Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Giving Our Own Moral Codes to Robots

In military and other time sensitive environments the ability to shorten, or compress the time it takes to gather relevant information, make a decision and then act on it is critical.  For that reason, no matter how concerned people are about introducing artificial intelligence, automation and robots onto the battlefield, it will happen.  

Already today, inexpensive swarms of commercial drones supported by open source software and algorithms, high definition cameras and commonly available weapons can be launched by the dozens to attack predesignated targets.  The low costs of these attack drones guarantee that large numbers will be used to overwhelm slow, human dependent defense strategies and responses.  These vulnerabilities today ensure that automated defense systems will need to be employed in the future.  The speed and complexity of an offense dictates what is required of a defense.

Without the luxury of time, defenses of the future will need algorithms that are based on human programmed morals and philosophies to instantly process available information and automatically respond in microseconds.  That means our mothers, elders, philosophers, leaders, priests, preachers and military strategists will need to work together to create predefined and acceptable responses that we are willing to codify and upload to our robots' algorithms.  The problem is we have never been able to completely agree on these ourselves.

Our proselytized robots, will make up a congregation of saintly parishioners that will follow their given moral code to the letter.  This very real scenario, of course, invites a thousand questions.  What moral frameworks should we use?  Would a Jesus or Buddha following robot actually fight?  Would we create a different moral framework for robots than for humans?  Would we program our robots to do things we humans would find unacceptable? 

It seems we would want to keep the commandments we provide our military robots simple and narrow.  We would not want them to be pondering the bigger questions like why we must kill people to restore peace, or in defense of an economic or political system - that might just muddy the waters.  In addition, it would slow down the response of the military robots if they had to ponder all of these issues before destroying an inbound swarm of somethings or someones.

The requirement to replace humans on the battlefield with robots is going to force us to confront our own very human issues in ways we have avoided in the past.

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Kevin Benedict
Partner | Futurist at TCS
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Starting at the Finish Line

Starting at the finish line
Every futurist I know seems to be emphasizing that the speed of change is accelerating.  Are you hearing the same thing?  Have you ever pondered why that might be the case?  There are many reasons given including the famous phrase by Marc Andreessen, "Software is eating the world," so in this article we will touch on a few additional ones.

Let's start by considering a line of automated robots building vehicles on an assembly line.  If the manufacturer needs to scale up and produce more vehicles they simply deploy more robots with all necessary best practices and instructions pre-loaded.  There is no long recruitment, training, experience and probation period required. The robots are optimized on day one.  This example represents an ability to introduce change much faster than in the past as digital automation provides far more agility.

Another reason change can be accelerated is that once institutional knowledge is captured, codified and algorithms developed there are near-zero costs to duplicating and distributing them anywhere around the world.  Instantly best practices from Europe or Asia can be uploaded to systems anywhere and the benefits of the digitized knowledge utilized.  There is no need to start from the beginning again in a different location - when you can simply start at the finish line.  

The Future of Climate Risk with Expert Stephen Bennett

Each of us are experiencing the effects of extreme weather, so I reached out to Stephen Bennett, the Chief Climate Officer and Co-Founder of The Demex Group to learn how businesses and markets should strategically think about and adapt to them. A fascinating interview!


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Kevin Benedict
Partner | Futurist at TCS
View my profile on LinkedIn
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, December 20, 2021

An Optimistic Futurist

At any given moment, there are events within our control and out of our control.  There are areas we can influence, and areas we cannot.  As an optimistic futurist, I read and analyze the positive with the negative, and then I seek opportunities to influence a positive outcome. 

The global COVID-19 pandemic is a timely point of reference.  I read all the distressing news and projections like everyone else, and then look for opportunities to both mitigate the risk and to achieve the best possible outcomes.  

Imagine if you would sitting in a canoe full of your dearest family members.  The canoe is drifting quickly toward a dangerous waterfall.  Our choices are to focus on all the possible negative future scenarios of going over the waterfall, or focusing on influencing a positive outcome.  What will it be?

We need the clarity and wisdom of recognizing all the possible negative scenarios and consequences, but once we have that recognition, we should focus on shaping the outcome to something purposely positive.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Some might say futurist are better off being objective spectators, but I want a futurist to throw me a rope.

Doomsday futurist are often secretly hopeful they’ve got it right.  They sit back and wait for the canoe to go over the waterfall...as they predicted.  Optimistic futurist, identify, reverse engineer and rehearse both positive and negative possible future scenarios to learn what needs to be done today to purposefully influence our path to achieve the best possible outcome.

Future

My Futurist boss here at TCS, Frank Diana, always says, “It is impossible to predict the future - anyone who tries is on a fool's errand.”  There are simply too many building blocks of the future including, science, technology, societal, geopolitical and economic converging together, plus catalysts of change (think pandemic), mixed into this giant pot of stew we call the future.  Exactly what comes out can be guessed at, but not predicted.  At best we can identify a range of possible and plausible future scenarios to consider and rehearse. 

Given that we can’t predict the future - let’s identify the future we want and do everything possible and purposeful to achieve it.

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Kevin Benedict
Partner | Futurist at TCS
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

The Future of Safety

In this interview with Autoliv's expert, Christoffer Malm, we take a deep dive into the Future of Safety.  We explore the role of digital services and how they have created a revolution in safety, not just inside vehicles, but for all vulnerable road users.  

The complexity of our journeys is increasing.  We might take an e-bike to a train station, then take a train into the city, then we take an e-scooter into work.  On the way back we might take an Uber to the train station, or ride an electric unicycle or skateboard.  All of these modes of transportation need traditional and physical safety systems and digital safety systems protecting us.   

Join us as we dive into the future of safety.




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Kevin Benedict
Partner | Futurist at TCS
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

A Plausible Future for Higher Education with Expert Dr. Paul J. Bailo

In this episode, I explore the future of higher education with expert and Adjunct Professor Dr. Paul J. Bailo.  I present him with 16 different future scenarios and ask if they are possible, plausible, impossible or implausible.  Join us for some deep thinking, insight, laughter, and a look into the future.


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Kevin Benedict
Partner | Futurist at TCS
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Friday, November 19, 2021

A Review of TCS's 2021 Global Financial Leadership Report with Expert Paul J. Bailo

In this episode, we take a deep dive into TCS's newly released 2021 Financial Leadership Study and discuss its implications with financial expert and professor Dr. Paul Bailo.

The full report is available to read here.

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Kevin Benedict
Partner | Futurist at TCS
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

The Future is Where Everything Happens!

A rip current is a strong flow of water that pulls floating objects out to sea before dissipating in deeper water.  Swimmers who are caught in a rip current often panic and exhaust themselves by trying to swim directly against the flow of water, rather than with it.  The future is not unlike a rip current.  If you fight against the future you will exhaust yourself and ultimately fail.  

Change is uncomfortable, and time brings change.  Many people have a deep resentment against time and all the changes it brings.  These people often look at the future with dread.  All they can see coming is a rising tsunami of change and discomfort - physical, mental and emotional.  They point to today's problems as examples of what yesterday's future brought, and they don't want any more of it.  Often, people don't realize that the seeds of the changes we see today were planted long ago.  It is the past that brought us to today - for good and for bad.

It is the season of planning.  We are all busy looking ahead and planning for 2022.  The reason I get so excited about the future is we can influence it for good.  We can improve upon the past.  It's our opportunity for a next version - a version 2.0.  We can't change the past, but the future is our's.  What is our life's purpose anyhow, if it is not to build a better tomorrow?

Innovating, inventing, planning, creating, designing, developing, growing, starting, birthing and building are all future oriented terms.  They point to what is to come.  The future is a new place.  Let's bring forward from the past all that is good and improve on the bad.  Let's all work together for good so the future can be our gift to generations to come.

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Kevin Benedict
Partner | Futurist at TCS
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Leadership Advice from a Futurist - A Reading

Leadership is hard.  So for all the leaders and want-to-be leaders out there, here is some advice that I hope you will find useful.




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Kevin Benedict
Partner | Futurist at TCS
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Intelligent Customer Experiences With Verint CMO, Celia Fleischaker

In this episode of FOBtv we explore the evolution of marketing and customer experiences and dig deep into the concept of intelligent customer experiences with Verint's CMO Celia Fleischaker.  We explore the role of AI, NLP, chatbots, ML, and the other technologies involved and how these all contribute to a better customer experience.


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Kevin Benedict
Partner | Futurist at TCS
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.