An army of robots now scrub floors, grow microgreens and flip burgers. Due to advances in artificial intelligence, computers will supposedly take over much more of the service sector in the coming decade, including jobs in law, finance and medicine that require years of education and training. Will automation-induced job loss tear society apart? The question has even influenced the US presidential race. Candidate Andrew Yang blames automation for a long-simmering crisis of underemployment.
The value of building data-driven businesses with AI at their core is well known today, and business executives are rushing to implement the technology into their operations and gain a competitive advantage, but it's not as simple as creating a data lake and crafting AI models. A large number of AI companies attempting to implement more AI models or build AI-first businesses have experienced challenges. A December 2018 PwC survey found that only 4% of businesses have successfully implemented AI. That's why today the World Economic Forum released the AI toolkit for Boards of Directors. The AI toolkit for Boards of Directors is being released ahead of the annual WEF meeting in Davos, Switzerland where the toolkit will be formally debuted next week.
Will the proliferation of AI and machine learning reinforce the worldwide digital divide? It's one of the questions the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) and Global Cities Talent Competitiveness Index (GCTCI) seek to answer by benchmarking the ability of countries and cities to compete for talent. An answer has historically proven elusive, but the 7th annual reports published by Insead, Adecco Group, and Google suggest it might instead provide "significant" opportunities despite the fact that AI skills are "scarce" and "unequally distributed" across nations. "AI is changing many facets of business and society and, if properly used and governed, has potential to foster sustainable development," said Katell Le Goulven, executive director of the Insead Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society. "The GTCI report argues that with multi-stakeholder cooperation the technology could help achieve some of the SDGs [the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals] such as those related to health (via personalized remote diagnosis and big data analysis to track and reduce endemic disease). But it also points to the imperative of closing the global digital skills gap to harness the potential of AI for good."
The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms in healthcare is poised to expand significantly over the next few years, but beyond the investment strategies and technological foundations lie serious questions around the ethical and responsible use of AI. In an effort to clarify its own position and add to the debate, the executive vice president and chief technology officer for Royal Philips, Henk van Houten, has published a list of five guiding principles for the design and responsible use of AI in healthcare and personal health applications. The five principles – well-being, oversight, robustness, fairness, and transparency – all stem from the basic viewpoint that AI-enabled solutions should complement and benefit customers, patients, and society as a whole. First and foremost, well-being should be front of mind when developing healthcare AI solutions, van Houten argues, helping to alleviate overstretched healthcare systems, but more importantly to act as a means of supplying proactive care, informing and supporting healthy living over the course of a person's entire life. When it comes to oversight, van Houten called for proper validation and interpretation of AI-generated insights through the participation and collaboration of AI engineers, data scientists, and clinical experts.
U.S. consumer debt was $13.7 trillion in Q1 2019, according to AmericanBanker.com, Credit balances were up, too: $850 billion in Q1 2019, an increase of $33 billion from Q1 2018. The same report states that U.S. household debt rose consistently for almost the past five years. In 2017, 60% of U.S. cardholders between 18 and 34 carried large balances and/or continually paid late fees--with about 8% in serious delinquency (CNBC.com). In 2018, the Federal Reserve cited 7 million Americans were at least 90 days behind on their car loan payments.
Governments across the world are increasingly promoting AI technology through investments in R&D and by developing education programs to train the workforce with AI skills, which can support businesses across industries. Retail, BFSI, and manufacturing are a few of the major industries that are increasing their investments in AI to automate business functions. Many key countries have initiated AI development plans to drive economic and technological growth. Some instances include the launch of Germany's digital strategy on AI called "AI Made in Germany" in November 2018, and China's announcement of its "Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan", in 2017. These strategies focus on the development of talent and education, government investments, and research and collaborative partnerships in AI.
New technologies are poised to challenge assumptions that AI and robotics will be used to perform only low-level and highly repetitive tasks. Over the past decade, U.S. tech firms have made significant advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics, making it far easier and more efficient to automate tasks and functions across industries. Artificial intelligence (AI) affects all types of risks and lines of insurance, and the workers' compensation market has a particularly large stake in the developments. Although the U.S. has experienced technological change and disruption during prior periods of industrial revolution, the pace and scope of the fourth industrial Revolution positions it to have a far greater impact on the U.S. and global economies. The recent advancements in AI and robotics are some of the most significant computer science advancements of our generations.
Snyk, a cybersecurity platform that helps developers find vulnerabilities in their open source applications, has raised $150 million in a round of funding led by New York-based private equity firm Stripes, with participation from Salesforce Ventures, Coatue, Tiger Global, BoldStart, Trend Forward, and Amity. This takes Snyk's total funding to $250 million from backers including Alphabet's GV and Accel, including a $22 million series B round in 2018 and a $70 million follow-on round just a few months ago. A Snyk spokesperson said that the company is now worth more than $1 billion, which is at least double the $500 million it was valued at back in September. Founded in 2015, London-based Snyk targets developers -- rather than cybersecurity personnel -- to help them find and fix flaws in their source code, as well as their containers and Kubernetes applications. The developer connects Snyk to a code repository in the likes of GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket, and Snyk then scans for vulnerabilities (or license violations), providing a description of the problem, noting where the flaw lies in the code, issuing a severity rating, and even suggesting a fix.
Interesting statement from #leaders at #wef20 and a challenge to #companies considering or implementing #AI "Striking the right balance will lead to sustainable businesses in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, but failing to design, develop and use AI responsibly can bring damage brand value and risk customer backlash."
Last Friday, the World Economic Forum (WEF) sent out a press announcement about an artificial intelligence (AI) toolkit for corporate boards. The release pointed to a section of their web site titled Empowering AI Leadership. For some reason, at this writing, there is no obvious link to the toolkit, but the press team was quick to provide the link. It is well laid out in linked we pages, and some well-produced pdfs are available for download. For purposes of this article, I have only looked at the overview and the ethics section, so here are my initial impressions.