Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Category: Gilbane Advisor (Page 1 of 10)

The Gilbane Advisor is curated by Frank Gilbane for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. The focus is on strategic technologies. We publish via email and on our blog more or less twice a month except for August and December. See an index of all issues and subscribe here.

We do not sell or share personal data. See our privacy policy, and our editorial policy.

Gilbane Advisor 10-7-20 — GPT-3, Qubits, AGI, Wayback

AI democratization in the era of GPT-3

The recent announcement of Microsoft’s exclusive license to OpenAI’s GPT-3 says that in addition to using it for their own products, they will continue to work with OpenAI to help “democratize AI”. The GPT-3 code is not open source, but OpenAI provides free access to GPT-3 via an API, and says it will continue to do so. We’re left to speculate what this means beyond that. Will future models provide free access? Will they be exclusively licensed to Microsoft (an investor) or others? What does democratization in this context mean? Without making a value judgement about this, it’s clear that those building applications using GPT-3 API will have a lot of additional questions.

This article by Professor Mark Riedl from Georgia Institute of Technology is a great place to start.

Are you ready for quantum computing?​​

Quantum computing isn’t ready for prime time for practical business application yet, but it has lots of promise for industry use beyond encryption. Quantum computing is difficult for most of us to get our head around, nonetheless, senior executives and strategists need to track its progress and consider potential use cases. Fortunately, Professor of Physics and Computer Science, Shohini Ghose has provided a short and accessible general introduction, hype-free status update, and some good advice for business leaders.

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), a type of artificial intelligence that is at least as capable as human intelligence, is not a near-term reality. Ben Medlock agrees, and argues that humans have an unfair advantage in the scope and richness of our model, and that though we don’t know how, our bodies play a critical role in creating and maintaining our model.

This means that when a human approaches a new problem, most of the hard work has already been done. In ways that we’re only just beginning to understand, our body and brain, from the cellular level upwards, have already built a model of the world that we can apply almost instantly to a wide array of challenges. But for an AI algorithm, the process begins from scratch each time.

The weaponization of web archives: Data craft and COVID-19 publics

An enlightening academic look at provenance-hijacking tactics focused on current pandemic health misinformation.

Using provenance information such as original context, technical specificities, and unique characteristics of online resources from web crawls, and social analytics data from the Crowdtangle API we find that web archives like the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine are being weaponized to propagate and preserve health misinformation circulating on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

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The Gilbane Advisor is curated by Frank Gilbane for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. The focus is on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We do not sell or share personal data.

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Gilbane Advisor 9-9-20 — schema.org, AI ops, IT arch, NLP

Who benefits from schema. org?

Schema.org, linked data, and knowledge graphs are powerful tools for organizing and navigating vast amounts of information. Much of the current energy around these tools is related to SEO and search engines, especially Google, who depend on them to provide a better search experience. These same tools help commercial and corporate publishers deliver better, and more unique, web experiences to researchers and other content consumers.

We all have a stake in how well these tools work, so we need to understand the process of creating and managing them, and how stakeholders share the cost, risk, and benefit of the raw material, technical development, and maintenance.

schema.org logo

Content strategist Michael Andrews‘ deep dive into the history and process behind schema.org’s management is an enlightening read for stakeholders.

Taming the tail: adventures in improving AI economics

Martin Casado and Matt Bornstein focus on the business models and challenges of machine learning companies and products, which are more unique than you might realize and something we need to learn a lot more about. We recommended an earlier article of theirs on the differences between the business models of AI companies and software companies. This article is a follow-up and provides some guidance on how to deal with some of the challenges previously identified. Especially interesting is their example of long-tailed distributions to illustrate the importance problem understanding. 

Headless meets serverless – a tierless architecture for frictionless enterprise

The components of modern enterprise IT architectures have changed considerably in the last few years.  The use of APIs, microservices, XaaS (everything as a service), headless, and serverless approaches have, individually and especially in conjunction, become strategically critical. As Phil Wainewright puts it…

As these connected digital technologies mesh together, they begin to reshape the nature of the enterprise, opening up new ways to collaborate, connect and do business. We are still at the very beginning of adjusting to what this means for how we live and work.

Wainewright explains what these technologies are, describes related activity and trends, and makes a case for a tierless model. His article is relevant and will be helpful to both IT and business managers.

The field of natural language processing is chasing the wrong goal

Researchers are too focused on whether AI systems can ace tests of dubious value. They should be testing whether systems grasp how the world works.

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The Gilbane Advisor is curated by Frank Gilbane for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. The focus is on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We do not sell or share personal data.

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Gilbane Advisor 7-14-20 — perceiving, DSM, web 3.0, microservices

Dear Reader:

I hope all is well.

We have been busy updating our website and I thought you deserved a quick update. In mid-May we woke up “NewsShark” and re-activated our curated news service which hasn’t been active for a while. It is available on our site here, as a feed, and on Twitter. We publish news multiple times a week, and will check with you at some point to see if you are interested in an email version. We have consolidated all of our content on our main site, improved site navigation, added back search, and have a new simplified category structure – all available from any page. Finally, we are using schema.org markup and experimenting with some additional features that it allows — you’ll notice some of them as you poke around. We’ll update you as we formally roll them out.

Now to this issue’s recommended reading…

Comparing human and machine perception

This article is a wonderfully clear and concrete example of how easy it is to incorrectly interpret data from comparisons between deep neural networks and human perceptions, and how to think about further experiments to expose potential misinterpretations. There is also a broader lesson here for evaluating machine learning algorithms. 

There is a link to the full paper, but this summary by the authors is a valuable resource for non-specialists. Read More

Decentralized web developer report 2020

The decentralized web is an amorphous collection of technologies and projects that are not a near-term threat to today’s imperfect and increasingly centralized web. But it is encouraging to see so much activity dedicated to a more open web, and this report by Fluence Labs’ Evgeny Ponomarev is an excellent way to get a feel for the landscape of the players, the challenges, and what software engineers, researchers, and others think. This is not one of those promotional market research reports, and doesn’t gloss over the challenges. The raw survey data is included. Read More

The seven deceptions of microservices

Software architectures are not the sort of thing you create or change lightly. Even if you’re convinced a different approach would be better, there are inevitably unforeseen developmental and operational consequences / costs which can quickly multiply scarily as a function of the number of moving parts. Software architects and experienced software engineers know this, but the whole team should understand the pros and cons of such a change. Software engineer Scott Rogowski suggests some things to watch out for when considering moving to a microservices development model. Read More

Online content sharing – pay to play?

Article 17 of Directive (EU) 2019/790 on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (the “DSM Directive”), introduces a new content management and liability regime for online content-sharing service providers (“OCSSPs”) … Article 17 is one of the most controversial provisions of the DSM Directive. Its supporters view Article 17 as facilitating more licensing of copyright protected works online to generate remuneration for rightholders whose works are shared by users on profit generating online platforms, while its detractors argue that it goes too far and will have an adverse effect on freedom of expression and the proper functioning of copyright exceptions online. Read More

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The Gilbane Advisor curates content for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. We focus on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We do not sell or share personal data.

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Gilbane Advisor 6-3-20 — AMP life, what VR, platforms, skills

New page experience focus for a better web

The open web has always been critical to Google’s business, which is why AMP was both puzzling and controversial. AMP’s faster page display was a clear benefit, but the forced and limited format made user experiences worse and was a burden with a questionable upside and loss of control for publishers. This post from Google’s Webmaster Central blog on upcoming search ranking changes has some welcome news. In addition to focusing more on web page experience [emphasis added]…

As part of this update, we’ll also incorporate the page experience metrics into our ranking criteria for the Top Stories feature in Search on mobile, and remove the AMP requirement from Top Stories eligibility. Google continues to support AMP, and will continue to link to AMP pages when available.  

Google page experience

This is good for the open web, web user experience, and publishers. Google will obviously still compete with publishers as it continues to add richer results to its search pages. But their advantage will not necessarily be unfair, and a Google walled garden should be less of a concern. It is of course also good for Google as it heads into more serious calls for regulation. Read More

SaaS companies, app platforms, and product integrations

Scott Brinker has been making a case for “app platforms” as part of a model for understanding existing landscapes comprised of large platforms and extremely large numbers of “specialist apps”. In this post he looks at some research that ‘examined integrations, public APIs, and “app centers” offered by the 1,000 fastest growing SaaS companies from 2019’ by product category. Scott’s discussion and the detailed research he links to are worth a look by market and business strategists. Read More

The skills content professionals in government need

Our .gov readers will find this report by Ksenia Cheinman especially valuable, but the information and approach will also be helpful to commercial organizations. Ksenia provides a link to short version of the full research report in case you need to whet your appetite. Read More

The VR winter

Benedict Evans…

The problem is, we haven’t worked out what you would do with a great VR device that isn’t a game (or some very niche industrial application), and it’s not clear that we will. We’ve had five years of experimental projects and all sorts of content has been tried, and nothing other than games has really worked. … Pulling all of these threads together, the issue I circle around is not just that we don’t have a ‘killer app’ for VR beyond games, but that we don’t know what the path to getting one might be. Read More

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The Gilbane Advisor curates content for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. We focus on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December.
We do not sell or share personal data.

Subscribe | Feed | View online | Privacy policy | Editorial policy

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Gilbane Advisor 5-5-20 — no proof, medium hard, build it, pod-mail?

A radical solution to scale AI technology

Skip the proof of concept? This isn’t, or shouldn’t, be radical. It’s often a good idea for large scale projects, and not just for AI, or other digital experience or content technology initiatives.

Illustration: Israel G. Vargas
scaling AI
 
The example in this article is a customer experience chatbot for Nordea. Read More

How Medium became the best and worst place for coronavirus news

Medium’s pivots over the years created confusion about what they are and who they are for. The editorial challenges inherent in being both a platform and a publisher have only increased over time. Zoe Schiffer’s topical case study illustrates how difficult this balance is. Read More

It’s time to build

If you haven’t read this recent post by Marc Andreessen you should. Though prompted by frustration over our collective response to the current coronavirus pandemic, his prescription for preventing such future failures addresses a broader set of societal problems. Some he mentions; others are implicit, or follow, such as the focus on rent-seeking of wall street, VCs, and, well, too many of us. Read More

The New York Times’ morning email newsletter is getting an official “host and anchor”

Joshua Benton asks “Can any of the lessons of The Daily’s success be carried over into your inbox?” and attempts an answer, or rather asks the right questions. The new “The Morning” launched this week, and as someone who curates a newsletter I’ll be paying attention. But a podcast and an email newsletter are very different animals. Read More

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The Gilbane Advisor curates content for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. We focus on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December.
We do not sell or share personal data.

Subscribe | Feed | View online | Privacy policy | Editorial policy

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Gilbane Advisor 4-3-20 — WFH, content technology, AGI not

Content and MarTech vendor subway maps

In 2008 Tony Byrne came up with the idea of a “subway map” as a useful and fun way to illustrate the content technology vendor landscape. He has updated the map every year to incorporate the shifting landscape, sprawling growth, adjacent technologies, and of course the renaming and repositioning by vendors and market analysts.  

content technology vendor subway map

In this article, he shares all 12 subway maps and his thoughts on the changes each year. History is always relevant. A good read. Read More

Scroll, Firefox and ad-free news

Though their impact may be small, at least to start, the business model is interesting. Read More

Scroll and Firefox no-ad news

RealWorld framework comparison 

Handy up-to-date info for front-end-developers. Comparing performance, size, and lines of code implementing Conduit. Read More

RealWorld frameworks

The end of Starsky Robotics

This is a cautionary tale of what can happen when an enthusiastic founder and hungry investors crank each other up without guarding against mutually assured destructive confirmation bias, and don’t do enough serious due diligence. This scenario is unfortunately common, though often with enough funding/time/expert support a pivot or two can prevent disaster.

In this particular case, the problem was a naive expectation of what machine learning could, or would soon be able to, accomplish. Even the possibility of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is controversial among experts in the field. I only share this because Starsky’s founder and CEO Stefan Seltz-Axmacher had the courage to publish it. Kudos to him for sharing what happened, and providing enough detail for a valuable case study for entrepreneurship programs. Read More

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The Gilbane Advisor curates content for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. We focus on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We do not sell or share personal data.

Subscribe | Feed | View online | Privacy policy | Editorial policy

 

 

Gilbane Advisor 3-4-20 — IKEA, T5, AI

IKEA sets a new privacy standard for marketers

Tim Walters reports on an impressive approach by IKEA to earn consumer’s trust, by doing rather than (just) promising. As Tim says, you should really watch the IKEA video description and demo with their delightfully down-to-earth Chief Digital Officer, Barbara Martin Coppola. Read More

Transfer Learning with T5: the Text-To-Text Transfer Transformer

Many of you are familiar with natural language processing (NLP) from the rule-based machine translation in the 80s to today’s more successful machine learning approaches. This post from the Google AI Blog describes a promising new Transfer Learning technique and openly available tools. Slightly technical with a link to the academic paper.

With T5, we propose reframing all NLP tasks into a unified text-to-text-format where the input and output are always text strings, in contrast to BERT-style models that can only output either a class label or a span of the input. Our text-to-text framework allows us to use the same model, loss function, and hyperparameters on any NLP task, including machine translation, document summarization, question answering, and classification tasks (e.g., sentiment analysis). Read More

The new business of AI (and how it’s different from traditional software)

Martin Casado and Matt Bornstein from Andreessen Horowitz wrote a thoughtful piece for AI startups and investors on the differences between the business models of AI companies and software companies. As investors they have a particular interest in the margin potential look at the resources and costs associated with each. My take is that is that they have identified a difference of degree rather than of kind, at least in the case of enterprise software applications, which have similar scaling, “humans in the loop”, interoperability, custom development, and support requirements. Large scale content management systems and “digital experience platforms” are examples. In any case, this is a good read, and all the authors’ recommendations should also be considered by traditional enterprise software companies :).  Read More

Update on technology transformations

McKinsey reports on enterprise’s view and appetite for continued technology transformation. Tldr; it’s hard but showing benefits, and competitiveness demands its continuation. Read More

Business side support IT in top companies

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The Gilbane Advisor curates content for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. We focus on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We do not sell or share personal data.

Gilbane Advisor 2-11-20 — future fingers, collaboration, taxonomy, adtech

Mapping workplace collaboration startups

Merci Victoria Grace provides a very useful breakdown of the current workplace collaboration space. As an investor her interest is in opportunities, but her insights also inform enterprise strategists and buyers considering not just products, but use cases. Read More

workplace collaboration startups
Workplace Collaboration Market Map by Merci Victoria Grace

Apple’s ‘Finger Devices’: wearable computing’s next big thing?

CB Insights reports on a new patent application from Apple. While “next big thing” is bit over-enthusiastic, they are right that it has potential as a core component of Apple’s coming wearable computing ecosystem.

While other patents have explored the use of fingers and virtual interfaces and feedback systems, this patent appears the first to contemplate the finger as the seat of a full-fledged computing device — containing a full battery of sensors, input and output systems, and the capacity to interact with other devices in different categories. Read More

Lumping and Splitting in Taxonomy

Taxonomies are often avoided because they are complex and require nurturing. Michael Andrews on why they are a necessary information technology…

Classification is the bedrock of algorithms: they drive automated decisions. Yet taxonomies are human designed. Taxonomies lack the superficial impartiality of machine-oriented linked data or machine learning classification. But taxonomies are useful because of their perceived limitations. They require human attention and human judgment. That helps make data more explainable. Read More

As Google Chrome crumbles the third-party cookie, what’s next for adtech?

Aside from the obvious boost for first-party data – where the legit value has always been – there are a number of questions on how and when this will all play out. The Drum collects some thoughts from adtec insiders. Read More

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The Gilbane Advisor curates content for content technology, computing, and digital experience professionals. We focus on strategic technologies. We publish more or less twice a month except for August and December. We do not sell or share personal data.

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