Uncertainty, AI and data: the quest to reimagine the social sciences

Posted by Mike Walsh

Feb 3, 2020 2:10:55 AM

Roman Marchant

 

Regardless of your profession, one of the most important steps to becoming a better decision maker is knowing how to quantify uncertainty. That applies if you are a scientist, a poker player or a business leader. And while it is not unusual to apply probabilistic approaches to applications like robots or environmental monitoring - what is more challenging and potentially revolutionary is using similar strategies to more effectively fight crime or prevent bushfires. One of the leading thinkers in this field is Dr Roman Marchant, a lecturer and researcher in machine learning at the University of Sydney. I spoke with Marchant about his current research into developing new data science techniques to answer complex social questions such using AI for predictive policing and the implications for bias and discrimination.

 

 

 

CATEGORY: Culture, Leadership

Frozen heads, multidimensional interfaces and the everyday challenges of living forever

Posted by Mike Walsh

Jan 20, 2020 2:26:58 AM

Danila Medvedev-1

 

If freezing your severed head is part of your plan to live forever, then Danila Medvedev is one of the few people on the planet who may be able to help you. In 2005, he founded KrioRus, a cryonics company, and has also worked as Vice-President of the Science for Life Extension Foundation, based in Moscow. Bringing back the deceased, or as Medvedev prefers to call them, ‘the temporarily dead’ is only one of many things the founder of the Russian Transhumanist Movement is passionate about. Aside from life extension, we had a fascinating chat about Douglas Engelbart’s unfulfilled vision for interfaces, the Incan system of multidimensional record keeping, the Russian Cosmism movement and what went wrong with the nanotech revolution.

 

 

CATEGORY: Technology

Why we need more human algorithms

Posted by Mike Walsh

Jan 12, 2020 7:22:01 PM

Flynn Coleman

 

Flynn Coleman has led a fascinating life. An author, international human rights attorney, professor, social justice activist and a former competitive athlete she has spoken and written on a wide range of issues from war crimes to behavioral economics. Her wonderful new book, A Human Algorithm, makes the urgent case for why we need ethically designed AI. In our conversation we talked about the co-evolution of tools and people, non-human forms of intelligence and the dangers of automating inequality. 

 

 

CATEGORY: Culture, Technology

Why the renewable energy revolution begins with smarter storage

Posted by Mike Walsh

Nov 18, 2019 11:09:29 AM

Enass Abo-Hamed

 

Dr Enass Abo-Hamed is working on one of the most challenging and intriguing energy problems today: efficiently and safely storing clean energy. While on a trip to Africa when studying for her PhD, Enass realised how much of a luxury electricity was, with some hospitals only receiving power for part of the day, and people rushing to do all their cooking and reading at home while the electricity was still on. So, at the age of just 28, she co-founded a business, H2GO, to develop a hydrogen battery that would be able to store clean and renewable energy in countries without an electrical grid. We caught up at her lab in London to talk about the future of energy, and why science and not guilt is the true path through the climate change crisis.

 

 

CATEGORY: Energy

Building the algorithmic law firm of tomorrow

Posted by Mike Walsh

Oct 14, 2019 4:24:44 PM

Piotr S

 

If you were to start a law firm today, leveraging all available technology and new ways of thinking - how would you do it? That, among other questions, is what I asked Piotr Spaczyński, managing partner of SSW, the only independent law firm from Poland, and one just shortlisted in the prestigious Innovative Lawyers ranking by the Financial Times. The legal industry - conservative, slow-moving and based on precedent - is a fascinating case study for the disruptive impact of AI and automation. Piotr and I discussed what the legal AI stack of the future might look like, from the use of algorithms to analyze contracts to predicting the outcome of litigation under particular judges. So when the legal system becomes increasingly standardized, contracts more automated and legislation akin to computer code - will the best lawyers of the future be less like Harvey Specter and more like Bill Gates?

 

 

CATEGORY: Legal

What are the jobs of the future?

Posted by Mike Walsh

Oct 7, 2019 9:31:16 AM

Ben Pring

 

So finally some good news: according to Cognizant’s Jobs of the Future index, since early 2017, the index's jobs of the future have been growing faster than all jobs. I strongly believe that the Algorithmic Age will create as many interesting jobs as it destroys, and so was fascinated to catch up with Ben Pring, who co-founded and leads Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work. Ben is a co-author of the best-selling and award winning books, What To Do When Machines Do Everything (2017) and Code Halos; How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations are Changing the Rules of Business (2014). We spoke about why the jobs of the future will those that incorporate the qualities of coaching, caring and connecting - and what ultimately this means for leaders as they start to think about reimagining their organizations for the 21st century.

 

 

CATEGORY: Leadership

The future of education in an age of smart machines

Posted by Mike Walsh

Sep 30, 2019 10:35:27 AM

Richard Culatta

 

When people ask me what our best insurance is against being made irrelevant by AI, I always reply: rethink education. On this week’s show, I spoke to someone doing just that. Richard Culatta is the CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and prior to which, was the chief innovation officer for the state of Rhode Island and the director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Department of Education. For Richard, the future of education is more than just digital textbooks or electronic whiteboards - the real challenge is whether we can leverage disruptive technology to fundamentally reimagine the experience of learning. Duplicating existing education processes are doomed for failure, as is any approach that treats all students the same. We chatted about the real potential of personalized learning, whether AI will replace traditional teachers, and what companies like GM are doing to help reboot the education system to prepare kids for the Algorithmic Age.

 

 

CATEGORY: Education

The future of fashion

Posted by Mike Walsh

Aug 18, 2019 3:07:40 AM

Simon Lock

 

I met Simon in the late nineties in Sydney when he had just started Australian Fashion Week. After the huge success of that event, he sold the business to IMG International, and went on to found Ordre, a business-to-business online wholesale marketplace for luxury designers, which has recently taken on Alibaba Group as a strategic investor. Catching up at his office in London, we had a fascinating chat about the use of AR/VR by global fashion buyers, the challenges of serving dynamic global consumer markets, the emergence of algorithmic fashion design and how AI will change the future of retail.

 

CATEGORY: Marketing, Global

How to lead a successful digital transformation

Posted by Mike Walsh

Aug 11, 2019 4:35:33 PM

ChristineDay CroppedChristine is one of the most talented and thoughtful technology leaders around today. Currently CIO at Questrade, she was recognized in 2017 as a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner. We met at a Gartner event where I was presenting on an early version of my 'Algorithmic Leader' idea, and as someone that exemplified many of those values, I was keen to continue our discussion about what she had learned from leading successful digital transformations. In particular, I was curious about the results of their ‘Spotify-style’ agile transformation at Questrade, the impact of automation on their organization design and why the most valued people in her team were ’T-shaped’ rather than ‘I-shaped’. 

 

CATEGORY: Leadership, Technology

Hacking Darwin and the future of humanity

Posted by Mike Walsh

Aug 5, 2019 12:27:50 PM

Jamie Metzl 2

 

Will AI-assisted IVF be the new normal when it comes to having smarter and healthier children? This, and other provocative questions are at the heart of Jamie Metzl’s brilliant new book, ‘Hacking Darwin’, which argues that we are at the dawn of a new genetics revolution. In Jamie’s view, our DNA is becoming as readable, writable, and hackable as our information technology. So what will this mean for humanity as we start to reengineer our own genetic code and radically change our lifespan and capabilities?

 

CATEGORY: Innovation, Healthcare