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Future-proofing your business with thoughtful AI

Future-proofing your business with thoughtful AI

Future-proofing your business with thoughtful AI

By Sydney Radclyffe for Box News

In terms of developing tech and shifting industry strategies for remaining relevant in the economy of the future, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the shiny new toy that everyone wants to try out. But do we really know what to do with it?

Understanding is at the heart of innovation

People know that AI is necessary and of-the-moment, but aren’t always sure how to incorporate it into business. This can lead to inefficient or risky applications of the still-obscure technology. The best way to develop and implement AI systems going forward is by well-rounded understanding, not only of machine learning but of its potential human impact.

As a veteran of AI development and a lifelong mathematician, Milena Marinova, Senior VP of AI Products & Solutions at Pearson, is well poised to cut through the confusion.

We spoke to Milena about her solution-driven approach and the vital need for collaboration as new technologies continue to develop.

To paraphrase Milena, if we start with purpose and objectives, AI can be a crucial part of more extensive collaborative efforts to solve both small-scale and universal issues.

Watch the interview, and let us know what you think on Twitter:

Paul Daugherty: Technology is neutral

Paul Daugherty: Technology is neutral

Paul Daugherty: Technology is neutral

By Anna McDonald for Box News

AI and related technologies have already indicated positive outlooks for general quality of life and the future of work, health care and education. But, they’ve emerged as a potential locus of inequality, too, potentially leading to the increased power and wealth of a few.

Weighing up the risks and rewards

The most significant challenge in regulating the use and impact of new technologies is that the very same characteristics which offer the greatest benefits may also create the greatest risks. Neither outcome is necessarily more likely than the other, but represent a choice in how we engage with these technologies.

We have nothing to fear

Instead of fearing AI, we must recognise its essentially neutral character. To realise this is to understand the technology and ensure that its purpose aligns with our values. New technologies are only as ‘good’ as those who implement them, highlighting the need to responsibly re-skill employees to use the power of technology to ‘re-humanise’, not dehumanise, the workplace.

Paul Daugherty, CTIO of Accenture, says:

“Technology is neutral. Humans decide how to use it. You can use an axe to cut your crops or to kill your neighbour. The choice is yours, not the axe’s.”

Watch this short interview, and let us know what you think on Twitter. 

AI and smart clothing: Capable technology is augmenting, not taking over our lives

AI and smart clothing: Capable technology is augmenting, not taking over our lives

AI and smart clothing: Capable technology augmenting, not taking over our lives

By Alasdair Munn for Box News

Many people still have a fear of Artificial Intelligence (AI). That AI will create a sterile world where our reliance on technology drives us further from nature — creating a world of interfaces removed from reality.

Alex Kass, Labs Fellow at Accenture, feels the opposite is true.

Imagining a more collaborative future

What if we consider how AI and smart materials will allow us to go about our day unburdened by visible or conscious technology? Instead of fear, Alex paints a picture of a collaborative future containing smarter, more capable technology that augments, rather than take over, our lives.

Far from driving us further apart, systems will enable people to connect and collaborate with others whom they would otherwise never have met. In the professional sphere, AI will be able to assemble teams of the best-suited workers for a given project or enterprise from around the world.

Dangerous, menial or time-consuming tasks will be undertaken by automatons, leaving us more time to ‘be human’. In our day-to-day lives, smart materials will become increasingly prominent in the realms of construction and fabric/clothing manufacturing, among others.

Listen to this excerpt taken from a more extended interview with Alex Kass, and let us know your thoughts on Twitter.

Milena Marinova: AI is only as dangerous as we are

Milena Marinova: AI is only as dangerous as we are

Milena Marinova: AI is only as dangerous as we are

By Sydney Radclyffe for Box News

By now, it’s clear to most people that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is essential. These days, the media seems to talk about little else, from the realm of automated technology to discussions about education and data security issues. But, it’s also apparent that many people are suspicious, worried, and simply uninformed about what AI is, what it does, and what it could do in the future.

Experts in the tech field (like Elon Musk), have warned of the possible dangers of AI, often using catastrophic language that provokes fear. To get a clearer picture of the situation, we sat down with Milena Marinova, Senior VP in charge of AI Products and Solutions at Pearson, a global company focused on bettering education.

Beware of bias, perception and hyperbole

Milena starts by explaining that biases are often partly shaped by pessimistic attitudes toward AI. Language and perception are critical when it comes to public opinion, and ‘Artificial Intelligence’, as it’s known by most, is usually called ‘machine learning’ within the industry. This difference is significant.

AI has often been shown by Hollywood and the media in an unfavourable or sinister light, leading to widespread negative connotations. In contrast, the friendlier-sounding ‘machine learning’ is a term fewer members of the public would recognise, yet both labels describe systems able to perform tasks requiring human-level intelligence.

Robots won’t be taking over the world – unless we ask them to

The public’s most significant worries about AI stem from fears of a loss of control, imagining an environment where humans put too much trust in intelligent machines and are eventually outsmarted, to be left at the ‘mercy of the robots’. Milena rejects the idea of AI as an out-of-control force separate from humanity. After all, a computer will only do what it’s programmed to by its creator. So, it’s entirely up to humans to create the AI systems we want to see in the world. These are human creations designed to solve human problems and not an imposing foreign force.     

AI isn’t as prevalent as some people think

The constant buzz around AI makes it seem as though it’s already in every part of our daily lives, with some taking this as proof that the first step of the ‘robot takeover’ is underway.

According to Milena, the number of practical applications for AI in consumer-facing products is still relatively low. Outside of personalisation in streaming services and virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, the average person is unlikely to interact with AI on a day-to-day basis.

AI systems are currently much less developed than many people assume, and fears over the impending arrival of dangerous, autonomous robots are, as of yet, conjecture.

The future is ours – and we have a responsibility to protect it

According to Milena, strong human leadership with an ethical grounding are of great importance as we look to the future of AI. Responsibility for these systems rests entirely with us, and the closer we get to creating artificial near-human intelligence, the higher the need will be for new codes of ethics and management.

As is pointed out in most conversations about AI, no matter how intelligent systems may become, they will always lack human compassion, emotion, and a moral compass. Greater cooperation between the public and private spheres will be of vital importance in the near future. Tech companies and corporations must be transparent in collaborating with governments to create legislation around AI.

Milena believes that a holistic understanding of the potential problems caused by AI, as well as solutions it could provide, is the most crucial step toward a safer future, in which the tools we rely on leave us more time to ‘be human’.

Patricia Arquette on equality, civil rights, and Hollywood

Patricia Arquette on equality, civil rights, and Hollywood

Patricia Arquette on equality, civil rights, and Hollywood

By Alasdair Munn for Box News

Patricia Arquette both shocked and delighted the audience with her acceptance speech at the 2015 Oscars when she spoke with passion about equal rights and equality for women.

This helped spark a movement which continues to gain momentum.

We spoke to Patricia about the speech’s impact, the current trend towards greater equality in Hollywood and her continued activism around basic constitutional civil rights for women in America and equal rights globally.