Love the question you raised around how a customer would decide on a brand in a world where every company has your data and knows your preferences. What I find super interesting, is that in that world, brand awareness once again becomes the most important factor. I think we will get to a place where, given the inundation of information, customers become increasingly picky as to what apps they have on their phone and rather than use many different brands, they will actually become more loyal to just a few. Therefore, traditional marketing once again becomes incredibly important as brands must connect emotionally with their customers and ensure they are one of these apps that is installed : )
The decision-making power of autonomous vehicles opens up a whole new world of ethical considerations. Consider for example a case where a vehicle must decide between hitting and killing a person crossing the road or instead swerving and killing the person behind the wheel. This is a difficult decision and one that actually requires comparing human lives. Imagine that the person crossing the road is in fact a child and the person behind the wheel is a grown adult. Should the car in fact be programmed to avoid taking children’s lives at the cost of adult lives? And if this is the case, who is to say unethical organizations can’t take this one step further and begin to decide on types of people that should be saved over others (e.g., celebrities)?
Great piece with a very real concern around the advancements of chatbots. As you say, it is going to be a very tough tradeoff for businesses investing in chatbots in the future. On one hand, you want your chatbot to be as effective in communication as possible given that customers actually prefer the efficiency and time savings that come along with a chatbot. However, if the chatbot makes mistakes and/or deceives a customer as you mention, your company will quickly drive away business and become untrusted. Therefore, you have a tough decision to make between training the chatbot to the point where it has too much power, but where you don’t have to worry as much about simple mistakes with customers, and not training the chatbot as thoroughly and accepting some level of mistake. In the end, companies will simply need to impose more guardrails as the technology improves.
Super interesting concept to allow Carlsberg to test far more strains than their competitors in the same period of time. I would be curious, however, what the average cost is to acquire a small microbrewery. Given that Carlsberg is putting $4M into this project plus the cost of numerous research and learning hours, you wonder if they could have acquired a group of smaller microbreweries for the same cost that in the end could fulfill the same goal, new beer flavors and a younger outward appearance for the brand.
Very interesting take on the effects of open innovation on a company’s culture. While I understand the concern of the longstanding employees, if Nasa does not explore the open innovation platform it will not be long before competition beats them to solutions to their toughest challenges. They cannot afford to have an R&D cycle of 3 to 5 years. We are now in a world where the capital investment required to successfully compete in the space industry is falling quickly. In the first quarter of 2018 alone, new space ventures received $1B in funding. New companies like SpaceX, Rocket Labs, and Virgin Galactic, have all successfully launched rockets into space. I agree with some of the comments above in that Nasa should evaluate what problems are most exciting for and best meant for its talented staff, and then ship out the rest under an open innovation model.
The numbers behind the declines in the worldwide fish populations are astounding and do not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. One positive is the increase in the number of fish farms being installed globally. These fish farms also have challenges including pollution from their waste, the spread of diseases from farmed to wild fish, feed requirements (feed generally includes wild fish), and extensive work required to ensure optimal tank conditions. That being said, machine learning is also being used in this field and each year increased funding goes into new innovation. One super interesting company you should check out is SalMar who just installed a farm off the coast of Norway that can hold 1.5m salmon and uses machine learning to measure the real-time activity of the fish (https://www.economist.com/technology-quarterly/2018/03/10/net-gains).