Former Head of Google China Foresees an AI Crisis--and Proposes a Solution

“AI will take many single-task, single-domain jobs away. You can argue that humans have abilities that AI does not: We can conceptualize, strategize, create. Whereas today’s AI is just a really smart pattern recognizer that can take in data, optimize, and beat humans at a given task. But how many jobs in the world are simple repetitions of tasks that can be optimized? How many jobs require no creativity, strategizing, conceptualization? Most jobs are repetitive: truck-driving, telemarketing, dishwashing, fruit picking, assembly-line work, and so on. I’m afraid that about 50 percent of jobs in the world are in danger.”

Former Head of Google China Foresees an AI Crisis--and Proposes a Solution
https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/robotics/artificial-intelligence/former-head-of-google-china-foresees-an-ai-crisis
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The future of humanity depends on design ethics, says Tim Wu

“To be clear, these false loops are an explicit business strategy. The more you can convince someone that they need to keep checking your site, the more time they’ll spend on your platform–and the more ads they’ll see. It’s the same philosophy that underpins incessant notifications and the infinite scroll you find on many media sites (including our own). “If you were to obey Facebook’s mandate–hey, this friend commented on this, you should comment back, oh, you need to like this–you’d spend 24 hours there and still you’d never close the loops,” Wu says.”

The future of humanity depends on design ethics, says Tim Wu
https://www.fastcompany.com/90239599/the-future-of-humanity-depends-on-design-ethics-says-tim-wu
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Forget the new iPhones: Apple’s best product is now privacy

“In 2018, no issue is more important than user privacy–or the lack of it. We’re tracked by private industry on an unprecedented scale, with major corporations having so much data about us–much of it gleaned without our knowledge–that they can tell when a teenager is pregnant (and inform the teen’s father) or even predict your future actions based on decisions you haven’t made yet. If you want to be part of this world, designed by advertisers and tech giants, you must relinquish your right to privacy. In other words, we live in a commercial surveillance state.”

Forget the new iPhones: Apple’s best product is now privacy
https://www.fastcompany.com/90236195/forget-the-new-iphones-apples-best-product-is-now-privacy
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Senior Google Scientist Resigns Over “Forfeiture of Our Values” in China

““I view our intent to capitulate to censorship and surveillance demands in exchange for access to the Chinese market as a forfeiture of our values and governmental negotiating position across the globe,” he wrote, adding: “There is an all-too-real possibility that other nations will attempt to leverage our actions in China in order to demand our compliance with their security demands.””

Senior Google Scientist Resigns Over “Forfeiture of Our Values” in China
https://theintercept.com/2018/09/13/google-china-search-engine-employee-resigns/
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The World Economic Forum warns that AI may destabilize the financial system

“And McWaters says that as AI becomes more widely used in finance, it will be important to consider issues like biased algorithms, which can discriminate against certain groups of people. Financial companies should not be too eager to simply replace staff either, he says. As the study suggests, human skills will remain important even as automation becomes more widespread.”

The World Economic Forum warns that AI may destabilize the financial system
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611890/the-world-economic-forum-warns-that-ai-may-destabilize-the-financial-system/
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Franken-algorithms: the deadly consequences of unpredictable code

“Computers are already vastly superior to us at certain specialized tasks, but the day they rival our general ability is probably some way off – if it ever happens. Human beings may not be best at much, but we’re second-best at an impressive range of things.

Here’s the problem. Between the “dumb” fixed algorithms and true AI lies the problematic halfway house we’ve already entered with scarcely a thought and almost no debate, much less agreement as to aims, ethics, safety, best practice. If the algorithms around us are not yet intelligent, meaning able to independently say “that calculation/course of action doesn’t look right: I’ll do it again”, they are nonetheless starting to learn from their environments. And once an algorithm is learning, we no longer know to any degree of certainty what its rules and parameters are. At which point we can’t be certain of how it will interact with other algorithms, the physical world, or us. Where the “dumb” fixed algorithms – complex, opaque and inured to real time monitoring as they can be – are in principle predictable and interrogable, these ones are not. After a time in the wild, we no longer know what they are: they have the potential to become erratic. We might be tempted to call these “frankenalgos” – though Mary Shelley couldn’t have made this up.


Algorithms are beginning to learn from their environments. Illustration: Marco Goran Romano”

Franken-algorithms: the deadly consequences of unpredictable code
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/aug/29/coding-algorithms-frankenalgos-program-danger
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Life, the universe and everything, according to futurist Michio Kaku

“The other thing Hawking warned us about was artificial intelligence. What's your opinion?

We've been brainwashed by Hollywood on this. Our most advanced robot has the intelligence of a cockroach. We can't even get a robot to get out of a car, something a five-year-old can do. We're not likely to see a robot that thinks, and looks and talks like you, uses your voice inflections, until the end of this century.”

Life, the universe and everything, according to futurist Michio Kaku
https://www.smh.com.au/technology/life-the-universe-and-everything-according-to-futurist-michio-kaku-20180820-p4zylp.html
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In the Future of Work, Creativity Still Rules - Connected Futures on techvshuman Gerd Leonhard

“Any smart company,” he said, “would not just fire everyone when they can replace them with machines, but move them to more value-adding jobs … If the goal is to spread the power of technology and the benefits across society and create new jobs and new positions and reinvest, then we can do that.”

I don’t think that the end of routine means the end of jobs. I think it just means the end of routine.
- Gerd Leonhard

For the most part, Leonhard fears, we are falling short of that goal. To start, he believes we must move from rote learning to developing the qualities that will separate humans from machines, whether in education or workplace culture.

“We need in the future to focus on the human only-skills,” he stressed. “Mostly emotional intelligence. This is right now a number one desired capability in HR. And we need to teach it to our kids. That includes intelligence to create, to imagine, to tell a story.”

Preparing for these changes, Leonhard believes, is also the smart, competitive thing to do.

“People look at technology,” he explained, “and say wow, instead of having people do this, we can have AI or whatever. And that is a very short-term view because in five or 10 years every single company will have that technology. So, you end up being a commodity. But the thing that makes it a real company that has values and purpose and meaning is the people that work in it.”

The Floating, Fluid, Future Team

As technology change upends the very foundation of how we work, expect teams to be dynamic and fluid, management less hierarchical, and collaboration constant. (Cisco’s Future of Work research supports this conclusion.)

“I believe that the future is about wide-scale collaboration,” Leonhard said, “working on missions rather than for jobs and for necessarily one company.”

For some, that will mean adapting to a gig economy. That won’t be without its pain points, especially if we allow what Leonhard has called “digital Darwinism.””

In the Future of Work, Creativity Still Rules - Connected Futures
https://connectedfutures.cisco.com/article/future-work-creativity-still-rules/
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Why liberal arts and the humanities are as important as engineering - Vivek Wadhwa

“With the convergence of medicine, artificial intelligence and sensors, we can create digital doctors that monitor our health and help us prevent disease; with the advances in genomics and gene editing, we have the ability to create plants that are drought resistant and that feed the planet; with robots powered by artificial intelligence, we can build digital companions for the elderly. Nanomaterial advances are enabling a new generation of solar and storage technologies that will make energy affordable and available to all.

Creating solutions such as these requires a knowledge of fields such as biology, education, health sciences and human behavior. Tackling today’s biggest social and technological challenges requires the ability to think critically about their human context, which is something that humanities graduates happen to be best trained to do.

An engineering degree is very valuable, but the sense of empathy that comes from music, arts, literature and psychology provides a big advantage in design. A history major who has studied the Enlightenment or the rise and fall of the Roman Empire gains an insight into the human elements of technology and the importance of its usability.”

Why liberal arts and the humanities are as important as engineering - Vivek Wadhwa
http://wadhwa.com/2018/06/12/liberal-arts-humanities-important-engineering/
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Why liberal arts and the humanities are as important as engineering - Vivek Wadhwa

“Steve Jobs touted the importance of liberal arts and humanities at the unveiling of the iPad 2: “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough — it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing, and nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices.” With this focus, he built the most valuable company in the world and set new standards for the technology industry.

Logitech CEO Bracken Darrell, who majored in English, also emphasized this. I recently asked him how he turned his company around and caused its stock price to increase by an astonishing 450 percent over five years. He said that it was through relentlessly focusing on design in every product the company built; that engineering is important but what makes a technology product most successful is its design.

The key to good design is a combination of empathy and knowledge of the arts and humanities. Musicians and artists inherently have the greatest sense of creativity. You can teach artists how to use software and graphics tools; turning engineers into artists is hard.”

Why liberal arts and the humanities are as important as engineering - Vivek Wadhwa
http://wadhwa.com/2018/06/12/liberal-arts-humanities-important-engineering/
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