As a reader of this column, you probably know I am releasing a new book, The Augmented Workforce: How AR, AI, and 5G Will Impact Every Dollar You Make on May 25 with my co-author, John Buzzell. For the next four weeks, I'll be sharing excerpts from the book as columns to help brands, businesses and professionals prepare and understand what the era of the augmented workforce holds, how to prepare and how to leverage the changes to stay relevant in the future. Dearly disrupted we are gathered here to talk about the future spaces we will inhabit. We are living through a period of rapid change, possibly beyond society's capacity to keep up. Various emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 5G, along with dozens of devices that work together (Internet of Things), have helped to create an environment in which new inventions, possibilities, and learning curves change weekly. According to Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, authors of The Future Is Faster Than You Think, "Moore's Law is the reason the smartphone in your pocket is a thousand times smaller, a thousand times cheaper, and a million times more powerful than a supercomputer from the 1970s. In 2023 the average thousand-dollar laptop will have the same computing power as a human brain (roughly 1016 cycles per second). Twenty-five years after that, that same average laptop will have the power of all the human brains currently on Earth."
The term conversational AI (CAI) refers to the underlying set of intelligent technologies that enable software systems to interact with humans using natural language processing (NLP). This involves the ability of software to understand the intent behind what a human is saying and respond in an intelligent, conversational way. In the last decade, technologies and use cases have evolved so rapidly that we have seen a deluge of terms enter circulation like chatbot, virtual agent, voice assistant and conversational UI to name a few. For senior executives and customer-focused leaders, certainly they should be looking to make this new channel a fundamental part of their banks' wider customer engagement strategy. That's why EPAM has produced a white paper outlining 7 Lessons Learned from the Field as a practical guide for both business leaders and technologists with customer-facing responsibilities in banking.
Shalini Kantayya describes herself as a filmmaker who's fascinated with disruptive technologies and the good or harm they create. In a data-driven and increasingly automated world, there's a question of how to protect our civil liberties as artificial intelligence grows by the day. MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini discovered that most facial recognition technology does not see dark-skinned faces and women's faces accurately. This led to an investigation of how the technology we typically see as objective can actually encode racism and sexism. Buolamwini, and others working to change technology for the better around the globe, are featured in Kantayya's documentary Coded Bias.
Every day, billions of photos and videos are posted to various social media applications. The problem with standard images taken by a smartphone or digital camera is that they only capture a scene from a specific point of view. But looking at it in reality, we can move around and observe it from different viewpoints. Computer scientists are working to provide an immersive experience for the users that would allow them to observe a scene from different viewpoints, but it requires specialized camera equipment that is not readily accessible to the average person. To make the process easier, Dr. Nima Kalantari, professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, and graduate student Qinbo Li have developed a machine-learning-based approach that would allow users to take a single photo and use it to generate novel views of the scene.
Progress in technology and increased levels of private investment in startup AI companies is accelerating, according to the 2021 AI Index, an annual study of AI impact and progress developed by an interdisciplinary team at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. Indeed, AI is showing up just about everywhere. In recent weeks, there have been stories of how AI is used to monitor the emotional state of cows and pigs, dodge space junk in orbit, teach American Sign Language, speed up assembly lines, win elite crossword puzzle tournaments, assist fry cooks with hamburgers, and enable "hyperautomation." Soon there will be little left for humans to do beyond writing long-form journalism -- until that, too, is replaced by AI. The text generation engine GPT-3 from OpenAI is potentially revolutionary in this regard, leading a New Yorker essay to claim: "Whatever field you are in, if it uses language, it is about to be transformed." AI is marching forward, and its wonders are increasingly evident and applied.