Interesting article, and something that I was completely unaware of before reading. Also, really interesting point about reCAPTCHA @Matt B. I also support the idea of broadening the base of contributors, and I would argue against paying top contributors or building in an incentive structure. I think what makes this idea so appealing is the nature of altruism and pure curiosity that drives comments today. While I wouldn’t necessarily use the reCAPTCHA model here, I like the premise, and I think that added awareness about Zooniverse can only help improve the quality of posts, and the opportunity for readers to learn from this platform.
I would liken this to Wikipedia, which is notoriously open and profit neutral. That platform relies on natural interest, and the desire to help teach or inform others. Because of this, Wikipedia receives posts from people with individual areas of expertise, and is not dominated by a few voices of “power users”. Zooniverse is very similar to me, and I would encourage the continued use of an unpaid and zero-incentive environment.
Awesome post. I am intrigued by the idea of LEGO moving into the digital realm. I understand your concern about owning knowledge in an open innovation environment, and how that knowledge leak might affect their brand and sales, but I think LEGO is well positioned to combat this. First, they are THE brand. Parents and kids alike know LEGO and associate LEGO with childhood fun, as long as they continue meeting demand in ways that align with their target market (which they have taken steps to ensure through Open Innovation), the market is theirs to keep. Second, I think they are well positioned to maintain superiority in the Digital Age. They already have a leg up, based on your essay, and they should be able to digitize their LEGO experience by using VR and AR technology… which lines up well with their target market’s interests. I look forward to reading more about Digital LEGO in the future!
Really interesting, would love to try some of this. It almost feels like the new Spotify for beer. Maybe a machine can predict what I want before I know I want that thing myself, and while I am perfectly ok with that in other areas of my life (retail, music, general advertising), consumption somehow feels different. I do think there is a barrier, at least in craft beer, that is related to the art of creation and consumption. On the other hand, there has been resistance in every area where AI is prominent today, so this could very well be the next one.
In terms of ideas/questions, I wonder if Carlsberg and other brewers will have different regional taste experts input flavor data for different types of beer. I think the point above about NE IPAs vs West Coast IPAs is really interesting. Here, a machine couldn’t be properly trained by one individual, because each individual will taste slightly different notes in hops/other ingredients. If will have regional “taste data input-ers”, then how scale-able is this new form of recipe creation?
I agree that there is lots of room for AI in the customer retention space. The idea of having a central brain that analyzes customer inputs (potential to churn, predicted value, style, price point, geography, age, etc.) and then decides how to best retain that customer (reactivation code? highlight a new product? up communication frequency?), and through what channels at what time is very appealing. I agree the challenge here is primarily privacy. How do I map a customer across devices when cookies are being cleared, or are not allowed, or a person purchases a new device, etc.? Without that, how do I build an accurate model?
In addition, I wonder how the strategy employed by ASOS (using AI to improve ROI through customer retention) could be translated to smaller businesses. The ASOS approach only works if you have access to millions of customers and billions of site visits/interactions. I am not proposing that ASOS needs to figure out this solution for smaller businesses, but I am interested to see how this technology becomes more accessible over time as predictive models improve.
True to our Nike case, I think marketing (celebrity/athlete endorsement) and product performance (with athlete input) would help this product sell despite the $400 price point. In addition, I can envision a gimmicky selection/creation process in real-time that might increase a customer’s willingness to pay. If I could walk into a store, get my foot scanned, and then select from 10 different models that are compatible with my foot type and the printer, and walk out with a high performance customized shoe 15 minutes later (after watching it get made), I would pay $400 (after my loans are gone).
What really excites me about this application of AM is how repeatable and repeated it is. With other applications (namely military or humanitarian), 3D printers would be asked to create many different products, and reconfigure between each print with potentially different raw materials. In this shoe context, much of the variability is removed, and Adidas can focus on improving reliability and efficiency while focusing on a single product. I wonder if the ways they address current AM reliability and efficiency issues will bleed over/be adopted by other industries and applications? Either way, this is very very interesting and I want a pair.
This is a very interesting application of AM. I wrote about AM as well, and I think the whole industry is fascinating. In this setting, I’m particularly curious about your second question: how will the military stay abreast of new developments and updates to technology. I assume that our massive defense budget has a section carved out for future development of this technology, and I think the applications are nearly endless. I can imagine AM helping troops with more than repairs in the future. With the advent of 3D printed weapons (which I think is frightening in other settings) the military could send troops on a mission armed with their base gear, plus raw materials and a printer to allow them to adjust to changing circumstances on the fly. Need a different gun? Print it. More ammo? Print it. I understand this isn’t feasible now (see comments above about reliability), but I think it could be in the next 5-10 years. Great article!