Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Redemptive AI, Biases and the American Dream

The American Dream is the national ethos of the United States - a set of ideals which includes the opportunity for prosperity, success and access to upward social mobility for individuals and their families.  The last thing any of us want is to invent and deploy technologies that are barriers to this dream.

Artificial intelligence (AI), configured wrongly, can become a barrier.  Many companies today are now using AI to interview candidates, interpret their potential, and rank them from best to worst.  How emotive a person's face muscles are, their use of the english language, and the sophistication of their vocabulary are now all being used to select or reject job candidates.

One can only imagine how difficult AI interviews are for immigrants and refugees looking for their first big opportunity.  Facial expressions are often influenced by culture.  English being a second, third or fourth language could present all kinds of barriers to getting past the AI gatekeepers and into the land of opportunity. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Future of AI Starts Yesterday

"The best time to start implementing artificial intelligence in the future was yesterday." 

                ~Kevin Benedict

Artificial intelligence (narrow AI) today is beyond its proof-of-concept phase - as it is already proven and delivering tactical value in many well documented areas: 

  • Reduction in human error
  • Available 24x7x365
  • Improved quality
  • Improved productivity
  • Improved efficiencies
  • Able to dependably complete mundane, repetitive and routine jobs
  • Makes faster decisions and taking quicker actions

Artificial intelligence, although still in its infancy, is already delivering impressive results and competitive advantages for those prepared.  The preparation, however, is not insignificant and requires much work including:

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Projecting Power and Influence

At the height of Rome's power they had more than 29 great military highways, 113 provinces were interconnected by 372 great road-links, and the whole road system comprised more than 400,000 km of roads, of which over 80,500 km were stone-paved.  This enabled the romans to flourish as a civilization for over 400 years and to project their power and influence to the ends of the known world.

The Roman roads offered value in many ways.  They enabled trade and supplies to move, cultural influences to expand, knowledge to be shared and the use of effective military strategies based on the predictable movements of Roman legionnaires who could march 24 miles in 5 summer hours when pressed for short amounts of time, and 20 miles a day indefinitely in all weather.  This was only possible because of the investment in and the quality of the roads.

Today the internet is the modern equivalent of the Roman road.  Products can be sold, tracked and delivered just about anywhere in the world because of the internet.  The internet, however, also enables those with nefarious intent to project power and influence on people around the world, and it is the place where information warfare is now fought.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Future of Warfare and Its Gamification

Technology is giving life the potential to flourish like never before - or to self destruct. ~ Future of Life Institute 
In the future, warfare will be fought increasingly by engineers, software developers, scientists, accountants and politicians, which is a historical anomaly and worth some consideration.

Historically war was conducted to compel a positive political outcome for the victor.  This was accomplished by diminishing an adversaries will, or resolve to fight by making them suffer.  Once an adversary suffered enough and they lost their will to continue - peace was achieved on the terms of the victor.  Here is where the entire twisted logic of war and violence breaks down.  In the future, warfare is likely to be increasingly fought between machines that don't suffer.  They just do it - as Nike advocated.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Reimagining Higher Education: The New-Age CFO with Expert Mike Gower of Rutgers University

In this backstage interview with Rutger University's Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer Mike Gower, we explore the importance of student retention, reducing student debt loads and using artificial intelligence to help alert staff that a particular student is struggling.  We also talk about making education more efficient by using a combination of in-person and digital classrooms and much more.  Enjoy!


To view the entire Reimagining Higher Education, The New Age CFO 60 minute virtual event click here.

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, June 09, 2021

Does Uncle Sam Really Want You?

Uncle Sam doesn’t really want a gangly 18-year-old soldier to stand guard outside the gate of a military base, rather he wants a wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) system that provides surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence-gathering using specialized software and camera systems to detect and track hundreds of people and vehicles all at the same time over a city-sized area.  

Uncle Sam doesn’t really want a blurry eyed, half asleep and distracted human pilot flying in circles trying to find camouflaged bad guys on the ground, rather he wants a multispectral system, that can see things invisible to human eyes, consisting of four high-definition cameras covering five spectral bands; a three-color diode pump laser designator and rangefinder; laser spot search and track capability; automated sensor and laser bore sight alignment; three-mode target tracker., and MTS sensors that offers multiple fields of view, electronic zoom, and multimode video tracking.

Monday, June 07, 2021

The Future of University Recruitment, Retention and Reimagining

If universities know what makes a good university student, then shouldn't they be sharing those details and helping to prepare more students in advance?  Why are universities mostly hands-off until application deadlines approach - when it's already too late to have an impact?  

I propose that limited spaces for on-campus students, plus a surplus in demand has kept universities from innovating and improving their recruitment processes.  It's time for a change.  Forbes reports, "For spring 2021, undergraduate enrollment dropped by 4.5% compared with 2020, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Community colleges experienced the steepest decline: Enrollment was down 9.5% this spring compared to the prior year, and it was down 9.5% in fall 2020, too.  Even before the pandemic the trends were pointing to lower enrollments.  These trends will have significant impacts on universities' priorities and future business models.

Universities have long complained about the poor quality of students coming out of high school, yet they have done little if anything to improve the quality.  As global competition increases from more online options and non-traditional players, universities must think differently about recruitment and outcomes.

Fewer enrollments now and in the future mean increased competition for new students.  Isn't it about time colleges started to seek competitive advantages by reaching out to potential student/customers earlier in order to assist them in getting better prepared for higher education? 

Now that we have survived and learned from our pandemic experiences, we understand how to provide digital education.  Once the digital transformation work and infrastructures are in place, extending online classes, programs and personalized educational experiences to potential future students doesn't cost that much.  These can be extended as a way to increase the number of students who want to enroll, plus it helps the university identify the best potential students early and enhances a university's brand value.  

What is certain, is that the way universities have operated for centuries is no longer adequate for surviving the future.  In the future, the ecosystems of higher education must reach out and embrace potential students much earlier, focus on improving student retention through personalized and automated help, and include all graduates and former students in lifelong learning relationships.

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.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

The Future, Complexity and Human Thinking

Don't let me drive a motorized vehicle after writing a long article.  In fact, don't let me drive any vehicle motorized or not.  My brain is often deep down a rabbit hole pondering data, crafting logical arguments, analyzing research findings, storytelling, wordsmithing etc, and any remaining brain cycles are not enough to drive safely. If my brain capacity can be nearly consumed while just sitting at a desk, think about the brain cycles consumed by pilots flying modern fighter jets in combat!

Modern fighter pilots have a plethora of onboard sensors that collect and stream massive volumes of data every second. The object of so many sensors is to give our pilots more information at a faster rate in order to achieve competitive advantages over adversaries. Too much information, however, is debilitating.  That is the reason the task of flying will increasingly be handed over to robotic, AI-powered pilots, so humans can use their limited brain capacity to focus on assignments with a slower tempo - like accomplishing the overall mission.

In order for jet fighter pilots to understand all the data pouring in, special helmets and UXs were designed to dumb down and slow down the need for human analysis.  Even with simplified user interfaces, pilots reported they struggled with information overload.   That is why the role of future military pilots is quickly evolving away from flying aircraft to operating flying command and control centers.

The massive rivers of data that keeps an aircraft flying has reached the level where humans are incapable of processing it fast enough to be successful.  In fact the F-35 is said to be unflyable without AI.  We now have reached the human thinking version of the sound barrier.  To push through and beyond it we will need AI augmentation to expand and extend our mental processing power.