Industry News: Week of September 30, 2019

In by Contextere

Every week we curate industry news and thought-provoking articles that reflect today’s trends so you can spend more time learning and less time searching. Here’s what we’ve been reading:

Benefits of Technology for Frontline Workers Will be “Insane”

The benefits of rolling out new technology to frontline workers are clear. But how do you do it? Rob Smith, a senior director analyst at Gartner, has 3 best practices to increase success.

  1. Start by involving frontline workers in the process, rather than employ a top-down approach.
  2. Avoid collecting personal data.
  3. Be aware that technology companies may discontinue an item. One way to mitigate risk is by using more widespread platforms.

Why you should care: Gartner predicts that up to 70% of mobile and endpoint net new investments will be aimed at those workers over the next five years.” And when technology is correctly adopted it can lead to dramatic decreases in training time and rework. Read the article.

5 Best Practices to Build AI for Good

The race to be an AI superpower is on and isn’t slowing down. Here are 5 best practices suggested by elected officials, business experts, academics, and activists to ensure AI is built for good. 

  1. Put all AI algorithms through an FDA-like testing process. 
  2. Ensure AI’s decision making is accessible to everyone, not just scientists.
  3. Keep humans in the decision-making process.
  4. Ensure the default for users is to ‘opt-in’ to data collection, rather than ‘opt-out’.
  5. Protect privacy rights to attract the best AI talent.

Why you should care: “Data is the new oil”. Make sure it’s used responsibly and ethically as big tech companies continue to reap the profits. Read the article.

Robots are Becoming Smarter

Robots have historically been very slow learners. Progress in automated manipulation was slow and robots often got confused when an object was in their path. All of this is changing with RoMan, a state-of-the-art robot. It’s learned to identify objects in its path, decide how best to move them, and then clear the way to continue moving forward. 

Why you should care: Though this may seem like a small advancement, the implications are huge. If robots can identify unknown objects promptly and decide how best to deal with them, their usefulness will increase dramatically. This will have an impact both at home and in industrial settings. Read the article.

The Potential Negative Impacts of AI

In his article, Bernard Marr, outlines the 6 possible negative impacts of AI.

  1. Either unintentional or intentional built-in bias.
  2. Loss of jobs to AI and the need for reskilling/upskilling.
  3. More free time may lead to a loss of human purpose.
  4. One country’s AI regulations may adversely impact another’s well-being.
  5. Accelerated hacking.
  6. Increase in the range of terrorist attacks.

Why you should care: Acknowledging the possibility of these outcomes will enable us to actively find solutions to them and mitigate their negative impact, ensuring AI has a net positive impact on society. Read the article.

Preparing for the Future of Work? Become a Generalist

On their Littoral Combat Ships, the United States Navy has turned to “hybrid sailors” as part of a minimal manning strategy, whereby crew members are transitioning from specialists to generalists.

Why you should care: Given the current demographic shifts and increasing skills gap, having a wider breadth of skills is likely to become the norm in all industries.  Read the article.