Early future technology: Using artificial intelligence to manage design-driven intellectual property
This paper addresses an area of the management of innovation characterized by the problem that the time from conception of an idea to its realization as innovation is often unpredictable. We address the question of what to do with intellectual property that is ahead of its time. How can a company make the best use of ideas that may take years to reach economic feasibility? We speculate on a comprehensive solution. In this paper we take two very limited steps toward solving the problem: (1) we provide an ostensive definition, and (2) we offer a speculative description of a solution. We refer to our examples as "early future tech". We provide three case-study ideas that fall into this category: (1) context-aware user interfaces, (2) topic bridging in automated conversation and (3) recommendations based on flexible user profiles. We survey existing techniques for revisiting such ideas and discuss their benefits and limitations. The paper concludes by describing a signpost-based method that the authors speculate will enable automated trend-listeners to alert the asset owner that the intellectual property meets a relevance threshold of business value. This proposed method could effectively reduce the costs of managing the pipeline of early future technology.