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On November 20, 2016, T.O.M. commented on Meet Amy, an AI Enabled Assistant :

I’m really interested in AI and hope administrative functions can be automated to free up admin staff time for the more complex tasks. However from my experience arranging meetings is never as simple as just finding a time when both parties are available. There are several nuances that AI still struggles with such as meeting time changes. I feel we have quite a few years to go before AI can reliably replace human staff. That being said the progress being made is impressive and as usage increases the AI will become more intelligent and develop ways to manage the more complex scheduling problems.

On November 20, 2016, T.O.M. commented on The New York Times in the digitalization era :

Interest post Bernardita, the shift to digital/online consumption of news is definitely one of the most visible and severe negative effects of digitalization. However, whilst paper readership is declining it’s very difficult to cut costs in this area as there is a large amount of fixed costs involved in paper newspaper production (machinery, staff, distribution network etc). In addition the overall revenue generated by NYT is decreasing (despite rising subscriptions) which decreases the resources available to generate compelling stories. Are there more innovative ways NYT can increase advertising revenues, particularly as they expand internationally and increase their viewership?

On November 20, 2016, T.O.M. commented on Lending in the digital era: Goldman Sachs embraces the challenge :

It’s really interesting that Goldman Sachs are entering the MPL market but as we know it’s important for companies to innovate to stay relevant, particularly in industries that are fairly easy to disrupt via technology. I wonder however who the target market for Marcus will be as Goldman Sachs’ traditional clients invest in debt products in quantities so large (tens of millions of dollars) that they typically are happy to spend the time to do due diligence and so I don’t think an online platform really provides much of an advantage. Maybe Marcus is aimed at smaller clients and Goldman Sachs is attempting to broaden its customer base.

On November 20, 2016, T.O.M. commented on Bea-con and Carry On :

Interesting article Sir Lunchalot! Over the years I’ve definitely seen the hype over beacons grow and have yet to see meaningful penetration in retail. As you mention in the article there are many benefits to the retailer, from more targeted adverts to increased shopper data that can help with understanding buyer decision making. However, my main issue with beacon technology and the reason I think it hasn’t taken (and won’t take) off meaningfully is that it doesn’t provide much value to the shopper – low relative advantage compared to the existing shopping experience under the product diffusion framework. I don’t think location driven personalised offers are a compelling enough reason to jump through the hoops necessary to download and activate the beacon technology. Just my opinion, but until the benefits to the consumer are substantial I think Beacons will be added to the list of over-hyped technologies that fell by the wayside.

Great post Tuyee, I’m excited about what the future holds for healthcare technology in Africa. As you mentioned, the funding of this platform in the context of low incomes is crucial for its sustainability. Could a potential solution be to charge the pharmacies (either subscription or as a percentage of the prescription)? If using the platform saves time and makes the process more efficient then hopefully some of these gains can be used to pay for the platform.

Thanks for shedding light on this topic Will. As the world’s largest producer of Li batteries the gigafactory certainly will be in a position to set the tone for sustainable sourcing. It’s good to see that they are partnering with Codelco to source Chilean lithium but what about their Cobalt plans? Is it possible for them to source Cobalt without purchasing from DR Congo?

Really interesting technology here Todd. It’s a shame it isn’t more widespread but that’s likely due to how capital intensive it seems combined with the perceived risks to a neighborhood/community of any heavy industrial complexes that involve high temperatures. I wonder, how do the lifetime costs of a typical plant compare to that of other renewable energy sources? I think it’s hard for governments to get behind this when other renewable sources such as wind and solar are so much easier to install and operate.

On November 7, 2016, T.O.M. commented on Flying Somewhere? Boston Airport’s Plan for Climate Change :

Interesting post! I’m impressed by Boston Logan’s approach to climate change. When thinking about improving resilience, I agree that more could be done but it’s not clear that Boston Logan has the means to fund beyond the current $9M. Are there other ways in which they could raise additional funds? A sustainability charge perhaps for the airlines (they definitely benefit from a long running and resilient airport!). With this in mind I’d be worry that removing meat products from airport restaurants may reduce income for the airport (lower demand for rental space) and add to the budget pressure.

On November 7, 2016, T.O.M. commented on Going bananas over climate change :

Nice post! It was good to see an example where there are clear benefits of climate change. In this case banana production seems to be moving from one set of geographical areas to others. How will the global supply chain cope with these movements and how much does it cost? Are the differences in demand for the different varieties of banana or is it really as easy as just growing a different type of banana as the conditions change?

On November 7, 2016, T.O.M. commented on PADI and Climate Change: Staying Afloat or Drowning? :

Great post! It’s a shame that human activity has damaged the beauty of the our world beneath sea level.

I agree that PADI should find additional ways to assert influence and control over the individual dive operators but what about the divers who don’t dive with an operator? How can PADI effectively enforce the sustainability rules on 17.5M certified divers? Also, I commend the creativity of your idea to create artificial reefs but wouldn’t this be counter productive to our climate change goals given that we’d effectively be driving more divers (and their carbon footprints) to our reef?