This is a great analysis on the value of machine learning in protecting our fish populations. As you mentioned in your recommendation section, the work that NOAA is doing could also benefit significantly from open innovation. There seems to be a lot of crossover with what Gavin wrote about in his post about Zooniverse. If you have a large group of people who are passionate about this topic and willing to support the agency then opening it up to a large group to help process the digital images could be very powerful. While many of us looked at the major trends in silos, you have identified a topic where machine learning and open innovation can be used simultaneously to magnify the benefit.
Erik – good to see you landed on your feet after Biometra. Thanks for sharing this insight into how Starbucks is using machine learning to improve their marketing and boost sales.
I really liked your insight into the balance between machine analysis and human analysis. The recent explosion of machine learning has many people thinking that big data and AI are a silver bullet – able to solve any problem or improve any process. You are right to suggest caution. Just as IBM suggests using Watson as an input to the decision – not as the final decision maker – Starbucks needs to use machine learning as one more tool and not the only tool. The best analysis in the world is still ineffective if Starbucks lacks the ability to act on it.
I love the idea behind Teachers pay Teachers. It is a tremendously valuable resource that many teachers use. Nearly all of my colleagues have used TPT at least once before.
I concur with the author that it has been and will continue to be a challenge for TPT to sell their materials on a broader scale. One reason is what the author mentions – in the curriculum world the buyer is vastly different than and often disconnected from the user. Principals and district administrators often lack the perspective and insight into what teachers actually want. They purchase curriculum based off of reputation or 3rd party ratings without thinking about how the teacher views the material and how effective it will actually be when presented. Far too often textbooks and other curricular materials get placed on a shelf to collect dust.
The other challenge with TPT is that many teachers do not see it as an end to end solution. TPT is a great resource for a one-off lesson if you are pressed for time or stuck on the best way to introduce a topic. I currently do not know anyone who would go to TPT and purchase an entire unit end-to-end. If TPT hopes to move beyond ad-hoc downloads and into unit or course-long level purchasing, TPT must think about how they change this brand perception in the market.
I loved learning about this innovation. It seems like Zooniverse is making it possible to conduct research and studies that were previously impossible or at least highly infeasible. To answer your question on paying members – I do not think this is necessary. Zooniverse clearly has already generated significant participation without paying members. I think a big reason why this is true is because they are not directly selling or making a profit on the outcomes. This would be different if Zooniverse was making a profit on their work, but since it is not I do not expect users to demand or expect payment.
My bigger concern is actually not the cost but the quality. How do you ensure that your army of volunteers is actually identifying, labeling, and analyzing things correctly. For the same reason that you cannot except Wikipedia as a reliable scholarly source, shouldn’t it be true that you cant accept Zooniverse either?
Additive manufacturing seems to be a huge potential benefit for Adidas as they move into the next generation of footwear. In an industry that has seen (relatively) little innovation in recent years this feels like a breakthrough on par with Nike’s waffle outsole. I actually am not concerned about the price – if we have learned anything from Apple it is that people will pay extra for something that is “cutting edge” or “cool”. My concern lies with the quality. How will these 3D printed shoes hold up? Will they be comfortable to wear? Will they provide good traction, cushioning, etc.? It is possible that they will be able to deliver on all these things, but I would be concerned that in their rush to be first they forget about also trying to be the best quality, and do irreversible damage to the brand.
Additive manufacturing has the potential to correct a significant supply chain challenge for the USMC. The fact that marines are resorting to trying to salvage parts from museum exhibits is highly concerning. As the author notes, the supply chain and distribution problem will only become more significant as marines are deployed in smaller teams and in more diverse and distant combat environments.
I would echo the concern of the first commenter here, that this technology still has a long way to go. Having some experience with 3D printing I have seen that the error rate is very high. Small changes in inputs, temperature, humidity, etc., can cause a large variation in outputs. Without the opportunity to control for these factors in the diverse combat environments our soldiers will operate in, I question how effective AM can be.