Creative technology is key for connecting the next billion | Business Insider India

As humans we use our sense of sight, hearing, smell or touch to experience the world. With the democratization of technology, brands are realizing that a unique experience is the key to business success and growth. In order to have an emotional connect, loyalty and complete engagement, brands must create multi-sensory experiences.
— Read on

what’s intelligence?

I moved around my apps on my phone, reorganized them into a different folder structure. This restructuring led to app icons / folders moving from left corner of my phone to the right hand side and shifted up by a row. Next time, I looked for the app but couldn’t locate it, took me a few seconds before i could actually find the app that had shifted by few pixels on a very small screen. I asked myself what does this mean ?

My brain predicted that as per the order of pattern for last so many days the icon had to be at a certain place.

Interestingly, I validated this through many other observations.

On my way to office there is a busy crossway, which usually caused multiple jams during peak hours. Considering the traffic situation the cross way was closed and an alternate U turn was created few 100 meters ahead. I have noticed the change for multiple weeks now, however, whenever I drive past that point I automatically drive on the left hand side of the road considering that folks on the right will take a turn (which has been closed). This just happens even when am aware of the change that happened many weeks ago.

There are numerous such instances where my reaction completely depends on Predictions that my brain is making based on historical data/pattern/learnings/teachings and so on. It is almost as if the reaction is driven by the kind of Data that is stored somewhere in my head.

So the question is:

Is prediction the basis of human intelligence?

Possibly true, I would want you to think about it and make your own inferences.

  • Are we as intelligent as the learnings in our life?
  • Does that mean our smartness is driven by the awareness we show about our surroundings?
  • Does that mean being in chaos as opposed to an orderly environment leads to greater intelligence?

I would also leave you with one other thought – does the emotional intelligences also depend on the mining of the data thats stored in the warehouse (brain) and the patterns that could lead to a familiar predictive way to react to how we expected something to be in our life and surroundings.

I am almost convinced that is the case – how about you?

BTW – for all geeks out there, Data is the key to AI. Deep Learning shall mimic the patterns/learnings based on the situations that the machine comes across (based on test data).

Real – Virtual – Emotional | connections – impact on our life

Everyday we wake up with a preoccupied set of thoughts that are connected to an outcome for the day, through the day. That set of thoughts continue to get complicated as we live through the day and the connections keep getting complex and complex; but somehow we live through it, make sense out of it.

IOT (the next wave of Digital era) isn’t really different, if you re analyze your day – you would realise that bunch of those thoughts and connections are now being made across “Digital” and “Physical” (Social Networks, Messaging, Emails, Voice, Websites, Mobile phones and so on). And if you were to expand this idea to everyday objects in your life (your watch, shoes, shirt, belt, bag, kitchen appliances, cars and so on) you would be able to wrap your head around the notion of “Highly Connected World” – Internet of Everything – IOT/IOE.

Simple truth about IOT is that there are going to be “n” number of connections that will be made either with your involvement or without your involvement but in the context of YOU (who you are, what you do, wherever you are and so on). All of these connections will help in creating an understanding of your life, events, activities, behaviors as has been the case in non-digital world. (before digital arrived) You were making all these connections by using an organic matter (your Brain) that internally leveraged millions of neurons in your brain (which is an interesting connections of senses) to sketch out the meanings that helped you take next course of action.

Think about –  your observation of your friend’s behaviour and suddenly you felt concerned about him. Series of events that you noticed about how your friend were missing classes, or hadn’t met you for multiple days or hasn’t been reachable / communicable – from these observations you derived insights that led you to reach out to him to check in on him.

Similarly, in new era – machines check on your routine, share observations, and derive insights (all automated – AI) that helps you always be in know how about your friends/family.

As the marketers learn to truly leverage Digital, it will become evidently clear that every single “Micro” moment that gets created between Brand and the Consumer lives in our brain somewhere. So, every time a new message or new “Micro” moment that gets thrown at us if doesn’t connect back to the previous one – the impact becomes lesser as our brain can not make the connection. And if there aren’t enough connections about the same object and the messaging it never really becomes an embedded experience for the consumer. So “Connections” in itself is an important pattern to explore and implement when Marketers are trying to develop consumers and keep them loyal to their brand.

That’s the real true purpose of all this – how do we use the technology to impact (Truly) the way we live, help us become better human beings. That is the true impact of “Connections” – Assembly of events that turn something into a memorable experience that helps me truly stay connected (human 2 human).

stories and artificial intelligence

As a young soul I was always fascinated by stories, stories of Rama and Arjuna, stories of freedom fighters and stories of superheroes (guess we all have been fans of larger than life heroes). It was always fascinating to hear about the superpowers that these heroes possessed, how they were able to overcome the odds and how they had a personal story – a wonderful journeys of their own ups and downs. As a kid it was almost as if I wanted to live their lives, always felt connected to their emotions.

As I grew up, to my surprise, I had my own stories to narrate – about my own journey – about my life at school, college with friends and now at various workplaces. It is fascinating that as human beings we have the power to build and narrate incidents, draw conclusions, share experiences and in the process emotionally involve the listener in our own world.

Stories are a wonderful tool, but when the same tool is to be used in a professional setup – advertisements, campaign ideas or business presentations – it becomes a difficult skill to master. It sounds ironical but true. The fundamental reason (to me) lies in the fact that stories are supposed to have souls and as professionals our decisions are driven by logic and rationale. It becomes difficult to turn a logical, rationale conversation into a story system – I have been challenged (and continue to be).

To overcome the challenge is possible. You could learn from inspirational leaders like Steve Jobs who had mastered the art of Story telling in a professional context, all the greats from advertising have been telling beautiful stories about the brands they work with.  Here is a great example:

This campaign completely nails the point – I personally love it for the fact that this is very bollywoodish in its over the top communication.

The reason we struggle with storytelling is the same as that of mastering intelligence. In other words, we have built machines with artificial intelligence. We have been able to teach computers how to make reason based decisions, in fact, we have been doing that for decades. However, we are not able to teach a computer non-rationale thinking? the reaction/emotion that humans have to situations without real rules, reasons or thinking.

I believe the day we would be able to create a machine that can narrate stories, conceive new worlds, imagine conditions that influence Human experiences – we would truly master intelligence.

Computing has seen advancement, we are marching towards a more complex neural network of data based machine learning and intelligence – sample IBM Watson, Wolfram knowledge engine and so on, these systems are bringing immense power of decision making to machines. IBM Watson can respond to a question in the same way a human would i.e. it knows what it knows and it knows what it doesn’t know. However, none of these systems are close to or close enough to a point when these machine could create Stories!

While we are some time away from creating artificially intelligent story telling system – there are ways in which machines are (already) becoming important part of our stories.

Here is a great example:

I am sure as we learn to master the art of story telling ourselves, we will be able to create machines that are truly human. I am an optimist, am exploring that everyday in the work that I do, experiences that I create and experiments that I build.

cave walls to facebook walls, why share?

When you have focus problems and need continuous distractions as a means to focus back on your mainstream work – you end up answering a lot of questions for yourself. Let’s say that I am able to do that for myself.

I have always asked myself a question – why would anyone have the need to leave their footprints (not literally) on this world? I have been fascinated by sumerian tablets, to cave wall paintings to ancient writings (scribblings mostly) and now facebook walls (check-ins, broadcasted messages in form of status updates and so on). As a society why do we do so ? share moments?  why have we tried to tell stories, leave hints (whichever way like it?)

Few weeks back i happened to watch “Lucy” the movie while i loved the imagination and the concept i didn’t fall in love with the movie (it was an average overall watch in my opinion).  I carried a couple of interesting imaginative scenes from the movie though and i kind of think about the possibility of bringing those solutions to life. here is one such concept (as shown in movie):
lucy – movie

(what you see in this picture are connections between mobile devices and satellites – in other words visualised data streams – isn’t this beautiful?)

However, that movie helped me find the connection and answer the question for myself – that entire universe and all organic life came to be because it wanted to spread (big bang,  evolution of complex organisms from single cell organisms and so on), transfer the knowledge that it has (gene transfer mechanism) — that idea (if you come to terms with it) to me is such a fundamental truth to our existence (if we believe in it, that is). More i think about it, its a good hypothesis – most importantly helps me answers the question for me. It has also helped me answer other corollary questions like : why do we believe in stories ? why have we always told stories (to pass on the knowledge?)

You could argue that in computing field why would i care?, why would this bother me? The answer to that is that it is important to answer (may not be an accurate answer) simple questions to move on – human brain is complex (lets just leave it at that). However, there is a logical reasonable answer as well – today, you don’t look to solve the problem by boxing it as a “computing” or “economic” or “health related” problem. Think about it – you would ask, whats the problem ? how do we solve for it would be decided based on what it takes the problem to be solved (that most likely means a combination of multiple domains – multiple disciples coming together). So, knowing more about our social structures, human behaviours enables us to solve complex problems that we want to solve today.