Volvo wants packages delivered directly to your car | The Verge
This seems to be another idea of how car manufacturer tries to enter or at least open up to a service market. Interesting, because this is an example of ideas of services that have been kicked around at Volvo for many years, but now the technologies and the maturity might be there!
A few years ago, Dr. Bell was thinking about one particular end user: the car owner. If the marketing is to be believed, cars are no longer just transportation devices, but mobile entertainment systems. Ford promotes its “Sync” in-car infotainment system with slogans like “Drive Connected,” “Drive Personally” and “Drive Entertained.” Audi bills its latest built-in wireless system as the “connected car future,” with smoother digital maps, faster downloads and, someday soon, the ability to exchange data with “parking garages and other connected cars.”
Dr. Bell has never been much impressed by such idealized visions of technology. So when those notions start to settle into conventional wisdom — like the car as a superconnected entertainment-and-communication bubble — she wants to kick the tires, so to speak. This urge is not just contrarianism. If Intel wanted to innovate for its automaker clients, Dr. Bell believed, the company would need to better understand how real people shifted back and forth between built-in technologies and the personal devices they carried into their cars.
So Dr. Bell and Alexandra Zafiroglu, a fellow Intel anthropologist, set off on an expedition. They traveled around the world, examining, logging and photographing the contents of people’s cars.
In a typical encounter, the pair found themselves in an underground parking lot in Singapore, where a man named Frank had agreed to let them scour his new white Volvo S.U.V. They searched his car methodically from the glove compartment to the trunk, removing each object they found and placing it on a beige shower curtain that they had spread out next to his car.
Soon, the plastic curtain was covered with all manner of tech gear: iPods, calculators, a Bluetooth headset, a collection of CDs and DVDs, remote controls for the car’s DVD players, wireless headphones and a detachable GPS system, plus manuals for all of the electronics. There were also personal items: umbrellas, golf clubs, credit cards, toys, candy, hand sanitizer, a small Buddha given to Frank by his mother, and an anti-slip pad on which the Buddha rested. When they had finished the car excavation, Dr. Bell climbed up a stepladder and photographed the spread.
As they traveled from country to country, asking drivers about how they used every object in their cars, the pair developed a messier counternarrative to the tech-idealized version. Although carmakers have embedded voice-command systems and the like in their vehicles with the idea of reducing distracted driving, the researchers found that when drivers were bored in traffic, they often picked up their hand-held personal devices anyway.
“What became clear was a couple of things: how much technology people bring to cars, how much they were ignoring the technology that was built in, and how much that technology was failing them,” Dr. Bell says.
This more grounded, nuanced view of driver behavior served as a reality check for Intel and its clients. Last fall, Intel announced a collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover to develop, among other things, better ways for consumers to sync their personal devices with their cars. Intel has a similar effort with Toyota, to develop user-interaction systems involving voice, gesture and touch.
The goal is to make built-in technology more seamless and supersede a driver’s reflex to reach for a hand-held device.
Natasha Singer, Intel’s Sharp-Eyed Social Scientist - NYTimes.com
People underuse the built-in tech in their cars and rely on the companion devices they use everywhere.(via stoweboyd) This is very much in line with our hypothesis we hade the futures group at Volvo Cars during IT boom in late 90:s. There were a lot of discussions about how to integrate computers into cars and we argued that the computers were on their way of integrating with the individual rather than into other artefacts like cars.
Netflix Is Building an Artificial Brain Using Amazon’s Cloud
Nothing beats a movie recommendation from a friend who knows your tastes. At least not yet. Netflix wants to change that, aiming to build an online recommendation engine that outperforms even your closest friends.
The online movie and TV outfit once sponsored what it called the Netflix Prize, asking the world’s data scientists to build new algorithms that could better predict what movies and shows you want to see. And though this certainly advanced the state of the art, Netflix is now exploring yet another leap forward. In an effort to further hone its recommendation engine, the company is delving into “deep learning,” a branch of artificial intelligence that seeks to solve particularly hard problems using computer systems that mimic the structure and behavior of the human brain. The company details these efforts in a recent blog post.
Full Story: Wired
Interesting to see a company that is really data driven and strive to take it to another level.
Machines are for answers; humans are for questions.
This is a key critique against the emerging machine age - which is featuring an almost total human capitulation in front of easy and immediate answers or solutions to shallow and badly formulated questions or problems!
From Cadmus, this is a nice introduction and overview to network and complexity science.
ARTICLE | November 10, 2013 | BY Raoul Weiler, Juri Engelbrecht
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P A Martin Börjesson
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