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It is great to see big banks innovating–they must in order to stay competitive! One thing that I think JPM should think about as they delve deeper into ML is biases. Particularly because of the impact that financial services can have on the lives of consumers, it’s imperative for JPM (and its competitors) to make sure that their models are promoting, not prohibiting, financial inclusion; biased data is an easy way for these models to swiftly fail the millions of American families that cannot access the banking system. I like the idea of using ML to better customize products. Imagine having product terms that perfectly fit your needs at a smart price, all predicted by ML models. This is the type of product customization that could help big banks stay competitive as fintechs enter the market. Larger, established financial institutions have a greater amount of data to leverage to make better, predictive ML algorithms but, due to their size, they may be under greater scrutiny from regulators. Helping regulators understand “what’s inside the big black box” is just as important as helping customers understand the method behind certain product decisions. Great article!

On November 15, 2018, KW commented on Volkswagen Hits the Road with the Adoption of 3D Printing :

Great article! One thing that I’m thinking about is how additive manufacturing may help VW prepare for another industry disruption–self-driving vehicles. As vehicles become more autonomous, will more of their parts be AM-friendly? This may be a way for VW to stay competitive as the industry advances. I also think that VW should consider manufacturing techniques that will help them create cheaper, higher-quality, more-customizable parts that don’t make sense to AM (e.g., I don’t believe that an axel would be cheaper to 3D print than manufacture in the traditional way.) I am struggling to see the value AM for customization purposes; when I think of customizing cars, I struggle to see how typically customizable things–like upholstery, exterior color, premium sound systems–could be created with AM. I am curious to learn more about how AM is used to customize cars. (Disclaimer: I’ve never owned or shopped for a car…)

I really liked this article–thanks for sharing! I am impressed by the Ring product and how Barclays uses the forum to incorporate customer feedback into product development. I am curious to know whether the feedback/conversation is one- or two-sided. E.g., does Barclays communicate to the Ring community the trade-offs that they may have to face as they add new features to the card, or is that communicated via the fees and features of the next release of the product? I love the idea of crowdsourcing customer service. I see this done by Apple a lot; the Apple forums provide great answers to all of my Apple tech questions. It’s great to see big banks working to be more innovative–would love to see more of this!

Fascinating article! You mention two things that are big red flags for me, as I think about the long-term viability of the Lemonade product: data short and data quality. Based on my understanding of machine learning, the models are only as good as the data that you feed them; additionally, the models need to continue to be fed in order to change as consumers, communities, and economies change. If Lemonade is facing data issues, the underlying AI could fail to make good predictions, and ultimately customers could be turned away by overly-high prices or the company could end-up paying too many claims. Resource-strapped start-ups often need to be singularly focused on one strategic issue at a time, and Lemonade needs to focus on both improving its model and acquiring more customers to keep the model working appropriately. I like Lemonade’s mission, so I hope that they’re able to do both well. Wishing Lemonade luck!

On November 14, 2018, KW commented on Adidas’s Race to be #1 in 3D Printing :

I love the idea of using additive manufacturing, not just to reduce production costs, but to empower personalization. Personally, I have difficulties buying shoes because I’m in-between two sizes and they don’t make half-sizes in my size; I would certainly pay a premium for on-demand shoes that would fit perfectly. I would also hope that, as the technology advances, it will eventually become cheaper and 3D-printed shoes could eventually be the norm. To answer your question, because shoes so rarely fit perfectly and because it is painful and potentially dangerous (i.e., injury-causing) to wear ill-fitting shoes, I do not think that additive manufacturing in shoes is a fad, especially if it addresses these issues.

On November 14, 2018, KW commented on Open Innovation at NASA: Impact in Culture :

I appreciate your focus on the people-side of open innovation. One are of personal interest for me are incentivez, and I think that, in order for open innovation and standard R&D to coexist, NASA engineers need to collaborate with their open innovators. Stand-alone ideas are good, but imagine the progress that could be made if these engineers (both NASA-badged and non-affiliated) worked together. In order to do this, NASA may need to consider creative solutions and leadership to both help their engineers see the benefit of open innovation and help their engineers feel valued in an open innovation culture.