Trump is an enabler

Trump will have enabled three major developments:

  • A move to a more equal society
  • The first American female president
  • The destruction of the bigoted GOP

Before anyone goes ballistic: This was never his intent. But it will be the consequence of his failed presidency.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Corona: The end of the beginning

Hope you all can enjoy spring despite testing times.

And testing times it continues to be: After a gradual ease of restrictions a seeming resemblance of normalcy. Yet nothing has been won, The infection is still here and here to stay.

The Swiss civil society and government did a good job containing the virus and keeping the economy from falling into the abyss. Yet we seem to be putting at risk this achievement.

A second wave seems to be – and early indications from places as varied as Singapore, Korea, China, Bulgaria, & the USA point to this – a feature rather than an outlier of this pandemic.

We are already faced with the biggest economic downturn in our lifetimes (unless we are lucky and a vaccine is found quickly). It is thus utterly incomprehensible that there is to this date no comprehensive testing and tracing strategy in place covering all age groups in the country.

Some argue about the cost, about privacy and other concerns. A look back at 1918 shows that whatever this costs, is nothing compared to the societal and economic devastation of a second wave.

This is a call to action for us all to push for what’s proven over the last 3 months to be the only working strategy to contain the spread (and no, Sweden is no alternative, as the Swedish approach so far produced a similar economic downturn like elsewhere with a much higher per capita death rate than almost anywhere else).

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Contemporary witness

We are eyewitnesses to tectonic shifts in international politics. Links in German.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Why the AI revolution will take time

The way most companies today deal with data is equivalent to buying a car, driving it from the dealership back to your garage, and then throwing away the key and never driving that car again.

Reflections on why the widespread adoption of AI technologies will take time – Interview in the AI News.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The clowns are called out

The Covid-19 Pandemic has no political bias. It has no notion of itself, it has no notion of its own future, it has not spin doctored route to electoral success. It is a deadly viral bug without political bias. On its global march it killed hundreds of thousands, sickened millions.

One thing it also inadvertently did: It unmasked the clowns. Trump, Bolsonaro, Johnson, Salvini rose to prominence as  so called populists, denouncing the elites, offering easy recipes to all ails, going aggressively against anyone pointing out their many flaws.

What the media (even though they wrote about it prior the outbreak), the liberals, the righteous conservatives couldn’t do, the virus did: It unmasked these clowns*. How fitting that for long they refused to wear masks.

The price for their clownishness behaviour we all will pay for a long time.

 

* Calling the clowns is unfair to clowns:  “Yet while the term “clown” is often used as an insult, it is in fact a compliment Mr Johnson does not deserve. Clowning is a noble art form animated by a spirit he does not share.”

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Autonomous driving is a more than a few years away.

Autonomous driving is a long time away. The reason – AI is universal, but requires a finite universe to be effective – is mostly overlooked. Article in German.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

A different world

Covid-19 turned the world upside down. For once available in German.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

A company road trip

A few days ago my colleagues and I set out to drive from New York to Connecticut to visit a customer of ours. Our customer has its North American divisional headquarter up there and a big R&D facility.

IMG_2605

On that one Friday morning we got to the nearest Hertz rental station. A roadblock there: Their IT system being down it became quite a longwinded process to get a contract done… Once this obstacle cleared, we were on the road.

IMG_2608

A short en route stop to refuel the crew and a few more miles to go. For a Swiss guy it’s always amazing to see the sheer size of the county. The trip translated to Switzerland would cover a good part of our country while nothing here.

All smooth sailing. And here we arrived.

IMG_2611

 

A great meeting later we headed back south again. While Friday mornings are not really traffic heavy, Friday afternoons are. Very heavy. What took us 2.5hrs in the morning translated to roughly 4 in the late afternoon…

Posted in DE, EN, Heute in | Comments Off

Trump will be gone by end 2019

Some time ago I offered a simple bet: Trump will no longer be president by year end 2019. Reason: Last chance for Republicans to have a faint chance to retain the presidency. The way to get him out: The Spiro Agnew route. Details happily in person.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Digital Transformation coming full circle – 23 years later

When asked what we do here at Squirro I talk about AI. AI seems to be everywhere. Our version is all about Augmented Intelligence. Then people often go: “Interesting, but (not yet) for me.”

23 years ago, 1995, I joined the Institute of Information Systems of the University of St.Gallen. There I joined the Competence Center Electronic Markets as research assistant. The competence center was joint research with companies such as UBS, CS, St.Galler Kantonalbank, SwissRe, Mercedes, and many more.

Under the guidance of Prof. Schmid, or Dr. Beat in short, we did ground breaking work: At the institute we got at the time a fully working e-banking prototype called Telecounter. Yes fully working, albeit on clunky PCs. Showing that to people outside of the competence center we were often met with disbelieve and sometimes ridicule.

Fast forward to today. When I opened my UBS e-banking account last Sunday. First, I was asked to accept the new all-digital package. No longer will I receive hard copies of my monthly statements, paying bills will only be possible in an all-digital manner – the good old physical payment slips gone, the only connection to my account is the browser interface.

Within the span of two decades retail banking has been fundamentally transformed.

AI will do the same for banking and any other industry with one difference: It will take significantly less time than two decades. Why? The combination of Moore’s law and massive advances in algorithmic computing make this change irresistible much faster.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off