Risks of AI
In 1956, at a workshop on the campus of Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire, the field of artificial intelligence (AI) was born. Attendants were buoyant. MIT cognitive scientist Marvin Minsky was quoted as saying, "Within a generation  the problem of creating 'artificial intelligence' will substantially be solved." This prediction turned out to be over zealous, but Minsky and his colleagues believed it wholeheartedly. What, then, is different today? What makes the current dialogue about AI more relevant and believable? How do we know that this is not another case of humans over estimating the development of technology? For one thing,...
AI and 5G
In 2013, George F. Young and colleagues completed a fascinating study into the science behind starling murmurations. These breathtaking displays of thousands – sometimes hundreds of thousands – of birds in a single flock swooping and diving around each other, look from a distance like a single organism organically shape-shifting before the viewer’s eyes. In their research article, Young et al reference the starling’s remarkable ability to “maintain cohesion as a group in highly uncertain environments and with limited, noisy information." The team discovered that the birds’ secret lay in paying attention to a fixed number of their neighbors –...
AI Fake News
Recent events have confirmed that the cyber realm can be used to disrupt democracies as surely as it can destabilize dictatorships. Weaponization of information and malicious dissemination through social media pushes citizens into polarized echo chambers and pull at the social fabric of a country. Present technologies enhanced by current and upcoming Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities, could greatly exacerbate disinformation and other cyber threats to democracy. Robert Kagan in his recent Post essay, “The strongmen strike back,” insightfully states: What we used to regard as the inevitable progress toward democracy, driven by economics and science, is being turned on its...
Smart City Chip
Technologies that could change the world have been a popular topic for the past half century. True, the predictions that everyone would drive flying cars have not materialized, but what has materialized would astound those who offered such predictions 50 years ago. And where emerging technologies are headed is even more stunning. Seven technologies, in my opinion, are poised for explosive growth in 2019. And what they can accomplish this year and beyond is not even the most significant disruption that I see them causing. But I’ll get to that later. First, let’s look at the Significant Seven. Internet of Things...
AI Cybersecurity Battlefield
Cybersecurity strategies need to change in order to address the new issues that Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) bring into the equation. Although those issues have not yet reached crisis stage, signs are clear that they will need to be addressed – and soon – if cyberattackers are to be prevented from obtaining a decided advantage in the continuing arms race between hackers and those who keep organizations’ systems secure. ML and AI can magnify existing vulnerabilities and open the door to new attack strategies. At the same time, though, they offer new tools to help organizations secure...
Innovation in Canada
Canada’s rankings in innovation has lagged that of other peer nations for decades despite government efforts to address this issue. Considering its success in developing research programs at its universities, its mediocre rankings overall in technology development is disappointing. Those programs alone have not been enough to translate into entrepreneurial innovation. A 2017 C.D. Howe Institute study points out that, even though Canadians have been at the forefront of breakthroughs in emerging technologies, in many cases, the chief beneficiaries of those breakthroughs have been other nations’ economies. Canada needs to take a stronger role in building an environment in which...
Future of AI
If you’ve read the many predictions about the future of AI, you’ve likely found them to be wildly different. They range from AI spelling doom for humanity, to AI ushering in Golden Age of peace, harmony and culture, to AI producing barely a blip on society’s path toward ever-greater technological achievement. Those three views – dystopian, utopian and organic – present issues we need to consider as we move deeper toward an AI-integrated future. Yet they also contain exaggerations and false assumptions that we need to separate from reality. The Dystopian View of the AI Future Those with a dystopian view of...
AI Interpersonal
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming ever more important, and not just in automating repetitive, manual labor jobs. Increasingly, it also enters the realm of highly trained knowledge workers. New. AI-driven world will require different skills. Systems like IBM Watson augment the expertise of tax preparers, lawyers, doctors and many other highly trained professionals. Corporate executives use AI’s ability to gather, analyze and run extensive simulations on data to help them make better-informed decisions. The applications for AI appear almost unlimited. The implications are clear. AI will reshape not just operations, but also all other aspects of the business world. So, how...
AI Assimilators
AI leaders must adapt to the changing culture as young workers enter the job market with expectations strikingly different from the ones that leaders traditionally have encountered. These changes within their own business culture are not, though, the only culture changes to which leaders will have to adapt. AI and other emerging technologies are accelerating the process of globalization. For example, as 3D printers become more prevalent, manufacturers will sell designs rather than finished products. Breaking into new markets won’t be a multiyear, investment-heavy effort. Emerging technologies will greatly reduce logistics requirements and expand old, geographically limited markets into one,...
AI Future
Where AI, robots, IoT and the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution are taking us, and how we should prepare for it are some of the hottest topics being discussed today. Perhaps the most striking thing about these discussions is how different people’s conclusions are. Some picture a utopia where machines do all work, where all people receive a universal basic income from the revenues machines generate and where, being freed from a need to work for wages, all people devote their time to altruism, art and culture. Others picture a dystopia where a tiny elite class uses their control of AI...
AI Economy
Growing reliance on AI will not likely result in any of the three most common views of how AI will affect our future. Each view is founded on assumptions that fail to consider all the realities of AI. That leaves us, however, with an important question as we plan our company’s – and our own – future in an increasingly AI-enabled world: “What will that world look like?” AI impact on economy The effect AI will have on the economy is massive. Such was the conclusion of a 2017 PwC report, Sizing the prize: What’s the real value of AI for your business...
AI Future Workforce
Whether AI and the technologies it enables will reach their full potential depends on the workforce that will work alongside them. Yet the skills that that workforce needs to do this are in short supply. Rather than debating what to do about massive job losses from AI, discussion should focus on how best to prepare workers' skills for the types of jobs that they will need to fill. A shifting job picture A 2017 McKinsey’s report says that approximately half of all activities done by the current workforce could be automated. They point out, however, that this does not point to...
AI Three Futures
If you’ve read the many predictions about the future of AI, you’ve likely found them to be wildly different. They range from AI spelling doom for humanity, to AI ushering in Golden Age of peace, harmony and culture, to AI producing barely a blip on society’s path toward ever-greater technological achievement. Those three views – dystopian, utopian and organic – present issues we need to consider as we move deeper toward an AI-integrated future. Yet they also contain exaggerations and false assumptions that we need to separate from reality. The Dystopian View of AI Future Those with a dystopian view of emerging technologies...
AI Use Cases
Ask people on the street how much AI uses today affect their lives, and most would probably answer that it doesn’t affect them right now. Some might say that it’s pure science fiction. Others might say that it may affect our future but isn’t used in our world today. Some might correctly identify a few ways it’s used in modern technology, such as voice-powered personal assistants like Siri, Alexa and Cortana. But most would be surprised to find out how widely it is already woven into the fabric of daily life. AI uses for personal assistants and other humanlike bots Voice-powered...
Leadership AI Book - 1920x1280 - White
Today’s business leadership face a conundrum. Artificial Intelligence (AI) unquestionably will play an enormous role in the future of their organizations and the business environment in which they operate, but what effects will it have? Prognosticators have wildly different visions of the future it will create, ranging from causing the extinction of humanity to ushering in a Golden Age in which machines provide all humanity’s needs and free us to focus on altruistic service to one another and the advancement of human culture. Both of these most commonly heard predictions are based on assumptions that lead to wild speculation that...