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Build your own wonder

Wonder-ing out of the uncanny valley The “uncanny valley” is a phrase used to describe machines or systems that at the same time appear close to human, but elect a sense of revulsion rather than wonder.  Creepy is another word that gets used.  It is an old idea (first used by a Japanese roboticist working […]

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More wonders

In my last post (“A time of wonders“) I finished on the idea that “machines like HAL or Her are referred to as super-intelligent or as strong artificial intelligence…and that most experts agree that we are probably 60 years away from being able to create systems like that, but there are many wonders available to […]

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A time of wonders

Wonders indeed.  Last year a man’s life was saved in Missouri when his Tesla car drove him to hospital on autopilot. It seems that every day we read headlines like that one: you could call it a time of wonders, and all of them seem to be the result of artificial intelligence or AI. It […]

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The machines that will change the world again

In many parts of the world it is a long weekend in celebration of Easter, and many parents will be hearing those famous words “are we there yet?” as they set off in their motor cars for a vacation (these are the ‘machines’ of the title in case you are wondering). Motor cars and our […]

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Digital marks the end of a retail era

This last week has brought a couple of significant events in the world of retail and FMCG brands.  One digital, one not. A passing of the baton in UK food and drink Firstly, on a sad note, there is the passing of Jeffrey Hyman.  Jeffrey was the founder and chairman of the Food & Drink […]

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Weather is cool (in all senses of the word)

About weather As you may know, I am English, and so weather is a topic close to my heart.   I look at the sky each night and wonder if that red sky really will be “shepherd’s delight” as we say.  Predicting the weather is important for me – it tells me whether I should wrap […]

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Innovation for all the people

Innovation for the people, by the people I am by nature cheerful.  I come from Birmingham in the UK which likes to brand itself as the heart of England (it is in the middle and people are friendly) so it is in the blood.  But for many this holiday season, being cheerful is hard because […]

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On Shelf Availability as a Supply Chain Metric is so 1980s

Supply Chain Manager? Forget On Shelf Availability A little nostalgia first if I may. When I first started off as a management consultant I worked in a group that was called marketing and operations. Implicit in the name of the group was the assumption that the claims and promises made by the brand had to […]

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The future of manufacturing is in the past

The future of manufacturing Those that know me may be surprised to read that I could have been a fashion model, but a twist of fate took me as a teenager to a world of mass manufacturing (the photo is from 1977 when I was an apprentice at the British Leyland plant in Birmingham, UK). […]

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Back on the blockchain gang

Blockchain will change your life? This week, IBM CEO, Ginni Rometty, has published an Op-Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal.  It’s called “How Blockchain Will Change Your Life.”  The article is both a rallying cry for this new technology, but also a plea for collaboration to create a “transparent system of governance” such as […]

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Robots come out of the AI winter to give brands a hug

Image of Robby the Robot from the film ‘Forbedden Planet’ from Wikipedia When I write about robots, what image does that conjure for you? For many I am sure it will be one of the many science-fiction “mechanical men” such as Robby the Robot from the 196 film “Forbidden Planet” or for those of my […]

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Analytics ain’t nothing but cognitive misspelt

A short history of analytics In the late 1700s, William Playfair invented the bar and pie charts and in doing so created a new discipline that we all benefit from today: statistical graphics.  When we talk of “analytics” and “business intelligence” we are all following in his footsteps.  Every time we look at a brand […]

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