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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Microsoft too, is Emphasizing Voice

Voice is also much beyond just commands.  It is that, and conversation, augmentation, memory, learning, expectation, value building, persuasion and more ...

Microsoft's Future Involves A Lot of Talking
by  Jonathan Vanian in Fortune: 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explains why talking is the future of computer interactions.

In the future, people won’t have to waste time fidgeting with their smartphones as they try to order pizza from an app. They’ll just have to talk to the device, and little software helpers will do all the work for them.

At least, that’s the way Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sees it. Nadella outlined his vision of the future of human and computer interaction during Microsoft’s annual developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.  ... " 

Amazon Dash Moves Ahead, Usage Data

Adage reports data on the share of Amazon Dash button pushes, via 1010Data.  Article has other interesting data.

(Updated) And more on the increasing number of Dash Button options.
(Updated)  In Retailwire, and a conversation on Dash Buttons.

" ... In reporting that consumer packaged goods e-commerce sales had soared 42% last year, 1010data credited Dash for some of the outsized success by some brands, including Procter & Gamble Co.'s Tide and Kimberly-Clark Corp.'s Huggies. .... 

In a later report covering the period through Jan. 2016, 1010data reported that P&G led all CPGs, accounting for 31% of Dash button sales behind brands that also include Bounty. Kimberly-Clark, with entries from Huggies and Cottonelle, was number two at 14%, and Clorox Co., led by disinfecting wipes, was No. 3 at 11.7%.   ... " 

Multimodal Robotic Drones

From the University of PA Grasp lab, in IEEE Spectrum.    Bimodal, here meaning it can walk or fly.   Applications that make sense?     Bi specialization for specific environments or needs.

" ... Some of the most versatile and adaptable robots also exhibit multimodal characteristics: they can fly and climb, or jump and glide, or even fly and swim. But flying and walking seems to be by far the most useful combination, as evidenced by the variety of animals that can do it, and researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Laboratory have designed a new robot called Picobug that can fly, walk, and even (soon) grab on to stuff. ... " 

How Google is Approaching AI

Its not all just about winning the game 'Go', but how an increasing number of components can be used to address performance of cognitive intelligence.  Still a challenge, but we are approaching solutions. I suggest linking these solutions closer to typical business process models would be useful to both selling and solving the needs.  In TechnologyReview.

Managing Customer Reviews

In HBS Working Knowledge: On the issue of managing customer reviews.  I discover that I have personally started to read more of them and considering them as a group.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How Can Smart Homes go Mainstream?

A look at the challenge.  Have used one for over a year.  There is a long way to go from the Echo device to really running a smart home. Right now its just a home that is more convenient in sometimes delightful but still quite limited ways.    In Knowledge@Wharton:

" ... Amazon’s popular Echo device powered by an artificial intelligence personal assistant called Alexa has rekindled hopes that the smart home — where everything from entertainment and appliances to security, heating and lighting systems are all interconnected — is just around the corner.

Not so fast, warn experts at Wharton. “The popular press is enamored with the connected home, but we’re only seeing a glimmer of what’s ultimately possible,” says Wharton management professor David Hsu. “It’s very early, and we have to see tighter integration between all of the players. ...  " .. 

Social Media as the New Brand Discovery

Interesting changing statistics.  In Retailwire:

Is social media taking over brand discovery?
" ... Word-of-mouth (62 percent) edges TV ads (61 percent) and online ads (61 percent) as the leading way by which teens hear about new brands, according to a survey from Ebates. The results indicate that, while physical stores (58 percent) are among the leading methods of brand awareness for teens, social media also has a significant role to play. ... " 

Gartner Visual of the Buying Cycle

Nice graphic of the process by Hank Barnes of Gartner.   Visualizing it is a great start to understanding it.  Would be very useful if it became a standard for talking about Buying process.   Would like to see it linked to specific data sources.  Worth examining at the link. I am following its further evolution:

" ... You can expect to see a continued exploration of this model of the customer lifecycle in future research across Gartner, and it will be part of my presentation at the Gartner Tech Growth and Innovation Conference.    But the bottom line message of this move is simple: It’s time to use models like this to shift the focus from buying decisions to lifecycle decisions.  Buying is just one, often small, step in that process. .... " 

Individualized Marketing

In the Teradata Blog:  Good view of the topic from a data perspective.   " ...  Make the Right Connection … Every Time ... So what is individualized marketing, and what does it mean for you? It means that you must ensure that every interaction you have with each customer is relevant to that individual, and offers must be easily adapted to his or her evolving needs.  ... " 

IBM CIO on Agile

The CIO Of IBM On How To Create An Agile Enterprise
Jacob Morgan  
What this episode is about and why you should care:
When you are leading one of the world’s largest organizations with hundreds of thousands of employees you need a unique vision to succeed. Jeff Smith, the Chief Intelligence Officer at IBM, has two major missions as CIO. First, to enable a productive work environment and second, to lead the deployment of an agile culture throughout the company. ... " 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Artificial Intelligence as the Next Big Thing

Good piece.  I am involved with with this kind of work now.  Much to be done.

From The New York Times:
Silicon Valley Looks to Artificial Intelligence for the Next Big Thing

Tech’s new architecture melds large computing clouds and artificial intelligence to create efficient computing resources and data-based businesses. ... " 

Grocery Delivery Testing via Uber

Not unexpected once your get the network in place.  Still very limited in location.

In Supermarketnews.  Registration for full article.
Harris Teeter said Monday that it was upgrading its Express Lane click-and-collect online shopping to include home delivery through a partnership with UberRUSH. The delivery option is currently in pilot phase at Harris Teeter's Constitution Square store in Washington, D.C., and is only available to consumers within a five-mile radius of that store. The option is also limited to mobile shoppers. Related Harris Teeter could impact Kroger expansion plans Curbside and Uber team for ...    " 

Storytelling Moving a Business

Using Storytelling to move a business.  In one sense this is always the way it has been done.   In K@W:  " ... Great storytelling has been around for eons, but prowess in that skill can propel growth in a company or brand, attract new talent and boost employee morale. Carmine Gallo tells this story in his new book, The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don’t, on the Knowledge@Wharton show on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM channel 111. ... " 

Center for Creative Leadership

CCL:  Achieve What Matters Most
Leadership development is ALL we do. For more than four decades we have leveraged the power of leadership to transform individuals, teams, entire organizations and societies to achieve what matters most to them — with results that are powerful, measurable, and enduring.

Our innovative solutions are steeped in extensive research and experience gained from working with tens of thousands of organizations and more than a million leaders at all levels — across six continents and more than 130 countries. We draw from a world of experience across cultures, industries and disciplines, helping you with your real world challenges, and measuring the impact of our work.

Financial Times
Ranked among the world's Top 10 providers of executive education by Bloomberg BusinessWeek and the Financial Times, you can be confident we will deliver the results that matter most to you. .... 

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) has named IFTF Distinguished Fellow Bob Johansen as their H. Smith Richardson Jr. Visiting Fellow for 2016. This prestigious fellowship is a great honor for Bob, who teamed with CCL on the second edition of his groundbreaking book Leaders Make the Future: 10 New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World. CCL President and CEO John R. Ryan wrote the foreword for the book, which includes a CCL self-assessment and other original content.

Blockchain Technology Spreading

Not new, but Notably in some unexpected areas.

From fine wine to lotteries: Blockchain tech takes off
By Mark Smith Technology of Business reporter

Imagine a world where you can vote in an election with your phone, where your buy a house in a matter of hours, or where cash simply doesn't exist.

These are some of the scenarios being mooted by an increasingly excited blockchain community.

The technology that underpins the cryptocurrency Bitcoin is nothing new - it's been around for decades. It's just an encrypted database that that's distributed across a computer network ... " 

Automatic Programming for Swarm Robotics

Interesting thoughts, how do you give multiple robots cooperative goals?

An automated programming method previously used in manufacturing could make swarm robots more user-friendly and more reliable.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have used the supervisory control theory for the first time with a swarm of robots. The team reports the novel method reduces the need for human input and therefore error.

The group used a graphical tool to define tasks for up to 600 robots, and then a machine automatically programmed and translated this to the robots. The program uses a form of linguistics, comparable to using the alphabet in the English language, and the robots use their own alphabet to construct words related to what they perceive and actions they choose to perform. ...  " 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Semantic, Cognitive and Perceptual Computing

via Amit Sheth
LexisNexis Ohio Eminent Scholar & Exec. Dir., Kno.e.sis

A golden trio of computing paradigms to building more intelligent systems of tomorrow .... 

There have been great trios in history and in many aspects of our being: Earth, Wind and Fire; Mind, Body and Spirit; Escher, Godel and Bach.....Along the continuum of machine-centric to human-centric visions  ... , this IEEE Computer article (Mar 2016) outlines the golden trio of semantic, cognitive and perceptual computing as the computing paradigms that will enable building of increasingly intelligent systems...with an application example...  " 

P&G Looks at Digital Marketing

An interview.  We worked with Marc Pritchard.   He 'grew up' with the emergence of digital marketing, so his thoughts are interesting to follow.

In Adage:
Where P&G Sees Future of Digital Going and Its Impact on Agencies, Creative ... Ahead of Ad Age's Digital Conference, Marc Pritchard Talks About How Digital Reshapes Relationships and Strategies  ...  "

Looking at Target's Future Lab

Continue to be a student of spaces devoted to innovation.  See my tag links below for years of looking into the space, including a decade plus of my work in CPG and retail spaces.  Contact me for more, glad to participate.    The space below collaborates with groups we also worked with.

In Retailwire:
In its collaboration with global design firm IDEO and MIT Media Lab, Target's Food + Future coLab last week unveiled its first two innovations with a focus on food transparency.

Opened in January near MIT's campus in Cambridge, MA, "the bustling lab full of bioengineers, students, nutritionists and farmers [are] hard at work testing big ideas about the future of food," Target said on its Bullseye View blog. The multi-year collaboration, first unveiled last November, is concentrating efforts on urban farming, food transparency and authenticity, supply chain and health.

The first of the two ideas developed by the team focused on food labeling. The line, Good & Gather, displays ingredients on the front of packaging rather than in fine print on the back. .... " 

Companies Promoting their Master Brand

Reminds me of discussions occurring in big marketing driven enterprises.  How does this ultimately successfully drive loyalty that can create company wide engagement?  In the HBR.

Wozniak Plauds the Echo and Voice

In the Business Insider: 
Apple founder Steve Wozniak loves the Amazon Echo, a smart speaker that users can talk to.
In an interview with CNBC that aired Friday, he said he thought it was "the next big platform for the near future." .... "It's become such a wonderful part of our life, not having to lift anything up and speak to things, and just speak to it anywhere across a room," he said. "That is such a luxury and freedom." ...  '

Truth in Film Visualized

In InformationisBeautiful: An interesting view of film truth versus fiction, visualized in a time line.   I took a look at the Turing biopic example 'The Imitation Game'.  Relatively recent history.   I have always been intrigued to understand the extent to which film based on truth is actually true.   Of course, this depends on the contextual meaning of truth.  No video cameras were present, later recollections can always be suspect. Agendas drive portrayal.  And I am sure debatable depending on observer,   A problem with all kinds of history. Would like to see this kind of data in near real time. Worth a look.   Another film done is 'The Social Network',  covering a much later period, but also computing history.

Have used the real-time timeline for other kinds of data like sales delivery versus marketing spend. The simplicity can be instructive.

Wireless Earpods

When I think of wearables I do not normally think of earpods, but here is a piece that claims knowledge of IOS and future iPhones possibly including new kinds of earpods that will enhance your soundscape in some new and even profound ways.   Potential wireless 'hearing aid' applications, but also being useful for people with normal hearing.  Unclear how certain any of this information is, but worth following.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Automating Proof

In the first wave of AI considerable attention was paid to the concept of 'automating proofs'.  With the idea that we could take rules about expertise,  and then combine and extend them to provide deeper insight into business decisions.  In general this did not work for business decisions.  Nor does this automating process add to that goal.

Principal Components of Data Science

Using my favorite machine learning tool, Principal components analysis (PCA) on the tools of data analysis themselves. Dimension reduction.  Instructive exercise.  By Bob Hayes in Customer Think.

Coke Freestyle Machine as IOT

We were early examiners of late stage differentiation in the Coke Freestyle machine.  Now its common to see,  Thought of it as a way to understand how consumers tastes change by location, and to deliver those tastes.    But never saw it as an IOT idea.  Time to change our thoughts on that.  This piece also gives a short history its development and how it is evolving.   In Fastcompany. 

" .... "The Freestyle content bundle is the combination of work from 10 different groups within Coke," Steve Hilton, the global IT director for Freestyle, told the Summit audience. "It touches everything, from the content running through the machines all the way to taste-testing the recipes.

"It makes sure the right drinks are going over the air to the right restaurants."

Today, Coke Freestyle machines do 12 million user transactions a day around the world. Users can not only create custom mixtures, but they can also store them on a smartphone and then call them up on the Freestyle screen—even though the machine was designed before the first iPhone came out. ... " 

Microsoft Pushes New Data Vis Tool SandDance

Recent corporate experience made me marvel about the strong competition among data visualization tools.   Different parts of  large corporations even recommending different software as visualization standards.  Now there is more, from a big player:   In FastCoDesign:  " ... Microsoft's New Data-Viz Tool Puts Excel Charts To Shame ... " SandDance is free-to-use software that will make you feel like a data science guru. ... "  .   Looking further.

" ... Called SandDance, it’s a free-to-use website, produced by the Visualization and Interaction Team (VIBE) in Microsoft Research, and released through the company's experimental Garage initiative. You can also use it as part of Power BI, Microsoft’s business analytics platform. (Because data-viz for business analytics is a big business.) ... " 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Knowledge About AI

In Gizmodo.  Everything You Know About Artificial Intelligence is Wrong ...  Thoughtful piece. Well not maybe wrong, but debatable.   Do get ready for some surprises.

Next Inflection in Big Data

In O'Reilly: 

Data analytics over the past 25 years

As the volume of data has grown over the past 25 years, data comprehension for decision-making has consisted of the same two steps: creating the data warehouse and understanding the contents within the data warehouse.

The data warehouse and all its incarnations—enterprise data warehouse, data mart, and so on—is essentially an infrastructure of curated data. This data may come from a single data source (e.g., the database of a CRM application) or by integrating a variety of data sources (e.g., integrating the database of a CRM application with a database containing the social media interactions of each customer in the CRM database). This data may be structured (e.g., currency data describing the amount paid by each customer), unstructured (e.g., notes about each interaction between a customer and a service employee in free text form), or semi-structured (e.g., log data generated by a network router). Curated data is data that, once captured, is cleaned, tagged, and profiled both automatically and, more often than people would like to think, manually. ... " 

Apple, Intel and Realsense

Some time ago I looked at the use of Intel's Realsense.  But had not heard anything from that direction for a long time.  The potential application used interactive screens.  Has Apple stopped the work?

" .... Intel has grand plans for computers that will recognize human emotion using its RealSense 3D camera, but Apple appears to have dealt it a setback.

RealSense uses a combination of infrared, laser and optical cameras to measure depth and track motion. It's been used on a drone that can navigate its own way through a forest, for example.

It can also detect changes in facial expressions, and Intel wanted to give RealSense the ability to read human emotions by combining it with an emotion recognition technology developed by Emotient. ... " 

Baidu Big Data Lab

Big Data Lab (BDL).
" .... BDL is led by Dr. Tong Zhang. BDL focuses on large-scale machine learning algorithms and applications in areas such as predictive analytics, large data structure algorithms, and intelligent systems research. BDL’s mission is to make peoples’ lives better through big data. ... "

Friday, March 25, 2016

Baidu Understanding Crowds

In the CACM:   An approach that has been used to design retail environments.

" ... Baidu's Big Data Lab has devised an algorithm that can predict crowd formation, which researchers say could be used to help warn authorities and individuals of unusually large crowds that threaten public safety.

The algorithm correlates data from Baidu Map route searches with the crowd density of the places people search for to anticipate crowd formations at a certain place and time.

"Our algorithm is able to use crowd data from Baidu maps to predict how many people will be [at a certain location] in the next two hours," reports Baidu researcher Wu Haishan. ... " 

Hololens Ted Talk

Good Ted talk introduction to the expectations for the Hololens virtual reality capability soon to be delivered by  Microsoft.

Controversial Data Science Articles

In DSC:  Nicely done, I like the controversy stoked here.  The field is full of argument,  which I believe is healthy ... it leads you to the creative.

Wi-Next and Advanced Analytics

I recently attended a webinar from Wi-Next.  This is a natural next step.  Process control is an area we first experimented with rule based AI systems.

IBM will bring more advanced analytics to Wi-Next's industrial IoT systems

        Internet of Things startup Wi-Next will add IBM analytics to its systems for industrial quality control and predictive   ... 

The added capabilities, including some powered by artificial intelligence, are designed to help food-processing companies and consumer product makers keep production lines running smoothly despite what's sometimes a breakneck pace. .... " 

Towards Intelligent Crowdsourcing

Always thought there would be value in intelligently directing a crowdsourcing effort. Our own experiments showed it was difficult to manage.    The below appears to point to a better means to direct the results and feed machine learning methods. Plan to attend.

Georgina FitzGerald webinars@theiegroup.com via mktdns.com 

The introduction of crowdsourcing was a game changer for the business world — but that was so ten years ago. It was innovative for its time. It enabled companies to outsource projects to a remote workforce (though that workforce was relatively unknown, which is kinda scary) — but crowdsourcing in its original form is flawed and inadequate. 

For example, it was never designed to provide training data for machine learning models — a highly relevant use case today as artificial intelligence (AI) becomes an increasingly large focus across industries. It was never designed to handle specialized tasks in place of in-house employees to free up time for more complex work (example: engineers offloading tasks like annotating and attributing products so they can focus on writing code), though it makes perfect sense to now use crowdsourcing that way.

Register for the 'Intelligent Crowdsourcing: What the Next Generation of Crowdsourcing Looks Like'       webinar and discover:

 - How traditional crowdsourcing falls short
 - How Intelligent Crowdsourcing works
 - Why you need high-quality labeled data to train your machine learning models    ... " 

Data Sonification

Using sound to detect patterns in data.  Never got this idea to work in practice, but others have. Under certain circumstances our ears can discern patterns better than our eyes.   How can this also be combined with analytics?  A Sandbox to test the idea.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Google Building Amazon Echo Rival?

Been involved in examination of the voice channel in the enterprise and smart home for some time now.   The Amazon Echo has received much attention, but is Google now building something that might compete?  They have worked hard on the assistant angle for some time now.  I believe there are still enterprise channel possibilities yet unexamined here.   In the Verge.

See also:  Google Nuance speech recognition.

Just How Smart are Smart Machines?

Very good piece from some of our communications with MT Sloan.  Read the whole thing.  May require some registration.   Again, very non technical, management  approach to the question.

Just How Smart Are Smart Machines? 
Thomas H. Davenport and Julia Kirby

The number of sophisticated cognitive technologies that might be capable of cutting into the need for human labor is expanding rapidly. But linking these offerings to an organization’s business needs requires a deep understanding of their capabilities.

Smart Machines
If popular culture is an accurate gauge of what’s on the public’s mind, it seems everyone has suddenly awakened to the threat of smart machines. Several recent films have featured robots with scary abilities to outthink and manipulate humans. In the economics literature, too, there has been a surge of concern about the potential for soaring unemployment as software becomes increasingly capable of decision making. Yet managers we talk to don’t expect to see machines displacing knowledge workers anytime soon — they expect computing technology to augment rather than replace the work of humans. In the face of a sprawling and fast-evolving set of opportunities, their challenge is figuring out what forms the augmentation should take. Given the kinds of work managers oversee, what cognitive technologies should they be applying now, monitoring closely, or helping to build? ... " 

(Link Fixed) -Wharton Customer Analyticast

Via Marin Hitch Associate Director, Marketing & Communications

Introducing the, "Wharton Customer Analyticast"
WCAI has launched a podcast, "The Wharton Customer Analyticast," where we'll have WCAI constituents share different opinions, observations, and speculations about the world of customer analytics. In our first episode, WCAI Co-Director Pete Fader, explains the concept of, “The U of Data Sharing.” 

A Look at Some New Dimensions of Fintech

Just sent to me by a Fintech contact, made me think:

Lots of places for innovation to play out in financial/insurance space.  Consider insurance defined as a means of dealing with a portfolio of risk.

Also looked at smart contract space ....  a place between compliance and finance and risk.... Is this where the Hyperledger dwells?   ....

Bill Gates on Quantum Computing in Cloud

In CACM: Quite an interesting view of this potential next step to computing.  Have followed this for a long time, see the tag below.  Including links to overviews of the idea.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Google is Sharing Cloud AI

Nice to see this happen, As always like to see demonstrations as to how it can be practically applied in the enterprise.   Will be examining this.   In Wired: 

Google is once again sharing its state-of-art artificial intelligence with the rest of the world.
Today at an event in San Francisco, the company unveiled a new family of cloud computing services that allow any developer or business to use the machine learning technologies that power some of Google’s most powerful services. Inside Google, these artificial intelligence systems deftly identify images inside apps like Google Photos; recognize commands spoken into Android Phones; and significantly improve the Google Internet search engine.  ... " 

Detecting Funny

The emergence of a New Yorker crowdsourcing system that tries to determine, with interaction and algorithm, what is funny.  In CNet.  Seems this could also be linked to Cyc and perhaps Lucid, to determine the subtlety of our knowledge about our world.    You can join in the crowd sourcing process here 


This and commentary on it made me think.    Recently dealt with a related  insurance problem:

"  Explore New Kinds Of Insurance ... 
Customers and businesses are desperately seeking workable solutions to their problems. With microinsurance, they have the ability to handpick features that offer the right amount of financial protection for the shortest period of time.

Take Opendoor, the startup radically changing the way we buy and sell homes. Not only does the company buy your home over the web instantly and let you close in three days, they also guarantee handling every aspect of the tedious escrow process for you, saving you time, money and headaches.

We’ve also seen companies like Oscar that, in less than five minutes via mobile, connect users with quality and easily accessible healthcare insurance.

Affirm and Klarna offer a new form of consumer financing during checkout, insuring the seller against any defaults in payment. ... ? 

Microsoft and Lowes with Augmented Reality

In the Forrester Blog:  Augmented retailing, it might be called.  Is it enough of an engagement factor to drive sales?  DIY retail has often been mentioned as a place where this would work well.  This appears to be a demonstration of how Microsoft's Hololens might be used commercially in retail.

The Maturing of the Data Lake

Very good introductory article in CACM:     Lots of players and directions mentioned.  Note the mention of needing 'loosely coupled data' to be better understood.   This gets back to the idea of enhancing data as an asset when combined with other internal or external data.  Consider too how an AI derived 'Bot' might be used to scour data lake resources to look for value enhancing asset combinations.    Opportunities are expanding.

 " ... John O'Brien, CEO of Radiant Advisors, a Boulder, CO-based technology research consultancy, has a succinct view of the current state of databases:

"The concept of database is gone, in my opinion."

O'Brien's sentiment should not be interpreted to mean the reams of data being created by computers and devices across the world will no longer have coherence once stored. Rather, the latest concept in data organization, the data lake—in which raw data, structured and unstructured, of many formats, is stored in one conceptual depository—has emerged.

In contrast to the rigidly pre-formatted data warehouse, the data in the lake is accessed and its schema created upon use ("schema on read") by those with varied purposes, from real-time operational optimization to predictive analytics. This approach, experts say, was an obvious answer to meeting the needs of the new era of big data analytics, in which loosely coupled data is expected to yield valuable new insights.   ... " 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

SAP Addressing the Supply Chain

We worked on early, optimization based uses of SAP data to improve the operation of the enterprise supply chain.   Note the mention of constraint based systems, key for supply chains.    Also the integration of real time operations.   Will be interesting to see more details, have asked for that.

SAP releases latest addition to fast-growing cloud-based Supply Chain Planning Platform
WALLDORF, Germany, March 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) has released the SAP® Integrated Business Planning 6.1 application for response and supply, a new addition to its innovative cloud-based planning suite. The application allows companies to plan based on demand priorities and adapt quickly when faced with demand-upside opportunities or supply disruptions. Based on the powerful SAP HANA® platform, the new offering enables faster, more accurate decisions supported by what-if analysis, and easy analysis of constraints in the supply chain.

With this release, all of the major components of SAP Integrated Business Planning are now available. The cloud-based suite now supports the end-to-end planning processes of sales and operations planning, demand sensing and planning, supply and allocations planning, response planning and inventory optimization. These applications, along with embedded analytics, alerting and collaboration capabilities, enable SAP customers to achieve greater visibility, shorter planning cycles, and faster response to changes in demand and supply. ... " 

Leveraging Internet of Things for Competitive Advantage

Leveraging the Internet of Things for Competitive Advantage

In collaboration with Dell, Mar 22, 2016 Operations Management Partner Collaborations  Global FocusNorth America Internet-of-Things ... 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next frontier in the digital revolution. It can help companies increase productivity, cut costs, offer new products and services and deploy new business models. But IoT can require extensive integration and skilled staff for implementation. It also often creates new demands around security and interoperability — the capacity for varied computer systems and applications to “talk” with each other. In this paper, experts from Wharton and Dell Digital Business Services examine why companies nevertheless cannot afford to ignore IoT in the digital age to gain a competitive advantage. ....  " 

Intelligent Voice Interfaces

From Mindmeld.  Registration information is required.

" ... Did you know predictions are that, by 2020, 50% of web searches will be done using voice queries? If you have an app or connected device that requires search functionality, naturally spoken voice search is rapidly becoming a must-have requirement.  In many cases, voice is the fastest and most natural way to interact with devices and applications for navigation, search and discovery, driving higher engagement and user satisfaction.

Download this whitepaper to learn how natural language voice interfaces are possible today using advanced artificial intelligence technologies that have been long in the making -- but are finally here!

Learn about:
The context of present-day voice-driven technology
The 4 main components of an intelligent voice-driven application ...  " 

Andrew Grove Dies

We hosted Andrew Grove, former Intel Chairman and founder, to our innovation centers several times.  A short bio in CACM.  See also article in Fortune.

Confirmation Bias

Via Linkedin: Have seen this kind of bias in many parts of the enterprise.   On challenging the idea.

Emerging Trends in Data Analytics

In DSC: On emerging trends in data analytics.  " .... Data Science Central shared its predictions for 2016. More predictions can be found here. In this article, we share Scott Mongeau's predictions. The full version of this (long) article can be found here.   ... " 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Virtual Reality in the Enterprise

OK, for specialty hands-free applications, but for the usual knowledge worker?   Course a decade plus ago would not have expected the mobile, always connected, image gathering and manipulating phone device either.  In Techcrunch;

Mobile Moments for Online Purchasing

Good think with Google piece.  More statistics about key micro moments.

30% of all online purchases now occur on Mobile Phones.
Mobile Retail Apps and Sites: 
Designing a Better Experience for Shoppers ... 

In a booming e-commerce market, you can rise above the pack by providing a mobile site or app with frictionless, simple experiences for shoppers on-the-go. From Google's UX Research Lead Jenny Gove and UX Design Lead Iram Mirza, here are 25 principles for designing a retail mobile site or app. ... " 

Cisco on the Digital Company

Talk by John Chambers of Cisco: 

How significant is the digital era? It’s the biggest technology transition in history, according to Cisco’s executive chairman—and requires a proportional response from companies. ... " 

Pluto and its Moons Influence World of Data

This blog isn't about astronomy, but it is my background, and just this week, new papers and remarkable images regarding Pluto and its Moons.  We can now see so far away and manage such huge amounts of data.  Reapplying these methods have led us to big data, analytics, and better understanding of all of our world.    To see further links between the two, see:  rocketdatascience.org/ 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Big Analytics Driving Grocery

Interesting view of Grocery and Big Data.  The complexity of grocery and its data, driving the utilization of the aisle.

Consumer buying behavior: How grocery stores can tap big data to meet shopper demand by Barbara Thau

It's no secret that online shopping continues to redefine consumer buying behavior. While supermarkets have been late to the online party, that's now changing rapidly.

Last month, Target began testing a same-day grocery delivery service with Instacart. Meanwhile, Amazon has been piloting AmazonFresh groceries in select markets to gauge consumer buying behavior, while also testing consumers' appetite for innovations such as Amazon Dash, a Wi-Fi connected device that allows shoppers to order products with a click of a button.

By definition, groceries are a complex business, as food is perishable and storage logistics are complex. However, food is also a high-frequency purchase that's largely insulated from economic downturns. As competition heats up in the grocery aisle, big data is gaining traction as the tool supermarkets need to counter rivals and remain profitable. ... ' 

Capital One is Now on the Echo

Music, Shopping lists, Trivia. Simple Games.  All entertainment interactions.  But now Capital One is on the Amazon Echo.  Quite an interesting uptick on the seriousness of the voice channel.  Yes, I would be worried about the security involved, but am sure they are thinking it through.  Bravo.  Read more on my year plus experiments at the Echo tab below.

Self Service Data Preparation

Watson linking to Cognos.   And note too the link to data preparation, often a messy issue.

New! Self-service Data Preparation Tool for Watson Analytics and Cognos Analytics

With Datawatch Monarch for IBM Analytics, you get easy and fast data access and preparation capabilities to export into Watson Analytics and Cognos Analytics. The result? The discovery of new insights and intelligence you can amplify throughout your ... 

In IBM business intelligence solutions, natural language lets you engage with your data in a human way. In Watson Analytics, predictive analytics automatically reveals key drivers to help you truly understand the “why” without personal bias so you can take the right action. The managed reporting and dashboards and data security and governance of Cognos Analytics enables insights to flow top down and bottom up, so new intelligence reaches to the far corners of your organization. In the end, there’s more time for doing what’s important. However, until now, a significant challenge remained. ... 

One of the biggest impediments to accurate analytics is data preparation. This long and complex process can take so much time that there’s barely any left for analyzing the data once it’s ready. And yet, without data preparation, the results from analysis just aren’t reliable. . ... " 

Update  3/24/2016:
via david clement [9:39 AM] 
Hi Franz, the recently announced partnership between IBM and Datawatch is meant to allow for people to easily gather data from unstructured or semi-structured data sources such as web pages or PDF files, and bring those into Watson Analytics and Cognos Analytics, as well as blend and join data from multiple database sources with far less data prep or modeling effort than can typically come with this task. .... 

Datawatch Monarch compliments the existing light data prep capabilities already in Watson Analytics and extends the data source and data prep capabilities of Cognos Analytics to fill this immediate need for further sources for business people. The link you have provided in your posts a and slack chat is all about the Analytics Exchange and Blue Mix, and is not relevant to the new partnership. Here is the link you might want to refer to https://www.ibm.com/blogs/watson-analytics/ibm-and-datawatch-announce-partnership-at-2016-gartner-bi-analytics-summit/  and here is where you pin pointed the image above   ... "    See also.   ...  "

Need a Smart Home Air Freshener?

Brought to my attention.  Note the ability to link to smart home hub.  How much consumer interest will there be?   Novelty vs value?  Another leveraging of Febreze.

P&G's Sci-Fi Air Freshener Makes Your House Smell Smart
by  Stacey Higginbotham

Is this the end of the smart home being “cool?”

The engineers at Procter & Gamble have looked at the connected home with interest, and in nine months have come up with a product to test the waters. It’s a $49 connected Febreze plug that lets consumers release one of two scents into their home by using a smartphone app.

The company is showing off the device at CES, the big technology showcase in Las Vegas this week. While it may come across as the least exciting smart home technology ever, that is a mark in its favor ....  " .

Faster Machine Unlearning

In the CACM: 
" ... Researchers at Lehigh and Columbia University have developed a machine-learning method that involves making such systems forget the data's "lineage" so they can remove the data and undo its effects and allow future operations to run as if the data never existed. Although the concept of "machine unlearning" is well-established, the researchers have developed a way to do it faster and more effectively than can be done using current methods. Effective machine-unlearning techniques can help improve the privacy and security of raw data. ... " 

Power of Selling to the C-Suite

C Suite as most receptive audience.    Saw this in a number of examples, even within the big and bloated enterprise.  Less cultural flap and interference.  xpectation of value was understood,  Need for disruptive change.  Harder to get there, but then easier to get something done. Understanding that failure is possible is important.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Seeking Data Capital

A topic I did a study on a few years ago and reported on here as 'Data assets'.  A favorite issue that asks the questions:  How can I predict the value of a data asset under given and changing contexts?  A Bayesian model of this?  One context is what data can be admixed to provide additional value. Consider also the idea of a 'Data Supply Chain', also on the tag below.   Further  Technology Review addresses data capital.

" ... A 2011 study conducted by Brynjolfsson and colleagues at MIT and the University of Pennsylvania supports the concept of data as a capital asset. Based on surveys of nearly 180 large public companies, researchers concluded that businesses that emphasize "data-driven decision making" (DDD) performed highest in terms of output and productivity—typically "5 to 6 percent higher than what would be expected, given their other investments and information technology usage," said the report. "Collectively, our results suggest that DDD capabilities can be modeled as intangible assets which are valued by investors and which increase output and profitability." ... " 

Acellerators and Incubators for Corporate Transformation.

Stefan Lindegaard  ... Author, speaker, advisor on corporate transformation, (open) innovation management and the people side of innovation ...

Accelerators and Incubators for Corporate Transformation: Coca-Cola, Cisco and MetLife
Corporate accelerators and incubators are popping up all around.

Their purposes are often multifold so in this post, I have pulled together some information on 3 programs that not only aim to grow new business opportunities and thus revenues and profits, but also aim to make an impact on the organization itself and thus help with its transformation efforts. ... " 

Car Ballet: Eliminating Traffic Lights with Car Sensors

A somewhat exciting and scary idea out of MIT:
As vehicles become more wirelessly connected, communicating with each other and the infrastructure around them, traffic lights may become an unnecessary impediment in getting from A to B.

Instead of stopping for traffic lights, sensor-laden vehicles would communicate with each other and perform a kind of ballet around each other, according to a new study by MIT.

The study claims this kind of traffic-light-free transportation design, if it ever arrives, could allow twice as much traffic to use existing roads. ....  " 

Friday, March 18, 2016

What will Make Future Computing more Powerful?

As Moore's law slows, what will drive new capabilities in computing?  Lots of things.  Quantum computing, new form of parallelism,  more accessible data, AI to use cognitive methods.  And more.   A decisive move from hardware to software driven value?  The Economist writes further.

Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and IT

In the HBR.
The digital marketplace has created a business imperative that every company be — in some way — a technology company. This means that IT departments are being pulled out of their traditional “gate keeper” role of protecting the core technology infrastructure to collaborate across the enterprise to drive business outcomes.

While almost all business units, such as HR and sales, have started working more closely with IT, we have become especially interested in the marketing-IT relationship because we’ve seen firsthand just how much of marketing is increasingly powered by technology. Even the aspects of marketing that aren’t traditionally thought of as being tech-driven, such as event marketing and mail campaigns, now are. ...  " 

Virtually Observing your IOT Environment

I remember a similar VR application suggested:  Observing behind the walls of a building (based on blueprints) in order to do maintenance planning and operations. .  Now add the ability to understand the flow of data involved. VR for IoT - a prototype for virtualized display of sensor data streaming from IoT hardware.

Coding Tips for Speeding up Python

Technical in CWorld: This came up in a recent effort.  Python is an interpreted language, thus slower than codes like C or Java. But there are ways to improve the comparison.  Though today we have much faster machines,  we are often working with much larger and complex data sets.

A Future World of Robots

Nature looks at a future world of 2040 where everyone has a helper robot. " .... Technological change is accelerating today at an unprecedented speed and could create a world we can barely begin to imagine. by Declan Butler  ...   " 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Columbia Master of Science in Applied Analytics

Via Kaiser Fung
" ... We have a bunch of classes in the "leadership, management, and
communications" area, listed here:
http://ce.columbia.edu/applied-analytics/master-of-science-in-applied-analytics/courses  ... " 

A conversation continues.  More to follow.

Lucid and Cyc for Pattern Recognition

Description of Lucid, which combines pattern recognition and learned AI using Cyc,

The Next Step 
Artificial Intelligence Has Been Waiting For
Over 800 AIs can crunch your data. Only one can understand it. ... 

No way shown that I can yet test it.  Can someone give me access?  We tested Cyc in the 90s for potential enterprise use.

See also their blog and more information.

( Historical note.  It came to mind I had heard of Lucid before.  Looked them up and they had existed as a Lisp based AI company we worked with before they morphed into an OOP approach.  Then apparently had connections to early Amazon.    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucid_Inc.  )

On the Advance of Natural Language Processing (NLP)

In CACM:   Video and text. Useful from both a statement of problems and approaches.

" .... Indeed, new tools and new techniques—particularly open source technologies such as Google's word2vec neural text processing tool—combined with steady increases in computing power, have broadened the potential for natural language processing far beyond the research lab or supercomputer. In domains as varied as finding pertinent news for a company's potential investors to making hyper-personalized recommendations for online shopping to making music recommendations on streaming radio services, NLP is enabling everyday human-computer interaction in an ever-increasing range of venues. In the process, some of these advances are not only redefining what computers and humans can accomplish together, but also the very concept of what deep learning is. ... " 

Business Anthropology

In Innovation Excellence:  As I recall we had one corporate anthropologist.  Don't know if that still the case.  What is that and what is it meant to produce?  An overview.

A Futurist Blog

I recently read James Altucher's Medium post: Three Trends for the next 50 Years, which I liked, that made me revisit his futurist blog.   More that just about what will happen, but also what to do about it. Worth a read.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Quietly Supersonic

Comeback Kid: The Next Sound-Barrier-Busting Passenger

Jet Could Be Quietly SupersonicRemember seeing the Concorde over London a number of times, and then over West Chester Ohio for the last time.  Would be nice to see the capability again.   Quietly too.  Why not?

Comeback Kid: The Next Sound-Barrier-Busting Passenger Jet Could Be Quietly Supersonic
by The Bike Shop  

The Concorde was the first and last supersonic jet in passenger service. But that claim comes with a caveat. 

The plane could accelerate above the speed of sound only over the ocean. The prospect of noisy sonic booms caused by the plane crossing the sound barrier forced pilots to hold back the throttle above towns and cities after takeoff and before touchdown. “This speed limit actually made the plane much less efficient,” says Karl Wisniewski, director of advanced programs at GE Aviation. “It was designed to fly fast.” 

The last Concorde landed in 2003, but NASA and a team of aerospace companies that includes Lockheed Martin and GE Aviation are not finished with supersonic passenger flight. They are developing a supersonic concept plane that could quietly break the sound barrier without setting off a sonic boom and rattling everyone on the ground. ..... " 

InHalio Just Launched

" ... We have been in development on this for the last four years…therefor heads down and nose to the grind stone and  all that…as you know. .... 5th Screen Digital, Inc. just launched the new website today which reflects our current offerings and business in retail, connected home , auto, and entertainment! 

Welcome to the “Internet of Scent” a new form of content that will drive new experiences. ... Ahh… the sweet smell of success.

www.inhalio.com     @Inhalio 

Keith Kelsen, CVO

Report of a recent partnership in gaming.

A Look at Tensorflow

A straigthforward examination of Google's Open Source Tensorflow, with Python code.  And ultimately, for this application, disappointment with the result.  Motivation for what to do, but not why to use it.  A look at the Python API is included.

A Digital Transformation Playbook

Brought to my attention by a correspondent at Columbia

The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age (Columbia Business School Publishing) Hardcover – April 5, 2016
by David L. Rogers

On order, they write:

Rethink your business for the digital age.

Every business begun before the Internet now faces the same challenge: How to transform to compete in a digital economy?

Globally recognized digital expert David L. Rogers argues that digital transformation is not about updating your technology but about upgrading your strategic thinking. Based on Rogers's decade of research and teaching at Columbia Business School, and his consulting for businesses around the world, The Digital Transformation Playbook shows how pre-digital-era companies can reinvigorate their game plans and capture the new opportunities of the digital world.

Rogers shows why traditional businesses need to rethink their underlying assumptions in five domains of strategy―customers, competition, data, innovation, and value. He reveals how to harness customer networks, platforms, big data, rapid experimentation, and disruptive business models―and how to integrate these into your existing business and organization. ... " 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Innovating out of Commodity Traps

In Innovation Excellence:
The commodity trap is a significant threat for manufacturers in premium market segments. It describes the tendency of competing products to become more and more similar, thus nullifying any competitive advantage that the high-end product might have had. The result is that products can only be sold on price, which can be disastrous for a market leader.

There are various standard reactions to this threat, none of which is sustainable. In this article we present an advanced innovation strategy which provides robust protection from low-price competitors.... " 

EU's Robotic Nose for Aroma Sensory Data

A long time challenge, a system that can detect and recognize aroma.   We experimented in the area of coffee beans and blend classification, linked to optimizing machine learning.  But the existing systems could not capture the ppm variances involved.

At the time it was suggested that such a system could 'sniff out' changes in blends or even manufacturing results or emerging issues in real time.  At least the system could gather large quantities of data that could be mined for subtle, or not not so subtle changes.   We have done that in the dimension of imagery, now how about scent? Would this system take us closer to that idea?

See also  Inhalio.com

In the CACM: 
The European Union's BIOMACHINELEARNING project has created a neuromorphic network for odor recognition, running on neuromorphic hardware, which can receive real-time input from electrical gas sensors.

The project's researchers say the technology could lead to the development of a cost-effective, portable, and fully functional robotic nose.

When studying how to improve the accuracy and speed of odor detection and identification, the researchers found they could use bio-inspired signal processing to enhance the signals from sensors and resolve variations in gas concentrations resulting from of a phenomenon called "turbulence." Rapid concentration changes associated with turbulence can be resolved with inexpensive, off-the-shelf gas sensors and appropriate signal processing, according to the researchers. .... " 

Steps to Gamification

While there have been some useful gamified processes, it is often hard to understand how to proceed beyond just testing a number of options.  Consider the steps to gamification.

Chat as Interface

In Medium:  Amusing thoughts.  Chat and vocal interface can be very useful, but it is much harder to define, debug and direct than a classic user interface.    Until you get something that is very AI like.   And even then,  chatty communications among intelligent humans can also be messy and error prone.  So we are struggling to place email with something more directed and precise.  Can a chatbot make that happen anytime soon?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Finally Leveraging 30 Years of Knowledge in AI?

In the Enterprise we talked to Cyc for potential application in the enterprise, but at the time there were no clear applications.   Cyc is an attempt to record and make useful common knowledge that can be part of AI. Ultimately fundamental to create generally useful virtual assistants.

In Technology Review:
Doug Lenat’s creation is Cyc, a knowledge base of semantic information designed to give computers some understanding of how things work in the real world.

Cyc has been given many thousands of facts, including lots of information that you wouldn’t find in an encyclopedia because it seems self-evident. It knows, for example, that that Sir Isaac Newton is a famous historical figure who is no longer alive. But more important, Cyc also understands that if you let go of an apple it will fall to the ground; that an apple is not bigger than a person; and that a person cannot throw an apple into space.

And now, after years of work, Lenat’s system is being commercialized by a company called Lucid.... 

McD's First Loyalty Program

A first .. McDonalds to join the App based loyalty programs.   " ... Nation's Restaurant News noted that McDonald's has been building up its digital team to better tap customer-facing technology. Margo Georgiadis, president of Americas at Google, joined its board last year. ... ".  A first example of gathering this kind of real time data by McDs.

New Learning Methods for Neural Networks

We used mostly error back propagation.  How will this influence new methods being used for classification?  Technical, worth a deeper look in the linked paper.  Possible link to IOT sensory applications?

In CACM:  " ... The model is based on a synaptic learning rule in which individual neurons can increase or decrease their activity in response to a simple learning signal.

Gutig says he has employed this rule to establish an "'aggregate-label' learning procedure...built on the concept of setting the connections between cells in such a way that the resulting neural activity over a certain period is proportional to the number of cues."

Gutig's model also performs well when there is a delay between the cue and the event or outcome, by interpreting the average neural activity within a network as a learning signal. He says this "self-supervised" learning conforms to a principle differing from the Hebbian theory often applied in artificial neural networks.  ... " 

Caution with the Statistical P Value

Statistical measures like P-Values and R Squares are dragged out to prove a number of things.  But caution should be considered.  This Nature article does a good job of explaining the needed cautions:

" ... Scientific method: Statistical errors
P values, the 'gold standard' of statistical validity, are not as reliable as many scientists assume.
by Regina Nuzzo     ... " 

The final quote in the article brings us back to how any study, analytic or statistical should be considered.  It is about the process involved.  

  "  .... Statistician Richard Royall of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, said that there are three questions a scientist might want to ask after a study: 'What is the evidence?' 'What should I believe?' and 'What should I do?' One method cannot answer all these questions, Goodman says: “The numbers are where the scientific discussion should start, not end.  .... " 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cost and Process Model for IOT

n Gartner.  An example of a cost model for IOT.  Part 1. Have not looked at it in detail,  Even without using something this detailed directly it is useful to think about elements that should be considered.   Also how a more formal process model might be integrated

Classification Methods in R

We used classification methods to determine, for example, how marketing should be placed or how it should be adapted.  Most of this work was done long before R, but with adapted codes,  I am still in the process of understanding of how some of these methods have been implemented in R.  So I am collecting examples for possible test.  Here in DSC, a collection of examples of classification in R. Among these, we used only a handful.  Instructive.

Free O'Reilly Book on Graph Databases

This approach to do analytics is too little used. We always called it Graph Analytics.   This free ebook, sponsored by Neo4j, is a good introduction.  Polinode is known for its ease of integration for  HR survey data.  There are also free, open source software for this kind of analysis, see my text tag links for examples.

Analytics Tools

Bernard Marr outlines best analytics tools.  Non-technical.   I like this because it is business decision oriented. Presented at the business manager level, not for the coder or the statistician or 'data scientist'.  The smart business manager should be able to scan these and ask:  "Which could provide me the likelihood of the best value?" .  Which best matches my business needs?  Then bring in the technical help for finding and tuning data, and looking for and applying  the right solutions.

Charting a Path to Digital Value

In the Cisco Blog:

Digital disruption is here.  by Shaun Kirby 

According to a 2015 survey from the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center), a joint initiative of Cisco and the Institute of Management Development (IMD), 47 percent of retail executives say digital disruption increases the risk of going out of business. In addition, the survey revealed that four of the top 10 retail incumbents will be displaced by digital disruption over the next five years.

The good news is that a new Cisco analysis shows that digital transformation can help retailers tap into an estimated $506 billion of value globally through 2018. For a $20B retailer, this represents $823 million of annual Digital Value at Stake — new value or value that shifts among retail firms based on their ability to harness digital capabilities. The challenge is that in 2015, retailers realized only 15 percent of their potential Digital Value at Stake. ... " 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

SAP and Roambi

Forrester view with further comment.

Forrester Quick Take: SAP Acquires Roambi, Opens New Chapter In Mobile BI ... Posted by Martha Bennett

Wolfram Programming Lab v Open Source

An introduction to programming, start for free ....  Wolfram Programming Lab.  Have always been impressed by capabilities and direction.   Below is true, but we are starting to see increasing use of open source, free entry packages like Python being used in school.   I still see some pockets in the enterprise, but they are fading.   Even if packages like Wolfram are quicker to develop in, we will still have to maintain the results.   Coding skill is transferable, to a degree, but the details are different enough to create inefficiencies and errors.

" ... Turn your ideas into reality
Wolfram Programming Lab uses the Wolfram Language, 
the same language that powers Wolfram|Alpha and 
that's used in top research and development organizations 
worldwide. ... " 

Google's Mobile Research Team

This was the kind of thing we did in our innovation centers.  We watched how people were exposed to, bought and used our products.  The idea of sending out mobile teams to do this was brought up, but never implemented in this way. But Google has the money to drive the idea.  You do wonder how different the results will be from all that other data they gather.

 In Engadget:

" ..... Google is hitting the road to see how people outside of its San Francisco-area backyard use its products. The Associated Press reports that the mobile research station will be doing a handful of tour stops across America in an effort to act as a sort of focus group to "shape the future" of its services and apps.

"We are trying to understand the whole end-to-end experience, which is why we are trying to get out to more locations and see more people so we can gather more context," Google's Laura Granka tells the AP. .... " 

Details in the AP Story.

Cognitive and Affective Biases in High Stakes Decision Making

Join us in this Group Discussion:

 " ... Dominique Liana Russo, Harvard University, gave a fascinating presentation today on “Cognitive and Affective Biases in High Stakes Decision Making” as part of our Cognitive Systems Institute Speaker Series.   Slides here.

Please continue the conversation here with Dominique, whose research can be found here: http://scholar.harvard.edu/jenniferlerner/people/dominique-russo. To see and hear a replay of today's presentation, go to: http://cognitive-science.info/community/weekly-update/ and select recording next to February 25th presentation. ... " 

Friday, March 11, 2016

A Virtual Assistant in Your Ear

In the BBC:   Sony Xperia puts AI assistant in owner's ear ... By Leo Kelion.  And much more about hands free additions to smartphone interaction.   See also their other Xperia labeled voice applications.

Global Infrastructure

Bold Ideas to Transform Infrastructure ... There’s much more to be done to ensure we can deliver against 21st-century demands, according to participants in McKinsey’s Global Infrastructure Initiative.   Additional articles and video.

Forrester on Knowledge Discovery

A long time topic of interest.  You can get the full report from Forrester with Registration.  They cover a number of well known vendors in the space:   " ... In Forrester’s 31-criteria evaluation, they've identified nine big data search and knowledge discovery solutions providers — Attivio, Coveo Solutions, Google, HP, IBM, Lexmark International, Lucidworks, Mindbreeze, and Sinequa — and researched, analyzed, and scored their current market offerings. ... " .

Is it best to think of such discovery as a form of search?  Or should such a system be attentive rather than directed?

Recall just last year I investigated IBM's Watson Developer Cloud and Alchemy.    Which includes more cognitive aspects of discovery.   This ranks high in Forrester's analysis.

I would also again point to local vendor Zakta, which I have worked with as well.  Worth a look.

Grammar of Common Data Science Tools

In KDNuggets:  Nice look at the practical differences between R and Python.  Now working with groups that often to use both.   As it has always been, people use what they are most familiar with,  trained in, but then when things need to interact with real world expectations like speed or maintenance, things must be reconsidered.  Also makes the point that R is best for initial analysis, experimentation and graphics, Python for delivering specific deliverable systems solutions.   Its also hard to create standards when needs and methods are changing quickly. Don't waste time, set some basic standards.

Defining Research

Proud of the fact that even in the goal driven enterprise I have done research.  So what is research all about?   As the CACM article by Bertrand Meyer asks:  What is your research?   On some topic rather than in some area.  Made me think.

Bayesian in R for Estimating Waiting Times

Nice example of using Bayesian estimation in R.  Relatively simple example by James Dreiss. Developing and using Priors.   Recall just this sort of question for a very different problem.   Includes instructive code and visualization.

" .... Say we're interested in estimating the time we'll have to wait for the arrival of a G train, so we start to collect data on the times between trains. We obtain the first and second day's measurements, and it's not what we expect. For both days there's a fairly short time between trains — only 3 and 4 minutes.

Would you expect this to be an accurate representation of the average time between trains? No, probably not. These are obviously just two data points, and a three minute wait time does not exactly measure up to data on the G train's scheduled service from the MTA. We should of course collect more data, but in these early stages when we have so little of it, is it fair to totally discard the legitimate (as in, empirically backed) belief that the average time between G trains is longer than 3 or 4 minutes? .... " 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Some More VR Examples

The Verge provides some useful virtual reality examples they have experienced.  Both playful, and apparently, useful in the office.   When I talk to people about virtual  and augmented reality I find myself giving the same examples, nice to see more.  Keep them coming.

On GE Aviation Digital

GE Annual Report cover photoBy David Joyce in the GE Bikeshop:

" ... Industry Need
In aviation, operating the finest engines, components and systems made anywhere in the world can be improved—by the use of data and analytics.  A generation ago, a GE Aviation engineer would have been on the cutting edge of technology using small sets of data gathered after each flight to enhance the performance of our equipment in service.  This was the limitation of the technology at the time, and the inherent limitation in learning. Today, digital connectivity is removing that barrier.

 Our Solution
 Our ability to harness large streams of data from aviation products provides incredible insights and real operational value for our customers.  Together, we are unlocking opportunities to generate greater productivity beyond our traditional services, creating industry standards for cloud computing and strengthening our collaboration as we work on solving their toughest challenges.   We are creating a new digital skill set focused on our customers’ competitiveness, speed and efficiency while differentiating our products, services and relationships. ... " 

Challenge and Value of Simplicity

Simplicity is challenging, but essential.  A look from the retail perspective.  In Retailwire:   " .... For the third straight year, Aldi ranked first in Siegel+Gale's Global Brand Simplicity Index. The grocer was commended for its "uncomplicated offers, low prices, high-quality products and great customer service" as well as "transparent price comparisons." .... " 

PurePredictive Automating Data Science

Another data science automation play that is worth a look.

" ... Visualization tools are good. But they can only tell you where you've been.

Let PurePredictive Help you Discover Where you are Going. ... 

PurePredictive automates the discovery of complex patterns and interactions in data and builds more stable and reliable ensembles of blended predictive models in its advanced analytics software platform than anyone else in the industry. Our cloud-based technology offers seamless scalability and makes "extreme analytics" available to businesses at any scale. ... " 

Thoughts on Gartner BI Conference Next Week

Brought to my attention.  The Gartner BI conference next week.  Noted in particular the list of exhibitors.   Wide view of corporate needs there.   Who do you bet on now?   And how does BI relate to data science?  As an introduction or prerequisite for every project?   I think visualization should always be a pre requisite and a key delivery item.   Its BI, maybe, but essential.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Grocery Runners Home Delivery

Brought to my attention via a door nob hanger:  The Grocery Runners.  A third party company that delivers grocery items from Kroger markets at scheduled times. Kroger recently started self pickup tests of grocery orders in the area, this is a potential solution for the last part of the delivery supply chain.

Apparently only in (a limited) Cincinnati area at this time.  $10 per order plus 4% of cost of goods.    Seems to be well thought through.  No doubt there is demand for this, how much is unclear.  A detailed FAQ. Exploring further,

This Blog and the Future of the Supermarket

A nicely done article in Epicurious on technology and the supermarket.  Also speculation about what form the market will take in the future.  Proud to say that we experimented with all the ideas presented there in our innovation centers. .  And have been written about them in this blog over the last fifteen years.  From mentions to considerable experimental detail.

We worked with many global retailers, and with a number of technology vendors, large and small.  I have been  also been brought into a number of studies of market technology since.  You can search away here, or if you need help, contact me and I can point out where a topic has been covered.   Have something to input?  Let me know.

Building Interactive Graphs in R

In DSC: A good example of interactive use of R.  The package has an amazing number of alternatives.  Just a matter of learning some of the options and details.

Create a Trusted Hub to Engage

Not unknown.  Have to do it well.  In Adage:  " ...  L'Oreal Creates Unbranded Content Hub to Woo Beauty Fans ... Beauty Site Called Fab Even Covers Rival Brands ... ". 

Possibilities for the Amazon Echo

The NYT talks about the Amazon Echo.   " ... This time it may be different. A bit more than a year after its release, the Echo has morphed from a gimmicky experiment into a device that brims with profound possibility. The longer I use it, the more regularly it inspires the same sense of promise I felt when I used the first iPhone — a sense this machine is opening up a vast new realm in personal computing, and gently expanding the role that computers will play in our future. .. ."  .  

You can critically compare the relative capabilities of other virtual assistants, but the Echo is the first example that creates an extensible environment for a particular context, the modern home.    Vocal interaction with music, information and environment are just a start.   See more on Echo in the link below.

Clearing the Fog in Neuroscience

Clearing the Fog on Neuroscience

Elissa Moses
CEO, Ipsos Neuro and Behavioral Science Center

As an advocate and practitioner of applied neuroscience, I want to address some misunderstandings of what consumer neuroscience is and, importantly, what it can and can’'t do.

What neuroscience has given us is the gift of expanded insight into how the brain works during the decision making process. It helps us understand that decisions are not a button to be pressed, but an ongoing battle between our conscious and unconscious perceptions.

That is why ultimate purchase behavior is so suspenseful and to some degree somewhat unpredictable, because it is an internal battle to the end between often opposing forces. Should I buy the wholegrain cereal or the sweet cereal? The hot sports car or the one that is more environmentally friendly? The pants on sale or the ones that make me look sexy?

to download the complete paper, click here:

Contact: Visibility
Len Stein

Looking at Group Chat

A little while back was invited to a Slack conversation.   I was initially impressed by the easy of interaction.  But as the conversation evolved it started to degrade into disorganization.  So perhaps it only works because starting conversations are thin to begin with.  Also, claim of integrated chatbots that would help to direct and improve conversation did not emerge.  Here a broader look at the reemergence of chat.

Predictions for the IOT

From IOTCentral:  Predictions from a number of players for 2016.    Some insightful thoughts.  By David Oro.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Amazon Rethinking Advertising

In MediaDailyNews: 
 ... Amazon is about to change how companies and agencies allocate global media budgets. That is a side effect of its move to build a different type of global logistics and delivery model that will rival Federal Express and United Parcel Service.

With support from Amazon Web Services, the model will prompt brands and agency partners, such as Target, GlaxoSmithKline and Havas Digital, to change their business models.

It will also allow them to redistribute advertising dollars in unfamiliar regions across television, radio, display, video, search, and other digital paid media. These regions would be geographic locations that were not previously served by the companies.  ... " 

MIT Sloan on Work Behind Analytics Success

Beyond the Hype The Hard Work Behind Analytics Success
Why competitive advantage from analytics is declining and what to do about it

(Full paper Requires registration, available for limited time)

Includes, among other examples, mention of GE:

" ... General Electric
In 2012, GE began creating a new digital business with a multibillion-dollar bet on the Industrial Internet, a platform to aggregate and analyze sensor data from industrial machines. To achieve this digital orientation, the company has had to refashion several elements of its business model, including changing service delivery, transforming its sales force, and changing the way it prices equipment. It has created a huge software division to support a new cloud-based platform to host and analyze asset productivity data, develop new machine data applications, and bring together a community of customers and developers. GE’s strategy for data and analytics has become tightly linked to its corporate strategy, a tremendous corporate shift for what was once a traditional manufacturing conglomerate.4 GE anticipates that its Industrial Internet offerings will be a significant source of profitability and growth for years to come. In September 2015, GE formally announced the creation of a new business division, GE Digital, which will combine its Silicon Valley software center, information technology, and industrial security operations .... "