Amit Paranjape’s Blog

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Current Landscape, and implications for India

Posted in Information Technology by Amit Paranjape on October 5, 2016

Few days back, I did a ‘tweet storm’ (twitter term for a series of tweets on a particular topic) on Artificial Intelligence (AI). I discussed the overall landscape and what AI means for India. This thread consists of 23 tweets (these tweets appear as a single thread on twitter…I have also numbered them as 1/n, 2/n, etc.). I have reproduced these tweets below in a single document. I guess, this is one way to convey a series of ‘micro-blogs’ into a ‘blog’! (Note: If you want to access the entire tweets thread on twitter, click this link: https://twitter.com/aparanjape/status/782186570585559041)

 

Please let me know your thoughts, comments on the points below.

_____________________

My ‘tweet storm’ (series of tweets) on ‘Artificial Intelligence’ … see thread below. #AI

 

Highly recommended primer (see video below) for anyone interested in Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning and Machine Learning. (1/n)

See this link: https://twitter.com/aparanjape/status/742326806666059777

In 2030, when personal digital assistants, driverless cars, intelligent robots are common, we will look back at 2016 as: ‘Year of AI’ (2/n)

#AI Many path-breaking developments in hardware, software are happening right now..important milestones are being achieved every month.(3/n)

#AI Google’s #AphaGo computer winning against the ‘Go’ world champion Lee Sedol .. IBM’s #Watson’s breakthroughs in cancer diagnostics (4/n)

#AI 2016 breakthroughs (cont.) Uber launching the first fleet of driver-less cabs in Pittsburgh… Automated script writing, etc. (5/n).

A key thing to note is how the top tech leaders: Google, FB, IBM, Amazon, MSFT are all prioritizing #AI as their top priority in 2016 (6/n)

These tech leaders are making big investments in their R&D, partnering with universities, buying startups related to #AI (7/n)

Here is an example: ‘Microsoft merges Bing, Cortana, and Research to make 5,000-strong #AI division’ http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/09/microsoft-merges-bing-cortana-and-research-to-make-5000-strong-ai-division/ … (8/n)

The tech leaders are also collaborating together in #AI, with respect to processes, data access (key driver) https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/28/facebook-amazon-google-ibm-and-microsoft-come-together-to-create-historic-partnership-on-ai/ … (9/n)

Some SV billionaires and VCs (including @elonmusk, @peterthiel…) have created a non-profit #AI research co: https://openai.com/blog/  (10/n)

Chinese tech leaders like Baidu are also making big investments in #AI (in China and in their SV labs) http://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2016/09/30/faster-artificial-intelligence-baidu-benchmarks-hardware-for-deep-learning/#62ebe2e27420 … (11/n)

Over the past many decades, DARPA has been a leader in strategic tech investments. #AI is a key priority: http://www.darpa.mil/program/explainable-artificial-intelligence … (12/n)

Many European companies are also prioritizing #AI investments (automotive, aerospace, healthcare, etc.). (13/n).

So, where is India in all this? The #AI wave is both a big threat (if we don’t do anything!) and an opportunity for India. (14/n).

Like in many tech races of the past, India is already well behind in the #AI race… but we can (and we should!) try to catch up. (15/n).

#AI can present a big threat to the traditional Indian IT Service Outsourcing model … A model that worked well for past 2 decades. (16/n)

Manufacturing and traditional services sector job growth is also at risk, with #AI driven automation. (17/n).

Like with any new tech disruption, #AI also brings in new opportunities… but in order to leverage these, we to have to move fast. (18/n)

India needs to set up a multi-year strategic program focused on #AI and robotics, which involves the govt and the private sector. (19/n).

This is a ‘moon-shot’ opportunity and needs a @ISRO like long-term program (look at @ISRO’s long term goals set in 60s/70s). #AI (20/n)

We need to invest in setting up world class #AI R&D labs (in our research institutions like the IITs, IISERs…or create new ones). (21/n).

We also need to create good long term incentive structures for the private sector to invest in their own #AI R&D initiatives. (22/n).

Such government and private labs can attract/retain top Indian talent in #AI (that today, we are losing to U.S., Europe). (23/n)

Okay…I think I am going to pause here on this #AI tweet storm :)… Sorry for flooding your timeline! May continue again later though 🙂

#AI Was planning to write a blog-post about this …. but realized that I prefer @twitter and the tweet-storm method a lot more!

__________________________

Advertisements

The ‘Touch’ vs. ‘Tactile’ Debate For Computers & Mobile Handsets

Posted in Information Technology, Science & Technology by Amit Paranjape on December 19, 2011

There is a lot of discussion out there about how the ‘Touch’ display keypads are going to increasingly take over from the conventional ‘Tactile’ ones. The rise of iPhone, iPad and other Tablets, Touch Smart Phones are making touch interfaces more and more prominent.

In fact some people have already started writing the obituaries of the good old fashioned tactile keyboard. But not so fast.

I for one cannot just figure out how a touch keyboard can replicate the tactile feedback of contact keys. Or the contoured feel of a mobile handset’s QWERTY keypad.
Touch is fine when you have to type a little, and when you are largely just reading/interacting – but definitely not ideal for writing documents, emails and blog posts like this one. And let us look at some other areas as well. Can you imagine a pianist playing on a touch pad piano? Maybe a ‘Tabla’ (a popular Indian percussion instrument, that has a reasonably flat surface.
Some of my friends who are big cheerleaders of ‘Touch’ (and think that I may be stuck in the stone age…) talk about how swipe, page turn and other gestures are improving interactivity and productivity. But to me they are just better replacements of the nearly 40 year old ‘Mouse’. I agree – the Mouse needs a replacement and a touch pad is a presents a very good improvement. But just cannot see a touch pad being used for heavy duty typing!
Wonder what you think?

Why Doctors Hate Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)

Posted in Healthcare & Medicine, Information Technology by Amit Paranjape on June 22, 2010

Having studied the Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) space for a few years now, it’s clear to me that EMR adoption is a huge challenge. Even in developed markets like the US, successful implementation rates are pretty low (especially in small clinics). In spite of a huge Federal Government Incentive Program, the progress is gradual (at best).

In India the picture is a lot worse. My assessment is that EMR adoption here is in low single digits.

There are many theories and observations about why doctors dislike Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). One often discussed observation is that doctors are ‘technophobes’. I personally don’t think that’s true. On the contrary many doctors, whether in US or in India are ‘gadget freaks’ (when it comes to devices like new smartphones, laptops, cameras, etc.).

The primary issue is that of software usability. Many traditional EMR systems are quite complicated and difficult to use. These systems at times resemble heavy duty ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning IT Systems) that run the operations of large multi-million dollar corporations.  A small clinic doesn’t need all this complexity. These EMRs may actually end up hurting the efficiency of a clinic, rather than improve it. Also many of these systems do not enable interactions with patients for chronic disease management, e-consultation, telemedicine, etc.  Doctors are looking for simple systems that can improve their productivity, as well as support better patient care. In absence of these, they are perfectly ok going back to their old paper notes based methods.

I recently came across an excellent article in ‘The Journal of Surgical Radiology’ by Shahid Shah, Column: Why MDs Dread EMRs”. The author has done a great job of summarizing the major reasons that are hurdles to effective adoption. I encourage the readers to go through this article for a detailed insight into the real issues.

Musings on an eBook Reader and Tablet PC Combination

Posted in Information Technology, Science & Technology by Amit Paranjape on January 28, 2010

I had originally blogged about this topic about 6 months back. See original post ““. Also attached below.

After Apple’s much anticipated iPad announcement today, I thought I will revisit this topic once again. I think the LCD display in the Apple iPad would still have certain limitations as compared to the epaper technology display in the Amazon Kindle. The readability and feel of the iPad screen may not be like that of a paper book. It remains to be seen how much ‘real life’ the iPad LCD screen actually feels like.

In terms of creating a ‘hybrid solution’ like the one I had described in the earlier post, the Barnes & Nobles Nook comes a little closer. In the sense that they are using the epaper technology for the display screen and a small touch sensitive multi-color LCD display for the interactive features. Though I wonder that in the midst of Apple and Amazon, does Barnes & Nobles have a chance?  It remains to be seen what approach Microsoft takes in its own Tablet PC (no details/dates as yet).

Going forward, I wonder how the epaper/LCD screen gap would get bridged? Lot of research work is going on in the epaper technology area. Future epaper displays could feature full color support and some level of touch sensitive surfaces. Till that time though, a simple hybrid may not be a bad solution?

What are your thoughts?

——————————————————————————-

Original Post, Dated: July 28, 2009

I have followed the news around Amazon’s Kindle with great interest. I think it will be a tech game-changer. It fundamentally tries to address the readability issues associated with the LCD screens in other devices. Though, I haven’t had a chance to use it as yet, I can imagine how the epaper display technology can produce images and text that is very close to printed paper. In my view, this capability alone will lead to a large scale adoption of this device in the coming years.

I also see a huge opportunity in a ‘next gen’ Tablet PC. I haven’t digged deep into reasons why the existing Windows based Tablet PCs haven’t been that successful over the past few decade. Is it the cost? Or usability? Or both?

There is a lot of discussion in the media around Apple launching a new Tablet – I am sure this will be a game changing device, given Apple’s innovation track record. My initial thought when I first read about it was – here’s comes a potential Kindle killer. But then I realized that the Kindle’s display will be a major advantage over the tradional LCD display.

A tablet’s LCD display is critical for many functions (graphics, media, interactive software and tools, etc.), and doubt if there’s a substitute.

My simple thought: Why can’t someone create a smart, usable tablet computer with an epaper display on the back side??

Such a device could provide you with both capabilities in one single device! You can read a book and then if you want to use your tablet, just flip the device around! Isn’t it as simple as adding an epaper like display onto a tablet device??

As a user, I for one would definitely queue up to buy such a device, at a premium!

Musings on the next tech killer app – A combined tablet and ebook reader device

Posted in Information Technology, Science & Technology by Amit Paranjape on July 28, 2009

I have followed the news around Amazon’s Kindle with great interest. I think it will be a tech game-changer. It fundamentally tries to address the readability issues associated with the LCD screens in other devices. Though, I haven’t had a chance to use it as yet, I can imagine how the epaper display technology can produce images and text that is very close to printed paper. In my view, this capability alone will lead to a large scale adoption of this device in the coming years.

I also see a huge opportunity in a ‘next gen’ Tablet PC. I haven’t digged deep into reasons why the existing Windows based Tablet PCs haven’t been that successful over the past few decade. Is it the cost? Or usability? Or both?

There is a lot of discussion in the media around Apple launching a new Tablet – I am sure this will be a game changing device, given Apple’s innovation track record. My initial thought when I first read about it was – here’s comes a potential Kindle killer. But then I realized that the Kindle’s display will be a major advantage over the tradional LCD display.

A tablet’s LCD display is critical for many functions (graphics, media, interactive software and tools, etc.), and doubt if there’s a substitute.

My simple thought: Why can’t someone create a smart, usable tablet computer with an epaper display on the back side??

Such a device could provide you with both capabilities in one single device! You can read a book and then if you want to use your tablet, just flip the device around! Isn’t it as simple as adding an epaper like display onto a tablet device??

As a user, I for one would definitely queue up to buy such a device, at a premium!

%d bloggers like this: