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jerryking : complex_problems   6

What’s Next for Company Chatbots - WSJ
By Sara Castellanos
Sept. 24, 2019 5:30 am ET
Early corporate adopters of chatbots, finding that the technology has saved them money, are working to improve them and exploring other areas where they could be put to use.

Chatbots use artificial-intelligence-based algorithms to understand and answer text or voice questions from customers and sometimes employees. Companies such as TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. , Ernst & Young LLP, Progressive Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. have rolled out chatbots in recent years and say they are seeing tangible benefits.

“It’s a key part of our strategy and we’ll continue to invest in it,” said Vijay Sankaran, chief information officer at brokerage firm TD Ameritrade.

Since it began offering text- and voice-based chatbots to clients in 2017, TD Ameritrade hasn’t needed to hire any new human agents, even though it has added many more clients, Mr. Sankaran said. Chatbots can answer basic questions about trade statuses and resetting passwords, while humans help with more complex problems related to taxes and beneficiaries.

Insurer Progressive offers text-based chatbots on Facebook Messenger and in apps; it plans to roll one out on its website later this year. Chatbots are expected to save the company about $5 million this year%
algorithms  artificial_intelligence  bots  chat  chatbots  complex_problems  conversational_commerce  IBM 
september 2019 by jerryking
Flood. Rinse. Repeat: The costly cycle that must end
May 07, 2017 | The Globe and Mail |GLENN MCGILLIVRAY, managing director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

Once again, homes located alongside a Canadian river have flooded, affected homeowners are shocked, the local government is wringing its hands, the respective provincial government is ramping up to provide taxpayer-funded disaster assistance and the feds are deploying the Armed Forces.

In Canada, it is the plot of the movie Groundhog Day, or the definition of insanity attributed to Albert Einstein: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.....First, a homeowner locates next to the river, oftentimes because of the view (meaning a personal choice is being made). Many of these homes are of high value.

Then the snow melts, the ice jams or the rain falls and the flood comes. Often, as is the case now, the rain is characterized by the media as being incredible, far outside the norm. Then a scientific or engineering analysis later shows that what happened was not very exceptional.

These events are not caused by the rain, they are caused by poor land-use decisions, among other public-policy foibles. This is what is meant when some say there are no such things as natural catastrophes, only man-made disasters.

Finally, the province steps in with disaster assistance then seeks reimbursement from the federal government through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements. In any case, whether provincial or federal, taxpayers are left holding the bag.....So what is the root of the problem? Though complex problems have complex causes and complex solutions, one of the causes is that the party making the initial decision to allow construction (usually the local government) is not the party left holding the bag when the flood comes.

Just as homeowners have skin in the game through insurance deductibles and other measures, local governments need a financial disincentive to act in a risky manner. At present, municipalities face far more upside risk than downside risk when it comes to approving building in high-risk hazard zones. When the bailout comes from elsewhere, there is no incentive to make the right decision – the lure of an increased tax base and the desire not to anger local voters is all too great.

Reducing natural disaster losses in Canada means breaking the cycle – taking a link out of the chain of events that leads to losses.

Local governments eager for growth and the tax revenue that goes with it need to hold some significant portion of the downside risk in order to give them pause for thought.
floods  catastrophes  natural_calamities  design  insurance  public_policy  disasters  relief_recovery_reconstruction  sustainability  municipalities  skin_in_the_game  disincentives  Albert_Einstein  complex_problems  land_uses  moral_hazards  man-made  hazards  downside_risks 
may 2017 by jerryking
Canada a new technology hotbed? If so, we need to commit to it - The Globe and Mail
KHANJAN DESAI
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 14, 2015

the end goal should be about making Canada the centre of gravity for another ecosystem.

In the words of Wayne Gretzky, we need to skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.

The hardware opportunity has already become mainstream, and other ecosystems have already pounced on it, but Canada isn’t far behind. We are creating companies to solve complex problems in the health-medical and wearable-technology spaces, and applying complex nanotechnologies to revolutionize conventional markets.

Nanotechnology engineering graduates from the University of Waterloo are now starting companies at the same pace as any other program at the university, and a venture fund for innovations exclusively in the quantum domain was just created in Waterloo. Wearable-technology and machine-learning startups are booming, with the University of Toronto alumni leading the charge, and we’re just getting started. The Creative Destruction Lab is launching a separate stream to support machine-learning startups and Velocity recently launched the Velocity Foundry program to house startups that build physical products.

If Canada is going to become the hotbed for wearable technology or create a Quantum Valley in the Waterloo region, we need to commit to it. It’s much better to be extremely good at one thing than be mediocre at many things.
Neverfrost  start_ups  uWaterloo  uToronto  Silicon_Valley  CDL  Canada  Y_Combinator  ecosystems  wearables  nanotechnology  machine_learning  Velocity  Pablo_Picasso  widgets  Kitchener-Waterloo  quantum_computing  complex_problems 
august 2015 by jerryking
Corporate sponsors of the arts missing creative opportunities - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 16 2015 | The Globe and Mail | TODD HIRSCH.
...the necessary bridge between creativity and innovation is collaboration – the act of allowing someone else’s experience to change the way you see the world....
It’s time to entirely rethink corporate sponsorship of the arts. Forget the silly logo on the back of the program or the complimentary tickets to the play. What artists can offer is much more valuable: a chance to peer into the mind of a choreographer, a singer, a set designer, a writer. How do they solve complex problems? And what insights can this bring to corporate leaders who are trying to solve problems of their own?

In the end it comes down to something neurologists know very well. If you want to become a creative person, you have to force your brain to see new patterns, unfamiliar terrain and uncomfortable situations. Sitting in a boardroom full of people with the same university degree and the same clothes (think dull blue suits and boring shoes) will do nothing to foster creative, innovative visionaries.

Why don’t artists offer those corporate suits something really valuable? The pitch should be: “Give us $100,000 and we’ll show you how we solve problems and design solutions. You’ll think we’re crazy – and quite possibly we are – but if you allow yourselves the chance, you’ll start to change the way your brain operates. Creativity can’t be taught, but it can be developed.”

Companies can transform the way their leaders think.
Todd_Hirsch  arts  philanthropy  branding  creativity  artists  critical_thinking  skepticism  problem_solving  sponsorships  art  creative_renewal  ideality  collaboration  rethinking  missed_opportunities  heterogeneity  crazy_ideas  radical_ideas  creative_types  neurologists  complex_problems 
january 2015 by jerryking
Everything I know I learned at Western, plus a little extra
From a chemistry prof whom I will not embarrass by naming him — my career as a chemist was short, lasting about halfway into
second year, and its trajectory was none of his fault — I learned a set of procedures for solving complex problems. Write down what you know. Write down what you’re trying to figure out. Write down the tools you’ve mastered that might get you from here to there. It’s not a technique, really, just an attitude toward the known and unknown, which is why it’s all I’ve retained from my failed years as a science student.
I’ve learned that politicians who approach problems with the same attitude — What do you have? What do you need? How can you
get from here to there? — are likelier to succeed than the ones
who hope to coast on “charisma” or “electability” or, Lord save us,“vision.” At school, the kids who sat at the front of the lecture hall and closed the library every night actually did better. The same is true in life.
Paul_Wells  UWO  problem_solving  unknowns  information_gaps  charisma  attitudes  politicians  visionaries  electability  5_W’s  complex_problems 
january 2013 by jerryking
The Speechmaker: How Bill Gates Got Ready for Harvard - WSJ.com
June 8, 2007 (Link to Eric Reguly criticism of how Gates is addressing the problems of agriculture)

The Speechmaker: How Bill Gates Got Ready for Harvard
Warren Buffett Offered Tips on Delivery and Tone; A Dropout Gets a Degree By ROBERT A. GUTH

In the analytical style for which he became famous in high-tech circles, Mr. Gates recommended a four-point plan for attacking a complex problem: determine a goal, find the "highest-leverage approach," discover the ideal technology for that approach, "and in the meantime, make the smartest application of the technology that you already have."
public_speaking  speeches  preparation  billgates  Harvard  commencement  complexity  Microsoft  problem_solving  Communicating_&_Connecting  dropouts  leverage  complex_problems  return_on_effort 
may 2012 by jerryking

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