Every discussion about artificial intelligence seems to alternate between utopia and dystopia. Some believe that the productivity unleashed through automation will lift up all of society, creating a world of superabundance and more meaningful work, while others see robots taking our jobs and an acceleration of trends favoring capital over labor. In fact, in an article in Harvard Business Review, Accenture's Mark Knickrehm describes five distinct schools of thought, ranging from both extremes to various shades of gray in between. He suggests that leaders need to reinvent operating models, redefine jobs and include employees in the process of transformation. Yet that's easier said than done.
In 1983, Stanislav Petrov was on duty at a Soviet nuclear early warning centre, when computers warned of five incoming missiles. Rather than escalating it up the chain of command as protocol required, Petrov surmised that the Americans were unlikely to attack with only five missiles. Courageously, he reported a system malfunction instead. It turned out that computers had incorrectly interpreted sunlight reflecting off clouds as missiles. Petrov's instincts and healthy scepticism of the infallibility of technology may have averted a nuclear disaster.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said China has persecuted minorities on a massive scale. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused China of persecuting religious and ethnic minorities on a massive scale Monday in her first public remarks since announcing she would leave office last week. "It is the largest internment of civilians in the world today," Haley said in keynote remarks at the Chiefs of Defense Conference Dinner in Washington. "It may be the largest since World War II." The former South Carolina governor was particularly critical of Beijing's crackdown on Uighur and other Muslim minorities in China's northwest, which she described as being "straight out of George Orwell."
Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the world around us. From automated factories that build everything without human intervention, to computer systems capable of beating world masters at some of the most complex games, AI is powering our society into the future – but what happens when this artificial intelligence becomes greater than ours? Should we fear automated weapon turning on us, or Hollywood-style "skull-stomping robots"? We spoke to Max Tegmark, an MIT professor and co-founder of the Future of Life Institute, about his book, Life 3.0, in which he answers some of the key questions we need to solve to make the future of artificial intelligence one that benefits all of humankind. Can you describe your book in a nutshell?
In the five steps from door to reception desk my photo has been taken, my face saved in the system and an ID number assigned. For the rest of my time in Great Ormond Street Hospital's new high-tech unit in London, which opens today, I am followed by an AI. Video screens show my head in a red box, annotated with a score showing how confident the computer is that I am who it thinks I am.
"One important aspect is the need to have good training data to work from," she says. "For a celebrity, this is fairly easy, given a variety of film and TV appearances, interviews etc. … In the video game Deus Ex Invisible War, there is a character, NG Resonance, that the player can interact with at various kiosks in nightclubs, etc. This character is powered by AI but is based upon a real human starlet … We are likely to see similar interactions with pseudo-real AI-powered characters, virtual versions of historical heroes and villains that can populate themed venues (e.g., Hard Rock Café, or an Americana-themed diner, perhaps)."
You may have read our three-part introduction to HICX Solutions, on the solution provider's rapidly growing presence in the supplier information management and supplier master data space. The firm has now sponsored a "Raconteur" report looking at The AI Revolution In Procurement – its premise for doing so being that accurate, reliable, readily available and retrievable master data is the foundation for the control, transparency and efficiency that goes into making the path of digital transformation simpler. So this report – to which our own Peter Smith contributed, as did Costas Xyloyiannis, HICX founder and the subject of our interview – takes the stance that AI is coming to procurement (some might say it's already here) and outlines the opportunities it brings, along with the foundations required to make it work. It identifies five way that AI will turbocharge procurement – we often read about the influence that AI will probably have on our procurement roles and processes, but rarely do we see laid out plainly exactly which areas will be affected and how. "From securing a better deal to early warnings on supplier risk, this is where change is coming," it announces, and then dives into P2P, sourcing, contract management, risk management and innovation and how they will be affected.
The modern workplace has already embraced advanced technology with smart devices, paperless workplaces, cloud services and wearable tech that tracks employee productivity. Research collected by flexible workspace specialist Instant Offices shows office workers believe tech integration improves working conditions, efficiency and communication with co-workers. Wearable tech is becoming a part of everyday life, with more and more people relying on devices like smart watches and fitness trackers to help them make more informed lifestyle decisions. In fact, the international market for wearables reached a new high in 2017 with 16.9 per cent growth year on year. Fitbit, Jawbone and Bellabeat have become household names and forward-thinking employers have been keeping a close eye on the rising trend of wearable tech.
It's a somewhat ironic tail: in the midst of digital transformation, artificial intelligence (AI) is in position to take over many functions of people services--the business of human resources. After all, many companies have been automating their job application processes for quite a while. But as the sophistication of AI continues to ramp up, AI will be playing an even more significant role in recruitment and talent acquisition. This is the future of AI and HR. If you're anything like most people, you have your doubts at how well a machine could select a human for a certain position.