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 –...
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 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...
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...
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...
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....
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...
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...
Chinese cybercrime
Western publications often picture the People’s Democratic Republic of China (hereafter China) as the world’s chief propagator of cyberattacks. But the picture is much more complex than such broad-brush claims suggest. Few Westerners realize that China and its neighbours in the Greater China region (Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong) have, over last few years, became the most technologically advanced region in the world – ahead of the West in the adoption, and in many cases even in the development of advanced technologies. Countries in the region were always close to the...
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...
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...
Leadership in the age of AI
AI’s effect on the workplace will not be limited merely to repetitive, production line-type jobs. Increasingly, it also enters the realm of highly trained knowledge workers. It will also affect those who manage workers currently employed in such jobs. AI likely will reshape jobs all the way up to the C-level offices. That doesn’t mean, though, that managers and executives will no longer be needed. They simply need to prepare themselves for shifts in their work responsibilities. In my latest article Why AI Is Neither the End of Civilization nor the Beginning of Nirvana...
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...
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...
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...