Posts

The Machines are Learning

Imagine for a moment if you could see the billions upon billions of data points flowing throughout our world.  As our society has embraced more digital ways of being, we generate vast amounts of data.  Each one of us, as we engage with digital tools, lay down trails of data that say something about events, places, and who we are.  Within the mysterious realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI) lies the magic of Machine Learning of ML, a science of data and algorithms that act on it.Riders of buses in the Greater Vancouver area were frustrated that Google Maps, and other apps relying on Translink’s online data feed, predicted earlier arrival and departures by over 5-minutes the majority of the time. They were often standing in the rain or dark longer than they would like waiting for a bus that from their perspective was late.  By partnering with Microsoft, Translink was able to bring together numerous historical and real time data feeds including traffic and weather data, and develop a mac…

It is becoming rather cloudy out there

I remember in the early 1980's working as a programmer for a Fisheries & Oceans research station writing code on VAX 11780 mini-computers and being amazed that people could use my programs on their terminals anywhere in the building and get this, at the same time!  Those were the days where we would plan and prepare for a couple of months prior to executing a Fortran compiler upgrade.  New VMS operating system upgrades might occur every couple years.  We’re talking slooow innovation cycles.Fast forward to 2019 and it’s a whole different world.  I was watching a recorded session recently about Microsoft’s Azure Cognitive services.  I’ll share one example.  Let’s say someone, maybe your boss who has privileged access to important systems, accidentally deletes a core database containing 100’s of thousands of invoice records and it turns out the backup has never worked.  Seriously, this happens.  Fortunately, there was a practice of saving PDF copies of invoices in a folder, with …

Technology and Ethical Dilemmas

My new iPhone and Surface laptop both provide a facial recognition (let’s call this FACE) method of identifying myself for access (logon).  I use Keeper, a password and other confidential information manager and it too leverages FACE.  When I need to log into an app or website, I am offered Keeper as a source for the username and password and when I choose that, Keeper uses my face to login and look up the app or website, and offer the credentials to fill in.  Super convenient!  FACE is or will be used to customize customer experiences. For example, you walk into your home, it welcomes you by name, adjusts the heat and lights, and perhaps it pushes your favourite digital pictures and art to the wall frames, and selects your favourite streaming station to pipe through the house A/V system.  Or, you walk into a mall, and the screens, which are everywhere by now, start presenting ads to you based on your social media behaviors and past shopping activities.  FACE is being used to find sus…

The Network Effect

I have always been a highly social person, an extravert I suppose.  Those personality assTechnorati Tags: ,,, essments always put me into that sort of category.  I’m a Yellow-Red for instance.  I’ve made it a priority to reach out internally and externally to people like me and different from me, within the public and private sectors, to build relationships, share ideas, dream, lament, argue or debate, etc.  I knew I was pretty well connected but this recent transition period, sabbatical of sorts, has really highlighted how my network really works.So many people reached out through LinkedIn, Twitter, and email asking to get together for coffee, lunch, and to see how I was doing.  They shared such positive and affirming comments with me which really helped with getting through this period and to help me figure out what’s next.  I had well connected friends reaching inside the organizations they work for to see what opportunities there might be t…

Time to Shift Learning

Technorati Tags: ,,, I received an email recently from LinkedIn Learning offering me a free course on creating infographics using PowerPoint.  So, I decided to give it a go.  I surprised myself by learning new techniques for working with icons, shapes, graphics files, layouts, charts, among others, in PowerPoint.  Did you know that you can merge shapes using union, combine, fragment, intersect, subtract to create new or modified shapes.  One example was to use a lightening bolt shape to ‘cut’ (subtract) from a few letters in the word (a shape) “MIGRAINE”.  It emphasized the pain this represents.  Cool hey.Since I currently have flexible time available to me, I allowed this free course to prompt me to sign up for 1-month of free LinkedIn Learning! I have wanted to learn Lean and Six Sigma processes for some time so I dove into these topics first.  I was granted my Lean Foundations certificate today.  I will be going deeper into some aspects of this …

Delightful Technology

A friend of mine introduced me to the idea of delighting users of technology.  I don’t know about you but that is not always my experience when using a website, app, or some tech hardware.I bought an iPhone XR recently and I surprised myself.  I thought I would not care much about the facial ID feature – I was wrong.  It is a delightful experience.  Your messages are secure until you look at them.  You need to enter a password into a website, no problem, allow your face to grant access to your favourite password vault to send the password.  Similarly I now use Apple Pay with my VISA to tap and pay – again my face authorizes the transaction.Full disclosure, I’m a Microsoft fan.  Their CEO, Satya Nadella, has led a transformation and my opinion is that the result is a company that creates delightful software.  It may not start out that way but their change cadence, driven by agile and cloud computing, continuously (monthly) just makes software and experiences better.I was recently leadi…

Play the Disruption Game

Image
Do you ever go down memory lane and think about all the things that were normal then that are very different now or gone completely?  I find myself reflecting on the past while I consider the present and how different the future will be.  We live in truly interesting times don't we.

I haven't been writing in this space much in the past few years.  I kind-of lost interest in writing about what I've been up to, what I've been thinking, or what I've been speculating about.  However, I was watching an interesting clip from Doc James Whittaker@docjamesw recently where he talked about the past, present, and future and it inspired me to write again.  I don't know that this will become a habit again but there is this post at least.

James mentioned playing the disruption game.  This game involves taking an industry and thinking about how it could be disrupted in the future by technological advancements.  As you know, technology is probably the most disruptive phenomenon …