Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Augmented Humanity and Becoming Bionic

HearOne Wireless Smart Earbuds
I recently became a bionic man.  I have one good ear and one bad ear as a result of flying around while suffering colds and flus over the years, and with only one good it makes it difficult to hear a conversation in a noisy room, so I went looking for a high tech digital solution.

For the last couple of years I have been watching the start-up, Doppler Labs, as they developed their earbuds that were purported to have great sound, but also to enhance hearing.  This month after reading about their latest software release, I ordered a pair to try.  There were three reasons I wanted to try Doppler Labs' HearOne Wireless Smart Earbuds. First because their goal was to enhance hearing for a few hundred dollars, rather than for many thousands of dollars that the hearing aid industry charges, secondly, they were building artificial intelligence (AI) into their earbuds, and thirdly, I could listen to premium audio and talk on my phone with them.

When I first received the earbuds, the instructions led me through a series of hearing tests using the earbuds and my iPhone.  The results were then used to adjust all sounds coming into my left and right ears so my hearing would be an enhanced, balanced and accurately augmented.  I could immediately hear many sounds around my home and office that had previously escaped me - a mixed blessing.

Here is how the earbuds work.  The earbuds intercept all sound, analyzes and filters it, then passes the augmented sounds to my ears in near real-time.  The results are impressive.  Filters reduce or eliminated what I didn't want to hear and enhances what I did.  They also have digital noise filters for places like subways, cities, buses, restaurants, crowds, etc.,  and promise to deliver more pre-configured filters.  Here is where it really gets cool.  I can also geofence digital noise filters.  I can apply a filter to a specific physical location and save it.  The next time I arrive at that particular destination the noise filter and sound enhancement will automatically be applied using AI.  I can walk around my neighborhood or go shopping and the sounds coming into my ears are personalized for me.  Very nice!  There is no need for me to accept all random sounds and noise pollution.  I can now control, eliminate or enhance sounds.  I can control, configure and augment my sound experiences.

In addition to sound filters, I can manually adjust all incoming sounds using the Doppler Labs smartphone app.  It allows me to enhance live music and other sounds to the volume and filter level that suite my preferences.  If you have kids, you never again need to hear them.

There is even more artificial intelligence.  I can tap my earbuds and access the knowledge of the world through Siri and other supported AI systems.  I can now be a trivia star anywhere where I have a wireless network connection!

Nothing is perfect, however.  I found two problems with the HearOne earbuds.  The battery life today is only a couple of hours, although Doppler Labs said upcoming software updates will extend that.  I guess I don't need to be at a Cocktail Hour, longer than two anyway.  The second, is the crackle of wind in the six directional sound receivers in each earbud.  These sound receivers help you enhance sounds in front, to the side and behind you.  If you are driving a car and having a conversation with kids in the back seat, it is great to enhance the voices behind you or not, but in the wind, they crackle.  Applying the city sound filter eliminated 90% of the crackling, but more work can be done to reduce the crackling when you are jogging or walking in the breeze.

Overall, a thumbs up experience, and I am excited to add more bionics and other augmentations to my seasoned humanity.

Read more from the Center for Digital Intelligence here:
  1. Competition, Artificial Intelligence and Balloons
  2. Artificial Intelligence, Combined Actions and Digital Strategies
  3. 7 Imperatives for Thriving During Digital Transformation
  4. What Artificial Intelligence Can Teach Us
  5. Speed as a Competitive Advantage in Digital Transformation
  6. Culture as a Competitive Advantage in Digital Transformation
  7. Digital Technologies and the Compression of both Time and Distance
  8. Patterns, Platforms and Automation
  9. Making the Hard Decisions in Digital Transformation
  10. Center for Digital Intelligence Interviews: Hitachi's Rob Tiffany on Industrial IoT 
  11. Digital Transformation and the New Rules for Start-Ups
  12. Digital Transformation and Leadership Development
  13. Digital Transformation and Competitive Decision-Making
  14. Combinatorial Nature of Digital Technologies and Legos
  15. Digital Transformation from 40,000 feet
  16. Winning in Chaos - Digital Leaders
  17. 13 Recommended Actions for Digital Transformation in Retail
  18. Mistakes in Retail Digital Transformation
  19. Winning Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  20. Digital Transformation - Mindset Differences
  21. Analyzing Retail Through Digital Lenses
  22. Digital Thinking and Beyond!
  23. Measuring the Pace of Change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  24. How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards
  25. To Bot, or Not to Bot
  26. Oils, Bots, AI and Clogged Arteries
  27. Artificial Intelligence Out of Doors in the Kingdom of Robots
  28. How Digital Leaders are Different
  29. The Three Tsunamis of Digital Transformation - Be Prepared!
  30. Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months
  31. You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
  32. Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
  33. Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  34. Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  35. Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
  36. Technology Must Disappear in 2017
  37. Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
  38. In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
  39. Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
  40. Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
  41. Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
  42. Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
  43. Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
  44. Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
  45. Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
  46. Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
  47. 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
  48. The End Goal of Digital Transformation
  49. Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
  50. Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
  51. The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
  52. From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
  53. Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
  54. Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
  55. Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
  56. A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
  57. Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
  58. A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
  59. Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
  60. Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
  61. Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
  62. Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time
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Kevin Benedict
Principal Analyst, Futurist, the Center for Digital Intelligence™
Website C4DIGI.com
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin's YouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Technologies
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Artificial Intelligence, Combined Actions and Digital Strategies

Fingerspitzengefühl: A German word used to describe the ability to maintain attention to detail in an ever-changing operational and tactical environment by maintaining real-time situational awareness. The term is synonymous with the English expression of "keeping one's finger on the pulse".  The problem with fingerspitzengefühl traditionally, in addition to pronouncing it, has been it is hard for an individual to scale up. Today that is changing.  In a world of sensors, AI and mobile devices, having real-time situational awareness is far easier than ever before.  In fact, today the challenge is not how to do it, but what to do with the massive volume of data that can be provided.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Competition, Artificial Intelligence and Balloons

W. Edward Deming taught that quality is achieved by measuring as much as possible and reducing variations, and reducing variation is achieved by improving the system, not just pieces.  Japan widely adopted Deming's philosophies in the 1950s and became the 2nd biggest economy in the world.  Quality improvement didn't decrease jobs in Japan, it increased jobs.

AI now has the ability to expand and codify Deming's philosophies - to take them to the next level. AI can improve and standardize decision making based on logic, rather than the fear of missing objectives, bonuses or losing one's job.  It can continuously monitor for quality against specifications by analyzing streams of real-time data coming from embedded sensors connected to the IIoT, IoT and IoA (internet of agriculture). This means companies that are aggressive early adopters of these digital technologies will have more knowledge, higher quality and significant competitive advantages, which means more demand for their products, sales, customer service, manufacturing, distribution, etc.  It also means aggressive adopters will likely generate more jobs.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

What Artificial Intelligence Can Teach Us

Most of us understand that artificial intelligence (AI) offers opportunities for productivity improvements in the form of speed, automation, standardized actions and responses, plus the opportunity for continuous improvements via machine learning. These opportunities are enabled by data inputs that are analyzed and processed through AI algorithms that execute a desired decision and action. For all of the great capabilities and benefits that AI can provide, there is also a potential dark side. AI solutions can easily codify our prejudices, bias, gender stereotypes and promote injustices intentionally or unintentionally. This threat, as real and serious as it is, can also be seen as an opportunity to evaluate who we are, what we want the future to look like, and then codify a better tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The 7 Imperatives for Thriving During Digital Transformation

Center for Digital Intelligence
These days it's not hard to identify the challenges organizations are facing during today's rapid business and digital transformation.  What's more difficult is knowing how to succeed.  The following recommendations are the result of our analysis after interviewing 37 executives and over 80 high tech professionals involved in digital technologies.
  1. Develop and monitor your own digital mindset and that of your organization's: Understand the need to continuously upgrade and update your own thinking, as well as your organization’s.  Accept that digital technologies and a connected world are here to stay, and that the path to business success resides in them. Understand digital technologies and their capabilities, and rethink every aspect of your business, and business strategy, with a digital mindset.
  2. Recognize the role culture plays in being successful in three key areas: your leadership, institutional and customer culture.  Purposely develop a digital culture that accepts and embraces the rapid pace of change that comes with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Analyst Kevin Benedict Interviews OSIsoft's Sam Lakkundi on Industrial IoT Platforms


What makes an Industrial Internet of Things platform different from any other IoT platform?  How is real-time data treated differently from data that can be archived and analyzed later?  What role does AI play in IIoT?  All these questions and more are covered in this interview with OSIsoft's Sam Lakkundi.  Enjoy!



Read more articles and watch more interviews at C4DIGI.com.

************************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
President, Principal Analyst, Futurist, the Center for Digital Intelligence™
Website C4DIGI.com
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin's YouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Technologies
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Time Continuums as a Competitive Advantage in Digital Transformation

We humans have a finite speed at which we think, analyze and make decisions that is largely determined by biology, chemistry and physics.  These limitations were not a problem when business was conducted largely by face-to-face interactions with other humans.  Today, however, in the digital age, businesses must operate in “digital” and ultimately in “future” time. Here’s a closer look at these different time continuums:

Human time: Time governed by our biological and mental limitations as humans. We can only focus on a small set of data before our minds are overwhelmed.  When important decisions must be made, our brains need time, significant time, to weigh all the variables, pros and cons and possible outcomes in order to arrive at a good decision.  In times of high stress when making fast decisions is required, many of us don’t perform at our peak.  In addition, weak humans that we are, we need sleep.  We are not always available; we require daily downtime in order to function.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Precision as a Competitive Advantage in Digital Transformation

Throughout history military leaders have suffered through the "fog of war," where they desperately sought answers to six key questions:

• Where are my enemies?
• Where are my friends?
• Where are my forces?
• Where are my materials and supplies?
• What capabilities are available now and at what location?
• What are the environmental conditions?

These “unknowns” impacted the strategies and tactics military leaders employed. Their time and energy as leaders were heavily focused on defending themselves against these unknowns.

Speed as a Competitive Advantage in Digital Transformation

The concept of speed as an advantage is not new. Over the course of 700 years, the Romans built and maintained a system of roads extending over 55,000 miles to enable speedy communications and the quick movement of troops across the vast expanse of the empire.

What’s different today is that digital technologies have warped our perception of time. As an example, a person might say they live five minutes from town, but that can have widely different meanings based on whether they were referring to walking or driving a car.  Digital technologies compress our perception of time and space while expanding our expectations of what can be accomplished in a given time. We expect to complete the equivalent of one hour of shopping in a supermarket in one minute online.  These changes significantly impact the way businesses must operate in a digital era to compete and remain relevant.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Culture as a Competitive Advantage in Digital Transformation

The human work of solving problems, facing challenges and overcoming obstacles tends to share a common goal: creating stable, secure and predictable environments. The tendency for most humans is that once we solve a challenge, we want to be done with it.  That propensity, however, does not fit with today’s reality of perpetual change. 

In the digital business world, organizations have no choice but to operate in an unclear, uncertain and continuously shifting environment that requires a new mindset and approach to formulating business strategies.  Digital winners recognize that change is part of the game, and that they need to develop ways to exploit continuous ambiguity.   In fact, in our surveys of high-tech professionals, when we asked how long they thought digital transformation initiatives would last, about one-third of the surveyed technology professionals answered “forever” – and as we all know, forever is a long, long time.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Digital Technologies and the Compression of Time and Distance

Professor Paul Virilio, a philosopher of speed, urbanist and cultural theorist, wrote at length about the impact of speed on society.  He wrote that speed compresses both time and distance. Where once it took a letter 6 months to get to the other side of the world, an email can now arrive in seconds.  Today's near real-time communications has changed how nations are governed, markets operate and commerce is conducted.  The distance and time involved in communications has been compressed into seconds.

Commanders of Roman armies could once estimate the day and time of battle based upon their soldiers ability to march 20 miles per day on purpose built stone roads.  Today, however, a ballistic missile can be launched and reach the other side of the earth in minutes.   As a result, nations and their military commanders must now prepare to make critical decisions in mere seconds rather than taking days, weeks or months to deliberate.  That's a big deal.  In the past, an army could retreat and give up distance for time.  In the example of the roman army, an opponent could retreat and separate themselves by 100 miles to give them the security of 5 days of time.  Today 100 miles means only a matter of seconds.  The distance and time of military conflicts today has been compressed to milliseconds.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Patterns, Platforms, Competitive Advantages and Automation

Any significant business process that can be documented and best practices identified - will be.  Any defined process that can be standardized - will be.  Standardized processes that can be codified and automated (through robotic software automation), will be - if the volume justifies it.  If the process is repeatable across many companies it will be offered as a shared service on a platform in a cloud.

If you agree with these technology maxims, then you are likely to agree that most existing business processes offer little competitive advantages in the long run, and the advantages of new innovations are fleeting so must be captured early.  They will eventually become part of a shared services platform followed and used by your competitors.  For example, 20 and 40 foot shipping containers offered a competitive advantage for shipping companies and ports that were early adopters, but only for a very short period of time.  After a quick few years the entire world standardized on them and the competitive advantage disappeared.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Making the Hard Decisions in Digital Transformation

How can an organization with decades worth of accumulated ERP customizations and configurations, IT systems and customized software applications digitally transform fast enough to keep up with the rapidly changing behaviors of digital customers? That is a hard question most organizations are wrestling with today.  Often complex custom IT environments served a purpose in a past era, but today where IT speed and agility are required, they serve as anchors restraining an organization from moving forward and digitally transforming fast enough to compete.

Like a CEO that closes down or sells a profitable business unit because it no longer fits with where the organization is going, CTOs and CIOs must rapidly shut down or replace IT systems and processes that no longer support the reality of today, or the vision of the future based on the best information available today - not yesterday. Keeping an outdated IT system or business process for the purpose of achieving a positive return on the original investment is a strategy based on pride, not logic.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The Center for Digital Intelligence Interview: IoT Platforms with Hitachi's Rob Tiffany

I had the honor of interviewing and disrupting the vacation of Hitachi's CTO for Industrial IoT, Rob Tiffany today.  In this interview we talk all about IoT platforms, big data analytics, architectures, digital twins and solution stacks for industrial IoT.  I learned a lot and hope you will too.



Read more from Kevin Benedict here:

  1. Digital Transformation and the New Rules for Start-Ups
  2. Digital Transformation and Leadership Development
  3. Digital Transformation and Competitive Decision-Making
  4. Combinatorial Nature of Digital Technologies and Legos
  5. Digital Transformation from 40,000 feet
  6. Winning in Chaos - Digital Leaders
  7. 13 Recommended Actions for Digital Transformation in Retail
  8. Mistakes in Retail Digital Transformation
  9. Winning Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  10. Digital Transformation - Mindset Differences
  11. Analyzing Retail Through Digital Lenses
  12. Digital Thinking and Beyond!
  13. Measuring the Pace of Change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  14. How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards
  15. To Bot, or Not to Bot
  16. Oils, Bots, AI and Clogged Arteries
  17. Artificial Intelligence Out of Doors in the Kingdom of Robots
  18. How Digital Leaders are Different
  19. The Three Tsunamis of Digital Transformation - Be Prepared!
  20. Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months
  21. You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
  22. Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
  23. Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  24. Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  25. Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
  26. Technology Must Disappear in 2017
  27. Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
  28. In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
  29. Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
  30. Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
  31. Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
  32. Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
  33. Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
  34. Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
  35. Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
  36. Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
  37. 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
  38. The End Goal of Digital Transformation
  39. Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
  40. Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
  41. The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
  42. From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
  43. Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
  44. Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
  45. Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
  46. A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
  47. Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
  48. Digital Transformation - A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
  49. Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
  50. Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
  51. Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
  52. Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time
************************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
President, Principal Analyst, Futurist, the Center for Digital Intelligence™
Website C4DIGI.com
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin's YouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Technologies
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

New Rules for Start-Ups in the Age of Digital Transformation

I have had the opportunity to work for and around a good many start-ups during the course of my career.  Often the start-up founders would simply define a problem, develop a solution and launch a company.  The marketing department would then do their very best to identify the individuals in each target company that experienced the problem and had a budget to fix it.  This was always a challenging task, but it is even harder today.

Today, start-ups must not only identify a problem that needs solved, but they must compete against "digital transformation" initiatives in both the business and IT organizations that are trying to reduce complexity through the elimination of applications, customized software solutions, IT systems, multiple instances of ERPs and vendors.

The goal of many organizations today is to simplify the IT environment, and to make business processes much faster and agile.  I see many companies seeking to standardize on a handful of platforms like Salesforce.com, SAP, Adobe, Ariba, SuccessFactor, etc. Too many systems in an IT inventory, means too much complexity and the increased risk that data will be compromised, and that systems will be too expensive to maintain, secure and upgrade.  In this age of fast changing digital consumer behaviors, flexibility and simplicity equal organizational speed to keep up with their markets.

What is the answer for start-ups?  Start-up solutions must appeal to the digital transformation goals of their target customers.  It means their solution must be cloud based and automatically upgraded to stay aligned with customer's core platforms and systems.  It means offering artificial intelligence enabled robotic process automation, chatbots and machine learning that can improve predictability, simplify complexity and eliminate troublesome areas of service and performance.  It must not result in any additional layers of complexity, rather new solutions need to solve big problems, while at the same time reducing complexity, and increasing agility and the operational tempo of the business.



************************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
President, Principal Analyst, Futurist, the Center for Digital Intelligence™
Website C4DIGI.com
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin's YouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Technologies
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Digital Transformation and Leadership Development

I have read several articles recently about projects designed to teach digital systems to think more like humans.  For example one article was about teaching chatbot systems to communicate empathy to humans.  It seems ironic that we are developing digital systems to think more like humans, while at the same time much of my work is focused on teaching humans how to think more like and about digital systems and their capabilities.  Let me explain.

Competitive battles in most industries today are increasingly centered on digital technologies and digital strategies, and as a result, it benefits leaders to have a deep understanding of how digital systems work, and how the impact of new digital innovations will change the behaviors of customers, competitors and partners.

A few of the areas that I think leaders should really understand are:

1.     Simple programming concepts and computer logic
2.     Small World, social networks and swarming theories
3.     Industry and technology data exchange standards
4.     Platforms, Cloud computing, Containers and System thinking
5.     Internet and network architecture and design
6.     Big Data and real-time analytics
7.     GPS, GIS and Mapping
8.     Mobile and wireless technologies
9.     Sensors, embedded wireless devices and IoT
10.  Data and device security and authentication
11.  Databases and data lifecycle management
12.  Online catalogs, shopping carts and digital payments
13.  Digital marketing, personalization and contextual relevance
14.  Digital content and delivery: websites, blogs, videos, podcasts, social media (e.g. Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)
15.  Robotics, automation, AI and machine learning
16.  Virtual and augmented reality

There are many more items that could be added to this short list, but I hope you get the idea.  If we can agree that digital technologies are fundamental to our future success, then we must understand them, or at least their capabilities.

To read more about how digital transformation is impacting strategies read this article 15 Rules for Winning During the Age of Digital Transformation.
************************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
President, Principal Analyst, Futurist, the Center for Digital Intelligence™
Website C4DIGI.com
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin's YouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Technologies
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.