TR

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On November 15, 2018, TR commented on Using Machine Learning for Crime Prediction :

Given the concerns around biased data that others have mentioned, I would echo Emilio’s point and add that in addition to the “time, location, and type of crime as predictors”, there may be room to introduce more predictive race-agnostic variables into the algorithm, such as the number of broken windows in particular parts of cities (although I admit there may be costs associated with collecting such data if it is not available in public domain ex ante).

In addition, one area I was unsure of was to what extent police would be the sole users of PredPol. It seems like Law Enforcement and Corporations are the main target customers (see http://www.predpol.com/corporate-security/) but I wonder if, e.g., parents who are keen to ensure their children are walking safe routes to and back from school could also use Predpol to suggest to their kids routes to take or avoid? Is there a case to be made for B2C applications?

On November 15, 2018, TR commented on Can We Live Forever? :

A fascinating topic indeed and I agree with you that in addition to the technical challenges of extending human life, there are also ethical boundaries that we must consider. As we learnt in TOM, there are breakthrough/moonshot projects which have great potential to disrupt the status quo, but I also believe that there is a potential danger in the blind pursuit of innovation without thinking through the consequences, especially from an ethical point of view.

Nuclear energy is one such example, which unfortunately manifested into the development of the atomic bomb, two of which were dropped on my country in 1945. Humanity may be good at innovation, but the innovation could serve not only for the betterment of our race but also towards harmful uses.

Organovo reminded me of the work being done by futurist Ray Kurzweil (see: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/magazine/ray-kurzweil-says-were-going-to-live-forever.html). While I believe he has been overall quite accurate in his predictions of the types of innovations that we expect to see and share some of his enthusiasm for what’s to come, I am wary of society not keeping apace of the ethical boundaries that we need to consider as we mull the impact of these innovations upon our society.

Great article. I was amused at the company’s choice of “Lemonade” as their company name, likely a reference to George Akerlof’s famous market for lemons model, which won him the Nobel Prize for his work in information economics and information asymmetry.

As I read this article, my mind drew parallels with Vitality, an insurance company that uses AI and wearable devices to promote overall health and well-being among its insurers. To my understanding, Lemonade insures homeowners, so I’d be curious if we could solve the data quality issues by providing incentives to Lemonade users to install IoT devices in their homes to enhance accuracy and measurability of their claims.

https://www.vitalitygroup.com/

On November 15, 2018, TR commented on Adidas’s Race to be #1 in 3D Printing :

I think this is not only a great example of additive manufacturing, but will also be a case that will lead into a distinctive use case of machine learning. The next logical step for Adidas would be to think about how it can best use the customer data it has collected to increase its revenue over time. For instance, if I had purchased my first pair of shoes, I provide Adidas not only my shoe size, but also my color preferences, shoelace preferences, etc., which Adidas can then analyze and use to send me digital e-mail pushes of similar products that others with my preferences had recently purchased.

Thus 3-D printing will unlock a new era for Adidas whereby they can have targeted advertising at an individual level. The revelation of individual preferences at unprecedented levels of granularity will provide Adidas a very large competitive advantage vs its peers.

Thanks for an intriguing post – I thought this was a very interesting example of open innovation. I liked how Lego is, in your words, “incorporat[ing] design changes from groups of young children”. It appears to me that “Lego Ideas” provides an outlet for fans to both contribute ideas and vote upon the ideas of others (I especially enjoyed looking at the ideas the commnuity has submitted, FYI: https://ideas.lego.com/howitworks#productideas).

That said, I would be keen to understand to what degree a product’s success potential can be measured accurately by the enthusiasm of fans. They are likely not thinking about complexity or cost, but rather expressing their unfettered enthusiasm and imagination for what kind of products they would be interested in. I’d be curious to learn how Lego sifts through what gains popularity among its open innovation community vs what products have the most revenue potential (it is not obvious to me whether there is a precise 1-to-1 correspondence).

On November 14, 2018, TR commented on Citizen by Day, Scientist by Night? :

Gavin,

I found your choice of topic fascinating, and moreover a highly notable and important example of open innovation.

In terms of how Zooniverse should proceed, I do not think that contributors should be remunerated, as it will crowd out more noble altruistic sentiments as others have already commented. The ideals of Zooniverse, according its website, are to “enable everyone to take part in real cutting edge research in many fields across the sciences, humanities, and more”. To me this sounds like a democratic, open-source effort where participants gain from the collective wisdom of others and contribute their individual knowledge as the primary form of “payment”.

On the user retainment issue, I believe we need to look deeply at what makes researchers successful in their respective fields. Oftentimes it is getting publications in peer-reviewed journals. This means that, in theory, time spent contributing to Zooniverse could have been spent on work towards writing a paper for a journal, which seems under the status quo to be more conducive towards one’s trajectory as a researcher. With this in mind, I think if Zooniverse were to attract and retain researchers of higher caliber, it needs to think about how to become a more respected organ of scientific authority that closes the gap between the level of rigor associated with traditional peer-reviewed journal outlets.