Bull Session

The Smart Home Face Off

October 12, 2017          

Episode Summary

For our podcast topic this week, we discuss product innovation for the smart home and whether Amazon is overtaking Apple when it comes to creating category disruption. Of course, Apple has a long history of disrupting categories — from the personal computer with the Apple II and again with the iMac; to music with the iPod; to mobile with the iPhone; to the tablet with the iPad. But it looks like Amazon is well positioned to be a dominant player when it comes to the smart home, with their television, music, ecommerce, and other systems all driven by the Alexa voice UI. Amazon’s new hardware products, announced at the end of September, extend the Echo line in significant ways, with industrial design reminiscent of Apple’s groundbreaking work on the personal computer. Is designing hardware and software for a complex ecosystem like the home, fundamentally different from other kinds of consumer product design? Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
Amazon announced a bunch of new hardware products today — here’s a rundown
Amazon’s New Devices Take On Apple in the Fight to Run Our Homes

Bull Session

Human Intelligence Vs. AI

October 5, 2017          

Episode Summary

On the podcast this week, we’ll discuss some of the areas where human intelligence may outperform AI and vice versa. AI is good at processing and discovering certain kinds of information — from data mining to predictive forecasting to optimization — while humans can add a layer of expertise, judgment, and insight. Join us as we talk about about how humans might work separately from as well as in conjunction with machines in an AI-driven future.

Resources:

Where human intelligence outperforms AI

Bull Session

Smartware: Design and Function

September 28, 2017          

Episode Summary

On the podcast this week, we conclude our multi-episode discussion about the evolution of software and the future of computing, looking at how a handful of advances will come together to transform software and hardware into something new, which we’re calling “Smartware”. Smartware are computing systems that require little active user input, integrate the digital and physical worlds, and are continually learning on their own.

This week we’ll look at five ways in which Smartware will manifest in the design and functionality of future computing: Machines will do more of the “mechanical” work, interfaces will become invisible, environments will become customized to the individual user, physical presence will be optional, and apps, while fewer in number, will create a greater, networked ecosystem.

Bull Session

Smartware: Transformative Technologies

September 21, 2017          

Episode Summary

On the podcast this week, we continue our multi-episode discussion about the evolution of software and the future of computing, looking at how a handful of advances will come together to transform software and hardware into something new, which we’re calling “Smartware”. Smartware are computing systems that require little active user input, integrate the digital and physical worlds, and are continually learning on their own. Join us as we discuss the major advances in science and technology that are driving Smartware — from artificial intelligence (AI), neuroscience, and genomics to the Internet of Things (IoT) and additive fabrication / 3D printing.

Resources:
Smartware: A Tribute to Dead Machines

Bull Session

Smartware: A Tribute to Dead Machines

September 14, 2017          

Episode Summary

On the podcast this week, we begin a multi-episode discussion about the evolution of software and the future of computing, looking at how a handful of advances — such as AI, the IoT, neuroscience, and additive fabrication — will come together to transform software and hardware into something new, which we’re calling “Smartware”. Smartware are computing systems that require little active user input, integrate the digital and physical worlds, and are continually learning on their own.

We’ll start our discussion with “a tribute to dead machines”. Technology and humanity are inseparable: It’s present in every facet of our civilization. We’ll take a look at the history of technology from the era of big machines to personal computing to mobile. And, we’ll discuss some early examples of Smartware including self-driving cars like Tesla’s automobiles and the AI-driven voice user interface of Amazon’s Echo.

Resources:
Tesla
Amazon Echo