Each week on a Wednesday Nikolas Badminton, Futurist highlights the top stories from the past week relating to the incredible rise of artificial intelligence and its application in society, the workplace, in cities, and in our lives.
In Artificial Intelligence Bulletin – Google, Facebook, and Microsoft Evolve we see the big 3 evolving around AI, jobs safe for CEOs and others, and sci-fi futures from Google.
Google, Facebook, and Microsoft Are Remaking Themselves Around AI
The trouble for all of these companies is that finding that talent needed to drive all this AI work can be difficult. Given the deep neural networking has only recently entered the mainstream, only so many Fei-Fei Lis exist to go around. Everyday coders won’t do. Deep neural networking is a very different way of building computer services. Rather than coding software to behave a certain way, engineers coax results from vast amounts of data—more like a coach than a player.
As a result, these big companies are also working to retrain their employees in this new way of doing things. As it revealed last spring, Google is now running internal classes in the art of deep learning, and Facebook offers machine learning instruction to all engineers inside the company alongside a formal program that allows employees to become full-time AI researchers.
Yes, artificial intelligence is all the buzz in the tech industry right now, which can make it feel like a passing fad. But inside Google and Microsoft and Amazon, it’s certainly not. And these companies are intent on pushing it across the rest of the tech world too.
Read more at WIRED
Why artificial intelligence won’t replace CEOs
Corporate leaders will need to be discerning in their use of AI tools. They must judge the source of the data streams before them, ascertain their validity and reliability, detect less than obvious patterns in the data, probe the remaining “what ifs” they present, and ultimately make inferences and judgment calls that are more informed, nuanced around context, valid, and useful because they are improved by intelligent machines. Flawed judgments built on flawed or misinterpreted data could be even more harmful than uninformed flawed judgments because of the illusion of quasi-scientific authority resulting from the aura of data.
As a project management tool, AI might prescribe optimal work routines for different types of employees, but it won’t have the sensitivity to translate these needs into nuanced choices of one organisational outcome (eg, equity in employee assignments) over another (family values). AI might pinpoint the best location for a new restaurant or power plant, but it will be limited in mapping the political and social networks that need to be engaged to bring the new venture to life.
Machines also lack whimsy. Adtech programs have replaced human ad buyers, but the ability to create puns or design campaigns that pull at our heartstrings will remain innately human, at least for the foreseeable future.
A new level of questioning and integrative thinking is required among MBA graduates. As educators, we must foster learning approaches that develop these skills-by teaching keen data management and inferential skills, developing advanced data simulations, and practising how to probe and question the yet unknown.
In parallel to the ascendancy of machine power, the importance of emotional intelligence, or EQ, looms larger than ever to preserve the human connectivity of organisations and communities. While machines are expected to advance to the point of reading and interpreting emotions, they won’t have the capacity to inspire followers, the wisdom to make ethical judgments, or the savvy to make connections.
Relax, artificial intelligence isn’t coming for your job
There is a pervasive underlying fear from generations raised on dystopian science fiction that artificial intelligence and robotics will be the undoing of humankind. Eventually, the conventional thinking goes — even the likes of Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are on board here — artificial intelligence will become smarter than the organic variety and terrible things will happen as machines take over the planet.
In reality, however, it’s much more likely AI isn’t going to destroy us — or even take our jobs. In fact, it’s very likely going to help us do our jobs better. Think about that for a moment. The idea that AI could help us work smarter is not nearly as sexy as the notion of robot overlords taking over Earth — but it is a much more realistic view of artificial intelligence technology in 2016. It’s worth noting, that’s as true for the line worker at a factory as it is for a salesperson or knowledge worker.
While it may seem like every software engineer in Silicon Valley is trying to create the perfect algorithm to replace human workers, many are simply trying to find ways to make you a better employee by combining the power of the computer with your creative working brains.
Read more at TechCrunch
Google Artificial Intelligence Whiz Describes Our Sci-Fi Future
A top Google researcher talks about increasingly intelligent computers.
The next time you enter a query into Google’s search engine or consult the company’s map service for directions to a movie theater, remember that a big brain is working behind the scenes to provide relevant search results and make sure you don’t get lost while driving.
Well, not a real brain per se, but the Google Brain research team. As Fortune’s Roger Parloff wrote, the Google Brain research team has created over 1,000 so-called deep learning projects that have supercharged many of Google’s products over the past few years like YouTube, translation, and photos. With deep learning, researchers can feed huge amounts of data into software systems called neural nets that learn to recognize patterns within the vast information faster than humans.
Read more at Fortune
Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.