the navigator

why migration? // data at 180mph // artificial dinner // cloud hero world tour //

some cool stuff // miles ward of google cloud // how to not be replaced by robots //

thoughtcast // brian conte //

published by launch cg : vol.1 no.1 : spring 2019 : $ - C.R.E.A.M.

ai ?

If AI is the future, then why is it everywhere now?

the navigator

vol.1 no.1 : spring 2019



In 2008, The New Yorker Magazine wrote

about the demise of print, talking about a

“palpable sense of doom.” They highlighted

Philip Meyer, who, in his book “The Vanishing

Newspaper” (2004), predicted that the final

copy of the final newspaper will appear on

somebody’s doorstep one day in 2043.

Which should be about the same year Elon

says that, upon the death of our biological

body, we’ll be able to upload ourselves into a

new unit and continue living as a computer.

They also talked about the inevitable slipping of

the public trust in newspapers. Got that one.

So, in typical contrarian form, we decided to

launch a print piece, The Navigator. Don’t

worry, just a quarterly thing. But when you

get hundreds of smart and driven people

working with several smart and driven clients,

cool things occur that seem worth sharing.

And with everyone’s inboxes clogged, perhaps

a refreshing somethin’-somethin’ to hold in

your hands, pin-up, share, leave in

the loo, wrap your fish in, and

recycle is a nice way to carry

on a dialogue and express our

ongoing salute to humanity.

It seems apropos that a

modern-day business

and technology

consultancy should

commit their inaugural

publication to everybody’s

subject of the moment, AI.

Following are reflections

on moments we feel are

relevant and conversations

with some very smart people.

Yours truly,

Tad Harmon

Chief Creative Officer

Launch Consulting



Is AI the Future

of Business?

Pages 3-6

Why: Migration &


Pages 7-10


Data@180 MPH

Pages 11-16



Pages 17-18

Cloud Hero

World Tour

Pages 19-32

Miles Ward:

the Interview

Pages 35-36

How to Not Be

Replaced by Robots

Pages 37-38


Pages 39-40

Mr. AI:

Brian Conte

Pages 41-42



Futurist Leonardo Da Vinci pondered whether

Artificial Intelligence would ever be realized.






What is the future of AI/ML and

how do you practically apply its

power for your business?

Did you know that 60%

of businesses from all

industries combined have

implemented a Machine

Learning artificial

intelligence strategy to help

in day-to-day operations

and to have a clearer

vision of the future?

AI used to be the stuff of science fiction.

However, businesses now use AI every

day to increase efficiencies, save money,

increase ROI, improve customer experience,

increase customer satisfaction, and make

meaningful and accurate predictions

about the future of their business and

where their industry is heading in order

to gain an edge over the competition.

A 2017 study conducted by IDG found that

89% of business leaders who have adopted

AI technology agree that it has provided their

business with a competitive advantage.

This same study found that 81% of

business leaders agree that AI technology

has reduced costs significantly and has

also improved the overall satisfaction

and experience of their customers.







Another 2017 study conducted by Deloitte

Access Economics found that businesses

implementing AI technology typically realized

between two and five times ROI on their AI

project within the first year. A 2017 study

conducted by Harvard Business Review

Analytic Services found that 82% of business

leaders who have adopted AI technology

are primarily using it to turn their data into

valuable insights through predictive analytics.

“This is what is keeping business leaders

awake at night: how to harvest and make

sense of their data for competitive advantage.

Machine Learning is allowing companies to

surface the untapped value in their data.”

- Fausto Ibarra,

Director of Global Product Management

for GCP

Real, tangible applications

for every industry.

You may be wondering: How can AI help

my business be more successful? Below

are just some examples of the most

popular ways in which five industries

utilize AI in their day-to-day operations:


• Predictive modeling

• Process automation

• Customer behavior analysis

• Better diagnostics from patient data

• Disease identification & risk stratification

Financial Services & Insurance

• Predictive Analytics

• Risk analysis & Fraud detection

• Customer segmentation

• Marketing campaign management

• Credit worthiness assessment


• Credit risk assessment

• Predictive inventory planning

• Supply chain management

• Customer behavior analysis

• Market segmentation and targeting

• Customer ROI & lifetime value


• Recommendation engines &

personalized experience

• Predicting emerging trends

and consumer demand

• Process automation

• Customer behavior analysis


• Improve customer experience

• Predictive analysis

• Customer behavior analysis

• Analyze and meaningfully utilize massive

amounts of data

Be an industry disruptor

without disrupting

your business.

Take advantage of everything AI technology

can offer and become a disruptive force in

your industry without disrupting your business

during the process. Launch has helped many

companies big and small seamlessly integrate

AI technology while preparing employees

and other stakeholders on how to take full

advantage of the technology. Launch has

the expertise to integrate the right Machine

Learning APIs into your IT infrastructure

to meet the exact needs of your company.

Once these Machine Learning solutions

are integrated into your IT infrastructure,

they are fast, scalable and easy to use.

We find AI solutions

that truly empower.

What good is implementing AI Machine

Learning in your business if it is difficult to

use and understand? Launch continually

seeks out AI services that have the aim of

making those services more simple, useful,

and applicable to any business’ unique

challenges. We look for cloud platforms that

utilize tools that allow for simplicity in using

Machine Learning and cut costs by eliminating

the need to hire a team of data scientists

while offering affordable data storage that

is extremely flexible and scalable. We love

Machine Learning tools that also provide

economical pricing; Machine Learning resource

management that is free, and pricing that

only charges your company per training job.



This is what is keeping business leaders awake at night:

how to harvest and make sense of their data for competitive

advantage. Machine Learning is allowing companies to

surface the untapped value in their data.

Fausto Ibarra

Director of Global Product Management

for GCP

Ask for an AI strategy assessment today:

Neural-net-based Machine

Learning services also have

better training performance

and increased accuracy

compared to other Machine

Learning systems.

Businesses can also rely on multilayered

secure infrastructure, expert engineers, and

commitment to transparency. Launch can

help you take advantage of various cloud

platforms’ proven, pre-trained models.

We create custom models with cloud

Machine Learning engines and the most

popular Machine Learning libraries across

the globe. Our clients can use proprietary

customer ML accelerators to run and scale.

Secure like Fort Knox

& 100% compliant.

Understandably, security threats are a top

concern for any business, and this threat is

only increasing every day. Launch can put

top-rated security features to work for you

so your company can get the most out of

using AI technology. We make sure your

cloud environment and information is secure

with endpoint, anti-virus, and malware

protection. According to a 2017 study

conducted by IDG, 86% of business leaders

who have implemented AI technology agree

that it has enhanced their cybersecurity

efforts. Does your business need to remain

HIPAA compliant? FERPA compliant? COPPA

compliant? No problem. We find partners that

regularly undergo independent verification

to ensure that you can put your trust in their

products to help your business stay compliant.

Don’t be left behind.

Why has your company not taken advantage

of what AI technology can offer? Does it seem

too overwhelming and complicated? Are you

not sure how it could help your company?

Does it seem too expensive? Are you worried

it will disrupt your current operations during

the implementation process? Perhaps you

have security concerns or are apprehensive

about training employees about how to use

new technology. Whatever your reason,

contacting Launch for a free assessment

may put your mind at ease and help clear

up some misconceptions you may have

about implementing AI technology in your

company’s IT infrastructure. When you

contact us, you won’t be talking to a pushy

salesperson trying to meet their quota. You

will be talking to a consultant who has

their own entrepreneurial and industry

expertise who genuinely loves helping

businesses succeed with the power of AI.












Your business is flying high and it’s finally

time to migrate to the cloud. You hire

a consultant (woo hoo!) and they

set you up with a “Lift and Shift,”

suggesting you move whatever you’ve

got to whichever platform you like.








The phrase is clever, more so because…

it rhymes. Plus, everyone else is doing it.

So, why not dive in and get this party started?

Among a host of other services, Launch is a

company that helps its customers Lift and Shift,

as well as Move and Improve (another rhyme),

which includes application changes as part of

the migration. We’ve seen that before “start

the party,” it helps to step back, think deeper,

and engage in the dreaded, “We need to talk.”

Our Cloud Migration Workshop is basically

a lot of talking with some pretty cool results.

It’s a series of progressive discussions, starting

with what makes our clients successful in

their industries. Of course, then comes the

technical deep dive (our solution architects

love this part), looking into the architecture

and system workloads, looking at migration

goals, KPIs, priorities, and interdependencies.

This information is bundled up into a suggested

proof of concept, migrating one or more

workstreams to validating the migration.

The POC is usually the first step toward a

bigger picture. Before dashing into the fray, it’s

good to create a road map that tells you where

you’re going, how the pieces fit together, and

how resulting business goals can be achieved.

Forging ahead is a lot easier if you know you’ve

got a giant forest to weave through

or a looming cliff to avoid.















Ask for an AI strategy assessment today:



DATA @ 180 MPH

How Human Centric AI is helping NTT Indy Car Series

Team Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Win Races.


In this era of the sport,

it would be impossible to operate

without data acquisition.

James Hinchcliffe, Driver

No.5 Arrow Electronics Honda


“The evolution of data acquisition has really

revolutionized Motorsports,” says NTT Indy

Car Series driver James Hinchliffe. “In this

era of the sport, it would be impossible

to operate without data acquisition.”

If anyone needs “accelerated data” or “data

at the speed of business” or whatever

the hell hyperbole you see on every

PowerPoint presentation ever, it’s an IndyCar

team – the living breathing metaphor

for fast data in the information age.

The Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

team combines data and driver and

engineer experience to win races.

Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

recently teamed up with Launch to build an

interactive dashboard app that will assist the

race engineers to manage the cars in real time.

“Every second is crucial,” says Arrow SPM

driver Marcus Ericsson. “You need to

get the data quickly; you need to try and

quickly analyze it and then take out the

information from it. That’s why you need

to have the data there extremely fast.”

It’s not just about getting the data quickly,

it’s about how fast that data can be put

to use in order to gain every possible

competitive advantage. With an average

8-seconds in a pitstop to make adjustments

to the car, every split-second counts.

“We run a live telemetry system that

provides the driver with a certain amount

of information on the steering wheel and

then a significantly greater amount of data

to the pit stand for the engineers to analyze

on the fly,” says Hinchliffe. “Between the

data the engineers have and feedback from

the driver, decisions are made on what, if

any, changes are made during pitstops.”

Ask for an AI strategy assessment today:



second is crucial; you ne

GPS: 986° 37° 1345°

Tire Temperature: 114°


ed to get the data quickly, you need to try and quickly

analyze it and then take out the information from it.

Marcus Ericsson, Driver

No.7 Arrow Electronics Honda

Data @ 180 mph | the Navigator

Speed: 178 MPH

Lateral Acceleration: 367 MPH

Ask for an AI strategy assessment today:


Data @ 180 mph | the Navigator

Launch is going to help us save time just from the

usability of the program they’re coming up with.

Will Anderson

Arrow SPM Race Engineer.



In the pit stand, the team race engineer, race strategist,

and data acquisition engineer are monitoring all the

incoming information to determine race strategy. These

guys are looking at weather conditions, driver feedback,

and the car’s telemetry. The telemetry automatically

populates in the app and the team can easily input

driver feedback and environmental conditions.

“We’re collecting all of this disparate information

to create a story,” says UI/UX Designer Larissa

Wright. “Alone this info is interesting, but may not

be actionable until the whole story is filled in.”

I don’t believe AI will ever

replace the race experience of

the driver or the race engineer,

says Gish.

What it does do is track and

evaluate the decisions of

the race engineer and the

performance of the driver, so

they can go… faster.

“It’s all about making decisions,” says Scott Gish,

Launch Senior Software Development Engineer.

“What we’re doing is consolidating the information

and presenting it in a format that shows as much

information possible as quickly as possible.”

“When I saw what they were doing, it felt complicated and

inefficient,” says Wright. “They were toggling through

multiple open windows and massive spreadsheets, and

literally typing every word the driver said into those

spreadsheets. Driver feedback is just one small example

of something we hope to automate for these guys, so they

can spend their time thinking strategically about the race.”

“Launch is going to help us save time just from the usability

of the program they’re coming up with,” says Will Anderson,

Arrow SPM Race Engineer. “There will be a lot less manpower.

There will be a lot more automated entry, automated things

happening in the background that we don’t have to then

manually enter. Honestly, the end result in how that can

make the car go faster is, if we have more time to test

the cars on the track more often, we gather more data.”

“These guys are chasing 1/100th of a mph. Every minute

we save them in a practice session means another

lap around the track to get more data and driver

feedback,” says Scott, “which is another opportunity

to tune the car and improve performance.”

This combination of human experience and intuition with

hard data and AI in one dashboard is being used in multiple

industries. “What we’re doing is automating as much

as possible, so people can spend more time thinking and

doing, and less time on the busy work,” says Wright.

“I don’t believe AI will ever replace the race experience of

the driver or the race engineer,” says Gish. “What it does

do is track and evaluate the decisions of the race engineer

and the performance of the driver, so they can go… faster.”

Ask for an AI strategy assessment today:


When Launch needs to put our stuff out

on the table, we like to do it over dinner.

We might seat solution architects with

data scientists, cloud devs with creative

directors, business analysts with sociologists.

Whomever is there, there is never a shortage

of opinions, passion, laughter, and solutions.


Everyone here is probably pretty honest in

saying, “Hey, AI is a great tool. It can help

farmers. But it can also help run war games,

or actual wars.” And it’s that knowledge that

allows us to say, “Okay, we’re the guardrails.

What are we doing

to make sure that

things are okay?”


We’re not dumb. There

is a very dark side to this,

right? There is. And the

hard thing for me is when

and how can you control

it, right? As an individual.


I am a Sociologist. I see it a little bit differently.

I don’t see it as good or bad. I think it just is.

And it’s a process of social change. I think

about how our platforms now have changed

the structure of our economy, where people

are more independent, and creating their own

opportunities for their own employment, and

I think that’s just going to grow. Is it good

or bad? It isn’t about being good or bad. It’s

just about us growing and embracing it.


Human centered AI is recognizing that AI

is best used in conjunction with the human.

There’re so many

examples where, you

know, the combination

of human and machine

is better than either of

them alone. I mean most

of the applications I

would say right now that

are out there in the real

world with AI, whether

it’s helping doctors scan

radiology reports or

helping with customer

service or whatever, it’s

a conjunction between

human and AI.


We know enough

about the underlying

technology and how

it works, that you’re

willing to trust it, but

let’s be honest, we are not representative

of America, right? We know more about

how technology works than most people

walking down the street. How do we

translate our comfort with AI to a farmer

who only sees that technology has destroyed

their workforce over the last 20 years?


By 2030, they’re saying 70% of companies

will have some aspect of AI embedded in

their system. And if you’re a company who

is not invested, you’re going to fall behind,

and you’re going to disappear. So that’s a

reality too. If you’re trying to save jobs, in a

system that is evolving, you’re not doing

your workers any help. You’re not. You have

to help them evolve with the system.



By 2030, 70% of

companies will have some

aspect of AI embedded

in their system. And if

you’re a company who is

not invested, you’re going

to fall behind, and you’re

going to disappear.



In general, I’m more optimistic about the

whole prospect of growing jobs versus losing

jobs. There was a couple of recent optimistic

things in the news. There was a study that

showed that while most companies go into

AI thinking they’re going to save costs, the

ones that actually successfully implement

AI end up saying that it increased revenue

rather than saved cost. That two jobs were

going to be created for everyone loss.


The C-Suite at enterprise companies are kind

of just scared to death of AI. I heard one say to

Brian, “Will you come and teach my corporate

executives how not to be afraid of AI?”


We knew the C levels were not gonna get in

and understand ROI, and all this stuff. I mean,

are you kidding me? We can create a fantasy

land, but that’s not how you sell this, right?

So, like what we did in the Disney experience,

where it was like, okay, cool. It’s your birthday.

The kid goes crazy. The execs all got it.

It was no longer how many billable hours,

it was how many millions can I throw at

this, and then how do I make these 50

other things, right? And then it was like, “by

the way, that’s AI.” Right? That’s all they

needed ... “okay. I get it now. I get it.”

Ask for an AI strategy assessment today:

This (Beauty and the Beast) rose, right?

It’s dead, and you walk up to it, it comes

to life for you because it’s your birthday,

right? We had the C level execs come in

and then we brought a kid, who’s never

seen this. And you throw them in front

of that thing, and it’s their birthday… and

all of a sudden, the rose comes to life.


We threw a dinner party for AI experts… and…

here’s an excerpt.

Watch the video at















For those of you pressed for time, I’ll summarize the rest of the article here: Launch and Google

developed Cloud Hero over a four-month period—taking it to conferences and Google events

around the world. Experiential marketing + competitive developers = product love.




It started on a dark and stormy night in late December ‘17.

The temperatures in the Pacific Northwest were a blistery 45°,

not cold enough to snow but wet enough to reinforce

the gloomy Seattle stereotype.

Local restaurant 13 COINS was the wellspring

for what is now Cloud Hero.

With an average IQ tipping 140, a group of Launch and

Google Solutions Architects devised a back-of-the-napkin

‘U2’ concert experience for Google Cloud Platform.





Ask for an AI strategy assessment today:




Google had thrown down a pretty hefty gauntlet:

Design an experience for developers and creators to explore the possibilities of GCP,

in a way that — unlike most training experiences — didn’t suck.

Leveraging Miles Ward, the Bono of the Cloud,

we conceived and built an interactive game and corresponding

roadshow-style live event, in which app developers and engineers faced off

against each other to stand-up services and infrastructure in GCP.




Ask for an AI strategy assessment today:




In 4 months, Cloud Hero and its lovable mascot, Skylar,

went from the 13 COINS restaurant to 12 locations around the world. Cloud Hero breaks down

the essence of the cloud platform, enabling them to showcase their brilliance in a fun event

without all the clichés, jargon, and boring demos that attend most company show-and-tells.







Ask for an AI strategy assessment today:








1. Mexico City

2. London

3. Tokyo

4. Seattle

5. San Francisco – NEXT

6. Washington, DC

7. Bend, OR

8. Santiago

9. São Paulo

10. Bogotá

11. Tel Aviv

12. Osaka





Mexico City

4 months of preparation came to a head in Mexico

City, our official Cloud Hero beta test location. We

were hoping for the best but prepared to solve for

the worst as is almost cliché when launching a new

product: Power outages, natural disasters, heart

attacks, you name it! When we arrived at the event

grounds and into our home for the next two days—a

Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome in the middle of

a horse track—the whole team was blown away. We

were in the big leagues and things were going well.

Dress rehearsal went off without a hitch and we had

made great connections with the LATAM Google

Team. After a rocky start the event was a success.

Everybody earned their margaritas that night!

Travis Pruitt

Senior Solutions Architect

Osaka, Japan

1 cancelled flight; 2 layovers; 36 hours airborne;

48 hours on the ground; 3 karaoke songs

sung—all contributing to the perfect Japanese

experience. Osaka was the second of 2 trips I

made to Japan at the end of 2018 and I was again

blown away by the people of Japan. Cloud Hero

went swimmingly well, a true testament to the

Google Japan team and the pride they take in

their work. Osaka is famous for Takoyaki (octopus

balls), puffer fish, and amazing restaurant sign

displays as pictured on the left. I will be back.

Dylan Kinsella

Product Manager





Cloud Hero is the most fun I have had at Google Next.

It was a real challenge, so everybody was very

focused and willing to win.

I would say it was very positive and thrilling.

Ask for an AI strategy assessment today:

Lorenzo Ridi

Cloud Hero Winner, Google NEXT

Tel Aviv, Israel

Fun fact: Bethlehem is in Palestine! Which we

were surprised to find out during a tour of Old

Jerusalem. After a successful Cloud Hero event

in Tel Aviv, some of the team decided to stick

around to immerse ourselves in some of the most

historically significant cities in the world. When

our tour of Jerusalem was complete, it was time

to go Bethlehem. We had to switch vehicles and

tour guides to cross the border into Palestine. Our

swanky tour bus was replaced by a series of cars

and vans. Despite the high-speed driving down

narrow and crowded roads, we arrived safely to the

birth sight of baby Jesus. Yeah. THAT baby Jesus.

Lee Christofferson

Head of Production

Bend, Oregon

Bend has a uniform and that uniform is strongly

rooted in flannel and IPA. Cloud Hero Bend was the

inaugural stop for the 2019 Cloud Hero roadshow.

Working with local tech companies and developers,

Launch and Google produced a localized version of

Cloud Hero with an accompanying Exec Connect

roundtable. The event bridged the gap of technology

and business, showcasing the power of GCP and how

transformational it can be for business objectives.

CBD water on tap plus 12 inches of snow made

for an interesting 24 hours in Central Oregon.

Marco Green

Solutions Architect

São Paulo, Brazil

We knew going in that delivering Google Cloud

Hero in Brazil would be challenging due to the

fact that the one person at our company who

spoke Portuguese wasn’t able to make it. Over

the last year as we deployed Cloud Hero 11 times

in 8 countries, we’d relied on the team’s high

school language skills. What did we discover?

That a selfie is a celebration in any language!

The people of São Paulo are creative, business

savvy, entrepreneurial and dedicated to doing

good. During our trip we went from meetings…

to espresso and Pao de Queijo (Brazilian

cheese bread) at an office park with an outdoor

ping pong table and hammocks. Note to self:

install at Launch offices under rain cover!

Leslie Redd



Mexico City

San Francisco



San Francisco

San Francisco

São Paulo


Mexico City

Mexico City

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv

San Francisco


Mexico City


Mexico City













Cloud Hero



Premier Partner






Director of

Google Cloud







Resident O.G.



Serial entrepreneur-cum-Launch consultant Dean Graziano is

well qualified for his mission of helping customers capture

future opportunities. Years of riding the cutting edge of tech

have sharpened his instincts for hiring and networking, making

him a walking catalog of invaluable resources and connections.

In 2004, Dean founded Visible Technologies—one of the

first social media monitoring analytics platforms. Today,

he’s picking the brain of Visible Employee Number Four,

AKA – Miles Ward, Director of Google Cloud Solutions.


Here are the choice-cuts from their call…

Dean Graziano: You’ve come a long way since the Visible

Technologies days. It was my first start-up. We’ve

been family ever since. It’s still one of the top social

media monitoring analytics platforms, so we did good.

Miles Ward: Plus, I met my wife there.

DG: I mean, I don’t think there’s anything

better than that happening.

MW: What we were trying to do is an appreciable

fraction of what Google tries to do, right?

DG: Right.

MW: Take and construct a full-text searchable, indexed

slice of the internet. If you ask core Google

engineers, “How does Search work?” They say,

“Well, you make a full-text searchable index of an

appreciable slice of the visible components of the

internet.” I’m like, “Dude, I did one of those, but I

was trying to do it in Sequel server at Visible!”

DG: Now data’s commoditized, right? You can get the

fire hose of data. When I tell people how we used

to collect data, they’re like, “What?” It’s insane.

MW: Yeah, in the salt mines, with pick axes.

DG: It was data as unstructured as you

can get and still go grab it.

MW: You’d had to find somebody willing to pay the extra

mile to get the insight that’s on the other side of some

gnarly thing [mountain of data]. Then technology

shows up and says, “Oh you figured out a way to

extract value by putting this in an organized pattern?

Awesome.” And then the machinery of development

kicks in and zip—[extraction] is trivial.

Isn’t that how technology works? It hunts down

opportunities for value creation and systematizes

them. From—Maybe we should print this picture—

to—Maybe we should print these pictures bigger—

to—Why don’t we just get our own printer? That’s

scalability—that systematic approach, increasing

the throughput that delivers value. That’s what

all these businesses are hunting down.

DG: I think all the stuff we see in movies is right

around the corner. You and I are both in the

AI space, where’s the future going?

MW: It’s easy to get swept up in the visual and visceral

and say “I want to shake hands with a robot! We’ll

go on a hike together!” Narrow application of these

technologies is powerful enough. Being able to use

modern prediction and extrapolation in modern

Machine Learning is going to make predictions more

accurate. A lot of the risks can be reduced in a lot of

places, and where there’s too much manual labor—that

stuff gets a lot easier, really quickly.

That’s not to say that there isn’t a huge amount of

problems left to solve, but you’re going to solve them

using slightly different tools in slightly different ways,

hopefully to much more scaled effect.

I had a good conversation with a [Google] customer

in banking. I proposed to the CIO and CFO that

they can’t really groc what AI can do for their

business if until they start some projects right

now and figure it out. But they were thinking in a

scaled way already. They said, “I don’t want to be

able to execute a single project. I need to build a

machine which executes thousands of projects.”

Every little part of my business, I expect to have-

DG: Automated.

MW: Right. You’ve got to ask: How many parts of our

business currently use statistics? Who’s likely to

walk through our front door? Who’s a risky bet to

make on an investment or give a loan? How do we

communicate to our regulators about our liquidity? In

all these places, predictions are based on a statistical

math that’s 200 years old. And it’s not that a machine

running the math is that much better, it’s just by using

so much more data, you make predictions that are

materially more accurate.

The Google example that’s most mind blowing for

me is our data centers. We consume about a fifth of

the X86 processor cores manufactured on a yearly

basis. It’s a gigantic physical facility. They have to

run those things efficiently. Shave a little off here

and that’s big bucks that go back into the coffers.

We’re on our trillionth revision of the software that

manages power and cooling inside of these facilities.

Last year, we turned all that software off. Take the best

thinking, by the best engineers at Google, working

on the most instrumented data center facilities in

the world, doing everything they could do to figure

out the very best way to control those tools. Instead,

build a Machine Learning model that digests all the

same inputs that they see, and all of the changes

they’ve made over the last ten years affecting the

turning on/off of the coolers. And our system’s

not 4% more efficient, it’s 40% more efficient.

DG: That’s amazing.

MW: These are parts of the business where 1% is

monumental for a lot of different manufacturers—

folks in oil and gas and energy, any businesses

where outputs are already at scale, where single

digit percentages matter, and where they’re using

statistics—90% of businesses on the planet. By

applying machine money, they get a step function in

accuracy. That’s giant. It’s literally a multi-trillion-dollar


To capture that opportunity, you’ve got to do the

leg work of having the data organized and having

your systems ready to go. You can’t just phone

it in and poke the ML button on the side of the

spreadsheet and purr… out it goes, but there’s a lot

of spots where companies have a big opportunity.

DG: Dude, I love you, great talking to you. It warms

my heart to see the impact you’re making.

MW: Dean, you were a big part of the family that

I have in technology, so I really value your

participation as a partner as we plug in to

some of these incredible new things.










Home of Your AI Overlords.




of Americans express wariness or concern

about a world where machines perform

many of the tasks done by humans.

of Americans are concerned

automation of jobs will exacerbate

economic inequality.

of Americans don’t foresee

new, better-paying jobs replacing

those lost to automation.

(Pew Research)



The negative impact of fear.




Through our understanding of neuroscience, we

know that the best way to combat existential

dread is through unique, positive experiences.

• Inhibits ability to listen and

retain information

• Decreases cognitive processing

• Enhances other negative emotions

Jerry Nguyen, PhD, Launch Solution Architect




Positive experiences are remembered less powerfully than negative ones:

• Negative experiences only require a single occurrence to be encoded strongly

• Repeated positive experiences lose impact quickly








• Consistent exposure to new positive experiences!

• The human brain optimally processes information in

short and medium time lengths. Focusing on near term

goals provides powerful positive feedback

• Our brains create connections between experiences and

actions. Linking specific actions with positive outcomes

can begin to present clear pathways to success





Promote a realistic understanding of AI’s potential because

“the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

• Allay fears with a more inclusive vision of AI

• Foster collaboration

• Invest in building a strong data strategy

• Cultivate learning agility






The key to successful AI implementation

is an emphasis on learning agility.

Create a program highlighting:

• Higher order thinking skills

• Social and emotional skills

• Business acumen

• Technology skills



Welcome to the positive reality.

The overall effect of AI on

the workforce is a net gain of

58 million jobs by 2020.




You need a coordinated plan that engages and excites to embrace a positive future with AI.

Some steps to help you get there:

• Maintain a positive attitude and orient yourself and your employees

to actionable short- and medium-term benefits of AI

• Highlight real-world experiences that demonstrate the positive changes that have occurred

• Outline the concrete steps your company will take towards

AI adoption that supports your employees

• Build a transparent communication channel with your employees

to hear their concerns and help allay their fears










pursues her goal of founding Rent the

Runway – a website renting designer apparel

at affordable rates. It re-sparked the sense of

magic I feel as a Project Manager at the start

of a new assignment, helping me add energy,

positivity, and momentum to my team.”

Danny Cork

Senior Writer/Producer

Lorraine Haney

Practice Director,

Workforce Enablement

Podcast: 99% Invisible

Episode 322: The First Straw

“99% Invisible suggests that the most ordinary

objects may have the most important

stories to tell about human nature and our

changing society. This episode explores

the evolution of the disposable straw, from

its beginnings as public health tool to its

current polarizing role in US environmental

politics. The bends and twists in the history

of the straw, mirrors key turning points

in American business and culture.”

Podcast: Scriptnotes

Episode 375: Austin 2018 3-Page Challenge

“Invaluable writing advice from two working

screenwriters. This episode features their

ongoing Three Page Challenge, in which

aspiring screenwriters submit the first three

pages of a script for the hosts’ feedback. It

shows how easily we writers assume our

audience will understand information as

intended, without establishing elements

crucial to that understanding. This

episode is a reminder of how important

it is to consider multiple dimensions

of context when communicating.”

Katie Worral

Project Manager

Sandra Neihaus

Senior Manager, UX Strategy

Podcast: Freakonomics

Episode 340: People aren’t

Dumb: The World is Hard

“Freakonomics explores “the hidden side

of everything” with in-depth interviews of

experts specializing in economics, human

behavior, psychology, and many others.

This episode adopts the perspective of the

relatively new field of behavioral economics,

asserting that people aren’t dumb; the world

is complex and difficult. Figuring out how to

do complex tasks in the modern world – such

as saving for retirement – is hard. So how

can we leverage human “irrationality” to help

people to save for retirement, or address any

of the other difficult challenges they face?”

Podcast: How I Built This

Episode: Rent the Runway with Jenn Hyman

“How I Built This tells stories of notable

entrepreneurs and their companies. Each

episode is chockful of valuable takeaways

and inspiring journeys of how today’s most

successful companies got their start. This

episode follows Jenn Hyman as she boldly



Scot Gish

Development and Integration Manager

Podcast: Roguelike Radio

“Roguelike radio is a podcast dedicated to

roguelike games. Rogue was one of the first

procedurally generated games ever developed

for the computer. It was a dungeon crawler

where every time you played, the dungeon

was randomly generated, and your character

played until they died. How long could

you stay alive? It was incredibly popular. It

spawned an entire industry of roguelike

games. So, this podcast has been going

FOREVER. It talks about game development,

strategy, how developers procedurally

generate the content. I’m incredibly interest

in that aspect of it—I am a developer who

procedurally generates content. I find it a

good place for inspiration and tools and idea.”

Christina Ricks

Human Resources

Podcast: Dr. Wayne W. Dyer Podcast

I met Dr. Dyer’s philosophy in book form when

I read The Power of Intention a few years ago. I

discovered his podcast in 2017. Dr. Dyer’s focus

on mindfulness, living authentically and with

intention, and creating harmony and balance

by staying present is what really speaks to me.

In business, and especially in HR, things can

change so quickly that the swirl can sometimes

seem overwhelming. Having Dr. Dyer’s tool

box at my disposal often allows me to cut

through the chaos and focus on the core issue

in a meaningful, productive way. Sure, this can

be challenging at times but to at least be able

to be mindful in any situation is major! And

this isn’t something limited to work; these

practices work in real life, too. Dr. Dyer’s

podcast reminds me that at the core of it all is

an awareness of self that serves me personally

and professionally, allowing me to stay positive,

productive, and to always put people first.

Greg Young

Director of Client Operations, MediaAmp

so I typically listen to “Giant Bombcast.”

I also love cars, so I like the conversations

from the folks over at “Wrench Nation.”

Finally, I am a huge beer enthusiast

and enjoy listening to several podcasts

put out by “The Brewing Network.”

Liz Thomas

Senior Partner

Podcast: Skimm’d From the Couch

Skimm’d From the Couch is one of my

favorites. The founders (two women in their

early 30s) invite powerful female leaders and

entrepreneurs over to their living room couch

where they have vulnerable and enlightening

conversation about their journey. They share

every step of their rise to the top, including

their major wins and loses along the way. Some

of my favorite nuggets are when share things

like the worst decisions and advice they’ve

had and who they call when they need help.

Podcasts: Giant Bombcast, Wrench

Nation, and The Brewing Network

I have a long commute every day, so podcasts

come in handy on my drive to keep me from

road rage! I couldn’t narrow it down to just

one. I have three hobbies that center around

what I might be listening to at any given time:

I’m an avid gamer and like to keep up

with what the latest trends and reviews

Ask for an AI strategy assessment today:





Do you call yourself a scientist,


TN: Wow. Ok. So, you’re kinda smart?

BC: That’s not what my wife says.

TN: Then what happened?

BC: I started interviewing for jobs and one really stood

out. The interviewer looked like a football coach

and was just as rah-rah. He gave me hard technical

problems to solve and then spent the rest of the

time convincing me to come work at his company

that I had never heard of, called Microsoft. That was

Steve Balmer. I joined Microsoft as employee 225.

I remember that I was so excited about my new

job that I wrote this very excited acceptance letter,

which Microsoft published in their newsletter.

TN: Do you still have a copy of that?

The Navigator: Brian, do you call yourself

a scientist, or a technologist?

Brian Conte: Probably a technologist.

TN: Why are you a technologist?

BC: I’m left brain, as they say. Although Jerry, our

resident neuroscientist here says the right brain/

left brain thing isn’t really a valid concept. Anyway,

I’ve always been interested in science and math

because I’ve always wanted to know the exact

answer; I prefer things that are black and white.

TN: Tell us more about yourself.

BC: Well, I’m originally from New York. And I

have been in technology most of my life.

TN: Tell us a little more about that.

BC: I started in high school programming on a local

mainframe and then one day a teacher brought in an

IBM 5110 computer, the predecessor to the IBM PC.

I was immediately hooked and ended up getting a

job that summer programming in New York City.

TN: What did you study in college?

BC: I majored in physics up until my senior year and

then switched to computer science because I felt

that there was more opportunity to advance the

state of the art in that relatively new field.

TN: Where did you study?

BC: I ended up getting a BSE in Electrical Engineering

and Computer Science from Princeton.

TN: So that’s all? And, Fast Track?

BC: I pulled together a unique combination of specialists

who could help Fortune 50 companies and start-ups

get out in front of their competition. We were agile

and able to work quickly. We provided web, software

and app development solutions. When I joined

Launch, I found that you were the perfect extension

to scale what we were doing. You folks also buy-in

to the concept of working smartly and quickly.

TN: And how’s that working out for you.

BC: So far, so good. Leading the AI team here has

already led to several engagements.

TN: Tell us something we should know about you.

BC: Well, my wife is a sociologist. She keeps me

very honest when it comes to AI and how it

could affect the global market. And how data

could be utilized if in the wrong hands.

TN: Wow. You must have some interesting

dinner conversations.

BC: Very.

TN: Thanks BC. We’re very happy you’re here.

BC: Thank you, and so am I.

or a technologist?


BC: Yeah, but I rather not share it, it’s kind of embarrassing.

TN: That’s understandable. Ok, what

did you do at Microsoft?

BC: I worked on Windows 1.0, Multi-Media, and OS2. As part

of this work, I helped develop Microsoft’s first browser.

TN: So, what did you do after Microsoft?

BC: I started hDC, the first Windows-only software company

and I ran that for about ten years. We were acquired by

WRQ, where I remained as CTO for a while and helped

spearhead a few of their more noteworthy products.

And then I started Fast Track Team. Along the way,

I helped Microsoft run its Imagine Cup worldwide

student competition for 10 years. I also designed

and built the Smart Home of the Year in 2006.



Ask for an AI strategy assessment today:


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