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On November 15, 2018, IM_HBS commented on Can Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Kill Fake News? :

Thanks for the essay Spencer! This is an important topic and a great use case for machine learning. Facebook has gotten into quite a bit of trouble recently over its lack of filtering when it comes to “fake news.” I think this case is mostly interesting because of the political implications behind the use of this form of machine learning. There are critics who I am sure would say that this sort of technology could be used not only to filter demonstrably fake news, but also to filter any sort of news that Facebook does not agree with politically.

There is also the interesting nuance that machine learning is being used on the other side of this equation as well. It is being used by people who are actively promoting fake news, so Facebook has the added challenge of combating this as well. Unfortunately, there are a number of challenges, and I’m not sure this is a problem that they can satisfactorily solve.

I appreciated this article and the implications of machine learning in eCommerce. It appears that at this point, Houzz is primarily using machine learning to recommend additional or similar items to people based on what they have already viewed. This technology could definitely be taken further past just product aesthetics and to price preferences, items that are purchased in tandem with previous purchases, etc.

However, I do wonder if it might be more difficult than one might realize to understand consumer preferences when it comes to aesthetics and design. Speaking simply for myself, my tastes are extremely varied and I don’t know how effective a website would be at understanding all my preferences based on just a few items that I looked at or bought.

I also wonder how much buy-in you need from the designers on your website. Without those designers, you don’t really have a business since your website is predicated on providing designer items. Would this type of machine learning that sends potential customers to competitors anger designers? The mix of how many designers you have would almost certainly changed, which may not be terrible for Houzz, but is something to consider.

On November 15, 2018, IM_HBS commented on Alexa, What’s in my Wallet? Open Innovation at Capital One :

Thank you for sharing this! Right now seems to be the age of fintech start ups and new technologies, and I’ve always wondered about how the more traditional banks are reacting to the high levels of digitization in the industry.

This appears to be the best way for Capital One to get the high level of programming it needs for additional product offerings for customers. But I do have some concerns. One big question I have revolves around control. Capital One plays in a highly regulated industry, and since they work a lot with private data from customers, I assume they need at least some level of control over apps and API products. Would this open innovation initiative backfire for Capital One if they don’t develop these things internally?

That being said, what stops Capital One from investing in a robust internal development team? There would be additional costs, but might mitigate some of the risks and assist with new product development.

Great article. I can understand the potential of additive technology in the construction business. I imagine that the costs in this industry are astronomical and additive manufacturing has the potential to drastically lower the costs of development and part creation, especially when these steps have to be done for thousands of projects. This also has the potential to decrease safety risks and increase precision in construction and architecture. I do find it interesting that people consider this technology’s wide use in the industry so far away (almost 20 years according to this post). I wonder if the true reason is the heavy costs associated with investing in 3D printing and the relatively unproven nature of the technology. Do we know that additive technology mitigates risk? Is this actually a less costly option in the long run?

I also wonder whether this company should partner with a 3D printing company or simply invest in developing the technology themselves. My instinct is that this is a gamechanger for the industry, but I completely understand how someone may balk at the upfront costs necessary to truly make inroads in internal additive manufacturing.

I really enjoyed this article, because I am a huge proponent of user generated content. I find it fascinating that Amazon actually invested in user generated content and offered amateur scriptwriters the opportunity to get their work produced. It sounds like they are no longer investing in this project because it was so costly and a bit of a time suck. I understand that, as the number of scripts they likely had to go through was in the thousands. My main concerns would also revolve around intellectual property laws. What are the rights involved with user generated scripts and what are the ethical implications of negotiating with someone who is a novice in this industry?

I do believe this idea is great though. I could definitely see a smaller studio employing this method as a way to get quality scripts and it would also be a great marketing tool. But for a company as large as Amazon, I don’t believe that this strategy should be a central component of their strategy.

Very interesting article! This is the first I had heard about the use of 3D printing in the medical industry, and I can imagine how the use cases must be infinite. It sounds like Stryker truly is going all in on this costly technology, and I wonder how that will work out for them financially. On one hand, I can see that the development of prosthetics, surgical tools and other medical devices could be ramped up and and production timing and efficiency could increase. In addition, once the technology is developed, I’m sure that the price to develop these new devices might decrease (despite the heavy early investment). However, I wouldn’t be surprised if other medical device companies enter this space en masse and drive prices down. I also wonder just how customizable devices are through additive technology and whether hospitals will accept this relatively new technology.