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Friday, December 04, 2020

The Risk and Uncertainty of it All

A space we played in early on, determining measures of uncertainty as we built AI and expert system based models.   Its part of any decision driving system,  That includes measures of uncertainty and risk.  Glad to see efforts to include it in machine learning systems today.  Such measures should lead to model improvements.  Now can these models also learn what aspects of the model design and data directly create problems of certainty?   

The advance could enhance safety and efficiency in artificial intelligence-assisted decision-making. 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a way for deep learning neural networks to rapidly estimate confidence levels in their output.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University have enabled a neural network to rapidly process data, yielding both predictions and confidence levels based on the quality of the available data.

This deep evidential regression technique, which estimates uncertainty from a single run of the neural network, could lead to safer results.

The team designed the network with bulked-up output, generating not only a decision but also a new probabilistic distribution capturing the evidence supporting that decision; these evidential distributions directly capture the model's confidence in its forecast.

Included is any uncertainty within the underlying input data and the model's final decision, which indicates whether uncertainty can be reduced by modifying the network itself, or whether the input data is merely noisy.

MIT's Daniela Rus said, "By estimating the uncertainty of a learned model, we also learn how much error to expect from the model, and what missing data could improve the model."

From MIT News

Small Sat Launching by Drone

 Been watching the numerous satellite launches going on, like primarily to improve communications to remote areas. Agree with some of the worries for the future,  will we be able to see the stars in future years?   Will kids of the future see the sky?     Here is another that is now happening, drone plane launching.

Huge drone set to launch satellites in mid-air  by Peter Grad , Tech Xplore

We all have images in our mind of rocket launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station hurtling astronauts into space and satellites into orbit.

But those launches may be a thing of the past as a new generation of drones that can do the same job cheaper, safer and better steps into play.

Alabama-Based Aevum unveiled its Ravn X Autonomous Launch Vehicle Wednesday that it says is the world's largest unmanned aircraft system.

The Ravn X fleet, with aircraft at 80 feet long and 60 feet wide, can deliver satellite payloads with precision accuracy every 180 minutes around the clock. Best of all, company officials say, it can be done safer than current space delivery systems because the crafts are unmanned.  ... "

Shrinking BERT Networks to Model Language

Considerable shrinking of neural networks, more likely for applications at the Edge.

A new approach could lower computing costs and increase accessibility to state-of-the-art natural language processing.

Daniel Ackerman | MIT News Office

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the University of Texas at Austin, and the MIT-IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence Laboratory identified lean subnetworks within a state-of-the-art neural network approach to natural language processing (NLP). These subnetworks, found in the Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) network, could potentially enable more users to develop NLP tools using less bulky and more efficient systems, like smartphones. BERT is trained by repeatedly attempting to fill in words omitted from a passage of writing, using a massive dataset; users can then refine its neural network to a specific task. By iteratively trimming parameters from the BERT model, then comparing the new subnetwork's performance to that of the original model, the team found effective subnetworks that were 40% to 90% leaner, and required no task-specific fine-tuning to identify "winning ticket" subnetworks that executed tasks successfully.  .... 

Robotic Hands Closer to Human

New robotic hands with lots of possibilities for more dexterous manipulation 

Robot Hands One Step Closer to Human, Thanks to WMG AI Algorithms  By University of Warwick (U.K.)

Artificial intelligence algorithms enable the Shadow Robot Dexterous Hand to manipulate objects the same ways humans do.

Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms developed by researchers at the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) academic department of the U.K.'s University of Warwick enable the Shadow Robot Dexterous Hand to manipulate objects like humans do.

The Hand reproduces all of the degrees of freedom of a human hand.

The algorithms permit the Hand to learn how to coordinate movements and execute tasks such as throwing a ball and spinning a pen; the researchers said the algorithms can learn any task, as long as it can be simulated.

Said Warwick's Giovanni Montana, "The future of digitalization relies on AI algorithms that can learn autonomously, and to be able to develop algorithms that give Shadow Robot’s hand the ability to operate like a real one is without any human input is an exciting step forward.   ... " 

IRS to Make ID Protection PIN Open to All

Good direction.   Now how will it be effectively used?    See more detail at the link.

IRS to Make ID Protection PIN Open to All in Krebs On Security

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said this week that beginning in 2021 it will allow all taxpayers to apply for an identity protection personal identification number (IP PIN), a single-use code designed to block identity thieves from falsely claiming a tax refund in your name. Currently, IP PINs are issued only to those who fill out an ID theft affidavit, or to taxpayers who’ve experienced tax refund fraud in previous years. .... " 

Considering Orbit in Developer Relations

Read about this in Andreessen Horowitz.  About better online communities.  Involved in an effort that will need some of this. 

Investing in Orbit by Martin Casado

Great communities make great companies, and community-building is now part of a broader shift in B2B businesses towards bottom-up growth. As part of that shift, companies are relying on communities as a key method for growing and engaging their user base, and moving from focusing on traditional marketing and direct sales to community growth and post-sales. Post-sale because a community member often already uses the product, so maturing them with the business is more about cultivating the user experience and turning them into community advocates than trying to convert them from a lead to a paying customer.    .... 

Why Orbit is Better Than Funnel for Developer Relations

DevRel teams need tools and models created specifically for our discipline, and not just those adopted from other fields.

Josh Dzielak and Patrick Woods.   .... 

Google Discusses How it Organizes Information

Below the introduction.   Informative.

How Google organizes information to find what you’re looking for

By Nick Fox in the Google Blog

Vice President of Product & Design, Search and Assistant

When you come to Google and do a search, there might be billions of pages that are potential matches for your query, and millions of new pages being produced every minute. In the early days, we updated our search index once per month. Now, like other search engines, Google is constantly indexing new info to make accessible through Search.

But to make all of this information useful, it’s critical that we organize it in a way that helps people quickly find what they’re looking for. With this in mind, here’s a closer look at how we approach organizing information on Google Search.

Organizing information in rich and helpful features

Google indexes all types of information--from text and images in web pages, to real-world information, like whether a local store has a sweater you’re looking for in stock. To make this information useful to you, we organize it on the search results page in a way that makes it easy to scan and digest. When looking for jobs, you often want to see a list of specific roles. Whereas if you’re looking for a restaurant, seeing a map can help you easily find a spot nearby. 

We offer a wide range of features--from video and news carousels, to results with rich imagery, to helpful labels like star reviews--to help you navigate the available information more seamlessly. These features include links to web pages, so you can easily click to a website to find more information. In fact, we’ve grown the average number of outbound links to websites on a search results page from only 10 (“10 blue links”) to now an average of 26 links on a mobile results page. As we’ve added more rich features to Google Search, people are more likely to find what they’re looking for, and websites have more opportunity to appear on the first page of search results.   ..." 

Texting to Alexa

 Noted for using voice in specific context.   Say for the need of privacy in conversation. 

Amazon now lets you text Alexa on iOS to ask for things instead of only using your voice  By Chaim Gartenberg    in MSN.com  via Walter Riker

Amazon is testing a new feature for its iOS Alexa app: the ability to type out Alexa commands, instead of having to ask questions or requests by speaking out loud.

“Type with Alexa is a Public Preview feature available to iOS Alexa app customers allowing you to interact with Alexa without using voice, meaning everything you can currently say to Alexa can now also be typed using your Alexa mobile app. Type with Alexa is available to iOS customers in the U.S.,” said an Amazon spokesperson. ... " 

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Are Smart Things Really Smart?

Interesting challenge.  Depends on what 'smart' means.  Like what I have often said, its in a  'context'.   Smart can be exactly what it needs to be to provide value ... or not. Marketing tries to enhance the link.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.  Thought  provoking piece. 
Denyse Drummond-Dunn  in CustomerThink

Earlier this year I wrote about the impact of AI and ML on digital marketing. The article is called AI and ML are Taking Digital Marketing to the Next Level.” In it, I compared the positive and negative implications of technology for customers and companies alike.  So this week I wanted to write about the impact of smart choices for business in general.

We seem to be surrounded by smart things: smartwatches, smart clothing, smart cars, smart houses and smart appliances. But are they really that smart? 

The reason for my question is that an article entitled “Taking ‘Smart’ Out Of Smart Things” by Chuck Martin made me think about whether “smart things” really are that smart, or whether it’s something else that’s making them appear smart?

So here are my views on it. Feel free to add your own opinions in the comments below, I would love to start a discussion on “smartness”.

The Age of the Customer and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
In one of their older Customer Experience reports Forrester claimed that we are now in the “Age of the Customer“. This was music to my ears when I first read it, because as you know I’m a customer champion. However, The World Economic Forum reported a few years ago that we are now on the brink of the “ Fourth Industrial Revolution” which is blurring the lines between physical, digital and biological spheres.

In their article, they explain that

“The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”   ... " 

Google General Voice Accessibility

In  the Google Blog, a means of more general voice accessibility via voice on the android phone.  Now updated. 


Use Voice Access to control your Android device with your voice

Easily use and navigate your phone by speaking out loud with Voice Access. Image shows two cartoon figures, one who uses a wheelchair and has their phone mounted in front of them, and another standing behind the wheelchair as they take a selfie.

Tom Hume, Senior Product Manager, Google Research

In 2018, we launched Voice Access, an Android app that lets you control your phone using your voice. The ability to use your phone hands-free has been helpful to people with disabilities, and also those without.

Today, on International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we’re rolling out an updated version of Voice Access, available in Beta, that is easier to use and available to more people. This version of Voice Access, which was previously available on Android 11, is now available globally to devices running Android 6.0 and above.   ... " 

Using VisiRule to Create Chatbots

Had been looking for an easy way to create chatbots that include FAQ's. Recalled a company called  VisiRule that supported rule-based expert systems.  Decision tree style chatbots.    We looked at them some time ago.    Below are some examples of their work, with a number of chatbot examples.  VisiRule has been mentioned many times in this blog, see their tag below.

ChatBot Demos

This page contains various ChatBot demos which have been automatically generated from a VisiRule chart. This allows authors to quickly draw the intended conversation structure visually and easily. In addition, common questions can be answered by attaching a FAQ KB in the form of question/response. VisiRule contains a NLU component to help match user input text to these known questions. The combination of a structured decision tree flowchart conversation with general purpose information retrieval makes for a more rounded and holistic user experience.  ... "

Alphabet's Loon Balloons for Internet Connectivity

Application of the general idea is expanding.  Here with autonomous navigation. 

Alphabet's Loon Balloons in Internet Connectivity

Alphabet’s Loon hands the reins of its internet air balloons to self-learning AI.  The company’s new AI flight control system outperforms its human-made one

By Nick Statt@nickstatt

Alphabet’s Loon, the team responsible for beaming internet down to Earth from stratospheric helium balloons, has achieved a new milestone: its navigation system is no longer run by human-designed software. ... " 

Detecting Scientific Conflicts of Interest

 With other kinds of application in compliance.   But see the note about subjective aspects. 

Do You Have a Conflict of Interest? This Robotic Assistant May Find It First

The New York Times, Dalmeet Singh Chawla

Frontiers, a Swiss publisher of open-access journals, has rolled out the Artificial Intelligence Review Assistant (AIRA) to check for potential conflicts of interest. The software flags whether the authors of a manuscript, as well as the editors and peer reviewers handling it, have been co-authors on previous papers. Said Frontiers' Kamila Markram, "AIRA is designed to direct the attention of human experts to potential issues in manuscripts." Other publications are using similar artificial intelligence (AI) tools, but some researchers note that conflicts of interest can be subjective and difficult to unravel. Canada's McGill University computer scientist Kaleem Siddiqi noted, "There's no real solution."  .... 

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Detecting Likelihood of Suicide

Have consulted and spoke at the Veterans Administration.  Here is another pattern recognition type problem of interest.  

Can an Algorithm Prevent Suicide?

The New York Times, Benedict Carey

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is using machine learning algorithms to help identify veterans at risk of suicide. The VA's Reach Vet algorithm is the first such program used in daily clinical practice, and is designed to generate a new list of high-risk veterans every month. When someone is flagged at risk, their name appears on the computer dashboard of the local clinic's Reach Vet coordinator, who contacts them to set up a meeting. The algorithm is based on analysis of thousands of veteran suicides; it considers numerous factors in veteran medical records to focus on those with the strongest cumulative association with suicide risk. Initial results indicate that over six months, high-risk veterans more than doubled their use of VA services—and had a lower mortality rate—with Reach Net installed, compared to a control group. ... 

SAS: Four Principles of Analytics

As usual, SAS does a good job of precisely outlining analytics. Here including AI and Big Data with statistics. 

It's no secret that technology's changing. A change accelerating so fast, it's hard to keep up.

Big data and AI are exploding. Industries are reinventing themselves. And breakthroughs seem to redefine our world every day. Yet thankfully, some things do stay the same.

The four principles of analytics are steadfast truths that inform your approach to data and analytics. They're truths because, well, they work – helping you make the best decisions no matter what else changes. Read this blog to learn why:

Analytics follows the data.

Analytics is more than algorithms.

Data and analytics should be available to everyone.

Analytics is a differentiator.

 .... After all, change isn't the only thing that's constant. So are good ideas.

Read the Blog

AI Battling AI

 Had always thought it would come to this.  Mentioned it in a talk I gave in the 90s.   But how well and how soon?  As long as there are malicious developers out there, sooner than we thought.

This Company Uses AI to Outwit Malicious AI  in Wired

Robust Intelligence is among a crop of companies that offer to protect clients from efforts at deception.

IN SEPTEMBER 2019, the National Institute of Standards and Technology issued its first-ever warning for an attack on a commercial artificial intelligence algorithm.

Security researchers had devised a way to attack a Proofpoint product that uses machine learning to identify spam emails. The system produced email headers that included a “score” of how likely a message was to be spam. But analyzing these scores, along with the contents of messages, made it possible to build a clone of the machine-learning model and craft spam messages that evaded detection. ... " 

Germany's Energiewende

 As a native, a keen watcher of German energy efforts.   I remember all the windmills sprouting in the 90s.   Here a good overview in IEEE Spectrum. 

Germany's Energiewende, 20 Years Later

Germany's far-reaching program to reduce the share of fossil fuels in energy has achieved almost exactly what the United States achieved, but at greater expense

By Vaclav Smil

In 2000, Germany launched a deliberately targeted program to decarbonize its primary energy supply, a plan more ambitious than anything seen anywhere else. The policy, called the Energiewende, is rooted in Germany’s naturalistic and romantic tradition, reflected in the rise of the Green Party and, more recently, in public opposition to nuclear electricity generation. These attitudes are not shared by the country’s two large neighbors: France built the world’s leading nuclear industrial complex with hardly any opposition, and Poland is content burning its coal.

The policy worked through the government subsidization of renewable electricity generated with photovoltaic cells and wind turbines and by burning fuels produced by the fermentation of crops and agricultural waste. It was accelerated in 2011 when Japan’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima led the German government to order that all its nuclear power plants be shut down by 2022.  .... " 

Blackberry and IVY

 A long time examiner of how automobiles, today or in a more autinomos future, will link to more sensors and the web.   Also an early user of Blackberry devices in the enterprise, before they were driven under by the iPhone.    Is Blackberry back?   What are the key apps to watch for? 

BlackBerry shares rocket upwards on AWS deal to integrate sensor data in vehicles

By Jonathan Shieber in TechCrunch

BlackBerry shares shot up in early trading on news that the company will partner with Amazon Web Services to jointly develop and market its vehicle data integration and monitoring platform, IVY.

BlackBerry stock was up 35%, or $2.11, at the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange. It’s a sign of both the potential market for smart vehicle services and the ability of Amazon businesses to boost the fortunes of businesses with its attention.

The former undisputed heavyweight of the smartphone market, BlackBerry has transformed itself into a provider of business security and information integration services, and it’s through this transformation that the company attracted the attention of Amazon’s web services business.  ... " 

IKEA Smart Home

 Have not seen too much of a move by IKEA as yet, especially in linking to other capabilities.  But here is one example.

IKEA's smart home system now supports scenes

Long-awaited shortcut buttons appear to be coming soon, too.

Jon Fingas in Engadget

IKEA is filling an important feature gap in its smart home system. The Verge reports that IKEA is adding scene support to Home Smart through a firmware update (1.12.31) for its Tradfri gateways, making it easy to control multiple devices at once without having to rely on other companies’ platforms. You can quickly dim the lights and silence your Symfonisk speakers when you’re getting ready for bed, for instance.... " 

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Microsoft Teams to be Enhanced for Business Plays

Been looking for ways that the now numerous collaborative systems will really improve task and goal oriented business process.   Its still mostly the basics.  Very useful but hardly 'intelligence' in any sense.  For example a system that could analyze the essence of a  meeting and extract decisions like who agreed to do what and what support they need.  Schedule follow ups.  The below is not that, but I get the sense they are considering new things of real value.   We brainstormed some things like that in the early 00s.  Lets see it now.

Microsoft Teams gets an overhauled calling interface, CarPlay support, and more

Microsoft Teams will soon let you transfer calls easily between desktop and mobile

By Tom Warren@tomwarren in TheVerge 

Microsoft is overhauling its calling features inside Microsoft Teams today. A new calling interface will now show contacts, voicemail, and calling history in a single location. It’s designed to allow Microsoft Teams to more easily replace your desk phone, with built-in spam call protection, reverse number lookup, and the ability to merge calls.

Microsoft Teams users will also be able to transfer calls between mobile and desktop soon, allowing people to quickly move locations in the middle of an audio or video call. The Teams app will let people join without audio on an additional device, or simply transfer the call and end it automatically on other devices. Microsoft says this particular feature will be available in early 2021.  ... '

Amazon Trainium Chip For Cloud ML

 Cute name, new to me.  Another example of the hardware linking with the software methods for driving AI.  What improvements can we expect, and where?

Amazon debuts Trainium, a custom chip for machine learning training in the cloud

By Kyle Wiggers  @Kyle_L_Wiggers n VentureBeat

Amazon today debuted AWS Trainium, a chip custom-designed to deliver what the company describes as cost-effective machine learning model training in the cloud. It comes ahead of the availability of new Habana Gaudi-based Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances built specifically for machine learning training, powered by Intel’s new Habana Gaudi processors.

“We know that we want to keep pushing the price performance on machine learning training, so we’re going to have to invest in our own chips,” AWS CEO Andy Jassy said during a keynote address at Amazon’s re:Invent conference this morning. “You have an unmatched array of instances in AWS, coupled with innovation in chips.”   .... " 

Holiday Shopping in 2020

Based on a number of studies.  Will be interesting to see how this plays out after some normalcy returns.

Holiday shopping in 2020

Consumers, longing for normalcy and eager for something to celebrate, plan to spend money while holiday shopping--but differently from the way they have in the past.   Sent from McKinsey Insights, available in the App Store and Play Store.  ...  " 

Monday, November 30, 2020

Templates for Computerized Robot Design

Seems a useful approach as we use robot solutions for more applications. Includes both physical designs and control programming.   And Optimization to tasks involved. 

Computer-Aided Creativity in Robot Design

MIT News,  By Daniel Ackerman

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed a system that simulates and optimizes robot design and control programs. RoboGrammar avoids jumbled structures yielded from arbitrary connections between parts by following rules on component arrangement, or graph grammar, inspired by arthropods. Based on inputs of available components and intended terrain, RoboGrammar defines the problem, drafts possible solutions, and chooses the optimal ones, using graph grammar to design all permutations. Each robot has a Model Predictive Control algorithm to model its movements and select the best design, while a graph heuristic search algorithm iteratively samples and assesses sets of robots, learning which designs execute a specific task better. Said Columbia University’s Hod Lipson, “This work is a crowning achievement in the 25-year quest to automatically design the morphology and control of robots.”

Four Stages of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

 A good intro look at RPA from DSC.  Below the intro, more at the link.   A good place to start with AI oriented automation.  Also not emphasized enough.  I would include the 'process' part, and ask: how does the process modeled integrate with key business process?     I would also include:  "What are the risks involved of the automation under current and future context"?

The Four Stages of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)   Posted by Amit Dua in DSC

“Robotic process automation is not a physical [or] mechanical robot,” says Chris Huff, chief strategy officer at Kofax. In fact, there is no presence or involvement of any robots in the automation software, as its name says.

RPA or Robotic Process Automation is an amalgamation of three factors:

Robotic – entities impersonating human activities and processes known as ‘Robots.’

Process – multiple small activities that lead to one outcome or result.

Automation – tasks done by machines and robots instead of humans.

Robotic Process Automation is a set of software robots that run on a virtual or physical machine. It automates most of the mundane and boring tasks of the business. RPA bots are capable of impersonating almost all human-computer interactions, which further tackles those business tasks, error-free. Besides, this technology works at a much faster pace and volume..... "

IBM Plans to Deliver Quantum Safe Crypto in Cloud

Much more at the link.  Available at all scales, speeds, needs?

IBM Cloud Delivers Quantum-Safe Cryptography and Hyper Protect Crypto Services to Help Protect Data in the Hybrid Era  in PRNews

IBM brings hybrid cloud leadership together with quantum and security research expertise to stay at the forefront of quantum cybersecurity


ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a series of cloud services and technologies designed to help clients maintain the highest available level of cryptographic key encryption protection to help protect existing data in the cloud1 and prepare for future threats that could evolve with advances in quantum computing. Pioneered by IBM Research scientists, the company is now offering quantum-safe cryptography support for key management and application transactions in IBM Cloud®, making it the industry's most holistic quantum-safe cryptography approach to securing data available today.

The new capabilities include:

Quantum Safe Cryptography Support: Through the use of open standards and open source technology, this service enhances the standards used to transmit data between enterprise and Cloud, helping to secure data by using a quantum-safe algorithm.

Extended IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Crypto Services: New capabilities are available to enhance privacy of data in cloud applications, where data sent over the network to cloud applications and sensitive data elements like credit card numbers, are stored in a database that can be encrypted at application-level – supported by the industry's highest level of cryptographic key encryption protection with 'Keep Your Own Key' (KYOK) capability.  .... '

Need the Right Data, Methods and the Willingness to use them

Challenges and Dilemmas in context

China's Surveillance State Sucks Up Data. U.S. Tech Is Key to Sorting It

The New York Times   By Paul Mozur; Don Clark

Chips from U.S. companies Intel and Nvidia power a Chinese supercomputing facility that monitors people in a region known for government suppression, raising issues about the technology sector's responsibility. The Urumqi Cloud Computing Center watches the population of Xinjiang using Intel and Nvidia chips sold to Sugon, the company backing the center, to sort the collected data. Local officials in 2017 said the center would support a Chinese police surveillance project capable of searching 100 million photos a second, and by 2018 its systems could link to 10,000 video feeds and analyze 1,000 simultaneously, via artificial intelligence. Intel and Nvidia claimed they were unaware of what they termed misuse of their technology.  ... 

Safer Navigation in Unknown Territory

Key aspect of safer navigation .... dealing with uncertainty in unknown territory.

ML Guarantees Robots' Performance in Unknown Territory

Princeton Engineering News   By Molly Sharlach

Princeton University researchers have developed a machine learning (ML) technique for ensuring robots' safety and success in unfamiliar environments. The researchers came up with the technique by adapting ML frameworks from other fields to robotic movement and grasping. The new technique was tested in various simulations, and also validated by evaluating its use for obstacle avoidance using a small combination quadcopter/fixed-wing airplane drone that flew down a 60-foot-long corridor dotted with cardboard cylinders; it avoided those obstacles 90% of the time. The Toyota Research Institute's Hongkai Dai said, " Over the last decade or so, there’s been a tremendous amount of excitement and progress ... " 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Future of the Kitchen

 Our own innovation centers had 'kitchens of the future' to demonstrate product use and appliance integration.    Consumer behavior in context.      We invited companies to provide future scenarios.   This was in the first flurry of smartphone usage.  Good piece here. 

The Future of Kitchen Design Is Hands-Free, Smartphone-Activated

The Wall Street Journal  J.S. Marcus

Kitchen appliance designers and manufacturers increasingly rely on technological advances, using cameras, sensors, artificial intelligence, and novel materials to modernize the kitchen. Appliance maker Miele's G7000 dishwashers are equipped with sensors that prompt owners' smartphones to reorder detergent when running low, while rival Bosch's dishwashers are made with a Zeolite mineral compound that helps plastic items dry more efficiently. Bosch also has integrated refrigerator cameras with its new cloud-accessing system, so they can suggest recipes based on ingredients currently stocked. The Covid-19 pandemic also is reshaping homeowners' kitchen expectations, with touchless features and sanitization increasingly desired.

Tesla Could Widen Release of Self Driving Software

 More data being gathered, and likely getting closer to sharing roads with many more fully self-driving vehicles.

Tesla could widen release of 'self-driving' software in two weeks   By Reuters Staff

 (Reuters) - Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Friday there will probably be a wider roll out of a new “Full Self Driving” software update in two weeks. In October, Tesla released a beta, or test version, of what it calls a “Full Self Driving” software upgrade to an undisclosed number of “expert, careful” drivers.

“Probably going to a wider beta in 2 weeks,” Musk said on Twitter, in a reply to a user asking if the software would be available in Minnesota. .... " 

More Learning from Patrolling Spot Robotics

This kind of patrolled security, here on an oil rig, has been mentioned here before. Could be a mix of telepresence, and specific patrol routing.   With camera recording of visual, auditory and contextual  information.  That is data that can be fed into pattern tracking machine learning.

Boston Dynamics Dog Robot Learns New Tricks on BP Oil Rig   By Catherine Koppel in Reuters

Boston Dynamics is programming its "Spot" dog robot to read gauges, look for corrosion, construct maps, and detect methane leaks, now that it is working on a British Petroleum (BP) oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. BP's Adam Ballard said Spot's observational functions will improve the safety of rig operations by reducing the need for personnel. He said, "We believe a lot of that up-front, remote work preparation can be done with a remotely controlled robot ... being able to pan, tilt, zoom, and really understand the entire area in real conditions, real time." BP hopes to expand Spot's data-gathering capability in the future to enhance areas where humans are limited. ... ' 

Don't Fear the Robots

 Robotics and Automation will also create many jobs, just be ready for those jobs.

Don't Fear the Robots, and Other Lessons From a Study of the Digital Economy

The New York Times  By Steve Lohr

A task force established by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has published its findings on technology's effect on the U.S. workforce, and policies to boost opportunities for American workers in the digital economy. The team determined that automation via robots and artificial intelligence will not lead to a jobless future, but will create new jobs because the technologies cannot match all human abilities. Moreover, the task force believes U.S. training programs must align with market demands via public-private partnerships. Ginni Rometty on the MIT advisory board said, "Technology companies have an obligation to help responsibly prepare society for these higher-skill jobs." ...

Future of Industry Ecosystems

Useful look outlining the need for and nature of modern ecosystems, which ultimately create context for work and linking to analytics and AI, and results.  Uncertainty also usefully considered. 

IDC Launches the Future of Industry Ecosystems: Built on the Platform and Sharing Economy

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The tactical and strategic priority list for leadership, built on the premise of a steady rate of change, has changed dramatically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic uncertainty. Organizations are embracing radical change in short periods of time to survive and thrive. Initiatives that deliver resiliency, agility, responsiveness, and trust must now be implemented to maintain business growth. As a result, companies across industries are building ecosystems of partners that can help expedite the flow of money, goods, and services and innovate rapidly. To guide organizations through these changes, International Data Corporation (IDC) has published the Future of Industry Ecosystems framework.

IDC recognizes that the movement toward industry-wide ecosystems is happening now and gathered a group of its leading analysts across the globe to define what the Future of Industry Ecosystems looks like. The Future of Industry Ecosystems goes beyond partnering with more companies and organizations; it is also about leveraging the sharing of data, applications, operations, and expertise — expanding upon the platform, sharing economy that was built over the past five years. The segments of sharing across an industry ecosystem encompass the following:  ... ' 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Autonomous Cars Delivering Meds in London

More attempts at automated delivery:

Autonomous Green Robot Cars to Deliver Medicine Around London

Interesting Engineering By Chris Young

A fleet of autonomous, electrically-powered green robot vehicles has started delivering medicine to care homes in London's Hounslow borough, as part of a public trial. The Kar-go, from U.K. startup Academy of Robotics, will be the first custom-built autonomous delivery vehicle to conduct last-mile deliveries on public roads in Britain. The robot car can travel at 96 kilometers (60 miles) per hour, carry a maximum load of 48 parcels, and use artificial intelligence to sort out parcels and calculate the speediest delivery route. The initial trials will have human operators sitting inside the Kar-gos, before they eventually transition to fully autonomous driving. The vehicle will drive itself to and from the sender and recipient's address, with a smartphone application alerting the recipient upon arrival. A robotic conveyor within the Kar-go enables contact-free parcel handover  ... " 

A New, Free, MIT Introduction to Machine Learning AI Course

We worked with MIT in a number of ways, with their supply chain group,  their Media Laboratory and with a number of their researchers.  Impressive group.  I still provide publicity for some of their research. We introduced early AI to the enterprise.  I have now been asked to provide a review of their latest. A new, Free Introduction to Machine Learning AI Course.    See more more about it below.   If you also take it please provide some of your own thoughts about it to me.  - Franz  

MIT Released a New, Free Machine Learning Course

Don’t miss this!  By Frederik Bussler from Medium

MIT Open Learning Library just released an Introduction to Machine Learning course    . The free 13-week course covers machine learning algorithms, supervised and reinforcement learning, and more.

While you don’t need these skills to deploy AI, given no-code AI companies like Obviously.AI   , it can help if you want to work on the cutting-edge and build new architectures.

Why MIT?

MIT is a world-famous organization, and for a good reason. This prestigious university boasts graduates like Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the moon (fun fact: Buzz Lightyear was named after Buzz Aldrin).

You’ll be part of a community of learners. Dreamers. Doers. Indeed, part of the Open Learning Library’s mission is “Extending MIT’s knowledge to the world.” You get all this for free.  ....