Trying to drive down a road. They think it’s going to open. It never is going to open again, but people here don’t adapt as rapidly because we don’t expect change. And when change is a norm, changes the norm and at the rate that has happened in those markets, people adapt.
This is HumAIn a weekly podcast focused on bridging the gap between humans and machines in this age of acceleration. My name is David Yakobovitch and on this podcast I interview experts in sociology, psychology, artificial intelligence, researchers on consumer facing products and consumer facing companies to help audiences better understand AI and its many capabilities. If you like the show, remember to subscribe and leave a review.
Those who are joining us today, it’s my distinct pleasure to share with you the wonder of who we are talking to knowing about all this internet of things, technology, artificial intelligence, and data science. Today’s guest on the HumAIn Podcast is Brett Greenstein. He’s an executive at Cognizant as a vice president and Global Head of Artificial Intelligence. Who has a commensurate experience in the internet of things technology consulting, providing solutions in banking, healthcare, customer service, and retail with organizations, including IBM and many fortune 500 products that you’ve worked with and lived with on your day to day basis.
Technology is immersing in our life each and every day. And, the funny joke I make about all these beeps, how much do they distract, how much are they not helping versus helping. So that’s the interesting question about augmenting human experience versus taking over human experience.
I agree. We’ve gotten so used to the, for example, my phone only buzzes.
So, but it buzzes constantly, and it’s almost a Pavlovian response. I want to see what’s going on. It’s hard to ignore a buzz, even if you know most of them are nothing. And so, we are conditioned to these alerts and triggers and lights and vibrations. And then we get wearables to help make it easier.
And then I just read an article yesterday about the glasses by focus. I believe the company is basically like a modern version of Google Glass.
And, it looks like a nice set of updates to the idea, but do you, I don’t really want to think you’re getting notifications on your glasses while we’re talking over a coffee shop. The other person can’t see them, but you can.
It’s so interesting. It’s like a privacy debate. For me being someone who’s wear glasses, since I’ve been five years old, there would be no difference. It would just be having glasses. But the question is privacy ethics bias. If I was living in China where data is more regularly traded as a commodity, for society as a whole. Perhaps, it’d be great to see this is going on Wechat and here’s my transaction. And here’s my update to my credit system when I’m buying a 10 cent music, a new album. But then the question is here in the United States, is that something people are ready for?
You sound like someone who spent some time in China.
I’ve traveled a little bit for sure. And, I love culture, before we were hopping on the recording, Brett and I were catching up about a recent trip I had in Lima, Peru, in Guayaquil Ecuador, to see the distinctions of technology and culture, Brett I’ve originally, grew up in South Florida. I was in the Miami area. I’ve seen a lot of the art, Design District, basil, all of that take fruit. And when I was in Lima, Peru, I was mentioning to one of my colleagues. This looks like Miami. It’s amazing to see how the United States really is a melting pot of culture, and technology.
And also how quickly the rest of the world has in some cases leapfrog technology here because they didn’t have that infrastructure. And, it was, I lived in China for a while and one of the reasons I moved there was because of the book, the earth is flat Thomas Friedman. And it got me really thinking about how quickly the cost of living quality of life access to technology was becoming more level around the world. And in some places, surprisingly advanced compared to what we might be used to with current infrastructure in North America. So I agree with you. You can go almost anywhere you can work from almost anywhere. And it’s amazingly unifying that the internet reaches in every corner.
As someone who hasn’t lived in China, but who’s traveled quite a bit that we’re seeing a Renaissance occurring there today. You have startups like, which is doing live streaming for their version of games. Like we see with Fortnite in the US even have, iQIYI does television streaming, there’s a lot of great startups that are growing really fast. And, what I’m always curious about is that the market is not just a technology and that evolution with social monitoring and credit and privacy, but from a cultural perspective, it’s been very gradual in the United States, but it seems to be such a rush in China. And from your experience, have you seen some of that and what’s your thoughts there?
There’s no question, what took a hundred years in the United States going from industrial revolution to people having cars, to multiple televisions at homes to the internet, and that took a hundred years, and that happened in a generation in China. It was not long ago. You can look, anyone can look online and see what pictures of Shanghai or Beijing look like only 20 years ago, mostly bikes in the roads. Now, there are two Lamborghini dealerships in Shanghai, it has moved so quickly.
And what we have to appreciate in China as well as some other markets, is how the culture and how people have accepted the rate of change and how it’s normal for things to completely change. When I lived there, my path to work would change every week because construction would happen. A road would disappear, a path would be gone. A new one would emerge. And people flexed with that. They adapted to it in a way here you’ve seen people that they continue to try to drive down a road. They think it’s going to open.
It never is going to open again, but people here don’t adapt as rapidly because we don’t expect change. And when change is a no changes the norm and at the rate that it happened in those markets, people adapt and they’re used to it.
Adaptation is something that does take a lot of time. And in China, particularly with how quickly this changes occurring, there’s been new independent movies that came out on Netflix about the live streaming culture and that phenomenon, how people are working to be celebrities, how YouTube picked up here in the US, I have a really close friend in Shanghai and they recently told me that all transactions are digital. Everything is digital. You can’t even accept cash if you want to accept cash. And the question on that cultural perspective is at what point does this technology integration actually become a liability for a society where it’s an exclusion of individuals who may not have that access?
So I would have thought that would have occurred in China. When I heard that people were using Alipay and WeChat Pay to pay with their phones using QR codes. I thought, that’s great. As long as you have a phone, as long as you have a bank account and as long as you, but it turns out that not a lot of people had credit cards in society in China, but everybody had a phone or was accessible to a very high percentage. So now even street vendors selling something that costs almost nothing, it is more efficient for them to pay and accept payment by phone.
Then any other means taking cash means also taking time to go to a bank to deposit it, to wait for it, to hit your account. This is instantaneous. You have instant access. So in a lot of ways, it would be much harder for people here to accept payments through phones, than it was in China. And they didn’t have a credit card infrastructure or really the same level of access to banking, personal banking, that we have here.
And so in a way they leapfrog all of that and a commercial provider made a great experience, frictionless easy payment from me to you for as little as whatever amount we charge the small as it is. There’s no overhead to that. Whereas today in North America, for example, there’s a merchant fee for credit card transactions. That would inhibit a street vendor from wanting to take credit cards. But there’s no fee like that in China. And so Alipay has been acceptable at sort of all price points.
And what’s so interesting as we dive deeper into Alipay, also in Asia Pacific, there is a lot less of that prevail of using Visa and MasterCard. Recently, I know MasterCard settled with Visa for billions of dollars in Europe, for fees and having these barriers to entry. Which was limiting for companies. But altogether it’s being bypassed in Asia and in the US more recently, Apple and Target, and a couple other companies just partnered with Apple Pay to get on and finally said we’re fully ready to go all digital. So it seems that the US is catching up if you will. But the question begs who’s leaving that direction right now in IOT and technology. Is it a game of US and China or has China or they’re leading the pack?
They’re leading the pack, but it doesn’t permeate to other cultures and other, other markets yet. You could ask our colleagues at Visa or MasterCard, why they didn’t just roll out a QR based system here. What works here based on the infrastructure and banking we have doesn’t necessarily translate to what China’s doing, but you look at that solution and how frictionless it is. It’s really pretty amazing. I hold up my phone, you hold up your phone, money moves back and forth magically. It almost is too simple for the average user and you have to wonder why it’s not here.
And yet we have things we rely on and a comfort level with the things we have. If you remember, when we all started banking and shopping online, there was a terrible fear of using your credit card on a website. Who’s going to intercept that who’s going to have it. There were all those stories, how you give your credit card to a waiter, but you won’t put it online. And yet it resolved because the credit card companies and banks basically took away the liability from us. And if someone stole our card, we had no liability.
So then it became safe to do that.
And then security standards improved and we got comfortable, but are we ready to let go of the card that we hold in our hand that we know is protected by a name and a brand that we know like Visa. For something else, you probably would agree that, there’s an entire generation now growing up on gaming and apps who exchange virtual dollars constantly, who were also comfortable with all kinds of direct mobile payments between each other that’s emerging and perhaps, when that generation leads financial institutions and in the United States and other businesses maybe we’re just on that path and just not quite as quickly as China was.
It’s interesting about the new generation and, I’m one of those individuals who is not quite a millennial, not quite a generation, somewhere in that gap who saw both analog products and has seen the digitalization of the economy. And it’s interesting because technology is moving at such a rapid speed, especially with the internet and the speed at which communication occurs, which has made these QR codes and transactions so magical.
The interesting thing about the next wave of technology, which at CES 2019, a lot of the rage this year was about, 5G technology. But the question for me is how much of that is reality versus hype. And the reason I begged that question is back when the FCC auctioned off 4G bands, in the last decade, it went for all over 40 billion dollars for all those different hurts and waves and all of that to enable that communication. And on the first auction for 5G technology, which just happened in January 2019, less than a 100 million dollars was spent on the auctioneer on and off, which for me gave off a red flag, like, is the technology ready or is the US not ready to commit to that?
It’s more about what we use the internet for. And the fact is most people can stream the video they want from Netflix or anything else on their mobile device. And it works perfectly well. For a long time, whatever the cable company provided. I always bought the fastest internet speed for my home.
I did it since the internet first came out. This year they upped the capacity again. And I couldn’t think of any compelling reason for me to spend $30 a month more. For a gigabit ethernet, there was I’m afraid internet. There was simply no reason because everything I do is already smooth, fast and perfect.
What is it by me? And with 5G, the average consumer has simply no idea why they’re going to need it, but there’s a tremendous amount of use cases that are, I would say more enabling of changes in our lives than directly things for consumers, for example. But very low latency of 5G opens up massive potential for communications like self-driving cars, vehicle to vehicle communications, very low latency, high performance. That to me, it opens up possibilities, but it’s not the stuff that you or I are going by directly.
And we may never even know it was there. And of course, as 4K movie streaming becomes more popular, the higher bandwidth would be needed. But the billing process today, the way people pay per gigabyte, doesn’t lend itself to watching a 4k movie. You couldn’t afford to watch one movie. So, things have to change also in economics until they become interesting.
So you could imagine, and I’m just making this up, but a company like Netflix, working with Telcos to provide a fixed price for 4K streaming, not a per usage price. And then I’ll be happy to buy a new 5G phone, pay a fixed price, get all the movies I want at 4K, that sounds pretty amazing.
But that’s not the way today they’re all separate and it would be very expensive.
For the last few years, we’ve seen all the products have been unbundling. The subscription for each and every service. And now there’s a lot of competition occurring there. Netflix just raised their price to $13 a month.
Hulu just dropped to $5,99 cents. So you’re seeing Netflix and Disney compete directly with each other. But it does beg the question on what is data and how much data is actual for each and every citizen. I remember, back in 2015, when all the Teleco’s in the US sprint T-Mobile Verizon AT&T were all competing with their unlimited plans and it was truly unlimited.
No throttling. No Speed edits and fast forward to 2019. Now, Sprint has three tiers of unlimited T-Mobile has three tiers of unlimited. So what does the definition even mean? It’s losing that function for a consumer.
It has, because the use cases are still the same use cases and they’re trying to create tiers of service to generate more revenue. And I understand why unlimited is sort of unlimited than tiny little letters underneath, except for this or after this. Or we slow down after that amount of capacity has been used. And it’s all of us adjusting to the usage patterns and streaming media drove really great 4G adoption. Every millennial, is simply just watching stuff on their phones. I don’t know what else they’re doing.
And I saw this in Asia before it happened in North America. People watching TV on the subway in the morning, going to work. And, we didn’t in North America, we didn’t even have cell service in some ways. And they were watching a video in Asia. So maybe we’re just catching up a little bit on some of the services and the usage patterns, but 5G is going to enable things that haven’t been considered before, maybe Netflix and other streaming media popularity occurred because of 4G, what will occur because of 5G. We’ll be gaming on mobile. Take that next level because gamers are very latency sensitive, very bandwidth sensitive, maybe gaming on mobile will enter, introduce the entire next level of entertainment.
We could be quite plausible, every once in a while, when they want to decompress all hop on Twitch and bring up the fourth night stream and see Ninja or Tfue play and it’s a great experience to see in live time, I’m watching a Master of Their Craft, perform their work. But often you will hear from them, complaints and expletives of bugs and latency and things breaking.
And, back in the nineties, we would call this lag. We call it lag and it’s back because there’s so much data moving throughout the networks. For consumers who are listening here on the podcast, I want to let you know if you’re wondering, who are we talking to today? So actually let me just give a brief introduction. This is of course, the HumAIn Podcast where we’re bridging the gap on humans and machines in the age of acceleration, helping you consumers better understand how you can live your lives, how you can be part of the next digitalization.
And today my guest is Bret Greenstein. Brett, is a vice president in Global Head of Artificial Intelligence at Cognizant. And prior to that, he’s led a very advanced career in the internet of things and technology and solutions, with a lot of consulting and major organizations like IBM moving all throughout that IOT life cycle. And so that’s why we’re really focusing on the IOT today and seeing that direction. Brett, I really appreciate you for being here and wanted to ask you about them, given all this experience and background that I’m leaving into. For you as someone who works with a lot of clients, are there any trends or signals that you’re seeing that are moving this year from the fringe and that are emerging to being mainstream, that consumers should start to pay attention to like 5G, like self-driving cars and so forth?
It’s certainly a huge part of my focus is on artificial intelligence and what I’m seeing from companies. There’s a set of roles. And this happened during the internet time to a set of roles that are emerging within companies that are having a tremendous influence on the products and services and ways we interact with businesses that are coming up during the internet. I’m just going to kind of go back a little bit during the internet revolution. There were webmasters and graphical people that were in with ponytails and corners of offices who were suddenly making web pages and creating content. That was interesting for everyone else. They were not powerful in those companies in the beginning.
Now they’re the CMOs of major companies. They are the people who run Netflix and everything else. They’re the people who bring us to the web. But in the beginning they were just HTML geeks. Like who liked to build webpages in this time, over the last couple of years has been sets of data scientists, data centric people, digital people who understood the power and value of data. They’re the data scientists behind the growth of social networks. They’re the people who do the recommendation engines and Netflix and other things, and they are growing and they are becoming significantly more influential in every company, whether it’s automakers banks, insurance companies, healthcare.
These chief data officers, chief analytics officers, chief data, digital transformation leaders. They are driving business strategy now, and they are doing really compelling and interesting projects to use data and to make companies be more digitally centric AI powered. And they’re asking really good questions of us and my peers in the industry. How do I take all these insights about people, what they do, what they care about, how they feel and deliver better service. How do I reduce the cost? When someone calls up for a call center, why should you have to press two for this?
Why should you have to enter your account number? Why doesn’t it know me? Why doesn’t understand me? Why doesn’t it listen, and just simply serve what I need without having to go through all those hoops that are because of the manual steps that are in call centers today. So companies are really fundamentally looking at how AI and all the data from IOT and everything else.
It is simply turning every business process they have inside out from looking first to how many people do I put in a call center to get my call times down to sub-second and my wait times down from that question, the real question is how do I deliver better service? How do I make customers happier? How do I resolve things more quickly? Through an intelligent agent, rather than through a person I’ve trained, that’s a really different model. And it’s happening in every part of businesses.
It’s as if the technology age of webmasters, being these people who managed IT operations have evolved into full stack developers for the application ecosystem. It’s as if the actuaries who are modeling data and econometricsin spreadsheets are now the data scientists and artificial intelligence researchers to create those better experiences.
And, sticking with the theme of customer service and talking earlier about Sprint and T-Mobile Verizon and AT&T I’ve had the, I could say maybe privilege of being a customer of all four of the Teleco’s throughout my life.
And, the customer experience cycle always varies quite significantly depending on who in that cycle you get to connect with, I find that fascinating how voice to text has been quite solved and used with customer service for many years.
But more recently now it’s almost as if the companies are trying to make predictions for you and when you call them for customer service, it almost seems like the experience has deteriorated in the last year. Is that just something I’m seeing or do you think there’s some growing pains of implementing machine learning and AI into production?
You’ve seen growing pains and I don’t think it’s an AI challenge. It’s a human challenge. The change management, which is the cultural and transformational change of a business is inhibited by the power structures that exist in companies today. The person who runs the call center is measuring how many people they manage. How many calls they do customer sat all these different things, but they didn’t get to be an executive of the call center by having four people in a massive computer, they have 400 people and that’s how they measure themselves to some degree there’s other measures. So you’ve got people whose jobs are fundamentally changing because of the introduction of technology. They’re not the ones who brought the technology into the business. And so they’re looking at these people on the side who are now trying to disrupt their business. And it’s the same reaction that traditional marketers had when the web people came.
And all of a sudden, you’ve got these people saying I could build webpages and create this and market my brand and the other end, like none of us advertise in magazines. We do, we have a catalog. We, this is how we work. It’s worked for a hundred years, but the web transformed marketing, it transformed engagement and buying and Amazon wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t frictionless web commerce which was unthinkable before that. And so today, when you look at what customer service will become, let me give you an example. In China every year, going back to China on 11/11 is Single Day, the biggest shopping day on the planet, anywhere that day. And, so everyone shops on that day.
And, someone who shops every year on that site, on the day on Taobao and every year previously, she would have to talk to merchants about sizes and shipping and all that stuff. This year, every question she asked was answered by an AI by a bot, all different stores in different merchants, but they had a bot framework that made it very easy. And I asked her how she knew it was a bot. And she said, because the answers were instantaneous and precise and helpful. She didn’t talk to a single human being this year shopping. She said it was the best experience she’s ever had.
So I do think you can have great automated customer service, but you have to start digitally thinking and not resisting it and trying to figure out how do I mesh people in this together and start thinking, how could it be? What Amazon asked, how could shopping be with only one click. They didn’t say, how do I get people through a store and then push them to a catalog and talk to them. And they just said, what’s the frictionless way to buy? And with customer service, we have to ask ourselves what’s the most automated we could possibly be. What would that look like? And how could you do it?
And creating that frictionless service. Is that more a result of technology and the business model that can make this experience for the consumer? Or is it even cultural. In the sense that in China there’s a lot less resistance to implementing technology as compared to in the United States where you have the IEEE and a lot of agencies and regulations. We have a version of GDPR that passed in the Eurozone, which now passed in California and is making its way through New York state as the government shut down has shown in the United States. So I’m just curious to what extent that could be cultural or political nature versus a willingness to see that through.
No, It depends on the part of the market, but in customer service specifically, but I don’t think there’s a technology inhibitor and I don’t think it’s a privacy or regulatory issue either. Because there’s nothing about doing that inherently breaks GDPR, for example. But, the real challenge is that it’s a user experience, design thinking kind of challenge that has to come from people who were thinking digitally first. How do I create a great compelling experience? How do I collect the right amount of data to provide insights that will be useful without breaking GDPR and other things? That’s a design thinking user experience. We hire there’s new roles that have emerged because of AI. We actually have conversational designers now.
People whose sole job is to help a machine have a useful conversation with you to perform a task, considering your intent and your feelings and your tone. The things you’re asking for context history and providing a useful and not annoying experience and one that feels better. And I’m sure that the shopping experience on Taobao in China. I’m sure there was a lot of thought into building user experience into that and properly done. There will be companies here as well, that will innovate like that.
And it starts with conversational designers and advances into the new digital economy on training and teaching and all that delivery. Recently your organization Cognizant has partnered with ASU launching digital business consulting. And it seems that we’re now in this age where it’s no longer just business or consulting, but it is merging digital with that.
You have to think digitally first. And that’s an easy thing to say and a hard thing to do, but it requires for all business leaders, there’s a responsibility for people to begin to understand how AI works, not everything that you don’t have to all become data scientists, but understand how it works, what it means, what it does in the same way. You had to embrace the web and the parallel is quite powerful. There was a time where companies thought if I just take my catalog, scan it and put it on the web. I am now a web company. But the web was always about streamlining, automating, reducing friction, and designing for people.
And that’s why the experience has gotten so much better. So quickly over time. On so many services and the ones that thrive are the easiest to use. And now when someone introduces something that annoys you on the web, when a website, a social platform or something changes something, it can disrupt the entire user base very quickly because they’re used to great experiences.
And when you introduce AI or digital thinking into a business, you have to kind of design from what’s possible first and, and remove literally the friction of using that kind of system. And some of that is quite sophisticated. For example, if you’re talking to a bot or a for customer service at a Telco, for example, if you say I’d like to disconnect this line, my father died. Just something awful like that. Like, and then the agent, a bot without any emotional knowledge about you at all could say, can I sell you anything else today? Instead, no awareness that you just gave some really terrible news. And so bringing the human touch, the emotional, understanding, the intent, the design experience really to an AI system is critically important for its acceptance and adoption.
When I’m getting a sense of it is that we’re in an age now of a coming of age, if you will for AI that 2017, 2018, everything since 2012, when the deep learning was re-emerging was testing the ground with experimentation. But now we’re ready for not only production, and experiences that consumers interact with. But good experiences that they’re only going to get better each and every year.
That’s absolutely true that we’ve certainly gone from the area of experimentation and piloting into production, and production at scale, we get a lot of requests from customers talking about how do I scale this? How do I manage this overall? And as I introduced AI into customer service or my product, how do I manage and maintain my brand with my user base and my customers? How do I deal with the ethics of AI?
How do I, for example, there’s a lot of talk in the news, obviously about things being promoted into your social news feed that may or may not be ad-driven, money-driven political by nature, whatever the thing is, people are complaining because it’s algorithm could decided what’s going to be presented to you. That’s a form of AI and it’s happening every single day.
And you have to recognize as a company that now not just your web pages are representing your brand, but the AI’s that run your business. Are interacting with people either directly or indirectly eat like presenting ads or using a bot, whatever the method is. And you have responsibility to maintain a level of ethical behavior to make sure you’re not introducing biases, which cause problems at scale with AI that could affect your brand.
Part of it is going back to trust, How much do we trust AI to deliver us that right experience? News is such an interesting area where you see a company and you think they’re independent, but they’re really not. For example, I love getting my news on China. And I try to look for an independent source. And for me, one of my favorite ones is actually the South China Morning Post. And you look at it and it’s described as credible independent, and It’s quite good, Hong Kong, China, all that mix. But, most people don’t know it’s owned by Alibaba.
The same thing’s happening both in the US and China is that, we can put our trust in companies. And that trust is to get back a specific experience that ideally improves our day by day. But when it does. And then that’s where ethics and bias become part of that conversation. To a technology that’s been explored quite extensively with Baidu, in China with autonomous vehicles, they had last new year, the Macau Bridge update open with the drones and self-driving vehicles. And then, the United States has tried to also show its strength, both through Waymo and Uber and Lyft and Apple and Tesla and many other providers.
This has been one of the fringe technologies that has been talked about much, jobs, automation is self-driving that next era of new technology, but it’s another question I wanted us to explore with our viewers, because it was announced here in January, 2019 that Apple is laying off its entire autonomous vehicle division. Tesla’s laid off 7% of its workforce. Ford closed Chariot, which is it’s, peer-to-peer solution for getting through metropolitan cities. I’m just curious, what’s some of your predictions or thoughts on autonomous technology?
If you look solely at the magical level of autonomous driving, you miss all the things that it actually did bring to us already. And so the application of driving assist technologies now are so pervasive. You rent a car and it buzzes when you go out of the lane and you think, how did it know that it’s the same technology is used in self-driving cars, but being brought into practical, very acceptable low risk scenarios for all of us. There’ll be a day. It will come. I don’t know when it would be safer to drive in an autonomous vehicle than to let a human being with their flawed decision-making and biases and all their problems that come along with being human beings come into it and make driving dangerous.
So there’ll be a time when autonomous is safer. People have said, I’ve read several articles. I don’t know if it’s true, but you know, children under two may never get a driver’s license because cars will take care of themselves and it’d be safer than letting a 16 year old drive. Anyway, but in the meantime, you’re seeing those technologies being introduced into safe distance, cruise control systems and lane, wandering prevention systems, 360 degree cameras telling you when there’s a person walking by, I was just in a car the other day and all of a sudden it beeped. And I looked down at the screen and I could tell a person was in the blind spot. I was amazed by that. It was really cool. But these are the practical things that are making our lives better already.
And while autonomous, people expected maybe by 2020, we’ll be driving autonomous Cadillacs. That’s not a realistic expectation, but will we have cars that are significantly safer? Of course we will. Who would drive? other than, maybe somebody for fun drive a 1969 Mustang down a highway. Which doesn’t even have disc brakes, I assume, compared to ABS systems that stop for you without you even touching the brake pedal. If someone walks in front of a car, it’s orders of magnitude safer today than any other vehicle before.
And for all this technology that become mainstream, whether it’s 2020, 2025 or whichever year we give it, that’s a taking a full circle that 5G needs to make it onto the roads or satellites like the ones that SpaceX is launching need to get into orbit so that, It’s much quicker to transmit data. The reason I bring that up is, both of us being in the AI industry a lot of topics that professionals have talked about recently is AI on the edge. And I’m a great example of this is Chick-fil-A, great, fast food restaurant with their chicken products and, love them because they’ve done a lot with football and high school and colleges, and now the NFL is they’ve expanded, but what’s interesting is there was a feature about their technology, just a few months ago.
And it said that actually all their cashier systems are now running on the edge to process payments and make recommendations to their servers, can I upsize this order for you. Can I recommend this or this customer should get the free cookie? And, the edge, for our consumers who don’t know edge is running machine learning or software, but without internet connection often, that’s going to be a breakthrough for us. Otherwise we have to get the 5G technology working for these autonomous vehicles to be real time.
It’ll be a bit of a hybrid because certainly power gets greater. The ability at the edge is already quite impressive. There are already cameras you can buy for households that can do facial recognition. I have a device in my house, that can detect smoke detectors. It’s a smoke detector detector. So if it hears the noises of a carbon monoxide detector or other, it uses a, basically a sound algorithm to detect that that’s a smoke alarm and not something else. And then can trigger an alert that can send me a message on my phone or something else.
And since then at CES, that same company added additional algorithms to tell if there’s like broken glass or people or baby crying, things that might be stuffed in your house, that would be a problem. So the ability for AI embedded systems to go into things like Alexa is also added a smoke alarm detection algorithm, not everything has to run in the cloud. It can run on the edge more and more, but. Not all in the edge. For example, those cashier systems, in Chick-fil-A, I don’t know them specifically, but I am sure they’re processing payments back to a central backend system. It’s just that they’re allowing more and more decision making at the edge because you get performance, lower latency, lower costs, and you’re using compute power that’s available.
And beyond the compute power and the transactions, it ideally is leading to a more design thinking approach for a better customer experience.
Absolutely. It’s amazing. What could be done? your phone now is smarter than your computer was just a few years ago. And the devices that we’re all putting in our homes with Alexa and Google Home and everything else, they have a fair amount of capability in them already. A lot of work happens in the cloud, but there’s some stuff that happens locally too. And, we’re only going to see that grow.
Now IOT technologies are continuing to grow. A lot of devices are out there from a lot of the companies. Is there another breakthrough device that consumers should be on the lookout to buy? It’s been the Amazon echos and the OK Googles and Apple home pods people have considered the ring for these Doorbell and Keela systems. Is there that next product that you think is going to be making massive ways to the consumers?
I do. It’s going to be health-related. What I’m seeing is a huge energy into stuff that helps, for example, older parents live at home longer. How do you monitor family safety and health? How do you even pet monitoring? I talked to a Telco in Asia and they said people will pay 30 or $40 a month if you’ll help monitor their pet while they’re at work. So they can leave their pet home longer. Come if there’s something important, they’ll know if their dog barks for three hours and annoys their neighbor.
So there’s a lot of ways to extend your eyes and your ears and the insights of what happens in your home and your family in ways that are secure and private, and critically important. But also help us extend our reach to take care of family members, wherever they are. If your parents can live at home for six more months than they would have otherwise, they get to live with the comforts of their pictures and their sofa and everything that they love that feels like home. What is that worth to you? It’s worth a lot.
And then sounds like you’re hearing it here. First, 2019 is the year of augmenting your experiences, whether you are two years old and you might never drive a car or you’re 80 years old and you still get to be in that house. Sinceyou were two years old, we’re looking at a world where humans and machines are continuing to integrate and augment each other’s intelligence. The big question is how can we be humAIn and how can we continue that journey together with customer experience? It’s been my pleasure to have Brett Greenstein with us here today on the HumAIn Podcast. Thanks for being with us.
That’s it for this episode of HumAIn I’m David Yakobovitch. And if you enjoyed the show, don’t forget to click subscribe on Apple Podcasts or wherever you are listening to this. Thanks so much for listening and I’ll talk to you in the next one.