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Picture credit: Apple Event screenshot

I just watched the One More Thing event about the new Apple M1 chip. I noticed on social media many people treat it as just another announcement of a new chip — better performance, higher efficiency. However, I believe it’s more than that. Here are my quick thoughts.

The essence of the shift from Intel processors to the Arm-architecture Apple Silicon is the trend of a finer division of professional skills.

Historically, for every industry, an organization tends to do all works by itself at the beginning. But as requirements got more complex and solutions advanced, professional solutions providers will emerge and offer better options at a lower cost. …

A summary of my grad school study experience at the newly established Global Innovation eXchange as one of the first cohort students.

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Why I Write This?

December 14th, 2018 was my last day on enrollment at the University of Washington’s Global Innovation eXchange Institute (GIX). I graduated from there with a Master of Science in Technology Innovation degree.

There have been some requests from grad school applicants asking me for first-hand information on the study experience at GIX. To make the information accessible for more people, I am writing this post to share my observation and reflections on the journey.

Who Am I?

To better understand my perspective, you need to know more about my background. Before coming to GIX, I had spent five years in the industry — two years at a Beijing-based startup as Product Manager and experience designer, three years as a User Experience Designer at consultancies. I have a B.Eng. in Industrial Design degree. I learned how to code in Python and develop web layout with HTML/CSS by myself before coming to GIX. …

In this two-quarter grad school project, I explored how to unleash the power of Machine Learning to fulfill requirements that were tricky for the previous generation of technologies, with the consideration of Human-Centered Design and Engineering.

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Project Diversita was a Microsoft sponsored “Launch Project” at the University of Washington GIX in 2018 under the AI for Earth initiative. It aimed to empower biodiversity research by utilizing Machine Learning (ML) on Edge technology. The ML model had been trained by Microsoft Research based on the iNaturalist dataset.

I received training in Machine Learning and sensors, however for this project my role was mainly on product design. The challenge was to explore the potential market space and find a niche that fits our technology backbone best.

Time Span

Jun. 27, 2018–Dec. 07, 2018

About the Team

A ten-people team consists of UW GIX students (Phelps Xia, Hal Zhang, Ben Keller, and I) and Microsoft researchers (Dan Morris, Lucas Joppa)/engineers (Wee-Hyong Tok, Siyu Yang, Erika Menezes, Xiaoyong…

In the 2nd Quarter of the MSTI program at Global Innovation Exchange, University of Washington, we had a course called the History and Future of Technology. The course aims to give us an understanding and appreciation of past trends in technology to understand the trajectories of technology and how they change over time. This paper was the piece of work for the final assignment. In the article, I explored the path of Amazon Echo/Alexa’s development, and its impact on the society.

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Photo credit: Amazon PR


In 2015, the Seattle-based company Amazon released Amazon Echo, a voice command device that connects to the company’s voice-controlled virtual assistant service Alexa. This research paper will introduce the development path of Amazon Echo/Alexa — how was it conceived, what were the critical decisions made. As the voice-based-command product relatively belongs to a new category, its optimal research and development approach has not been well defined; Amazon initiated the Alexa Prize for university talents to challenge specific topics, we can have a glimpse into the crucial technical challenge in a conversation AI product through this competition. This paper will also cover the ecosystem of the voice-command service industry, its impact on the society, debates, and controversies around such services. …


Ryan Wu

A product creator living in Seattle area.

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