C. Williams

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On December 4, 2019, C. Williams commented on Hopper: Using AI to Plan Your Next Vacation :

I agree with your point that it will be key to improve the algorithm’s ability to predict user intent at a level more closely matched with its level of accuracy at predicting prices. Having users input their intent is one way, but, despite the data security/creepiness factor, might there be a way for Hopper to predict this based on other digital breadcrumbs? A specific use case that comes to mind is being invited to a wedding or another event requiring travel – once there’s a digital trail suggesting that I may go on this trip, an ideal OTA to me would be able to see that on my calendar and start pushing me notifications on when to buy.

On December 4, 2019, C. Williams commented on Sky Media and The Future of Recommendation Algorithms :

Thanks for this post! I find the semantic mood map to be extremely compelling and definitely see the value in how it can improve my media choice and consumption experience – I particularly like the interaction with the UI that makes me feel like it’s highly customizable to my mood or the mood I am seeking. Admittedly, I went to the movies over the weekend expecting to see a holiday themed-rom com (based on the existing crude classification system) that would leave me in high spirits and instead found myself in tears of sadness the last twenty minutes of the film and beyond. I would love to test out the interface from Sky!

On December 4, 2019, C. Williams commented on Symrise and IBM: New Fragrances Created by AI :

I think this is super interesting. Having previously worked directly with master perfumers, I can empathize with the push back that incorporating AI into the fragrance development process undermines the art form of perfumery and could diminish the credibility of the perfumers themselves. However, behind every perfumer, there is an entire lab of scientists working on the formulas – so already we have a blend of art + science. It is an extremely iterative process and a single perfumer will never have enough time to explore and discover every combination, so I see Philyra’s role as both assistant and new source for inspiration. I would also like to entertain the idea that the database can be used to identify combinations with raw materials that are more sustainable to impact the value chain. Fragrance is extremely subjective and I would love to see the technology pushed even further to “learn” how certain formulas react with various skin types. While I don’t have a solution to accomplish this yet, one of the toughest parts of selecting between modifications of a formula is evaluating how different individual skin chemistry responds to it. Thank you so much for sharing!

On November 13, 2019, C. Williams commented on Tableau: Salesforce’s $16 Billion Analytics Enhancement :

Thank you for this post! I am extremely intrigued by Tableau – I have only had limited exposure to it through my past two internships and there was definitely a learning curve, and I oftentimes ended up going back to Excel. The capability of integrating data from multiple sources is so valuable though and I appreciate the governance portion which is super important, even internally.

On November 13, 2019, C. Williams commented on Big Data Behind Disney Magic :

Thank you for this post! I haven’t been to a Disney Park since the launch of the wearable MagicBands, but I have friends that loved their experience with it. It demonstrates the power of developing something that captures value in data assets while simultaneously creating value for the customer by enhancing their experience through improved conveniences rather than taking away from it. In this particular case, I believe that the benefits gained from the improved experience outweigh concerns about “surveillance.”

I’m a bit more skeptical regarding the use of facial recognition for affective computing in movie theaters. Somehow the idea of being “seen” and watched while watching a movie in a more intimate, albeit public, setting feels more unnerving. Even if identity is anonymized, it feels as though it would take away from the experience knowing that I’m being watched in a way that is different from being observed in a Disney Park/customer service setting.

On November 13, 2019, C. Williams commented on The Met’s Goldmine of Data Assets :

I think this is a fascinating use of data to democratize fine art without diminishing its inherent value. The use cases are quite compelling not only for art curation and preservation, but for enhancing patron experience and maintaining its relevance to younger generations – to Theon’s point, the Met has been having its share of financial struggles. I am curious to know how the Met labeling art for a digital catalog library opens up opportunities for how we can study art and its evolution over time! What aspects of it can be quantified and measured in a way that allow us to uncover patterns not already apparent?

On October 17, 2019, C. Williams commented on Tentrr – Your Private Camping Experience :

This is amazing! I love the unique aspects of this experience compared to going to a typical campsite or campground. I am also amused at the idea of camping on private land. To take a more skeptical POV though, what is stopping AirBnB from doing the same thing? With Airbnb Backyard, AirBnb is building homes – could they also build tents and camping spaces?

On October 17, 2019, C. Williams commented on StockX – Trading Exchange for Sneakers :

Building off of MAO’s comment, how does StockX compete with the likes of a company like Farfetch (which acquired Stadium Goods) which has direct relationships with retailers and also reaches buyers worldwide? Given the difficult of sourcing such limited edition releases, it’s interesting to consider what kind of advantages an individual might have in his or her ability to source. I am imagining lines out the door of a store in Soho versus someone witch more cache that is on a waiting list for such items.

Although I myself am not a sneakerhead, it’s been a really interesting phenomena to observe. I have one friend that has been collecting every Nike Air Jordan for well over 10 years and another former colleague that goes to extensive lengths to get his hands on limited edition releases. Perhaps it is because I am not a sneakerhead myself that I hadn’t heard of StockX, but I’m very aware of Stadium Goods and GOAT. Thank you for bringing this to my attention!

On October 17, 2019, C. Williams commented on AI-as-a-service with Scale :

Thank you for sharing this post!

I am curious to know more about how Scale decides what customers/companies to target. From their website it looks like they’ve worked with a number of big names, but are they mostly focused on SMEs or earlier stage organizations? Because ML is becoming ubiquitous, customer selection seems to be an important part to how they will remain competitive in the future. How do some of the big players continue to use Scale? For ongoing innovation?

On September 24, 2019, C. Williams commented on Bandcamp: leveling the platform for indie artists :

Thank you for sharing this post, Short Apple! It’s really interesting to think about how bandcamp fills the gap for music enthusiasts who still appreciate the value of full albums while simultaneously providing exposure and monetary value to artists. As a consumer, I have definitely defaulted to Spotify and SoundCloud for music discovery, but I think the key with bandcamp is that there the strong community of indie artists and music lovers driving it. Given how artist-centric it is, how does bandcamp continually attract and bring new artists onto the platform? How quickly do artists take off and potentially leave the platform?

On September 24, 2019, C. Williams commented on Checkr: Playing Chess in the Background Screening Industry :

Thank you for sharing this post, Tommy – I think it’s super fascinating! Care.com is one such business that could have (and still) truly benefit from the value Checkr provides. Care.com which connects caregivers with those in need of their services came under fire earlier this year when WSJ revealed that some of its caregivers and babysitters were either not licensed or maintained criminal records including molestation and other offenses. In MHC, we’ve also been discussing how AI is transforming the overall talent management chain, from recruiting to performance management, so it’s great to understand how it can also be leveraged in background checks.

On September 24, 2019, C. Williams commented on Mirror: The Future of Fitness? :

Thank you for this thoughtful post! This reminded me of a somewhat similar product I tried out this past weekend at a new concept store called B8ta. The product is called FightCamp Gym and it’s a full-on in-home boxing gym including a free-standing punching bag, gloves and wraps. Similar to Mirror, it offers on-demand workout classes, but specifically for boxing, and unlike Mirror, connects over WiFi on a regular TV. The unique aspect of it was that the boxing wraps and gloves incorporate punch-tracking sensors that measure the workout via the service’s app. It very much seemed like an evolution of Peloton at home. What I appreciate about Mirror is its potential to go beyond not only one specific type of workout, but the potential to be a retail or virtual experience. I actually think it would be super interesting to see these new smart home fitness technologies converge – combine Mirror with sensor-connected equipment, be it boxing gloves or a bike, so you benefit from both the more granular tracking metrics as well as the social aspects that Mirror provides. While the upfront cost of Mirror and the monthly subscription service may feel hefty, it appears to be in line with alternative smart home digital fitness offerings including FightCamp.