May 14 Fed’s Agile Project, Hashtags and Union Station Orchestra…

The inspiration behind this blog is Quicken Loan’s Jeremy Potter, one of the smartest guys I have come across. In the last year, I have got used to waking up each Saturday to JDP’s “Saturday Cup of Joe” – what he calls a lending and tech(ish) newsletter. He recently completed 100 editions this April. Congrats, JDP!

This is a my own attempt to share information I come across in my interactions with the many super smart people I meet at and off-work. You will find my own thoughts and reflections sprinkled in the mix. I hope this is both useful and insightful.

Is the Fed response to the rate rise the best(worst?) example of Agile?  – This month’s job data report  on the lowest unemployment levels combined with inflation moving towards the magic 2% makes the June announcement of a rate increase a near certainty. Will the Fed go 4 of 4 on rate increases in the remaining meetings and risk recession? I regularly follow Jim Rickards and this interview raises some interesting questions on the balance between active monetary intervention and free market balancing forces. I said the Agile comment only half in jest but might be worth breaking the rest of the fiscal year into sprints and tracking how sprint goals, targets and showcases a.k.a Fed reports and numbers go. May just make sense to load the Fed calendar on the iPhone, right next to the NFL and World Cup Soccer.

Besting my 10 year old at Tech…my 10 year old, Abir is fascinated by gadget and technology in general. He also considers me as an O.T.G. (“Old Tech Guy”) – apparently the term used by the hip kids to describe people who think they know tech, but they don’t  – not really. I have taken this challenge up and my aim is to give him a cool tech fact he does not know each week. I am always fascinated by the interaction channels of the mind with the body – and this week came across AlterEgo. Essentially, the AlterEgo is a headset which translates thought and intent to speak into intructions for machines like Smart Phones and TV. Definitely worth a read…

Alter-Ego

 

Sweepstakes at 1512 (that’s the room # I work out of) – Given the onslaught of open source tools, gone are the boring names assigned to software products like Visual Age or Rational Rose. Instead, abbreviations and replaced by everyday objects . We have launched a weekly sweepstakes where someone picks a common every day object and we place bets on whether it’s an actual tool. This week – I scored a W with correctly predicting that Eggplant was a tool. It’s apparently a popular UI testing tool.

#Power-of-hashtag – Recently came across an article which spoke about the enhanced Facebook image recognition system.  The new system which links photos with hashtags as a means of fully supervised learning can apparently predict with 85% accuracy despite all the obvious noise.  It’s it fascinating that the little symbol sitting innocuously over the letter 3 on our keyboards has had such a far reaching impact in our lives.

facebook-before

facebook-After

 

The new system can not just recognize it’s a bird or tree but classify the type based on # from Instagram

Tech Triva of the week

Here is a picture of the #father-of-the-hashtag – #Chris Messina. #Chris Messina first proposed using #hashtag in #Twitter. This was an idea inspired-by the usage of #hastag in Internet Relay Chats.

Chris_Messina_-_2016

My thoughts – Are we often restricted in our thinking around the potential of data and it’s management by (implicitly) tying it to the ability (and limitations) of current technology.   Is there a general failure of imagination across the industry because we keep thinking #data-as-an-input instead of #technology-as-an-input (to data?)? Are there other such simple #hashtag ideas we are not thinking of simply because technology does not yet support them?

I have dinner later in the week with Hans Godfrey.  Hans is managing development of Publicis.Sapient’s Marcel, an industry-first AI platform to connect our 80,000 employees worldwide together. I intend to get his thoughts on the  #technology-as-an-input while designing data for an AI system. More to follow….

Quote of the week

I make a very deliberate attempt in my every action not to be cliched and it does not get more cliched that “Quote of the Week” but I will share this quote – because it strongly resonated with an experience this week at work. The quote comes from Edward De Bono (someone I have followed for years and people who know me well – I have an almost unhealthy obsession with lateral thinking puzzles).

OUR EXISTING TRADITIONAL THINKING HABITS INSIST THAT YOU MUST ATTACK SOMETHING AND SHOW IT TO BE BAD BEFORE YOU CAN SUGGEST A CHANGE. IT IS MORE DIFFICULT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SOMETHING IS EXCELLENT AND THEN TO ASK FOR CHANGE BECAUSE ALTHOUGH IT’S EXCELLENT, IT IS (STILL) NOT ENOUGH.

I found myself in a situation where I spent 15 minutes dissecting a process which worked well just to make suggestions on improving it. Thinking back, I only have admiration for whoever designed the workflow 8 years back.-It’s just that business needs have changed. I also happened to come across this quote later in the evening. My goal for next week is to not be critical for the sake of being critical. Sometimes it’s just an unnecessary and harmful precursor to change.

National Symphony Orchestration at Union Station???

NSO at Union Station

 

I recently moved to NYC from DC. While I’m excited by the prospect of living in NYC, DC will always be a special place. An event I regret missing was the free popup performance by the NSO at the iconic Union Station. My friend, Alex who is a regular at the Kennedy Center described it as a once in a lifetime event. I intend to attend the next one – watch this space for the next event.

Adi Ghosh

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Based in NYC, Here, There… is a blog by Adi Ghosh. The blog explores events and viewpoints focussed on the cross section of finance and tech.

 

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