Five Ways to Think About Integrating Artificial Intelligence into Product Development

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Illustration by scarlett_z10

The Challenge

Market leaders across the United States understand that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the power to disrupt their businesses, and they are all attempting to integrate AI into their operations with urgency to remain competitive. This might be a lesson learned from the mobile era when many market leaders were dethroned by startups using new technology faster and better than they did. However, determining exactly how AI has the potential to improve your business can be challenging.

Our Approach

In the Lenfest Local Lab, our mission is to develop experimental products for journalism — another business being disrupted by digital. Since the application of AI in journalism is still in its very early days, we’ve been thinking of ways our experiments can shed light on how AI can be beneficial for news. After attending the 2019 Computation + Journalism Symposium at the University of Miami with the lab’s director Sarah Schmalbach, and researching popular AI startups, we’ve learned more about how other newsrooms, and investors, are approaching this new technology. …

I was recently in Tokyo for work. Living in Japan for over 18 years, it was great to be back in the capital city where I lived for a period of time. Visiting Tokyo after a long time, I wanted to go about finding places to eat that I had not been before. So I did the smart thing and called up my friends who have been living in Tokyo ever since graduating college.

Ginza Sato Yosuke

I was staying in Ginza for work so the first place I visited was Ginza Sato Yosuke. The restaurant owner continues a 7 generational long tradition in udon manufacturing. These generation spanning food manufactures are not rare in Japan, however the ones that exist and open their own restaurants, survive in a hyper competitive foodie culture, hence they tend to be really good. However, this was not the thing that attracted me to visit this restaurant. It was the unusual thai fusion dish that they were serving. It was their famous udon noodles with a Thai curry dipping sauce. I debated between the green curry and the red curry dipping sauces for a bit, before deciding to get the combo meal. It turned out to be the right decision both were delicious (all though I liked the red curry better). If you decide to visit this restaurant I recommend going for lunch as they they offer “oomori” (extra noodles) at no extra charge. …

For the past year Facebook has been embroiled in multiple back-to-back scandals. However, despite that, the stock has continued to do well and user numbers continue to grow. This is probably because their retention numbers are so strong. People like Walt Mossberg are few and rare.

From my own personal experience, I believe these retention numbers are strong because of the network effects inherit in its product. There are few platforms in the world that are close to replicating the friend graph I have on Facebook. And those few have been acquired by Facebook: Instagram and Whatsapp.

I value the network I have built on Facebook over many years. But each day that goes by I feel more and more like Facebook as a product is engineered to use me, rather than me using it. Initially perceived as a tool to maximize the connectedness between my friends. It is now a product whose goal is to maximize my engagement (with its ads especially). Hence I have started to look into ways decrease my dependence on it. At the heart of the my usage of Facebook has been its flagship mobile app. …


Ajay Chainani

Japan + NYC. iOS developer. Startup advisory. Previously @spring @techstars @500startups, @sonar, @loudieapp. 日本語 OK!

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