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Work Futures Daily - 42% of executives believe AI will be of ‘critical importance’ within 2 years

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AI could end as many as 75 million jobs by 2025, Fiding the most influential people in your company,
 

Work Futures

October 24 · Issue #1017 · View online
The ecology of work, and the anthropology of the future.

AI could end as many as 75 million jobs by 2025, Fiding the most influential people in your company, Indian telcos bet big on AI, Leneice Flowers-Brissett skewers half-assed diversity talk, National Boss Day!

Beacon NY - 2018-10-24 — Corporations are adopting AI – even with fears about legal and regulatory risks – because they see the benefits and cost savings. But basic societal questions are not being raised in the polarized hothouse atmosphere of US politics. I’m worried.
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Long Takes
Deloitte: 42% of executives believe AI will be of ‘critical importance’ within 2 years | I think Kyle Wiggers buried the lede in this story, which is ostensibly about companies ramping their AI investments. But lurking 30 paragraphs in:
The World Economic Forum, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Gartner have predicted that AI could make redundant as many as 75 million jobs by 2025.
Moreover, the McKinsey Global Institute this year forecasted that the portion of jobs calling for “low digital skills” may fall to 30 percent in 2030 from the current 40 percent, as jobs that require higher skills increase to 50 percent from 40 percent.
Meanwhile, back at the bottom line:
About 37 percent of executives said their companies have set aside $5 million or more for “cognitive” technologies like deep learning and machine learning, including enterprise software with AI “baked in.” And 55 percent said they’d launched six or more pilots (up from 35 percent a year ago), with 58 percent claiming they’d undertaken six or more full implementations (up 32 percent).
The enthusiasm — plus a strong desire among executives to “catch up with their rivals” — is contributing to an annual global growth rate in AI-as-a-service solutions of 48.2 percent. (Deloitte pegs the cognitive technologies market at $19.1 billion globally.) There’s some urgency about it; 42 percent of executives surveyed believe that adopting AI will be of “critical strategic importance” within the next two years, and some are already beginning to see gains.
More than 80 percent said their AI investments resulted in a financial return, particularly in the technology, professional services, and media and entertainment/telecommunications sectors. Deloitte cites Netflix as an example: The streaming media giant found that if its customers search for a movie for 90 seconds, they give up. By using AI to improve search results, it was able to save about $1 billion in potential lost revenue.
But executives have deep-seated fears about AI: legal and regulatory risks, opaqueness of the systems, and 43% rated ‘making the wrong strategic decisions based on AI/cognitive recommendations’ as a top three concern.
Who are the most influential people in your company? | Thompson Reuters used Innoviser to discover who were the influencers in the company:
According to Innovisor, three percent of people within an organization directly influence 90 percent of people within an organization. So, if your company is going through a time of change (or not), you should focus your time and energy on this three percent.
Types of people within organizational networks
THE CONNECTOR
  • Who they are: Employees who link individual subgroups of staff.
  • How you use them: Build a shortcut to connectors to help information flow through your business more freely.
THE BROKER
  • Who they are: Employees who act as bridges (or bottlenecks) between subgroups.
  • How to use them: Use them to share information or monitor them to ensure information does not get stuck.
THE INFLUENCER
  • Who they are: Friendly and competent employees who have their pulse on how the organization is feeling.
  • How to use them: If you are thinking about accelerating change, the influencer is key. According to Innovisor, these individuals can influence 10x as many people as the average employee.
It’s all a bit machiavellian sounding, but it lines up with the work of Ronald BurtDamon Centolla, and others.
Short Takes
Airtel, Jio bet big on artificial intelligence to improve customer service | India’s Economic Times reports on efforts by Indian telcos to use AI – like Google’s Alexa – ‘to offer better and more cost-efficient customer experience to increase stickiness on their networks as they battle for subscribers’.
How to maintain a predominantly white workplace | Leneice Flowers-Brissett skewers the half-assed lip service paid to diversifying the workplace. Priceless.

October 16 was National Boss Day (pointer from Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic @drtcp)
From the Archives
I mentioned Damon Centola and Ronald Burt in the Thompson Reuters piece above. Here’s some things I’ve written about their work:
Quote of the Day
Seek to be worth knowing.
| Ronald Burt
Crossposted from workfutures.org.
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