Author Archives: nevis63

How UPS delivers faster using $8 headphones and code that decides when dirty trucks get cleaned

Description:  Inside EDGE: the shipping giant’s ambitious, tech-driven bid to keep Amazon and others at bay.

Source: MIT Technology Review

Date: Feb 16. 2018

UPS workers make dozens of decisions every day, and the wrong ones—from placing a box on the wrong conveyor belt inside a processing facility to loading it onto the incorrect delivery vehicle—could keep you from getting your packages on time.

Avoiding those mistakes, and doing so efficiently, is key to the company’s survival. The boom in e-commerce means UPS now delivers as many as 31 million packages a day. Keeping track of all that is an immensely difficult problem. It’s made worse because fulfilling online orders often requires driving to far-flung residences. That is more expensive for UPS than delivering to businesses, where drivers typically can leave and pick up multiple packages at each stop. read rest of story

Questions:
1.  What are the two biggest threats to UPS going forward?

2. What are the two biggest opportunities for UPS going forward?

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How Artificial Intelligence Is Edging Its Way Into Our Lives

Description: Artificial intelligence is here — and it’s bringing new possibilities, while also raising questions. Do these gadgets and services really behave as advertised?

Source: NYT.com

Date: Feb 12. 2018

Marc Benioff, the chief executive of Salesforce, blasted companies like Facebook on Tuesday for addicting children to their products and renewed his calls for more government regulation of the tech industry.

Mr. Benioff compared a new Facebook Messenger product for children to candy cigarettes, which he used to pretend to smoke as a boy.

“What do you think they were trying to get us to do with those?” Mr. Benioff asked onstage at the New Work Summit. “I don’t think this is any different now. They’re focused on the addictive nature of these user interfaces. At some point, we have to say, ‘Hold on.’”

Silicon Valley is nearing the point where moral lines will have to be drawn by the government since the industry is not regulating itself and does not seem to be guided by a “strong hand of ethics,” he said.  read rest of story

Questions:
1.  What are the two biggest opportunities for society presented by AI?

2. What are the two biggest problems for society presented by AI?

Tech’s Ethical ‘Dark Side’: Harvard, Stanford and Others Want to Address It

Description: The medical profession has an ethic: First, do no harm.  Silicon Valley has an ethos: Build it first and ask for forgiveness later.

Source: NYT.com

Date: Feb 12. 2018

Now, in the wake of fake news and other troubles at tech companies, universities that helped produce some of Silicon Valley’s top technologists are hustling to bring a more medicine-like morality to computer science.

This semester, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are jointly offering a new course on the ethics and regulation of artificial intelligence. The University of Texas at Austin just introduced a course titled “Ethical Foundations of Computer Science” — with the idea of eventually requiring it for all computer science majors.    read rest of story

Questions:
1.  What are the two biggest ethical challenges presented by Tech?

2. How should we approach theses ethical challenges as a society?

12 technologies that will disrupt business in 2018

Description:  From artificial intelligence to augmented reality, these dozen disruptive technologies and trends will begin driving how business gets done at forward-thinking organizations this year.

Source: cio.com

Date: Feb 14, 2018

In 2018, disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and computer vision are maturing, going from game-changing ideas to foundational tools for business. This year, we’ll see these and other technologies drive how business gets done and what new products will launch in the near future.

To get a sense of what’s ahead for this year, we looked at the technologies experts say are most likely to affect a wide variety of organizations as they undergo digital transformations. Pros in these fields gave us their top picks for what should be on your radar, as well as some insight into the implications of adopting these new technologies.    READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1. What three disruptive technologies do you consider most important in 2018 ?  Why ?

 

9 ways to get more value from business intelligence in 2018

Description:  Improved customer relations, increased employee productivity, new revenue streams — big benefits await those who breathe new life into their business intelligence strategies

Source: cio.com

Date: Feb 14, 2018

For far too many organizations, “business intelligence” brings to mind simple statistical summaries in stodgy, dated reports. But beneath BI’s dull surface, keen insights await — especially for those willing to revamp their business intelligence strategy to tackle the kinds of issues forward-thinking organizations are already addressing with modern BI.

Whether you are looking to implement a new BI tool or get more value out of your current BI setup, you will find some promising ideas here, as we recount how companies are using BI to improve customer service, employee productivity, revenue growth, and more.  READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1. What three suggestions for getting more value from BI do you consider most important to implement ?  Why ?

 

Companies Harvesting Data to Learn Your Secrets

Description: Andrew Pole had just started working as a statistician for Target i, when two colleagues from the marketing department stopped by his desk to ask an odd question: “If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that? ”

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Feb 6, 2012

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The desire to collect information on customers is not new for Target or any other large retailer, of course. For decades, Target has collected vast amounts of data on every person who regularly walks into one of its stores. Whenever possible, Target assigns each shopper a unique code — known internally as the Guest ID number — that keeps tabs on everything they buy. “If you use a credit card or a coupon, or fill out a survey, or mail in a refund, or call the customer help line, or open an e-mail we’ve sent you or visit our Web site, we’ll record it and link it to your Guest ID,” Pole said. “We want to know everything we can.”

Also linked to your Guest ID is demographic information like your age, whether you are married and have kids, which part of town you live in, how long it takes you to drive to the store, your estimated salary, whether you’ve moved recently, what credit cards you carry in your wallet and what Web sites you visit. Target can buy data about your ethnicity, job history, the magazines you read, if you’ve ever declared bankruptcy or got divorced, the year you bought (or lost) your house, where you went to college, what kinds of topics you talk about online, whether you prefer certain brands of coffee, paper towels, cereal or applesauce, your political leanings, reading habits, charitable giving and the number of cars you own.    READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1. Reflecting on this article, does ther ever come a time when you feel there is too much data out in the public sphere about you?  Why or Why not?

2.  What are some applications of this BIG DATA technology that you would find exciting as a manager of a business?

Big Logistics: Alibaba and Amazon Bet On Supply Chain Management

Description:  The world’s largest retailers are planning to not only grow into the world’s biggest logistics companies, but to completely revolutionize the industry.

Source: Forbes.com

Date: May 31. 2016

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Both Amazon and Alibaba have recently made significant investments to their supply chain capabilities and in the not distant future they will soon handle more shipments than most specialist delivery postal and courier companies.

In effect, these companies are building their own streamlined delivery systems that may replace the more established specialists.

Earlier this month, Amazon signed a new deal to lease more cargo jets, in effect doubling the size of its fleet. This is partly a response to increasing demand (shifted 27% more units in last quarter) but also a part of a grander plan.

The aimfor these internet giants is nothing less than the obliteration of all alternative forms of retail. When it comes to sales, Wal-Mart dwarfs Amazon by a factor of four. Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, plan is to undermine these lead by competing for consumer attention in ways that Wal-Mart can never match. That is, by offering a nearly infinite menu of goods, same-day delivery and liberating from the tiresome trip to the busy out-of-town store.    read rest of story

Questions:
1.  How do Amazon and Alibaba plan to revolutionize the logistics industry?

2.  Do you feel these companies will be successful in this strategy?  Why or Why not?