Fantastic point and 100% agree. We sign our rights away to so much of our personal information without even thinking twice about it. Blockchain has great application here, but privacy is not entirely solved with the technology (+ think a network of meaningful size in this space is still a ways off). Would love to talk more about this.
Appreciate the insight! I think, in part because of those reasons, we’re seeing a lot of this innovation and traction happening right now with private companies. Obviously with urban development it becomes a little more complicated as there is a certain level of government interaction, ownership, and approvals that are necessitated, but a least most of the initial planning is coming from less restricted bodies. Blockchain certainly adds a layer of trust to information transaction as well as a very intense layer of complication. Getting a few players on a network who participate in simple transactions is difficult enough, but it’s going to take quite a lot of tech advancements and incentivization to get players involved across the city planning value chain onboard. We’re seeing some governments and other involved parties begin this process with title/land registry, but the number of potential stakeholders in this example far surpass that.
Really interesting points– I’d love to discuss more! I’ve done a bit of research around the unintended consequences of civic design, in particular, and the results are really mixed. Sometimes spaces are used in a an unforeseen way and it results in a positive change, but other times it can stimulate crime, community disengagement etc.
Really great point about skewing the data with multiple inputs facilitated through tech changes, and definitely worth considering. Re your point about technology making us lazy, this is something I personally worry about regularly. I always have flashbacks to the movie “Wall-e”, if you’ve seen it, and it makes me immensely disconcerted. My personal belief is that we have an obligation through channels like urban design (in this space specifically) to create spaces that not just encourage but necessitate things like physical activity and societal connections. But particularly with the pace of technological advancement, and its mass application, I think we’re running a huge risk as a society to fall victim to such “laziness”.
I hadn’t thought much about open innovation applications in the government space until reading this article. Functioning much like a think tank, I think the applications of open innovation in this space are very interesting and could be significant. One of the concerns I have, however, deal with proper vetting for ideas. If you consider how many bogus petitions (etc.) are submitted to our government on a monthly basis (i.e. to change the national anthem to the Star Wars theme song), I worry that a truly open ideation platform may have the same quality of comments and level of engagement. The potential is great, but I think some vetting process should be in place to ensure quality ideas are submitted in addition to a proper incentivization system to encourage people with the “bright” ideas and appropriate experience to contribute.
Great read! Your points made me wonder about what the future of car updates might look like. Tesla, for example, has revolutionized the driving experience by being able to transform how you interact with your car, and what its capabilities are, by pushing out new software to their vehicles. With the low cost and ease of manufacturing enabled by 3D printing, I wonder if the cars can be physically updated in much the same manner. As you touched upon in your article, it could completely change how product recalls or new product innovations (etc.) are addressed.
Love that you chose this essay topic! Open innovation in the space of more creative products, particularly, has incredible applications. The world of LEGO is built upon imagination, and many of the product users come up with fantastic ideas for what the product (and brand) can do with no limitations. Tapping into the power of this network, and leveraging their creative opinions and experience with the product is a win-win: the company saves money on R&D and the customers get a product they want.
Particularly in the beauty space, I think loyalty is a critical issue. Consumers want to feel connected to their products on a very emotional level, since they’re supposed to help them look and feel better. If you have effective products, personalization can have a huge impact in customer loyalty. Machine learning (and other applications of AI), as you mentioned, has a huge role to play here, and I’m excited to see what companies like Sephora do with this technology.
Love this topic area– 3D printing in retail, particularly at Nike, presents so many interesting opportunities for innovation and efficiency gains. As you alluded to in your article, the market for customization is opened up in a whole new way when leveraging 3D printing technology. All foot shapes are slightly different, and many people deal with a vast range of issues from flat feet to pronation and beyond. Integrating care for these issues in the design of the shoe could significantly transform the footware (and podiatrist) industry, and make a signifiant impact in foot health and performance.
This is an exceptionally controversial and terrifying topic (and thank you for writing about it!) In the largely under-regulated space of consumer data protection (at least in the U.S.), firms using consumer data to influence or reinforce opinions and drive certain behaviors is a hugely important issue. Particularly when technologies can be used to influence things like voting behavior (and, if you take an aggressive extension of this, effectively controlling how people think), our democratic society stands on the brink of collapse. I’m taking a somewhat hyperbolic stance here, but only because I’m worried if this issue isn’t addressed immediately through regulation, restrictions, and overall customer awareness, it will take a catastrophic event for us do something about it. And, by then, will it be too late?
Great overview of how Netflix is leveraging machine learning, and especially liked your point about AI application to market development/penetration. Regarding leveraging the technology to make content development decisions, however, I wonder how restrictive such an approach (using, presumably, historical data) could be on the content they end up creating. To borrow an ideology from the fashion world, customers don’t set the trends, fashion houses do. There is always an inherent risk of using historical data to predict future outcomes, but even leveraging the predictive capabilities of machine learning may leave a striking amount of creativity, innovation and non-linear decision making that could result in exceptional profitability and success unexplored.
100%. The technology, particularly in this application, is in its infancy. Quantum computing is an interesting space and certainly would expedite a lot of the necessary progress machine learning needs to make to process the endless prediction modeling variables, but I still think 1. we currently have viable machine learning capabilities to help inform less complex and unpredictable human behavior and situational outcomes that have been instrumental in expansive fields spanning from predicting loan defaults to understanding consumer voting behavior and 2. quantum computing can help supplement human reason but I have a hard time conceiving of a future where machine learning completely replaces the value/insights derived from human analysis particularly in behavioral outcomes that are unpredictable and non-linear.
Cameron, really great point, and something a lot of smart city designers are grappling with right now. In the broader context of a connected city (enabled by technologies well beyond machine learning), architects, designers, city planners, consultants, and technologists are trying to figure out ways to make structures, buildings, services, layouts, and supporting infrastructure more adaptable. Literally they are trying to design modular-type cities where the physical attributes can change and adapt based on needs, preferences etc. One of the most basic ways to think about this is how Tesla has revolutionized cars– your entire driving experience can change based on the software downloaded to the car. While the car’s physical attributes are for the most part unchanged, the result of your driving experience can be vastly different when new updates are pushed out. Connected cities can function much in the same way. The much more challenging topic area is with physical objects (i.e. buildings), but engineers have already designed materials capable of changing their atomic structure (i.e. capable of going from rigid to malleable). Structural innovations as such could completely revolutionize the way cities are built, operated, and maintained, but that future is still a ways off. The most basic way we have to address physical adaptability currently is with modular design (i.e. think about a bunch of blocks that can fit together/move around to make different shapes). People in this space are actively exploring these options and the results are fascinating.
Really great point to bring up, and incredibly excited to see how Sidewalk Labs and others continue to think about these issues.