Very interesting topic Klaus. Waze has definitively reshaped the road navigation space due to its ability to get both drivers and government officials to work together to create more open information around traffic flows. I do wonder where they go from here though. Logically, the next step after getting all the info on traffic is redirecting people to minimize that traffic, something that I know Google Maps had been doing prior to the Waze acquisition so I’m sure that will be in soon to the extent it wasn’t already. Do you think that might be an area where machine learning would be useful over open innovation? Seems like ML is useful in less creative, more data-driven answer contexts while open innovation is great when trying to come up with new, differentiated insights that don’t come from data analysis per se.
Great article Emma! I agree with your thoughts on leveraging employees more as it seems that a lot of Alibaba’s open innovation efforts are customer & supplier-focused, but not as focused on empowering employees to be creative and launch new business lines. Contests are a great way to incentivize people and spur some friendly competitions, but to get the most out of them, I would also combine them with flexible staffing like we saw in Valve but on a short-term basis, where employees can divert some of their time to work on these as it can be pretty hard to do a good job on these on top of all your normal responsibilities. I would also make sure there are a host of collaborative tools in place to help teams from different offices etc. work together on projects they are passionate about.
Great story about how Ferrari is trying to become #1 again in the racing industry. I was wondering how the regulatory environment would impact the ability to use some of these pieces on the circuit. Fully understand the great value of AM for building prototypes and allowing the team to test a lot of different ideas quickly and at a small scale, but assuming that the parts that go into the Ferrari for a race are likely highly regulated, do you think the proliferation of AM might cause the race organizers to ban those parts? Not sure how the committee balances the desire for innovation with the necessity of ensuring an even playing field for contestants…
Great topic. I had a slightly different take on the impetus behind Amazon’s decision to move into voice. To me, it was more a play on the Internet of Things and the connected home of the future than related to voice shopping directly. I think they were trying to build the central hub from which other products would interact with the customer, and if Echo really becomes that hub over the next few years, they can start charging other developers fees to have products work with their platform (i.e. create a closed ecosystem) since they’ll already have so much market share. On the voice side, I think a great leap for the application of machine learning here will be when Alexa links up with sensors to figure out when certain supplies are low and proactively reach out saying: “Hey, your orange juice is running low. Would you like me to order more from Whole Foods?” instead of customers having to ask it to do so.
David – Very interesting idea. My question revolves more around the business plan than any machine learning-related aspects per se. I understand the incredible value that can be unlocked for ML in making credit risk assessments, and financial firms are already starting to use it in that respect, but I’m curious why someone would choose a loan requiring payment in the form of % of income vs. a traditional interest rate because if I end up doing better than expected on my income, then I’m paying more for the money I received upfront. Isn’t that sort of like taking an equity stake in a person, because you receive a share of their future profits in exchange for capital today, and if so, what do you make of the ethical considerations that you now own a stake in a person (vs. a corporation)’s future?
Great article. Two key themes jumped out at me: national vs. international regulation, and the potential impact of non-human casualties on the seriousness of warfare. Firstly, as you mentioned, I think it would be extremely difficult to regulate this issue at a national level without a very strong international framework supporting it due to the strategic advantage it would confer to the non-regulated country. We haven’t had much success bringing countries together to establish strong frameworks prior to a crisis (seems like we’re much better after a crisis has already happened…), so not sure how optimistic I am on that. On the casualty front, I truly wonder if by removing the element of loss of human life, we wouldn’t be turning it into a giant video game where two drone armies fight each other, and if that may not incite one side to start targeting civilians to impose a greater cost on the other side, and thus end up increasing casualties overall. Again, not sure how the military and the government can balance short-term benefits vs. long-term risks when operating in a competitive global environment.
Great article! I understand your view that a rapidly-changing landscape demands a flexible supply chain, but I also wonder how the Navy can control inventory proliferation if it decentralizes production-making? For ease of argument, let’s say we start making M4 clips in the field with 3D printers. You’d have an approved blueprint, an approved machine, and approved materials that you’d combine to produce a printed clip. Wouldn’t that make the supply chain more complicated though because the Navy would then have to stock all the components required to make the clip to begin with (ie molds, liquid metals, etc.) instead of only stocking the finished product, so you’d see a huge proliferation of SKUs if applied to multiple products? If so, then is the potential of 3D printing mostly limited to stateside production instead of field production?
Really enjoyed your article, particularly the suggestion that Disney use the data it has gathered to link customer behavior across different platforms such as TV, movies & theme parks. That was my first thought as well, that if someone enjoyed the Star Wars ride they should get a personalized email to go see a new Star Wars movie coming out for example, or an invitation to a Star Wars-themed cruise. The challenge is that Disney’s data collection seems to decrease significantly with the removal of the MagicBands when visitors leave the park. What can Disney do to continue collecting data on its customers even after they leave the premises, specifically to give its AI the closed loop information it needs to improve its recommendations?