AI News, future artificial intelligence

Top Artificial Intelligence (AI) Predictions For 2020 From IDC and Forrester

As a quarter of Fortune 500 enterprises redirects AI investments to more mundane shorter-term or tactical IPA projects with “crystal-clear efficiency gains,” around half of the AI platform providers, global systems integrators, and managed service providers will emphasize IPA in their portfolios.

Instead, they will highlight the importance of designing, testing, and deploying responsible AI systems — with sound AI governance that considers bias, fairness, transparency, explainability, and accountability.” IDC predicts that by 2022, possibly as a result of a few high-profile PR disasters, over 70% of G2000 companies will have formal programs to monitor their 'digital trustworthiness' as digital trust becomes a critical corporate asset.

The real problem, says Forrester, is “sourcing data from a complex portfolio of applications and convincing various data gatekeepers to say yes.” And IDC observes that “effective use of intelligent automation will require significant effort in data cleansing, integration, and management that IT will need to support.

Resolving past data issues in legacy systems can be a substantial barrier to entry, particularly for larger enterprises.” AI adoption is not consistent across all companies and we are seeing a new digital divide, a divide between the AI haves and the AI have-nots, those with or without the required highly-skilled engineers.

In 2020, says Forrester, the “tech elite” will ramp up AI plus design skills while other will “fumble.” Pairing human-centered design skills and AI development capabilities will be key.As for the rest of the workforce, by 2024, 75% of enterprises will invest in employee retraining and development, including third-party services, to address new skill needs and ways of working resulting from AI adoption, predicts IDC.

Another Forrester predictions report indeed warns that in 2020, “the exuberance in AI will crescendo as expectations come back to earth.” While Forrester predicts another new peak in AI funding in 2020, it asserts it will be the last one—“with more than 2,600 companies globally, the AI startup ecosystem is a saturated market.” The most significant signal of the coming slowdown, according to Forrester, is the fact that 20 AI companies have raised unicorn-sized funding rounds in the past 12 months.

MIT conference focuses on preparing workers for the era of artificial intelligence

In opening yesterday’s AI and the Work of the Future Congress, MIT Professor Daniela Rus presented diverging views of how artificial intelligence will impact jobs worldwide.

“The answer is, probably all of them.” Her remarks kicked off an all-day conference in Kresge Auditorium that convened experts from industry and academia for panel discussions and informal talks about preparing humans of all ages and backgrounds for a future of AI automation in the workplace.

In a panel about shaping public policies to ensure technology benefits society — which included U.S. CTO Kratsios — moderator Erik Brynjolfsson, director of IDE and a professor in the MIT Sloan School of Management, got straight to the point: “People have been dancing around this question: Will AI destroy jobs?” “Yes, it will — but not to the extent that people presume,” replied MIT Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu.

“The hope is we use our amazing creativity and all these wonderful and technological platforms to create meaningful jobs in which humans can use their flexibility, creativity, and all the things … machines won’t be able to do — at least in the next 100 years.” Kratsios emphasized a need for public and private sectors to collaborate to reskill workers.

So, [a change is] thinking about using the same pool of resources to reskill, or retrain, or [help students] go to vocational schools.” Inclusivity and underserved populations Entrepreneurs at the event explained how AI can help create diverse workforces.

In 2012, Basu founded iMerit, which hires employees — half are young women and more than 80 percent come from underserved populations — to provide AI services for computer vision, machine learning, and other applications.

“media spotlight” session, in which journalists discussed their reporting on the impact of AI on the workplace and the world, included David Fanning, founder and producer of the investigative documentary series FRONTLINE, which recently ran a documentary titled “In the Era of AI.” Fanning briefly discussed how, during his investigations, he learned about the profound effect AI is having on workplaces in the developing world, which rely heavily on manual labor, such as manufacturing lines.

“What happens as automation expands, the manufacturing ladder that was opened to people in developing countries to work their way out of rural poverty — all that manufacturing gets replaced by machines,” Fanning said.

In closing, she charged the audience with helping tackle the issues: “I would challenge everybody here to say, ‘What on Monday morning is [our] organization doing in respect to this agenda?’”  In paraphrasing economist Robert Gordon, McAfee reemphasized the shifting nature of jobs in the era of AI: “We don’t have a job quantity problem, we have a job quality problem.” AI may generate more jobs and company profits, but it may also have numerous negative effects on employees.

Youth voices and the future of Artificial Intelligence at UNESCO’s General Conference

As part of UNESCO’s commitment to engage youth in decision making for the future they want, UNESCO’s intersectoral AI task team organised a side event on “Youth Voices and the Future of Artificial Intelligence” as part of UNESCO’s 40th General Conference.

The side event brought together high-level representatives, including UNESCO, the OECD, the African Union, ISESCO, the IEEE, and the UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation to engage in conversation with youth about the development of ethical principles for artificial intelligence, and what is needed to translate these principles into practice to harness artificial intelligence for sustainable development.

Secretary-General Gurria stressed that “multi-stakeholderism is not a way, it is the only way” while Commissioner Abou-Zeid underscored that “there is no way any Organisation can do this on its own.” Reflecting on the need to actively involve civil society in the elaboration of these principles, Dilhac underlined that initiatives could draw from the experience of the elaboration of the Montreal Declaration, which took into account different perspectives by organising in-person workshops and soliciting feedback online.

In addition to ensuring feedback loops, Adriana Eufrosina Bora, a young AI policy researcher at Global Data Commons, emphasized the need to invest in capacity building: “It is crucial to empower young people with the right skills that would allow them to face the uncertainties that AI is going to bring to society, and to the labour market” she stressed.

In closing, UNESCO underlined that, in going forward, the Organisation would continue to ensure multi-stakeholder platforms for discussion on the ethical dimensions of AI, develop capacity building tools in this field, and provide standard-setting and policy advice to ensure that artificial intelligence is harnessed for sustainable development.

This side event precedes Member States’ consideration, in the framework of the General Conference on November 21, to begin a process to develop a standard-setting instrument in the field of the ethics of artificial intelligence.  More than 280 attendees participated in the side event, with upwards of 10,000 people participating at a distance via UNESCO’s social media channels.

“Knowledge workers” could be the most impacted by future automation

That’s because artificial intelligence — powerful computer tech like machine learning that can make human-like decisions and use real-time data to learn and improve — has white-collar work in its sights, according to a new study by Stanford University economist Michael Webb and published by Brookings Institution.

The scope of jobs potentially impacted by AI reaches far beyond white-collar jobs like telemarketing, a field that has already been decimated by bots, into jobs previously thought to be squarely in the province of humans: knowledge workers like chemical engineers, physicists, and market-research analysts.

So for example, job descriptions for market-research analyst — a relatively common position with a high rate of AI exposure — share numerous terms in common with existing patents, which similarly seek to “analyze data,” “track marketing,” and “identify markets.” It’s more forward-looking than other studies in that it analyzes patents for technology that might not yet be fully developed or deployed.

As Adam Ozimek, chief economist at freelancing platform Upwork, put it, “Just because someone patented a device, for example, that used artificial intelligence to do market research does not mean that AI will in fact be successful at this for practical business use.” The Stanford study also doesn’t say whether these workers will actually lose their jobs, only that their work could be impacted.

“It’s getting better and better at telling us what consumers are doing, but it won’t be able to tell us what’s driving them.” Nearly 700,000 people in the US work as market-research analysts, people who study market conditions to sell products or services, and their job growth outlook for the next decade is much higher than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Our value-add is being trusted advisers and an outside source of business insights.” George Augustaitis, director of industry analytics at CarGurus, previously worked at a company that worked directly with an AI tool called Lucy, which would be able to answer analyst questions based on the data they uploaded to it.

“Even today you’ll see headlines very clearly written by a computer on Bloomberg and they are wrong a lot,” a hedge fund investment analyst told Recode, referring to how Bloomberg uses automation to help with a third of its content, usually for split-second reports on company earnings.

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