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Council Post: AI Trends To Watch In 2021

#artificialintelligence

As the pandemic continues to force us to alter our personal and professional lives, it has also presented new and complex challenges for business leaders. In order to tackle short-term, long-term and unexpected obstacles, many leaders have turned to AI to help navigate these disruptions. With this in mind, here are three AI trends we've seen this year that executives should keep in mind as they develop their 2021 strategies. AI has the power to enhance business, empowering executives and decision-makers to be more strategic and helping to make businesses more profitable. Many organizations that leverage AI technologies are doing so to weather the Covid-19 storm, and in many cases, they have grown their bottom lines while facing unprecedented adversity.


'Artificial intelligence will employ next wave of truck drivers', says survey

#artificialintelligence

Einride, a Swedish technology company that develops and provides freight transport solutions based on electric and autonomous vehicles, released today the results of a survey conducted with OnePoll on the state of the trucking industry. The survey examines the sentiments of American respondents around the intersection of artificial intelligence and industry-wide employment. According to Deloitte Insights, over 37 percent of organizations have reported deploying AI solutions – up 270 percent from four years ago. Analysts forecast global AI spending will more than double over the next three years, topping $79 billion by 2022. In conjunction with this growth, is the impact AI is having on employees.


Could the pandemic make the video games industry even more white and middle-class?

The Guardian

When the pandemic put the world on pause and we retreated to our living rooms, video games gave us a horizon to head towards when in reality we had nowhere to go. But, as the most recent UK games industry census showed, the people who make those video game landscapes all tend to look alike: 70% of the game development workforce is male, and just 10% are BAME. This creates a sort of gaming Stepford – miles and miles of video game real estate where characters and stories are almost identical to the ones that came before, because the architects all look the same and want the same things. The survey showed that 81% of people in the UK games industry are educated to at least undergraduate level, which is considerably higher than the 57% average for other creative industries. Meanwhile, 62% of those in British games studios grew up in households where the main earner worked in a professional or managerial role.


How Covid-19 has provided the impetus for Intelligent Automation

#artificialintelligence

One of the undoubted impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the way in which it has expedited digital transformation. As companies have adjusted to the'new normal', they have hurriedly explored ways in which to streamline processes, harness data or shape entirely new ways of doing business. A survey by McKinsey found that globally, about 55 percent of products and/or services were fully or partially digitized as of July 2020, compared to 35 percent in December 2019 and 28 percent in May 2018. It's not just large companies that are realizing the potential of transformation. Smaller firms, which account for three fifths of the employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector, are also harnessing digital processes and services for their millions of customers and employees.


Uber cuts 15 percent of Postmates' workforce

Engadget

Now that Uber owns Postmates, it's apparently ready to cut workers it believes are superfluous. Uber has confirmed to the New York Times that it's laying off about 185 people at Postmates, or about 15 percent of the delivery company's staff. Most of the executives are leaving, including founder and CEO Bastian Lehmann. There may be more departures in the months ahead as contracts expire and others are asked to leave. The layoffs come as Uber melds its Eats platform with Postmates.


What's coming for the channel in 2021

ZDNet

For the channel, 2020 was a tale of two cities. On one hand, customers and governments recognized partners as an essential service and central to their ability to rapidly respond to a worsening pandemic. On the other, customer demand shifted to automation, cloud acceleration, customer/employee experience, and e-commerce/marketplaces, where many technology channel parts were left in the cold. The industry experienced a "K-shaped" recovery where partners who had skills, resources, and prebuilt practices around the business needs of their customers excelled with double- (and sometime triple-) digit growth. Yet many smaller VARs and MSPs were down by double digits, relying on government, vendor, and distributor funding to survive.


Hundreds of Google employees unionize, culminating years of activism

The Japan Times

OAKLAND, California – More than 225 Google engineers and other workers have formed a union, the group revealed Monday, capping years of growing activism at one of the world's largest companies and presenting a rare beachhead for labor organizers in staunchly anti-union Silicon Valley. The union's creation is highly unusual for the tech industry, which has long resisted efforts to organize its largely white-collar workforce. It follows increasing demands by employees at Google for policy overhauls on pay, harassment and ethics, and is likely to escalate tensions with top leadership. The new union, called the Alphabet Workers Union after Google's parent company, Alphabet, was organized in secret for the better part of a year and elected its leadership last month. The group is affiliated with the Communications Workers of America, a union that represents workers in telecommunications and media in the United States and Canada.


Google Workers Launch Union To Press Grievances With Executives

NPR Technology

More than 200 engineers and other workers have formed a union at Google, a breakthrough in labor organizing in Silicon Valley where workers have clashed with executives over workplace culture, diversity and ethics. Across half a dozen Google offices in the U.S. and Canada, 226 workers signed cards to form the Alphabet Workers Union, the group said on Monday. They are supported by the Communications Workers of America, which represents workers in telecommunications and media. The new union won't have collective bargaining rights and represents only a small fraction of Google's workforce. Google, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., has faced employee outcry over issues including sexual harassment, its work with the Pentagon and the company's treatment of its massive contract workforce.


How to Fit Artificial Intelligence into Manufacturing

#artificialintelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been tainted with a lot of negative press since its conception. Many people in the workforce have started to question the motives for implementing AI in factories and other workplaces. However, there are responsible AI practices aimed at making the workplace a better place for employees. A prime example of this includes the applications of AI in manufacturing. Its implementation in this industry proves that the tech is only good as its user.


Future of work: Five new features of your remote workplace in 2021

ZDNet

COVID-19 has turned the world of work on its head, with many of us having spent most of 2020 separated from our colleagues and logging-in to greet each other every day from our bedrooms, living spaces, and other cobbled-together places of work. It's a year that has asked a lot of us all, and with 2021 now – somehow – on the horizon, many will be wondering what the next 12 months has in store. One thing seems certain: the new remote-working landscape hastily hammered out by 2020 won't be disappearing any time soon. In fact, working from home at least part of the time looks set to be the new way of doing things for the foreseeable future. And while organizations might have a better grasp on the technical challenges than they did at the start of the year, there is still a litany of issues to overcome if we want to make this "new normal" truly work.