Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Personalization - the next frontier

Back to DEBS 2014.  The last keynote speaker was Manish Gupta, who has been a colleague in IBM Research in the past, and now is is heading the Xerox research center in India.  Manish talked about personalization. He started the talk by saying that in the past everything was personalized - clothes, food, furniture. But only a few rich people could enjoy it.  The industrial revolution brought the mass production.
Indeed most products and services we consume are not tailored to our own individual needs, but rather standard on-the-shelf products.    We are now facing a departure from this mass production trend, and back into personalization.   Manish talked mainly about healthcare   Today, there is a tremendous progress in this area, enabling personalized treatment of some diseases, like personalized cancer treatment based on genetic patterns.  This is true in other areas of life.  We were exposed to personalized advertisement, but in most areas we are still in the mass production.   The current technology enables personalization by understanding individuals context on one hand, and classification of individuals on the other hand.  I'll write more about the technology about personalization, and how the combination of Internet of Things and personalization are changing the world, in subsequent posts. 

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