Five for Friday: AI sans Musk, Leadership + culture, and black swans

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Well, after a few busy weeks that wreaked a little havoc in my writing time, this week we’ll start with the pending downfall of mankind due to the rise of the machines.  Wait, no, that’s not what this is about … that was a few weeks ago.  But look at this article about how a couple of robots came to be the newest hires at a Wisconsin factory in search of reliable workers. It’s just the title of the article this time.  Also, there was that story about how Facebook pulled the plug on some AI that developed its own language that humans couldn’t understand, and while nothing wrong with being excited about all the opportunities that AI will bring for the future, at the same time we need to look at its consequences from all perspectives while Salesforce set out to create “AI for everyone”—to make machine learning affordable for companies who’ve been priced out of the market for experts. They’ve promised to “democratize” AI.  While we’re at it, all that big data has to be stored somewhere.  Look at how it’s impacting one small Oregon town.  Then there’s the rise of AI forcing Microsoft and Google to become chip makers and the business of artificial intelligence.  Oh, and Microsoft replaced Mobile with AI as one of its top priorities in their most recent annual report.

Think that AI isn’t really touching your life?  Check this out from Venture Beat.

I was a little surprised when I read this article from Business Insider about what three of the potential black swans are that will likely trigger a global recession in 2018 as I didn’t see any of the others I’ve seen a lot of news about of late, but I think they do a great job of laying it out.  What with the current potential instability from governmental posturing, it’s likely that the global economy will be impacted sooner rather than later, but these are some more to keep an eye on.  That said, it’s logical that we should see a major market correction based on historical data and trends.  What’s odd is how changes in the trading systems have likely artificially inflated the markets as well.

You may have heard the news about how some hackers stole a whole bunch of money from the Ethereum platform, but did you hear the story about how a bunch of other hackers stole it back?

Both Gates and Zuckerberg are sounding alarms about jobs.  Should we listen?

Being a week full of cheer and merry-making (I mean, it wasn’t a week full of bad news, just odd news, which seems to be our current era), let’s move to some leadership-focused articles.  Strategy+business has had a few good ones of late, from one about how improving company culture is not about free snacks, to another about how leaders can improve their thinking agility, to this article about what the body tells us about leadership. Along with that is an article I think every leader or hiring manager should read about why emotional intelligence is so important to consider when hiring (this is a key area I focus on with every candidate I interview) and somewhat unrelated but still “fitting” in the category is this article from HBR about the personality traits of good negotiators.

Any time I feel like I’ve had a circuitous route to the world of tech, I come across another article about how those of us with humanities backgrounds are in high demand in the tech world.  Why?  It seems to boil down to ideas explored in this article: making stuff vs. making stuff people want.

Right, so I know I’m avoiding the elephant in the room with the Google memo that came out, but I’ll leave you with this orthogonal piece instead: not only has Kalanick been removed from his job as CEO at Uber, now Benchmark Capital (an early investor) is accusing him of fraud in an attempt to have him removed from the board of the company as well.

I realize I was just bragging a bit about the liberal arts cohort to which I belong, but we can’t deny the importance of science in the world around us.  This TED talk from Naomi Oreskes gives a historical view of why we should trust scientists.  Check it out.

 

 

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