Brilliant Reads: IBM’s dependence on AI, Trump’s digital operations, and Dots 2016 videos


IBM’s dependence on AI

IBM has faced a decline in revenue for the past 17 quarters, but believe it or not, optimism is beginning to seep into the organisation. This is thanks to Watson, their AI technology which has been making waves in the healthcare industry. Not only can Watson determine the correct treatment for cancer patients, it can also suggest treatment options that doctors might miss. This is due to its capability to read “thousands of articles in minutes”, also known as natural-language processing. IBM are hoping that Watson can turn their fortunes around, as they continue to invest in the AI technology.

IBM Is Counting on Its Bet on Watson, and Paying Big Money for It

New York Times, 5 mins

Customer first principles led Amazon to build first bricks-and-mortar bookshop

Amazon is customer obsessed. But for a company that puts the customer first, how does it cope with the quality of its service depending on third parties, such as couriers? Amazon has invested, not only in delivering items themselves (including via drones), but through creating a bricks-and-mortar shop. This way, the third party is removed, and Amazon gets face-to-face with its customers.

Bookshops and Amazon’s Last Mile

Medium, 4 mins

Strategic thinking takes more than setting aside time

Thinking strategically isn’t easy when trying to put out fires in your day-to-day. However, this doesn’t mean that making time in your day will magically produce it. There are a few tactics that will aid strategic thinking. First you must understand how your role unites with the company’s strategy. Secondly, you must use insights, such as the data available within your organisation, to deem where best to place resources. And thirdly, it’s essential that colleagues are invited to disagree with strategic thinking, and participate in its formation.

Make Strategic Thinking Part Of Your Job

Harvard Business Review, 6 mins

Donald Trump’s impressive digital operations

The possibility of Donald Trump being inaugurated has led to a lot of head scratching, nail biting, and maybe even a few tears. But looking past the presidential election, Trump has contingency plans that are also worth noting. These plans rely on a digital operation named Project Alamo. This operation is fuelled by large amounts of data that his team have hoarded. By election day, the Trump campaign expects to have 12 to 14 million email addresses. This will allow them to target these individuals through Facebook – seen as one of Trump’s most powerful weapons. How Trump uses this data past November 8th is yet to be known, but it will be integral to whatever he tries his hand at next.

Inside the Trump Bunker, With Days to Go

Bloomberg, 22 mins

The inventor of emoji on its past, present and future

Shigetaka Kurita designed emoji for a mobile internet system over 15 years ago, which limited emails to 250 characters. At the time there were only 200 symbols. Now, there are 1000. But what was it that inspired emoji? According to Kurita, the significance of heart symbols on pagers used by young people in the mid-90s Japan is what led to its creation.

And what about the future of emoji? Well, Kurita doesn’t expect emoji to change too much, but does predict emojis to become localised, as they once were in Japan.

The inventor of emoji on his famous creations – and his all-time favourite

The Guardian, 3 mins

Dots 2016 videos

For everyone that enjoyed Dots, or missed out on it this year, we’ve published the videos of the fantastic speakers. These range from Lydia Nicholas’s fascinating talk on the conflict between building relationships and protecting privacy online, to Caroline Webb, on how you can edit your reality, change the mood in a room and make time go further.

Watch the talks from Dots 2016