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September 26, 2016

Welcome the Robots Among Us

Posted by Sanjay Nambiar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 9:52 AM

Welcome the Robots Among Us

You've heard the saying that it takes money to make money. Nowhere is this maxim truer than among bond trading desks at the world's largest banks. Even when the global economy went south, banks could rely on the lucrative activities of their traders. But now there's talk of robotics coming to Wall Street in what some might think of as quite a radical way: the bond desk.

Goldman Sachs Algorithm is more than just an algorithm. It's the name of an entire program that the bank is using to execute bond trades. What's so interesting about this particular "bond bot" is that bond trading was always said to be the undisputable job of humans because of the nuances involved. Well, this particular program appears to be so good that it can learn from human traders and augment the already lucrative trade they make.

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July 12, 2016

How To Help Businesses 'Sweat Their Assets' Leveraging A.I.

Posted by Sanjay Nambiar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:48 AM



Kodak: From Blue Chip to Bankrupt [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwfwr8eYP50]

Ah, the benefits of hindsight. Let me begin this blog by giving you three examples of companies that reacted differently to technology disruption and, in some cases, paid the price for it.

Imagine if you could have gone back in time to warn the executives of Eastman Kodak Co. that they might be better off leaving the photography business altogether, earlier than they did. They wouldn't have taken you seriously - even after numerous strategies failed to save the company's traditional line of business. The Eastman Kodak brand was synonymous with photography. The truth is that when a business is built on a legacy technology that is categorically different from the market's new standard, even perfect foresight (in this case, the demise of film or CDs) would not have solved the core problem that digital replacement is fundamentally less profitable.

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June 1, 2016

Intelligent & Context-Aware: A.I. Grows Up

Posted by Sanjay Nambiar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 8:27 AM



A Battle Of Digital Assistants | Tech Bet | CNBC [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLXIDdBsNiQ]

As every major technology company rolls out a new 'chat bot' or virtual assistant (Siri, Echo, and Alexa immediately come to mind), it's becoming clear to consumers that comparing them is akin to comparing apples with oranges. There are those devices or apps that you can talk at, and they respond with basic answers because they've been programmed with reams of data and can access even more. So if you're looking for a new restaurant in your neighborhood, just about any such product on the market will suffice.

But there's a relatively new term being used today that's separating the Artificial Intelligence-enabled apples from the oranges: 'conversational interface.' That's when you begin talking to your device instead of at it. Rather than simply drawing on its vast data banks, it can actually learn from your questions and conversations and teach itself to become a better digital assistant. After all, we've had Internet search engines for two decades now. Simply making them blurt out answers to your search is not that radical. Understanding who you are and what you're wanting to, however, is changing the marketplace for everything related to A.I.

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February 23, 2016

Digitizing To Simplify and Innovate - How Robots Can Help

Posted by Sanjay Nambiar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 11:12 AM



Infosys Robotic Process Automation [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dMa8Zw2B6s]

Competitive pressures have intensified to the point where the average lifespan of a company in the S&P 500 has dropped to just 18 years today from more than 60 years in 1958. If that rate of change continues, 75 percent of the companies in today's S&P 500 will be gone and replaced by new ones by 2030.

How to remain on that list for more than just 18 years? The key is to leverage technology to compete and stay one step ahead in this rapidly changing landscape. The most stunning example of this radical change is the shake-up expected in the automobile and transportation sector. I suspect the evolution will continue to favor services businesses over products. For example, consider the rise of Über and Lyft that use technology to change the way transportation services are delivered. Add to that the potential of self-driving cars by Tesla and Google, managed and controlled with software upgrades. The Dutch tested a self-driving bus couple of weeks ago. To stay relevant (or survive), the automobile industry is looking at unique investments. General Motors invested US$ 500 million in Lyft, and FordPass is a wonderful display of a century-old auto company's foray into mobility services.

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February 1, 2016

Google's AlphaGo Defeats China's Go - What does this imply about our future?

Posted by Sanjay Nambiar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:11 AM



Google DeepMind: Ground-breaking AlphaGo masters the game of Go [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUbqykXVx0A]

Many Westerners hold the belief that chess is the most complex game in the world. They don't know much about 'Go', an ancient Chinese board game. To even play it (not to speak of winning), an individual needs an incredibly complex brain that until now most scientists believed only human beings could possess.

But the world of Artificial Intelligence just got a tremendous boost a week ago when scientists at the Google DeepMind laboratory in London announced that it has created a computer armed with the most advanced Artificial Intelligence that beat the human European Go champion 5 games to 0. The results have just been published in the article 'Mastering the Game of Go with Deep Neural Networks and Tree Search' that appeared in the January 27, 2016 issue of Nature, the international weekly journal of science.

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January 19, 2016

Aye, The A.I. Revolution Is Here

Posted by Sanjay Nambiar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 7:00 AM



Humanoid AI Robots & Cyborg Technology [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh2yFqvzMfA]

When something becomes part of daily parlance of the general population, you know that it has arrived. For the moment, the phrase is Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). Per se, robotics and A.I. have been around for a long time. Today, they are becoming more advanced and that's why they are occupying prime news spots. In one of our first posts of the New Year, we take a look at four industries that are being transformed by A.I. and A.I.-enabled technologies.

RETAIL: As A.I. becomes increasingly smarter, the prolonged holiday shopping season is going to become more profitable for retailers who utilize its capability to help them make quick decisions and changes to how they cater to their digital consumer base. In the world's largest retail market, North America, extraordinarily hot weather across much of the continent accomplished two unexpected phenomena this year: 1.) customers failed to buy cold-weather clothing in expected numbers and 2.) the blast of warm air encouraged more customers to turn off their computers, go outside, and shop in stores instead of online. Those retailers that have not kept up with the latest A.I. systems were caught off guard this season - highlighting why A.I. has become more important than ever.

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December 8, 2015

Robotics And The Productive Worker

Posted by Sanjay Nambiar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 11:55 AM

Robotics and the Productive Worker

Boosting productivity. It's the mandate and mission of every organization. What I learned recently during a discussion is that besides monitoring workplace computers for employee output, enterprises might someday resort to an amazing array of information to gauge their workers - including genetic records. Some might call it Orwellian, but experts say that the day is near when a prospective candidate for a job might be asked for some DNA in the form of a swab of the inner cheek. Those who refuse to do so - well, what are they trying to hide?

One of the things that technology is supposed to do is to illuminate, and it has done so very well when it comes to measuring an employee's output. Because so many workers now operate connected machinery or sit in front of computers, organizations can record and measure their output against datasets of similar workers. One expert wrote that it will become harder for one employee to hide behind the excellent work of a group of co-workers.

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June 19, 2015

Welcome To The Office, Mr. Robot

Posted by Sanjay Nambiar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 8:05 AM



South Korea's DRC-Hubo wins 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BL4BwRuG6o]

Ever hear of the DARPA Robotics Challenge? During the first weekend of June this year, a robotics team from South Korea won first place in this challenge. Their prize-winning robot completed eight fairly complicated tasks in under 45 minutes. The secret to the Korean team's success was that their robot could change its basic structure not unlike those Transformers toys from the 1980s. The team left the California-based competition $2 million richer because of their amazing robot.

That's a hefty monetary prize for designing a robot. Ever wonder why? The answer lies in the corporate world. Industries are aggressively looking for new ways to bring about a substantial and tangible impact to what is loosely known as back-office operations. More formally and specifically, these important tasks are known as process metrics, which include determining the cost per claim, cost per service contact, and fraud prevention rates. Companies are trying to save on such back-office costs, while also growing their overall business. Think for a moment about how current businesses are being disrupted by digital engagement companies like Uber and Airbnb. The days when a manager could simply 'throw more bodies at the task' to get it done are long over.

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June 16, 2014

What Do Customers Want?

Posted by Sanjay Nambiar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 4:35 AM


Consumers have intense, short term relationships with brands. The challenge today is to change these to long-term, sustainable ones. But, technology-savvy consumers are changing the rules of commerce and shifting the balance of power in their favour when it comes to the relationships they have with brands. Three factors contribute to this:

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