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Thanks for this great article on a topic that is so important during today’s opioid crisis. I absolutely think the private sector can and should participate in open sourcing for solutions to the epidemic. In fact, I think it would help solve your second question regarding adoption. If a solution is developed by an average person rather than the government or a large corporation, individuals might be more willing to learn more about it and might feel emotionally compelled to consider using it (especially if the inventor has been personally affected by addiction). Any pharmaceutical or other private sector healthcare company stands to gain so much from solving this issue given the massive scale of the problem. The incentives are there for a large private sector company to invest – and if they create the incentives for ordinary people to devise solutions, they can make those solutions more relatable to those suffering. They can use the story of this “ordinary person” to motivate and inspire people to adopt the solution and hopefully recover from this disease.

This topic is really relevant and close to home as I’ve had orthopedic surgeries. It’s true that existing knee replacement implants are already very successful – yet the surgery is still very challenging to recover from. I think there must be a balance between spending as much money as necessary to find a perfect solution vs. taking a more conservative medical treatment approach and being satisfied with “good enough.” Another key question is what the long term impact is of using 3D-printed implants, as no longitudinal studies have been done given how new the technology is. As you mention, cartilage would be an even bigger game-changer, as it could be shaped into the ideal form to promote healing.

On November 15, 2018, Beth commented on Duolingo: Machine Learning Our Forgetfulness :

Thanks for this article – I’ve never considered what Duolingo could do with this data. In response to your question, I do think it could be useful to apply data on rates of practicing to other educational areas. For example, in math or vocabulary, Duolingo could set up flash card programs and use its learnings from their language app to design the optimal timing, difficulty, prompts/nudges, evaluation, and grading. What will be critical is understanding how that might need to be adjusted for different age groups. Duolingo is mostly used by adults as far as I know – can they adapt this for pre-school or elementary school aged children?

On November 15, 2018, Beth commented on Choosy: Give the People What They Want…To Buy :

This is a really interesting topic that I had never thought about before! In thinking about the open-source innovation Choosy uses, I was reminded of the different “jobs” that each part of the value chain has to perform. In open innovation, the jobs of creativity and design are done by the consumers rather than a company, saving significant resources both from the mere fact that the company is not investing in R&D as much and because the consumer is able to exactly select what they want rather than having the manufacturer guess. However, the job of manufacturing still must be done by that company (not consumers). So I wonder whether seeing an image of the product – before it is produced – will be enough for consumers. Will they trust that it will really look how they want after someone else does the job?

This is a really exciting topic! To address your questions, an area beyond pasta where 3D printing of food is being considered is clean meat. There are a few companies experimenting with this, but little traction has been seen so far. Here are a couple articles that further explore this. Printing meat is significantly more challenging that a simpler food such as pasta which has basic ingredients, consistency, and structure compared to meat. But the potential benefits of clean meat are astronomical as the industry could help limit carbon emissions, water pollution, and other environmental and ethical issues raised by factory farming.

This is a fascinating topic! In terms of your second question, I think the choice of who controls the data will impact the way the data is used. For example, if the farmer owns the data, it might be used to monitor overall health and wellbeing of the cows. If a third party such as Connectra owns the data, it might be combined with large amounts of data from other farms and could be used to understand best practices in dairy farming. This could be used for the benefit of all farmers, but runs the risk of preventing cooperation if farmers feel the data is being used to judge their performance. Lastly, if Danone owns the data, it’s likely to be used for consumer awareness and marketing. I think this would be the best option in order to put pressure on farmers to have practices that are better for the environment and human health and to push the IoT companies to develop cutting edge technology.