Intentional Future Making

I attented Tech Titans sponsored “Intentional Future Making” event at UTD. Speakers were Anne Balsamo, Dean of UTD School ATEC, Gwen Ishmael, Escalent SVP, and Ted Farrington, Kalypso Fellow. Dr Balsamo discussed the importance of researching culture and human behavior for innovation. Ms Ishmael shared use cases on digital ethnographic research, and how it applies in today’s technology consumption. Dr Farrington discussed deductive and inductive scenario methods, and how it was successful at major corporate R&D. Panel followed with questions from audience. I asked about the challenges facing ethnographic & R&D researches that are grounded in solid academic principles, while many startups jump quickly on the next idea and may be impatient for timely R&D. The challenge exists and innovators must realize the importance of timely research before jumping onto their idea. Panelists shared their insight on the criticality of research to prevent failed implementations, but at the same time, researchers are able to adapt to the new business requirements and are providing findings at lesser time while cautioning innovators against the risk of fast findings through incomplete research.

Dallas Innovation Task Force Q2

Just attended the second quarter task force meeting this year on innovation at Dallas run by the Dallas Regional Chamber. Special guests were Japanese delegates of CULCON (United States – Japan Conference on Cultural & Educational Interchange). The topics and forum discussions centered around AI and ML in addition to a lively discussion on the differences in AI adoption, opportunities, partnerships, and privacy among Japan, India, China, and the US.

Exciting Periods Ahead for Tech

I think that the remainder of the year and the following year will continue to be an exciting period for IT. Hype of AI has toned down a little, and now we have more focus on applications. Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and recently Apple are showing more developer centric products. Just check all their recent announcements. Open source still rules and GitHub is still the go to place even after Microsoft’s acquisition. Startups keep popping up in all different places such as in Texas and not just the traditional states. IoT, ARM chips, and Maker tools keep getting cheaper for affordable proof of concepts. The lucky interns are landing summer jobs while the unlucky ones will have to be patient for other opportunities but can pick up new skills in the interim or enjoy family unions. On the other hand, there is not shortage of learning and wisdom leadership by the incumbent corporate employees. Overall, it is great to be in IT.

Gen Z in Corporate Strategy

In several forums on digital transformations that I attended in the last two years, I would ask the panelists on whether they are incorporating Generation Z millennials into their product development strategy. In such forums you never get a yes or no answer and that is understandably ok, but the silence prior to saying anything makes it clear. It takes an effort to think about it when it should not be. Digital first or mobile first strategy should begin by clustering customers (and employees because they can influence your customers) by generation (silent gen, boomers, X, Y, and Z). Spend more research in determining differences in behavior toward your current or future products. The Z generation could ultimately drop your product altogether, so it important to maintain such outlook and strategize accordingly.

AI should not perfect the human voice

Been thinking that machines must not perfect the human voice. That’s because racial and gender discrimination has hurt our generations for a very long time, so why make digital assistants such as Siri or Alexa speak in either a feminist, a masculine, a particular dialect, or in a certain voice? While we constantly interact with machines, would it make sense to discriminate by voice. I think it would be best that machines maintain a pure gender/accent-neutral voice that does not sound male or female. Make it neutral. That way we don’t add to the pain of discrimination that human races keep suffering all the time. One universal voice for AI that speaks all (or most) human languages without preferring one tone or dialect over the other. What do you all think?