It’s great to see local governments using technology and crowd sourcing to be more efficient and effective! These tools are surely part of the solution to help local governments overcome a lack of resources and money. You raise an interesting question about when it should be okay for the government to collect and use citizen’s private data. I think its important that people have a choice to opt-in or out – the Street Bump app seems to accomplish this well.
Regarding the impact these tools may have on the abilities of the government agencies over time, I actually think they could attract and retain better talent by employing these tools. I assume that many people would love to create innovative ways to understand public sentiment and behavior and work towards improving the lives of the citizens. The more creative you can be and the more tools you have at your disposal only aids in this process. I hope more local and state governments learn from Boston’s example!
I really enjoyed your article about Luxottica and its current manufacturing process. It sound like it will be very challenging for the company to incorporate 3D printing at scale. I wonder if 3D printing may actually be a huge threat to Luxottica as opposed to a benefit. As 3D printing becomes cheaper and more mainstream, its possible that smaller manufacturers/retailers could begin to offer more customized frames to customers. In fact, it may even be economical for a customer to print their own frames and purchase cheap lenses. Luxottica would be wise to strategically plan for the disruption that 3D printing may bring to their market.
I really enjoyed learning about an “unconventional” approach to 3D printing. I share the same question about the average consumer’s perception of “real” vs biofabricated leather. The introduction of biofabricated leather may actually drive up the price and prestige of the “real” leather as it could appear to be more scarce and authentic, leading to a potential increase in demand. The same thing could happen for meat or other biofabricated foods. Another question I would have is around differences in quality of biofabricated foods. Is it possible to have different grades of food – similar to categories of steak houses – that would determine which consumers would be more willing to adapt?
I really enjoyed learning about the government’s decision to crowd-source their cyber security. You make a compelling argument for the importance of using outside parties to expose security risks. In response to your concern about the public losing interest and the government agencies not being able to keep up their security threshold, one counter measure could be changing their hiring practices. Obviously, potential employees would need to be adequately screened and deemed low-risk from a national security perspective, but the government agencies could try to hire employees or consultants at market rates from unconventional backgrounds. When testing for security, it would be important to have diversity of thought and experience to be the most effective.
Really enjoyed reading your thoughts about the potential of My Fitness Pal and how it could integrate with so many other apps to provide better insights and customized service to the user. I especially love your idea for the company to use collective learning from the cumulative data of other users to derive correlations between health benefits and user goals. In terms of data security, I think users would be willing to allow their data to be used if it could be done in an anonymous way and if they could also benefit from the shared learning. I would probably give users the ability to opt into sharing their data (and receiving the benefit of the collective intelligence) or keep their data private and have a more manual and less sophisticated user experience.
Very interesting to learn about the challenges that Facebook is facing as it tries to combat the proliferation of fake news. I was shocked to learn that so much of this process is done by humans! It seems like it would be very challenging for a machine to draw an accurate conclusion on the authenticity of an article. Perhaps one way it could be done is to try and create a depository of reputable publications, news sources and research institutions. Humans can validate the existence and accuracy of the platform and then once confirmed, can be added to the database. Over time, I would assume that most news-worthy events would be covered by these sources and the facts of a given article could be compared to this reputable database. Creating a dynamic database that would update in real-time may be challenging but with partner support could be possible.