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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Spotify to Build Own Speakers?

In CIO: Another competitor in the ranks.  Now from a Music aggregator.  What kind of  other Assistant aspects will it include?  Recall how Spotify was designing music based specifically on consumer demand.

Spotify is working on a line of "category defining" hardware products and is ready to start setting up the manufacturing process.

The streaming music company intends to create a hardware category "akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles," according to job adverts posted over the past year.

One ad for a senior product manager, posted last April, called for an expert to "define the product requirements for internet connected hardware [and] the software that powers it."

Today, a trio of job adverts (spotted by industry site MusicAlly) have been posted, seeking an "operations manager," "senior project manager: hardware production," and "project manager: hardware production and engineering" for the hardware. The first of those adverts states that "Spotify is on its way [to] creating its first physical products and set-up an operational organization for manufacturing, supply chain, sales and marketing." .... '

Work on 1000 Year Clock Begins

Also known as the most famous part of the Long Now Project.  About long term thinking.  Followed it closely in its early days via our work with the Institute for the Future.

Jeff Bezos writes:

Installation has begun—500 ft tall, all mechanical, powered by day/night thermal cycles, synchronized at solar noon, a symbol for long-term thinking—the #10000YearClock is coming together thx to the genius of Danny Hillis, Zander Rose & the whole Clock team! Enjoy the video.

Tweet and Video. 
Clock Details and more video:

" ... The full scale 10,000 Year Clock is now under construction. While there is no completion date scheduled, we do plan to open it to the public once it is ready. The essay below by Long Now board member Kevin Kelly discusses what we hope the Clock will be once complete. This is one of several projects by Long Now to foster long-term thinking in the context of the next 10,000 years.

Clock in the Mountain   by Kevin Kelly

There is a Clock ringing deep inside a mountain. It is a huge Clock, hundreds of feet tall, designed to tick for 10,000 years. Every once in a while the bells of this buried Clock play a melody. Each time the chimes ring, it’s a melody the Clock has never played before. The Clock’s chimes have been programmed to not repeat themselves for 10,000 years. Most times the Clock rings when a visitor has wound it, but the Clock hoards energy from a different source and occasionally it will ring itself when no one is around to hear it. It’s anyone’s guess how many beautiful songs will never be heard over the Clock’s 10 millennial lifespan.

The Clock is real. It is now being built inside a mountain in western Texas. This Clock is the first of many millennial Clocks the designers hope will be built around the world and throughout time. There is a second site for another Clock already purchased at the top of a mountain in eastern Nevada, a site surrounded by a very large grove of 5,000-year-old bristlecone pines. Appropriately, bristlecone pines are among the longest-lived organisms on the planet. The designers of the Clock in Texas expect its chimes will keep ringing twice as long as the oldest 5 millennia-old bristlecone pine. Ten thousand years is about the age of civilization, so a 10K-year Clock would measure out a future of civilization equal to its past. That assumes we are in the middle of whatever journey we are on – an implicit statement of optimism. .... " 

Talk on AI and Blockchain this Thursday

In our CSIG group.  Join us.  Relates to our work underway regarding Smart Contracts ...

Date and Time :  Feb 22, 2018 - 10:30am to 11:00am US Eastern
Zoom meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/7371462221
Zoom Callin: (415) 762-9988 or (646) 568-7788 Meeting id 7371462221
Zoom International Numbers: https://zoom.us/zoomconference
Website: http://cognitive-science.info/community/weekly-update/

Title: Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence

Abstract: In this talk I will briefly introduce deep connection between the underlying models of blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI).

Bio: Dr. Vugranam (VC) Sreedhar recently joined IBM GTS/TSS from IBM TJ Watson Research Center to lead all aspects of Blockchain solutions for Technical Support Services. He led several successful projects in broad areas, including compilers, programming technology, security, compliance, service delivery and blockchain. He is also ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) Distinguished Scientist and also member of IBM Academy of Technology. He earned is Ph.D. from McGill University, with Dean's Honor.

For a look at upcoming speakers and past presentations visit the CSIG website:   http://cognitive-science.info/community/weekly-update/ 

AI Platforms Extracting Corporate Knowledge

Quite a considerable claim.   Can we extract all the knowledge of a company for easy use? We developed and tried systems with similar goals.  Looking further.

Can This AI Platform Make You A Better Leader?
Half of executives fail within the first 18 months of being promoted or hired. Could software fix the problem?  By Lydia Dishman in FastCompany

A robot might not directly take your job, but chances are that automation will force you to learn new skills. In fact, according to experts at McKinsey, as many as 375 million workers globally may need to switch fields and learn new skills soon. That’s because at least a third of tasks in about 60% of jobs can be automated.

High-level thinking and creativity are beyond the capabilities of artificial intelligence. So how can a software platform claim to make executives and managers better at leading? After all, aren’t qualities like optimism,  empathy, and emotional intelligence rooted firmly in human behavior?

They are, but there are others that plenty of people struggle with like setting and keeping individual and organizational priorities. Enter Indiggo, a platform powered by a proprietary AI tool called “indi” that launched earlier this month.  According to Indiggo’s CEO and cofounder Janeen Gelbart, indi is a brain that has consumed all the knowledge the company has gathered in its 15 years of operation. That’s a massive data set of situational analysis, advice, and guidance for different types of leaders that Gelbart says is quite powerful and can provide a “return on leadership” much like ROI. .... " 

Immersive Terf

Immersive Terf.  Was reminded of Qwaq, which we examined for 3D Immersive collaboration.   To provide a virtual-world style collaboration.   Is it useful to have cartoon-like figures representing you and your collaborating colleagues, to provide an avatar inhabiting world with spaces that represent real conference spaces?  And is this more efficient than using advanced video driven spaces like Cisco's Telepresense? 

Keep Your Customers Coming Back

Good piece.  Not at all technical, but worth repeating what you need to get done.  The tech people I talk to don't seem to know these obvious things, and are always looking for some other tech magic.  But if they don't get these things right, it doesn't matter.

How to Keep Your Customers Coming Back    By Mike Dupuy in CustomerThink

In today’s competitive marketplace, how can you encourage customers to stay loyal to your brand and products when there are so many choices available? You have to provide an outstanding product, of course, and it must be appropriately priced, but there are a lot of companies that can do that. What will set you apart and build brand loyalty, however, is your customer support. .... " 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Samsung Patents the Drone Screen

In our innovation center we looked at many variants of the screen.  Especially as it related to in store and public retail advertising.  Here something new, a drone that resents a screen.  With lots of possibilities around scale.  The current winter Olympics showed how swarms could be impressive, why not displays integrated into such systems.  Nothing demonstrable as yet, just a patent.

Samsung patents a flying screen that could be used for hovering video
It may also be able to adjust its position based on the angle of your gaze.

By Mallory Locklear, @mallorylocklear in Engadget .... " 

GraphGrail AI

New to me, I like the attempt to create a broad solution ecosystem.   Send me some examples of useful applications in place.   Mentions Smart Contracts, which we are currently developing.

GraphGrail:   AI meets Blockchain

Graphgrail AI - is the World's first Artificial Intelligence Platform for Blockchain Built on top of Natural Language Undertstanding Technology with the Dapp's Marketplace. .... 

Decentralized platform, open to the world .... 
Ethereum for data-science professionals ..... 

Whitepaper:  https://en.graphgrail.com/whitepaper/en/index.html

#GraphGrailAi mission: the creation of a strong AI (Artificial general intelligence) that will be open to all, controlled and trained by developers throughout the entire world.... 

Portal for Scientific Discovery

Augmentation for discovery is something we examined for research.

Networking, Data Experts Design a Better Portal for Scientific Discovery
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory's Globus team have designed a new data portal to make information sharing faster, more reliable, and more secure. "Our new design preserves...ease of use, but easily scales up to handle the huge amounts of data associated with today's science," says ESnet's Eli Dart. The new portal design is based on Dart's Science DMZ, a high-performance network framework that connects large-scale data servers directly to high-speed networks and increasingly is used by research institutions for data transfer management. Another key platform is the cloud-based Globus service enabling developers to outsource responsibility for complex tasks such as authentication, authorization, data movement, and data sharing. An important system element is Globus Connect, which lets the Globus service transfer data to and from the computer using high-performance protocols as well as HTTPS for direct access. ....  "

Hacking Phone Pins with Sensor Data

Disturbing Situation ... You have to think about what data is being gathered by sensors, and if that new data can be used to predict other data ... and beyond.  A whole stream of inference to check.  Note the prediction does not necessarily have to be precise, just approximate. 

Hackers can guess your phone's PIN using 'harmless' sensor information
Six key sensors have no permission requirements, leaving their stored data open to any app that wants it .... " 

Dimensions of Digital Trust

Fascinating take.  A little skeptical about the approach to gathering this detailed information.  Why just 4 dimensions?   Worth the read.

The 4 Dimensions of Digital Trust, Charted Across 42 Countries  By Bhaskar Chakravorti, Ajay Bhalla, Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi in the HBR

The year 2018 is barely underway and, already, digital trust initiatives have captured headlines. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has said his platform will de-prioritize third-party publisher content to keep users focused on more “meaningful” posts from family and friends. Google has led off the new year by blocking websites that mask their country of origin from showing up on Google News. And the European Union’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will affect every organization around the world that handles personal data for EU residents. The regulations will also, no doubt, inform data protection laws and corporate trust-building strategies elsewhere.

Even China’s opaque behemoths have started the year with unprecedented acknowledgements of the need to address trust concerns: Tencent had to publicly deny that it collects user WeChat history after it was openly challenged; Alibaba’s Ant Financial apologized to users of its mobile-payment service for automatically enrolling them in its social-credit scoring service.

What these stories underscore is that our digital evolution and our productive use of new technologies rests on how well we can build digital trust. But is it possible to measure digital trust and compare it across countries? Are there countries where guaranteeing trust is a more urgent priority and will draw a larger share of trust-building resources and regulations? The Fletcher School at Tufts University and Mastercard have a launched a research initiative to address these questions by studying the state of digital trust across 42 countries. Here are some of our initial findings, drawn from the study, “Digital Planet 2017: How Competitiveness and Trust in Digital Economies Vary Across the World.” ... " 

Drop Ship Stress Panel

Does Drop Ship Put too Much Stress on the Supply Chain?
Dan Gilmore in Retailwire.

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Supply Chain Digest. .... 

A panel at last month’s Retail Value Chain Federation conference in Scottsdale explored the inventory challenges vendors face supporting drop shipping for their retail partners’ online operations.

Since RVCF is a semi-private function, the identities of the three manufacturers and one 3PL on the panel are kept anonymous.

Many approaches exist for managing drop ship inventories, including:

Having a dedicated inventory in a separate location in the DC;

Having one pool of co-located inventory for a company’s own piece pick/e-commerce business plus the retail drop ship;

Separating inventories logically but storing them together, if allocation and warehouse management systems can handle that.   One doesn’t seem to be preferred over the others.

All the panelists, however, tweak inventory availability information to guard against receiving a drop ship order for which they have no inventory, either because of accuracy issues or because someone else grabbed the merchandise first. One vendor reports no inventory to a retailer when the SKU count reaches five or less.

Almost all retailers want inventory information sent daily, although some want it refreshed multiple times throughout the day. The requirements seem to be based on the companies’ level of IT maturity. ... "

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Electronic Skins as Health Sensors

More novel health sensors.

Electronic skin can display a heartbeat on your hand 
You'd know someone's health just by looking at them.

By Jon Fingas, @jonfingas in Engadget.

Electronic skins might not only detect health troubles in the near future, but display them for the world to see. University of Tokyo researchers have developed an e-skin that can measure vital signs like your heartbeat and display them in real time on a skin display. The design blends a breathable nanomesh electrode and stretchable wiring with an array of micro LEDs that can output basic images bending with your body. Others know right away if you need help -- they'd just have to look at your hand (or anywhere else the sensor works) to get an idea of what's wrong. The sensor can pair with a smartphone and transmit its info to the cloud, too. ...   Dai Nippon Printing

Marketing and AI

Artificial Intelligence Interview with ESOMAR  (the WORLD Association for Social, Opinion and Market Research)    By Tom H. C. Anderson  .... 

What Market Researchers Should Know about AI and Machine Learning – A Q&A with ESOMAR Research World on Artificial Intelligence in Marketing Research

ESOMAR: What is your experience with Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning (AI)? Would you describe yourself as a user of AI or a person with an interest in the matter but with no or limited experience?

TomHCA: I would describe myself as both a user of Artificial Intelligence as well as a person with a strong interest in the matter even though I have limited mathematical/algorithmic experience with AI. However, I have colleagues here at OdinText who have PhD’s in Computer Science and are extremely knowledgeable as they studied AI extensively in school and used it elsewhere before joining us. We continue to evaluate, experiment, and add AI into our application as it makes sense. .... " 

Security Risks for Alexa in Business

Some good points made for the business use of assistants and other attentive systems.  Methods like voice recognition, biometrics  and validation methods will have to be added and tested for such systems to be viable in the enterprise.   This goes beyond trade secrets, and to data transmission of any kind.

A white hat hacker says no company should use Amazon's enterprise version of its virtual assistant if privacy and trade secrets are important to your company.    By Will Yakowicz  ....     in Inc

Saturday, February 17, 2018


Gillette: Fat, Happy and Vulnerable in Its Own Fiefdom
By Bob Herbold on his blog .... 

A recent article in Fortune magazine discussed the massive loss of market share by Gillette; moving from 71% when it was acquired by Procter and Gamble in 2005 down to its current 59%. It points out that a key reason for this was that Gillette simply missed the growing consumer interest in an adequate performing, and very reasonably priced, razor. Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s and Schick jumped on this trend. Meanwhile, Gillette simply stuck to its decades-old game plan of evermore sophisticated and complex razors at ever-increasing prices.

How did Gillette become so unaware of reality? Basically, it appears that Gillette was its own isolated fiefdom at Procter and Gamble, basking in prior success. They got away with this because competition was historically weak, and Gillette was making good profits, so P&G management left them alone. ... " 

Cortana Gets IFTTT

Was wondering why this was taking so long.  Crucial not only because it links in data that can be used, but also shows some of the possibilities for future connections.  Now all the major assistant players link to IFTTT.   Have successfully used it for several tests.

Microsoft’s Cortana is finally on IFTTT  in Engadget

Microsoft keeps striving to find Cortana a place in the crowded smart assistant market, and despite losing a minor feature, it's still adding functionality. Today, Cortana added IFTTT, and launched with interactions to link it up with 550 apps and devices. ... " 

Simple Example of TensorFlow

A good, detailed example of using TensorFlow for one of the most well known analytics techniques.  Instructive.

Linear Regression in Tensorflow  by Aaqib Saeed
Predicting house prices in Boston area

Tensorflow is an open source machine learning (ML) library from Google. It has particularly became popular because of the support for Deep Learning. Apart from that it's highly scalable and can run on Android. The documentation is well maintained and several tutorials available for different expertise levels. To learn more about downloading and installing Tensorflow, visit official website.  .... "

Drones in Uncertain Environments

Long been a student of uncertainty.

A little Uncertainty can help Drones dodge Obstacles at High Speeds, says MIT  By James Vincent    @jjvincent in TheVerge

For drones trying to navigate a busy environment like a warehouse or a forest at high speed, the ability to know exactly where they are at all times would seem pretty essential. Not so, say researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), who have a devised a new, efficient way to guide drones around obstacles. The key ingredient? Uncertainty.

With most drones — and, indeed, most self-driving vehicles — navigation starts with a map. To draw one, depth sensors are used to scan the immediate environment which is compiled into a single 3D model. This then tells the vehicle not only where they are at any given moment, but also how to get to their destination. It’s a method commonly known as “simultaneous localization and mapping,” or SLAM.

SLAM has served the community pretty well to date, but it has its downsides. For one, it’s a very intensive process, that needs lots of high-fidelity data and computing power to process it. This is why Waymo and Uber’s recently settled lawsuit was all about LIDAR — the laser-firing sensors used to collect and process depth data. Data is important.

But, this process creates problems at high speeds and with small crafts like drones. They don’t have the time to collect all the data they need, and giving them the processors to understand it all is expensive.     .... "

Friday, February 16, 2018

Open Technology AI

How do we architect and deliver Open AI?

From my Linkedin Cognitive Systems Institute Group

Karolyn Schalk,  Moderator
Executive and Technical Expertise, Cloud, AI and IT Operations

   "Opentech AI – Architecture, Ecosystem and Roadmap" Daniel Pakkala
Cognitive Systems Institute Speaker Series Feb. 8, 2018.   Daniel Pakkala.  “Opentech AI – Architecture, Ecosystem and Roadmap: Drafting the big picture and directions of open artificial intelligence technology”

Learn more about drafting the big picture and directions of open artificial intelligence 
technology/   Audio and Slides:    https://youtu.be/_scuX6g_iA-

Kroger Opens Culinary Innovation Center

Always interested in how we can innovate, was part of a number of innovation center efforts. Surprised that Kroger has not done this before.  Now I would ask, how will this do things like spot trends in foods, in consumer process, in connecting resources to customers?   And link those trends to consumer behavior and purchase?    Start thinking about data and pattern and directions. 

Kroger opens Culinary Innovation Center
Downtown Cincinnati facility to facilitate development of food service concepts and products for entire chain

Richard Turcsik in Supermarket News

The Kroger Co. today debuted its Culinary Innovation Center, featuring a commercial kitchen with multiple cooking stations, spaces and capabilities, including technology that allows video streaming of educational sessions to Kroger associates across the country.

Kroger spent a reported $2.5 million remodeling the two-story brick building at 901 W. Elm St. in downtown Cincinnati, not far from its corporate headquarters, into the LEED-designed facility. Construction on the Center began in March 2017. .... " 

A Broader More Realistic Approach to AI

Been through it several times, and it is occurring once again.  But there is now as there was then a kernel of real value.  Good examination: 

Looking Beyond the AI Hype Cycle

Interview with Vishal Sikka: Why AI Needs a Broader, More Realistic Approach

The concept of artificial intelligence (AI), or the ability of machines to perform tasks that typically require human-like understanding, has been around for more than 60 years. But the buzz around AI now is louder and shriller than ever. With the computing power of machines increasing exponentially and staggering amounts of data available, AI seems to be on the brink of revolutionizing various industries and, indeed, the way we lead our lives.

Vishal Sikka until last summer was the CEO of Infosys, an Indian information technology services firm, and before that a member of the executive board at SAP, a German software firm, where he led all products and drove innovation for the firm. India Today magazine named him among the top 50 most powerful Indians in 2017. Sikka is now working on his next venture exploring the breakthroughs that AI can bring and ways in which AI can help elevate humanity.

Sikka says he is passionate about building technology that amplifies human potential. He expects that the current wave of AI will “produce a tremendous number of applications and have a huge impact.” He also believes that this “hype cycle will die” and “make way for a more thoughtful, broader approach.”

In a conversation with Knowledge@Wharton, Sikka, who describes himself as a “lifelong student of AI,” discusses the current hype around AI, the bottlenecks it faces, and other nuances. ... "

Accenture Talks Tech Future of Business

Good piece with lots of details at the link.

Accenture Technology Vision 2018

5 Key Tech areas, which they say are: Citizen AI, Extended Reality, Data Veracity, Friction-less Business, Internet of Thinking. 

(So what is Internet of Thinking?  ...  Architectural changes need to support that Our physical world is transforming into intelligent environments. ... "  

Intelligent Enterprise Unleashed
Five technology trends shaping the future of business

What's In This Article

Five technology trends are upping the game and allowing companies to tap into the powerful potential of intelligent enterprise, creating new business opportunities and helping to change the world as we know it.

Leading companies are improving the way we live with new products and services that will become indispensable in the future.

Business is getting personal. Leaders must shift their mindsets and business models to focus on forging strong, trusted relationships with partners, customers, employees, governments, and more. ... " 

Boasting Good for Startups?

Boasting probably just one component in getting the word out and support for development.

Is boasting good or bad for business?   By Maddy Savage BBC, Business reporter, Stockholm

Sweden is one of the most innovative countries in the world, yet has a business culture that discourages bragging about its success.

So is this humility a help or a hindrance when it comes to start-ups?  ... " 

Need for Ergonomics in VR

Obvious.   But I suggest that sometimes ergonomics are ignored for a clear value proposition or wow effect.  Consider Carpal Tunnel syndrome.

 Why AR Will Never Go Mainstream Unless The Ergonomics Are Right    By Guest writer Clifford Gross, CEO of TekCapital and Lucyd discusses augmented reality's future. in VRFocus

Getting consumers to adopt any innovative technology is an uphill battle in some way, shape or form. And nowhere is this more evident than in Augmented Reality (AR) glasses and headsets. While each year we’re seeing new advances in interface and functionality of AR glasses, there’s one thing that the industry needs to focus on if it ever hopes for AR to go “mainstream” the way smartphones have – that’s ergonomics.

Evidence does point towards AR potentially reaching a tipping point in mass adoption sometime soon. According to Gartner’s hype cycle, AR is projected for substantial growth and adoption over the next two-to-three years. Over the longer term, research firm IDC forecasts that AR headsets could reach up to 25 million units globally by 2021 – but with the majority being for commercial use.  ... " 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Full Scale Virtual Research

Former P&G Shopping Behavior scientist and colleague John Milby sends along an update of this work virtualizing shopping context for experimental understanding.  Connect with his deep expertise!

" ... Please share with your colleagues. Let me know if we can provide any additional information or support .... 

Introductory Video:   

Website:    FSVR Website  

Winning Starts At The Shelf
Cutting Edge Virtual Research

 Full Scale Virtual Research is dedicated to providing  clients with innovative, and comprehensive marketing research solutions for winning at the shelf. Our Virtual Wall's proprietary technology provides full scale, touch interactive, high quality shopping environments  to identify insightful shopper biases that are so important to Winning At The Shelf !  ... 

Best regards.    John Milby, CEO

Full Scale Virtual Research, LLC
11353 Reed Hartman Hwy, Suite 101
Cincinnati, Ohio   45241
t | 513 387-2222
c | 513 379-8355
e | jmilby@fs-vr.com   .... " 

Facebook Open Source AI

What Facebook is Doing for Open-Source AI.   Technical details and detailed pointers to resources.  Announces what they call Tensor Comprehensions.

Announcing Tensor Comprehensions

By: Nicolas Vasilache, Oleksandr Zinenko - Inria & DI ENS, Theodoros Theodoridis - ETH Zürich, Priya Goyal, Zachary DeVito, William S. Moses - MIT CSAIL, Sven Verdoolaege, Andrew Adams, Albert Cohen - Inria & DI ENS & FAIR

Today, Facebook AI Research (FAIR) is announcing the release of Tensor Comprehensions, a C++ library and mathematical language that helps bridge the gap between researchers, who communicate in terms of mathematical operations, and engineers focusing on the practical needs of running large-scale models on various hardware backends. The main differentiating feature of Tensor Comprehensions is that it represents a unique take on Just-In-Time compilation to produce the high-performance codes that the machine learning community needs, automatically and on-demand.  ....

What to expect next

This release will allow researchers and programmers to write layers in a notation that is similar to the maths they use in their papers and communicate concisely the intent of their program. They will also be able to take that notation and translate it easily into a fast implementation in a matter of minutes rather than days. As the toolchain grows, we expect usability and performance to increase and benefit the whole community.

We will release PyTorch integration for Tensor Comprehensions at a later date.

We are grateful for frequent exchanges with and feedback from the frameworks teams and are looking forward to bringing this exciting new technology to your favorite ML framework.

FAIR is committed to open science and working with the machine learning community to push AI research further. Tensor Comprehensions is already a collaboration between Facebook, Inria, ETH Zurich and MIT. Our work is in the early stages and we’re excited to share it early and look forward to improving it with feedback from the community.

Get started:
Tensor Comprehensions is available under the Apache 2.0 license.
On ArXiv
On Slack
Email: tensorcomp@fb.com

The New Virtual Office

I took several looks at this topic as part of our innovation center work.  Some of the capabilities I looked at still exist, see for example, what was once called Qwaq or "Immersive Terf".   Renamed 'Teleplace'. (tags on these efforts below). We also looked at and developed Virtual Worlds where people might reside and work.  None of these worked out to any degree.  Most people thought the proposal to be inefficient, cold and weird.  None really tested them sufficiently.  Now a new look:

Step into your New Virtual Office, by David Pierce in Wired

Augmented reality will transform the way you do your job, and you won’t look weird doing it. At all.
Next time you get a promotion at work, don’t agitate for the corner office. You won’t need it. Pretty soon, your office will be as big and messy and private as you like, because you’ll be the only one who can see it.

The early days of virtual and augmented reality have focused mostly on gaming, but Pokémon Go and Superhot are just a tiny part of how you’ll ultimately use smart glasses once they’re capable enough—and unobtrusive enough—to fit on our faces and into our lives. Most of the people developing mixed-reality tech think the venue where AR will really thrive is the workplace. .... " 

Facebook Introducing Smart Speakers

Fastcompany Says Facebook will introduce multiple Smart Speakers  Unclear if there will be any remnants of the Facebook M assistant, reportedly dropped recently.   We would assume it will integrate the Facebook software.

The social media giant is reportedly getting into the ever-crowded smart speaker market, according to DigiTimes. The site says Facebook will launch two smart speakers in July. The smart speakers will reportedly each have a 15-inch touch screen with the code names Aloha and Fiona.   .... " 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Slack Using AI

So far have not been impressed with Slacks chatbot, but gives the impression that they are working on assisting the user.   Especially useful for new or infrequent users.   At first expected this to take the initiative more than it does.  I know that can be annoying, but perhaps another track/window to provide suggestions?  The article takes it further, how do they efficiently connect Slack conversations to specific work process?

Slack Hopes Its AI Will Keep You from Hating Slack
The fastest-growing business app is relying on machine-learning tricks to fend off a deluge of messages—as well as competition from Facebook and Microsoft.    by Elizabeth Woyke in TechnologyReview

Wharton Podcast on Amazon Go

Will Amazon Go Capture the Holy Grail of Retail?

Amazon’s new cashier-less convenience store aims to answer one of retail’s thorniest challenges: Understanding why shoppers do what they do, and leveraging that knowledge into increasing sales.

Wharton's Barbara Kahn and Emory's Ryan Hamilton discuss the Amazon Go convenience store.

Even before it opened, Amazon Go began drawing deep skepticism over whether it could possibly work. Would Amazon be able to create a convenience store in which shoppers gathered their goods and walked out the door having been automatically charged for their purchases? The technology behind it — like driverless cars — has captured the public’s imagination. A reporter from The New York Times staged a shoplifting heist with a four-pack of vanilla soda around the time the store opened in Seattle last month, and failed. The Amazon Go technology worked, and he got charged for the soda. Others have, though, managed to outsmart the system.

But as shoppers gauge the gee-whiz aspects of the store and convenience of not having to wait in line, Amazon is sharply focused on the shopper. The company is always watching. More than 100 cameras in the 1,800-square-foot store are capturing shoppers’ every move to total up the purchase, but that’s just the start.

Amazon isn’t saying what its plans are for Amazon Go — whether the company will roll out dozens more soon, or exactly how the store serves a greater corporate strategy. But many say that by recording shopper behavior at such a detailed level and being able to analyze it, Amazon is hot on the trail of the Holy Grail of retail: really understanding why shoppers do what they do .... "