How to Thrive — and Survive — in a World of AI Disruption

The challenge we face today is not a “world without work” but a world with rapidly changing work.

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Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy

The Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy initiative explores the growing use of artificial intelligence in the business landscape. The exploration looks specifically at how AI is affecting the development and execution of strategy in organizations.

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BCG
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The pace of progress in AI and machine learning is accelerating rapidly. In the past month alone, these are just a few of the news items I’ve seen:

  • DeepMind Technologies Ltd. in London, U.K., has developed a system to scan 1 million images from eye scans and is training itself to spot early signs of degenerative eye conditions.
  • Rethink Robotics Inc. of Boston, Massachusetts, founded by former MIT AI Lab director, Rodney Brooks, made massive upgrades to its Sawyer robots to help nonexperts program routines that instruct the robot how to carry out complex tasks.
  • H&R Block’s tax preparers began using IBM’s Watson computer system to maximize customer deductions. Watson “knows” thousands of pages of federal tax code and will continually update changes as they occur.
  • NuTonomy Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, a startup developing self-driving cars based on technology from MIT, has launched a small fleet of autonomous taxis in Boston.
  • Forward, a San Francisco, California, startup founded by Google’s former special projects director, is attempting to shift traditional health care away from immediate and reactive care procedures, to proactive care through the use of AI and wearable sensors.

Deep learning and neural networks have dramatically improved in effectiveness and impact, leading to human-level performance in many aspects of vision, conversational speech, and problem-solving. As a result, industries are in the midst of a major transformation and more is on the way.

But there’s also a backlash brewing. Median income in America is lower now than in the past 15 years, and wealth is concentrated at the highest levels. As seen in the recent U.S. elections, there is dissatisfaction with the uneven distribution of the benefits of technological progress. IDE research bears out the chasms many are feeling.

Rumblings about robots replacing more and more human work have been heating up — with legitimate concerns. In 2014 when I published The Second Machine Age with Andrew McAfee, we anticipated much of this progress, but the pace has accelerated beyond expectations. This isn’t the first time automation has transformed factories, of course, but with today’s robust AI technologies, automation is starting to creep into fields that require less repetitive manual labor and once seemed immune to this shift, such as law, education, and journalism. Today’s advances are augmenting human minds, not just muscles.

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Topics

Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy

The Artificial Intelligence and Business Strategy initiative explores the growing use of artificial intelligence in the business landscape. The exploration looks specifically at how AI is affecting the development and execution of strategy in organizations.

In collaboration with

BCG
See All Articles in This Section

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Comments (5)
Top SEO
This is a very informative discussion about " How to Thrive — and Survive — in a World of AI Disruption "

Thanks for sharing 
Javier Acosta
AI to automates the tedious tasks of engineering (drawing check, drawing generation, model check, model generation), freeing time for the fun and creative stuff.

Javier
Laurence Stevens
These initiatives are not designed for ordinary people. When millions of American drivers lose their jobs in the next decade, we're not turning them into coders (or nurses, for that matter).

Think of the 50,000 people who overdosed in 2015, more than died from cars and guns combined. Their numbers are exploding. It's the people at the bottom, especially those who just landed there, whom we need to reach. How do we do that?
Michael Zeldich
Erik Brynjolfsson and many others could be not to worry about a danger from AI systems.
Any programmed system cannot impose a systematic danger on the human race.

Situation will be different if one will find out how to design of the artificial subjective systems, and design them as an independent living synthetic person. 
If that will happen, there will be no place for any consumers of nonrenewable resources.
Control of such systems by imposing human set of moral rules on them cannot be successful because such systems will not recognize humans as members of their society.
The only way to make such systems safe is in designing them so, that they will not have opportunity to have their own, egoistic, interests.
I have to find that way by myself, but recently I pointed to the fact that this solution was found milleniums ego. Djinnis, in mythical literature, did not to do anythings till not motivated by masters.
Michael Zeldich
There is better way than make improvement in software.
We are have to switch to design of the artificial subjective systems, which did not require any further programming and able to accrue a professional skills as we are.
That quantum lip will open the way to make men free from necessity to work for food.


Best,
Mike