May 19, 2011

Señor God’s Gift Achiuwa, you asked whether I would play Monopoly with a dashboard or against a computer.  I would play with the help of a dashboard.  Playing Scrabble against Nanaji making occasional use of the dictionary is more fun for me than without, but I don’t think playing against a computer would be nearly as fun.  Much of that is because of Nanaji’s inimitable style.

Not only does he have his own style in playing Scrabble, but in many other aspects of life as well.  No matter what one thinks of him and his choices, one has to agree that he has certainly dared to be different

As you well know, one of his deliberate, oft-used phrases is “क्या बेचता है?” (“What does he sell?”) when asking who someone is.  Having been at IBM and looking at business analytics applications for more than a year, I am more deeply understanding how basic and important buying and selling are to everything.  To help build my intuition regarding sales and marketing, I have been subscribed to the MarketingProfs newsletter for a while now. 

In the newsletter, I have been seeing ‘storytelling’ mentioned more and more as a tactic to sell, including an article this week.  You have some nice ideas for what grand challenge-type things IBM Research can do next after Watson, the Jeopardy! challenge, which you might share here in the future.  One of my ideas is a machine that can create stories or screenplays that make you laugh, think. and cry.  It fits in with the business focus of the company via this new storytelling trend in marketing, is challenging but doable in my estimation (and David Ferrucci’s), and is related to storytelling thoughts I have shared here previously (1, 2, 3). 

Nanaji has phrases related to chess “शाह मौत [shah maut]” and to Jeopardy! “I know, I know, I know, you don’t know.” What ideas do readers have as challenges for IBM to tackle after chess and Jeopardy!?



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