Tag Archives: Windows

AI Personal Assistants are “Life Partners”

Artificial Intelligent (AI)  “Assistants”, or “Bots” are taken to the ‘next level’ when the assistant becomes a proactive entity based on the input from human intelligent experts that grows with machine learning.

Even the implication of an ‘Assistant’ v.  ‘Life Partner’ implies a greater degree of dynamic, and proactive interaction.   The cross over to becoming ‘Life Partner’ is when we go ‘above and beyond’ to help our partners succeed, or even survive the day to day.

Once we experience our current [digital, mobile] ‘assistants’ positively influencing our lives in a more intelligent, proactive manner, an emotional bond ‘grows’, and the investment in this technology will also expand.

Practical Applications Range:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous Coach , Mentor – enabling the human partner to overcome temporary weakness. Knowledge,  and “triggers” need to be incorporated into the AI ‘Partner’;  “Location / Proximity” reminder if person enters a shopping area that has a liquor store.  [AI] “Partner” help “talk down”
  • Understanding ‘data points’ from multiple sources, such as alarms,  and calendar events,  to derive ‘knowledge’, and create an actionable trigger.
    • e.g. “Did you remember to take your medicine?” unprompted; “There is a new article in N periodical, that pertains to your medicine.  Would you like to read it?”
    • e.g. 2 unprompted, “Weather calls for N inches of Snow.  Did you remember to service your Snow Blower this season?”
  • FinTech – while in department store XYZ looking to purchase Y over a certain amount, unprompted “Your credit score indicates you are ‘most likely’ eligible to ‘sign up’ for a store credit card, and get N percentage off your first purchase”  Multiple input sources used to achieve a potential sales opportunity.

IBM has a cognitive cloud of AI solutions leveraging IBM’s Watson.  Most/All of the 18 web applications they have hosted (with source) are driven by human interactive triggers, as with the “Natural Language Classifier”, which helps build a question-and-answer repository.

There are four bits that need to occur to accelerate adoption of the ‘AI Life Partner’:

  1. Knowledge Experts, or Subject Matter Experts (SME) need to be able to “pass on” their knowledge to build repositories.   IBM Watson Natural Language Classifier may be used.
  2. The integration of this knowledge into an AI medium, such as a ‘Digital Assistant’ needs to occur with corresponding ‘triggers’ 
  3. Our current AI ‘Assistants’ need to become [more] proactive as they integrate into our ‘digital’ lives, such as going beyond the setting of an alarm clock, hands free calling, or checking the sports score.   Our [AI] “Life Partner” needs to ‘act’ like buddy and fan of ‘our’ sports team.  Without prompting, proactively serve up knowledge [based on correlated, multiple sources], and/or take [acceptable] actions.
    1. E.g. FinTech – “Our schedule is open tonight, and there are great seats available, Section N, Seat A for ABC dollars on Stubhub.  Shall I make the purchase?”
      1. Partner with vendors to drive FinTech business rules.
  4. Take ‘advantage’ of more knowledge sources, such as the applications we use that collect our data.  Use multiple knowledge sources in concert, enabling the AI to correlate data and propose ‘complex’ rules of interaction.

Our AI ‘Life Partners’ may grow in knowledge, and mature the relationship between man and machine.   Incorporating derived rules leveraging machine learning, without input of a human expert, will come with risk and reward.

Project Change Management, Microsoft Solutions

Project Facilitators, Managers, and Stakeholders, please read on…

If you’ve been charged with managing project changes, there are many Microsoft solutions that may be used by a wide array of users with varying degrees of technical experience.

  1.  Word

When the project team members are not comfortable with “technology”, MS Word may be as adventurous as you can get.

Your stakeholders believe each of your change requests have their own story to tell,  and the story should be told in MS Word.  Each of the Change Requests (CR) contain the ‘story’ of the item as well as an appended comments for each of your meetings’ notes.

The solution is a beast to manage if the product/process is used for more than a month, i.e. in an ongoing basis.  Details of the CRs can easily fall by the wayside, as well as prone to human error for the evolving descriptions and historical audit trail in the comments section.

NOTE: Free form text, excluding organizing data into Word tables.

2. Excel

MS Excel is a step up from Word, but is still susceptible to similar issues.  On the positive side, tables have the ability to be sorted, and filtered.  The content/tables may be exported into an email, MS Word doc, etc.  Both MS Word and MS Excel alone do share an additional issue, Change Requests (CR) are not version controlled at the record level.  Both Excel and Word files can be imported into a document management system, e.g. SharePoint, and the docs will have a check in/out audit.  Adding/Changing text on new/existing CRs becomes problematic, and prone to errors, and inconsistent audit of comments.

3. Project

Send them a PDF of the Project Plan.  Companies have few licenses of MS Project, and sharing a project plan with the team is most likely done by exporting the Project Plan to PDF.   When reviewing / updating the project plan in real time with the team (e.g. SMEs, Stakeholders), they collectively see the effect of adding tasks, updating duration, and dependencies.   Itemizing tasks of the team, and grouped by parent activities will help the team stay ‘on task’. The non-PMs do not need access to the Project Plan for edits; this is performed 1:1 or in a team setting with the PM facilitating.

4.  SharePoint

SharePoint is a document and workflow management system among other things.   ‘Out of the box’ capabilities enable users to track a project, Gantt charts to task management, most everything needed to manage a project, including N number of personalized views of the project data,.  The SharePoint platform, out of the box, seems to cater to the laymen as well as the technical savvy.

5. Team Foundation Server (TFS)

TFS covers the entire application lifecycle, part of which enables the team to track their backlog items.  Backlog items may be correlated to other ‘objects’, such as test cases.  All aspects of the project such as development,  builds, unit test case execution, task tracking, and backlog items reside in TFS.  For the tech laymen, i.e. business sponsor, little knowledge transfer is required for using the solution for backlog management.

6. Office Access

Yes, I’ve seen a UI on top of an Access database to manage change.  Actually, I’ve built one way over a decade ago.  It’s a lot of maintenance, just like any solution built from scratch.  With so many options out there, this would not be my first choice.

Click here for an extensive list of project management solutions.

Google to venture into Cloud, provide Open Source APIs, assist small businesses to be Cloud Solutions integrators

I am quite familiar with the Oracle and HP approaches of ‘owning the cloud stack’ and the Amazon Web Services approach which caters to all classes, cloud modules are interchangeable, and the arguments for both sides of the coin, one stop shop as a service, top tier clients verse the open APIs, partnering and interchangeability or plug in play cloud partner models.  I challenge you to look beyond that and see a vast network of fiber, high speed computing available across the globe, from small and large companies over cloud solutions from infrastructure to data warehousing.

The question we should all be asking of small to mid size companies, who will be the solutions provider who pulls this all together?  The solutions integrator, just like we saw in the 80s and early 90s when Banyan Vines, and Novell were sprouting, and we witnessed Microsoft out of the blue take hold of the Networking space.  Are the Amazon Web Services the beginnings of an Open Sourced API Model?  Will VMWare or Red Hat sprout up Cloud Farms?  Will whomever owns the fiber lines, as in the Google Experiments in Kansas, will venture into the Cloud Business Model, provide Open Sourced APIs to small to mid sized businesses to be the small to mid sized solutions integrator of tomorrow?

Mobile User Interface: Heat Map will Focus Users’ Attention to their Priorities

The Windows Mobile User Interface (UI) reminds me of a project or program manager heat map report which will draw the attention of the viewer, at a high level, immediately to the most important or high priority areas of the project.  I don’t think a Heat Map is part of the Windows Mobile User Interface, but it’s an interesting concept to immediately draw attention of the smartphone user what they want to focus on, according to their preferences.

A project Heat Map is a common tool to look at complex data, and enable the user of the map to quickly, at a glance, guide their focus toward the important aspects of the data.  A mobile user interface [dashboard], at a glance, that has squares, or spaces, that expand, retract and changes colors, based on specific application user preferences can be a leap in evolution of the smartphone user interface paradigm.

At this point Android has widgets on their dashboard, and both Android and iOS have screens of icons representing applications that I must sift through to get to the specific application I would like to launch.  Widgets were an evolutionary leap allowing the user to display some of the pertinent information, as well as launch specific features of the application right from the mobile OS pages screen.

Allowing the user to designate importance to specific application properties, and then the application squares or spaces that represent the application, grow or shrink, and change colors based on user defined attributes assigned within the application for the user’s level of importance.  For example, I can provide a ‘space’ for Facebook, and if there are certain birthdays of people I am fond of, I can assign a color to the application space to change, and growth indicates amount.  It could be a hue of colors within the space. If there are Facebook user messages, that could indicate another color, and a portion of the space turns that color, and the space grows or shrinks based on the amount of messages.  The application spaces also shrink and grow relative to the total Mobile OS user interface (UI) [dashboard] page (i.e. available screen space). The space overall of the Mobile OS UI screen would have a relative importance between each of the OS applications on the Mobile OS [dashboard] page / screen prioritized by the user, e.g. The user prefers to see their Facebook messages over their importance of their twitter functionality

In addition, automatically, mobile applications should appear and disappear from the heat map dashboard where applications can be launched.  The two ways to execute a mobile application, drill down to the application through the normal hunt and peck for your app, or execute the application from the heat map in the dashboard.  The applications that you use the most will automatically appear in the dashboard, thus you don’t have to manage the applications that appear on your dashboard.

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Mobile Advertisers and Affiliate Network Continued Expansion

Mobile Adverting, Cost Per Acquisition, will grow and continue to apply to In-App purchases, from appliances from a distributor catalogue to a mobile application, virtual products, relatively open landscape for advertisers and reliable, affiliate networks should bloom. Good brand, easy integration capability affiliates are an exclusive membership, primarily an oligopoly at this point, ripe for expansion and VC.

http://allthingsd.com/20120910/exclusive-google-offers-exec-eric-rosenblum-leaves-for-mobile-ad-start-up/

HP WebOS Open Source as a Spinoff may compete with the likes of Firefox or MSFT

Take an open source OS such as a WebOS smartphone, without a contract, light weight requirements in processing power, and could it be the RedHat of Mobile devices?  So many hardware vendors are still tied to Microsoft.    WebOS could be the opensource OS.  With VC funding, a spinoff from HP, which gives it focus again, and VC funding and hardware connections with a sick new phone like the Nokia Flex, an alternate shaped device, and a low price point, that device will fly off the shelves.  No doubt about it.

FCC Radiation Regulation for Mobile Devices & Form Factor to Shape Next Niche

The writing is already on the wall folks with three articles, one by CNN, FCC asked to consider raising limit on cell phone radiation, the other article, or more pictorial view of the mobile devices, between Apple and Samsung, in an article picture by the New York Times, and the Nokia Flex Phone.

First, phone manufacturers, start your engines, its a whole new ball game with respect to design and form factor thanks to the boys and girls of Finland.

Second, all manufacturing of phone accessories may profit off of this regulation, if it will be passed in the U.S., Manufacturing accessories to compensate for the existing phones, as well as new technologies developed.  Lots of money for the Krill.

Thirdly, all the apps that go with Nokia’s start of ‘brilliance’, hedged by Apple’s Retina display technology.  Read between the lines boys…and girls.