The Players Technology Newsletter 32.0 — 07/14/19
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Hey <<First Name>>, 

Last week I had the opportunity to participate on a panel at the Fast Company European Innovation Festival, which focused primarily on the vast influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Over the past decade, AI has shifted from research theories to actual practices in corporate offices. The question “can a machine think?” has shadowed technology from its early days. Alan Turing proposed in 1950 that a machine could be taught like a child; John McCarthy, inventor of the programming language LISP, coined the term “artificial intelligence” in 1955. 

Artificial intelligence is the process by which external data is aggregated, interpreted, and deep learning algorithms are used to make decisions on that data. It’s grown so commonplace — owing to advances in crop harvests, bank loans, chip design, processing power, and big-data hosting — that we take it for granted when Siri schedules our appointments and Facebook tags our photo. Industries in which predictive technologies are most prevalent including manufacturing, finance, education, health care, e-commerce, and personal assistance have been the largest benefactors of AI. The technologies that underlie AI are also advancing rapidly and becoming increasingly affordable, estimating that It will add $13 trillion to the global economy over the next decade.

With all that being said, artificial intelligence is reshaping our world — but NOT at the blistering pace many assume. 

Research shows that only 8% of firms engage in core practices that support widespread adoption. Much of the challenge comes from how complex it is to implement AI and tailor it to a company’s needs. Most firms have run only focused programs or apply AI to just a single business process. The slow adoption stems from the fact that most businesses aren’t born digital. Traditional mindsets and ways of working run counter to those needed for AI. While cutting-edge technology and talent are certainly required, it’s equally important to align a company’s culture, structure, and ways of working to support AI adoption. 

The idea that computers can actually think and eventually will do so better than humans has, seeped into mainstream culture. Many scientists and engineers fear that it's only a matter of time until we build an artificial intelligence smarter than we are, and doomsday may follow. 

As it stands today, AI is unable to deliver on the deeply human characteristics of intuition, creativity, or the ability to gauge the cultural changes that drives the consciousness of our society. It also has a hard time reacting to data it’s never seen before. Luckily for us, our human existence is deeply and fundamentally connected by the communication and experiences we cherish most — love, beauty, emotional connection, and truth.  



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"One of the things I’ve always found is that you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to try to sell it. And I’ve made this mistake probably more than anybody else in this room."
- Steve Jobs
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