SOGETI UK BLOG

26thjan

In my last blog, I wrote about “How to build a doctor“.  The premise of the blog, is that experts (such as Doctors), can be replaced by Big Data, Machine Intelligence and an Interface.  While this is absolutely true, is there anything that can stop us all from being replaced by machines?

Approximately two decades ago, Garry Kasparov was beaten in a chess competition by IBM’s Deep Blue.  Kasparov was the World Chess Champion and is still considered the greatest chess player of all time.  After the match, Kasparov said that he took comfort from the fact that Deep Blue was no more “intelligent” than a programmable alarm clock.

26thjan-2

Kasparov realised that he would have performed much better had he had the same access to millions of chess moves, just like Deep Blue.  If this support was good enough for machines, why not humans?  Kasparov came up with the idea of chess where a machine aides a human rather than the two competing against each other.  Freestyle chess was born and competitors can play without support, for a computer or as a “Centaur” (Human and Computer together).  In freestyle chess tournaments, Centaur’s regularly beat computers and the current “best” chess player is actually a team called Intagrand (a team of humans and several chess programs).

Did this diminish the skill of chess players?  Well, there are now more than twice the amount of chess grandmasters, then when Deep Blue beat Kasparov and anecdotal evidence shows that there are more chess players at tournaments than ever before.  And more and more grandmasters train with computers, than ever before.

Machine Intelligence on its own, (with well-trained models) can make great decisions quickly.  However, if your business needs to decide strategy and make big decision that change the business direction, you need “Centaurs”.  Humans aided by Decision Support, enabled by Big Data are the new business Grandmasters.

 

John McIntyre AUTHOR:
John McIntyre is a Consultant/Solution Architect for Sogeti Ireland since 2013. In this role, he is responsible for designing solutions for Sogeti customers. Previously, John has worked for many different Consulting companies, both big and small, including companies like DEC/Compaq, Sage Technologies and CapricornVentis, over the last 18 years. With these companies he has worked with many customers in Finance, Pharma, Government, Health, Retail and Tech among others. In 2007 he setup his own company, Hypertech, and was a County Enterprise Award Runner Up in 2008. In more recent years, John has advised CTO’s, Directors and Company Owners as a Solution Architect. John moved to Sogeti because he wanted to work in a large innovative organization. He is a Microsoft developer and advocate. He is interested in Data, the Cloud and trying to remove the complexity from IT solutions and development.

Posted in: Automation Testing, Big data, Digital strategy, Human Interaction Testing, Innovation, IT strategy, Research, Testing and innovation, User Experience, User Interface      
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FullOrange

My role in Sogeti is to build solutions to collect and analyse data for our customers.  We are presenting the knowledge in Big Data to people who would not have the experience and ability to process this information in the past.  Now we present this knowledge in understandable ways and even say what the “Next Best Action” is.

How far can we take the idea of collecting and analysing information, and informing people what their options are?  For example, could we replace a Lawyer or Doctor, with a Machine?  Can we replace a human who uses their experiences and training, with data and an interface?  Will you be replaced by technology?

For the purposes of this blog post, a Doctor does not only have the letters “Dr.” in front of their name.  What you need to be concerned about is “Am I a Data Bank?”

Step 1. We need data.  Big Data.

WInteractive_Symptom_Checkerhen I go to my Doctor’s clinic today, my doctor will diagnose the ailment and immediately look-up www.patient.co.uk .  This website holds information on most medical conditions and allows you to search via its “”.  The doctor prints the webpage and tells me to “read that”.

These days, a lot of people wear fitness trackers like watches and other cool wearable’s.  I have a FitBit. Wearable’s are devices that collect data about us. For example, a weighing scale can measure my weight and tell me how fat I am.

Google tracks search history of users.  Social Media sites collect information about how people feel, in the form of comments.

Check.  We have relevant data and we are collecting more all of the time.

Step 2. Build a machine that can learn.

If you buy a book on Amazon, you get the list “Customers who bought this item also bought”.  Amazon does not generate this list from product categories.  This is machine learning.  Enough data has been generated to train a Machine Learning model, to detect trends, to predict what you might also want to buy, if you are buying this item.

Amazon collects so much information and are so smart in how they can make it work for them, they can predict what a site visitor will be interested in and what is the probability that they will purchase.  Amazon can start to ship an item to you, before you have purchased the item.  Machine Learning!

Check.  Machines are already learning.

Step 3. Build an interface you can talk to.

Cortana and Siri are Virtual assistants on your phones and computers.  You can ask them a question and they will answer it.  Try “Hey Cortana,
tell me a joke”.  Cortana will respond with a terrible joke.

powerBIPowerBI comes with Natural Language Search.  In the “World Bank Indicators” example, type “Compare European Union and US GDP per year”.  A chart is displayed with the results to your question (even a badly worded one like mine).

Check.  We can already talk to our phones, TVs, computers,etc.

Is this all we need?  Maybe this is a bit “cold” but it’s accurate.  People might want a human to tell them they are OK, talk to them about the weather, “did you see the football at the weekend?” But a doctor’s real job is to diagnose and treat. So building a “doctor” is possible.

Who is the doctor-to-be-replaced in your company?

 

John McIntyre AUTHOR:
John McIntyre is a Consultant/Solution Architect for Sogeti Ireland since 2013. In this role, he is responsible for designing solutions for Sogeti customers. Previously, John has worked for many different Consulting companies, both big and small, including companies like DEC/Compaq, Sage Technologies and CapricornVentis, over the last 18 years. With these companies he has worked with many customers in Finance, Pharma, Government, Health, Retail and Tech among others. In 2007 he setup his own company, Hypertech, and was a County Enterprise Award Runner Up in 2008. In more recent years, John has advised CTO’s, Directors and Company Owners as a Solution Architect. John moved to Sogeti because he wanted to work in a large innovative organization. He is a Microsoft developer and advocate. He is interested in Data, the Cloud and trying to remove the complexity from IT solutions and development.

Posted in: Data structure, Innovation, IT strategy, Open Innovation, Quality Assurance, Research, Social Aspects, Social media, test data management, User Experience, User Interface      
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Image credit: socialmediadata.comThe media consistently warn us about sharing our data and warn us about organisations using our data. Even sharing data with your own Government is considered bad; but why?

Of course organisations need to safeguard our data and use it responsibly. We also need these organisations to be upfront about how they will use our data. However, nobody ever points out the advantages; and we just hear about the drawbacks and the problems.

Some years ago, I started my own company and the Irish Government saw enough potential to give us some small grants to help us on our way. To apply for the grant, we had to write letters, giving permission to other government departments to share my records with the government department, which would give us the grant (to verify that I was not in receipt of any other grants, social welfare or similar). Think of the inefficiency, cost, delays, etc… because of this process. This kind of government inefficiency costs me money, because it comes from the income tax that I pay.

If I have to pay tax for inefficiencies, why don’t we share information to increase efficiency and reduce my tax bill?  Part of my tax bill could give access to my personal data. I feel that access to my wallet is as invasive as access to my data.

Since my data is so valuable, I would consider giving access to my data if organisations compensate me with discounts and incentives. I would even choose to give my business to organisations who value my data more and treat it with respect. Instead of a Business to Customer relationship, we could have a Customer to Customer relationship.

There are people out there who say that trusting any organisation with our data is not very wise as organisations will not store it safely and will misuse it. However, how many of us share our lives on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Who “Checks in” to locations on social media? How many pictures of your children do you share on social media?  How many organisations have you given access to your credit card details?  If you have any social media accounts, within a couple of minutes, I should be able to find out: Where you work, how much you earn (roughly), where you like to go on holiday, where you went to school, what your interests are, how many times you checked into Starbucks and so on.

So, let us have a proper conversation about personal data and how it can help governments and organisations and how valuable it could be.

To read the original post and add comments, please visit the SogetiLabs blog: Why not use Data as a currency?

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John McIntyre AUTHOR:
John McIntyre is a Consultant/Solution Architect for Sogeti Ireland since 2013. In this role, he is responsible for designing solutions for Sogeti customers. Previously, John has worked for many different Consulting companies, both big and small, including companies like DEC/Compaq, Sage Technologies and CapricornVentis, over the last 18 years. With these companies he has worked with many customers in Finance, Pharma, Government, Health, Retail and Tech among others. In 2007 he setup his own company, Hypertech, and was a County Enterprise Award Runner Up in 2008. In more recent years, John has advised CTO’s, Directors and Company Owners as a Solution Architect. John moved to Sogeti because he wanted to work in a large innovative organization. He is a Microsoft developer and advocate. He is interested in Data, the Cloud and trying to remove the complexity from IT solutions and development.

Posted in: Behaviour Driven Development, Big data, e-Commerce, Open Data, privacy, Security, Technology Outlook      
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