Very interesting article!
After reading through it and the comments, I have to agree with what most commenters have noticed; there seems to be no significant barriers to entry to this market, which leaves them on a weaker competitive positioning. If they are to sustain their leadership, they need to create a sustainable business model, that strives to lock in the customers with a great service.
Very interesting and unusual topic, thanks for writing!
I particularly am intrigued about your question, “Will the notoriously socially conscious tech culture in Silicon Valley be willing to build weapons systems?” . As we’ve seen recently, companies have evaded contracts to which they -or their employees- oppose. It is yet to be seen how much this ‘tech-world’ pressure can handicap the U.S.’ stategic defense capabilites. And, is this trend ever going to change? Might a catastrophic event change the tide?
Great article, and amazing work by UpGrad!
Regarding your question, “Can a machine replace the human relationship element, or will education always require the human touch to offer its full potential?”; I believe this is not entirely possible, as there is a notable difference between training and education. Training relates to providing or enhancing a skillset. Education relates to the advancement of the human person, in its entirety. A computer won’t be able to reach far in the this field. However, I do think that there is a lot that ML can do to provide access to training to many more people; and to do it more effectively.
Great insights, thanks for sharing!
I agree with the fact that an open innovation policy in a market that’s trending might be difficult to sustain.
Tesla’s under great pressure to deliver and, although it might have enjoyed a competitive advantage in the last couple of years, the press and public are demanding more and more from it. When I see the whole pack of auto companies coming quickly behind Tesla, building on top of what the company has already achieved (due to the open innovation policy), then a leading position might be difficult to sustain.
I think that in order for Tesla to survive the crunch of a soon-to-be overcrowded market for electric vehicles, it needs to hold on to a few key innovations in a closed loop form.
Great article, thanks for writing this piece.
I particularly agree with your statement that “Crowdsourced challenges can spur unprecedented innovation leaps at stalled industries.”
The health and sanitation problem that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is helping address is huge, yet it’s not very ‘attractive’. Bill Gates mentioned this in the Beijing expo, when he stood there with a beaker of human feces .
Regarding your question on go-to-market strategies; I believe that this could be a great problem to be solved by the growing impact investment and social impact bonds space. These financial instruments have been proven in a range of different social challenges. This might be a next step.
 Bill Gates, “I shared the stage with a beaker of poop in China”, https://www.gatesnotes.com/Development/Reinvent-the-Toilet-Expo-speech
This is very interesting. I see the purpose of it, but am left wondering how useful could the printouts be.
I tend to think that orbiting machinery has to have great quality assurance (QA). I doubt that with the current technology Made in Space will be able to deliver an array of products that surpass QA and deliver enough profit to sustain the business.
On your question of speed, I think that this is one of those technologies that will be adopted very fast by the industry. However, I do think that adoption will be limited to highly repetitive, not-too-much value-added work, such as contract revisions. The tools are already available, not only from LexisNexis but also from many other providers that are already proving their efficacy. In a recent test, a ML algorithm beat 20 experienced lawyers in reviewing NDA contracts, both in speed and accuracy . Leading law firms are incorporating these tools, but they won’t take displace lawyers from key client-facing and other strategic tasks.
A question to be raised is, how is LexisNexis positioned to compete in this industry? Does it have competitive advantages to succeed?
The Rolls Royce – Intel collaboration on autonomous has had lots of press coverage. The picture is impressive; a futuristic vision of humans controlling robot-filled seas (and, by extension, world). People who actually are on board of these ships spend months away from home, so -even though it pays very well- this might be a move that will encounter little resistance on the worker-replacement issue.
However, as you mention, Rolls Royce might have moved first, yet it won’t be the last. I see little competitive advantage in their capabilities, yet there are huge investment capitals necessary to make this work. Not only on the technology side (developing the software), but also -more importantly- in the ship-building side of this project. In the context of squeezing profits in the global shipping industry , I think that this partnership will not be long-lived.
I think Amazon’s boldness in disrupting industries is remarkable. But, this time, I think that Amazon Go is a display of novelty that won’t really change how the industry operates. I wonder how much more efficient such a system can be, when taken to scale. As you mention, collecting the necessary information in a Whole Foods can be a daunting task, very error-prone. Mistakes could hurt greatly if users complain of over-charging.
Regarding your question on how generalizable this can be; I think it might transform other ‘queues’. But there’s a human element in all this. Amazon Go may be a great proof of concept, but do we really need to eliminate one of the few human touch-points that are left in our shopping experience?