After Google had their developer conference two weeks ago, it is Apple’s turn this week.  Most of Apple’s announcements this week are largely incremental as smartphone and computer hardware innovation is already hitting plateau.  Apple finally announced a much needed upgrade to the Mac line to keep the faithful from deflecting to the Microsoft Surface and other devices.  Many were puzzled why the company waited so long for the upgrade as many Apple frenetics are super loyal Mac users. The Verge put together a nice summary of the…Continue Reading “A.I. news roundup – week of 6/5/17”

Google dominated much of the news this week.  A few days ago, the company just finished its big developer lovefest, the annual I/O conference.  It is no big surprise that Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, declared the company will use an AI-first approach in all its products.  Google Assistant is now available on iOS.  The company is building its own AI chip, the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), to run neural network.  Since they do not want to rely 100% on outside vendors, it makes sense to integrate…Continue Reading “A.I. News – Week of May 22nd”

I am resuming my blog after a long hiatus. EdX had a great profile on Sonal, a 55-year-old PhD. physics graduate, who becomes a regular user of MOOC in the last few years.  She has taken many courses outside her field such as Mandarin and Science of Happiness and is an advocate for democratizing education to provide a level playing field for everyone.  Before the advance of online learning, it is rather uncommon for a 55-year-old Ph.D in physics to be an active learning participant.  Time has changed as…Continue Reading “Weekly News Round Up”

Cali group, a California based fast-food restaurant, announced that it will be using the Flippy, the burger flipping robot, in the kitchens soon. Flippy is the latest product by the Pasadena company, Miso Robotics. Perhaps this may be another example of robots taking over our jobs, albeit a minimum wage position.  You can see the burger flipping video yourself. Ron DePinho, President of the beleaguered oncology center, MD Anderson, resigned this week amid faculty turmoil and the failed implementation of IBM’s Watson in the institution….Continue Reading “AI News of the Week”

Edsurge has an excellent article on a new coding school called 42.  Coding schools or coding bootcamps such as General Assembly are gaining acceptance in the last few years as the demand for technology workers are increasing rapidly, coupled with escalating college tuition costs.  Unlike college degree programs, coding bootcamps typically take less than a year to complete and they are 100% career oriented.  Although they cost much less than a four-year degree, they are generally not free as most bootcamps are for-profit organizations.  Founded…Continue Reading “Coding School 42”

Today’s WSJ has a great recap of the WSJ CIO conference last week.  There was an interesting session by Andrew Ng at Baidu and Neil Jacobstein at Singularity University on AI’s opportunities. Ng and Jacobstein talked about the amazing progress of Artificial Intelligence in medicine, speech recognition, retail, etc. They also touched on darker themes such as job losses caused by automation. Jacobstein asked a thought provoking question: “What is the ratio of jobs destroyed to new jobs?” Jacobstein’s point of view is that the…Continue Reading “Will AI Change Everything?”

Could technology ultimately replace or displace many human workers?  Historically, economists tend to think that the effect of technology on employment is net positive.  Recent evidence by McAfee and Brynjolfsson at M.I.T. suggest otherwise.  The found that technology has been destroying jobs faster than it is creating them.  Extracting cause and effect is very tricky. Some economists disagree with McAfee and Brynjolfsson’s conclusion.  However, few can argue that human cannot compete with machines on routine tasks.  For tasks that follow specific rules, computers are already…Continue Reading “Will AI eliminate your job?”

Innovation is a frequently used buzzword these days.  It is an important concept for fast changing industries such as technology.  It also finds its way into other industries, which are not thought to require much innovation.  Commercializing a new idea allows a company to provide a differentiated product and experience to customers.  Unique product positioning is a powerful strategy to capture value.  The million dollar question obviously is how organizations drive innovation.  The topic keeps a lot of pundits and professors busy.   In my experience,…Continue Reading “The Kayak Way”

Google is famous for its reliance on data and analytics to drive decisions.  Google’s approach makes perfect sense in areas such as online advertising where large quantity of data is readily available for analysis.  Recently, it even applies the methodology in decisions traditionally reserved for humans: recruiting and organization development.  Numerous articles have already been written on the subject as recruiting and organization decisions can impact company performance tremendously and millions are spent by organizations to gain a competitive edge.  Logically, they are also utilizing…Continue Reading “Data Driven VC Investment Decision”

To be successful, one has to optimize the utilization of scarce resources.  Half a century ago, computers were slow.  Computer programs were typically run in batches and programmers were limited to a fix allotment of computing time.  Today, computing power is a commodity.  Almost everyone owns multiple “intelligent” devices which are essentially computers packaged into different form factors.  The byproduct of cheap computing power and ubiquitous communication is that people are flooded with emails, twitter feeds, instant news update, etc.  Importantly, many of these devices…Continue Reading “Managing Attention”