A survey of 3,000 executives reveals how businesses succeed with AI — from hbr.org by Jacques Bughin, Brian McCarthy, Michael Chui

Excerpt:

The buzz over artificial intelligence (AI) has grown loud enough to penetrate the C-suites of organizations around the world, and for good reason. Investment in AI is growing and is increasingly coming from organizations outside the tech space. And AI success stories are becoming more numerous and diverse, from Amazon reaping operational efficiencies using its AI-powered Kiva warehouse robots, to GE keeping its industrial equipment running by leveraging AI for predictive maintenance.

While it’s clear that CEOs need to consider AI’s business implications, the technology’s nascence in business settings makes it less clear how to profitably employ it. Through a study of AI that included a survey of 3,073 executives and 160 case studies across 14 sectors and 10 countries, and through a separate digital research program, we have identified 10 key insights CEOs need to know to embark on a successful AI journey.

 

 

Make no mistake: The next digital frontier is here, and it’s AI. While some firms are still reeling from previous digital disruptions, a new one is taking shape. But it’s early days. There’s still time to make AI a competitive advantage.

 

 

 

IBM and MIT to Pursue Joint Research in Artificial Intelligence, Establish New MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab — from  by
IBM plans to make a 10-Year, $240 Million Investment in new lab with MIT to advance AI hardware and software and algorithms

Excerpt:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — IBM and MIT today announced that IBM plans to make a 10-year, $240 million investment to create the MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab in partnership with MIT. The lab will carry out fundamental artificial intelligence (AI) research and seek to propel scientific breakthroughs that unlock the potential of AI. The collaboration aims to advance AI hardware, software and algorithms related to deep learning and other areas, increase AI’s impact on industries, such as health care and cybersecurity, and explore the economic and ethical implications of AI on society. IBM’s $240 million investment in the lab will support research by IBM and MIT scientists.

 

The new lab will be one of the largest long-term university-industry AI collaborations to date, mobilizing the talent of more than 100 AI scientists, professors, and students to pursue joint research…

 

 

 

Google and Udacity offer scholarships for 75,000 aspiring developers — from thenextweb.com

Excerpt:

Google has announced its plans to extend its partnership with Udacity to offer 75,000 Android scholarships for aspiring developers and data scientists seeking to pursue careers in the digital field.

The initiative builds on the company’s two-year long collaboration with Udacity, which granted 1,000 and 10,000 scholarships for passionate newbie coders in 2015 and 2016, respectively. German media giant Bertelsmann will also be contributing to this effort.

 

 

Also see:

 

 

10 examples of how brands are using chatbots to delight customers — from medium.com by Larry Kim

Excerpt:

Businesses and brands are using chatbots in lots of exciting ways.

You can order food, schedule flights, and get recommendations for pretty much anything you can think of.

We’re still in the early days, but the latest chatbot statistics all say the same thing: adoption is growing.

Whether you like it or not, chatbots and virtual assistants are the future of marketing and customer support.

So which brands are already making the most of chatbots to delight their customers?

Here are 10 examples.

 

Instructional Design Firm Launches Digital Marketplace; Enables Innovative Universities to Offer Unbundled Alternative Credentials — from prnewswire.com
iDesign Course Market will help colleges deliver course content, accept payment, and issue digital credentials and certificates online

Excerpt:

DALLASAug. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Instructional design firm, iDesign, [on 8/10/17] announced Course Market, a digital marketplace that universities can use to offer standalone courses and digital credentials in high demand fields. Course Market integrates LMS technology from Instructure and Credly’s pioneering credential platform to deliver engaging learner experiences with real value in the job market. Institutions that utilize Course Market can seamlessly enroll students in continuing education programs, accept payment, deliver content, and issue digital badges or certificates, which can be instantly uploaded and shared through social networks like LinkedIn or Facebook.

“Alternative credentials are unquestionably gaining traction among working adults looking for accelerated pathways to new schools and executive education. We view Course Market as a great tool for universities that want to expand access to learners who may otherwise be unable to take advantage of traditional degree programs,” said William Valenta, Assistant Dean of MBA and Executive Programs at University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business.  “By applying Course Market’s technology and infrastructure to our existing educational offerings, the Katz school successfully enhanced access, affordability, and career relevance.”

 

 

Nearly half of companies say they don’t have the digital skills they need — from hbr.org by Jeremy Goldman

Excerpt:

The companies that think their employees’ digital IQs are unimportant are probably few and far between. After all, in just one decade the concept of “digital” has changed from a niche skill set to something that’s mandatory for virtually all blue-chip companies. If you don’t feel that your employees’ digital IQs are competitive, you have a major problem on your hands.

Unfortunately, for many companies, that’s exactly the situation they find themselves in. On a global basis, companies are losing faith in their digital smarts. In PwC’s 2017 Global Digital IQ Survey, 52% rated their digital IQ as strong. Compare that with 67% and 66% in 2016 and 2015, respectively. The survey, conducted among 2,200 technology executives, identified critical skill gaps such as cybersecurity and privacy.

 

 

 

Digital Ivy: Harvard Business School’s Next Online Program — from edsurge.com by Betsy Corcoran

Excerpts:

A triad of Harvard institutions—its business School, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and the department of statistics—are teaming up with Maryland-based digital education company, 2U, to offer an online executive education certificate in business analytics.

Orchestrating a cross-disciplinary program is no small feat, particularly at Harvard. “This was really hard [for Harvard] to pull off,” Paucek says. “It’s an intense, cross-disciplinary new offering from a school founded in 1636. The field is new, the offering of a complex blended certificate is new, and it’s being done with HBS, SEAS and the faculty, all blessed by the central administration. And it’s powered by an outside company that’s only 10 years old.”

 

The bottom line: HBS, Harvard SEAS and FAS faculty all want to put their imprint on the topic that is mesmerizing nearly every type of organization.

 

 

Also see:

Excerpt:

Andrew Ng a soft-spoken AI researcher whose online postings talk loudly.

A March blog post in which the Stanford professor announced he was leaving Chinese search engine Baidu temporarily wiped more than a billion dollars off the company’s value. A June tweet about a new Ng website, Deeplearning.ai, triggered a wave of industry and media speculation about his next project.

Today that speculation is over. Deeplearning.ai is home to a series of online courses Ng says will help spread the benefits of recent advances in machine learning far beyond big tech companies such as Google and Baidu. The courses offers coders without an AI background training in how to use deep learning, the technique behind the current frenzy of investment in AI.

 


From DSC:
For those of you who shun online learning and think such programs will dilute your face-to-face based brands — whether individual colleges, universities, faculty members, provosts, deans, IT-based personnel, administrators, members of the board of trustees, and/or other leaders and strategists within higher education — you might want to intentionally consider what kind of future you have without a strong, solid online presence. Because if one of the top — arguably thee top — universities in the United States is moving forward forcefully with online learning, what’s your story/excuse?

And if one of the top thinkers in artificial intelligence backs online learning, again…what’s your story/excuse?

If Amazon.com dominates and Sears (and related retail stores who were powerhouses just years ago) are now closing…you are likely heading for major trouble as the world continues down the digital/virtual tracks — and you aren’t sending any (or very few) cars down those tracks. You won’t have any credibility in the future — at least not in the digital/virtual/online-based realms. Oh, and by the way, you might want to set some more funding aside for the mental and physical health of your admissions/enrollment teams in such situations…as their jobs are going to be increasingly stressful and difficult in order to meet their target numbers.


 

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The Business of Artificial Intelligence — from hbr.org by Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

The most important general-purpose technology of our era is artificial intelligence, particularly machine learning (ML) — that is, the machine’s ability to keep improving its performance without humans having to explain exactly how to accomplish all the tasks it’s given. Within just the past few years machine learning has become far more effective and widely available. We can now build systems that learn how to perform tasks on their own.

Why is this such a big deal? Two reasons. First, we humans know more than we can tell: We can’t explain exactly how we’re able to do a lot of things — from recognizing a face to making a smart move in the ancient Asian strategy game of Go. Prior to ML, this inability to articulate our own knowledge meant that we couldn’t automate many tasks. Now we can.

Second, ML systems are often excellent learners. They can achieve superhuman performance in a wide range of activities, including detecting fraud and diagnosing disease. Excellent digital learners are being deployed across the economy, and their impact will be profound.

In the sphere of business, AI is poised have a transformational impact, on the scale of earlier general-purpose technologies. Although it is already in use in thousands of companies around the world, most big opportunities have not yet been tapped. The effects of AI will be magnified in the coming decade, as manufacturing, retailing, transportation, finance, health care, law, advertising, insurance, entertainment, education, and virtually every other industry transform their core processes and business models to take advantage of machine learning. The bottleneck now is in management, implementation, and business imagination.

The machine learns from examples, rather than being explicitly programmed for a particular outcome.

 

Let’s start by exploring what AI is already doing and how quickly it is improving. The biggest advances have been in two broad areas: perception and cognition. …For instance, Aptonomy and Sanbot, makers respectively of drones and robots, are using improved vision systems to automate much of the work of security guards. 

 

 

Machine learning is driving changes at three levels: tasks and occupations, business processes, and business models. 

 

 

You may have noticed that Facebook and other apps now recognize many of your friends’ faces in posted photos and prompt you to tag them with their names.

 

 

 

A dozen classic tools in the futurist’s toolbox — from foresightr.com

Excerpt:

In addition to those new tools, however,they still rely on more traditional ones, which are their versions of wrenches and ratchets. Here’s a quick outline the more popular methodologies, listed alphabetically:

  1. Backcasting
  2. Causal layered analysis
  3. Delphi surveys
  4. Environmental scanning and monitoring
  5. Forecasting
  6. Futures wheel
  7. Polling
  8. Gaming
  9. Modeling and simulations
  10. Scenario planning
  11. Trend analysis
  12. Visioning

 

From DSC:
K-20 students need to know about these things!  MBA’s should definitely be required to take courses on futurism. Speaking of such courses, we need more courses that focus on futurism and on helping students develop these kinds of skills. Given the pace of technological change and the level of disruption that can occur these days, these sorts of tools in one’s toolbox can come in very handy indeed.

 

 

 

Start your journey: Lynda.com introduces Learning Paths to help you stay ahead — from linkedin.com

Excerpt:

We all know that the knowledge and skills required to be successful in our jobs today is accelerating. This rate of change challenges all of us to stay ahead in our roles and sets a high bar for those looking to start or change their careers. Today we are introducing more than 50 new learning paths to help you stay ahead in your current job or if you’re looking to make a career pivot.

 

LearningPathsLyndaDotCom-April2016

 

Learning paths are step-by-step structured courses, supported with quizzes, practice, and learning reminders to encourage you and support you as you make progress towards your goal. These new learning paths include how to become a Web Developer, a Manager, a Bookkeeper, a Project Manager, a Small Business Owner, a Digital Marketer, a Digital Illustrator. Check out the full list here.

Learning paths are also a great way to continue expanding on your existing skill set. If you’re embarking on a new career, you can take advantage of these learning paths to become more knowledgeable about the skills and experience needed to secure your dream job. If  you’re a marketing manager who needs to quickly get up to speed on how to leverage social media for your job, you could take the digital marketing learning path to continue grooming and adding new skills.

We know that making the commitment to learn is incredibly tough; sticking with it can be even harder. To ensure your hard work gets noticed,  you’ll receive a certification of completion at the end of a learning path that you can share with your professional network on LinkedIn. Whether you’re looking to transform your current career path, jump into a new career, or sharpen your skills in your current job, Lynda.com can be your guide.

These new learning paths will be available starting today in English around the world and we are working towards adding new paths for you to take. We look forward to hearing about your learning path stories.

 

 

Also see:

LinkedIn launches Lynda.com ‘Learning Paths’ in push to grow education business — from forbes.com by Kathleen Chaykowski

Excerpt:

On Thursday, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company launched more than 50 Lynda.com “Learning Paths,” a package of ordered courses intended to prepare users for a specific role or to update users’ skills for their current job. Some of the new “Learning Paths” include how to become a digital marketer, photographer, digital illustrator, small business owner, project manager, bookkeeper or web developer.

“Whether you’re looking to transform your current career path, jump into a new career, or sharpen your skills in your current job, Lynda.com can be your guide,” Arthur Nicholls, a senior product manager at LinkedIn said. ”We all know that the knowledge and skills required to be successful in our jobs today is accelerating. This rate of change challenges all of us to stay ahead in our roles and sets a high bar for those looking to start or change their careers.”

 

 

Fuller profiles on candidates’ skills and qualifications will also advance LinkedIn’s efforts in building an economic graph, a digital map of the skills, economic needs, jobs, companies and people around the world.

 

 

 

Could Slack be the next online learning platform? — from edsurge.com by Amy Ahearn

Excerpt:

Enter Slack. The online communication platform launched two years ago and now has more than 2.3 million users. It facilitates an online, supercharged version of watercooler conversation, enabling people to trade information and chat informally with colleagues. And it might just be a game changer for online education.

On Slack there are flexible public channels, along with small private groups for exchanges between just a few people. Media companies including the New York Times are using it as a content management system, and corporations from Walmart to Blue Bottle Coffee rely on it to keep globally distributed teams in sync.

 

At +Acumen we were intrigued when marketing guru Seth Godin used Slack for an experiment in online learning. In 2014 he started altMBA, an online leadership workshop, and hosted it in Slack.

 

 

Also see:

 

Slack2-March2016

Slack-March2016

 

 
© 2017 | Daniel Christian