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On November 15, 2018, ldepoorter commented on UNICEF: Open innovation to tackle humanitarian crises :

Thanks for sharing KRiver – very interesting read!

I agree with Jake Meiner that open innovation seems a great way to expand the top of their funnel for new ideas and projects. I share his concern around how this then drills down to concrete projects. I do not, however, think that AI would solve this problem for us. I feel UNICEF, while having great intentions, lacks a clear overall innovation strategy. You write they want to prioritize “products for youth, real-time information, and infrastructure” and they want to do so by using “block-chain, fintech, wearables, 3D-printing, and other groundbreaking technologies”. It feels way too broad. Especially given the very small size of the Fund as compared to their overall budget (see Josep Mele’s comment). Without more focus, this Innovation Fund will remain a marketing tool with a bunch of buzzwords that hits on a nice project only once in a while (such as the one for Zika with facebook). I sincerely hope they get there soon, as I truly care about UNICEF’s overall mission.

Happy to continue this discussion!

On November 15, 2018, ldepoorter commented on Closed Innovation at Facebook :

Great article – thanks for sharing Sgt. Piggy. I think you rightly point out at the end of your essay that the judges are still out whether there is a clear overall evolution from open to closed innovation. There are big trends in both, and oftentimes these trends reverse.

I agree with Thomas that, as you also briefly touch upon when describing Facebook’s strategy, closed innovation mostly makes sense when you dominate a market or have proprietary data / access. To this perspective I tend to see open innovation as better for consumers: the more competition, the better the consumer offering. With companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Netflix contuing to gather (and keep) data, the power balance in our corporate world is severely distorted. Though, I am optimistic. New technologies will continue to emerge. I personally believe blockchain holds huge potential to reverse the trend for more distribution of data (and thus power).

Only the future can tell what will happen. I am curious and eager to continue this discussion.

On November 15, 2018, ldepoorter commented on Printing: Speed :

Thanks for sharing this TomTom – very interesting article! New Balance, though using different techniques and a different 3D printer supplier [1], is doing something very similar and actually ramping it up at scale as we speak. I had a conversation with Maxim Lobovsky (CEO of Formlabs, 3D manufacturing partner of New Balance) last week on the MIT 100K Pitching Contest where he told me that the right parameter to evaluate speed is “manufacturing cost for x units in y time period”, including the cost of the machinery and labor. Formlabs (see Formlabs.com) is producing their small 3D printers at such a low cost (only ~$3000/machine) that large corporations such as New Balance or Adidas could run hundreds in parallel. I wonder why you write “Though this technology is not yet economically scalable” and whether I am overlooking something.

Happy to continue the discussion!

[1] Formlabs, “Formlabs and New Balance Come Together to 3D Print High-Performance Footwear”, Jun. 05, 2017, https://formlabs.com/company/press/formlabs-and-new-balance-come-together-3d-print-high-performance/, accessed November 2018

Thanks for this article RJ – super interesting! I have two main comments.

First, reading a recent article published by MIT Technology Review, I tend to agree with Ricaro that FDA approval is not the main bottleneck for bioprinting to take off. It is an incredibly advanced technology which proves to be more difficult than some have expected. Sharon Presnell, chief scientist of Organovo, is quoted in the article saying: “We all think it [i.e. printing entire organs] is going to be possible at some point in the future. Where we differ is how long it will take.” [1]

Second, you mainly raise ethical questions regarding the full roll-out of this technology. You are afraid this might only be accessible to the super-rich and lead to more inequality. While I totally agree that health care is reaching those boundaries now, I would argue that the current system of organ transplants leads to even more inequality. Researchers have proven wealthy individuals game the system to get access to transplants quicker [2]. While this new technology might be very expensive in the beginning, economies of scale might lead to improving accessibility for all over time.

I am curious to follow the further evolution and continue the discussion.

[1] Antonio Regalado, “Inside the effort to print lungs and breathe life into them with stem cells”, MIT Technology Review, https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611236/inside-the-effort-to-print-lungs-and-breathe-life-into-them-with-stem-cells/, accessed November 2018

[2] Ariana Eunjung Cha, “Inequality in U.S. organ transplants: Researchers detail how the wealthy game the system”, The Washington Post, November 12, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/11/11/inequality-in-u-s-organ-transplants-researchers-detail-how-the-wealthy-game-the-system/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.c703fb8d2415, accessed November 2018

On November 15, 2018, ldepoorter commented on NewYork-Presbyterian: Becoming the Hospital of the Future :

Great article – many thanks for sharing Ricardo. A recent study suggests that the U.S. spends about twice what other high-income nations do on health care but has the lowest life expectancy and the highest infant mortality rates [1]. I strongly agree with your analysis that AI has tremendous power to bring health care cost down. To many of the above comments and two questions you asked yourself at the end of the essay, I agree this could significantly change the doctor-patient relationship. What you and the other respondents have not talked about, however, is how this could also open opportunities to change the nurse-patient relationship or empower more bridges between nurses, docters and AI. There has always been a very big distinction between doctors and nurses: nurses are essentially not able to prescribe and always report under doctors. Given AI might provide more accuracy in diagnosis as well as an improved flow in operations, potentially nurses (or Nurse Practitionsers [2]) could take over a bigger part of the role as “trusted medical advisor”?

[1] Lisa Rapaport, “U.S. health spending twice other countries’ with worse results”, Reuters, MARCH 13, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-spending/u-s-health-spending-twice-other-countries-with-worse-results-idUSKCN1GP2YN, accessed November 2018

[2] American Association of Nurse Practitioners, “What’s a Nurse Practitioner (NP)?”, https://www.aanp.org/about/all-about-nps/whats-a-nurse-practitioner, accessed November 2018

On November 15, 2018, ldepoorter commented on The long awaited tech disruption of the legal sector :

Thanks for the interesting read Geek Squad. I think you lay out a clear reasoning on why AI will become important for the legal sector as well as a compelling story on how Clifford Chance has responded to this evolution. I have two main questions when reading this paper.

(1) How far will this go? What can be automated and what not?
I read an interesting article in the New York Times where the main take-away was that AI will lead to efficiency gains, but will not change the fact that clients still want to be guided by a trusted advisor: “For the time being, experience like mine is something people are willing to pay for.” [1]

(2) How will this impact the legal workforce? How many lawyers will we still need? And how will they be trained?
In many ways closely related to the previous question, the efficiency gains that are achieved will primarily hit junior lawyers – as you pointed out as well – because they are the ones doing the biggest chunk of the research and contract drafting. Interestingly, AI will not only replace part of these junior legal jobs, but might also make it more difficult for junior lawyers to be trained properly [2].

Happy to continue the discussion on both of these points.

[1] Steve Lohr, “A.I. Is Doing Legal Work. But It Won’t Replace Lawyers, Yet.”, The New York Times, March 19, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/19/technology/lawyers-artificial-intelligence.html, accessed November 2018

[2] Erin Winick, “Lawyer-Bots Are Shaking Up Jobs”, MIT Technology Review, December 12, 2017, https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609556/lawyer-bots-are-shaking-up-jobs/, accessed November 2018