Humanizing AI: How to Automate in a Sympathetic Way

Gary Barton – Analyst, Business Network and IT Services

Summary Bullets:

• Whilst AI can replace humans, it often works best when used to enhance what humans are doing.

• AI can deliver significant business benefits, but if implemented unsympathetically it can also cause disruption.

GlobalData’s research indicates that businesses understand that AI offers significant potential benefits in areas such as efficiency, R&D, and staff training, recruitment, and retention. The same research finds that enterprises also see potential pitfalls. Whilst the 5% of respondents in GlobalData’s survey who stated that AI is the ‘beginning of the end of the world’ may have had their tongues in their cheeks, a level of concern is not uncommon. Indeed, KPMG has referred to the concept of ‘Robocalypse Now’. It is also not unreasonable for employees to be worried that AI driven automation technologies will mean job losses because the adoption of those solutions usually does lead to headcount reductions. Continue reading “Humanizing AI: How to Automate in a Sympathetic Way”

Corporate Giving and Social Responsibility – Should You Care?

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

  • Knowing the social responsibility position of the vendors you do business with is important; what they do can reflect on you as their customer.
  • Keep an open mind and do your research; a vendor that aligns with your organization’s ethos and goals will help ensure a better relationship.

Corporate Social Responsibility – Keep It Real

Increasingly, customers are considering the social position of vendors from which they want to buy. Who you buy from reflects on the ethos of your company as well. Nobody wants to be doing business with a vendor perceived as evil or greedy. Therefore, many companies will not publicly reveal which vendors they use internally. The social position of your vendor is probably not even in the top ten requirements, but it should factor in somewhere. If you really want to partner with a vendor, your corporate ethos and attitudes should be at least roughly in the same direction. Continue reading “Corporate Giving and Social Responsibility – Should You Care?”

Forget Flashy Consumer 5G Potentialities; For Manufacturers Like Samsung, the Need is Real and Right Now

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

• Late last week AT&T and Samsung together cut the ribbon on a co-developed 5G Innovation Zone that had nothing at all to do with consumer 5G future opportunities.

• Rather, the new facility, housed within Samsung Austin Semiconductor’s Austin Texas fabrication plant, showcased several ways high speed cellular can both modernize and optimize manufacturing processes.

If you travel a few miles northeast of Austin, Texas, you’ll find among the gentle rolling hills an undistinguished 300-acre facility dedicated to the fabrication of semiconductors (aka computer chips) for networking, high performance computing, IoT, and of course mobile devices. And if you look carefully within the foyer of this 20+ year old foundry, you’ll find a somewhat unassuming highly rectangular room peppered with Ikea-styled demonstration tables and plain black monitors that when considered together scream out in all caps: “5G IS VERY REAL, RIGHT NOW!”

But not as you’d think.
Continue reading “Forget Flashy Consumer 5G Potentialities; For Manufacturers Like Samsung, the Need is Real and Right Now”

It’s All About ‘Me’

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

  • Consumers are becoming aware that their personal data is being mined and misused. They will demand changes and control.
  • Companies, starting with IT departments, need to get in front of this trend and become more customer-conscious about personal data and privacy by giving customers control and choice about how their data is used before laws and regulations make it no choice at all.

The definition of ‘me’ is expanding. ‘Me’ used to be about personal identity and one’s physical person, perhaps even extending to the immediate family around you. ‘Me’ is getting bigger, though, and extends to a lot more things. ‘Me’ is now also anything about ‘me’ including metadata about me. ‘Me’ is the data I generate from just living, the things I do, the products I buy, the music I like to listen to, and the entertainment I enjoy. ‘Me’ is browsing habits, daily habits, the places I go, the things I stop and look at in stores; my preferences for temperature, color, and foods; even my face, my eyes, my fingerprints, the patterns of veins in my hands. Continue reading “It’s All About ‘Me’”

Research Finds Facebook Posts Could Help Doctors Diagnose Medical Conditions

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Newly published research shows language in Facebook posts can be a more accurate tool than demographic data for helping medical professionals make a diagnosis.
  • The Facebook data is particularly effective in shedding light on certain health issues including diabetes and mental illness.

Facebook has been under fire for years for everything from the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the platform’s part in aiding the dissemination of false information about the Rohingya Muslims that led to the deaths of thousands in Myanmar. Though it is sometimes derided as a tool that does more to isolate than connect, newly published findings by researchers from Penn Medicine and Stony Brook University show Facebook posts can provide important clues to puzzle out a number of medical conditions including diabetes, depression, and psychosis. Continue reading “Research Finds Facebook Posts Could Help Doctors Diagnose Medical Conditions”

Blockchain Rivalry Rises: Microsoft Joins Hyperledger; IBM Rearchitects Platform for Kubernetes

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

Bullets:

• IBM’s next-gen platform addresses operational deployment issues with Kubernetes inclusion

• Salesforce poses competitive threat in 2020 with low-code approach

The competitive blockchain arena continues to heat up this week with Microsoft finally joining the Hyperledger OSS project, and IBM making inroads into multi-cloud support through new Kubernetes support. The moves follow Salesforce’s official entry into blockchain last month and inevitable disruption through its low-code platform support slated for 2020.

Recent vendor activities indicate increased customer pressure to make this emerging market sector more accessible to enterprises not familiar with the complex technology and perhaps lacking in adequate DevOps expertise. Blockchain platform updates are largely focused on acknowledging customer demand for improved ease of use, less up-front investment, and adherence to open-source software to ensure cloud portability and avoid vendor lock-in.
Continue reading “Blockchain Rivalry Rises: Microsoft Joins Hyperledger; IBM Rearchitects Platform for Kubernetes”

Key Takeaways from PTC LiveWorx

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• At LiveWorx 2019 PTC used the term Digital Thread to describe how its CAD, product lifecycle management, and IoT/AI/AR products are interconnected, providing a comprehensive end-to-end solution for manufacturers bringing a product to market and remaining connected to the buyer.

• PTC highlighted its AR functionality at the show, a unique capability in the markets where it plays. AR may be on the rise, but in need of a marketing boost; many PTC and partner demos showcased AR use cases.

PTC LiveWorx is always full of interesting presentations, exhibits and demonstrations, not only about PTC products but also about products and services from its key partners and the broader IoT ecosystem, from integrators to operators to technology start-ups. This year was different because rather than treat IoT as a silo, with a focus almost exclusively on ThingWorx and the IoT market at the show, its new positioning is to portray its entire product line from CAD (Creo) to product lifecycle management (Windchill) to ThingWorx IoT, analytics, and AR as connected by a “digital thread” that also aligns with the digital processes that a manufacturer goes through as it designs, manages and connects its products. This way of looking more holistically at its entire product line makes sense as PTC primarily sells IoT capabilities to its own installed base of over 35,000 manufacturers. It also enriched the show with more diverse demos and exhibits. PTC made about ten public announcements at the show, ranging from expanding its alliance with Microsoft to include WIndchill on Azure; winning partner of the year awards from Microsoft and HPE; touting and expanding its alliance with Rockwell Automation for digital transformation; and the launch of new ThingWorx tools that simplify the composition, configuration and deployment of IoT solutions. Continue reading “Key Takeaways from PTC LiveWorx”

AT&T’s Smartphone Launch Signals a Different Approach to Kicking Off 5G

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • As operators start to roll out 5G and launch new handsets that can eventually take advantage of the technology’s speed and latency advantages, most have focused on the consumer market.
  • AT&T used a different approach this week in offering its new device solely to business customers and developers; it hopes these innovators and early adopters can help it find novel use cases which can aid in monetizing its network.

AT&T announced last week that, as of June 17, its new Samsung Galaxy S10 5G will be available to businesses that are on its Business Unlimited Preferred Plan for $999. This is the same price as its current Galaxy S10+ model, which has half the internal memory. The new model also has a bigger screen, better battery, and better camera than its predecessors. In addition, the operator is making the device available to roughly 100,000 developers next week through its Developer Program, at no charge through the end of the year. It is also sponsoring a 5G hackathon later this year at which developers have a chance to win $100,000. Continue reading “AT&T’s Smartphone Launch Signals a Different Approach to Kicking Off 5G”

NVIDIA Is Leveraging Its AI Strengths and a Broad Partnership Approach to Target Emerging Edge Computing Opportunities

Summary Bullets:

• NVIDIA’s new edge computing solution uses built-in AI capabilities to analyze and process data generated by IoT sensors close to the points of data collection.

• Leveraging a range of infrastructure partners and integrating with the leading public cloud providers should help to establish NVIDIA as a leading player in the growing edge computing subsector.

In recent weeks it feels as though every major technology company has become intent on capturing what they see as the emerging opportunities associated with edge computing, a burgeoning technology subsector that is being driven partly by rising enterprise innovation with the Internet of Things (IoT). Companies with notably strong strategies towards edge computing include telecoms network operators like Deutsche Telekom and AT&T, public cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, and IT infrastructure vendors like Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Continue reading “NVIDIA Is Leveraging Its AI Strengths and a Broad Partnership Approach to Target Emerging Edge Computing Opportunities”

Is This the Year of Augmented Reality?

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• At PTC LiveWorks 2019, augmented reality (AR) in the business segment (especially the manufacturing vertical) was a big theme, supported by customers on panels, and featured with compelling demos, in partner exhibits.

• While the outlook is optimistic, there are some limitations to uptake, including price of devices, corporate cultures that appreciate old-fashioned in-person training, and lack of manufacturers that are ready for digital transformation.

At PTC’s annual LiveWorks show, held from June 10th through 13th in Boston, the use of AR by businesses was a major theme. The technology is positioned by PTC as a way to bridge the physical and digital worlds. AR can digitally replicate an object such as a machine used in a manufacturing environment, or a complicated subsystem used in a complex field environment such as an oil rig. It essentially makes either a 3D model that can be viewed with a HoloLens or other smart glasses technology (easy to do with PTC’s CAD system, CREO) or a digital twin – essentially 3D in two dimensions – for viewing on a phone or tablet, which accurately represents all components of the machine, with all of its parts easy to discern. The model can have annotations added, including step-by-step training instructions, or ways to identify a part through colors or other effects. The AR model can provide simulations for operations such as seeing both the inside and outside of a machine or any component, or simulating operations such as refilling a fuel tank, or opening and closing a valve, etc. In 2015 PTC acquired Vuforia, which was a leading provider of AR software, picking up solutions to create content with 3D overlays, author and publish content quickly as needed, allow developers to create branded solutions, and mark-up views to highlight details or guide multi-step solutions. Continue reading “Is This the Year of Augmented Reality?”