• Alumni

Activity Feed

On the whole, the concept of using big data to make our cities safer is perfectly logical and forward-thinking. If we have the information readily available, it makes sense to utilize it in a way that will better people’s lives. While you’ve pointed out that analytics software only predicts the type, place, and time that a crime could potentially occur, police work is still ultimately done by people. I think that there is still a very real risk of profiling that would need to be strongly addressed in police training.

I’m curious to know about the causation of crime reduction. Provided that the data was not manipulated, crime has clearly gone down in the areas where analytics software was utilized. Was this simply because police presence in the area was enough to deter the crime? Were more arrests made? If analytics becomes standard policing, I can also see a risk to police departments in terms of how they choose to use this information in order to ensure resources are deployed appropriately (e.g. a disproportionate amount of resources in a more affluent neighbourhood less prone to crime but with some predictor of potential crime).

Thanks for writing on this topic – it was a very thought-provoking post!

On November 20, 2016, beaups commented on Data-Driven Dress Dealing :

Interesting read! I’m intrigued by the idea that this analysis is done solely on publicly available information and appears to be independent of any demographic data to formulate trends. Does EDITED work on a global scale, and does it geographically segment? It seems that EDITED works best on mass market retailers with similar types of products, but would you see an equivalent amount of value to ’boutique’ fashion houses that look to be unique?

In looking at a fashion-prediction model, I would be curious to know how EDITED integrates with fashion magazines (who claim to know everything that’s hot) on predicting next season’s looks. I also think there’s a huge application here in the consumer market for those who want to be ahead of the curve in the fashion world once the prediction model is created.

On November 20, 2016, beaups commented on Optimizing the Happiest Place on Earth :

This seems like a great idea from Disney – customers happily trade information with the park in order to optimize their visit, and the company can better manage their workforce. In the short term, I can see this paying off huge dividends on both the customer experience and cost reduction fronts.

In the long run, I do wonder whether the shorter wait times and automated service will simply be built into the customer experience and visitors will now be unhappy if their food isn’t waiting when they arrive. Will families be disappointed that Mickey didn’t in fact surprise them this time? Also, once majority adoption has taken place, some customers may feel that they shouldn’t have to pay more for wristbands that are now part of the mainstay of a Disney experience.

Overall a really clever way of integrating technology with the value proposition!

On November 20, 2016, beaups commented on Where Art Meets Engineering: Google Art Project :

Love this concept! Thanks for writing about this amazing project.

As someone who loves art galleries, it’s really fascinating to be able to see into these famous institutions online. However, I do agree with your assessment that a wider variety of art needs to be featured as part of this initiative. It would be interesting to see if Google could use this as a mechanism to solicit public input into the type of art that’s featured by one of these galleries. Do you think this project would be expanded to other media like the seven wonders of the world?

While Google has agreed not to monetize the information they collect on this platform, I do think there’s a big opportunity to push the art movement forward based on the type of private collections people are creating online. It will be interesting to see if they choose to utilize some of this data to further proliferate works of art.

mPharma has taken an interesting approach to a very important problem. I wonder how consumers have found the experience of using this software, and likewise, how pharmacies and doctors have found the platform. This seems to be a product where critical mass is vital to making sure it is effective. How does mPharma ensure accuracy of the information transmitted, especially in the case of pharmacy stocks?

Similarly, I wonder how mPharma is currently funding itself and how long it is taking the upfront investment in infrastructure to pay off. Does it expect revenue streams going forward to be a software-as-a-service subscription, or does it plan only on deriving revenue from consumers paying for their prescriptions through the mPharma platform?

I would be curious to see how mPharma progresses in the years to come!

On November 5, 2016, beaups commented on How to help farmers in Uganda adapt to climate change? :

From reading this article, I’m curious to learn more about how effective the One Acre Fund (OAF) has been and where it obtains its capital. Does the OAF foresee any financial constraints or shortages on the horizon? Is the OAF looking to expand beyond Uganda, or does it have a goal of how many farmers it plans to educate?

While I think the future opportunities identified are extremely important, especially the partnership with local governments, one opportunity I’d like to learn more about is whether the OAF has explored disseminating information in packets to a particular area and allowing the farmers to train or educate each other (similar to a farmers’ co-op). Is this a feasible solution in this market? Technological innovation and dissemination, especially by telecom companies, may take a long time to come to fruition.

Overall, an interesting topic of discussion that will continue into the future!

On November 5, 2016, beaups commented on PADI and Climate Change: Staying Afloat or Drowning? :

This article brings up an interesting point around diving tourism and the impacts of the carbon emissions required to reach certain destinations. As a PADI diver myself, I’ve seen the Project AWARE materials as well as the various initiatives that PADI spearheads on a monthly basis. Much of the literature focuses on getting people ‘into the field’ in order to collect garbage and clean up the oceans, but in order to do this, some level of travel is required for most of the PADI-certified population. Furthermore, PADI often does dive spot “highlights” and encourages divers to visit these scenic destinations. Do you think that the benefits of these programs outweigh the costs? Does this type of material shed more awareness on the risks of climate change, or does it encourage tourism without additional thought?

While I agree that a lot more can be done in the educational materials to inform people of the threats of climate change, I also think there is an inherent tension between recreational scuba diving and environmental preservation in general. Artificial reefs may stem part of the issue, but I think for most divers, there’s nothing like seeing a real natural wonder up close.

While I certainly agree that mining companies have a huge role to play in reducing their water and carbon footprints, I am curious as to how effectively they can or will stick to these targets given the cost pressures from the prolonged industry downturn. Several sales of assets in the past years (reduction in the total number of mines owned) will likely impact final consumption numbers; how is Rio Tinto dealing with these changes and are they being incorporated into their sustainability targets?

In terms of water management, does the reduced water consumption introduce any types of risks in the operational model? For example, tailings ponds require a certain degree of wastewater to contain the potentially acidic/toxic material that is contained. How does Rio balance this risk with its water reduction targets?

Overall I think that the company is moving in the right direction to contain its impact on the environment. It would also be interesting to see what requirements Rio demands from its suppliers – as a market leader, they would have the leverage to nudge other companies in the right direction as well.

This is an extremely interesting issue and is a refreshing take on the opportunities represented by climate change. Given that the passage is currently not a commercial route, and that ownership of the northwest passage is under considerable debate among several nations, I would be curious to know what type of international legislation would be agreed upon to manage use of the channel. Furthermore, what types of effects would this passage have on the resident wildlife? Would the start of commercial shipping also open up the passage for other types of industries such as fishing? Definitely a great topic to keep exploring as it progresses!