We chat to the popular podcastâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Director, David Savage
Chief Data Officer
A review of the changing nature of this all-essential role
Warrick CrameR Meet the man behind Tomorrow Street, a unique growth engine for late-stage start-ups
BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN STARTUPS AND CORPORATES Luxepo - The Box I Luxembourg City
ARCH SUMMIT 3rd & 4th April, 2019
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am fascinated by the technologically-advanced world in which we now find ourselves. And when we consider how far we have come in just five years, it truly blows my mind. So, this issue, we are taking a look back at the growth of the technology industry, as well as keeping a close eye on the most innovative tech trends of tomorrow. We chart the evolution of AI on page 38. I can remember my father bringing home one of the first PCs of the 1980s, so it’s amazing to think that in just a few decades, we are talking about the possibilities of driverless cars, home robots and machine learning. Plus, what started as a role largely associated with compliance, the position of CDO has become integral to a company’s success. We review the responsibilities of this influential c-level executive on page 50. I have been lucky enough to interview two inspiring individuals this issue – Warrick Cramer, CEO/Director of Tomorrow Street, and David Savage, Director of Tech Talks. Warrick is the brains behind Vodafone’s global innovation accelerator – you can find out more by turning to page 14. Meanwhile, David launched popular podcast, Tech Talks, and has quickly built a community around it. Our exclusive interview is on page 60. What’s more, we bring you our guide to the top 10 European fintech start-ups of 2018 (p6), the latest blockchain business news (p30), and an insight into the way in which AR is disrupting the supply chain (p72).
Editor Anna McMahon
Managing Director Danielle Harris
Senior Digital Designer Daniel May
Managing Director Tom Barnes
+44 (0) 203 890 1189 firstname.lastname@example.org All rights reserved. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of material published in Digital Innovation Magazine. However, the company cannot accept responsibility for the claims made by advertisers or contributors, or inaccurate material supplied by advertisers. Digital Innovation is a trading name of HBL Europe Ltd. Company Registration Number: 10933897. Company Registered in England and Wales
How blockchain is re-defining
Vodafoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s global innovation accelerator, Tomorrow Street
Top 10 European fintech start-ups
The history and future possibilities of machine learning 4
n technology g business
The impact of AR systems on the supply chain
The important role of the CDO
Tech Talks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; more than just a podcast 5
We share our round-up of 10 of the most innovative European fintech start-ups for 2018.
Advanon is an online platform for invoice-financing SMEs. The platform enables SMEs to better manage their cash flows and focus on their core business. Founded in 2015 by Philip Kornmann, Phil Lojacono and Stijn Pieper, Advanon has raised $3.9m in funding so far, including a $3.5m Series A round from Btov Partners, VI Partners and Swisscom Ventures.
Capital.com (Limassol, Cyprus)
Capital.com has developed a mobile trading app that uses AI to allow customers to invest in various financial instruments, as well as access educational materials. Regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission to offer a safer and more secure experience, the company raised $25m in a Series A round led by VP Capital.
Circle (Dublin and London)
Circle is a P2P payments platform founded by Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire. Using the technology â&#x20AC;&#x201C; available as an app on iOS and Android devices, or even through a Circle app for iMessage â&#x20AC;&#x201C; users can send and receive P2P payments with native euro support. Circle also claims to be the first and only cross-border payments platform in the world to make it possible to beam cash from an app into a US bank account at no cost. The company has so far raised $136m in four funding rounds from 19 investors. Circle wants to change and innovate the way people make and receive payments.
Founded in 2014, Coinify operates as a blockchain payment service provider for merchants and consumers, and it works with global payment providers, online merchants, physical shops and individuals. Last year, Coinify raised $4m in a Series A round led by SEB Venture Capital. More recently, SEB teamed up with Nasdaq to trial blockchain for mutual fund trading. 9
ID Finance (Barcelona)
A fast-growing fintech company, ID Finance specialises in online lending in emerging and growing markets such as Latin America. Founded by Boris Batine and Alexander Dunaev in 2013, the company also provides credit scoring and digital finance services. Already issuing more than 50,000 loans a month in regions such as Latin America, ID Finance raised $50m earlier this year in debt financing from several sources, including TransKapitalBank, For Bank and Russian food magnate Vadim Dymov. With over 50,000 loans issued every month, ID Finance promises to continue to expand.
Regarded as one of Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most valuable fintech firms, Klarna provides online payment services for e-commerce sites in order to eliminate the risk for buyer and seller. Customers are only charged after receiving the product. Founded in 2005 by Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Victor Jacobsson and Niklas Adalberth, the company has raised $291.3m in six rounds from 12 investors, and is valued at around $2.25bn. 10
ID Finance brings financial innovations into emerging markets
Founded in 2012 by Oxford graduates Husayn Kassai, Eamon Jubbawy and Ruhul Amin, Onfido has helped clients such as Morgan McKinley, JustGiving and Hassle.com to run background checks. The key strength of Onfidoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proprietary technology is that it is built using machine learning. The company, a former Siliconrepublic.com Start-up of the Week, recently raised $30m in a Series C round led by Crane Venture Partners. 11
Tide (London) Aimed at overcoming main street banks’ shortcomings when it comes to dealing with small businesses, Tide is filling the gap with a full-service current account for small business owners, and has developed its own fully extensive APIs for developers to build on top of or integrate. Founded by George Bevis, Tide last year raised $2m in a seed round from Passion Capital, as well as serial fintech investors Errol Damelin and Jason Goodman (founder of Albion).
Monzo has more than 20,000 current-account holders, and the start-up bank has amassed something of a cult-like following in the UK, with almost 500,000 people using its distinctive hot coral cards and thousands more on the waiting list. It was founded in 2015 by Gary Dolman, Tom Blomfield, Jason Bates, Jonas Huckestein and Paul Rippon. Stripe, the payments company founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison in San Francisco, joined Goodwater Capital and investor Michael Moritz (through his charitable investment vehicles) in a recent £71m investment round, joining existing investors Eileen Burbidge’s Passion Capital, as well as Orange Digital Ventures and Joshua Kushner’s Thrive Capital in the round. 12
Wefox (Berlin and Zurich)
Wefox, also known as FinanceFox, is a next-generation insurance app built entirely on the Salesforce platform. It helps to connect insurance companies to their customers by combining traditional insurance business methods with cutting-edge technology. Founded in 2014, Wefox last year raised $5.5m in a round led by Salesforce Ventures, with participation from AngelList, Idinvest Partners, Seedcamp and Speedinvest.
B U S I N E S S I N T E RV I E W
Tomorrow Street is innovation accelerato powerful growth en start-ups. CEO/Direc tells us 14
Written by Anna McMahon â&#x20AC;¢
s Vodafoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s global or, providing a highly ngine for late-stage ctor Warrick Cramer s more. Produced by Danielle Harris
It has been a year since Tomorrow Street was launc in a bid to support the next generation of strategic supp for Vodafone and its partne
nspired by CEO/Director Warrick Cramer’s entrepreneurial background, the company is committed to providing a platform to help late-stage start-ups change the world, as Warrick explained, “The next wave of innovation is going to come from small and more agile companies, so corporate businesses
Warrick Cramer talking at this year’s Arch Summit
need to find a way to collaborate effectively with small companies. This is where Tomorrow Street can assist.” With many companies focusing on early-stage start-ups, helping microbusinesses to grow and develop, what makes Tomorrow Street stand out from the crowd is its emphasis on late-stage start-ups. Warrick said, “We decided to look a little later into the life of the start-up. They have real products and real customers, but they haven’t got any scale. We can help with this scalability aspect. Vodafone operates over 26 different countries with over 50 partner markets, so we have the ability to scale smaller companies across our global footprint, allowing them to grow very quickly and attach them to real customers. I think that’s what is really beneficial about our model.”
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“We are dealing with late-stage start-ups that we bring into Luxembourg, sit with them, and pull all the resources that we need from within Vodafone” Warrick Cramer, CEO/Director
And by leveraging its position at the heart of Vodafone’s international network in Luxembourg, start-ups actually have the opportunity to rub shoulders with c-level executives. Warrick explained, “Anyone who wants to do a deal with Vodafone has to come into Luxembourg, so it’s a magnet for suppliers. The most important thing for a start-up is those connections. How do they access big corporations and partner with
them? When c-level executives come in from large companies and talk and interact with the start-ups, it’s a really good opportunity to showcase ideas to key decision makers outside Vodafone. Likewise, a lot of c-levels don’t get access to small companies. This way, they get to interact with them, which is quite valuable.” With a special focus on Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and 19
â&#x20AC;&#x153;We go through a huge amount of criteria in terms of looking at the organisations and really understanding them. If we feel we can work with them, we bring them in to Tomorrow Street, and help them as a partner to grow their businessâ&#x20AC;? Warrick Cramer, CEO/Director
Cybersecurity, Tomorrow Street’s start-ups come from all around the world. Warrick said, “There’s nowhere in the world that we don’t look for them. We find them from a combination of word of mouth, events, corporate partners, investors, and social media. Because we are so focused, we have to throw the net
We help to industrialise the business to make it so solid that it can be pushed out anywhere across the globe. We really roll up our sleeves and get hands-on. We look at every component of the business and work out exactly what they need to do. We try to give them visibility, and they get to use the Vodafone brand by
“It is a combination of inter Vodafone and external peo are pulled together. Everyo something different to the out quite wide, as sometimes these companies are hidden and difficult to find. The more noise we make within Tomorrow Street, the better. It helps because people can learn about what we are doing and how we differentiate ourselves from other programmes that exist. We are very unique in what we do.” So, what makes Tomorrow Street so unique? Warrick answered, “We are dealing with late-stage start-ups that we bring into Luxembourg, sit with them, and pull all the resources that we need from within Vodafone. 22
saying that they are partnering with Tomorrow Street.” To become a Tomorrow Street startup, however, there is a rigorous selection process. An internal team must first validate the business, carrying out heavy due diligence, before ensuring that it is a strategic fit. Warrick said, “We go through a huge amount of criteria in terms of looking at the organisations and really understanding them. If we feel we can work with them, we bring them in to Tomorrow Street, and help them as a partner to grow their business.”
rnal ople that one brings teamâ&#x20AC;? Warrick Cramer, CEO/Director
The team behind Tomorrow Street is both passionate and experienced, with expertise across a broad range of corporate, entrepreneurial and technical domains. Warrick added, “It is a combination of internal Vodafone and external people that are pulled together. Everyone brings something different to the team. There is a wide range of skills and we all complement each other.” The year 2018 saw the first Arch Summit event in May – the result of much hard work by the enthusiastic team at Tomorrow Street. Warrick explained, “The event was all about bridging the gap between startups and corporate businesses. It is always a struggle to find key decision makers for start-ups, so I decided to host our own event. I invited c-level executives from Vodafone’s supplier base, over 200 start-ups from over 30 countries, over 60 corporate exhibitors, and around 4,500 people attended the event. What was a great success for us was that startups were really dealing with key decision makers, right at the top of their various organisations. The overall enthusiasm was fantastic. Hearing the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg promoting and encouraging startups, and making it easy for them 24
“The Arch bridging th and corpo to work within Luxembourg, was great. Generally speaking, for a first event, you don’t get that kind of attendance. The amount of people flying in to Luxembourg and staying here for three or four days showed that there is a real need for this type of activity.” A follow-up event is being planned for 3rd and 4th April 2019, pulling in both c-level executives as speakers and a host of Vodafone executives from
Summit was all about he gap between start-ups orate businesses” Warrick Cramer, CEO/Director all the different markets. Warrick added, “Our first event was such a great success, not just for the startups, but also for our suppliers and Vodafone internally. You get a good sense when you see all these young companies – what they are working on, what risks they are taking, and how they plan to shape and change the world. It really gives fantastic insights. You can learn so much from them. Next year’s Arch Summit will be even bigger and better.”
There were three competitions that were open to start-ups over the course of the last Arch Summit. One was a disruptive competition – an open competition for start-ups disrupting their own respective industries (a startup called Verv, which offers its own smart home solution, took the prize of 150,000 euros) – while the other competitions focused on social impact and female empowerment. Warrick said, “The competitions created a great buzz, and I was really pleased 25
with the quality of the pitches. What we saw was a high level of maturity of the companies that were coming through.” Tomorrow Street has also recently launched its own YouTube channel, Tomorrow Street TV, discussing the real-life challenges faced by both corporate organisations and
how to get into different countries, understanding what innovations they are working on to help companies at a local level to grow and take them to the next stage. There’s never a dull moment!” We look forward to seeing what the next 12 months will bring for the talented team at Tomorrow Street,
“We have already expande Tomorrow Street into 27 co In just 12 months, we have very quickly globally” start-ups. Warrick said, “We are going to showcase a lot of the new technologies, and discuss what our suppliers are working on, which is really exciting. We have already expanded Tomorrow Street into 27 countries. In just 12 months, we have grown very quickly globally. We are now working on programmes on
with exciting plans already in the pipeline for Arch Summit 2019... Watch this space, I say! To view Tomorrow Street TV, simply follow this link
ed countries. e grown Warrick Cramer, CEO/Director
“The Digital Innovation team are incredibly professional and it was my pleasure to be part of the August 2018 edition. At each stage, Danielle and her team were highly prepared and very thorough. I was impressed with the level of diligence and attention to detail that they paid throughout the whole process. It was good to work with a team who had an extremely high level of contextual expertise in the industry in terms of breadth and depth, and they had clearly done their research properly. I wish them every success and it was a real career high to be involved with the project, and I’d like to thank the Digital Innovation team for everything they have done for me” – Jen Stirrup, Director – Data Relish
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B L O C KC H A I N N E W S
Why Smart Contracts will Re-Define Business and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Trustâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;
Jacob Piotrowski is a blockchain technology expert and CEO at Give Bytes. Here, he reveals his take on how this new technology will force organisations to diversify.
Like it or not, blockchain technology means organisations need to look for new functions in the near future.
ecause blockchain technology is trust-free and not controlled by any authority, it is disrupting the way we, as businesses and people, transact together.
programmes based on ‘if A then B’ logic, which are executed when certain conditions are met. It sounds like a no-brainer, so one might ask, what’s so smart about these contracts?
Blockchain is about pure maths that nobody can tamper with, and that’s one of the main reasons for the level of scepticism around this technology to date. Smart contracts, however, are becoming more and more popular within businesses because they allow a trust-less or trust-free transaction to be executed autonomously once a certain action happens.
GUARANTEES OF FAIRNESS AND TRANSPARENCY
A computer scientist and Bitcoin precursor, Nick Szabo, first used the term smart contract in 1997. Smart contracts are actually tiny computer 34
Thanks to the blockchain technology, all parties involved in a smart contract can be confident that the contract is carried out in a 100 per cent neutral and non-biased way. Whatever terms have been agreed before signing will mean that the contract will be implemented in the future with no risk of fraud, manipulation or unauthorised modification. This is how it works. In the case of Ethereum, blockchain developers
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Smart contracts also avert the need for notaries, lawyers and other third parties by automating the process through undeniable mathematical proofâ&#x20AC;?
write smart contracts in programming language, such as Solidity, and then publish them on the Ethereum network. Published smart contracts have a public address. Users can trigger them by sending some cryptocurrency to their address. For example, just as they would if they wanted to make a regular transaction, along with some extra data. The same computers that support the Ethereum network and verify the transactions also execute smart contracts. Since the Ethereum network is decentralised, it guarantees that smart contracts are implemented fairly and transparently. No single node can change the terms and the results of a contract because it would contradict other computers in the network.
SMART CONTRACTS COULD DISRUPT EVERY BUSINESS IN ANY SECTOR Smart contracts also avert the need for notaries, lawyers and other third parties by automating the process through undeniable mathematical proof. They also provide immutable and transparent registration, as opposed to centralised systems where contracts are stored in walled gardens and secured by organisations that tax their clients for the services they offer. Everything a smart contract performs is 36
â&#x20AC;&#x153;With full automa that businesses d on third parties, s have the poten pretty much every possibly
ation and the fact don’t need to rely smart contracts ntial to disrupt y business we can imagine”
stored on the blockchain, making it unchangeable and available to everyone. With full automation and the fact that businesses don’t need to rely on third parties, smart contracts have the potential to disrupt pretty much every business we can possibly imagine. For example, in the case of insurance, imagine a farmer whose crops depend on certain weather conditions such as rain to flourish. With an automated smart contract, the farmer could simply use the insurers’ website, specify the parameters of his crops by location or type of plants etc, and the website service would have access to current and historical weather data from this location, so would be able to forecast the probability of drought, storms or any other weather conditions that could destroy the crops. Based on this information, the farmer would pay the insurance fee and sign a smart contract. If the weather destroyed the crops, the insurance company would automatically see the evidence of that in the weather data, and the smart contract would be automatically triggered to compensate for the farmer’s loss. Similar cases could be built around car insurance too, whereby the 37
“By creating interconnected s can create decentralised complete programmes t driver would only be paying for their insurance cover while the car is on the move, so if you’re not driving, you’re not paying.
ELIMINATING ISSUES OF TRUST ARE CENTRAL TO SMART CONTRACTS Smart contracts can be also used in crowdfunding and to support corporate social responsibility, where fundraisers only receive the money raised if the campaign reaches a certain level of funding. If the goal is not reached, the funds are refunded to the supporters. 38
This new way of conducting business eliminates any trust issues between the parties involved in an agreement because it is completely transparent and scalable. Smart contracts have already started reshaping businesses in supply chain, healthcare, education, finance, and in many more areas of our lives. The mass adoption of cryptocurrencies will further contribute to new business models, whereby, thanks to smart contracts, devices will be able to transact
smart contracts, developers d applications (DApps) and that run on blockchainâ&#x20AC;? with one another without human interference. For example, a car will be able to pay for its parking.
smart contract when it completes, or as part of, the course of its execution.
This new business model known as m2m (machine to machine) combined with the utilisation of smart contracts will also make space for new businesses to be developed. While smart contracts can run independently, they can also call upon each other, just like procedures and functions in any traditional programme, so one smart contract may trigger another
By creating interconnected smart contracts, developers can create decentralised applications (DApps) and complete programmes that run on blockchain. Operating in decentralised, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;trustlessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (or trustfree) systems will speed up all sorts of transactions, boost confidence in business, and, in many ways, it will make our lives as humans much easier. 39
A RT I F I C I A L I N T E L L I G E N C E
We chart the history and future possibil learning is likely t 40
y, current situation, lities that machine to set in motion. 41
IT WAS ONCE A FEATURE OF OUR FAVOURITE SCIENCE FICTION FILMS, BUT, THESE DAYS, AI HAS HAD A PROFOUND EFFECT ON ALMOST EVERYTHING WE DO, FROM EMAIL SPAM FILTERING AND GOOGLE SEARCHING, TO VOICE RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY AND APPLE’S SIRI.
hat these technologies have in common are machine-learning algorithms that enable them to react and respond in real time, with thousands of developers and data scientists working in this field to help lead us towards a smarter world. The pace of development is astounding, with breakthroughs being announced on a daily basis. So, with this in mind, we ask what kind of capabilities will AI make possible in the future?
HISTORY AI has its roots in World War II codebreaking. British mathematician Alan Turing is widely credited as one of the first people to come up with the idea of using machines to ‘think’ like humans, but it wasn’t until the mid-1950s that the term ‘artificial intelligence’ entered popular awareness. American cognitive scientist Marvin Minsky picked up the AI torch and cofounded the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AI lab in 1959. He
MACHINE-LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES ARE DRIVING INCREASES IN PRODUCTIVITY
became one of the leading thinkers in the field throughout the next two decades. The 1980s saw the rise of the personal computer, sparking more interest in machines, but it took the turn of the millennium for people to recognise the true power of harnessing AI technology. Highprofile inventors and physicists like Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, are continuing the conversation, highlighting the fact that when used for good, AI could radically change the course of human history, especially when it comes to big data.
brands purchase advertising. AI has changed the way we do business. In fact, a Japanese venture capital firm recently became the first company in history to nominate an AI board member for its ability to predict market trends faster than humans.
Machine-learning technologies can collect and organise massive amounts of information to make predictions and insights that are far beyond the capabilities of manual processing. Not only does this increase organisational efficiency, but it dramatically reduces the TODAY likelihood that a critical mistake The very premise of AI technology will be made. What’s more, AI is the ability to continually learn can detect irregular patterns, from the data it collects. The more such as spam filtering and fraud, data there is to collect and analyse and alert businesses in real time through carefully-crafted algorithms, about suspicious activities. Plus, the better the machine becomes at businesses can ‘train’ AI machines making predictions. For example, to handle incoming customer if you are not sure which movie to support calls, as well as optimising watch, Netflix can come up with sales by scanning the database some suggestions based on your and searching for prospects that previous viewing experiences. exhibit the same buying patterns as existing customers. AI offers so many But, nowhere has AI had a greater benefits that it’s now getting harder impact than in the office. Machineto imagine a workplace without it. learning technologies are driving As far as the home is concerned, increases in productivity, from there’s a host of virtual voice workflow management tools, to assistance on the market that trend predictions, and even the way promises to enhance our lives.
One prime example is Google Home, whose capability to recognise different people speaking from the sound of their voices, reveals just how far we have come.
from business software (RPA) and domestic appliances, through to aircraft autopilots. They are the most common manifestations of AI in the world today.
It may still be a few years before AI fully encompasses all-doing robots, but there is no doubt about its involvement in helping to shape the narrative of the future. The next decade will be defined by AI and its integration into society. What starts with a voice assistant on a mobile phone will evolve to self-driving cars and machine-learning algorithms to prevent cyberterrorism, albeit with increasing public debate over privacy implications. Where it goes from there brings both excitement and cautious curiosity.
Context Awareness and Retention These algorithms build up a body of information about the specific domain they are being applied in. They are trained on the knowledge and experience of the best humans, and their knowledge base can be updated as new situations and queries arise. The most common manifestations include chatbots – often used in frontline customer enquiry handling – and the ‘roboadvisors’ that are helping with everything from suggesting the right oil for your motorbike, to investment advice.
To provide some clarity on the possible future developments, Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington, April Koury and Helen Calle, of Fast Future, cite seven distinct stages that AI will need to go through before it reaches the most extreme scenarios.
Domain Specific Expertise These systems can develop expertise in a specific domain that extends beyond the capability of humans because of the sheer volume of information they can access to make each decision. We have STAGE 1 seen their use in applications such Rule Based Systems as cancer diagnosis. Perhaps the These now surround us in everything most commonly sighted example is
RULE BASED SYSTEMS -THESE NOW SURROUND US IN EVERYTHING FROM BUSINESS SOFTWARE (RPA) AND DOMESTIC APPLIANCES, THROUGH TO AIRCRAFT AUTOPILOTS
CLICK TO FIND OUT ABOUT ALPHA GO
Google Deepmindâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s AlphaGo. The system was given a set of learning rules and objective of winning, and then it taught itself how to play Go with human support to nudge it back on course when it made poor decisions. Go reportedly has more moves than there are atoms in the universe â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so you cannot teach it in 48
the same way as you might with a chess-playing programme. The following year, AlphaGo Zero was created, and given no guidance or human support. Equipped only with her learning rules, she watched thousands of Go games and developed her own
strategies. After three days, she took on AlphaGo and won by 100 games to nil. Such applications are an example of what is possible when machines can acquire human-scale intelligence. However, at present, they are limited to one domain and, currently, AlphaGo Zero would forget what she knows about playing Go if you started to teach her how to spot fraudulent transactions in an accounting audit.
STAGE 4 Reasoning Machines These algorithms have a ‘theory of mind’ – some ability to attribute mental states to themselves and others. For example, they have a sense of beliefs, intentions, knowledge, and how their own logic works. Hence, they have the capacity to reason, negotiate, and interact with humans and other machines. Such algorithms are currently at the development stage, but we can expect to see them in commercial applications in the next few years.
STAGE 5 Self Aware Systems/Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) This is the goal of many working in the AI field – creating systems
with human-like intelligence. No such applications are in evidence today. However, some say we could see them in as little as five years, while others believe we may never truly achieve this level of machine intelligence. There are many examples of AGI in the popular media, ranging from HAL (the ship computer in 2001’s A Space Odyssey), to the ‘Synths’ in the television series Humans. For decades now, writers and directors have tried to convey a world where the machines can function at a similar level to humans.
STAGE 6 Artificial SuperIntelligence (ASI) This is the notion of developing AI algorithms that are capable of outperforming the smartest of humans in every domain. Clearly, it is hard to articulate what the capabilities might be of something that exceeds human intelligence, but we could imagine ASI solving current world problems such as hunger and dangerous climate change. Such systems might also invent new fields of science, redesign economic systems, and evolve wholly new models of governance. Again, expert views vary as to when and whether such a capability might ever be possible, 49
but few think we will see it in the next decade. Films like Her and Ex Machina provide interesting depictions of the possibilities in a world where our technology might outsmart us.
STAGE 7 Singularity and Transcendence This is the notion that the exponential development path enabled by ASI could lead to a massive expansion in human capability. We might one day be sufficiently augmented and enhanced such that humans could connect our brains to each other and to a future successor of the current internet. This ‘hive mind’ would allow us to share ideas, solve problems collectively, and even give others access to our dreams as observers or participants. Taking things a stage further, we might also transcend the limits of the human body and connect to other forms of intelligence on the planet – animals, plants, weather systems, and the natural environment. Some proponents of the singularity, such as Ray Kurzweil, Google’s Director of Engineering, suggest that we could see the Singularity happen by 2045
as a result of exponential rates of progress across a range of science and technology disciplines. Others argue fervently that it is simply impossible, and that we will never be able to capture and digitise human consciousness. The pace of AI development seems likely to continue. However, we shouldn’t assume a smooth progression through the seven stages of AI outlined above. Moving from reasoning systems to AGI isn’t equivalent to the exponential progression we have become accustomed to in computer power, memory storage, and internet connection speeds. To reach our final three stages of AI, massive breakthroughs are required in areas such as neuroscience, understanding consciousness, neural networks, and deep learning algorithms. What we can expect is, over the next 15 to 20 years, our world will experience several fundamental transformations, as this ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ powered by smart machines touches every nation, life and sector on the planet, with a focus on the development of AI in service of humanity, not in place of it.
THIS ‘HIVE MIND’ WOULD ALLOW US TO SHARE IDEAS, SOLVE PROBLEMS COLLECTIVELY, AND EVEN GIVE OTHERS ACCESS TO OUR DREAMS AS OBSERVERS OR PARTICIPANTS
We ask how has this Is the CDO integral to a
s position evolved? a companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success?
ORGANISATIONS BUILD T BUSINESSES ON DATA, AN PUT, THE CHIEF DATA OF (CDO) PLAYS A VALUABL MANAGING ALL THIS INFO AS A CORPORATE ASSET.
urn back the clock five years ago, and organisations had very different approaches towards organising their data, with most CDOs in highly regulated industries. But, since then, CDOs have been on the rise across all industries, and while compliance is still a focus, their role within companies has grown significantly. So, what does the CDO do? The CDO is a senior executive who is responsible for a company’s enterprise-wide data and information strategy, governance, control, policy development, and effective exploitation. This involves accountability and responsibility for information protection and privacy, information governance,
data quality, and data life cycle management, along with the exploitation of data assets to create business value. This is where the CDO can play an important role in how an organisation determines its use of new, existing and legacy information assets, as well as leading the debate on digital ethics. Serving to drive information and analytics strategy – the glue between the data strategy and the metrics – it is accepted that the position of the CDO is fundamental to a company’s successful analytics. By focusing on managing data for competitive advantage, particularly for modernisation, digital transformation and new business initiatives, companies now require great data to be successful. And that
THEIR ND SIMPLY FFICER LE ROLE IN ORMATION .
data needs to come from a variety of sources within and outside of the organisation, which has been made available as a shared resource, aligning the data strategy with the business strategy. In this way, the CDO must work across all parts of the organisation to identify needs and opportunities around data, and to forge agreements on how data
will be acquired, managed and used. The larger and more complex the data management environment, the more important a CDO will be to its success and business value delivery. In fact, the true measure of a CDOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success is when the role becomes unnecessary â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by its very 55
WHILE THE CDO WILL NEED TO WORK CLOSELY WITH MARKETING AND IT LEADERSHIP, HE OR SHE SHOULD DEFINE THE CUSTOMEREXPERIENCE JOURNEY AND IDENTIFY THE REQUIREMENTS FOR DEVELOPING AND THEN SUPPORTING A DYNAMIC SYSTEM THAT IS CONSTANTLY LEARNING AND EVOLVING
nature, a high-functioning digital company will not require a CDO. But, of course, the vast majority of organisations are not yet at this point. And while there are numerous actions companies can take to help those executives work themselves out of a job, such as providing sufficient resources and active CEO support, there are five areas CDOs must get right if their organisation is to successfully transition to digital.
1. MAKE DIGITAL INTEGRAL THE STRATEGY Digital isn’t merely a thing – it’s a new way of doing things. Many companies are focused on developing a digital strategy when they should instead focus on integrating digital into all aspects of the business, from channels and processes and data, to the operating model, incentives and culture. Getting the strategy right requires the CDO to work closely with the CEO, CIO, business-unit leaders, and the CFO. The CDO also needs to be an active participant in and shaper of the strategy, providing detailed analysis of market trends and developments in technology and customer behaviour. Yet CDOs can’t stop there. They need to be bold in starting new
businesses, acquiring technologies, or investing in innovations – known within their organisation for something that is courageous, new, and adds value. In addition, CDOs must be specific about their goals.
2. OBSESS OVER THE CUSTOMER While most companies say they know their customers, CDOs must make it a driving passion and core competency of the organisation. With technology and customer habits changing so quickly, developing a deep and detailed view of customer behaviour across all channels provides a common reference point in any business discussion, and arms the CDO to challenge the status quo and make changes. This type of analysis is critical, but an equally important part of the CDO’s job is communicating how essential the customer is to the organisation, helping the business start to think more specifically about its customer. Digital capabilities ultimately provide an important foundation for improving the customer experience. It’s up to the CDO to identify those functions where digital is critical. For example, investing in automation capabilities to rapidly respond to customer interactions, developing 57
sophisticated reporting and analytics capabilities to interpret customer needs, building innovative interfaces to gather customer data, and creating mechanisms to deliver content and offers across all relevant channels. While the CDO will need to work closely with marketing and IT leadership, he or she should define the customer-experience journey and identify the requirements for developing and then supporting a dynamic system that is constantly learning and evolving.
3. BUILD AGILITY, SPEED AND DATA
require radically changing how the company works, such as setting extremely aggressive goals for getting a product to market. Some CDOs do this by setting up ‘digital factories’ (cross-functional groups focused on developing one product or process using a different technology, operational or managerial methodology from the rest of the company). Embedding these factories in business units has the advantage of spreading the new culture and making the digitalfactory approach the norm.
Managing a portfolio of these CDOs can build strong foundations types of initiatives requires leaders for change by creating a ‘spirit of to be decisive. If the data shows a digital’ throughout the organisation. prototype doesn’t work, the CDO This could include setting up coding must be ruthless about killing the days for the board or holding project, incorporating anything company-wide hackathons. Core learned from the experience, and to building this spirit, however, is moving on. On the other hand, CDOs increasing the ‘metabolic rate’ should establish flexible budgeting of the organisation. That starts processes so that projects that show with changing basic habits, such signs of success can get resources to as having strategy leadership scale quickly. meetings weekly or even biweekly 4. EXTEND NETWORKS to help ingrain the idea of moving In a digital world, threats often at a faster pace. CDOs must look do not come from established at how the organisation operates competitors, but rather, from and find ways to inject speed into processes. In some cases, it could be innovative technologies that enable as straightforward as working with new businesses, start-ups that IT to automate existing development undermine established business models, or new developments processes. But, in others, it will 58
A NEW CDO WILL BENEFIT FROM THE EARLY ESTABLISHMENT OF NEARTERM GOALS THAT CAN YIELD QUICK WINS THAT HELP BUILD ENTHUSIASM AND MOMENTUM
outside the way the company defined its competitive space. Successful CDOs are keenly aware of such trends. They build networks of people, technologies and ideas far outside of their company, constantly
scanning the small-business landscape to identify possible acquisitions or partners that can provide complementary capabilities. To help bring these outside voices into the organisation, many CDOs 59
A SUCCESSFUL CDO UNDERSTANDS THE TRUE VALUE OF DATA AND CAN COMMUNICATE THAT VALUE TO OTHERS, TURNING IT INTO PRACTICAL AND MEASURABLE RESULTS
establish advisory boards of startup leaders, or create ‘challenger’ boards of people with digital experience and expertise to review corporate initiatives and strategies. At a more pedestrian level, they regularly invite technologists or entrepreneurs to team lunches. Building an internal network is just 60
as important because company systems and technologies need to be flexible enough to work with outside parties. In particular, CDOs need to work with IT leaders to develop application programming interfaces and cloud-based architecture that works with a broader ecosystem of providers.
Some CDOs realise too late that functions such as compliance, finance, human resources, legal, procurement, and risk also need to change to support a more digitallyfocused company. Changing such supporting processes isn’t easy – functions often have good reasons for why processes are undertaken as they are. But brokering compromises and testing new ways of operating that are necessary to make progress will be virtually impossible if a CDO doesn’t build internal networks early and engage with leaders across the business.
to define how success is measured, whether it’s tracking key digital and business metrics, such as digitalmedia revenue as a percentage of total revenue, or creating a full digital profit-and-loss statement (or both). To be meaningful to the business overall and to build credibility, key performance indicators must be aligned with those used by established business units.
CDOs are ultimately judged not by the quality of their ideas, but by their ability to lead different types of teams, guide projects, overcome hurdles, and deliver integrated change. Getting stuff done often requires hard-nosed negotiating skills.
Of course, the projects CDOs commit to must be core to the business, such as developing new revenue streams, cutting costs, or getting to market faster, and not peripheral experiments, which could end up marginalising their efforts. In addition, budgeting is critical to ensuring that things get done. Successful CDOs not only time their actions to maximise budgetary flexibility, but also change how funding is allocated.
A new CDO will benefit from the early establishment of near-term goals that can yield quick wins that help build enthusiasm and momentum. Some CDOs find that building the marketing-commerce function is a great way to quickly demonstrate value, while others embark on accelerated cost cutting by automating core processes. It pays
In all, a successful CDO understands the true value of data and can communicate that value to others, turning it into practical and measurable results. In a world that encompasses a flurry of big data, the opportunities are endless for CDOs to transform businesses, often progressing into CEO roles, such is their knowledge and experience.
5. GET STUFF DONE
B U S I N E S S I N T E RV I E W
We chat to David Savage, Director at Tech Talks, a podcast and community based around technology-focused events and meet-ups.
Written by Anna McMahon â&#x20AC;˘ Produced by Danielle Harris 63
It was six years into his recruitment career that Tech Talks’ David Savage realised he had unfulfilled ambitions to work within the media industry, having written for his student newspaper and ran his own radio show during his time at university, and having long harboured dreams of becoming a professional writer.
avid said, “I went into recruitment straight out of university, and like many, fell into the career. Sales is valuable experience, but I’ve always loved working with and using content. I wanted a content role, but it didn’t exist, so I had to create one. I started by carrying out a technology survey, as
well as hosting and going to events such as the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. What was clear to me was that much of the panel discussion was vanilla, and nobody was really helping each other within the tech industry.” Born out of David’s frustrations, and a desire to extract the ‘best bits’ from
CLICK TO FIND OUT WHAT TECHTALKS IS ALL ABOUT!
“There are relatively few s leaders in technology. I alw a meet-up community alo podcast – a relaxed enviro break down those issues” the panel discussions and improve on them, the podcast, Tech Talks, was launched three years ago. David explained, “It’s about taking a conversation, and talking in a transparent and open environment about what it’s like to be a leader in
the tech business world. We ask all those questions that people may have, such as ‘how do you go about hiring?’ or ‘how do you innovate?’, and then offer a solution. It’s fascinating to hear people sharing their widely different stories.”
small events for ways wanted ongside the onment to
- David Savage Tech Talks’ listeners range from tech enthusiasts to directors with a strategic role in technology. Providing a human perspective on the big issues facing technology today, David prides himself on the podcast’s particular focus on the life
stories of the technology pioneers being interviewed. He said, “Where we are different from other podcasts is that we try to keep it honest and conversational, not too techheavy. The aim is to be engaging, entertaining, and have a bit of fun.” David’s success has seen him launch a series of events off the back of the podcast. He explained, “There are relatively few small events for leaders in technology. I always wanted a meet-up community alongside the podcast – a relaxed environment to break down those issues.”
Digital Ambassador of the Year Computing Digital Technology Leaders Awards 2018
So, which big issues of the day is David tackling at the moment? He said, “Technology and digital leadership is coming up a lot at the moment. We seem to be experiencing a leadership vacuum, with teams pushing ahead in some kind of arms race. There is a drive for machine learning and AI, but
well-known names like Tesla, Telegraph Media Group and TUI, as well as start-ups and innovators, many of which will become the household names of the future. David added, “I focus less on the big names and more about the surprising stories that are likely to be of interest to our audience.
“For me, innovation should always make you ask, ‘why didn’t I think of that?’”- David Savage the data needs to be in order first. The project is then handed over to junior members of staff and being forgotten about. This subject of lack of leadership is hugely important, together with diversity and inclusion, culture, and, in terms of pure technology, AI and blockchain.” Organisations that have been interviewed by Tech Talks include
We recently talked to the 13 and 16 year-old children of the founder of Luxembourg-based Workshop4Me. It was amazing to hear a 13 year-old girl discuss gender and inclusion in school. When asked which has been my favourite podcast episode, I often say the one featuring what3words (a geocoding system for the communication of locations with a resolution of three metres). It’s
the simplest ideas that are often the most incredible. For me, innovation should always make you ask, ‘why didn’t I think of that?’.” And David’s simple idea has received high praise indeed, having been named as Computing’s Digital Ambassador of the Year in recognition of his ground-breaking work in launching his podcast and 72
technology community. Facing stiff competition from the DWP, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Polycom and Nomensa, the judges were impressed with how David and the Tech Talks team were able to create a rapidly growing community of technology professionals, which has helped spread new ideas and knowledge. David added, “I’m so
delighted to win this award. Tech Talks didn’t happen by chance. In fact, this award is the result of over three years’ investment, time, and experimentation. People are doing amazing things, but are they getting the message out there? We have built a platform with an audience of thousands of people to get a dialogue started.”
As for the future of Tech Talks, David answered, “I look at the way technology news is reported, and it’s often nothing but opinion pieces. There is little in the way of emerging technology and growth stories. I would like to expand Tech Talks to become a hub of genuine news in the market.” To listen to Tech Talks’ latest podcasts, www.tech-talks.co.uk 73
AU G M E N T E D R E A L I T Y
How is AR Disru the Supply Chai
We consider the benefits of adopting AR systems in the field of logistics.
lthough AR is in the early stages of implementation for logistics companies worldwide, it is fair to say that it can add value to many areas of warehouse operations including planning, handling and load optimisation, as well as transportation down to the allimportant last-mile delivery. For an industry where speed is of the essence, it is crucial to be able to access vital information at any time or place, quickly. This is the key to precise planning and operation of tasks, ensuring improved performance and higher levels of customer service, and AR makes this possible. In addition, because of the high costs of moving goods from A to B, companies are always looking for new ways to save money, and emerging technology may be an answer. By overlaying information onto the real world in this way, organisations will be able to keep track of products from the second they leave the warehouse until
the moment they arrive at their destination. Here are five ways in which AR is positively transforming the supply chain into a nimble tool for successful global distribution:
1. PICKING AND PACKING AR is being used in warehouses to efficiently locate products and pack them in outgoing boxes. One of the costliest parts of running this service is the intensive training required for new workers to navigate a large warehouse and find the one product they need. AR glasses can paint an imaginary line on the warehouse floor, simplifying the process and shortening the learning curve. Picking and packing becomes more like a game of Pac-Man, in which workers must gather the correct items before time runs out. There are currently systems by Knapp, SAP, DHL and Ubimax that provide realtime object recognition, barcode reading, indoor navigation, and a seamless integration of information. Workers can see a digital picking list in their field of vision, and the
“THE ULTIMATE HUMAN AUGMENTATION, WORKERS SITTING COMFORTABLY AT THEIR DESKS CAN WEAR AR GLASSES, ALLOWING THEM TO SEE WHAT A ROBOT IN THE WAREHOUSE SEES” Knapp picking technology 77
best route in order to acquire these products, saving both time and money through efficient path planning. Additionally, by using automated barcode scanning capabilities and image recognition software, these systems can check whether the worker has arrived at their location, and guide them to quickly locate the right item. Field tests of these AR systems have proved they offer significant productivity improvements in
warehouse operations, reducing errors by as much as 40 per cent.
2. ROBOTS The ultimate human augmentation, workers sitting comfortably at their desks can wear AR glasses, allowing them to see what a robot in the warehouse sees. In this way, workers can chart the paths of the robots, use their strength to lift and move heavy cargo, and dangerous or repetitive tasks can
â&#x20AC;&#x153;WORKERS CAN SEE A DIG FIELD OF VISION, AND THE ACQUIRE THESE PRODUCT MONEY THROUGH EFFICIE
GITAL PICKING LIST IN THEIR E BEST ROUTE IN ORDER TO TS, SAVING BOTH TIME AND ENT PATH PLANNING” be delegated to robots, but with human guidance to achieve the maximum load. What’s more, logistics robots are able to scan each product for damage, check its weight, and abide by any package shipping instructions. And by connecting robots with managers, customers can be automatically alerted if any products are not available. 79
3. MAINTENANCE Fixing a problem before it happens is the most cost-effective form of maintenance, and algorithms are in place that can suggest where a problem is likely to occur. Maintenance teams can be therefore be called to tackle any arising issues in a timely fashion.
therefore being used to identify, tag, sequence and locate every parcel, as well as navigating the driver to the correct door for delivery. The driver would also be able to receive pertinent information relating to a specific package, such as the type of goods, its weight, and any handling instructions, providing a faster and more convenient process for drivers at each drop-off point.
4. LAST-MILE DELIVERY
In logistics, the last mile of delivery to customers is the most expensive, and AR can save money by cutting the time spent on the last mile almost in half. According to DHL, drivers spend 40 to 60 per cent of their day inside their truck searching for the correct boxes to deliver next, relying on their memory of the actual loading process. AR is
AR can help to bring transparency and traceability to procurement, as the entire supply chain falls apart when customers cannot be sure of a productâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s origin or authenticity. Using AR to identify and track each shipment from manufacturer to end user is a way to help solve this problem.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;AR IS IN A GREAT POSITION TO BE ABLE TO FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGE HOW THE SUPPLY CHAIN CURRENTLY OPERATESâ&#x20AC;?
It is evident that AR is posed to transform the software used to manage supply chains, powering the next generation, which will feature autonomous vehicles and delivery drones. Warehouses need to be redesigned to accommodate these new services, with AR being further employed to visualise any planned rearrangements in full scale, making it possible to place
interactive digital representations of proposed future changes in the present warehouse environment. However, before AR systems can be widely adopted in logistics, we need to overcome a number of challenges including high investment cost, network performance issues and privacy. That said, AR is in a great position to be able to fundamentally change how the supply chain currently operates. 81