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3009374-slide-image-4Who’s a better judge of character: a human or a computer? Turns out, it’s the computer. Stanford researchers have found that computers can judge personality traits more accurately than one’s friends and colleagues. In fact, artificial intelligence can draw inferences about a person as accurately as a spouse.

 

The study (conducted jointly by researchers at Stanford University and the University of Cambridge) compares the accuracy of human and computer-based personality judgments, using a sample of 86,220 volunteers who completed a 100-item personality questionnaire. People’s judgments were based on their familiarity with the judged individual, while the computer used digital signals – Facebook “likes.”

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100 likes beats human judgement
The idea was to see how closely a computer prediction could match the subject’s own scores on the five most basic personality dimensions: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. The results reveal that by mining a person’s Facebook “likes,” a computer was able to predict a person’s personality more accurately than most of their friends and family. Only a person’s spouse came close to matching the computer’s results.

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Computers’ average accuracy across the Big Five traits (red line) steadily grows with the number of Likes available on the participant’s profile (x axis). Computer models need only 100 Likes to outperform an average human judge in the present sample and a computer could more accurately predict the subject’s personality than a work colleague by analysing just 10 likes; more than a friend or a roommate with 70; a family member with 150; and a spouse with 300 likes.

A machine with social skills
So how does a machine out performs us in such a human skill? The main reason of course is their ability to retain and access large quantities of information, and analyse all this data through algorithms. That means that artificial intelligence has a potential to know us better than our closest companions do. Eventually we could (and probably will) end up with machines that are emotionally intelligent and socially skilled. Much like the movie Her.

It reminds me of experiment done by Researchers at the University of Manitoba. They designed an experiment to see how far people would go in obeying the commands of a robot. The test borrows from Stanley Milgram’s infamous obedience studies, in which many participants obeyed an authority figure who told them to administer painful electrical shocks to strangers.

About half of the people sort of do what the robot says. I wonder how the increase in social skills will influence our perception of robotic identities and our ability to accept being bossed around by a robot/algorithm.

To read the original post and add comments, please visit the SogetiLabs blog: Building Computers with Social Skills using Facebook “Likes”

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  2. Relating unrelated things with social data: Cyclists are more likely to own tablet computers
  3. Computers In, People Out
  4. Empathic Things: This Humanoid Robot Understands Your Emotions

Thomas van Manen AUTHOR:
Thomas van Manen is an analyst and digital/social strategist at VINT. His research focuses on the impact of Big Data, Mobile Information Technologies, Gamification and the Web of Things. He is also Chief Editor at the VINT research blog and was part of the HOT100 in 2012, a yearly selection of the most promising alumni in Media & Arts studies.

Posted in: Behaviour Driven Development, Business Intelligence, Developers, High Tech, Human Interaction Testing, Innovation, Open Innovation, Opinion, Socio-technical systems, Software Development, Technology Outlook, Testing and innovation, Transformation, User Experience      
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Interactive-notifications-let-you-take-action-right-from-the-lock-screen-and-Notification-Center-e1410861264801At the beginning of the year I wrote a blog titled “Contextual is the new Mobile” in which I wrote that contextual based interaction with devices is key to making the future of mobile work. The new mobile requires devices, services and information to be embedded (integrated into the environment), personalised (tailored to your needs), adaptive (change in response to you) and anticipatory (anticipating a users intentions without conscious mediation).

This idea fits into a broader shift in the way we interact with the web. It is increasingly less about pages and destinations, and more about personalised experiences built on an aggregation of many individual pieces of content from different sources. A development based on the diversity of screens in all shapes and sizes and widespread access to data from all kinds of sources through APIs and SDKs.

The notification is the interface

Dubbed the notification as the interface (12), this design framework is being built today. In IOS8 the notification center aims to be the most important screen on your iPhone with interactive notifications.

They’re not just simple announcements or calls to action anymore, they are actions in and of themselves. Android has similar functionality. Emerging platforms like Android Wear and Apple Watch are confirming these trends towards notifications being both content and action.

Some argue that the idea of having “a screen full of icons, representing independent apps, that need to be opened to experience them, is making less and less sense. The idea that these apps sit in the background, pushing content into a central experience, is making more and more sense.” I could not agree more.

Designing the notification layer

Notifications are often associated with information overload. However if we use the contextual framework from my previous post and design for relevancy and contextual triggers, (better) notifications could actually save users a lot of time and lower the pressure of having to deal with incoming information.

The primary design pattern here are cards as small containers for content that can come from any app to notify you and offer you a way to take action. Cards should be perceived as modular, bite-sized content containers designed for easy consumption and interaction on (small) screens. Apps such as Trello and Evernote have successfully introduced card-based interfaces. Then there are other formats who depend on cards as well, such as intelligent assistants like Microsoft Bing and Cortana, Google and Google Now and Apple Siri.

Designing the notifications, and the actions within them, will become an increasingly important part of product and service design. This requires breaking things down to individual packages of relevant content that can show up anywhere, on any device. This means that we will need to spend as much of our time on the outside-experience of an app (meaning designing the system experience), as on the experiences within the app itself.

To read the original post and add comments, please visit the SogetiLabs blog: CONTEXT, CARDS AND NOTIFICATION DESIGN IN MOBILE

Related Posts:

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  3. Policy has to answer strategy’s call in mobile
  4. Top 10 post: “Mobile is not apps or tools, Mobile is a strategy”

 

Thomas van Manen AUTHOR:
Thomas van Manen is an analyst and digital/social strategist at VINT. His research focuses on the impact of Big Data, Mobile Information Technologies, Gamification and the Web of Things. He is also Chief Editor at the VINT research blog and was part of the HOT100 in 2012, a yearly selection of the most promising alumni in Media & Arts studies.

Posted in: Business Intelligence, communication, Developers, Human Interaction Testing, Microsoft, mobile applications, mobile testing, Open Innovation      
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The analogy between the internet and the smart cities I wrote about a few weeks ago is not only based on the similarity in opportunities. Much like the internet, the smart city is also subject to social and cultural dilemmas like privacy and security. A city tracking its citizens, even for helpful reasons, impacts the personal liberty we count on in public spaces.

Smart city projects rely on sophisticated infrastructure that governments aren’t capable of creating themselves. The crucial software systems and networks that underlie city services will more likely lie in private hands. Smart grid utility-metering systems, for instance, collect and transmit detailed energy consumption information, which help consumers understand their energy use but can also reveal their habits. As such, they have come under fire for threatening privacy and civil liberties. This could be as simple as your Nest Thermostat being part of the Google Ecosystem, which could mean Google using your Nest data to serve better ads or. in the more extreme case, your Nest data ending up in the analytical software of NSA-like parties.

There are at least three classes of security and privacy issues that may result:

– Protecting the connected assets from attack;
– Protecting he data gathered from those assets from misuse;
– Protecting the privacy of individuals whose assets may be supplying the data (via, e.g. electrical meters or connected cars).

A big challenge for smart cities is combining with, and migrating away from, legacy systems throughout the city. At the end of the day, the smart city is only as good the software it uses. By this logic, a smart city is also only as secure and private as the software it uses.

When implemented coherently across the enterprise, SOA can enable significant enhancements to  business processes. In the current world of customer centricity, SOA can enable businesses to be more  responsive by adding new levels of flexibility: by adopting pivotal emerging technologies, by leveraging  mobile applications or by exploiting cloud computing.

However, SOA  requires a clear business vision and a way of governing its use across the enterprise before businesses are able to maximise the benefits that can be derived from the complex integration of services. From a testing perspective, too, the very flexibility SOA offers brings challenges of its own. The complex landscape of web services, middleware services and existing legacy services can render traditional testing approaches ineffective. So Sogeti has built a SOA testing approach specifically for the SOA architecture it services – modular, standardised, and driving re-use wherever possible. To find out more about our SOA Testing Capabilities, please take 5 minutes to watch our YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nDjWNK2cMc

Thomas van Manen AUTHOR:
Thomas van Manen is an analyst and digital/social strategist at VINT. His research focuses on the impact of Big Data, Mobile Information Technologies, Gamification and the Web of Things. He is also Chief Editor at the VINT research blog and was part of the HOT100 in 2012, a yearly selection of the most promising alumni in Media & Arts studies.

Posted in: architecture, Cloud, Digital, Innovation, Internet of Things, SMAC, SOA, Software testing, SogetiLabs      
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lock-on-computer-chip-privacy-internet-privacy-security-safety-oA lot of stats and figures point towards a future in which we will have somewhere in between 30 billion to 50 billion internet connected ‘devices’ in a few decades. A lot of these connections come from everyday objects that are slowly becoming mini-computers. Everything from your coffee maker to your garage door will go online. This generates a huge potential for coming up with new models, services, and ways for us to interact with these objects. However, it also poses a problem: increased vulnerability through an internet of un-maintained things.

And it’s already happening today. Security firm Proofpoint found that more than 100,000 smart devices–including a connected refrigerator–were used to send out more than 750,000 malicious emails between Dec. 23, 2013 and Jan. 6, 2014. Other embedded systems that got hacked  included gadgets, routers, media servers and televisions. Of course we humans are part of the problem. Hackers were able to access most of the gadgets because default passwords left the electronics devices exposed on public networks. This is something you can find out for yourself by playing around with Shodan for instance. Shodan is like a Google for objects that are connected to the web. It may not come as a surprise to you, but the results for doing a search on  “default password” delivers some interesting results. At a recent Def Con, a researcher looked at thirty home routers and broke into half of them — including some of the most popular and common brands.

This stuff is becoming more relevant everyday with every new connection to the web and every piece of computing that is getting embedded into hardware.

Hacked-NestWildly Insecure — And Often Unpatchable
In a article for Wired, Bruce Schneier, the Chief Technology Officer of Co3 Systems and security expert, rings the alarm bell. He thinks we’re at a crisis point now with regard to the security of embedded systems, because they are riddled with vulnerabilities, and there’s no good way to patch them:  “These systems are powered by specialized computer chips. These chips are cheap, and the profit margins slim. Aside from price, the way the manufacturers differentiate themselves from each other is by features and bandwidth. They typically put a version of the Linux operating system onto the chips, as well as a bunch of other open-source and proprietary components and drivers. They do as little engineering as possible before shipping, and there’s little incentive to update their “board support package” until absolutely necessary. The system manufacturers — usually original device manufacturers (ODMs) who often don’t get their brand name on the finished product — choose a chip based on price and features, and then build a router, server, or whatever. They don’t do a lot of engineering, either. The brand-name company on the box may add a user interface and maybe some new features, make sure everything works, and they’re done, too.”

His argument is that there is not enough incentive, expertise, or even ability to patch the software once it’s shipped. The chip manufacturer is busy shipping the next version of the chip, and the ODM is busy upgrading its product to work with this next chip. Maintaining the older chips and products just isn’t a priority. And this leaves users with a lot of insecure and connected pieces of hardware, making us increasingly vulnerable to hackers and other “bad guys”.

Should we program devices with a self-destruct button?
And while companies might know how to deal with security, the internet of things is also about regular consumers. The personal internet of things is about wearable computing, smart homes, connected cars and maybe even about computing ending up in your body for medical reasons. We could program embedded devices to automatically update or to at least demand a firmware upgrade every few years. Of course, this too becomes a problem if the company that made these devices no longer wants to patch them like Schneier points out.

Another way to approach this problem is posed by Dan Geer, a well-respected security researcher who also serves as chief security officer at the Central Intelligence Agency’s venture firm In-Q-Tel. One way to reduce the danger, Geer says, is to build devices that will eventually die. As things like thermostats, lightbulbs and smart trashcans come online and are expected to last much longer than a PC or a phone, maybe we need to design them to sign off at the point where they’re no longer supported with software patches. Geer also argues that Open Source could be a solution: “When a product hits its end-of-life, the company that made it should release it as open-source software, so that there’s at least a chance that it can be patched and updated.”

We do not want to build an internet of insecure things. Since we have such a large High-Tech and Security community here at Sogeti, I wonder what’s their point of view on this. Please share any thought in the comments.

 

Thomas van Manen AUTHOR:
Thomas van Manen is an analyst and digital/social strategist at VINT. His research focuses on the impact of Big Data, Mobile Information Technologies, Gamification and the Web of Things. He is also Chief Editor at the VINT research blog and was part of the HOT100 in 2012, a yearly selection of the most promising alumni in Media & Arts studies.

Posted in: High Tech, Internet of Things, Security, SMAC, Smart, SogetiLabs, Wearable technology      
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EPSON scanner imageWhat ever happened to gamification? The term gamification dropped a hybe-bomb on the IT-landscape at the end of 2011/early 2012. Luckily, today it’s a much more sustainable discussion on how to leverage game design mechanics and principles in a wide range of software applications. At VINT, I’ve done some research on how gamification works and how we can deploy this design methodology. In this post I want to share some thoughts.

Don’t believe the hype
To follow the curve of gamification in the past years you just have to look at how Gartner’s been talking about this trend. In 2011 Gartner claimed that more than 70% of the world’s largest 2,000 companies are expected to have deployed at least one gamified application by year-end 2014. That of course might still be true, but Gartner also shared a reality check afterwards saying 80% of current gamified enterprise applications will fail to meet their objectives, due largely to poor design. Other interesting stats are that the overall market for gamification tools, services, and applications is projected to be $5.5 billion by 2018 (M2 Research) and the fact that the enterprise industry vertical already accounts for 1/4th of all gamification vendor revenues (M2 Research). So how to achieve that?

Meaningful interaction with gamedesign
A lot of people think, “Hey, games are fun. Let’s apply gamedesign to work, and work will be fun!” Well, games are not all fun. Games are continuing loops of trial and error and a lot of failure. Games are 80% frustration, and the part that’s fun is the part when you start to notice that the time you invested in improving your skills is starting to pay off.

To me gamification is about a UX-design strategy to leverage (or borrow) some of the smart mechanics we know from gamedesign. And this is not only about points, badges and leaderboards (it should be called pointification if that is the case) but also about social aspects like teamplay or competition, structure and things like learning curves for improving skills and mastering stuff.

Learning curves and getting better
Good gamification sets short-term achievable goals, provides real-time feedback, and recognizes accomplishments – all of which drive engagement and motivation. In gamification, goals should be designed like this:

Schermafbeelding 2014-03-18 om 16.01.53

Good gamification provides real-time feedback and awards incentivize users to adapt to new processes and systems, creating loops to keep users coming back. In gamedesign this is called the compulsion loop.

Schermafbeelding 2014-03-18 om 16.04.08

A few tips
To close this first post on gamification I included a list of tips below this paragraph; please feel free to add your tips in the comments. When it comes to gamification use cases it usually boils down to the same usual suspects. So, please add any cool use cases in the comments, maybe from the testing or security community or any other field of expertise.

  • Get as much data as you can, not just demographic but also behavior analysis.
  • Create personas. Not all games are alike, so check this article on player types.
  • A/B test whatever you can to see what users actually respond to.
  • Preserve intrinsic motivation by letting people obtain skills, not points only.
  • Reward power users and feedback.

Thomas van Manen AUTHOR:
Thomas van Manen is an analyst and digital/social strategist at VINT. His research focuses on the impact of Big Data, Mobile Information Technologies, Gamification and the Web of Things. He is also Chief Editor at the VINT research blog and was part of the HOT100 in 2012, a yearly selection of the most promising alumni in Media & Arts studies.

Posted in: mobile applications, SogetiLabs, User Experience      
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