Technology Implementation

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Building a Robotic Colleague With Personality

Researchers are exploring how to create intelligent machines that work with us better as opposed to taking our place. Robots that can express human body language can have a positive effect on their human colleagues, enabling them to be more effective at their jobs, take on higher-level tasks, and realize psychological benefits. The overall result is a more productive human-robot team.

How Big Data and AI Are Driving Business Innovation in 2018

According to a 2018 NewVantage Partners survey, executives now see a direct correlation between big data capabilities and AI initiatives. For the first time, large corporations report having direct access to meaningful volumes and sources of data that can feed AI algorithms to produce a range of business benefits from real-time consumer credit approval to new product offers.

Using AI to Help the World Thrive

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It’s possible that humankind has created complex, systemic problems that exceed our human capacity to solve them. Some companies, particularly the tech giants, are recognizing this possibility and looking to AI as a tool for solving environmental and social problems. One of these companies is Microsoft. In December 2017, it committed $50 million to its new “AI for Earth” program to fund innovators who are making progress in four critical areas — climate change, water, agriculture, and biodiversity.

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Unpacking the AI-Productivity Paradox

Systems using artificial intelligence increasingly match or surpass human-level performance, driving great expectations and soaring stock prices. Yet measured productivity growth has declined by half over the past decade.

The New Economic Benefits of Older Workers

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Many countries experiencing fast growth in the aging of their populations, including Germany, Japan, and South Korea, are also experiencing growth in their gross domestic product. The most plausible explanation for this counterintuitive finding is that there has been a rapid adoption of automation technologies in countries with more pronounced demographic changes. In other words, technology isn’t just capable of offsetting potential negative effects of aging populations — it’s already doing so.

Could AI Be the Cure for Workplace Gender Inequality?

Artificial intelligence is beginning to replace many of the workplace roles that men dominate. The parts of those jobs that will have staying power are those that rely more heavily on emotional intelligence, abilities such as empathy, persuasion, and inspiration — skills in which women typically excel. In the AI economy, men won’t be as successful as women unless they embrace these differentiator skills.

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Driving Operational Cost Savings With the Internet of Things

AI and IoT offer significant benefits — as yet untapped — for facilities maintenance. In most large companies, maintenance and repair is done piecemeal with tremendous inefficiency, something automated, data-centered management practices could reduce. Operations executives should take notice, because the companies that allocate resources toward putting technology to work in this area are likely to gain an important competitive advantage.

Are AI Learning Scenarios Unpredictable Enough?

AI’s strength is processing input from many signals quickly to build an accurate short-term estimate of what will happen. But sooner or later, AI must confront the dark side of human behavior in real-world situations — where people don’t always respond in ways that make sense. The concern: When people know what AI will do, but AI can’t predict how people may behave, there’s an opportunity to “game the system” in ways that hurt businesses that use AI.

Digital Transformation on Purpose

As digital technology advances, the opportunity to use it to create a more sustainable, equitable world should not be overlooked. The first step: Define key terms and set up a framework for understanding how the digital revolution can also become a revolution for sustainable development.

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Justifying Human Involvement in the AI Decision-Making Loop

Though AI is far from perfect, vast training data has given smart systems formidable accuracy in making independent decisions. Yet even as these decision-making capabilities improve, a Cold War history lesson reminds us that human involvement may still be needed to avoid intolerable consequences of incorrect AI decisions.

For a Return on Platform Investment, Focus on New Capabilities

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Business success today requires taking part in open platform ecosystems. But too many world-class product and services companies find their platformization quests narrowly defined, and end up with constricted or conflicted implementations. The ability of information systems and devices to exchange data isn’t enough in and of itself. Instead, developing new capabilities is the key to platform innovation that will add value to an organization.

Five Management Strategies for Getting the Most From AI

A global survey by the McKinsey Global Institute finds that AI is delivering real value to companies that use it across operations. C-level executives report that when they adopt AI at scale — meaning they deploy AI across technology groups, use AI in the most core parts of their value chains, and have the full support of their executive leadership — they are finding not just cost-cutting opportunities, but new potential for business growth, too.

Reshaping Business With Artificial Intelligence

Disruption from artificial intelligence (AI) is here, but many company leaders aren’t sure what to expect from AI or how it fits into their business model. Yet with change coming at breakneck speed, the time to identify your company’s AI strategy is now. MIT Sloan Management Review has partnered with The Boston Consulting Group to provide baseline information on the strategies used by companies leading in AI, the prospects for its growth, and the steps executives need to take to develop a strategy for their business.

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