Nov 16

Wonders & Blunders: Your Gloves Are Taking You Out to Dinner Tonight

 OUR CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE WEEK’S NEWS

Happy Wonders & Blunders Wednesday!
 
This week we enjoyed an article comparing AI to electricity, detailing all the industries and everyday tasks it will change in the near future. The photo and reference of Rosie, the Jetson’s robot, sealed the deal for this story’s addition to the newsletter.
 
While we’re eagerly awaiting the Winter Olympics, another story that caught our eye is how Visa is creating gloves that you can use to pay for purchases in South Korea’s Olympic venues.
 
And as we watch bitcoin’s value roller coaster in the news, it’s important to remember that the technology that powers and created bitcoin, blockchain, is not the same thing as bitcoin.
 
Check it out!
 
Is Artificial Intelligence the New Electricity?
Andrew Ng, Stanford professor and founder of the Google Brain Deep Learning Project, declared AI as the new electricity in a recent keynote speech at an Artificial Intelligence conference. In the same way electricity changed every industry 100 year ago, AI will change every industry in the near future, such as in the advancement of home robots, automated taxis and chatbots.
 
Deep learning is defined as when computers “learn from datasets to perform functions, instead of just executing the specific tasks it was programmed to do.” This AI development took 30 years of refining to improve speech recognition to the point of today’s voice activated assistants such as Siri and Alexa. The next development was “computer vision,” describing how computers read photographs and then categorize or identify objects in them, which is a feature already used on some eCommerce sites such as Alibaba.
 
But AI still has a ways to go before many businesses adopt it. “Around 40% of firms are thinking about it, 40% experiment with it and only 20% actually adopt AI in a few areas,” because “41% of companies surveyed are not convinced they can see a return on their investment, 30% said the business case isn’t quite there and the rest said they don’t have the skills to handle AI.”
 
Olympic Smart Glove Service
Visa and Lotte card (South Korea’s main department store) are partnering to create gloves with an embedded NFC chip to allow payment with the gloves, for the February 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeognChang, South Korea. The gloves will allow users to pay for items without removing their gloves, so they won’t need to use a smartphone or grab a card from their wallet, keeping their hands warm in the cold weather. A commemorative Olympics pin and stickers will also allow payment via a NFC chip. A prepaid amount of money will be available on all items.
 
Visa is the official Olympic games payment partner and is managing the payment infrastructure and network of all the Olympics venues, such as the 1000 contactless point-of-sale terminals that accept mobile and these wearable payments.
 
Do you think wearable payment tech such as this will catch on soon, if this test-drive in a hacker hot-zone is a success?
 
Emoji Index
Blockchain is not just Bitcoin
You’re not alone if you’ve noticed a disparity between executives at big banks telling the public that bitcoin is a “fraud,” while their own companies’ R&D departments are working with blockchain technology. Tim Culpan of Bloomberg Gadfly gives a great description of the differences between the Bitcoin currency and the blockchain technology behind it, technology that is useful for many purposes in addition to digital currency. In essence, he describes how one person can be pro-blockchain and anti-bitcoin at the same time.
 
Blockchain can be used for a distributed public ledger, and for ledgers that are not public, such as the “atomic” transactions Singapore’s R3 consortium is working on that changes ownership of the monetary amount and financial security at the same time. Credit Suisse demonstrated a digital ledger in use for syndicated loans last year, and JP Morgan is looking into “smart” contracts.
 
The term “blockchain tourist” was used and described when a company just talks about blockchain because it is a trendy topic that will get covered in the news, while little actual work using blockchain is being accomplished.
 
» IN THE NEWS
Next Technology wrote about the services of Intrinio in its recent article, “Learning the ‘Secrets’ of Finances.”
» BOTTOM LINE: Five Strategies to Successfully Communicate an ICO (Part 2)
Our earlier post detailed key steps to identify your audiences, create differentiated messaging and focus on building and maintaining trust to successfully communicate an ICO. Let’s now focus our attention to timing, planning and execution in the second part of this series.
»FEATURED CASE STUDY: CCOE
KCD PR was selected to promote the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE), a nonprofit organization that promotes alignment and collaboration within the cyber community.
 
KCD PR developed a comprehensive public relations strategy by first thoroughly understanding the nonprofit organization space, then establishing a set of measurable objectives and communications guidelines to guide the overall strategy that would help CCOE position San Diego as the hub for all things cyber-focused.

 

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