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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Google Cardboard VR on IOS

Loaded the Google cardboard VR App just now available for IOS.   A year after its original App announcement. Not enough content yet,  some review negatives, but getting there. Viewers start at about $20.  Worth it to at least demonstrate the basic idea of smartphone based Virtual and Augmented Reality .   More in Fortune article.  The Cardboard VR site.

Strange Appeal of Public Unboxing

I was alerted to the fact that there are people making real money unboxing new products of many kinds.   A New Technical Theater?   In this article.   And it works better than talking about arcane technical subjects.  Noted.

Mobile, Beacons and Evolving Measures

In AdAge: More on beacons:  In particular about strategy, measures and retail business process. " ... Fortunately, marketers don't have to wait for beacons to mature to realize their full promise of offline-to-online marketing. It's possible to leverage very similar strategies right now using mobile as a proxy to tie offline information back to mobile and desktop ad serving. ... " .  Good read.

Computers Redefining Roots of Math

Not a new thing.  Proof by computer has had a number of famous examples.   Use of formal logic as part of AI has a long history.   Now easier to use programming frameworks have been established. Good, largely non technical description in Wired,   " ... The idea of doing mathematics in a program like Coq has a long history. The appeal is simple: Rather than relying on fallible human beings to check proofs, you can turn the job over to computers, which can tell whether a proof is correct with complete certainty. Despite this advantage, computer proof assistants haven’t been widely adopted in mainstream mathematics. This is partly because translating everyday math into terms a computer can understand is cumbersome and, in the eyes of many mathematicians, not worth the effort. ... " 

Internet of Things Kit

Internet Of Things Hardware Kit May Be A Maker's Best Friend
Designed for companies, but priced and ready for tinkerers.  ....  In ReadWriteWeb: 

Two leading technology companies have joined forces to concoct a speedier way of building Internet of Things prototype or test devices. Chip designer ARM and IT giant IBM devised a kit for testing out connected gadgets that lets hardware developers get started in just five minutes. 

The idea is to speed up the process of building prototypes for connected gadgets. It may also help software development, giving app and feature makers hardware for testing purposes, and offer tinkerers, hackers and makers a way to create their own connected devices.   ... " 

First Solve the Human Problem

Don't just send Technology to Solve a Human Problem.   In Bain Insights.  " ..... Andreas Dullweber explains what makes a strong customer experience .. "

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Ontology for Data Science

In DSC: Interesting, albeit wordy, post about the concept.  True, everything that humans do when they communicate with each other, or with data, or with systems ... implies an operational ontology. Most every ontology is constantly changing,  quickly discovered this past summer in an anayltics project that dealt with laboratory metadata.  Even in a scientific domain.    Having a current ontology that deals with how data will be used for analytics is critical.

Coursera Consumer Neuromarketing MOOC

By Copenhagen Business School and Neurons Inc.

An Introduction to Consumer Neuroscience & Neuromarketing
This course will introduce you to the multidisciplinary field of consumer neuroscience and neuromarketing. It will go through to the basic concepts of the human brain, the elements of the consumer mind, how it is studied, and how its insights can be applied in commercial and societal understandings of consumer behaviour. ... " 

More about the Human Brain Project

In Mindhacks:   Have followed this for years, and always interested in progress.  This interview provides some new details.     Glad for the effort, but am still impressed that there is still very much to understand and we are not ready to build brain models directly.

Watson Tradeoff Analytics

Watson tradeoff analytics has become generally available on their Bluemix cloud.  An example of a cognitive service. Here is a good report on how it works and access instructions.   Good place to start, as the analytic concept is simple.   I had someone comment to me that this is not very sophisticated. Perhaps, but it can be applied to real problems.   The link shows how.  Has freemium accesibility.

Google and Levis Team up for Smart Clothes.

Not a new idea, but once you have conductive yarn ...   Examined some years ago, where it included flashing displays. I was asked by the detergent folks how it might be cleansed.

" ... Your jacket or pants could soon control your phone or home security
Google executives have a vision that one day soon your jacket, shirt, pants -- even your socks -- might control your phone, tablet or even the lights in your house.   ...  "

Friday, May 29, 2015

Neuroscience Methodologies

Innerscope's methodology page.    Nicely done summary of neuromarketing techniques.   They were just acquired by Nielsen.

Also, very late to this, but discovered through another look at the technology players,  Sands Research and Neurons Inc. have merged.   We worked with Sands Research for some time.  More about Neurons Inc.

Apple Acquires Metaio

In CWorld: Apple acquires German augmented reality company Metaio.  I have written about Metaio a number of times in this blog.  Impressive application of the technology to real business problems. This shows real seriousness of Apple in this space.

Statistics as Big Data's Biggest Hurdle

Good piece.  There is danger on both sides here.  Data scientists ignoring statistics, and Statisticians ignoring how results can integrate with practical decisions.      Groups doing this kind of work should include access to data experts,  statistical consulting and domain experts.

Google Developer Conference

In Wired:  Good overview of activities at the Google developer conference.  A good mix of interesting innovation.  In particular new work on Google Now,  which attempts to integrate dynamic knowledge with mobile activities, and appears to have been quiet for some time.  Plus their provocative headline: Google’s Ingenious Plan to Make Apps Obsolete ... 

Visualizing War Deaths

Emphasizing WWII, but also visualizing estimates of deaths in wars throughout human history. By Neil Halloran,  Includes interactive capabilities.  Well done, but some historical data is by its nature debatable.   See also also here for experimental interaction with the data and then ability to donate to the work.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Store as an Internet of Display Panels

Attended an Ascendum meeting this evening and got a demo from their Zingo subsidiary.  They have a projectable sign system that is suitable for retail augmentation via personalization.  Nicely done approach.  The system was described in a recent Biz Journals piece.    A kind of internet of displaying panels.  The result can be a very adaptable approach for signage in a store, without the expense of flat panels.  Clever idea.

Alan Lightman at the Santa Fe Institute

The Accidental Universe, the World You Thought You Knew.   Talk by physicist and novelist, Alan Lightman.    He ponders, but hardly proves, a number of scientific questions.

ChoreMonster's Gamification Works for Pixar

Have mentioned ChoreMonster here a number of times.  A very creative startup by a former  colleague.

ChoreMonster lands Disney deal to promote 'Inside Out'  
(May require registration)

Cincinnati startup ChoreMonster has landed a partnership with one of the world's biggest media companies and will help it promote a new feature film.

ChoreMonster in Over-the-Rhine is working with The Walt Disney Co.'s Pixar to promote "Inside Out," a movie that takes place inside the mind of a young girl who has just moved to a new city. The movie – planned for release June 19 – focuses on the girl's emotions. Those feelings act as the story's main characters.

ChoreMonster uses the web and mobile applications to help make chores fun for children and easy for parents to track and reward their behavior.   ....  "

Affective Computing Talk

Michal Shmueli-Scheuer (IBM Haifa research lab)
gave an excellent talk today. How can Feeling be integrated with other kinds of interaction with systems?

Slides here.

Discussion continues on Linkedin CSIG Group.

Creative Image Imagination

In Tech Review:  We worked in the area of recognizing and the describing what was seen in detailed images.  Now suppose you had a written description, how do we imagine that as a picture?   Everyone does that differently.  A form of creativity.

Is This the First Computational Imagination?

The ability to read a description of a scene and then picture it has always been uniquely human. Not anymore.

Imagine an oak tree in a field of wheat, silhouetted against a cloudless blue sky on a dreamy sunny afternoon. The chances are that most people reading this sentence can easily picture a bucolic scene in their mind’s eye. This ability to read a description of a scene and then imagine it has always been uniquely human. But this precious skill may no longer be ours alone. ... " 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Nielsen Buys Innerscope

In Adage:
Nielsen Buys Neuromarketing Research Company Innerscope ... Ratings Giant Wants to Get Inside Your Head ... 

Recall that they previously bought NeuroFocus,  so apparently they remain convinced of the neuromarketing approach.

" .. Nielsen will now merge Innerscope with NeuroFocus. Dr. Marci will serve as the chief neuroscientist of the newly branded unit, which will now be known as Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience. ... " 

Here,  an example Innerscope uses with client Procter & Gamble.  Gain brand.  Using  'Biometrics and facial coding'. 

P&G 2014 Press Release.

Retailer Carrefour Leverages Store Beacons

Have worked some with global retailer Carrefour, and never thought of them as a technical innovation retailer, so interesting to see this development.  Article mentions they have done mobile Apps since  2012 and started beacons in 2014. A fairly detailed piece in Mobile Commerce Daily.

" ... Multinational retailer Carrefour recently saw a 400 percent increase in mobile application engagement thanks to beacons, pointing to the technology’s ability to significantly influence shoppers when paired with mobile coupons in a supermarket setting.

Carrefour teamed up with beacon provider Kontakt.io to roll out the technology in-store and send push notifications to consumers upon arrival, suggest products based on purchases made in the past and also display relevant coupons. In a seven-month period, the brand’s number of app users skyrocketed by 600 percent, while in-app time increased 400 percent, which fueled additional sales and streamlined shopping experiences. ... " 

Mobile Sensors and Crowd Estimates

I like the idea of using data from  sensors in new ways.  In the BBC:  An example:  " ... It may be possible to estimate the size of a large crowd based on geographical data from mobile phones and Twitter, according to a new study. ... " .  Applications in Retail and elsewhere?

Curriculum Redesign and Math Thinking for Decision Makers

Today's ISSIP ( International Society For Service Innovation Professionals) talk, by Charles Fadel on Curriculum design.    Discussion has been started there.   He is part of the Center for Curriculum ReDesign.  Good thoughts on how mathematics could be taught to the non mathematical, an area we addressed in working with executives.  Will restart that topic at the talk link above.   Also, more about ISSIP.

Top Machine Learning Algorithms

Very nicely done overview of common machine learning algorithms from KDNuggets, what they are for and how they work.  Fairly non technical, so could be used with interested and engaged executives.  Also good examples of where each would be commonly used.   I have sent along to several correspondents.  Good read or scan.  Included are:  C4.5, k-means, Support vector machines, Apriori, EM, PageRank, AdaBoost, kNN, Naive Bayes, CART  ... '

Watson Analytics and Citizen Insights

Good Interview in Silicon Angle:

More businesses want to glean information from their data, but there is a shortage of resources geared toward non-data-scientists. Enter IBM Watson Analytics.

“Users may have information, but they don’t have insights, and they may not be able to drive those insights into action,” John Colthart, Product Experience and Design for IBM Watson Analytics told theCUBE during IBM Vision. “So when we talk about citizen data scientists, it’s about trying to get all of that capability into the hands of someone who probably has not used this technology before.” ... ' 

Empowering Employees

In the HBR:  Always wondered about what empowerment  meant, especially in big enterprises with established cultures.   Useful thoughts.

IllumiRoom Peripheral Augmented Reality

In the CACM: "IllumiRoom: Immersive Experiences Beyond the TV Screen," by Brett R. Jones, Hrvoje Benko, Eyal Ofek, and Andrew D. Wilson, uses virtual and augmented reality to move action from the TV into your living room. Jones and Benko discuss the IllumiRoom in an original video at bit.ly/1JE43JC.   ... 

IllumiRoom: Peripheral Projected Illusions for Interactive Experiences
IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept system from Microsoft Research. It augments the area surrounding a television screen with projected visualizations to enhance the traditional living room entertainment experience. ... " 

Its About the Data

By data I don't just mean the mega enterprise warehouses in place today.  It also includes sensors, human input, text comments, business rules, the output of other analytics systems and much more.  In the enterprise the most difficult issue is often finding and integrating that data with the systems that need to use them.  Have experienced many such challenges.  This will be no different with Cognitive systems. The first question I often get is 'Do we have the data'?  Or I am left to discover they don't.

Positions the challenge:   " How can you knock down barriers to data access so you can anticipate and respond to opportunity? ".   It states the need well.  There then needs to be a 'Watson Data Integration' advisor to help with this process.

As an example, see this recent post about what Kraft is doing with data integration.  Unrelated to Cognitive, but a symptom of the same issue:    

A need for Chief Data Officers:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Watson Analytics Professional

Now, Watson Analytics Professional   Blog and community.  Further introduction and registration.

Budget Challenge Money Management Game

I am being introduced to an interesting finance game for students.  Fascinating startup leveraging some great analytics,

" ... The Budget Challenge team wants to provide the ideal playground for students to learn how to manage money for themselves. We understand that this learning takes time, practice, and often involves making mistakes. 

We believe in combining a ‘learning by doing’ approach with modern technology to create a positive educational experience that will foster life-long financial habits and relevant skills. 

Our Mission is to teach the financial behavior, knowledge, and skill needed for young people to be Real-World Ready. 

Our Vision is that all students will make their 'rookie' mistakes in our game and not in the real world where the risks of credit damage and financial costs are too high.  We proudly make the road test for personal financial. ... " 

Apple Watch, iBeacons and Food Retail

In Progressive Grocer: 

" ... Grocery is probably not the prime retail channel to take advantage of a smartwatch’s capabilities. So should grocers prepare for this new era of shopping that the Apple Watch will usher in? At least one is. Marsh Supermarkets is extending the iBeacon experience beyond smartphones to the Apple Watch. The chain of 60 stores in the Midwest calls it the world’s first iBeacon-wearable integration at retail. The idea is to increase sales via personalized shopper engagements. For example, people might be reminded to check their shopping list app when arriving at the store, or to look for a certain obscure ingredient for a recipe they researched online last week.

Sounds impressive, and I wish Marsh good luck with it. Whether this new digital experience is viable for other food retailers remains to be seen. It obviously depends on having the cash to invest in the technology and, more importantly, having a critical mass of shoppers wearing a smartwatch when shopping. ... " 

Anaytics Summit in Cincinnati this Friday

This Friday,  Analytics Summit 2015, Last chance .... 

Friday, May 29, 2015 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM (Eastern Time)
Marriott Kingsgate at the University of Cincinnati
(513) 487-3800, 151 Goodman Dr. Cincinnati, Ohio 45219

Analytics Summit 2015 is the premiere analytics event of the year. This year we will feature TWO keynote presentations: one by John Elder (an ​international ​expert ​and author on ​data ​mining ​and applications of advanced analytics, as well as ​a ​well-known ​speaker ​and author) and one by Stephen Few an international expert in the fields of business intelligence (a.k.a. data warehousing and decision support) and information design, and a recognized world leader in the field of data visualization.

We will have full-day tracks on different areas of analytics: descriptive, predictive and prescriptive, as well as an additional track focused on "Building Your Analytics Team".

More info and registration.


The Rise of Cognitive/AI Systems in the Enterprise

A number of excellent articles on the topic from the HBR and beyond.   Even a pointer to some of our work.    By Tom Davenport and others.   Reading, will post further comments.   " ... Cognitive Systems Institute Group (CSIG)  Mission: Cognitive assistants for all occupations in smart service systems  ... " 

Running A/B Experiments

On the risks of A/B testing.    Remember the process well.  A podcast:  " ....  Andrea Burbank discusses the risks, benefits, and lessons from running a single huge experiment with hundreds of moving parts, and with long-term engagement as the metric of success. ... " 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Apple Names Chief design Officer

The primacy of design at Apple is in evidence as Apple names Jony Ive its chief design officer.

Daimler Testing Automated Truck Driving

In the BBC:  More on Daimler's work on automated truck van driving.  Includes a number of images of conveyances and their technology.  Will be a considerable advance in supply chains, once all the details are worked out.

" ... Earlier this month, the automotive giant was granted the first licence ever to test such a vehicle on a public highway by the US state of Nevada.

Using a combination of GPS, radar and video cameras, the Freightliner Inspiration can drive by itself on open stretches of road, freeing a driver to take breaks, check his emails and even watch DVDs.

The catch is that a qualified person must remain in front of the wheel at all times so they can take control if something goes wrong.

However, proponents say that the technology, once perfected, will reduce accidents by lessening the chance of human error, boost productivity and cut emissions. ...  "

Enterprise Wearables

PwC on:  The potential of wearable technology in the enterprise.    " ... Wearables hold so much promise because they provide a hands-free way for employees to engage in real-time with context-specific business information, customers, or one another. For example, companies across industries can provide tailored, in-the-moment onboarding and job training to workers equipped with smart badges or wearable displays. In industrial settings, goggles, lanyards, or sensor-embedded clothing could help workers who are performing repetitive or dangerous tasks increase productivity and reduce injuries. ... " 

Rich Fast Data, Focused Digital Enterprise Advisory Systems

A connection with a former colleague let me to take another look at Nestle's Digital Acceleration Center. Our Enterprise started similar efforts in Business Sphere.   I point to Nestle's work  here. 

This brings to mind that today any enterprise needs focus on data and focused expertise.  Linked to how this data can be leveraged with analytical methods.    And to multiple sources of expertise, human and cognitive.    Prescriptive and collaborative results delivered.  Example of job augmentation.

Face and Eye Tracking Databases

I recently mentioned the value of a database of eye tracking in alternative contexts, for example retail.  I was sent a link to this example.    Not the same thing, this looks at faces under specific lighting conditions and orientation,  but with similar implications.  A place for a syndicated effort?

Building Foundational Enterprise Apps

Enterprise, Cognitive Apps needed. 

 In the early days of Apps we formed a team to look at what kinds of data and Apps could be linked to focus people on their jobs. It gets back to the job-task-microtask conversations we have been having here. When I heard about the work being done in the collaboration between Apple and IBM, it struck me that this was exactly what we were tasked with back then. So I have been following the list of the Apps as they evolve.

See the link above for a broad look at all of them to date. My only disappointment is the minimum of Cognitive, Watson-style examples so far. A real challenge.  Looking forward to more, especially ones that can perform tasks than can be factored into many different jobs. That way you get to leverage the data and logic to maximize value. Power augmentation. Keep them coming,

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Jack Hughes Honored in Golden Buckeye Hall of Fame

My early mentor at P&G, John (Jack) Hughes, has been honored with induction into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame .  It is not mentioned in the article linked to, but Jack was among the people who brought the first computer system into Procter & Gamble in the 60s.   I researched an article on that effort. This was still when new mainframes were proudly placed behind a glass screen in the corporate lobby.  The company internal magazine called it an 'Electronic Brain'.   Jack headed the effort to figure out what to use it for.    It was applied to a number of classic accounting needs, but also things like supply chain optimization, which led to a long history in that arena.   Thanks Jack.

Chaos Theory in Games

Also relates to results in AI, which we discovered in creating and editing knowledge. Chaos theory in games.

  " ... In theory, programming a video game should be nice and mathematical, with each line of code following an ordered structure that produces straightforward, predictable effects. You tell the program to spawn a monster, it spawns a monster. But as game designs become more and more complicated, adding things like realistic physics and destructible environments, the outcome of an action is not always predictable, which can result in all kinds of unexpected glitches.

Veteran game developer Kevin Ryan attributes these unexpected outcomes to the butterfly effect, an element of chaos theory that says that very minor changes can cause a chain of events that result in a disastrous outcome. The butterfly effect is named for the common example of a butterfly flapping its wings, which results in subtle atmospheric changes that cause a hurricane hundreds of miles away. ... "  

Game Theorist John Nash Dies in Car Crash

John Nash inspired some of our game oriented modeling: In Mashable:  " .... John Forbes Nash, Jr., the famed mathematician whose life was the subject of Oscar-winning biopic A Beautiful Mind, died Saturday in a car crash in New Jersey, according to multiple reports. He was 86. ... "   

More on John Nash.

Storytelling and Data Visualization

Linking storytelling and data visualization is gaining ground.  It has always been done, but new and easy to use methods are making the process possible from the earliest planning stages.  This Toronto conference has some writes ups and emphasis on the capability.

Future of the Home Robot

In Wired: Colin Angle of iRobot on the future of the Roomba.  Recognizing things and making maps of our world.  Continue to be interested in how robotics will work with us in our day to day lives.    And how an internet of things will connect with them.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Daimler, Qualcomm and the Connected Car

Via Engadget.   A considerable partnership.  Another wave of data will result.

Press release: 

Daimler and Qualcomm announce strategic collaboration on Connected Car Technologies
Monaco/Stuttgart – Today, Daimler AG (DAI) and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) announced a strategic collaboration focused on pioneering innovation in the connected car. In the first phase of the collaboration, the companies will focus on transforming future vehicles with mobile technologies that enhance in-car experiences and vehicle performance such as 3G/4G connectivity, wireless charging technology for in-vehicle use and implementation of the Qualcomm Halo™ Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology. In addition, the companies are jointly assessing the application of Qualcomm Technology’s newly developed Automotive Solutions.  ... "  

Personal Drone Security

A drone that follows you around and takes pictures.   Perhaps still a very alpha concept, but all the technology is there, just needs some adjustment.  A weird hint at a not very improbable future.  I am thinking of all of the consequences, intended or not.  Today I see movies about modern life and smart phones are everywhere. Is this our next marker of a future era?   It is not science fiction anymore.

Language of Innovation

The Language of Innovation with Doug Williams
The Innovation Engine is a podcast series that discusses innovation through the lenses of corporate leadership, company culture, and emerging trends and technologies. This episode features Doug Williams of InnovationExcellence.com   ... 

Concerns about AI

As an early practitioner in AI,  I continue to watch the progress of the technology.  Recall reading some of Stuart Russell's work in the 80s, we used his textbook.  Notable for Inductive reasoning.:  Now in Wired: 

This Artificial Intelligence Pioneer Has a Few Concerns ...  In January, THE British-American computer scientist Stuart Russell drafted and became the first signatory of an open letter calling for researchers to look beyond the goal of merely making artificial intelligence more powerful. “We recommend expanded research aimed at ensuring that increasingly capable AI systems are robust and beneficial,” the letter states. “Our AI systems must do what we want them to do.” Thousands of people have since signed the letter, including leading artificial intelligence researchers at Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other industry hubs along with top computer scientists, physicists and philosophers around the world. By the end of March, about 300 research groups had applied to pursue new research into “keeping artificial intelligence beneficial” with funds contributed by the letter’s 37th signatory, the inventor-entrepreneur Elon Musk.   ... "    

More on Russell in the WP.

Machine Learning from Oxford

Via Vincent Granville.  Free  Machine Learning Classes at Oxford University   Slides and video, This is a very technical introduction, not for everyone.

Format is good,  instructor updates slides live with marker,  but sound is marginal at times,  I remain amazed a how much of thi kind of information is now available online.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Vora Ventures Demo Day

Have worked with components of Vora Ventures a number of times.  They write:

Vora Ventures was named Cincinnati’s 2015 Tech Company of the Year at the Business Courier Innovation and Technology Awards!  http://www.vinimaya.com/news/vora-ventures-wins-tech-company-year-2015-innovation-technology-awards/

To celebrate, we invite you to a fun and informative social event to learn more about the innovations of our portfolio companies and to connect with leaders from the vibrant Cincinnati tech community. You are invited to join us for a casual and social after-work party filled with innovative technologies, networking, music, food, drinks and new opportunities! Visit Vora Group Demo Day www.VoraVentures.com to learn more about the Vora Group and our portfolio of companies. ... 


How Would Alan Turing Fix AI?

In CWorld: by John Ball:  of Thinking Solutions. Some interesting points about AI:   " ...  Computers were designed to compress and duplicate information. They don’t handle A.I. well because they leave too much work to programmers. Programmers were replaced by engineers using statistics in waves of hope from the 1970s, but the results remain inaccurate and limited. A.I. hasn't scaled and after nearly 60 years of effort, and a new approach is warranted. ... " 

Storytelling Tool

Was brought up in an advertising and marketing world.  So the concept of broadening the use of storytelling techniques has always been of interest.   What is the best way to have technology help?   In Fastcompany.

Coding is Your Child's Key to Future

Not sure I completely agree.  But coding trains anyone in logic, understanding the measurement of  results and paying strict attention to detail.    All are useful anywhere.

What Question Might Turing Pose Now?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Packaged Decision Optimization Cloud

A packaging of a number of IBM's optimization and analytics capabilities.   Clever solution oriented packaging.      But will it get ahead of open source solutions?   Interesting views of the under use of optimization technologies.  Beyond Machine Learning.

" ... IBM’s advanced analytics portfolio contains its descriptive analytics, predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics products (everything from Cognos to SPSS to optimization and decision management). Within this portfolio is IBM’s decision optimization portfolio that contains the solver technology embedded in many IBM and external products. This demand for decision optimization involves enterprise Operations Research (OR) teams, embedded solvers in software products and a series of business domains in which optimization plays a major role, such as scheduling, inventory management, etc. ... " 

Virtual Rooms in the Smart Home

In ReadWrite Web:   Good piece.  Look forward to compare it to our innovation home.  Homekit details and developer instructions.

"Virtual Rooms" For The Apple Smart Home Sound Like A Great Idea ...  A new "Home" app could make smart homes easier for users.

Since Apple announced its HomeKit smart home initiative last year, it's been mostly quiet about just how iPhones and other Apple gadgets will wrangle those connected devices. Now, however, the company may have a fancy new app in the works—complete with virtual rooms, a clever and apparently easy-to-grasp metaphor for running a smart home. ... " 

May - June 2015 Analytics Magazine

A Publication of Informs: 
Analytics malfeasance, unified analytics and human resource analytics are some of the many topics explored in the current May/June issue of Analytics magazine. The issue also offers an analytical approach to answering the question, “Is a career in analytics right for you?” Meanwhile, regular columnists Vijay Mehrotra, Rajib Ghosh and Harrison Schramm give their unique perspectives on workforce management, healthcare analytics and herd immunity, respectively .... 

Creating Rapport with an Organization

In Bob Herbold's Blog:  Creating rapport with an organization, from his interesting organization management writings.

Towards Having Smart Computers on my Team

CSIG talk today by Barbara Grosz of Harvard: “Is Your Intelligent Computer Smart Enough To Be on My Team” or more serious title: “Interactive Intelligence and Health Care Coordination”.   Slides here.   Some excellent description of research work going on at Stanford and Harvard on the topic.   Reminded me of work we also did to augment human teams with collaborative AI systems.   One example was our "Copy Owl" system.  Barbara and her team are driving the idea forward for health care team collaboration.

Broadly the challenge is aptly described as not 'intelligence', but "  ... Can a computer team member behave over the long term, in such a way that people will not notice it's not human or think it's  stupid. ... " 

Ongoing discussion on the talk on Linkedin Group.

More on past and future talks in this series, usually held every Thursday at 10:30 AM EST.

Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation

Was reminded of this resource recently.  Had used it to inspire some of our work with agent based models, good to see they are still going strong.  Articles vary in technical depth.   From their description:

" ... The Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation is an interdisciplinary journal for the exploration and understanding of social processes by means of computer simulation. Since its first issue in 1998, it has been a world-wide leading reference for readers interested in social simulation and the application of computer simulation in  the social sciences.

Original research papers and critical reviews on all aspects of social simulation and agent societies that fall within the journal's objective to further the exploration and understanding of social processes by means of computer simulation are welcome. .... " 

 Just a few of their peer reviewed articles in the latest edition: 

An Agent-Based Model of Status Construction in Task Focused Groups
André Grow, Andreas Flache and Rafael Wittek

Self-Policing Through Norm Internalization: A Cognitive Solution to the Tragedy of the Digital Commons in Social Networks
Daniel Villatoro, Giulia Andrighetto, Rosaria Conte and Jordi Sabater-Mir

Modeling Education and Advertising with Opinion Dynamics
Thomas Moore, Patrick Finley, Nancy Brodsky, Theresa Brown, Benjamin Apelberg, Bridget Ambrose and Robert Glass

Mobilization, Flexibility of Identity, and Ethnic Cleavage
Kazuya Yamamoto

Exploring Creativity and Urban Development with Agent-Based Modeling
Ammar Malik, Andrew Crooks, Hilton Root and Melanie Swartz

How Evolutionary Dynamics Affects Network Reciprocity in Prisoner’s Dilemma
Giulio Cimini and Angel Sanchez

Innovation Suppression and Clique Evolution in Peer-Review-Based, Competitive Research Funding Systems: An Agent-Based Model
Pawel Sobkowicz

Does Longer Copyright Protection Help or Hurt Scientific Knowledge Creation?
Shahram Haydari and Rory Smead      ....  "

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Target Item Level RFID Tags on Fast Track

In Retailwire:  Experimented with the idea as early as 2000.  Note to be used in some categories only. As we did in areas like Shaving.   But those experiments could spread.  To what degree will this replace the barcode, which were also closely involved with.   Also to address shelf level out of stock issues.

Target puts RFID rollout on the fast track 
Target plans to complete one of the largest rollouts of item-level radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in retailing by next year. What will implementation of item-level RFID tracking in categories such as clothing and home decor mean for Target's ability to reduce out-of-stocks in stores?   ... " 

AC Usage in Middle Class

In IEEE Spectrum:  World's Middle Class embraces air conditioning.  Implications for energy usage.

More Agile for Service Innovation

Continued conversations with Dan Greening of SenexRex.  In particular about the use of Agile for services innovation.   See in particular recent posts in their blog.

Use Cases for an Internet of Many Things

Initial post in the Cisco Blog that looks at use cases for IOT.  An excellent start to address things like applications, security and standards.  What Cisco calls the Internet of Everything (IOE)  is also called the Industrial Internet.  From my perspective very useful in many kinds of supply and value chains. Broadly stated:

" ... The goal for any IoE use case is to connect people, processes, data, and things to improve a large and complex business function. For example, it’s easy to recognize that a manufacturing supply chain will benefit from greater connectivity among all of the players, processes, and components. Real-time data about the status of every point and item in production helps to improve efficiencies and proactively solve problems.

Yet IoE and big data can also inform human resources strategies so a company can better attract and retain top talent. And for IT, automated operations and regular review of data analytics make it easier to deliver services and improve their performance. ... "  

Links to a broader document.   Following.

Linking Eye Tracking to VR Headsets

In CWorld: Makes sense to link the two.  It means that we can accurately understand how people's eyes move in given contexts.   Now virtually constructed.   It also allows experiments with those contexts to be rapidly produced and modified. Considerable opportunity.

Black Swans and Big Data

In TeraData Mag:  Good piece that looks at the inevitability of these events, and how Data can still help. Leads to the suggestion that predictive analytics will allow us to be prepared for classes of Black Swans.  Segmenting appropriate responses.  And then, obviously addressing them with the same patterns:   

" ....  A data-driven analysis or simulation designed to determine an organization’s ability to deal with a crisis situation can help it be ready for the day a black swan lands on its front steps. Krishna notes that this type of “stress testing” can gauge the level of readiness. “[Preparation] is really all about imagining the unimaginable, understanding what’s going to blow up ... [and] to be able to determine what corrective actions are needed,” he explains. “That is becoming very much an accepted approach ... certainly something that, from a regulatory standpoint, is becoming mandatory for a number of financial institutions.”

Businesses that identify a possible event early on and take evasive actions are usually in the best position to ride out the crisis. Krishna advises companies to carefully map out the exact steps they will need to take in various types of crisis situations. “Then document those actions so that if any of the expected scenarios occur, there will be no second-guessing,” he points out. “It’s simply a matter of executing what’s already been documented; executing that game plan, if you will.” ... ' 

Brainlike AI Circuits

In CWorld: My contention  is still that we do not know enough about the operation of the brain for this to be AI. Neural nets, which only roughly mimic the brain, have turned out to be very useful for selective problems, like pattern recognition.  But are not generally applications of AI.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Hilltop Coke Ad

I am a bit of an advertising and marketing history buff.  Met a few Mad Men era people while working at the world's largest marketer.  One told me that the series was not too far from sixties reality.   Also am old enough to have seen the Coke Ad in its run on TV.  Have not closely followed the series, but was intrigued by the portrayal of the arrival of computers and analytics driving marketing, which I was part of. There definitely was a creative v engineering contention.  With all that being said, the WSJ tells the real story of the Coke Hilltop Ad.  New to me.  

Google to Update its Cardboard VR

This experiment showed how very simple Virtual Reality (VR)  could be  delivered very cheaply, even with a cardboard device.  The approach works, demonstrates the idea well, but lacks a number of needed capabilities for real applications.   Still a good demo of the idea.   Now Google indicates new capabilities are coming.

Digitally Connected Grocer

In Progressive Grocer:  Fairly obvious points, now how do we respond?   " ... Defining the 'Connected' Consumer ....  Grocery industry being pushed into the future by digital technologies ... " 

" .... Technological change in the grocery industry will only become faster and more responsive in the future, as consumer packaged goods brands and retailers work to meet the demands of connected consumers, industry members said at a recent summit. Grocers will either adapt to engage customers digitally before, during and after shopping trips or they will be left behind, John Karolefski writes ... " 

L'Oreal 3D Printing Skin

In BBC Tech:

French cosmetics firm L'Oreal is teaming up with bio-engineering start-up Organovo to 3D-print human skin. ... It said the printed skin would be used in product tests. ... Organovo has already made headlines with claims that it can 3D-print a human liver but this is its first tie-up with the cosmetics industry.

L'Oreal currently grows skin samples from tissues donated by plastic surgery patients. It produces more than 100,000, 0.5 sq cm skin samples per year and grows nine varieties across all ages and ethnicities. ... " 

High Precision 3D Printers

I have looked at several 3D printers now, mostly on the consumer end, and their precision was poor. Now new printer examples are emerging, with higher precision, and cost.   Precision also usually cuts  speed, limiting some applications.

Apps Emerging to Get Car Data

In Technology Review:   " ... Courting App Makers to Unlock Your Car’s Powerful Data Trove Startups like Automatic are trying to interest developers in gadgets that plug into your car, hoping to power a new wave of mobile apps. ... "

Bayesian Reasoning and Machine Learning

A technical look, by David Barber,  A free online version.

Bayesian Reasoning and Machine Learning by David Barber is an ebook that is designed for final-year undergraduates and master’s students with limited background in linear algebra and calculus. From basic reasoning to advanced techniques within the framework of graphical models, readers get to learn the developing skills as easily as they could wish.   .... " 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Neuromarketing Practical Advances

A little late, but a good podcast on the topic:

Roger Dooley writes, introducting their podcast:

" ... In the past, Elissa Moses was Chief Research Officer with the early neuromarketing pioneer Emsense and has held several key positions with firms like Phillips and the ad agency Grey. Today, Elissa stresses the need for multiple technologies in market research studies. Listen in to learn how you too can learn how to use low-cost technology like surveys, implicit testing, and web-based facial coding, not just expensive fMRI brain scans, to your advantage. ... " 

Google Seeking Ad Fraud

In Adage.  A visit to a Google site that is devoted to identifying Ad Fraud.   All this has evolved quite a bit.  Been attacked a few times myself.   Now the attackers are very sophisticated.  Ad fraud has received relatively little attention, because it is less dramatic than deeper financial frauds.  But now  patterns are being sought, and found.  Hopefully these same skills will  be reapplied to make the Net a safer place.

SPSS as an Enhancement to R

It was just pointed out to me that SPSS can be linked to R.  Had known this but not the details. Worth a closer look.  Upcoming Webinar on May 26 on the topic.   Points out a number of limitations of R and why its useful to connect it to a Statistical platform.

Google Testing Buy Button

In Retailwire:  Is this the ultimate challenge for retail?  Everyone searches.    So making the buy as easy as possible is powerful.  Embedded discussion is useful.

" ... In what is being seen as a potential challenge to Amazon but perhaps a conflict for retailers, Google plans to begin testing "buy buttons" in coming weeks.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that buttons will appear beside paid search results on mobile in the "Shop on Google" section. Clicking a button takes the shopper to another Google product page, where orders can be customized (sizes, colors, etc.) and shipping options explored before completing the purchase. Google will also store credit card information to let the shopper repeat the process again at another time. ... " 

Sample R Packages for Input, Wrangling, Visuals

A nice survey by Sharon Machlis, it is always good  to have examples of things you know you need to do, in a language that is relatively new to you.  This is a start.  From here you can go wherever you want:  Great R packages for data import, wrangling & visualization   ...

Hyper Personalization

Interesting startup direction ...  Reminds me of case based reasoning approaches ....

" .... Analytics passed a major milestone on the road to ubiquity last week with the launch of new capabilities that extend the reach of data-driven decisions even deeper into our digital lives. An up-and-coming startup called Jivox Inc. set the ball rolling with the introduction of an advertising platform that promises to provide the ultimate customized experience.

Dynamic Canvas,  as the new system is called, assembles pre-supplied graphics and copy into one of over 3,000 potential promotional formats based on the specific preferences of each viewer. Jivox gleans that information from a combination of metrics ranging from basic details such as age and gender to much more precise data points like local weather to produce what is touted as a much more through understanding of buyer expectations.   ....  "

How P&G Tripled Its Innovation Success Rate

From the HBR in 2011, and I may have posted this before, but found it again looking for innovation examples.   Worth repeating.  Mentioning now VA guru Bob McDonald.  Just a few months ago I was approached by the VA concerning McDonald and innovation.

How P&G Tripled Its Innovation Success Rate
Back in 2000 the prospects for Procter & Gamble’s Tide, the biggest brand in the company’s fabric and household care division, seemed limited. The laundry detergent had been around for more than 50 years and still dominated its core markets, but it was no longer growing fast enough to support P&G’s needs. A decade later Tide’s revenues have nearly doubled, helping push annual division revenues from $12 billion to almost $24 billion. The brand is surging in emerging markets, and its iconic bull’s-eye logo is turning up on an array of new products and even new businesses, from instant clothes fresheners to neighborhood dry cleaners.  ... " 

Eye Data During Programming for Useful for Retail

Establishment of a database of eye movement during programming tasks.  Why not do the same thing during other common tasks, like online or physical shopping?    The same could be done for physical retail shopping as well.  Then use the data to address hypotheses about behavior. A kind of crowd-data analysis.  Has this been done.  Glad to participate.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Business Model Innovation

Not the same thing as BPM,  which I prefer because it deals with business specifics.  But in reading this, BMI could be a good place to start.  Perhaps linked to structural (Morphological) models of a business.  Lots to choose from.   Perhaps to understand the business specifics choices more exactly.

Distinct Approaches to Business Model Innovation by Ralph Ohr

Business model innovation (BMI) is becoming ever more important as it turns out increasingly difficult for companies to differentiate based on products and services alone. New business models are difficult for competitors to copy, not only because it takes considerable time and effort to build a new business model and simultaneously change several elements of an existing one, respectively. Moreover, a business model has to fit a company’s unique combination of strategy, culture and competencies in order to succeed. ...  " 

Watson Academy: Cognitive Computing

 Cognitive Computing -- Question Answering Technologies behind IBM Watson


" ... We have designed a massive open online course (MOOC) on the question answering technologies behind IBM’s original Watson Jeopardy!® system. This MOOC is taught directly by developers of the system and based on a Columbia University  graduate course that Alfio Gliozzo taught for two years. It covers background concepts needed to understand IBM’s Watson Jeopardy!® system and cognitive technologies. Topics include: Deep QA Architecture, Semantic Integration and Machine Learning, NLP, Unstructured Information Management Architecture, Structured Knowledge in Watson, Domain Adaptation, and Distributional Semantics. .... " 

Twenty hour course.  Taking a closer look.

Primer on the Internet of Things

Infographic on the topic with a number of links with added information.    Very good, but sometimes unnecessary graphics. IOT hype seems to be taking over from Big Data hype.  Both important.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Updates from the Foresight Institute

Foremost public site for practical nanotechnology.  It is still extending our understanding of a number ways we can work with material structure.   And how we might be able to make practical molecular machines.  This post has a number of interesting videos.

3D Printing Growing Pains

Mosongo Moukwa, Director of Technology at PolyOne writes on the growing pains of 3D printing.

P&G Reviews Media Buying, Planning

An opportunity for new kinds of analytics in media planning.  A space that I was closely involved in.  In Adage: " .... P&G to Review Massive Media Planning and Buying Business Across North America In 2014, P&G Spent $2.7 Billion on U.S. Measured Media   ... " 

Very Cheap Computers

In FastCoexist:  We looked at sponsoring examples like the '$100 laptop' for the third world. .  What are the applications for the IOT?

The World's First $9 Computer Does Everything That Your Expensive Model Can Do ... Chip is a bona fide Kickstarter hit. But the tiny computer's implications go far beyond the novelty of a cheap computer.

Over the years, a number of ultra-cheap computers have popped up—in fact, a $169 computer for the developing world, called Endless, was announced just last month. But nothing out there can match the price of Chip, a tiny new $9 computer that has attracted over a million dollars in funding on Kickstarter. ... "

Friday, May 15, 2015

R vs Python

Good infographic visual summary of the current state of the two languages for data science use. Not a how to, but a tabular comparison.

More on SocioPragmatic Text Models

Yesterday posted about the talk on SocioPragmatic text Modeling.   More has been published in the Cognitive Systems Institute Linkedin Group,    I quote some of my recent input below   This is a new kind of text classification modeling based on consumer cognition .

" .. Also mentioned in this talk, the potential use of this approach for market research. Suppose a subgroup is the collection of likely buyers of your product? Then classification based on this approach would predict sales. This is another example of 'non conscious' classification, like methods called 'neuromarketing', which often use electroencephalographic techniques, being used by some companies today to augment classic market techniques. This would be far cheaper to implement on more people, even in mobile environments. Using this with multiple languages could provide global reach, also a plus. Consider its use with Twitter streams.  There is real potential here. ... 

This Sociopragmatic method also relates to the 'User Modeling' Watson capability, now available free to test on Bluemix. That method claims a psychological, rather than social-linguistic classification basis. A comparison of the two methods value would be very interesting. Say with the same Twitter stream? Will bring this up with a retailer or manufacturer.  ... "

Hope there will be more input there, feel free to connect and join in.

Microsoft and Cortana

Have been following voice driven systems, especially for smart home applications, but also for potential manufacturing-design-test applications.    At the recent Hololens announcement, it was clear that MS planned to integrate voice interaction broadly.     Here more on this plan.

Bots Now Outnumber Humans on Web

In CSO Online:  At least the article mentions that most are still benign.  But who defines that?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Wal-Mart Prime Undercuts Amazon

In Retailwire: Wal-Mart's delivery plan, at $50 yearly, to undercut Amazon Prime.  Good discussion. Is this catch up?   Does this match the style of the Wal-Mart online shopper?

Unilever to Track Online, Offline Retail Gap

Unilever is investing $50,000 in startup Glimr as part of an effort to connect consumers' online and in-store shopping experiences. "We are hoping to bring an actual understating of who you are as an individual based on what stores you visit and help Unilever understand their target audience in a much better way -- so for the first time bridging the offline and online gap," said Robert Hedberg, CEO of Glimr, which helps brands build consumer relationships based on data from beacons  .. " 

" .... Precision. .... Glimr revolutionizes advertisement by allowing brands to truly build 1-1 relationships with their customers by using offline data.  ... "  

SocioPragmatic Models of Text Analysis

Mona Diab of GWU gave the CSI  talk today:

Towards Building Effective Computational Sociopragmatics Models of Human Cognition

Slides.   For talk recording, go here, and follow instructions using Replay ID: 471310086028

Though technical, the implications can be understood from the slides.

Excellent talk on the use of modeling to analyze text to better understand its meaning from a social and pragmatic - usage perspective.  Including alignment and participation in groups.   Detection and analysis of subgroups.  Looks at how this can be used for multiple languages.  Its use for marketing engagement was also mentioned and briefly discussed.   Sponsored by DARPA and IARPA

" .. Before joining GWU, Mona was Research Scientist (Principle Investigator) at the Center for Computational Learning Systems (CCLS). She is also co-founder of the CADIM group which is one of the reference points on computational processing of Arabic and its dialects.   Her Link.

New Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative Site

Via Marin Hitch of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative:

New Website: Get to #KnowWCAI 

We launched a new site to showcase all the excitement around customer analytics at Wharton! You can keep up on our latest data projects with academic researchers and corporate partners, as well as WCAI events, student & alumni programs, and practitioner content. 

For over 7 years, WCAI has helped shape the definition of ‘customer analytics’ and in that time has become a hub for cutting-edge research, professional training, and global networking. Some of you have been with us for years, others we just met at our recent annual conference and student workshops. Whatever the case, we want you all to see the great work coming from one another and hope our new website offers more perspective into the dynamic, cross-industry landscape of customer analytics, both at Wharton and around the world. Thanks for your continued support of WCAI. 

- The WCAI Team 

New Marketing Machinery at Kimberly Clark

In Consumer Goods Technology:

' ... To become effective marketers in a digital world, organizations must chart a new course using new marketing machinery. Technology lies at the heart of this new machine, and IT is grinding the gears, developing and delivering solutions that are tailored to the Marketing organization’s immediate and long-term needs.

In this exclusive interview, Jennifer Sepull, chief information officer and vice president, IT Services (ITS), and Mukund Kaushik, vice president of the newly-formed IT Services, Global Marketing unit, reveal how Kimberly-Clark Corporation is redefining the rules of collaboration between Marketing and IT to succeed in a world where the term digital marketing has evolved into “marketing in a digital world.”   .. ' 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Microsoft Power BI Demo

Yesterday attended the Microsoft Power BI introductory demo.  The presentation given was a bit shaky, but I did like what I saw in the simplicity of the approach for setting up data visualizations on easy to use dashboards.  This is NOT an advanced data viz tool, but looks to be an easy way to create basic dashboards.  Sign up here.    This is still an alpha version that may be changing.  

Several examples are shown of how to create dashboards.  Easy to do.  Most intriguing was the ability to use a natural language search or query about the data you are connected to,  then you can pin the query results to a dashboard.  Might be a good way to have a non-analyst iteratively create a dashboard.

Easy to connect to Excel and many other database forms.  Easy to selectively share resulting dashboards. They have also connected to a number of outside data resources.   A separate package called Power BI Designer lets you create more advanced visuals.  A Mobile App for the iPad has been created to display mobile dashboards.  (other mobile devices to come)  That App has alerting capabilities to update your data and alert you to specified data changes via notifications.  An advanced API exists as well.  Currently PowerBI is entirely free for use.  They say there will always be a free tier for experimentation, it appears a 1 GB restriction will be used.

Once this is complete it appears it will be competitive for basic visualization.

Pointer to the presentation.  Don't know how long this will be available.

Warning:  you need now to create an access ID based on an email address that is corporate or .edu, not  Gmail or other 'non business' email addresses.   I note here that other entry points to MS services do not have this restriction.  Poor, inconsistent restriction.

GE as Industrial Powerhouse

In K@W:  Good examination of GE after Capital ...   " ... Back to the Future: GE’s Retooling into an Industrial Powerhouse ... " 

" ... With the shedding of GE Capital, the manufacturing giant is returning to its industrial roots, say Wharton experts. “GE is the largest single diversified conglomerate and it’s now moving in a new direction,” Wharton management professor Michael Useem notes. “It’s the end of a conglomerate era and that’s probably a good thing. ... " 

Agile Systems by Senex

Today's  ISSIP SIG Education & Research speaker was Dan Greening, Managing Director, Senex Rex LLC. He discussed his perspectives on service innovation and delivered a mind mapping exercise.  Notable is their work with Skype and Microsoft in using Agile methods.

Marketing to Millennials with Storytelling

In Food Navigator:  Not sure I buy the whole premise.  Storytelling is a very old technique for effectively communicating with anyone, millennials  or otherwise.  Nice that some people are discovering the idea.   " .... Millennials do not succumb to the ‘wooing’ of big brands; rather, they are looking for a niche brand with a story, alongside the chance to engage with other consumers, according to a branding expert. .... " 

Long Range Iris Scanning

We examined iris scanning for security applications.  You had to place your face on the reader, and it thus created a sanitary issue.  Also, some people could not be scanned because of face-eye structure. Now in the Atlantic:  " ...   Long-Range Iris Scanning Is Here ... An engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon says he’s invented technology that can identify someone from across the room with the precision of a fingerprint. ... "

Amazon Echo Moves towards a Smarter Home

From Amazon Echo mailing:  (Via Walter Riker)

" ... WeMo and Philips Hue products now work with Amazon Echo.
You can now use Echo to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn on the fan or heater while reading in your favorite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all without lifting a finger...or even raising your voice.

To get started, connect your WeMo and Hue devices to your home Wi-Fi and name them in their respective app. Then say, "Alexa, discover my appliances." After Echo's confirmation, you can control your devices by voice.

Things to try:
* "Alexa, turn on the hallway light"
* "Alexa, turn on the coffee maker"
* "Alexa, dim the living room lights to 20%"
* "Alexa, turn on the electric blanket"
* "Alexa, turn on the outdoor decorations"

Supported products:
* WeMo: Switch, Insight Switch, and Light Switch
* Hue: A19, Lux, BR30, Bloom, and LightStrip lights    ... " 

Seeking Cheaper VR

Colleague Walter Riker demonstrated the use of 'cheap' VR using 3D visualization from a smart phone, which you attach to your head with goggle like glasses.  The glasses combine two images which are displayed on the phone, which creates the illusion of 3D.    Akin to the ViewMaster device, but one that can be modified dynamically based on the movement of your head.   Clever idea that works relatively well. More on affordable VR. See vendors in the link below.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Teradata Row and Column Innovation

Been working with Teradata since using RetailLink to leverage WalMart data.   Now examining the value of this new innovation.   Could it have been used with RetailLink?

" ... Teradata delivers World's most advanced hybrid row and column database ... Innovations allow customers to mix and match row and column technologies at will, without the trade-offs of purely columnar databases ... " 

Fujitsu Laser Smart Glasses

Have always been impressed by Fujitsu's technology, since we tested their work in retail.  Now their concept smart glasses shine laser images right into the retina.  Does not require focusing, as a result, they say.  Sounds scary, but much early tech does.  Only a prototype for now.  We explored the idea for a number of hands free applications.  I still see such glasses as primarily useful for hands-free, until humans get used to seeing people continually connected.  That may take a while.

Measuring the Ability to Learn

In Future of CIO:

" ... Metacognition assessment is all about measuring learning effect (acquisition, skills, behavior, understanding). We can measure the results - the 'things' that have been learned. Meta-cognitive processes can be demonstrated in behavior, and when you measure the behavior, you begin to see if metacognitive thinking is taking place over time and with more proclivity, meta cognition would be where the individual is aware of reaching the point of "not knowing," and then developing strategies to resolve it to "knowing," like how to induce or abduct hypotheses and reflect on them and question them. ... " 

Winning People Over

In many ways, an ultimate goal: In the HBR:  Emotional Intellligence  ... To Win People Over, Speak to Their Wants and Needs
by Nancy Duarte

Monday, May 11, 2015

Models of Narrative

Upcoming on May 28, 2015 at Atlanta,  GaTech Cogsys,Org conference

Session on narrative:

" ... Narrative provides a framing structure for understanding, communicating, influencing, and organizing human experience. Systems for its analysis and production are increasingly found embedded in devices and processes, influencing decision-making in venues as diverse as politics, economics, intelligence, and cultural production. 

In order to appreciate this influence, it is becoming increasingly clear that research must address the technical implementation of narrative systems, the theoretical bases of these frameworks, and our general understanding of narrative at multiple levels: from the psychological and cognitive impact of narratives to our ability to model narrative responses computationally.  ... " 

Bezos Business Models

Amazon's efforts and financial directions are always interesting.   Have followed several of their most recent technical efforts.  Here from Oracle's Anywhere blog, A look at Amazon's most recent shareholder letter.  Always worth following closely,

Faster, More Accurate Drones

Have done a little playing around with simple drones.   My impression was that they were hard to control and slow.  Not any more.  Take a look at the videos in this CW article.   Tethered for training.  Swarms of high speed precision flying drones.  More precise and faster flying than a human could do in a plane.   Goal oriented and autonomous.  Smarter too.  Lots of opportunities.  And dangers.

Frontiers of Computer Vision

Pushing the Frontiers of Computer Vision.  A Q&A with Google's Christian Szegedy   Deep Learning pushes the possibilities further. 'Solved' is a big claim.

" ... Due to the inroads of deep learning, computer vision appears to be on the verge of being solved. However, current methods are extremely data hungry and getting high quality labelled data is both expensive and cumbersome. Instead of letting humans do the hard work, can we turn our computers into couch potatoes and program them to figure out our visual world by watching decades of videos? ... " 

IBM and SAP Team for Talent Management

Seeking smarter HR: " ... So today’s successful HR organizations are looking more and more to advanced HR-specific technologies, and the reason is simple: HR professionals know they can drive business results and the CEO agenda by bringing in and developing the best people available. HR tech helps companies attract, hire, onboard, engage and empower the right people who can positively impact their organizations. ... "

Badge Driven People Analytics

Intriguing approach.  Looked at some related methods, but not with badges.

‘People Analytics’ Through Super-Charged ID Badges

Humanyze helps companies make surprising connections about what makes employees effective.  ... What if “people analytics“ were able to bring new clarity to the hidden patterns of why some people are more successful at their jobs than others? What if managers could essentially read people the way they read statistics?

Those are two of the questions that drive Ben Waber, the CEO and a cofounder of Humanyze. Using a sort of turbo-charged company ID badge to track all sorts of data points about employees, Humanyze helps companies find surprising connections and insights in data about what its most effective employees do differently. The company is a spinoff of the MIT Media Lab, founded by a group that includes MIT professor Alexander “Sandy“ Pentland.  .... " 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Winning Popular Games

In the WaPo:  Mathematics of a  number of popular games, and thus how to win them.   Or at least increase your chances of winning.  Quite a variety of board games and TV quiz shows.  From Chess to Jeopardy.    You have to buy the accuracy and method of some of the studies done, not sure I do.   It is a telling piece because it links statistical data  and strategy, or call it winning-process. Which is what a data scientist should always be doing.  Fun article that indicates strategies I had never heard of. Intriguing for any game player.

Nestle's Digital Acceleration Center

Via former  Procter colleague Pete Blackshaw: Video about the Second Nestle Digital Acceleration Team (DAT).  Very impressive work. Note emphasis on emerging markets.   Now this is where we were headed at one time.  Looking for more detail about this effort.

(Update) More from MIT Sloan.

Managing Data Clutter

Some good thoughts on clutter here.  This is being pushed by Big Data promises.  Gets back to my long and hard look at both agile integration of metadata and the related problem of data as assets.   Good asset valuation can help us manage the clutter.  Click the tab on Data Assets below for more. Also a promising place for an advisory system, because it deals with much supporting usage data.

Idea to Prototype in One Day

Fast Prototying: We spent some time constructing means to do fast prototyping, integrating methods like CAD Cam and virtualization methods to make that happen. Package design, testing and delivery was one example.  Related is the idea of shelf virtualization, which I have written about a number of times here.  It integrates actual consumer experience with alternative designs.  Now this was never done in just one day, but the challenge is good.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Engineers of Addiction and Engagement

A vast amount of knowledge and data exists that has been gathered by casinos and the makers of casino games.  How can this be used to further utilize game dynamics?  In mobile games, but also in applications that will benefit from gamification.  We used  simulation to measure solutions that came out of specific engagement alternatives and scenarios,  Detailed piece that looks at the evolution of casino engagement, and hints at the value of data being gathered. Inspirational.   In the Verge.

Mind Mapping for Projects

Via BiggerPlate.  My question:   How can mind/concept mapping be used to introduce more structure to early project meetings?   Seems that would be very useful, if you can get everyone to agree to the mapping process, and use the resulting knowledge and capability.   This should be beyond simple note taking.

Mind Mapping for Projects: Interactive Q & A

Tue, May 26, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Hangouts On Air - Broadcast for free
Julie Caffey, Stephanie Diamond, Rudy Sagers + 12 others going
Join us as we discuss the use of mind mapping for Projects, with a live panel of project management professionals, including our good friend +James Franklin who will be sharing some of his recent work in building out complex projects using mind maps!
The call will begin at 5:00 pm London time - hope to see you there! ....

Measuring Digital Experience

In the Cisco Blog:   How do you measure and thus improve digital experience?   Some good detail in a longer article:

" .... But, how to do you measure something as squishy and ephemeral as an “experience”? And, what experiences are worth managing? At Cisco, we’ve taken a very focused approach to managing the online experience you have in web, mobile and our social media: We focus on customers’ and partners’ top tasks and missions with us, and then we measure relentlessly the success, failure and satisfaction on those. This allows us to reduce complex experiences to a set of trackable numbers that we can manage. We take this approach on big things, like the experience of getting support answers online. In fact, usability guru Gerry McGovern explains this approach to “Top Task Management” in a recent article featuring Cisco’s Bill Skeet. And we also take the “manage the experience approach” on little things — those simple but important tasks that people do with us every day. ... "  

Function and Process

In the APQC Blog:  Good piece about how they can work together.  Had never thought of them at odds, but can see it as described. Thoughtful blog.

Data Science and Journalism

Good CACM overview of the increasing use of advanced data science in journalism

" .. The key attributes journalists must have—the ability to separate fact from opinion, a willingness to find and develop strong sources, and the curiosity to ask probing, intelligent questions—are still relevant in today's 140-character-or-less, ADHD-esque society. Yet increasingly, journalists dealing with technical topics often found in science or technology are turning to tools that were once solely the province of data analysts and computer scientists. ,,, " 

Friday, May 08, 2015

Big Insight must Drive Big Data

In CIO-Today: Would not add the Big prefix, but all data analytics must link to some insight into business process,    Pointer to a Forrester report I have not seen:  " ....many enterprises are finding themselves drowning in data, but with no better insight into the issues confronting their businesses, according to new report from Forrester Inc.

The report, titled “Digital Insights are the New Currency of Business,” was written by Forrester analysts Ted Schadler and Brian Hopkins. It analyzed the behaviors of dozens of industry incumbents along with hundreds of startups to determine which organizations are taking the most advantage of big data’s potential, and what their secrets are. ...  "