Laughing Fool (Possibly Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen ca. 1500)

Artificial Intelligence or Real Stupidity?

By | Service, Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) | No Comments

Some years ago, I was involved in developing artificial intelligence (AI) expert systems. I built expert systems to troubleshoot failures in highly engineered systems such the General Eclectic T700 turboshaft engine, a commercial high-volume photocopier, a blood chemistry analyzer, and similarly complex and difficult to diagnose and repair systems.

Xerox Corp. was looking for an artificial intelligence solution to support field service operations. The finalists were my company and another diagnostic expert system company that used similar AI technology.  Unable to determine which systems offered a better solution, Xerox decided to conduct a rigorous and objective evaluation by holding a double-blind face off between the two expert systems. Read More

Victor Borge

Inflationary Technology Language

By | Internet of Things, Uncategorized | No Comments

I  returned recently from a series of conference keynotes and lectures across 10 time zones. It is clear that the infatuation technology vendors and the media has with sophisticated-sounding technology terms is as strong as ever.

Fancy technology terms such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning conjure up a spectrum of AI-based movie characters from the inanimate HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey to the seductive feminine humanoids Samantha in Her and Ava in Ex Machina.

Even technology experts and software vendors that should know better, don’t miss any opportunity to add “machine learning algorithms” to their product descriptions whenever they can. Read More

Bertolt Brecht

Bertolt Brecht and Digital Transformation

By | Internet of Things, Strategy | 2 Comments

What Happens to the Hole When the Cheese is Gone?

In my opening remarks at the Product Innovation Conference in Berlin, I talked about a famous Berliner, Bertolt Brecht. You might wonder what does the influential poet, playwright, and theatre director has to do with engineering, innovation and digital transformation?

One of the characters in Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children ponders a question worthy of an engineering conference: “What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?”

But the motivation to mention Brecht in my opening remarks was another quotation: “Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.” Read More

Airstream by Ralph Goings (1970)

How to Build a Useful Augmented Reality Application

By | AR/VR, Internet of Things, Service, Service Lifecycle Management (SLM), Service Technology | 2 Comments

Gauging Value in AR Service Applications

You know I have been very vocal in criticizing augmented reality (AR) applications that, in my opinion, demonstrated too little business value.  You have heard (or read) me referring these as righty-tighty lefty-loosey systems.

From time to time, clients and attendees of my public lectures challenge me for guidelines to help them gauge the potential business value of AR applications. If a simple air filter replacement procedure isn’t useful, then what is? Read More

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing circa 1786 William Blake

The IoT Fairy

By | Internet of Things | 2 Comments

Every time you describe a frivolous Internet of Things (IoT) technology use case, a fairy dies…

Here is one.

Samsung’s smart refrigerator boasts three embedded video cameras to keep an eye on what’s in the fridge, which you can view through a smartphone app or the 21” touchscreen built into the fridge’s door.

The fridge’s software is designed to help monitor spoilage and remind you when an item has been lying around long enough to spoil. If your last carton of milk is going bad, you can even order fresh milk directly from the touch screen using the Groceries by MasterCard app.

You can get that smart fridge at your nearest BestBuy for the modest price of $4,000 (a great deal, considering a MSRP of $6,000). Just make sure you have the most recent software installed. Lat year researchers uncovered a security flaw in a Samsung smart fridge that could compromise a user’s Gmail credentials

This “use case,” like endless number of equally fanciful scenarios, gets a barely passing grade of “cute.” Read More