The Value of the Human Mind – How Machine Learning is Helping Humans Win

StrategyDriven Innovation Article | The Value of the Human Mind - How Machine Learning is Helping Humans Win


There is no doubt that we are living in the AI era. Artificial intelligence is at work all around us today. Even if we do not realize it, our thoughts and actions are training the technology to respond in the way we desire. Machine learning is one of the fundamental tasks of AI. Just as the name implies, the machines and platforms we use daily are learning from the consistent input we provide. Let’s look into ways that machine learning is helping to make our lives much easier.

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is an AI component that uses algorithms to find and apply data patterns. The process involves the input of data into a model that is used to predict an outcome. The more data that is input into the model, the “smarter” the machine application seems to get.

The data used can take on many forms, such as text numbers, images, videos, clicks, etc. If there is a way that the item can be stored, it can be applied to a machine-learning model. There are a variety of ways that machine-learning algorithms are incorporated. These various algorithms fit under three specific types of machine learning.

StrategyDriven Innovation Article | The Value of the Human Mind - How Machine Learning is Helping Humans Win

Types of Machine Learning

The three types of machine learning are supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and reinforcement learning. Deep learning is the refined form of machine learning we see used daily. Deep learning uses an algorithm to create what are called neural networks. Neural networks are loosely based on the neural networks of the human brain. Each of these types of neural networks fits in one of the three categories.

Supervised Learning

Supervised learning involves machine learning, where variables—called features—and labels are assigned to the model used. These features and labels are utilized to properly classify the data received. The algorithm can identify patterns based on predetermined features and labels.

An example of machine learning using the supervised model is a machine that can count coins of different denominations. If the weights (features) of nickels, dimes, and quarters (labels) are input into an algorithm, the model can predict the denominations of the coins based on knowing the weight (feature) of each. Another example of this is with a music streaming service that predicts the best choices of music to play based on the genre you routinely choose.

Unsupervised Learning

Unsupervised learning does not use predetermined features and labels. The model is set up to search for any patterns it can recognize. The process is much like a person collecting shells at the beach and later categorizing them based on their shapes. Since there are no labels in this process, there is a greater ability for the machine to analyze the data to locate hidden structures contained within it. Unsupervised learning has become popular among those in the cybersecurity community.

Reinforcement Learning

Behavior modification involves the use of reward and penalty to encourage or discourage specific activities. For instance, if a dog is being house trained, it will be rewarded when it does its business outside and scolded when it does so inside. Reinforcement learning uses these same feedback responses to train machines to learn.

The algorithm for reinforcement learning is based on a trial and error model. Large amounts of data are input into the model, and the machine is rewarded or penalized subsequent to whether the selections help or hinder the objective of the application. Reinforcement learning is seen with the training of robots for industrial automation.

StrategyDriven Innovation Article | The Value of the Human Mind - How Machine Learning is Helping Humans WinHow Machine Learning Helps Humans

We see machine learning at work in our everyday lives. From our search engine results to our ride-sharing apps, machine learning is front and center in the process.  What he have seen is that augmented intelligence enhances human’s intelligence. Let’s focus on some of the applications that use machine learning.

GPS has become a staple in the lives of all travelers. GPS uses machine learning to assist us in reaching our destination by using other users’ input and recognized patterns. Picture recognition used by Facebook is another form of machine learning that uses a supervised model. Ride-sharing apps use various machine learning models to predict destinations, estimate times, and determine pricing.

StrategyDriven Innovation Article | The Value of the Human Mind - How Machine Learning is Helping Humans Win


Once merely an element in sci-fi movies, AI has become a part of our daily experience. Whether we notice the presence of machine learning or not, our lives have been made notably simpler due to its role in developing applications designed to give humans the advantage. Hopefully, you can now recognize the ways that AI continues to benefit you every day.

What Is Real-Time Speech to Text and How Does It Benefit Businesses?

StrategyDriven Innovation Article | What Is Real-Time Speech to Text and How Does It Benefit Businesses?

If you are familiar with simultaneous interpreting service, real-time speech-to-text is somewhat similar. In simultaneous interpreting, the interpreter allows the speaker to speak first before starting the interpretation after a few seconds’ delay. Real-time speech-to-text accurately transcribes the words in a spoken language into text a few moments after its delivery.

Real-time speech-to-text is a general term used to define the accommodation wherein auditory information and other spoken words are translated into text at the same time. In the past a transcriber types the information they hear and the text is displayed on a screen so consumers can read it easily. Today, professional real-time speech-to-text service solutions do the process automatically, with AI assistance and human transcribers and editors working together to provide high quality and accurate transcription immediately.

There are simpler speech-to-text apps available for PC and mobile phones. Some work like dictation application, while others allow users to say the text instead of typing it and send it through SMS or email. Some apps are useful for note taking.

Benefits of speech-to-text solutions to people and businesses

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can get information faster because they can read what they need to know. Businesses stand to gain many benefits from using real-time speech-to-text solutions. They can either buy the program and implement it themselves or hire a provider on a per-need basis. Either way, the technology offers several benefits, such as competitive advantage, increased efficiency in day-to-day operation, and enhanced customer experience. The program can collect data as well, which can be used for data analysis.

Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Communication becomes easier. Handwritten notes that are illegible will no longer be a problem.
  • The turnaround time for documents, such as minutes of the meeting, seminar, discussion groups, forum, conference or lectures is quicker.
  • The increased efficiency of the work force saves time. It also reduces paperwork.
  • It allows employees to be flexible. They can dictate while on the go.
  • It allows employees to immediately share files across different devices.
  • The system allows for fewer mistakes. The program accurately and reliably transcribes what has been said.

Aside from the above, certain businesses and organizations also benefit from real-time speech-to-text program, such as those conducting live events and productions, which may include the following:

  • Live podcasts, webinars and live video feeds
  • Speaking engagements, conferences and events
  • Training sessions, meetings and phone calls
  • Briefings, announcements and speeches

As mentioned earlier, real-time speech-to-text application helps you communicate with people who are hearing-impaired. They can access and enjoy your live events and media presentations with transcripts and captions that are easy to read. Further, you provide them with information with correct grammar, spelling and punctuation.

With the support of artificial intelligence (AI), you can monitor the quality of customer support calls in real time.

A real-time speech-to-text provider can be vital for those engaged in corporate training and learning, media production, education, legal transcription, and court reporting.

The thing to keep in mind is that the real-time transcription program works in conjunction with professional transcriptionists and editors to make sure the transcription is accurate.

The Idea Is Not Enough

StrategyDriven Innovation Article | The Idea Is Not EnoughWhen I talk to aspiring startuppers, I realize they have fallen a little for the myth of a winning idea. While it is true that there must be an idea at the base of the creation of a new company, it is also true that it is now almost impossible to invent something new. What makes the difference is putting the idea into practice.

I think this is a more current, less naïve and definitely more complex concept in the sense that an idea may be brilliant, but if it is the wrong time, placed in the wrong market, by the wrong team, it will not go anywhere. Just as there are less interesting ideas, but they are put into practice so well that they can achieve exceptional results. Rather than having the idea of the century, the real advantage is having the resilience to be able to put it into practice in the right way.

Thanks to the experiences I have had so far, I have realized that even potential investors see it that way and, rather than just evaluating the idea itself, they wonder if those in front of them are able to realize it. They generally do not care if it is a sensational novelty, or whether all the numbers add up, or if the business plan is perfect, because they invest in people. That is what happened to me, Stefano and Marco when we looked for investors for our new venture, Foorban – they wanted to meet all three of us to see if we were really the right team to turn that idea into a business.

When they asked me where we got our inspiration from for Foorban, a lunch delivery service, I always feel a bit like laughing because we copied the business model of a New York startup called Maple… which failed dramatically in just two years! Maple arose from an idea from restaurateur and entrepreneur David Chang and debuted in Manhattan in the summer of 2015, offering a high level of service with gourmet lunches cooked in a dedicated restaurant and delivered to the customer in a quarter of an hour. Maple was a huge success; they managed to make US $20 million sales in a year, but then they went bankrupt. The problem was that, in an attempt to win over the whole market, they had lowered the price of their dishes to US $9. Of course, it was an economically unsustainable decision. With a business like that, where the raw material costs more than that of competitors who offer a more standard product, and with the costs associated with delivery in an area like Manhattan, it was unthinkable to enter into a price struggle – they could not win. In fact, at the third round of financing, investors refused to continue to bankroll it.

Maple’s story contains various lessons, such as that you need to have the correct positioning and understand exactly who your target audience is. It is clear that such a high-end product should not be offered to the masses, but to those who are more sensitive to the quality and healthiness of the product and who are willing to spend a little more.

The most important lesson of all is this – an idea may be right, but afterwards you also have to do everything else right, because every stage of creating a new business has its own perils.

About the Author

This guest post is adapted from CREATE UNIQUENESS: How To Turn A Passion Into A Business by Riccardo Pozzoli. Pozzoli is a global entrepreneur; he has co-founded eight companies in the past ten years and is Creative Director for Condé Nast Italias Social Academy.

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Different Ways to Promote Creativity in the Workplace

StrategyDriven Innovation Article | Different Ways to Promote Creativity in the WorkplaceWhen it comes to the workplace, people often emphasize traditional themes such as productivity and collaboration. However, there are many other valuable traits that employees can bring to the office and that managers should embrace. One of the most underrated features that you should promote in your workplace is creativity. Creativity can have a multitude of benefits for you and your workers, such as increased output and a higher sense of enthusiasm. Here are some simple but effective ways to foster creativity among your employees.

Give Employees Room to Explore

You’ll never know what your team is capable of if you don’t give them the chance to test their boundaries. To truly let your employees thrive, give them plenty of space to explore new opportunities and ask new questions. Engaging in this form of self-discovery allows your employees to have a sense of freedom while doing their jobs. Always be open to their suggestions and encourage them to propose new ideas. While not every attempt will be successful, each one can give your team a valuable learning experience that has the potential to help them thrive.

Use the Right Tools

The tools that your company utilizes on a day-to-day basis ultimately define its approach to creativity in the workplace. In order to make the most of the tools and technology that your employees use, make sure to confirm that they foster creative thinking in every way. It’s always a good idea to regularly evaluate your company’s technology to ensure that it’s facilitating your employees’ work as much as possible. From updated devices to new workflow automation software, making use of the proper tools can give your team more space to explore their creativity.

Celebrate Diversity

If you’re looking for a way to naturally incorporate creativity into your team, try to pay attention to the employees themselves. Members of diverse teams are much more likely to bring a variety of thoughts, opinions and suggestions to the table. This wide array of ideas can feed the overall creativity in your workplace and increase everyone’s enthusiasm as a result. Whether an employee has a suggestion about a project she’s working on or a proposal regarding the new Miratech software, you never know what kinds of ideas you’ll encounter when you emphasize diversity.

Don’t be hesitant about exploring the creative potential of your team at work. If you embrace this valuable trait, you can watch your employees thrive in a variety of ways.

Could 3D Printing Be About To Revolutionize The Way We Create Prototypes?

StrategyDriven Innovation Article |3D Printing|Could 3D Printing Be About To Revolutionize The Way We Create Prototypes?Bringing a product to market can be a very time consuming and expensive process making it inaccessible to many budding entrepreneurs and inventors, but could 3d printing be about to change that? Could 3D printing revolutionise the way we create prototypes?

What is 3D printing?

Most people will be familiar with their at-home 2D ink printer, which creates an image by injecting ink onto a flat paper surface. Well, a 3D printer works in much the same way except rather than using ink, it uses a malleable material such as plastic, and instead of creating a 2D picture it creates a 3D model. A helpful way to visualise a 3D printer is as a robotic hot glue gun that instead of quirting glue squirts plastic.

How does 3D printing work?

In the same way that a conventional ink printer requires a digital version of whatever it is going to print, so does a 3D printer. 3D printing always begins with a CAD generated 3D digital model, this 3D model is then sliced by a programme into thin 2D layers, these are the layers that the 3D printer will print, one at a time onto the print surface, collectively forming a 3D model. Some 3D models require support whilst they harden and so the slicing programme will also add in supports and lattices which adds strength to any hollow parts of particularly fragile parts og the model.

The exact way that each 3D printer creates a model can vary from model to model, but they tend to rely on the same principles. Whereas a desktop FDM printer will melt a plastic filament and lay it down onto the print platform through a nozzle, a larger industrial machine may use lasers to melt thin layers of plastic or plastic powders.

For the most part, 3D printers tend to create models using plastic, as plastic is a versatile material that comes in many colours, densities and textures and is relatively cheap to source. There are, however, some 3D printers that can work with more complex materials such as metal and protein, and in the healthcare sector, there are even 3D printers learning to print using human cells. 3D printing technology is advancing extremely rapidly and so although the technology may be limited to a handful of materials now, it is estimated that you will be able to print in any number of different materials in the near future.

StrategyDriven Innovation Article |3D Printing|Could 3D Printing Be About To Revolutionize The Way We Create Prototypes?What are the advantages and disadvantages of 3D printing?

3D printing is an alternative manufacturing method to traditional subtractive or formative manufacturing. It comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which are outlined below:

The advantages of 3D printing

  • Faster prototype creation
    Depending on the size of the model and the type of printer used the printing process usually takes between 4 to 18 hours. This is drastically quicker than other prototyping methods.
  • Lower start-up costs
    Compared to the cost of creating a unique mould for a formative manufacturing process which can cost many thousands, 3D printing is extremely cheap, needing only the cost of the material printed and the time of the printer. This makes it a great alternative for people looking for lower-cost prototypes and unique one-off parts.
  • Greater customisation
    Because of the cost associated with creating moulds, it is often not possible to create multiple iterations of a prototype. 3D printing, however, makes it possible to create custom pieces at little extra cost, with only the 3D design image needing to be replaced, you can create as many prototypes as you like.
  • Cheap creation of complex geometrical shapes
    Creating a mould for a complicated geometric shape can be very costly which can limit the kinds of prototypes people can afford to build. Thankfully, the additive nature of 3D printing means that it is equipped to handle even the most complex geometric shapes at no extra cost, opening the doors for more complicated product ideas.

The disadvantages of 3D printing

  • Lower tensile strength
    Many 3D printed models have up to 50% less strength than those created with other manufacturing methods, this is largely due to the way in which 3D printers create products using a series of layers. This isn’t a huge problem for many prototypes but is still something to take into consideration.
  • 3D printing is less cost-effective when printing higher volumes
    Whereas 3D printing is a much cheaper alternative when dealing with one or two of a product it does begin to get more costly as the unit quantity increases and if you are planning on printing 100 or more of the same product then it may be cheaper to look at another method.
  • 3D models require post-processing
    Some 3D printed prototypes will require supports or lattice structures in order for the 3D printer to build them, these will need to be removed post-processing in order to generate a finished prototype. This can add on extra time and may also leave marks or blemishes on the final product.


Will 3D printing revolutionise prototyping. Quite simply, yes. For the first time, many entrepreneurs and product developers will have access to a technology that is cost-effective and versatile enabling them to create a prototype without raising investment in order to fund the process. Desktop 3D printers are now available for as little as a couple of hundred dollars, meaning that they can even be installed in-house, saving a huge amount of money on outsourcing to an external prototyping company. The speed of 3D printers also dramatically accelerates the prototyping process speeding up the route to market and enabling entrepreneurs to start profiting from their creations more quickly. As the 3D printing market continues to grow, and the materials available becoming more varied, more and more complex models will be able to be printed opening up a whole new world of possibilities for creative minds, making 3D printing a technology that many businesses can’t afford to ignore. If you have an idea and want to see it become a reality then there has been no better time to get started.