work-technology future prospects,” says Jerome Glenn, CEO of The Millennium Project. “A growing body of AI experts believes that if socio-political-economic systems stay the same, and technological acceleration, integration, and globalization continue, then half the world could be unemployed by 2050.”"  ....."

(Discussion and link to report at link above)

Introduction to Bayesian Inference

Good technical introduction to Bayesian modeling.   Integrated with three generations of AI ...

 2 lectures from a summer school


Used with applications like XBox Trueskill ranking from scores of games and picking correct 'ads' for search engines uses

Christopher Bishop, Microsoft Research
published: Nov. 2, 2009,   recorded: August 2009,   views: 45824

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Analytics Tools in Bluemix

IBM adds analytics (Watson Analytics,etc), data warehousing tools to Bluemix
"With built-in Netezza analytics libraries, and integration with Watson Analytics, R, Cognos and third party BI toolsets including Looker, Aginity Workbench and Tableau, dashDB can integrate with Twitter data and Open Data..."         ...  Crystal North.

About time.  Pondering the value and implications of this.

Things we Document in Process: Pictures of Food

A very odd thing at first, when I saw it happening on FourSquare,   Invention of the phone camera,   and it quickly became common.  Now Google wants to make it easier. To connect to their maps. Their logic driven by the process of the restaurant review.   I like the idea of examining data gathering process more carefully.  We can support better data gathering and analytics thinking this way.

Governance, Risk and Compliance

Gartner discusses,  especially about the key foundations.  (Details require Gartner Sign in). This is a very big topic,  clearly related but also thought of separately.  Especially risk, which I have always thought of as a portfolio of possibilities, from day to day pings to debilitating black swans.   All should be attentive interactions, based  on internal data, external conditions, and predictive trends.   Architecture should support both discovery and remedy.

Reinventing the Mouse Cursor for the VR Age

In FastCodesign: 
" .. The mouse cursor—that oft-pixelated, 2-D arrow that's constantly hovering over your computer screen—hasn't really changed much since it emerged from the labs of Xerox Parc. But the mouse cursor is getting long in the tooth. On mobile touch screens, it's already obsolete. And as for the virtual interfaces of tomorrow, well, how can a 2-D pointer control virtual 3-D worlds?  ... "

" ... But Tomás Dorta, an associate professor of the University of Montreal, doesn't think the days of the mouse cursor are over quite yet. The man responsible for collaborative VR design tools such as Hyve3D, Dorta thinks that the mouse cursor of the future will be an avatar for the smartphone we hold in our hands. ...  

Managing Freelance

Collaborator Steve King, of Small Business Labs,  pulls together some excellent material on managing freelancers.  Referring to research work that his group has done and is about to publish.

(Update) Cognitive Systems Institute: Request for Engagement

Been writing at the Cognitive Systems Institute Linkedin site for more than a year.  Based on my experiences with Enterprise AI.   The site is a good place to see how researchers and enterprises are looking at implementing practical Cognitive/AI systems.   With emphasis on how jobs will be augmented and scaled with these new methods.  Or  " ... scaling expertise to boost the creativity and productivity of people ... "

Topics include advisory systems, how jobs are composed of real job tasks, integration of analytics and the use of cloud based services to implement components of expertise.

The CSIG Institute was set up by IBM as a means to engage world wide academics and practitioners with advances in cognitive systems that resulted from the Watson effort.  Directed by Jim Spohrer. Talks on these topics are sponsored weekly.   Also at #CSIGNews

Lately I and other contributors have been asking for input on a number of questions.    To understand what is being done, what areas of expertise are key for delivery and how the academic community could contribute with research and solutions.

Join us at the group site, tell us your interests and practical needs,  engage the process  and contribute to the future of practical AI.

(Update) For an official,  more detailed view of CSI goals, with many useful links, see The CSIG Algorithm and Tracking Cognitive System performance levels.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Watson Analytics Linkedin Group

Newly established and joined:

The Official IBM Watson Analytics group is for individuals who want to learn more about using Watson Analytics to get answers and insights from their data. Have open conversations, share experiences and ask questions about how Watson Analytics can help you make more confident decisions.   ... This group is managed by Holly Nielsen and Forsyth Alexander....

(Update) See also, the Watson Analytics Beta Discussions site.

Psych of Human Robotic and AI Interactions

AI and expanding robotics will require us to better understand these interactions.

RoboPsych: Exploring the Psychology of Human-Robot Interaction
Steve Omohundro RoboPsych Podcast Show Notes ... 

Samsung Smart Hub and Echo

Samsung's new SmartThings home automation Hub ships next month.    Word is out that this will also work via the Amazon Echo.

" ... Samsung quickly announced a second generation of SmartThings home automation hardware after acquiring the tech for $200 million last year... and then just as quickly delayed their release in March. Fortunately, there's good news: the new Hub and sensors are just about ready to go and the company says they will go on sale in September. While older hardware will still work, the new generation is supposed to be powerful enough to handle processing locally, instead of in the cloud, improving reliability even when your internet connection is out. More info is promised in the coming weeks, but interested customers can preorder the $99 Hub from SmartThings or on Amazon to be first in line. ... " 

Real Time Data and in Store Experience

by Ritika Puri in Big Data Hub:

" ... Today's shoppers are more connected than ever. Mobile technology blurred the lines between digital and offline experiences, with 86 percent of consumers using multiple channels to shop and 40 percent of smartphone users using their devices to search for items in stores. This ecosystem has created new opportunities for CPG leaders to build direct relationships with their consumers through real-time data.   ... " 

D-Wave Quantum Computing Claims Leap

In CACM:   " ... D-Wave Systems, which makes computers with some quantum properties, announced its latest device, the D-Wave 2X, which the company claims is up to 15 times faster than regular PCs. However, as with many of D-Wave's claims about its computers, many experts are skeptical. ... " . 

An early connection with quantum computing has led to coverage of this topic, see the tag below.

Illustrated Science

In the Verge:   I honestly like illustration that is more to the point and less artistic.

" ... Learning about science can be tedious at times. Scientists aren't always the best communicators, and they can struggle to present their research in ways we laypeople understand. Sometimes you just need someone to break down all the complicated jargon for you — maybe with an added visual element to get the point across.

James Olstein, an illustrator in Philadelphia, is here to help with a fun Tumblr called Illustrated Science. Every day, Olstein lists a simple, yet kooky science fact he's researched, paired with one of his own retro-inspired vector designs. The pictures provide an aesthetic twist to the science trivia and aren't meant to be taken literally. So don't go thinking you can survive in space with just your swim trunks on. ... " 

Enterra Solutions

Enterra: Brought to my attention, a company offering cognitive solutions:
" ... Enterra is bringing the promise and power of Big Data Analytics and Insights to industry, organizations, and governments. Through the Enterra Cognitive Reasoning Platform™, Enterra enables organizations to capture, curate and analyze vast amounts of complex and disparate data. This capability allows our clients to uncover and understand non-obvious relationships that lead to innovative new product development and innovation, heightened consumer understanding, enhanced supply chain execution, and more efficient and targeted consumer marketing. Enterra’s analytics and insights help the world’s leading brands and organizations operate smarter by finding higher meaning in data. ... "

Jaunt VR Camera Rig

In Wired: Fully immersive 3D filmmaking for virtual reality.

" ... Jaunt VR officially announced Neo, which it’s calling “a series of professional-grade camera systems specifically designed for capturing fully-immersive, 360-degree cinematic VR experiences.” Similar to other announced systems like Samsung’s Project Beyond , the Neo is a rig of multiple high-resolution cameras inside a unified housing. ... " 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Machine Learning for Programmers

May have mentioned this before, but here is a good post by Jason Brownlee.  Somewhat pictorial.   This takes it to a process 'how' level, but not all the way to coding itself.  The assumption is that you are a skilled developer/coder already and can adapt to the low level 'how' that is needed.

Note that being a developer is different from just knowing how to write code.  Its also integrating systems and data and understanding the process of design and delivery.   Especially of you plan to make this in any way an ongoing effort.   Worth scanning by managers too to understand what is involved, and what they need to hire.   But Jason makes a good point that this is very learn able, not math or stats magic.

IRI on Private Label and National Brands

In Retailwire:  And discussion.

" .... IRI in their latest Times & Trends report offers this advice: "Ensure that price is a lever that creates demand without diminishing margin." In the previous Business Tip, we discussed factors other than price that make up consumers' definition of "affordability" including preferences for flavors, favorite brands and household appeal. But in IRI's research, "good value for the money" still weighs heaviest as an "affordability" factor.

In that regard, private label products still generally offer meaningful savings versus their national brand counterparts — about 28 percent, on average. That gap broadens to 50 percent in 19 percent of categories studied by IRI. And yet in 25 percent of categories, there is less than a 10 percent differential. ... " 

Lessons from Google's Anouncement

In Bob Herbold's Blog.  Quite a considerable interest in this lately.  Here from a former Microsoft and Procter&Gamble executive.  Insiders perspective.

Significance and Uncertainty

In Flowingdata: Short lesson in significance.   Is the p value being misused to determine publishable significance for correlation?  ( I don't know the truth of that statement, but will follow up )  Is this like grade inflation?   We want more people to graduate/publish?   Become satisfied consumers of our product.