June 7, 2017

AI- Going Beyond Labor Substitution to Data-Driven Experiences

Posted by Sanjay Nambiar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:34 AM

AI- Going Beyond Labor Substitution to Data-Driven Experiences

Many enterprises fail to capitalize on the potential that artificial intelligence and automation have to offer by equating it with labor substitution. For instance, I was recently interacting with the client team of a large bank. Their target was to reduce costs of internal and customer transactions by implementing 500-600 Robotic Process Automation (RPA) bots in a single year. They had already tried doing this with a toolset they had invested in, but were unable to meet the target. A few questions on overall process design revealed that they had not really thought through their plan. For instance, they had identified 50 use cases for immediate automation since these had a large number of people associated with them. However, the company did not know how to systematically identify new problem opportunities in the enterprise. I encountered a similar situation in a large manufacturer that was looking at IT outsourcing. They were keen to learn how artificial intelligence (AI) could help them automate work drivers and outsource the rest of the work. A retail customer, on the other hand, had already implemented RPA but needed assistance to leverage AI to respond to evolving consumer expectations.

Consistently engaging in problem finding can be a struggle for enterprises, especially if they do not refer to the data existing within the enterprise. Many of today's enterprises find themselves overwhelmed by data. Unlocking the right data and making it available across the board gives users the opportunity to engage with stakeholders in a more meaningful way than ever before.

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April 26, 2017

Could Intellectual Property Be A Mass Movement for Innovation?

Posted by Sanjay Nambiar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 4:10 AM

Apis Cor prints a 3D house in as little as 24 hours [Source:]

26th April, is Intellectual Property Day. The theme for this year according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is 'Innovation - Improving Lives'. As an IT professional, this resonates deeply with me and contextualizes the effort of millions of people, who work with intangible software code to create tangible, positively beautiful products that improve human life.

IP is fundamental to the emerging digital world. Many technologies are required to create a product, and companies often outsource the development of components, or share technologies through licensing arrangements. IP is especially core to the e-commerce economy, which depends on companies working together to share the opportunities and risks of business through licensing.

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March 6, 2017

Is Your Enterprise Ready For The Growing AI Opportunity?

Posted by Sanjay Nambiar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 7:07 AM

Is Your Enterprise Ready For The Growing AI Opportunity?

'Digital' has been pushing enterprises across industries to relook and reinvent themselves. Let's take the example of the launch of Jio, a mobile network operator in India. It has technologically leapfrogged traditional investments in 2G and 3G networks, to create an operating model that offers dramatically different products to customers at a fraction of the cost that it would take traditional telecom companies. So how can enterprises compete in this disruptive marketplace?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has come to establish itself as one of the enablers in a number of industries such as banking, retail, healthcare, manufacturing and telecom. It has become a competitive differentiator, and enterprises are now asking if AI can help them go a step further from being 'the solution', to helping them 'identify complex problems worth solving'. Recently, Demis Hassabis, CEO of Google Deepmind, pointed out that "If we can solve intelligence in a general enough way, then we can apply it to all sorts of things to make the world a better place,"

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February 3, 2017

AI Can Ensure The News You Read Is Real

Posted by Sanjay Nambiar (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:52 AM

AI Can Ensure The News You Read Is Real

Credit the pursuits of biomedical engineers for developing a microscope called 'SCAPE' (Swept Confocally Aligned Planar Excitation) that can not only view groups of neurons in a living brain; it can do so while the person is busy engaged in an activity. With this innovation, scientists hope to get a deeper understanding into what fuels the brain of a human. We can also hope that SCAPE will help scientist come closer to understanding human 'thought' and decision-making. I find it fitting that this kind of scientific achievement is happening in tandem with the development of machine learning.

That's why I was surprised by the latest scourge of 'fake news' on the Internet, which is largely going undetected. People who get their news from social media sites and not traditional newspapers or television networks are particularly susceptible to fake news. That's because people often don't realize that what appears on social media may not be legitimate news. These social media sites have legions of followers but do not take responsibility for the fake news they disseminate. No platform is telling its users: Don't tune into our site, and why would they, after all their less-then-scrupulous practices are bringing them heavy traffic. Thus far, these social media platforms have not been held accountable for promoting fake news.

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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:]

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:]

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:]

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:]

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:]

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:]

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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