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Monday, May 30, 2016

On Monetizing Data

Some useful but very general thoughts.  Some sort of direct monetary value and risk attribution under a given context would be most useful.  We already have some idea of the value of particular cases of cleansed data, can that be leveraged more broadly?

Creative Titles Energizing Workers

I recall a few cases where people have revealed their non traditional and  unusual business title, and I am more likely to remember them.    In the HBR. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Mapping Entrepreneurs

Lone entrpreneurs?  Bain maps them.  Surprising truths.  From the WSJ.  

" ... Far from being disconnected outliers, entrepreneurs thrive best when they operate in tight-knit networks, nurture fellow risk takers, and trade know-how and capital.

The Endeavor organization together with my colleagues at Bain & Co. mapped this social network of entrepreneurs across multiple generations and multiple continents—even in some of the harshest terrain for innovation, such as Buenos Aires, Istanbul and Mexico City. For example, they surveyed more than 200 Argentine entrepreneurs, asking such questions as:

Who inspired you?
Who invested in your company?
Who mentored you?   .. " 

Summary of Google AI Plans

In O'Reilly: Good summary of recent Google AI announcements and predictions, positive and negative..    With links to specifics.   " ... Parsey McParseface + Google's AI plans ... Google's AI plans have made the news recently with a series of AI-related announcements, summarized by Google CEO Sundar Pichai's comment at Google I/O: "Things previously thought to be impossible may, in fact, be possible."      ... " 

(Simple) Data Science in the Press

My colleague Kaiser Fung, in his Junkcharts Blog,  on the use of dubious fractured statistics in the press.  The NYT notably has created a 'data science' team.  Considering the notion of the median vs the average in effectively describing data in the press.   As always, instructive.

Considering Data Science Workflow

Is not the same thing as workflow which is being targeted by data science to improve.   This seems to be obvious, but forgotten.  Data science is a set of experiments to determine if technology, existing or proposed, can be used to 'solve' elements of improvement.

You always have to have an eye also on the business process this solution will be installed in.  That process will likely include, people, changing contexts,  competitors .... the weather ... suppliers and other un or semi controllable influences.   I had mentioned an interesting CACM paper on data science workflow.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Testing Amazon Echo from a Browser

Amazon has provided a way to directly test Echo skills and other capabilities from a browser with voice input.  Useful for testing capabilities directly without the device.  Makes the browser operate like a Dot device. From the Developer community.    Echosim.io

Retailer to Use Tango for Augmented Reality

I recall a number of related applications for inserting architecture elements into a space.   Augmenting reality by manipulating chosen insertions.    How can this be made as easy as possible?  Tango would provide space sensing and area-learning capability.    Does it also imply the need for handsfree manipulation?     In CWorld:

" ... Wayfair Inc. , a Boston-based, 14-year-old e-commerce company that sells home furnishings, is working on an app based on Google's Project Tango technology that would put augmented reality, and  
If all goes as planned, customers using Wayfair's app would go beyond looking at a photo of a love seat or table, reading the measurements and wondering how the piece would look in their living room.

The app would use Project Tango's mapping, computer vision, depth-sensing, 3D-motion tracking and machine-learning technology to allow customers to see – on their Android smartphone or tablet – how a piece of furniture would look in their home. ... "  

Making Chatbots at Google

Kurzweil writing chatbots for Google.  This can mean many things.  But mimicking the conversation and leveraging of expertise like we do with humans, with contextual focusing and modeling, adapting and learning is a powerful thing.   Expect to see something interesting to come out of this.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Amazon Fresh Moves Forward

It was thought that Amazon could not provide fresh delivery and experience at scale.

SpartanNash looks toward growth with Amazon partnership
SpartanNash has teamed with Amazon to distribute dry and chilled groceries for the online retail giant's Amazon Prime Now service and has recently added distribution for the Amazon Fresh program  ... "   

More Virtual Reality Consumer Engagement

Kellogg sponsors Captain America VR game
Kellogg is capitalizing on the box office success of "Captain America: Civil War" by sponsoring a mobile virtual reality game. Loyalty program members who make purchases from partner outlets can receive a Marvel-branded cardboard VR headset. .... " 

Still find the use of VR viewers uncommon among consumers.

Blockchain Disruption of Financial Services

How Blockchain Technology Will Disrupt Financial Services Firms
In the second article of the series, “The Network Revolution: Creating Value through Platforms, People and Technology,” authors Barry Libert, Megan Beck and Jerry (Yoram) Wind look at how blockchain technology will prove to be a major disruptor to the public and private sectors, starting with the financial services industry. Libert is CEO of OpenMatters and Beck is the chief insights officer. Wind is a Wharton marketing professor and director of Wharton’s SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management. The authors would like to thank LiquidHub for sponsoring the research for this series.  .... "


Brought to my attention.   Consulting for innovation, valued change.   Adjacency.

Who We Are
The premise for Elemence is that innovation is able to thrive when ideas are allowed to connect and recombine across traditional boundaries. We are a multidiciplinary team for uncovering practical adjacencies across a vast array of intellectual property, invention, operations and business models. Our methods present a lower risk, high impact, adaptive approach to creating opportunities and solutions for new services, products and their manufacture.

Elemence is able to provide these services through unparalleled advisory, consulting, and outlook services tailored to meet the innovation needs of diverse businesses and decision makers within those organizations. The end result is an outcome-oriented approach where our collective success is measured by business impact.   ... " 

Critical Importance of Subject Matter Experts

Absolutely.  I usually call it context understanding.  And that  understanding comes from having subject matter expertise close at hand.   In Information Management.  " .... "Know thy self, know thy enemy" says Sun Tzu in 'The Art of War'. Creating a domain/data model and relying on subject matter experts throughout the development of the ML system will certainly guarantee you a success. And finally, your product, albeit highly specialized, will not be a threat to the domain experts, but rather a natural extension of their abilities. True experts cannot be substituted. ... " 

When Wifi Finds You

In Sloan Review:

" ... If WiFi can find you — instead of you trying to locate a signal for it — the result could be smarter homes, more efficient businesses, and password-free WiFi. According to researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), it could also make drones safer by helping them avoid specific locations (including their operators) accurately, or help find lost devices with uber-accurate tracking. It could even enable you to find friends and family members in, for example, a train station or museum in countries where WiFi is not as prevalent as in the U.S., without the need to connect to a WiFi infrastructure.

Developed by a team led by Professor Dina Katabi, the new “wireless localization” technology, called Chronos, operates somewhat like sonar and radar, but with far greater precision. It locates users by calculating the time that it takes for data to travel from one device to another (for example, a cell phone and a wireless router).  ... " 

Google Launches Free Data Viz Tool

In CWorld:
" ... Google is doubling down on its commitment to the business analytics market with the launch of a new free data visualization tool. 

The company has launched Data Studio, a free version of the data visualization tool it introduced as part of an analytics suite it unveiled earlier this year. It includes a wide variety of data connectors to let customers visualize data from Google AdWords, Google Sheets and other Google products. ... " 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Misunderstanding Positive Emotions

Misunderstanding Positive Emotion A Conversation With June Gruber

" ... This work we've been doing in positive emotion and psychopathology has the potential to change the way we think about all kinds of emotions. I'm focusing on positive emotions here, but you could bring in negative emotions to broaden our scope of what emotions are; they're not inherently good or bad. There's this idea we call emotional valence. That's why we call certain things positive emotions and certain things negative. That valence label is not its inherent value. What it has the possibility to do is suggest that whether or not an emotion is adaptive for you is all dependent—what we call context-sensitive. Emotions are fine-tuned to help us navigate particular situations, particular encounters, and no one emotion is necessarily always good or always bad for a situation.  ...                                
That's what this has the possibility to say, that we should throw out and abandon simplistic notions of valence is value: Negative emotions are bad, we should avoid those; positive emotions are good, we should embrace them. We should think more carefully about when, where, and how a given emotion will help us or hinder us. ..... " 

Flu Prediction Cognitive System

Using Watson, Twitter and CDC Data for predicting flu epidemics. Modeling under specific contexts. By Prof. Dr. Gordon Pipa, University of Osnabrueck  Embedded in the slide presentation.....    Audio recording.   Reminiscent of some of our own work in bioterror modeling , previously mentioned here.

Future of Food Supply in the Hands of AI

Any complex system that requires the direction and interaction of many people and machines. And whose output also depends on many uncontrollable external variables and influences, continuous changes in context, market dependencies,  can be strongly benefited by cognitive AI.   Also requires a complex supply chain. Thus Wired and the food supply and AI.

Detecting Bias in Algorithms

In Engadget:   Pointers to a paper from Carnegie.  Though a quick read would say that this would address only certain kinds of algorithmic bias.  Technical.  Worth a read.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Talk On Cognitive Computing

" ... Cognitive Systems Institute Group Speaker Series on Thursday May 26, 2016 at 10:30 am ET US (7:30 am PT US and 4:30 pm in Germany).  Our presenter this week is Prof. Dr. Gordon Pipa, University of Osnabrueck, who will present  “Cognitive Computing." 

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

  ... 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. ... " 

Games that Teach Coding

In the CACM:   Games that teach coding.

' ... "Research with computer programming interventions in early childhood settings has shown that children as young as five years old can master fundamental programming concepts of sequencing, logical ordering, and cause-and-effect relationships,’’ according to a report by Tufts University educators that looked specifically at the game ScratchJr.

Games that teach coding have been used successfully both in the classroom and independently, says Alice Steinglass, vice president of Product & Marketing at Code.org. Games like those found at https://code.org/learn "teach the foundational concepts of computer science and are great ways to get students to learn concepts in a way that’s friendly and motivating,’’ she says. ... " 

Getting from Labs to Reality in Innovation

Was part of a retail innovation lab for years. So this is very interesting.  We tried, but did not make the transition from lab to reality very well.  Were more interested in having fully formed ideas to arrive, whether in startup or big company proposals. In Innovation Excellence. ... '

Sales and High Growth Companies

From McKinsey: The Sales Secrets of High-Growth Companies ... The authors of Sales Growth reveal five actions that distinguish sales organizations at fast-growing companies. .... " 

European Commision on Digital Platforms

In the Economist (registration required) on pricing and Google in the online world.   Are Google (and other large digital platform holders) preventing competition by buying up potential competitors early with their cash?  Also the data resources needed?   In particular with regard to online platforms. Very difficult to forecast the future of small startups.  (Been asked to look at the forecasting aspect of this, so some of the tabs will be filled out later) 

Reshaping Open Science

Opening science and the data always involved.

A Reboot of the Legendary Physics Site ArXiv Could Shape Open Science
To get a sense of just how important arXiv is, consider these stats. In 2014, the site passed its million-paper mark. It received 105,000 submissions in 2015 alone, and last year boasted over 139 million downloads. It has become the go-to place to find out what’s going on right now—in the fields it covers, and in the workscapes of individual scientists. “When I give seminars, I give the arXiv numbers for my papers,” says David Hogg, an astronomer at New York University. “Why? Because I know that my arXiv papers are available to any audience member, no matter what their institutional affiliation or library support.”  ... " 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ahold Optimizes Customer Data

How Ahold USA Optimizes Customer data

Collecting customer data and figuring out how to use it is a challenge for all retailers, one that Ahold USA has met by managing its data to help the company make decisions about different shopper segments and target the selection and prices of its merchandise, according to Nick Bertram, the retailer's senior vice president of merchandising strategy and support. "Customers aren't in one spot. They are omnichannel, and they need to see us in print, online, in their phones and everywhere they go. We're not limiting ourselves. We're just trying to be smarter in every place we play in," Bertram said. ... " 

National Retail Federation (5/23) 

Learning with Less Data

In Technology Review: Learning things with far fewer examples.    Pushes at the edges of what is meant by learning,  and varying kinds of errors that define success in varying contexts.    Also, at the edge of innovative creativity and analogy.

Augmenting Work with VR

Related to recent thoughts.  MIT Sloan on the relevance of reinventing work with Virtual Reality, Need some more good examples.   If anyone has some, especially ones beyond the usual, will post them for discussion here.

Head Mounted Displays and Knowing Your Space

In VR Focus, an overview of current announcements in head mounted displays and also notably Project Tango.  Advertisers and marketers have taken notice, but I have yet to see an example of the use of a  head mounted display 'in the wild'.  Though we created one ourselves when testing Google Glass in a local Panera.   Still most interested in enterprise applications.

As I have mentioned a number of times, we tested several augmented reality systems years ago.   Still as I see it, has the firm requirement of hands free applications in the enterprise.  Different from voice driven Apps.  Impressed with movement forward with Tango, which builds models of space. Ultimately you will need to know the space you are operating in.

And more on Project Tango.

Balancing Automation and People

Finding the right balance between automation and people
This talks about fast food, primarily McDonald's, but the breadth of the problem in retail is considerable.  As robots and smarter in store devices evolve, this will change the way jobs are seen. How are they more than just labor cost? ... "