Short Apple

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On November 28, 2019, Short Apple commented on IntelligentX: Changing the world, one beer at a time :

Impressive! I wonder if there is an even bigger opportunity with AI in wine making. With all the complexity in texture, smell, sweetness, acidity, density, you name it, coupled with massive subjectivity in quality evaluation (at the premium level), AI could provide significant value in creating better wine and pricing accordingly for it. Although wine seems more complicated than beer from an operational standpoint, with longer production times, big influence of location, climate, altitude, irrigation, etc. Maybe an even bigger opportunity if all these factors are measured and data-mined?

Some of the challenges for these types of applications is how to avoid the biases that AI creates based on data. In the absence of a credit score history, other available data like ZIP code, age or type of employer for sure can help assess the creditworthiness of an individual. But what if the algorithm ends up favoring one stereotype of users vs others, surfacing gender, ethnicity or nationality biases? Other similar startups have found through AI that people with Android phones (instead of iPhone) is more price sensitive, thus less creditworthy… It seems that tech can act as a double-edge sword, enabling financial inclusion but at the same time discriminating some types of “data profiles”.

On November 28, 2019, Short Apple commented on Deezer’s Spleeter: Deconstructing music with AI :

I wonder how strong is the potential for music production / DJs. If this tool was able to fully de-construct the building blocks of an audio track, it could split the pieces for producers to use and mix freely. Eg. Have Chris Martin singing Yellow a-capella and then bring it into my own hip-hop or electro-pop masterpiece in the making. Boom!

On November 13, 2019, Short Apple commented on Esri and ArcGIS :

I have used ArcGIS! I used to work for a natural resources company, specifically in their minerals exploration team, where a team of roughly 100 geologists where scouting the world to find copper and nickel mines. They all lived and breathed ArcGIS. “Its a search space reduction exercise” they would say. And ArcGIS was the primary tool they would use to manage such exercise. We had millions of spatial data stored in servers dating from the early 80’s, scattered (physically) throughout Singapore, Australia, London, Tucson and Santiago. The company had generated and acquired through its exploration campaigns loads and loads of geological maps, geochemical samples, geophisycal surveys and drilling results, which the geologists would stack up against each other using ArcGIS to understand where the jackpot may be located. Now they are even leveraging all this data to run machine learning algorithms to help them in their hunt, something that decades ago would have ben just unthinkable. And its working — just before I left the company, we made a discovery in the Oak Dam project in South Australia at the back of our AI prototypes! (think of a section of over 800 meters with 7% copper – yes that’s huge)

On November 13, 2019, Short Apple commented on Esri and ArcGIS :

I have used ArcGIS! I used to work for a natural resources, specifically in their minerals exploration team, where a team of roughly 100 geologists where scouting the world to find copper and nickel mines. They all lived and breathed ArcGIS. “Its a search space reduction exercise” they would say. And ArcGIS was the primary tool they would use to manage such exercise. We had millions of spatial data stored in servers dating from the early 80’s, scattered (physically) throughout Singapore, Australia, London, Tucson and Santiago. The company had generated and acquired through its exploration campaigns loads and loads of geological maps, geochemical samples, geophisycal surveys and drilling results, which the geologists would stack up against each other using ArcGIS to understand where the jackpot may be located. Now they are even leveraging all this data to run machine learning algorithms to help them in their hunt, something that decades ago would have ben just unthinkable. And its working — just before I left the company, we made a discovery in the Oak Dam project in South Australia at the back of our AI prototypes! (think of a section of over 800 meters with 7% copper – yes that’s huge)

On November 13, 2019, Short Apple commented on 23andMe, who does it profit? :

I first heard of this startup when some friends came up saying “I just learned I am 5% of north African descent, isn’t that cool?”. Knowing that my friend is originally from Chile, with a clear Spanish first and last names, I was very skeptical. And I guess I still am. Although nothing prevents current technology advances to enable decoding your entire DNA and figuring out the origin of your ancestors tracing several generations just from analyzing a small sample of saliva, I keep having this feeling that the company may be just making the results up. “Oh you are 80% European and 20% Asian”. That’s an easy guess they could do based on zip codes and other data from your public profiles. And how can you verify that the followed the actual, thoroughly designed, big data-driven and robustly calibrated AI enabled process to really figure out your DNA? Maybe they do that for just, say 10% of the customers, the rest they just do random (0,1). Because how can you audit the results they send you?

On November 13, 2019, Short Apple commented on Waze – Get the best route in real time with help from fellow drivers. :

As a heavy Waze user I’m glad to see this post! Multi homing is REAL. Even with the basic functionality, many times I use google maps to navigate while driving instead of Waze, maybe because I use google maps for other purposes more often and it has a more prime location within my phone’s screen real estate. However, Waze does provide some clear differentiation when driving long distances on highways as it helps you track accidents or even police controls ahead. I have to say I have never used the carpooling feature — I guess to me it still feels awkward to jump on a stranger’s car… Wait, doesn’t Uber do you just that?

On October 17, 2019, Short Apple commented on Would you rather lead a light or a heavy company? :

Great post and analysis! I am a heavy user of Instacart as it makes my life so much easier. My alternative is drive or walk a couple of blocks away to some Cambridge supermarkets which is ok, but add two young kids to the equation and you’ve got yourself a huge mess. Instacart not only enables me not having to go with two tired and hungry children to the supermarket but also delivers the groceries to my door. Highlight on DOOR. Means I don’t need to take the bags out of the car into the elevator and one floor up the stairs.

Instacart has a Chilean equivalent, called Cornershop. It got acquired just last week by Uber!

On October 17, 2019, Short Apple commented on TikTok: Transforming Video-Sharing :

Never used it but I’ve heard that TikTok became huge in India once millions of people gained access to cheap internet and smart phones recently. Through TikTok, people who couldn’t read or write text messages interacted in social media just by sharing videos and audio. That opened up a huge market at the bottom of the pyramid. And its spontaneous vibe proves very appealing to Gen Z too, who represent a huge chunk of the market in India.

On October 17, 2019, Short Apple commented on Tentrr – Your Private Camping Experience :

Love it! Great way of making unutilized spaces available to the public. And so smart given there are few alternatives for camping aficionados than government or state run camping sites, which for most popular trips have become so demanded. Official camping sites in Yosemite and other California parks are fully booked months in advance! And it’s not only a US problem, same is happening in the Torres del Paine national park in the Chilean Patagonia. Great that Tentrr brings more alternatives and convenience for camping enthusiasts!

On September 24, 2019, Short Apple commented on Nubank: Digital Banking :

Great article on Nubank nailing it in Brazil (and expanding throughout Latam!). I personally relate to the story in a way. I closed my account with brick and mortar Santander in Chile given how bad customer service was. I did not change to Nubank then, instead I went for a less massive, more relationship driven bank where my account executive could actually pay attention to my requests. But if Nubank through digital technology can deliver a better service than the most attentive branch staff, I wonder how it may end up disrupting even the higher end of retail banking. At least where I am from, people choose a bank for either the benefits or the service. Maybe Nubank is slowly undercutting big banking on both fronts?

On September 24, 2019, Short Apple commented on Podcasting: Wayne’s World v.s. Corporate Media :

Interesting summary on the state of podcast and where it is headed. Being heavily weighted towards music streaming, I have played podcasts very few times but suddenly it is starting to grow on me asan alternative to reading news or opinion articles. Can’t help noticing there podcasts are hosted in multiple streaming platforms, from Spotify, to Soundcloud, iTunes, etc. Do you have a view on which platform may be able to better capitalize with the growth in podcast streaming? SoundCloud is easier to access while Spotify has a broader reach. Maybe embedding features are key for bloggers and news websites to showcase their podcasts. Not sure what are the most used platforms so far. Appreciate your thoughts!

Brilliant post by Rocco. I wonder if on top of bottom line growth digital initiatives, McDonnalds could also leverage digital solutions to streamline operations globally. With a fairly complex supply chain and a global network of franchises operating on the ground, there seems to be a opportunity to roll out big data to improve logistics and processes. More than just an augmented ERP, I am thinking of maybe a digital platform we’re franchises can manage purchases an inventory from global and local suppliers. (Hopefully they are already doing that!)