Author Archives: nevis63

How UPS delivers quicker using $8 headphones & 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 Coming 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 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?

Twelve 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 ?

Nine 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 ?

Hoteliers Gain an Edge By Scanning the Ranks of IT Workers to

Description:The front desk manager or housekeeper may epitomize the hotel employee, but the hospitality industry is increasingly dependent on tech workers, vacuuming data scientists, web designers and other experts into its ranks.

Source: NYTIMES.com

Date: Feb 13, 2017

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While many college students majoring in science, technology, engineering and math are attracted to the household-name tech companies in Seattle and Silicon Valley, Mr. Leidinger says he tells them, “If you’re really into technology, there’s a revolution happening in hospitality,” and as part of a smaller team, “you can drive, innovate and take ownership.”

One project for Hilton tech employees is keyless entry, which allows guests to use their phones instead of plastic key cards to unlock room doors. Of Hilton’s 4,800 hotels, 750 now offer keyless entry, and the company hopes to install the service in 2,500 hotels by the end of this year.

There are also technical job openings at the hotel level, where employees at individual properties manage social media, on-site Wi-Fi and the integration of systems like retail, parking and food sales.

 READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1.While hotel chains say that automating processes like check-in frees their employees to interact in other ways with guests, the use of technology also allows the hotel to hire fewer people.  Do you feel this is a positive thing?  Why or Why not?

Walmart’s : Drones of Distribution

Description:  Walmart, the country’s largest retailer, is testing the use of flying drones to handle inventory at its large warehouses, which supply the thousands of Walmart stores throughout the nation.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: June 2. 2016

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While a Walmart employee may handle the drone, the technology could “potentially” mean fewer workers would be needed to take stock or replace missing items, Lorenzo Lopez, a spokesman, said. Mr. Lopez emphasized that those workers could be deployed in other areas of the warehouse.

The test is occurring as Walmart is under intense pressure to grow amid an onslaught of low-cost competition, particularly from Amazon, the online shopping giant. Walmart has committed to spending $2.7 billion on labor, technology and other investments, including improving its website and e-commerce business. Last quarter, Walmart beat expectations with $115.9 billion in revenue, but even Doug McMillon, its president and chief executive, acknowledged that the 7 percent growth of Walmart’s e-commerce business was “too slow.”   read rest of story

Questions:
1.  Is Walmart on the cutting edge of logistics management with the use of drones?  Why or Why not??

2.  Why would Walmart want to implement this new strategy?