Fun #AI Digest: Burgers, Toothbrush and Pocket

The application of Artificial Intelligence is growing more aggressively than perceived. People are coming up with novel and useful ideas to enable the overall adoption and so the benefit of AI.

In this short edition, I bring to you two interesting use cases and 1 mega use case (combination of multiple such) together.

AI IN BURGERS

Flipping burger patties is one of the hazardous activities that happen in the food industry. As per this Washington post article of 2013, the kitchen is the most hazardous room in the house. There is a very high incidence of burn and cut injuries. Imagine the hazard in ever-mushrooming restaurants and eateries. The risks in preparing food are really high and can be fatal at times.

Miso Robotics is determined to make the kitchen safer. It has blended robotics, artificial intelligence, and data science to build products that work as kitchen assistants. Check out their burger flipping robot, Flippy. It makes sure that you don’t have to lean over the hot gas stove to flip burgers. And, it also makes way in the cluttered kitchen for you to move around. Check out their Flippy video.


AI IN TOOTHBRUSH

Kolibree, a CES 2017 awardee, has come up with a low-power processor driven toothbrush called Ara. With Ara, you can brush your teeth in both online and offline mode. The toothbrush is smart enough to know where exactly you need to brush, how many times and what damage can happen if a particular type of brush is used. ¬†It comes with bristles and is truly an innovation that is poised to make some dent in the tooth care industry. It is only to be seen how the data can be used with deep learning to enable people from avoiding next trip to the dentist. Check out more here…


And finally, This infographic from Intel tell you what AI you are carrying in your pocket.

So, enjoy your Flippy Burger ith your shiny teeth, courtesy Ara, while you flip AI from your pocket ūüôā

Fears of #AI Part 2 – Accidental Intelligence

Just as we were recovering from the spat between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, as discussed in last week’s post on Fears of AI, new events in the world are leading to more fears of perils due to Artificial Intelligence.

Fear of AI

Facebook stopped an experiment where it had created two AI Bots to negotiate with each other. The initial idea was for the bots to negotiate with each other, based on bartering. Thus ultimately hitting the common ground for both and close the deal. Instead, this happened –

(Original Transcript of negotiation between the bots)

Bob: i can i i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to

Bob: you i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me

Bob: i i can i i i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me

Bob: i . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to

Bob: you i i i i i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have 0 to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to

Bob: you i i i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to

What is odd in the discussion above is the language that is being used by the two bots to negotiate. Clearly, it’s not English but something scripted in English. What is clear is that the bots have developed a language only they can understand. They are interacting and responding the same way. This is the classic GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) situation. However, Facebook quickly shut the experiment. The whole world has gone berserk with this announcement. Facebook has embraced the greatest fears of AI. Some go to the extent to say this is what has happened in public domain. What has happened in private, no one knows?

There is more noise now that scientists may not know all the solutions, and to be more specific all the problems. There are doomsday scenarios being written by multiple people, but here is a good list that tells all –

  1. THERE ARE NO ETHICS, INDUSTRY STANDARDS OR TESTING RULES
  2. RELATIONS BETWEEN MAN AND MACHINE IS CHANGING
  3. GENETIC DIVERSITY WILL BE WIPED OUT
  4. AI IS GOAL-ORIENTED REGARDLESS TO A FAULT
  5. WE WILL HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THE MACHINES
  6. VALUE OF LABOR AND SKILLS WILL FALL
  7. CRIMINAL POTENTIAL FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS BIGGER THAN YOU THINK
  8. REALITY IS DIFFERENT THAN HOW THE MEDIA REPRESENTS AI

  9. WE ARE HANDING OVER THE KEYS

  10. IT WILL LEAD HUMAN RACE CLOSE TO THE DEAD END

  11. AI CREATORS WILL NEVER KNOW ALL THE SOLUTIONS

  12. LAWS AND FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS WILL LOSE THEIR IMPACT

  13. OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM NEEDS TO BETTER PREPARE THE NEXT GENERATION

  14. THERE’S NO CURE FOR IGNORANCE

  15. AI IS NOT A PROBLEM, BUT HUMAN HUBRIS IS

More details here – The Clever.

Here is the video of the week –

Fears of #AI

There are two sides to everything. When there is fire, there is water. When there is life, there is death. When there is white, there is black. When there is positive, there is negative. From ages, mankind has been divided while taking sides. There are supporters of peace and there are supporters of war to restore the order. There are people who love meats and non-vegetarian foods and then there are pure vegans. And many more such divisions and splits build the equilibrium in the world. In Chinese philosophy, this is well depicted with Yin – Yang.

ying_yang_sun_and_moon_311740

The new technological revolution triggered with advent of affordable Artificial intelligence has left the world again split wide open. With more technological adoption, there are more advancements. This is Yin. The Yang to is the growing threat to privacy and cyber security.

Data mounted machines with ability to think themselves provide significant edge to the make the smart animal called human beings to do smarter things. The mundane shall be taken care of by these intelligent machines that learn, adopt and execute on their own to first do these mundane tasks and then quickly move to the more advanced ones. The advanced tasks make machines capable of doing more things smartly. Consequently, they become more useful and enable human beings do more smarter things.

So far so good.

What if the fundamental assumption that the humans are smarter and can do smarter things turns to be untrue. Numerous studies highlight that humans are perhaps becoming dumber and more dependent on the machines. The smart human being is not doing the smart thing but is becoming lazy. So does this growing smartness of these machines, opens human beings to the risk of being dominated by the machines? Are we actually going to see a world where Terminators shall roam around and machines will decide what human beings will do.

These scenarios have divided the world and the smartest of people in the world are arguing on it. Intelligence and smartness of people like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg is beyond debate.

Debate worthy is the positions they have taken. While Mark Zuckerberg believes that machines will make lives easier, even though his own product Facebook struggles to wriggle out of the fake news problem. He clearly sees the value in machines dominating smooth human interactions. He believes that AI can trans form the world for better. Perhaps he needs to first put some of his solutions on to Whatsapp – to tackle with fast flowing fake news problem.

Check out his views on AI in the FB Live below:

 https://www.facebook.com/zuck/videos/10103911836230631/

The contrary view has been taken by Elon Musk, who thinks that the world may not be such a beautiful place after AI comes full throttle in the forefront. He fears that machines led world may be more susceptible to creating worldwide disruptions and that it would not be a better place to live.

The video below further emphasizes Elon’s stand that we are looking at a doom’s day scenario if there is no regulation on AI.

The contrarian views of the two Technopreneurs have reached to the limit of public spat between the two with Elon accusing Mark of not having enough understanding of AI.

Its an unhealthy discussion but it surely opens new view points and thoughts for probable pitfalls of AI.

Here is the link to the full public fight.

Public Spat between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg

I am running a small Twitter poll to assess how people think about the doomsday scenario. Please participate.

6 ways to improve listening

In a world filled with cacophony and sounds of multiple types, listening is becoming more and more sparse. The advent of technology and increasing domination of technology gadgets in our daily lives, conversations have fast approached their untimely death. Within homes, people are interacting less with each other and spending more time watching TV or reading social media posts on their personal mobile phones or tablets. This is truly a connected world with disconnected people.

listen

An obvious casualty of this limited one to one interactions is the ability to listen or in other words, listening skills. Lack of listening skills is leading to more and more gaps and distances. These distances are filled with confusion and chaos. We are building a sparsely connected world where opinions and judgments are made with partial listening – so partial information. Compound with the inherent nature of human beings to do stereotyping, we are leading to more angst and more hatred in the society.

The growing number of road rage cases are just one indication of growing angst in the society and how the sense of community if getting lost.

Three separate research articles spanning over 60 years suggest listening has not evolved as much as it should. In the first article dated 1957, the research points to the need for active listening and how it is causing loss of the high amount of business dollars.

Read more about it here.

The second article demonstrates the same problem still persists. There is still significant productivity loss due to lack of active listening.

Read more about it here.

The third article talks about the things that great listeners do and emphasizes the lacks of active listeners.

Read more about it here.

60 years have gone by emphasizing the importance of this significant skill and lack of its adoption in the world, in general. The significant loss underscores the need – especially in the context of being better business owners, managers, and better human beings.

So what can one do to improve their listening skills?

Julian Treasure has spent a significant amount of his life researching on the skill of listening. He has spent years researching the subject and has identified 5 ways on how we can improve our listening. Here are his 5 popular ways –

  1. 3 MINUTES OF SILENCE РJulian advocates practicing 3 minutes of silence every day.  With this, he says that people can be better at understanding the sounds in the environment they are operating. This helps to become an active practitioner of the art of listening and improves cognitive skills significantly.
  2. Next, he suggests understanding the MIXER. This is basically a habit of trying to identifying the different sounds in a noisy place.
  3. He further encourages people to SAVOUR the sounds in their surroundings and enjoying those sounds while relating to something familiar.
  4. Then one needs to determine the different types of LISTENING POSITIONS that are possible for them to actively participate in a conversation through listening. Following are the filters that he suggests to apply in the sounds –
    • Active Vs. Passive
    • Reductive Vs. Expansive
    • Empathetic Vs. Critical
  5. Finally, he relies on the RASA, meaning juice or essence in Sanskrit. This is expanded as below –
    • RECEIVE – Pay attention others
    • APPRECIATE – via little sounds like mm, hmmm
    • SUMMARIZE
    • ASK

With these Julian concludes that one can become a much more active listener and be effective in their realm of activity.

You can watch his Ted Video on ‘Listening of Sounds’ here.
https://embed.ted.com/talks/julian_treasure_5_ways_to_listen_better

The 6th way is to breathe in a rhythm, in tandem with the sound to focus on what is being said. 

It is important for us with the cacophony around us to become active listeners. Let’s start practicing these today itself.

You can listen to the related podcast at Soundcloud.

July #AI Digest – #Gains, #Clothing, #Apollo and #AndrewNg

Things move at a fast pace and fast pace requires fast steps. Fast steps require more energy and the more you conserve is more you have – unless you have boosters to provide the extra energy. The system in equilibrium has the unique ability to stay in that state for a long time or at least till there is any disruption leading to entropic state and consequently moves to another state of equilibrium.

This is how the physical states work everywhere. This is how growth happens. This is how Momentum Moments are built.

The current world is undergoing a similar entropic state with multiple disruptions coming. Consequently, a new equilibrium state will come with its own tenure till something else disrupts it for good.

A recent report by PwC has predicted that Global GDP will grow by up to $16 Trillion through AI with productivity gains and consumption patterns shift. In numbers that is –

$16,000,000,000,000,000

And here is how PwC claims it.

PwC Analysis

Highlights from above chart:

  1. Labour productivity improvements that are assisting the work force to be more productive through the adoption of AI tools are going to give 55% of overall gains.
  2. Product innovation increases and gains traction with faster throughput for products and services.
  3. Consequently, there would be increased consumption and also AI would help in reducing the amount of consumption side wastage. Thereby, giving 58% of GDP gains by 2030.

In addition, SalesForce predicts that there would 800,000 new jobs and $1.1 Trillion in revenue growth by 2021 through AI.

On the other side, data Mining of 100 Million Instagram Photos revealed Global Clothing patterns. What is also means –

  • Now you can find out what clothing trends are emerging
  • That you can introduce new styles by adopting the fashion trends from anywhere in the world
  • The old order of what fits right and what fits not is quickly blurring and shadow lines are disappearing
  • Your data once published is easy commodity for anybody to use
  • Your lives so private become horribly social without your knowing
  • You may be inspiring somebody who may have no means to extend gratitude

Check out more about the study here.

clothing-1

Our friends with Oriental Lineage have a lot to share in the last few days.

The father of Deep Learning, Andrew Ng,  is making significant strides after his stint got over at Baidu. Perhaps the corporate culture was suffocating the entrepreneur in him. He has recently announced, yet another initiative for Deep Learning, this time named DeepLearning.ai. Below is the link, the scientist does have an appeal to some marketing too. Check out the capital letters in the name below.

DeepLearniNG.ai

And lastly, Andre Ng’s former employer Baidu has launched Apollo – what it is calling the Android of Self Driven Cars. Its good to hear such open systems based announcements from companies that operate in geographies where Google, Facebook, Amazon and many more companies – known for bringing openness to the forefront – are not allowed to operate. So, good luck to them and their strides. And of course, they are not doing it alone, but in partnership with Microsoft – another organisation that took years to learn about the openness of systems.

Learn more here.

Our salute to Andrew Ng for relentlessly pushing the limits of AI. Here is a famous video from him. Do watch it!

Enjoy reading… Happy rest of the week!

The Millennial Swimmer’s Body

Yami Gautam is a beautiful actress. She is fair, has sharp features and a lovely face. She has done some good cinema too with movies like Vicky Donor, Badlapur, Kaabil etc. She is also the face of Fair & Lovely Beauty Cream campaign.

Many girls see her advertisement for Fair & Lovely and buy the cream to be like Yami.

Similarly, IITs are holy grail for Engineering in India. Every year hundreds and thousands of aspirants appear in the examination to become successful. A select few hundreds make to the top institutes.

Both the above are examples of Swimmer’ Body Illusion as discovered by Nasser Taleb. Advertising of beauty products is done with people who are already good looking. Take example of Yami. She is made to look lesser pretty for the advertisement and with application of beauty product she looks to her normal self again. People, esp young girls, watching the advertisement believe that they can look like her and buy the product.

IITs, on the other hand, suffer acute shortage of good faculty at the institutes. This means that there will be plenty of courses that would be taught by mediocre or not that great professors. But still, students graduating from IITs are assumed to be the best Engineers in the country. This is because the selection through the tough and rigorous entrance examination ensures that only the best engineering minds make it to the institute. Consequently, the general engineer graduating from IIT is better engineer than others.

DD-SC-85-03041
Susan Rapp, the daughter of Army Colonel Edward G. Rapp, competes in a swimming event at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Many a times people look at others and start believing that they are better or equal to the ‘other’ and can beat them in what they are good that. In high octane, high competition societies like India, this is very visible. Reason- because there is so much to compare.

When children – marks are compared, when teenage – latest gadgetry in hand is compared, when adults – accumulation of wealth and assets is compared.

Consequently, there is a lot of herd movement to things. The mass makes things competitive and things go into scarcity very soon.

During the 1970s, people wanted to become an Engineer and take a government job. Why? Because there were a lot of Government enterprises that were being opened and everyone wanted a safe future.

During the late 90s and early 2000s, people wanted to get into Information Technology as invariably it was the path to the US.

Since 2015, we see a lot of startups coming up. Mushrooming and growing. Trying to change the world.

What happened in 1970s? We have engineering companies with not so great engineering talent as people soon realized that they had different skills.

What happened in 1990s? We had many engineers who may have done something else (and may be more meaningful) got into IT and are straddled in their paths not knowing where to go?

What is happening today? We have a lot of people building startups because others are doing it not knowing whether they have appetite for startups or not. Soon, we would have more debris at the bottom of the ocean.

Startups

The larger startups that are going to win and thrive are the ones that are attracting talent with strong reach out.Consequently, they are building an atmosphere of competitiveness internally. People push each other to grow and grow the company along – good strategy for any company on a high velocity path. Retaining that talent is the key challenge now!

It is crucial that one realizes their own limitations and then work towards the appropriate Swimmer’s Body Dilemma. Millennials need to understand this more to know as their lives are already on the swim lane to make the fastest lap.

Brilliantly new idea – No one has thought

I wish it was true to have a ‘Brilliantly New Idea’ that no one has thought. I was asked recently whether one needs a ‘brilliantly new idea’ to start a successful business. Tough question to answer. This is for 2 reasons – novelty is scarce, brilliance is contextual.

Idea

I clearly remember when I was starting my own sports and fitness startup, I and my partner thought that we had a brilliant idea that no one else had thought about.

Within 2 months of starting, we realized that there were 3 other serious players in the market who were doing the same thing as ours. Did that mean our idea was not brilliant? If we speak to people who were not familiar with the competition, it was brilliant. However, for customers of the customers, it was a routine thing.

Similarly,

  • iPod, the revolutionary product that led to iPhone was not the first music player in the world.
  • Google was not the first search engine in the world
  • Reliance Jio was not the first Mobile operator in India
  • McDonald’s was not the first (and not the best) burger maker in the world
  • Arvind Mills was not the first automatic textile manufacturer in the world
  • And the list goes on…

So does the problem really lies with brilliance?

Same idea may be brilliant for some and mundane for others and vice versa.

Elon Musk, the idea and brilliance powerhouse of the world, is thinking about solving world’s transportation problems with EVs and the Boring Company; and also of the Universe with SpaceX.

For ISRO engineers, the problem that SpaceX is trying to solve is everyday job. Does that mean Elon Musk is not brilliant?

Similarly, people who embraced digital payments early were merely early adopters. When digitization via demonetization happened in India, the man on the street became a customer of the digital payments. Does it mean that early adopters are more brilliant than the man on the street?

The answer to both is No.

Further, when Flipkart started in India, it was not a brilliant idea. India already had IndiaPlaza.com. World already had Amazon.com. Flipkart copied over Amazon.com.

Amazon.com was (and is) brilliant in identifying the opportunity of product sales using the internet.

Now if Flipkart starts its operations in US, would it be a brilliant idea there? Certainly not. Unless, Flipkart addresses some of the gaps in the offering of Amazon.com in the US. Obviously it requires a lot of research and identifying the right gaps. Then making the right solutions to fill those gaps and then communicating to the customers about this value differentiated offering.

So brilliance has to sit in the context right. Any idea has to be brilliant if it is serving a need contextually.

The question then arises of one needs to do something successfully and at scale – whether a new project that is done for commercial purposes or to start a new business.

The two important things that one needs to look at then are below –

  • Scale of problem – One needs to spend time to identify the problem. Then the research should be to understand the ‘scale of the problem’. The bigger the scale of the problem that one is trying to solve. The greater is going to be the impact of the solution. The bigger the impact of the solution, the more the opportunities of making money/ reaping benefits.

 

  • Comprehensive research – This is one of the most ignored part by most young managers and entrepreneurs. Research may help you to find answers to some of the questions that you may have like below –
    • What is the current solution for the problem?
    • How many players are there?
    • Are there any gaps in the offering?
    • Can a marriage of technology with the field of interest make any impact?
    • Do I or my team have the skills to solve this problem?

A comprehensive approach to a given problem shall help to solve the most impending problems.

So instead of ‘Brilliantly New Idea’, one must focus on ‘Scale of the problem’.