Robotics, Automation and AI – Investing

ACG LogoThe investment opportunities for growth in AI, Robotics and Automation will be greater than that of the internet companies like Facebook, Google or Amazon.  This was the position of William Studebaker, President, Chief Investment Officer, and Managing Partner at ROBO Global, LLC.   He was a featured speaker at the ACG event hosted at the Windows over Minnesota on the 50th floor of the IDS building in downtown Minneapolis.

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IoT and Smart Water

IMG_4570Minnesota DEED Trade Office hosted a Smart Water Round Table event at the Uponor corporation on May 10th, 2018.   Featured were a host of IoT companies showcasing their work in smart water solutions.   The audience and speakers who attended came from as far away as Europe and South America.   This event came on the heels of the Minnesota IoT Fuse conference.   The solutions they covered spanned a vast array of topics including:  precision agriculture, water treatment, smart cities,  transportation, city infrastructure optimization, etc.    The companies also represented specializations in hardware & sensors,  data aggregation and analytics, and business model development.

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2018 Top Technology Trends

240_F_6103632_ib328fMRJVHjrJSvj2VORJI21LaeKU1sAs Technology continues its rapid innovation the leading trends all suggest massive opportunities for nations and companies that can harness the potential of the new capabilities.  While most of the trends listed are sure to progress rapidly, there is a cautionary tale underneath each for the impacts to society that will be incurred.  It will take time to understand each one and it may not be able to be undone once certain abilities are unleashed and entrenched into global business and governments that have control.

Top Tech Trends:

  • Artificial Intelligence:
    • Artificial Intelligence will drive a new level of deep learning and ability to approach new levels of big data analysis.
    • New graphic data and forms of linguistics research will also enhance the transfer of knowledge.
    • Algorithms for dealign with noise to signal ratio or pattern anomaly recognition will be a competitive advantage.
    • Machine vision spanning facial recognition, security or any detailed oriented visual task will transform how we can approach new sources of information.
    • Increased pattern and trend recognition will drive profiling and personalization of services.
    • Decision support systems will gain a new level of insight and sophistication driving a more data driven decision approach.
    • AI chip design and manufacturing will expand but like CPUs only the best will survive long term.
  • Human to Machine Interface
    • Multi-model interaction include touch, audio, visual and facial recognition will evovle.
    • Ethics based interfaces will grow as AI develops
    • Natural language processing will increase in accuracy and should surpass the quality of touch interaction within the next 5 years.
  • Quantum Computing
    • The ability to process entire new sets of problem spaces beyond the traditional computer architectures
    • The ability and speed in which variable scenarios can be processed expands exponentially
    • The predictability of random events can be better modeled.
  • Internet of Things
    • A world of sensors and new data sources exists that can provide new insights about systems and society.
    • The security for such a world of data represents a monumental challenge.
    • The network and bandwidth demands for an IoT world may not be able to keep pace with the volume of data generated.
  • Digital Currenies
    • Standardization on platforms and protocols will lead the experimentation.
    • The definition, depth and authorization around digital identies.
    • Demonstrable security and indemnification of transactions
    • The ability to have cross national law and regulation is instrumental in its long term viability.
    • Oversight and monitoring protocols for regulatory bodies.

Source: MIT, Alizila, Berkely

 

Arizona’s Cybersecurity Taskforce

United-States-Map-2The state of Arizona is increasing its focus on enterprise-level security controls with the creation of a cybersecurity task force.
First year Governor Doug Ducey signed an Executive Order creating Arizona Cybersecurity Team, “ACT.”
The overall plan is to create a collaborative structure across the 22 members of executive branch-level officials .  It will also bring in representatives from the legislature, higher educations, local government, the private sector and other state agencies.  The goal is to protect Arizona from a cyberattack.
The team’s responsibilities include developing recommendations and advising the governor on cybersecurity issues; offering advice on federal resources available to fight cyberthreats; promoting public awareness of threats; fostering collaboration between government, the private and education sectors, law enforcement and others; and driving cybersecurity and IT workforce development and training at the higher education level.
Source: govtech

MN DEED Export Roundtable: Water Technology

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I participated in the December meeting of the MN Deed Export Roundtable.  The event series is focused on developing the exports of Minnesota through education, networking, and support of the MN Trade Office.   Topics for each round table rotate through a variety of areas including technologies,  working with geographies, and global grand challenges and opportunities.  The 2015 December event was hosted at the Walter Library on the U of M East Bank Campus.   The focus was on Water technologies.   In attendance where corporations, scientists, entrepreneurs and exports forced on this sector.
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The format for this particular event was to focus on emerging technologies and networking these innovation to the audience.  I wanted to highlight several of the technologies that were showcased and some of the conversation from the different stakeholders in the room in reaction to the innovations.
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Several UMN professors showcased water filtration technologies.  One example was the global problem of mercury contamination of water sources.  The contamination enters the food supply through fish and beverages.   The impactful example that brought the urgency forward was rapid decline mental abilities of children when exposed to mercury.  (See handwriting images in gallery link below).  The case study in Japan also showed the financial impact to the corporate involved.   The company was fined $86M and the government is still paying over $100M annually for the ongoing treatment of the contamination and care for people impacted.  IQ decreases are attributed to over $8.7B lost in productivity of the workforce given current contamination levels.  Bring the problem back home, today lakes in Minneasota has over six times the minimum acceptable levels.   The university had developed nano technology to create sponges with Selenium.  The Selenium efficiency was the ability to filter from a 10ppm to .0004ppm (99.95%) with the added bonus that Selenium kills bacteria.  The sponge format was chosen as it increases surface area over 30 times from a single layer filter.  Compressibility of the sponge also made for high density disposability / space.  A single sponge, about the size of a simple dishwashing sponge, can clean up a medium size lake.   Removing all  the mercury from a medium size lake would be about the size a quarter of solid mercury.  They estimate this is a $10B dollar market and their solution is simple and cost effective approach.   Audience discussion explored other aspects of contamination, specifically pulling mercury out of the sediment layers.   Mercury is released over time to the water, but the sediment layer was not directly addressed by this technology.  Other solutions where also reveled and how new filtration methods can drastically change the economics of time, energy, and processes required compared to today’s methods.   Many methods had broad application, but could be configured to great specificity.   This created a challenge for commercialization by identifying the market needs and practice paths to commercial focused products that could be in high demand and use the profitability to further develop more specialized needs.
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A another thread of presentations explored fluid dynamics and nano levels of managing flow, elasticity, velocity, etc.  The ability to have new methods of measuring and categorizing dynamics at that level is emerging.
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A great deal of conversation focused on approaching commercialization through patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, etc.   The trade-offs for corporations was quite apparent when balanced against achieving a market leader position.   Other topics included exploration of export of technology/products early in the commercialization process and practices for building international partnerships.
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See more of the event in the image gallery