Technology is increasingly becoming centerstage for all businesses across the world. In the last decade, we saw increased adoption of digital operating models and digital transformation of businesses featuring in board conversations. The next decade will surely belong to data and its effective use through AI and ML. AI & ML are by no means new buzzwords in the tech lexicon and we will continue to witness their increasing deployment at scale and becoming far more ubiquitous across organizations and industries. A report by PwC India indicates that the largest rise in the use of AI during COVID-19 has been observed in India.
The concept of digital twin is not new. The technology has been around since the 1960s. NASA has been physically creating duplicate systems for its various space missions at ground level, to test its equipment in a virtual environment. An example of this is Apollo 13, for which a digital twin was developed by NASA to assess and simulate conditions on board. In the recent past, digital twin has become one of the most promising technological trends. It is estimated that the global Digital Twin technology will reach $48.2 billion by 2026, from $3.1 billion in 2020 and estimated to grow at a rate of 58% between 2021 and 2026 A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical object, process, or service.
Cresta, an AI-powered platform that offers real-time support to help customer service agents respond to inquiries on calls or in chats, has raised $50 million in a series B round of funding. The company's latest investment, which was led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Allen & Company, and Porsche Ventures, comes after a year of growth that saw its revenues quadruple. It's difficult to read too much into any first-year revenue growth metrics, but it's clear that companies are hankering for technology that helps them optimize their customer-facing operations. Contact centers have proven fertile ground for AI, with a slew of companies emerging to offer their own take on how automation can improve companies' interactions with their customers. Just today, Uniphore announced a fresh $140 million investment to analyze emotion and engagement in both voice and video-based calls, while Talkdesk launched a new "human-in-the-loop" AI trainer for contact centers.
Ben Wallace, the UK's Secretary of Defence, went on record to explain the Defense Command Paper, emphasising reducing the human element while reinforcing defences. This was proposed to be done with the aid of artificial intelligence. While deploying a defence review, the Secretary of Defence highlighted the necessity for a "digital backbone" that can be established by sharing data over cloud technologies. Orating a speech, Ben Wallace also pointed out that it's understandable to focus on the number supporting the defence forces, but that also means deploying them at war zones with "Snatch Land Rovers" and tanks. However, on the other hand, the enemy is already advanced and has developed new ways to tackle such elements.
Consumer fashion may be among the most unpredictable markets on the planet, but one startup in India has created an AI-based demand sensing platform that combines the brilliance of data scientists with seasoned industry experts to ferret out trends with uncanny accuracy. The idea is to close the gap between supply and demand. Omni-channel retailers are using AI to synch design and merchandising decisions with breaking consumer demand trends for sustainable growth. "We help companies create demand-driven fashion forecasts from consumer data across a holistic value chain," Ganesh Subramanian, founder and CEO at Stylumia. "Our demand sensing engine collects and analyzes publicly available global data to rank product trends, providing fashion designers, retail buyers, and merchandisers with a much deeper understanding of real-time consumer demand signals."
Less than six months after its most recent acquisition, Cloudera is filling out its Dataflow streaming integration platform with SQL-based event stream processing. Cloudera is releasing SQL Stream Builder, an addition to the Cloudera Dataflow streaming integration platform that supports SQL processing. It fills a gap in Cloudera's streaming platform in that it provides an entry point for SQL developers to query streaming data. Before this, Cloudera Dataflow was accessible only to Java, Scala, or Python programmers. SQL Stream Builder adds to Cloudera Dataflow, which includes edge processing, real-time data ingestion, along with support for other streaming engines such as Kafka Streams, Spark Streaming, and yes, even Apache Storm (a now-inactive open source project dating back from the Hortonworks days).
Here on Earth, we have more detailed maps of Mars than of our own ocean, and that's a problem. A massive force for surviving climate change, the ocean absorbs 90% of the heat caused by emissions and generates 50% of the oxygen we breathe. "We have the ocean to thank for so many aspects of our safety and well-being," says Dawn Wright, oceanographer and chief scientist at geographic information system (GIS) provider Esri, who notes the ocean also provides renewable energy, a major food source, and a transportation corridor for not only ships but submarine internet cables. Now, the same type of smart maps and geospatial technology guiding outer space exploration support the quest to better understand and protect our ocean. "For the first time, our knowledge of the ocean can approach our knowledge of the land," Wright says.
The multifamily industry is presently experiencing a paradigm shift and a revolution with the entry of technological advancements such as artificial intelligence (AI) and demographic shifts. This is disrupting the real estate industry as corroborated by an NMHC "Disruption" report from 2018. Even going through any industry blog, you will most likely come across various mentions of AI. It is a popular topic within the industry and is gaining more traction specifically within the multifamily industry. When it comes to AI, do I mean robots?
History repeats itself, but it doesn't have to. I was inspired to launch my startup, Varuna, when Austin Water released its first-ever boil water warning in 2018 -- a moment eerily similar to the massive winter storm in Texas just a few weeks ago. Because the water utility companies didn't have enough real-time data to measure water quality in individual neighborhoods, they took the blanket approach of asking all of the city's 950,000 residents to boil any water ingested through drinking or cooking. After several days of substantially reducing water usage -- and seeing more than 625,000 plastic bottles of water handed out across the city -- I set out to find a solution. A systems engineer by trade and a problem-solver by nature, I repurposed our dishwasher's sensor to create my first water-quality measurement device.