On January 16, a new course launched on the online learning platform Coursera with an unassuming name: The Google IT Support Professional Certificate. It promised to prepare beginners for entry-level jobs in IT in eight to 12 months. That day, it attracted the largest-ever group of first-time Coursera users, almost half of them people without college degrees. More than 18,000 people have enrolled in the $49-a-month program so far, 160 of whom have completed it. "Even as we were building it, even as it was about to launch, I never anticipated the success of it," says Natalie Van Kleef Conley, Google's product lead for the program.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is getting way ahead of itself. Venture capital is being thrown at anything that claims to have it. Startups are using it as a buzzword that they have to cram into their business idea just to sound like they are on the cutting edge of technology. They say AI is going to take over the world and that it will change the world at a pace faster than anything we've ever seen. Recently, I saw an article about an online retailer that claimed to use AI to make people purchase more often because they could intelligently recommend products to the user.
Training and education of the workforce is key to the digital transformation success of many businesses. One tool that has helped foster this is e-learning, especially, as Digital Journal has reported, e-learning is leading the way as businesses shift their training priorities to embrace a digital-first approach. There are many different forms of e-learning, involving a mix of different channels, content, use of video and so on. A shared objective is the importance of flexibility and a blended approach. Advantages to businesses include lower costs, since one training session can be delivered to many people.
Most financial teams would like to keep up--and experiment with--emerging finance technologies, from artificial intelligence to blockchain to chatbots. The reality is they can't, because they're too busy applying technical Band-Aids to their old systems so they can complete the next period close on schedule. "You want to get your employees away from working on the equivalent of the finance production line to give them time to become the innovation engine of the business," says Steve Cox, an Oracle group vice president and evangelist for cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) and enterprise performance management (EPM) products. Steve Cox, an Oracle group vice president, speaks with customers during Oracle Modern Finance Experience. Cox spends his time traveling the world, meeting with C-level business executives to discuss their challenges.
Critics, however, see it as an effort to blunt outside regulation by cities, states or the federal government, and they question if tech companies are best suited to shape the rules of the road. For the corporations, the algorithms will be proprietary tools to assess your loan-worthiness, your job application, and your risk of stroke. Many balk at the costs of developing systems that not only learn to make decisions, but that also explain those decisions to outsiders. When New York City proposed a law in August requiring that companies publish source code for algorithms used by city agencies, tech firms pushed back, saying they needed to protect proprietary algorithms. The city passed a scaled-back version in December without the source-code requirement.
At the Hiring Success 18 conference in San Francisco, SmartRecruiters unveiled an AI-powered recruiting assistant. The San Francisco-based recruiting startup is on a roll. In just 3 years since launching its enterprise talent acquisition online and mobile platform, SmartRecruiters signed up 2,000 of the world's largest companies like Alcoa, Avery Dennison, Bosch, IAC, IKEA, Nature's Bounty or Visa and connected 15 million candidates to 900,000 jobs. The 200-employee technology company also added more than 3,000 small business customers since it relaunched its free SmartStart offering, last September. "Last year we've also added more than 200 new large enterprise customers replacing competitors like BrassRing (IBM), ICIMS, Jobvite, SuccessFactors (SAP) and Taleo (Oracle)," said SmartRecruiters CEO Jerome Ternynck during an analyst briefing at the company's user conference, Hiring Success 18, in San Francisco this week.
Matrix calculations, derivatives, eigenvalues, Set Theory, functions, vectors, linear transformations, etc. are extremely important to understand the theory behind statistical methods and programming. Therefore, before starting your next MOOC or Machine Learning book it's crucial to review all those concepts again. Most schools request students to be proficient at these methods in order to graduate, but the silver lining is that it won't require too much of your time to refresh or obtain this knowledge. There are plenty of resources to start, but what worked for me was The Manga Guide to Linear Algebra, which is very simple, graphic and provides a great foundation prior getting into more complex stuff. My suggestion is to schedule some weeks to review these concepts and to use the Feynman Technique to be able to explain in simple terms each of these topics.
Artificial intelligence became one of the hottest tech topics in 2017 and is still attracting attention and investments. Although scientists have been working on the technology and heralding its numerous anticipated benefits for more than four decades, it's only in the past few years that society's AI dreams have come to fruition. The impact AI applications stand to have on both consumer and business operations is profound. For example, a New York-based Harley Davidson dealer incorporated the Albert Algorithm AI-driven marketing platform into his marketing mix and saw a 2,930 percent increase in sales leads that helped triple his business over the previous year. Unfortunately, success stories like this aren't as common as the more prevalent failed AI pilot projects.