The Best of This Week
The week’s must-reads for managing in the digital age, curated by the MIT SMR editors.
A Knowledge-Based Economy May Limit the Damage of COVID-19
Although unemployment is soaring and many businesses are facing bankruptcy, history demonstrates that today’s knowledge-based economy remains flexible, adaptable, and more resilient than the trade- and mobility-focused economies of the past.
How One Nepali Company Aims to Democratize AI
In an interview with Rest of World, founder and CEO Sameer Maskey describes the evolution of his business, the 250-person, Nepal-based Fusemachines. The company first aimed to produce customer service products, like automated dialogue systems. But as the shortage of AI engineering talent in the U.S. emerged as a global issue, the company has instead shifted toward offering AI tools, teaching AI in developing countries, and providing teams of engineers to U.S. businesses.
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Untangling a Coronavirus Data Disaster
Among many problems with the United States’ erratic coronavirus response, one critical — and underappreciated — factor is bad data. Without accurate data, planners can’t plan, epidemiologists can’t model, policy makers can’t make policy, and citizens don’t trust what they’re told. The U.S. needs a robust program, with professional management of the data supply chain, to develop trustworthy data about pandemics and other public health crises in order to prevent, mitigate, and deal with them properly.
A Divided Economic Recovery for American Workers
Over just a few months, the pandemic has dramatically accelerated the adoption of automation and remote work technologies, which may help explain the starkly divided “K-shaped” recovery observed by economists. At the top: remotely working professionals with growing stock portfolios. Everyone else at the bottom, MIT economics professor Daron Acemoglu explains, is “really getting hammered.”
Getting Smarter About Smart Buildings
If we think big enough, smart buildings can play a key role in helping us figure out what work will look like in the coming months and years. Research suggests four ways to make progress.
What Else We’re Reading This Week:
- Is a reckoning for workplace chat apps on the way?
- Five tips to make negotiations with colleagues less uncomfortable
- The ease with which consumers have adapted to rapid change signals a future of more disruption
Quote of the Week:
“In a world beset by a pandemic and all that accompanies it, including an economic recession and political uncertainty, consumers are crying out for brands that can be a beacon of optimism and resilience. … Now would be a good time for brand stewards to make these emotions central to their brand’s purpose.”
— George Carey, founder and CEO of The Family Room, in “Is Your Brand Purpose at Risk of Being Obsolete?”