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24/7 Software Blog

“A few years ago, Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, published the results of something called the Great Elephant Census, which counted all the savanna elephants in Africa. What it found rocked the conservation world: In the seven years between 2007 and 2014, Africa's savanna elephant population decreased by about a third and was on track to disappear completely from some African countries in as few as 10 years,” writes Dina Temple-Raston in their recent NPR article entitled “Elephants Under Attack Have An Unlikely Ally: Artificial Intelligence.”

“To reverse that trend, researchers landed on a technology that is rewriting the rules for everything from our household appliances to our cars: artificial intelligence. AI's ability to find patterns in enormous volumes of information is demystifying not just elephant behavior but human behavior — specifically poacher behavior — too,” Temple-Raston explains.

Cornell University researcher Peter Wrege shares in the article, "AI can process huge amounts of information to tell us where the elephants are, how many there are. And ideally tell us what they are doing."

“There are two kinds of elephants in Africa: savanna elephants, which were counted by Allen's census, and forest elephants, which the census couldn't account for because that elephant lives beneath a thick rainforest canopy. Even at the level of the jungle, losing a forest elephant is easy to do,” Wrege says in the NPR article.

"Sometimes you see them, let's say, 15 meters [16 yards] away from you and then they move 5 meters into the forest and you can't see them. Somehow they just disappear," Wrege continues.

According to Temple-Raston, “Researchers at Cornell University have been studying the forest elephant for years, trying to figure out — like Allen did with the savanna elephant — how many there are and how fast they are being killed. Given how stealthy the forest elephants are, Wrege began to think that rather than look for them, maybe he should try something a little different: Maybe he should listen for them.”

While the rest of Temple-Raston’s article is quite insightful, we’ve got to stop here to make a point.

Yes, the situation surrounding elephants, poachers, and AI is quite different from your property operation – it caught our attention.

AI is an unlikely ally for elephants.

And we hope it works.

But we’ve got a likely ally to help you protect and manage your property.

One that we know works.

It’s Proactive Operations

“New evidence indicates that Boeing pilots knew about ‘egregious’ problems with the 737 Max airplane three years ago, but federal regulators were not told about them,” writes David Schaper in their recent NPR article entitled “Boeing Pilots Detected 737 Max Flight Control Glitch 2 Years Before Deadly Crash.”

“Investigators say the plane's new flight control system, called MCAS, is at least partially to blame for 737 Max crashes in Indonesia in 2018 and Ethiopia this year that killed 346 people. Acting on data from a single, faulty angle-of-attack sensor, MCAS repeatedly forced both planes into nosedives as the pilots struggled, but failed to regain control,” Schaper explains.

According to the article, “The pilots in the Lion Air plane that crashed in Indonesia last October did not know MCAS existed, as Boeing did not disclose any information about it in pilot manuals or in training material.”

“Newly revealed instant messages sent between Boeing's then-chief technical pilot for the 737, Mark Forkner, and another technical pilot, Patrik Gustavsson, in November 2016 indicate that Forkner experienced similar problems with MCAS during a test session in a flight simulator,” the NPR piece continues.

Schaper writes, “In a transcript obtained by NPR, Forkner writes that ‘there are still some real fundamental issues’ with the system that he says Boeing engineers and test pilots ‘claim that they are aware of."

And we’ve all witnessed the aftermath.

Unfortunately, the harsh reality of these incidents is they could happen to any organization responsible for keeping people safe.

That includes your operation.

Let that set in for a moment.

Keep reading; we’re going to show you how Proactive Operations lets you detect glitches in your operation before the effect is a negative one.

“A thief walked into a San Francisco gallery on Sunday afternoon, plucked a rare Salvador Dalí from an easel in the front window, and strode out the door,” writes Laurel Wamsley in their recent NPR article entitled “Salvador Dalí Etching Stolen From San Francisco Gallery In 'Snatch And Run.”

“Rasjad Hopkins, associate director at Dennis Rae Fine Art Gallery, was working at the time. The door to the gallery was open, and Hopkins had his back turned,” shares Wamsley.

"Snatch and run," Hopkins tells NPR.

According to the NPR piece, “It took just a few minutes to realize the etching was gone. For some reason, the work hadn't been locked with a tether as it normally was.”

“Hopkins never did see the thief, though surveillance footage from the hotel next door appears to show a young man in a flat-brim cap holding the work casually in one hand as he walks down Geary Street in the Union Square neighborhood,” writes Wamsley.

"Never saw him before in my life," Hopkins said in the article.

“The hand-colored etching is called Burning Giraffe (1966), and it's from a series in which the famous surrealist riffed on works by Pablo Picasso. In the Picasso series, the Spanish painter depicts all the stages of a bullfight,” Wamsley explains.

Wamsley emphasizes, “Hopkins says that of Dalí's etchings, Burning Giraffe was the most important. It's numbered, one of a series of 100 made on the same kind of paper.”

Let’s look at the perspective of how important this piece is.

How does this resonate with you?

Is there a specific part of your operation that’s vulnerable – one you want to protect?

What’s your Burning Giraffe?

It could be one aspect of your operation or the entire operation you’re focused on protecting.

Either way, you’ve got to lock it with a tether to ensure no one pulls a ‘snatch and run’ on your property.

Agree?

Keep reading; we’re going to put you in the best position to prevent this on your property.

You need to employ Proactive Operations.

“Virtual reality — long touted as the next big thing in tech — hasn't taken off as a consumer product, but employers are embracing it as a more efficient and effective tool for on-the-job training,” writes Yuki Noguchi in their recent NPR article entitled “Virtual Reality Goes To Work, Helping Train Employees.”

According to Noguchi, “This year, Walmart is training more than 1 million employees using virtual reality. And moving companies, airlines, food processing and financial firms are all using VR in different ways. In the virtual world, cashiers are taught to show greater empathy, mechanics learn to repair planes and retail workers experience how to deal with armed robbery.”

“The sensory immersion is key to its effectiveness. Because things look and sound as if they were real, the brain processes virtual reality as though it were a real experience, says Stanford communication professor Jeremy Bailenson, who also founded the school's Virtual Human Interaction Lab,” the article explains.

"People learn by doing ... getting feedback on mistakes, and then repeating and iterating," Bailenson says in the NPR piece.

Noguchi shares, “Not every workplace situation is conducive to virtual reality training. Some tactile skills, for example, are better experienced in real life. But the technology is especially useful for training people for novel or emergency situations.”

This statement resonated with us.

We’re not pushing VR as your next medium for training.

Although it might work, we’re still advocates of life environment training and tabletop exercises that help you get the closest you can to the real experience – safely.

It also gives you the hands-on practice with your operations management software.

Keep reading; we’re sharing the benefits in this article, especially when it comes to improving performance.

“Call it a sign of the times,” writes Andrea Hsu in their recent NPR article entitled “How Big Oil Of The Past Helped Launch The Solar Industry Of Today.”

According to Hsu, “Renewable energy has gotten so cheap that even oil giant Exxon Mobil, which reported $20.8 billion in earnings in 2018, is getting in on the savings.”

“Over the next couple of years, Exxon Mobil will begin purchasing wind and solar power in West Texas, part of a 12-year agreement signed late last year with the Danish energy company Orsted. The plan is to use cheap, clean electricity to power Exxon Mobil's expanding operations in the Permian Basin, one of the world's most productive oil fields,” explains Hsu.

“It's not the first time economic considerations have led the company to explore the possibilities of solar,” Hsu continues.

According to the NPR article, “Half a century ago — before climate change was a topic of much discussion and before Exxon was accused of deceiving shareholders and the public by downplaying the risks of climate change, prompting investigations and lawsuits — the company then known as Jersey Standard funded groundbreaking research into solar photovoltaic technology, which converts sunlight into electricity.”

“Other oil companies would follow. While the amounts spent by these big firms were tiny compared with their vast resources, these early, critical investments in solar technology laid a foundation for what is now a growing, multibillion-dollar industry,” the article continues.

That’s an industry evolution we can relate to in 2019.

Since 2007, we’ve seen the ever-changing property operations environment go from reactive to proactive.

It’s thrilling to see the progression of operations through industry-wide improvements and changes related to strategy, infrastructure, and technology.

We noticed this – and then had our epiphany.

Here’s the story that started the Proactive Operations movement.

“Twitter permanently suspended thousands of accounts in its ongoing effort to fight the spread of disinformation and political discord on its platform, the company announced Friday,” writes Peter Talbot in their recent NPR article.

“The accounts originated from six different countries. And they included the Twitter account used by Saud al-Qahtani, a former adviser to Saudi Arabia's crown prince and suspected of being involved in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” Talbot explains.

According to the piece, “It's all a part of Twitter's seemingly endless task of fighting disinformation.”

“The Twitter accounts came from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Ecuador, and China, according to Twitter's blog post. Groups of suspended accounts were involved in various information campaigns, using tactics like spreading content through fake accounts and spamming through retweets,” writes Talbot.

“The accounts were suspended for violating Twitter's policy on platform manipulation, which Twitter defines as large-scale aggressive or deceptive activity that misleads or disrupts people's social media activity,” Talbot continues.

Your property operation was the first thing we thought of after reading this article.

What, if anything, could be manipulating your property?

Do you know?

The scary part about this question is you might not even know what’s affecting it.

There could be a chronic issue you’re facing.

In your mind, it’s an issue that is controllable, but you just haven’t got a handle on it yet.

What if the bad news is you’ll never get a handle on this issue because you really don’t have control of it?

Someone, something, or a group is in control of this issue that’s costing you money.

We’ve got to crack down on this.

Keep reading; we’ll show you how.