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Artificial Intelligence: Coming Soon to a Barnyard Near You

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In a recent McKinsey Future of Work podcast interview with Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott, the CTO revealed that artificial intelligence (AI) is about to go prime time and will begin showing up in the most unlikely of places – including our nation's farm fields Once a mysterious science being beta-tested by only Fortune 100 companies, AI is rapidly becoming more democratic, inclusive, and utilitarian – to even those residing in under-served communities. It's also becoming a versatile tool that can branch out to myriad market sectors, including one of our oldest – agriculture. Scott recently published a book entitled Reprogramming the American Dream: From Rural America to Silicon Valley – Making AI Serve Us All. The findings come from his personal experiences with AI being implemented to service populations in rural towns and working-class communities, rather than just hi-tech cities or corner offices. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on Microsoft's FarmBeats program – a platform that leverages AI to improve farming outcomes.


The Rise of Inclusive Design

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Make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or disadvantage of anyone. As a design leader, keeping one foot in the present and the other an optimistic future is all in a typical day. However, a little over a year ago, the universe decided to kick one of those feet out from under me and present me with an opportunity to experience life with a physical impairment. For the next three months, that injury left me wheelchair bound and gave me an opportunity to pivot my design from adoption, conversion and retention of users to accessibility and the rapid shift to Inclusive Design. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 US adults live with a disability.


SAP Technology Targets Inequity in Workplaces Around the World

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Using text mining and machine learning based on the SAP HANA platform, the initiative aims to help companies review job descriptions, performance reviews and similar people processes for potential bias and suggest changes to encourage equity. The announcement was made at the 28th annual SAPPHIRE NOW conference. These new capabilities will complement existing SAP SuccessFactors offerings that already help address inequity. Analytics and reports focused on diversity and inclusion are available to help organizations identify and track where biases exist in talent acquisition and management processes -- recruiting, compensation, succession and the like -- coupled with guidance on actions to take to address those biases. SAP is also exploring applications for mentoring programs that will help people from historically disadvantaged groups more effectively navigate and develop their careers, as well as tools for balancing family and work that will integrate elements of benefits, scheduling and management into a single process.


AI for Social Impact: Designing for More Inclusive Artificial Intelligence - The Center for Responsible Business (CRB)

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On March 7th, the Center for Responsible Business and the Human Rights Center, in collaboration with Microsoft, hosted the third annual conference on Business, Technology, and Human Rights. The event gathered technologists and practitioners across industry, nonprofit, and academia, as well as students around the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Social Impact. As student advisory board members at the Center for Responsible Business, we want to be part of the movement to move business to the forefront of social and environmental impact. Attending this conference and meeting some of the leading practitioners in the field of AI gave us the chance to understand how we can ensure this burgeoning technology can help achieve that goal. AI can serve humanity and promote positive social, environmental, and economic outcomes through a focus on human-centered, inclusive AI design.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace: Turning Dialogue Into Action

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Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is of crucial importance in the workplace. Interdisciplinary thinking focused on turning dialogue into action is more crucial than ever. But it takes awareness, sensitivity, and collaboration to improve structural and social impediments and achieve an enriching and humane working environment. "Research has shown that diverse groups are more effective at problem solving than homogeneous groups, and policies that promote diversity and inclusion will enhance our ability to draw from the broadest possible pool of talent, solve our toughest challenges, maximize employee engagement and innovation, and lead by example by setting a high standard for providing access to opportunity to all segments of our society."1 Making DEI a strategic imperative can deliver genuine business value, help your organization attract top talent, and drive innovative results.2