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ANDRÉ CRAMER

… my view of where technology innovation will lead us

Where accelerating technological Development will lead us in the next 15-20 years (André Cramer)

I would like to share some of my thoughts on key developments that I believe will determine our lives in the upcoming two decades. Almost all of this is fueled by ever more accelerating technological progress and there are a lot of opportunities in it. As well as significant challenges.

Looking back at the perceived principle of the industrial age, where growth occurred or seemed to occur in a linear function, today we know about Moore’s Law. We have been able to observe it for the last 50 years where over time it became clearer that we have a doubling of computing power roughly every 1,5 years.

Now how does that apply in our everyday life? Where do we actually see that technologies get more and more “disruptive”? To show that this is not about buzzwords, here are a couple of examples for “wow” type of developments: Continue reading “Where accelerating technological Development will lead us in the next 15-20 years (André Cramer)”

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AI is absolutely essential for the Messaging Platform Business Model to take over the World (of B2C) (André Cramer)

Over the course of the last weeks and months you couldn’t escape news and stories about messaging platforms going after B2C use cases à la “order me some food”, “book me a hotel room” or “I need a ride downtown in 30 minutes”.

Pioneered and taken to huge success in Asia by platforms like Weixin/WeChatLINE and Kakao, especially Facebook with its two behemoth platforms Messenger and WhatsApp is taking decisive actions to bring businesses and consumers together on their platforms. Kik is even faster, having just launched such a botstore for brands. In their launch line-up are 18 well-known brands such as Sephora, H&M or The Weather Channel. And with these moves, communications platforms will tap into significant revenue streams in the form of rev shares and commissions for being the facilitator between businesses and consumers in everyday Transactions.
Continue reading “AI is absolutely essential for the Messaging Platform Business Model to take over the World (of B2C) (André Cramer)”

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My SXSW 2016 key take-aways (André Cramer)

35,000 visitors from all over the world are yet another milestone in the ongoing rise of SXSW as one of the key events of the tech industry. A must-visit conference that this time even the president attended. In his speech at Austin’s The Long Center for the Performing Arts he made an impassioned and partisan plea to technology professionals and tech-minded citizens to apply their ideas and talents toward solving some of the country’s biggest challenges and philosophical divides.

But there was much more to SXSW 2016. Continue reading “My SXSW 2016 key take-aways (André Cramer)”

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Mobile World Congress 2016: Where are we heading with Smartphones – or where do we need to head? (André Cramer)

It’s Mobile World Congress time again. Not only the world of telcos and phone-related manufacturers meet there, but meanwhile it has become a colorful mix of everything technology related it seems. Still, the smartphones or mobile computing devices are in the center of attention.

The decade of the Smartphone as we know it is ending

Almost 10 years ago the iPhone has entered center stage and in fact did change everything in this industry. The revolutionary first iPhone was of course not the first smartphone in the market; in fact it came years after the term ‘smartphone’ had been coined for the first time. What is remarkable about it was therefore not the invention of a new category of device, but the combination of the right mix of technologies Continue reading “Mobile World Congress 2016: Where are we heading with Smartphones – or where do we need to head? (André Cramer)”

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Virtual Reality will have a massive Impact on us already within the next Decade (Andre Cramer)

When reading about future, and specifically in this context, near-term future predictions, you often get a conservative impression. It seems people mostly see the future like a slightly enhanced version of the present. People tend to think that the big and significant societal transformation either has already taken place or will happen in a more distant future.

In my opinion things are quite a bit different. The world will be changing much faster than the majority of people imagine today. There is a high probability that technology will change the world and our immediate life conditions faster than ever before within the next ten years. There are some technologies on the agenda with the potential to render the world pretty much unrecognizable compared to today.  Continue reading “Virtual Reality will have a massive Impact on us already within the next Decade (Andre Cramer)”

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The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Alex Gray)

Five years from now, over one-third of skills (35%) that are considered important in today’s workforce will have changed. By 2020, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have brought us advanced robotics and autonomous transport, artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced materials, biotechnology and genomics.

These developments will transform the way we live, and the way we work. Some jobs will disappear, others will grow and jobs that don’t even exist today will become commonplace. What is certain is that the future workforce will need to align its skillset to keep pace. A new Forum report, The Future of Jobs, looks at the employment, skills and workforce strategy for the future…

via The 10 skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution | World Economic Forum

An extremely good long read on our major challenges in an all-digital future: Forget far-right populism – crypto-anarchists are the new masters (Jamie Bartlett)

Those who mistakenly thought 2016 was an anomaly, a series of unprecedented events, should have few remaining doubts. Marine Le Pen may have stuttered but still picked up almost 11 million votes. Her opponent, the “normal” candidate, was leader of a party only one year old. The ongoing terror attacks, fake news panic, Trump’s tweets and James Comey: last year never really ended, it just carried straight on into this one.

After decades of exaggerated prediction, the internet is finally transforming politics, but not in the way the digital prophets expected. The 90s, you may recall, were awash with optimism about our online future: limitless information and total connection would make us more informed, less bigoted and kinder citizens. But the internet is an overwhelming mess of competing facts, claims, blogs, data, propaganda, misinformation, investigative journalism, charts, different charts, commentary and…

Source: Forget far-right populism – crypto-anarchists are the new masters | Technology | The Guardian

Great piece – but sad it’s Walt Mossberg’s last ever column: The Disappearing Computer (Walt Mossberg)

As I write this, the personal tech world is bursting with possibility, but few new blockbuster, game-changing products are hitting the mainstream. So a strange kind of lull has set in.

The multi-touch smartphone, launched 10 years ago with Apple’s first iPhone, has conquered the world, and it’s not done getting better. It has, in fact, become the new personal computer. But it’s a maturing product that I doubt has huge improvements ahead of it. Tablets rose like a rocket, but have struggled to find an essential place in many people’s’ lives. Desktops and laptops have become table stakes, part of the furniture.

The big software revolutions, like cloud computing, search engines, and social networks, are also still growing and improving, but have become largely established…

Source: Mossberg: The Disappearing Computer – The Verge

This is impressive progress made possible by Machine Learning: Google’s speech recognition technology now has a 4.9% word error rate (Emil Protalinski)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai today announced that the company’s speech recognition technology has now achieved a 4.9 percent word error rate. Put another way, Google transcribes every 20th word incorrectly. That’s a big improvement from the 23 percent the company saw in 2013 and the 8 percent it shared two years ago at I/O 2015.

The tidbit was revealed at Google’s I/O 2017 developer conference, where a big emphasis is on artificial intelligence. Deep learning, a type of AI, is used to achieve accurate image recognition and speech recognition. The method involves ingesting lots of data to train systems called neural networks, and then feeding new data to those systems in an attempt to make predictions…

 

Source: Google’s speech recognition technology now has a 4.9% word error rate | VentureBeat | Dev | by Emil Protalinski

Great Read on the Future of Manufacturing: How Microfactories Can Bring Iterative Manufacturing to the Masses (Andrew O’Keefe, Jason Dorrier)

Humans manufacture a mind-numbing amount of stuff each year—ever wonder how we do it? In the past 100 or more years, it’s been all about economies of scale. This means you should make a lot of a thing because the more you make, the more your fixed expenses get spread out. This reduces the cost of each unit, from light bulbs to iPhones. Here’s the problem. It’s expensive to do a big manufacturing run. So, how do you know what to make in the first place? Often, it’s an educated guess based on prototypes and limited feedback, but you don’t really know until you try to sell a product—and by then, you’re fully committed, succeed or fail. Jay Rogers of Local Motors wants to upend common wisdom. Manufacturers should run through tons of potentially good ideas and then…

via How Microfactories Can Bring Iterative Manufacturing to the Masses

Google’s AI Invents Sounds Humans Have Never Heard Before (Cade Metz)

Jesse Engel is playing an instrument that’s somewhere between a clavichord and a Hammond organ—18th-century classical crossed with 20th-century rhythm and blues. Then he drags a marker across his laptop screen. Suddenly, the instrument is somewhere else between a clavichord and a Hammond. Before, it was, say, 15 percent clavichord. Now it’s closer to 75 percent. Then he drags the marker back and forth as quickly as he can, careening though all the sounds between these two very different instruments. “This is not like playing the two at the same time,” says one of Engel’s colleagues, Cinjon Resnick, from across the room. And that’s worth saying. The machine and its software aren’t layering the sounds of a clavichord atop those of a Hammond. They’re producing entirely new sounds using the mathematical characteristics of the notes that emerge…

via Google’s AI Invents Sounds Humans Have Never Heard Before | WIRED

Great Read: Here’s The Unofficial Silicon Valley Explainer On Artificial Intelligence (Daniel Terdiman)

I’m willing to bet you didn’t know that artificial intelligence can help sort cucumbers. It can, and in fact it does. And while AI has gotten massive amounts of attention recently due to its role in making cars autonomous, doing facial recognition, and automatically translating languages, there’s one man in Silicon Valley who really wants everyone developing any kind of technology-based tool to know that AI has something to offer them as well. Last year, Frank Chen, a partner at the A-list venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), published a primer on artificial intelligence. The 45-minute video took viewers through a history of the technology, from its “birthday” in the summer of 1956 through its years in the wilderness of technology and straight through current-day Silicon Valley, where it is dominating conversations at most of the largest tech companies there.

In fact, if the mobile cloud was computing’s previous major era, the next will be the era of AI…

via Here’s The Unofficial Silicon Valley Explainer On Artificial Intelligence

Time well-spent listening: The Digital Industrial Revolution (TED Radio Hour @NPR)

Guy Raz: “I ask myself this question a lot which is: Is this the future we want? Have we gotten to a place where the train has left the station, where we don’t really have much of a choice about where the future is heading?”

Erik Brynjolfsson: “Well let me try to cheer you up a little bit. Let’s just step back and look at the fundamentals. What are you and I are talking about? We re talking about a world with vastly more wealth, vastly more power to solve all sorts of problems. Vastly less need for us to work. Most routine tasks could be eliminiated. Shame on us, shame on us, if we mess that up and turn that into a bad thing. Wouldn’t that be the worst irony in the world where we take more wealth and less work and say ‘Oh, what a terrible thing?’ I think we can essentially eliminate poverty from planet earth, we can cure most deseases. And the global millennium goals, we are on track to beat them and eliminate severe poverty. There are a lot of positive trends. I think the world in 25 years could be a much better version of the world we have today. But the role of humans would still be fundamentally at the center of that.”

Source: The Digital Industrial Revolution : TED Radio Hour : NPR

Interesting Development regarding Bay Area & Seattle: Silicon Valley North – How America’s two tech hubs are converging (The Economist)

Would your region care to be the next Silicon Valley? In most of the world’s technology hubs, local leaders scramble to say “yes”. But ask the question in and around Seattle, the other big tech cluster on America’s west coast, and more often than not the answer is “no”—followed by explanations of why the city and its surrounds are different from the San Francisco Bay Area. The truth may be more complex: in recent years the Seattle area has become a complement to the valley. Some even argue that the two regions, though 800 miles (1,300km) apart, are becoming one…

 

Source: Silicon Valley North: How America’s two tech hubs are converging | The Economist

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