As Staffing Industry Analysts reported, last year “companies processed $82.4 billion U.S. dollars (USD) in spend associated with the human cloud on a global basis.” Today’s business environment is defined by the fluidity of globalization. In a short span of time, technology has eroded many of the barriers -- physical and social -- that have separated people throughout the ages. We’ve entered a new era of work where our tools, processes and people function in “the cloud.” Rigid structures and[...]
The global dialog concerning the future of artificial intelligence (AI), at least in the media, appears to have become very binary. On one side of the debate, technophiles excitedly praise the coming singularity, when machines and humans will merge. Across the aisle, visionaries like Elon Musk are portrayed as neo-Luddites, prophets of doom offering grim auguries of a robot-spawned dystopia. The reality, as always, lies somewhere in the center of the otherwise sensationalized argument. And I believe both sides are in agreement. Yes, AI promises a wealth of advances that can better society -- and the people who work in it. However, it can also deliver some pretty disastrous results, as we’ve seen already. The solution comes down to this: AI will learn what we humans teach it. The best way to ensure our mutual success is to approach machine learning as we should hiring: by eliminating bias from the process.
On August 26, Americans honored the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. It was an important step toward equality, yet the democratic process and the business world don’t always mesh in their ideologies. Equality for women, LGBTQ people, minorities, and every other underrepresented group remains an elusive goal. The prevailing U.S. political administration has further compounded these efforts with vociferous condemnations of inclusion, followed by policy proposals intended to roll back anti-discrimination protections. If you don’t find the situation dire, you haven’t been paying attention. We’ve spent years, literally, writing about the economic benefits of diversity and the importance of differing perspectives to innovation. Maybe the message isn’t strong enough. So allow me to offer something more emphatic, particularly as every company will soon rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning: Without a truly equal playing field, the entire future of technology -- and everything tied to it -- is in peril.
VentureBeat recently published an informative article about an aspect of artificial intelligence that we sometimes overlook: preparing our organizations to embrace and properly capitalize on the benefits that machine learning will offer. Alston Ghafourifar authored the piece. He is the CEO of Entefy, an AI-communication technology company, credited with developing the first universal communicator. While proponents extol the virtues of AI, detractors lament this greater reliance on machines in the workplace, and skeptics wonder about the role of humans in a digital age. The reality is the automation alone won’t render people obsolete or empower businesses to reinvent themselves overnight. We must acknowledge the opportunities and the challenges. “Given the accelerating pace of innovation of new technologies,” Ghafourifar writes, “it’s critical that you address the implications today so as not to get left behind tomorrow.”