This week I was lucky enough to be able to take some time off work and attend the London Technology Week. This is a brief write up of the talks I attended and photos of some cool exhibits. Lets start with the talks
When smart-phones sense how you feel: The era of intelligent mobile devices
Talk description: “Argus Labs uses deep learning algorithms to sense, understand and predict human behaviour and emotions, based on the sensors in a smart-phone and general usage of a smart-phone. The presentation will demonstrate how smart-phones will start to behave as intelligent entities that know how a user feels and improve our lives.”
- Argus Labs is working on APIs and SDK which will allow programmers to build emotion aware mobile apps
- A variety of tools is used to predict mood, based on learning over time – i.e. every Monday morning you feel depressed and you tell the app this is how your feeling and over time it will form that pattern or maybe after everySaturday night after you come out of a club you feel happy. They also make use of the gyroscope to determine how happy / angry you are – for example, you are happy after clubbing and reading a book, but you might be jumping around after clubbing whereas your quietly happy after reading
- The Presenter mentioned how personality is now really easy to predict – i.e. based on what feeds we subscribe to and what circle of friends we have. However mood is still extremely hard
- An interesting topic was whether you should act on the user’s current mood or their predicted mood – i.e. if you know someone will be unhappy in an hour’s time, maybe play some happy music now to start counteracting that
- A good example of this application is if the apps sees the user stuck in traffic and knows the user is typically angry – time to play some gentle music to help calm the user
- The apps you build will learn about an individual’s mood and behavior over time, but is locked to that person so you cant pass your mobile to another user and expect it to work
- Future of mobile is not about mobility, its been done – it will be about AI
This was a really interesting talk, made appreciate a lot more about how much companies are able to learn about me from my general online profile and keeping track of the places I visit etc. I start to think that one day my phone will know me better as a person than I do! Also the general idea of data mining and building a reasoning engine behind the massive amounts of data you collect is a theme that runs through many growth areas.
The Database of You – The opportunities and issues that arise from wearable technology everywhere
Talk description: “The last 5 years have seen an explosion in the growth of wearable technology, health and fitness data and mobiles apps and devices. Yet we are still only at the very start of our journey towards the database of me; – a personal cloud containing details of every aspect of our lives. How will the availability of huge quantities of health and performance data on everyone affect how companies do business, how people lead their lives and the general wellness of the population?”
- Talk was delivered by CIO of Virgin Active Health Clubs and he started by mentioning that attrition rate in health club industry is a massive 60% – i.e. 60% of their members leave every year
- The way to reduce attrition is to better facilitate users with their goals and allow users to see that they are making progress
- The presenter mentioned the term “Cambrian explosion”, this is the period when there was a massive explosion of different life forms on earth and before settling on the best design – he sees wearable technology currently going through this period and everything we have not yet seen anything like the final design yet. He compared this to initial stages of the mobile where they came in all different shapes and sizes before everyone making phones that look like an iPhone
- In terms of collecting data about individuals, he was nervous about how much personal data we are now able collect, but at the same time he felt everyone was starting to feel at ease with their data being in the cloud
- This is an area which Apple, Samsung and Google are now all heavily investing with different platforms
- Finally he compared current wearable tech to the early stages of car GPS systems which would plot on the map exactly where you are and the route you took – which was amazing when it first came out – to current GPS systems which also tell you about traffic and weather and best route home. So to make the tech actually useful you need a lot more context and a collective database about the person – The database of you.
Personally I really love the design of the new Samsung Gear – although I do worry slightly about the massive database of myself being held online, does that mean my medical insurance will go up with every McDonalds meal I eat? Maybe it should – but maybe this is just the perfect reason I needed to keep myself healthy as well.
Make sense of your (big) data and analyze in real-time like you have never done before!
- Elasticsearch actually mentioned Goldman a few times as one of their star clients
- Major advantage is its server plug and play capability – by adding new servers, the load will be automatically distributed for you
- One of the most useful way to use it is not to look for the items with the biggest volumn / ticks / treads, but to look for exceptions in your data – i.e. comparing this week’s and last week’s dataset and seeing which currency is doing more or less relative to last week
- Everything is open source and available for commercial use for free – Elasticsearch themselves make money by providing training and some APIs and tools
- Do not use Elasticsearch db as your golden source if the data is important for you, always keep a separate copy and elasticsearch can lose data in certain edge case scenarios