Category Archives: algorithm

As Goldman Embraces Automation, Even the Masters of the Universe Are Threatened

Description:   At its height back in 2000, the U.S. cash equities trading desk at Goldman Sachs’s New York headquarters employed 600 traders, buying and selling stock on the orders of the investment bank’s large clients. Today there are just two equity traders left.

Source: MIT Technology Review

Date: Feb 7, 2017

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The experience of its New York traders is just one early example of a transformation of Goldman Sachs, and increasingly other Wall Street firms, that began with the rise in computerized trading, but has accelerated over the past five years, moving into more fields of finance that humans once dominated. Chavez, who will become chief financial officer in April, says areas of trading like currencies and even parts of business lines like investment banking are moving in the same automated direction that equities have already traveled.

Today, nearly 45 percent of trading is done electronically, according to Coalition, a U.K. firm that tracks the industry. In addition to back-office clerical workers, on Wall Street machines are replacing a lot of highly paid people, too.   READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1. Do you feel that that Computerized trading and AI will make the financial industry almost a employee less industry ?  Why or Why not?

2.  Do you feel that Government industries are susceptible to this sort of computerization and AI to reduces Public service employees in Canada by a significant amount?   explain

The Cloud-Centric Retailer Treats Every Shopper Like A Celebrity

Description:  Imagine walking into a shopping mall on a mission to buy something very specific — the right tie for a job interview, the perfect handbag for a wedding — and knowing immediately where to look. Instead of endless hours wandering from store to store, combing the aisles for the right purchase, you know immediately which shops have exactly what you’re looking for and which has the best price.

Source:  Forbes.com

Date:  Dec 15, 2015

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Products are becoming to become intelligent, too, as more items and packaging start to come with low-energy Bluetooth tags that will guide smartphone-equipped shoppers to the exact location of the item they’re looking for. Combine that with customers logging in to good-old fashioned Wi-Fi networks and the retail environment becomes a rich mine of data for retailers who choose to build the supporting infrastructure to capture, analyse and interact with it.  Read the Rest of the Story

Questions:

1.  What is the promise of Cloud Computing for the Retail Industry?

2.. What do you see as the two biggest benefits of cloud computing in the retail industry ?  Why?

Algorithms Need Managers, Too

Description:   Algorithms make predictions more accurate—but they also create risks of their own, especially if we do not understand them.

Source: HBR.org

Date:  Jan 1, 2016

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High-profile examples abound. When Netflix ran a million-dollar competition to develop an algorithm that could identify which movies a given user would like, teams of data scientists joined forces and produced a winner. But it was one that applied to DVDs—and as Netflix’s viewers transitioned to streaming movies, their preferences shifted in ways that didn’t match the algorithm’s predictions.

Another example comes from social media. Today many sites deploy algorithms to decide which ads and links to show users. When these algorithms focus too narrowly on maximizing user click-throughs, sites become choked with low-quality “click-bait.   Read the Rest of the Story

Questions:

1.  Discuss the pros and cons of ALGORITHMS in managing a business.

2.  List some examples of algorithm successes in business, education, or government.

 

 

Billion $ Bet by Disney on Technology to Track Theme-Park Visitors

Description: Jason McInerney and his wife, Melissa, recently tapped their lunch orders onto a touchscreen at the entrance to the Be Our Guest restaurant at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort and were told to take any open seat. Moments later a food server appeared at their table with their croque-monsieur and carved turkey sandwiches. Asks McInerney, a once-a-year visitor to Disney theme parks: “How did they know where we were sitting?”

Source: businessweek.com

Date: March 7, 2014


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Change is always tricky for Disney, especially at its parks, where introducing a new brand of coffee can spark a revolt by fans. Unhappy mouseketeers last year began a petition drive to keep Disneyland in January from pulling the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies show after 21 years (it didn’t work). Others marched on the park’s City Hall in 2004 after recalibrations made to the Mad Tea Party ride in the name of safety slowed it down.

MyMagic+ promises far more radical change. It’s a sweeping reservation and ride planning system that allows for bookings months in advance on a website or smartphone app. Bracelets called MagicBands, which link electronically to an encrypted database of visitor information, serve as admission tickets, hotel keys, and credit or debit cards; a tap against a sensor pays for food or trinkets. The bands have radio frequency identification (RFID) chips—which critics derisively call spychips because of their ability to monitor people and things.  READ REST OF STORY 

Questions for discussion:

1.  Why is Disney investing in this RFID technology and why is it important?

2.  What potential applications do you see for RFID technology and in what industries will this add the greatest value?

3.  Comment on the statement “critics derisively call spychips because of their ability to monitor people and things.

An Algorithm for Everything–Bras

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Feb 23, 2013

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Professional bra fitters have also moved online. Linda Becker, whose family owns two bra stores in New York, says she sells twice as many bras online today at LindaTheBraLady.com as she does in her stores. Some of her online customers have previously visited one of her shops and been fitted in person. But new customers take their own measurements and work with customer service representatives on the phone. She says only 10 percent of online orders are returned.  But some customers turn out to be extremely hard to fit and it’s hard to tell why, Ms. Becker says. “That kind of customer will be impossible to fit online because the problem is unseen. There’s no way of figuring it out over the phone.”  Read Rest of Story 

Definition of algorithm: a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end especially by a computer.

 Questions for discussion:

  1. What applications of this particular kind of algorithm do you think would be valuable in the marketplace?
  2. Will this e-commerce application replace brick and mortar stores for this application?  Why or why not?

Can Companies Can Learn Your Secrets?

Description:  “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 16, 2012

the-incredible-story-of-how-target-exposed-a-teen-girls-pregnancy

As the marketers explained to Pole — and as Pole later explained to me, back when we were still speaking and before Target told him to stop — new parents are a retailer’s holy grail. Most shoppers don’t buy everything they need at one store. Instead, they buy groceries at the grocery store and toys at the toy store, and they visit Target only when they need certain items they associate with Target — cleaning supplies, say, or new socks or a six-month supply of toilet paper. But Target sells everything from milk to stuffed animals to lawn furniture to electronics, so one of the company’s primary goals is convincing customers that the only store they need is Target. But it’s a tough message to get across, even with the most ingenious ad campaigns, because once consumers’ shopping habits are ingrained, it’s incredibly difficult to change them.  READ REST OF STORY 

 Questions for discussion:

  1.  Are there any ethical dilemmas to using big data in consumer services?
  2. What other commercial applications can you see for organizations in using big data?
  3. What skill would you need to be able to use Big Data in an organization that you work for

How Companies Can Learn Your Secrets

Description:  “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 16, 2012

the-incredible-story-of-how-target-exposed-a-teen-girls-pregnancy

As the marketers explained to Pole — and as Pole later explained to me, back when we were still speaking and before Target told him to stop — new parents are a retailer’s holy grail. Most shoppers don’t buy everything they need at one store. Instead, they buy groceries at the grocery store and toys at the toy store, and they visit Target only when they need certain items they associate with Target — cleaning supplies, say, or new socks or a six-month supply of toilet paper. But Target sells everything from milk to stuffed animals to lawn furniture to electronics, so one of the company’s primary goals is convincing customers that the only store they need is Target. But it’s a tough message to get across, even with the most ingenious ad campaigns, because once consumers’ shopping habits are ingrained, it’s incredibly difficult to change them.  READ REST OF STORY 

 Questions for discussion:

  1.  Are there any ethical dilemmas to using big data in consumer services?
  2. What other commercial applications can you see for organizations in using big data?
  3. What skill would you need to be able to use Big Data in an organization that you work for?