Independence Day

No bigger joy than clear blue sky

No bigger joy than free speech

No bigger joy than positive forward thinking

No bigger joy than being on your own

No bigger joy than having no fear

No bigger joy than living with no command

No bigger joy than progress in a free world

No bigger joy than Growing Daily in a free atmosphere

No bigger joy than Independence…. Jai Hind!

Independence Day - Amitesh Tyagi

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 🙂

10 Mantras to Grow Daily – # Goals #Patience #Upgrade #Failure #Habits #Reboot #ProblemSolving #Research #Networking #ActiveLife

When I started this blog a few months back, I had not imagined that this would become more of a necessity than a hobby for me. At the outset, I believed that blogging helps in structuring your thoughts better. With initial posts, I found that it is not as straight forward as I thought and demands a good amount of time, discipline, and a prolific mind to continuously look for ideas.

Now that I have published more than 50 posts, it is time to celebrate the milestone. In the next 10 blogs published on Fridays or Saturdays, I am going to share the Grow Daily credo with you. This would be a 10 part series (after this one) to take deep dive into the 10 mantras that I believe are essential to Grow Daily. These are the foundation to this blog and shall continue to be as long as this blog runs, which I believe shall be till as long as I can run it.

I am not claiming to be a successful person and that I have the license to become prescriptive. I am a survivor and a believer in making attempts to achieve everyday success, in whatever I do. The magnitude of impact does matter but it is these small things that add up to big ones. I am not a failure too and have reached a reasonable level in my professional and personal life. I believe the challenges that I have faced (and continue to face) in this course are shaping me towards a reasonable and reputable position in my circle of influence.

Most importantly, I am happy and that’s why I believe that I am successful.

I plan to continue running this blog and share my learning from technology, management, and everyday improvement to be effective in every realm of life. These are my own thoughts and I believe that these will give me a good number of opportunities to share my experiences as I progress from here.

With this context, let me share the 10 mantras to Grow Daily.



Mantra No. 1 – Importance of setting goals

The one most important thing in life is to set goals. It is very easy to go with the flow. For the majority of my adult life, I used to take pride in declaring often that ‘TAKE LIFE AS IT COMES’. How wrong was I? It is only after I faced a string of failures in both personal and professional front, and I observed changes in my personality that I started to explore how to be better in my everyday life. In other words, how to grow daily. One of the key learning was to build a habit of creating daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, 5-yearly and 10-yearly goals. Some of these goals should push you out of your comfort zone.

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Mantra No. 2 – Being Patient

In my life so far, I have experienced that everything is done if we are patient enough. One should not attribute patience to laziness or delay. Patience is to go through the hoops and achieve your end goal without accepting defeat in the course, just because things are not going the way we planned.

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Mantra No. 3 – Get Hands-On and Upgrade

‘It’s hard to beat someone who never gives up!’ – goes the old saying. This is exactly one needs to adapt to thrive and be happy in their lives. This certainly does mean that one needs to constantly invest into themselves. My work does not require me to get my hands dirty on the daily basis. Where in, it is easy to get out of the regular drudge and just ‘manage’ stuff. It is the decision to go hands-on, do things and then upgrade yourself to new skills that make the difference. It’s important to create something of your own and then telling the world about it, rather than buying and selling something that anyone else has made. Enjoy the joy of making!

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Mantra No. 4 – Try. Fail. Learn. Repeat.

When you get hands-on then there will be failures. Embrace them. I recently was watching an old interview of Michael Phelps, the legendary Olympic swimmer. For 5 years non-stop Michael went for swimming. No breaks. The difference in his performance, when compared to his competitors, is for everyone to see. This is the power of trying every day. Failures will be there. We just need to learn from them and move on. I got really inspired by this. With the mission to add one more skill in my toolkit, I started to learn swimming in May this year and in 4 months I am proud that I have learned freestyle, backstroke and breast stroke. Just by trying, failing, learning and repeating. We should find opportunities where we can try, then fail, then learn and then repeat. It is these failures that form the bedrock of success.

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Mantra No. 5 – Productive Habits. Kill Craving.

Saturdays and Sundays used to mean thanking God that week is over. My usual routine used to be lying down on the couch in front of our TV. Watch a movie, after a movie, eat snack after snack and spend time just talking to people. Little did I realize that during week day as well, my body became too lazy and craving for spending time in non-productive things became a habit. If I got a work assignment, I would first take a coffee break and then think what should I do next. In the process, I dragged things till the last moment and did a sloppy job. Every where. The decision to make every waking moment count not only killed my craving for finding excuses and just spend time doing nothing but it also made me more focused in the moment and on the job at hand. I started getting more involved. My focus came back and I feel more compelled to do more. So look at your daily schedule and identify where you the unproductive cravings are dominating over the productive ones.

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Mantra No. 6 – Reboot and Organise.

All work and no play can make Jack a dull boy. Our education system in India emphasizes the importance of working hard but is absolutely silent on equal importance of partying harder. When I made the decision to start my journey of personal transformation, initial wins were easy. Sitting in front of the computer, I was able to make a lot of progress with an assignment in hand. This went for weeks. Then I started wearing out. If you look at the frequency of initial blog posts, you would realize the lack of discipline and dip in quality of content very easily. I realized that one needs to reboot periodically, organize their thoughts, get the mojo back and then restart again from where I left. This strategy helped me to have a healthier mind too. Every once in a while I take a full day off and just do things that are good to do but not essential. This helps to relax me a lot. Besides, travel breaks help me to rejuvenate further. So take periodic breaks. And if you add them at end of some milestone, you ensure that there is both progress and reward.

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Mantra No. 7 – Problem Solving Creatively.

It is important to challenge yourself with problems. The good ones are those where you can solve tough problems. Problems that require handling multiple variables – technical, economic, political, relational etc. The more complex a problem, the more content you would be when it gets solved. As a vow, I take up some complex problem and spend at least 30 minutes on it every day. This could be a mathematics problem or a case from my B-School days. These days it is about GST (Goods and Services Tax) introduced by Government of India. Finance was never my forte so understanding it takes time. But what makes one achieve greatness is to not only solve a complex problem but to solve it in more than one way. That’s when creativity kicks in. Most successful people are ones who have solved problems creatively – Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Abdul Kalam, Elon Musk to name a few. So, look out for the new problem every day and solve it.

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Mantra No. 8 – Research Deeply.

As I already emphasized in one of my previous blogs, there is no substitute for good research on anything you work on. The shortening attention spans have led to reduced amount of concentration of people. As a result, the depth of understanding has also shrunk. People who spend a good amount of time in researching are the ones who move ahead, with little effort. This was one of the toughest changes that I had to bring. I had become a victim of shrinking attention span. It is for looking at blogs like Zen Habits and some very powerful reading that I realized that I need to work more on my research methodologies. It has helped me significantly. This is the secret gravy for success. Everybody wants it but very few know how to make it well.

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Mantra No. 9 – Network Aggressively

Whether working as an employer or as an employee, if you continue to sit on your seat then you will go only as far as the seat goes. In the connected world, it is important that we identify people from whom we can gain knowledge and insights professionally or personally. This is an area where I believe many people, especially in technology and engineering related fields, fumble significantly. The love for machines makes them human agnostic. This is very inhuman. It is easy for us to spend a whole day without speaking to anyone except for our immediate circle. To strive and thrive, we must network with as many people as possible. We must also find the right mentors and good peers to help us learn new things every day. So make an attempt to meet or speak to 4-5 new people every week and you would be surprised to see the impact. Honestly, I have not been very successful in this so far but I am working really hard to fix it.

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Mantra No. 10 – Wholesome Generous Life.

A healthy body makes a healthy mind and vice versa is an age old saying. For the past 6 months, I have made a daily routine to go out for some physical activity in the outdoor and spend close to 45-60 minutes in the natural surroundings. I have tried the gym before but have miserably failed in pursuing it effectively. The 45-60 minutes in natural surrounds can be used for running, walking or swimming (my recent acquired skill). This is the most therapeutic part of my day. It invigorates me to be more effective and be more attentive throughout the day. Besides, we should not shy away from sharing and being generous. Helping others in any form gives an eternal happiness that cannot be achieved by any other means. Lastly, one builds a tendency to listen more as they appreciate the quiet than noise. I find that these transformations have made me more disciplined and hence more effective.

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As said earlier, the next 10 weeks are going to be deep dive into each of these mantras with well research examples and science behind them. It’s challenging but then whats the fun in doing mundane!

Adopt these mantras and I am sure you would find yourself a changed person. All the best! #GrowDaily!

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 –