A great technology wave is cresting over America because of the pandemic — and it’s largely a good thing

  • “The number of Zoom meetings jumped from a pre-Covid 10 million daily-meeting participants in 2019 to a whopping 300 million in April 2020.
  • As of April 21, U.S. and Canadian e-commerce orders have grown by 129% year-over-year, while global online retail orders have achieved an impressive 146% growth.
  • According to a Coresight Research report and pre-Covid-19 projections from Statista, the reality-technology market, which includes augmented reality and virtual reality, is forecast to reach $18.8 billion in 2020.”


WSP 152 — A Crash Course in Artificial Intelligence

“Everything you wanted to know about artificial intelligence (AI) but were afraid to ask! AI, inspired by our understanding of how the human brain learns and processes information, has given rise to powerful techniques known as neural networks and deep learning. This workshop will provide a high-level overview of these and other artificial intelligence techniques. Through pre-built hands-on exercises, we will discuss how current AI platforms compare with how the brain works, how systems actually “learn,” and how to build and apply neural networks. We will also discuss the societal and ethical issues surrounding the real-world applications of neural networks. By the end of the course, students will understand how AI techniques work so they can: (1) converse with neural network practitioners and companies; (2) critically evaluate AI news stories and technologies; and (3) consider what the future of AI can hold and what barriers need to be overcome with current neural network models. This workshop is ideal for product managers who interact with data scientists, software engineers who wish for more AI exposure, and anyone in the general public who wants to know how current AI works.
Ronjon Nag, Interdisciplinary Fellow, Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute; Fellow, Stanford Center for the Study of Language and Information; Founder and Managing Partner, R42 Group

Ronjon Nag has invented and deployed artificial intelligence systems for over three decades. He received a PhD in engineering from Cambridge, an MS from MIT, and the IET Mountbatten Medal, and he was a Harkness Fellow at Stanford. Companies he has co-founded or advised have been sold to Motorola, BlackBerry, and Apple.”


AI Runs Into The Document And People Barrier: Digitization And Digitalization

“Digitization as a necessary first step for many AI projects

At first glance, it may seem that digitization has nothing to do with AI. However, digitization is a necessary first step to extracting value from data that is locked in non-digital assets or human-based processes. By first digitizing and then digitalizing processes and documents, greater value can be applied to business organizations letting them tackle increasingly harder business problems of increasingly more strategic value. Without the foundational layer of digitization, organizations can’t apply higher level technology such as AI and ML to extract additional value. After all, data is the foundational layer upon which information, understanding, and insights can be gathered.”


AI Empowers E-commerce Players To Take Lead In ‘New Normal’

“To put data into perspective, according to the Salesforce Global Shopping Index, between Q1 2019 and Q1 2020, retailers experienced a spike of 16% in digital traffic growth. Additionally, the average spending per visit grew by 4%. As per the report, the number of unique digital shoppers rose 40% year-over-year (YoY) compared to 12% in Q1 2019. This surge surpassed the pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019, which apparently was hailed as a strong season.

59% of consumers worldwide had high levels of interaction with physical stores before COVID-19, but now only 24% expect to return to that level;

In the next 6–9 months, the figure is projected to reach 39%, which is still 20% lower than the pre-COVID era;

Before the crisis, 30% of respondents said that they had high levels of interaction with online channels, but now 37% of them see themselves in that light.”