Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Amazon.

Seattle’s Amazon Go cashierless convenience store opened to the public last month.  (Benjamin Woodard/The Seattle Times)

Amazon.com plans to open as many as six more cashierless stores this year, Recode reported.

The e-commerce giant is considering locations in Los Angeles and Seattle, where the first and only Amazon Go store opened to the public last month.

Source: Seattle Times

Date: February 23rd, 2018

Link: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon-plans-to-open-six-more-cashierless-go-stores-recode-says/

Discussion

1) Why is Amazon doing this?

2) What could Amazon learn from having automated shops?

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Tableau.

If you’re like many Tableau customers, you have large buckets of data stored in Amazon S3. You might need to access this data frequently and store it in a consistent, highly structured format. If so, you can provision it to a data warehouse like Amazon Redshift. You might also want to explore this S3 data on an ad hoc basis. For example, you might want to determine whether or not to provision the data, and where—options might be Hadoop, Impala, Amazon EMR, or Amazon Redshift. To do so, you can use Amazon Athena, a serverless interactive query service from AWS that requires no infrastructure setup and management.

Source: Tableau

Date: February 23rd, 2018

Link: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/big-data/tableau-10-4-supports-amazon-redshift-spectrum-with-external-amazon-s3-tables/

Discussion

1) This could appear to be very complex, but take a look and read just the words you understand.  What is going on in the image above?

2) What is Tableau and what is AWS?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

This video is a TV commercial from Microsoft talking about their AI systems.

Source: Microsoft

Date: February 15th, 2018

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tucY7Jhhs4

Discussion

1) What actually is Artificial Intelligence?

2) What sorts of applications can you think of, beyond those shown in the video, that could use

Posted by & filed under Productivity Paradox.

In a poll of 20,000 European workers released Monday, Microsoft, which became one of the world’s most profitable companies by marketing office productivity software, acknowledges new digital technology can, in some circumstances, make businesses less productive.

Economists have been puzzled in recent years by the so-called “productivity paradox,” the fact that the digital revolution of the past four decades hasn’t resulted in big gains in output per worker as happened with earlier technological upheaval. Many developed economies have actually seen productivity stagnate or decline.

Source: Bloomberg

Date: February 15th, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-05/microsoft-says-it-s-true-cat-videos-distract-workers

Discussion

1) The “productivity paradox” was first discussed back when PC computers started entering businesses.   Can you explain in simple terms what the paradox is?

2) How could you stop workers playing cat videos at work?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence.

Kate Chan, a 30-year-old digital marketer in Silicon Valley, first approached dating apps with a blend of curiosity and hope that they’d help her find a great guy.  But after six months of dead-end mismatches with guys she thought were boring or work-obsessed, she has gone back to what she called “meeting the old-fashioned way”: without a screen. She now meets guys at do-it-yourself crafting meetups and her rock-climbing gym.  “I didn’t want to rely on the algorithms anymore,” she said. “When it comes down to it, I really have to see that person face to face, to get that intuition, that you don’t get in a digital way.”

Source: Washington Post

Date: February 15th, 2018

Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/why-silicon-valley-singles-are-giving-up-on-the-algorithms-of-love/2018/02/14/6cbd74ee-1041-11e8-8ea1-c1d91fcec3fe_story.html?utm_term=.1660f4df7e45

Discussion

1) “Maybe the human mysteries of chemistry and attraction aren’t problems big data can solve.”   Is the issue the AI, the app, or the chemistry?

2) What other things are out there that would be very difficult to apply AI to?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence.

Peter Lane

As companies rely more on machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to find the right job candidates, is recruitment in danger of losing that personal touch?  Peter Lane, a 21-year-old who graduated last summer from Cardiff University with a degree in History, is hoping to get into business consulting.  He’s applied for 55 jobs and secured around 15 interviews, but believes technology has hindered rather than helped his search. The interviews weren’t what he was expecting.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: February 15th, 2018

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42905515

Discussion

1) Is it ethical to use AI to screen candidates for employment?

2) What other applications might this sort of technology be usefully used for?

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security.

Two Venezuelan men went on a crime spree through Colorado, Idaho and Utah, cracking into seven ATMs and using software to trick the machines into spitting out as much as $98,000 at a time.  The alleged crooks used a technique common in Latin America and Europe but very new in the U.S. called “jackpotting.” Thieves use a key or violently crack open the exterior of an ATM and then insert software into the machine’s computer hard drive instructing it to purge all of its cash.

Source: Denver Post

Date: February 9th, 2018

Link: https://www.denverpost.com/2018/02/09/atm-jackpotting-colorado/

Discussion

1) What physical steps can a bank take to stop “jackpotting”?

2) What logical (as in within the ATM software code) can a bank take to stop “jackpotting”?

 

Posted by & filed under Bitcoin, Blockchain.

Bitcoin and other “cryptocurrencies” have been much in the news lately, in part because of their wild gyrations in value. Michael Lee and Antoine Martin, economists in the New York Fed’s Money and Payment Studies function, have been following cryptocurrencies and agreed to answer some questions about digital money.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Date: February 8th, 2018

Link: http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2018/02/hey-economist-what-do-cryptocurrencies-have-to-do-with-trust.html

Discussion

1) “With bitcoin there isn’t one designated validator. Instead, everybody in the bitcoin network could be picked, essentially at random, to validate recent transactions.”  Validation is indeed the key and something not focused on at all by most people.  What is validation?

2) Will bitcoin exchanges that are run from places like China survive in the global economy?

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Disintermediation.

The Amazon-fueled grocery price war may have finally arrived.  News that Amazon.com will start offering two-hour delivery from Whole Foods stores in four U.S. cities has the food world buzzing that competition is about to heat up in an industry that survives on razor-thin margins.  In the six months since Amazon acquired the organic grocer, the e-commerce giant has been mum about its plans for its ballyhooed push into brick-and-mortar food retail. Now, the grocery world will get a first-hand look at Amazon’s strategy, with two-hour delivery available through its Prime Now service in Dallas and Austin, Texas; Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Source: Bloomberg Technology News

Date: February 8th, 2018

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-09/amazon-is-turning-these-four-cities-into-grocery-battlegrounds

Discussion

1) If there are such “razor-thin margins” in the grocery business, why is Amazon going after this marketspace?

2) What next for Amazon?

Posted by & filed under Emerging Technologies, Ethical issues.

Stelarc, a 72-year-old Australian, has an ear on his arm. Soon he hopes to attach a small microphone to it so people can, via the internet, listen to whatever it hears.  Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow – yes, that’s his legal name – has the chip from his Sydney travel card implanted into his hand.

Source: BBC Future

Date: February 8th, 2018

Link (includes video with graphic medical content): http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42989077

Discussion

1) What are some of the ethical issues surrounding “bodyhacking”?

2) What sorts of cyber-enhancements might make commercial sense for a possible student-run entrepreneurial startup?