thetrendytechie thetrendytechie

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SAGE FRANCH πŸ’»πŸ’‹  πŸ€–Coder of chatbots and holograms ✨ πŸ’ƒ Career adventures of a geek girl (currently@Microsoft) πŸ“Toronto ✨ πŸ“½ See our accessible sport bot in action!

Are these days the ones that will make it into the dark chapters of our grandchildrens' history lessons? It may feel like it, but we mustn't let it get us down. Sometimes in the face of these big issues we can feel small or ineffective, but a massive movement is just a collective of these small voices, and by using the tools at our disposal we can find one another and amplify the fight for what is right. We have a unique power in this era to have our words heard around the world without needing to find a stage. We also have a power to easily find the people we agree with, and help them amplify their message. To start, I encourage you to read @techie4good's latest post, "We have to be better than the other side" (link in her bio). It's a thoughtful look at the incredibly vile and frustrating events of the last few weeks and a justifiably passionate call to action. Read it, absorb it, share it, and speak up. The internet is our stage, and platforms like Instagram and Medium are our microphones. Now is not the time for silence, it's the time to voice our opinions and take ownership of them, and use everything we can to fight the evils and bring out the good. With so much technology we can lose ourselves in the frivolity and ride the emotional waves quietly, or we can seize the web for the tool that it is and change the world for the better. Be like @techie4good. Don't run away to the virtual comfort zones and hide in the cushy parts of the web, get into the thick of it and make your voice - or voices you agree with - heard. 🌍❀

Vacationer's toolkit! No laptop in sight.πŸ’ƒπŸ I'm really trying to disconnect and enjoy my time in Ottawa, the first trip I've taken with zero work purpose in a long time. My deadline for the work-life balance chapter I'm writing is at the end of the month, and the more I write, the more I become aware of the places in my life where I'm imbalanced. Taking this vacation has felt like a yoga class, an enforced time of stretching and relaxation for the mind and soul. I work my productivity muscles so often that my relaxation muscles have grown weak, and my travel partner keeps noting that I plan my vacation with the same rigor that I plan my work. Sometimes it's better to put the calendar and code away and live the life in front of your naked eyes, not through a screen.

My favourite genre? Computing with a strong female lead. #womenintech πŸ’ƒπŸ’» I spent my long weekend watching Netflix, playing Hearthstone, trying out the Elder Scrolls Legends game, and digging into the Mercedes Benz development challenge to brainstorm apps for their future API release. What would you build if you could hack your car?

Spent the majority of my day in learning mode πŸ€“πŸ’»πŸ’‹ Partway through my Blockchain experimentation today I took a break and switched over to machine learning studio in the cloud. Ever since reading Dataclysm I've been fascinated with using ML to analyze trends and predict outcomes based on human data. Tricky bit is actually finding good data though. If anyone knows any great data sources, even for sample data, DM me! I'm particularly interested in data about people. But anyways yes, Blockchain and data analytics have got me buried under piles of notes and lost in a forest of open browser tabs. Next week I'm on vacation and it's going to be hard for me to actually turn off the work mode and leave my computer alone for a bit. We'll see if I can manage it. πŸ€“ Happy weekend, techies!πŸ’ƒ

The AI are taking over our furbies yo. πŸ€–πŸ˜± I swear I haven't replaced the batteries in this guy since I was nine, and yet when I put it on my shoulder it started talking!! 😲 My first bot was this lil guy, my baby furby that was definitely more creepy than cute. But really though, if you think about it, furbies were bots. They were very high tech in their day, responding to different input and seemingly storing context to maintain a believable chronology of responses. It was my first exposure to tech that talked back, and I guess it comes as no surprise that my adoration of my furby led nicely into my fascination with bots and AI. Anyways I found this dude and I don't know what to do with him, but he won't shut up now that I've awoken him from his slumber so maybe I'll have to tear him apart and hack him together with the bot framework to give him more IQ points. Any hardware folks out there want to help me give it a go? πŸ€“πŸ€–πŸ”§

What is identity in the age of virtual reality? Avatars play a huge part in making VR viable, and that's part of the reason VR is only just taking off - we've only now developed systems capable of the high volume and scale of personalization we need in order to adopt virtual lives. Avatars may be very similar to our real appearances or may be the complete opposite, allowing us to redefine our sense of self and adopt new embodiments of who we think we are. Virtual identities aren't just for VR though, even in social media we use technology to cast a specific light on who we are. And when you know more people online than in "real life," which side of yourself is really your true identity? Am I the person you meet online everyday, or the person you never see in 3D? Just some food for thought. πŸ€“πŸ•πŸ’» All this inspired by this piece that drew of me - and I am so honored!! She's one of my favourite Instagram artists and I just love the detail and whimsy she injects into her portraits. Look at how she drew my laptop stickers! She even got the @sci_chic logo in there. Please go check out Nerea's beautiful work and show her some love! πŸ’

Surface so bright you need shades 😎 This surface hub is gorgeous! It's gigantic and has 10 simultaneous touch points for team whiteboarding. It's excellent for telepresence meetings and I highly recommend it for any executive boardroom. In this shot I'm mapping out a bot dialog flow, specifically what happens behind the scenes when a user query is sent out to LUIS, the natural language processing API in Microsoft's Cognitive Services suite. The glasses I'm wearing are @felixgrays, which I will recommend time and time again because I'm pretty sure they're saving my vision in my days as a 20-whatever developer. πŸ€“β€βœ¨

Back at @microsoftcanada! Last week felt a month long. Sunday-Wednesday was Imagine Cup, and Friday-Sunday I was leading a Trentini youth convention, so last night I passed out at 8pm and slept right through the night. There were so many incredible and inspiring moments last week, but I think the one that will stick with me most was this: after team Neurogate's semifinals presentation, a crew member approached them and told them that she, as a person living with a neurodegenerative disease, wanted to introduce them to her neurologist because their solution would change her life. Knowing that we at Microsoft were a part of enabling this moment to happen is just the most inspiring and rewarding feeling. Though Neurogate did not win the world championship, they are already changing people's lives and I am so grateful to have been able to support them on this step in their journey. Now I'm back to my blockchain studies and playing around with HoloLens development. Wish me luck! πŸ€“πŸ’»β€

Who needs Cosmo? πŸ€“πŸ’ƒβ€ Leaving Seattle now and thinking about the amazing tech I saw this week at #ImagineCup. AI, VR, telemedicine, and analytics were big themes among the 54 incredible cloud-based projects, many of which will turn into companies in the coming months. It's amazing to see how pervasive AI has become in young technology. So many new developments are leveraging the power of deep learning to enhance current solutions or solve previously daunting problems across many industries. And what was really cool about Imagine Cup was that it gave us insight into the way developers are thinking about AI around the world to solve problems we don't even know exist. I leave Seattle today with a better understanding of the global tech scene and a renewed energy to dive in and support the young developers who are building tools for our future. Seeing these people in their late teens/early twenties make global impact is just incredible. πŸŒŽπŸ’»

#Neurogate made it through to semifinals!! πŸπŸ’»β€ We're so proud of our Canadian teams every step of the way. This morning day 2 of Imagine Cup kicked off with the wildcard round, where students had a chance to win over their peers for the crowd vote, and now we're eagerly awaiting the semifinal pitches. Neurogate is using Kinect and machine learning in the cloud to diagnose neurodegenerative diseases in a much more accessible, efficient, and accurate way. Learn more on! Oh, and wish them luck and send them that Canadian spirit as they prepare to pitch in the semifinals! πŸ’»πŸ

Meet Team Canada! #ImagineCup 🍁 Our two teams, Neurogate and Karate Manatees, are starting to pitch now to the roster of world-renowned technologists who are judging. Neurogate built an application that diagnoses neurodegenerative diseases using a Kinect sensor and Machine Learning, and Karate Manatees developed a cloud based multiplayer game that ties in new modes of gameplay. I'm so proud of our awesome teams, they're repping Canada so well this year! Look for #Neurogate and #KarateManatees on Twitter to see them in action, and check out my Instagram story for an inside look at the event! #imaginecup

Wish the whole flight was this comfy! ✈ We've touched down in Seattle AND SO IT BEGINS! Now the teams have got to settle in and take care of any final preparations or rehearsals before the competition kicks off tomorrow. In fact, we kept the whole plane captivated by pitch rehearsals throughout the flight! Kidding, but let the other countries think that's what we did. πŸ˜‰ Stay tuned and follow #ImagineCup to see the action! πŸ€“πŸŒŽπŸ’»

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