How to Spot a Machine Learning Opportunity, Even If You Aren’t a Data Scientist

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Artificial intelligence is no longer just a niche subfield of computer science. Tech giants have been using AI for years: Machine learning algorithms power Amazon product recommendations, Google Maps, and the content that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter display in social media feeds. But William Gibson’s adage applies well to AI adoption: The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.

The average company faces many challenges in getting started with machine learning, including a shortage of data scientists. But just as important is a shortage of executives and nontechnical employees able to spot AI opportunities. And spotting those opportunities doesn’t require a PhD in statistics or even the ability to write code. (It will, spoiler alert, require a brief trip back to high school algebra.)

Having an intuition for how machine learning algorithms work – even in the most general sense – is becoming an important business

Continue reading "How to Spot a Machine Learning Opportunity, Even If You Aren’t a Data Scientist"

How to Spot a Machine Learning Opportunity, Even If You Aren’t a Data Scientist

oct17-20-Sylverarts-iStock-652583080
Sylverarts/iStock

Artificial intelligence is no longer just a niche subfield of computer science. Tech giants have been using AI for years: Machine learning algorithms power Amazon product recommendations, Google Maps, and the content that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter display in social media feeds. But William Gibson’s adage applies well to AI adoption: The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.

The average company faces many challenges in getting started with machine learning, including a shortage of data scientists. But just as important is a shortage of executives and nontechnical employees able to spot AI opportunities. And spotting those opportunities doesn’t require a PhD in statistics or even the ability to write code. (It will, spoiler alert, require a brief trip back to high school algebra.)

Having an intuition for how machine learning algorithms work – even in the most general sense – is becoming an important business

Continue reading "How to Spot a Machine Learning Opportunity, Even If You Aren’t a Data Scientist"

Why Hospitals Need Better Data Science

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Airlines are arguably more operationally complex, asset-intensive, and regulated than hospitals, yet the best performers are doing a better job by far than most hospitals at keeping costs low and make a decent profit while delivering what their customers expect. Southwest Airlines, for example, has figured out how to do well the two operational things that matter most: Keep more planes in the sky more often, and fill each of them up more, and more often, than anyone else. Similarly, winners in other complex, asset-intensive, service-based industries — Amazon, well-run airports, UPS, and FedEx — have figured out how to over-deliver on their promise while staying streamlined and affordable.

These examples are relevant to health care for two reasons.

First, hospital operations are in many ways like airline and airport operations and transportation services. There are many steps in the service operation (check-in, baggage, the security line, gates), high

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“Leveling Up”

I have been emailing Haystack founders a bit more often with some stream-of-conscious thoughts, and many of them have encouraged me to publish them publicly. Below, I was thinking about how relatively easy it is (in the Bay Area) to raise a seed round versus raising from larger institutional VCs, and how that’s connected to my own experienced of raising small VC funds with individual LPs but then what I had to do to make the transition to an institutional capital base. Here’s the original email, to what I add a few suggested concrete tips for company founders to consider when attempting to make this transition.

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Hello Haystack founders,

This a post for seed-stage founders only. It is not for founders who have gone on to Series A or those founders who don’t seek institutional VC dollars. As always with these emails, please delete, disregard, or ignore if not Continue reading "“Leveling Up”"

Using Technology to Improve Rural Health Care

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Providing health care in rural regions presents unique challenges. For some patients, the closest doctor may be a three-hour drive. Clinicians seeking an expert consult may find there’s no appropriate specialist within 100 miles. And vast distance can hinder the dissemination of best practices and coordination of care. At Sanford Health, one of the largest rural health-care-delivery systems, we’ve tackled this challenge by leveraging an array of technologies to provide high-value care to a population of around 2 million, dispersed across 300,000 square miles in the Dakotas. We’ve adopted a single electronic medical record (EMR) platform, embraced telehealth technologies, developed enterprise-wide departments, and committed to data transparency.

EMR platform. So far, we have rolled out our integrated EMR platform to 45 hospitals and more than 300 clinics. Key to its success in rural care delivery is that we can rapidly disseminate common decision-support tools across the entire network. For

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Digital Security Is Not Working Very Well

We live in a digital world with a false sense of security. While watching Blade Runner 2049 I smiled during a scene near the end where Deckard says to K, “What Have You Done?!?!?” I expect that this false sense of security will still exist in 2049 if humans manage to still be around.

The first big piece of security news this weekend was ‘All wifi networks’ are vulnerable to hacking, security expert discovers. It only a Severe flaw in WPA2 protocol leaves Wi-Fi traffic open to eavesdropping, but, well, that’s most Wi-Fi networks. If you want the real details, the website Key Reinstallation Attacks: Breaking WPA2 by forcing nonce reuse goes into depth about KRACK Attacks. And yes, KRACK is already up on Wikipedia.

Here’s the summary, which is mildly disconcerting (that’s sarcasm if you missed it …):

The weaknesses are in the Wi-Fi standard itself, and not in

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Blockchains and Society

In July, I sat down The Falkes Group, organizers of the annual Women’s Private Equity Summit in Half Moon Bay, to talk about my fund, and how I got interested in investing in bitcoin and blockchain technology in 2013.

As we see bitcoin near $6000 (it was near $1000 in the beginning of this year), it’s important to remember that there are still many question marks on how the technology will develop, particularly as we see more cryptocurrencies come to market. The pace of growth in the blockchain sector has exceeded what those of us who got involved in 2013 (or earlier) could have predicted. I think it is a testament to pent-up demand for better mechanisms for value transfer, authentication, and security. As if on cue, Equifax recently showed us how a large, well funded company whose sole job it was to protect our data, failed at its basic Continue reading "Blockchains and Society"