Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing and the Future of Work

It will likely take a decade or so until some AI technologies become the norm.

Enterprise teams are content to chew through budgets on the wrong things because they worry they won’t receive the same monies the next year if they don’t.

 

3 Signs Your Innovation Budget Needs a New Approach.

Entrepreneurs and investors operate leanly. They know big-bang innovation rarely ever works. Instead, they take small, smart steps toward a solution without worrying about nitty-gritty features. In contrast, enterprise teams are content to chew through budgets on the wrong things because they worry they won’t receive the same monies the next year if they don’t. Talk about wasteful!  See your product or service from a scrappy, entrepreneurial viewpoint. Don’t waste time on that obscure API or flashy layout. If users want it, they’ll tell you during the prototyping phase. Spend where your product provides value, and innovation will follow. Far too many firms don’t connect the dots between their budgetary input and innovation output. It’s not as simple as spending more money. The truth is, it’s about agile planning, frequent failure, and regular reallocation of resources. The sooner your innovation budget accounts for those things, the better your balance sheet will look.”  BUSINESS.COM Emerson Taymor Image credit: lOvE lOvE/Shutterstock

Why Innovation Tends to Bypass Economics.

Many of these problems can be traced back to a basic economic distinction: the difference between invention and innovation. Invention is defined as the discovery of a new exciting idea, product or approach. Innovation means applying that idea through changes in operating models and mindsets. Too many areas today contain the invention but not the innovation. This harmful decoupling is driven by a combination of biases,  blind spots and inertia (knowing you need to do something different but ending up doing more of the same). In too many cases, the flaw has less to do with the need to come up with a brilliant idea, and more a matter of embracing it and adapting accordingly. That requires being curious, open-minded, willing to listen, open to experimentation, creating safe zones for candid discussions and learning from failure. Economics has persistently failed to address this fundamental — and solvable — problem. The gaps between inventions and innovations have led to too many foregone welfare-enhancing opportunities for individuals, companies, governments and society.” newsmax.com Mohamed El-Erian Bloomberg View One Photo | Dreamstime.com

This Is How to Get Started With AI When the Only Thing You Know Is the Acronym.

Autonomous AI, however, is capable of learning certain tasks that require complex decisions to be made. Autonomous AI often receives the most attention because it makes innovations like self-driving cars possible, but at least in the short term, the business world might have more use for AI’s organizational and triage capabilities. Whatever you choose to do with AI, don’t delay. “AI is going to revolutionize the world more than any other tech advancement of the past 30 years,” Mark Cuban remarked at the recent Upfront Summit in Los Angeles. Like the internet, AI will produce a rich-get-richer environment, and those who get a head start are going to run the table.” So far, the following areas of AI show particular business promise: 1. Predictive analytics. 2. Computer vision. 3. Natural language processing.entrepreneur.com Sourav Dey Image credit: Photographer is my life | Getty Images

AI and the Future of Work.

It will likely take a decade or so until some AI technologies become the norm. While that provides plenty of lead time for the transition, few companies are taking action now to train their workers. Another little-noticed problem is that the AI systems themselves are being created with data and algorithms that don’t reflect the diverse American society. Accenture research shows business leaders don’t think that their workers are ready for AI. But only 3% of those leaders were reinvesting in training. At a Davos meeting held by Accenture, Fei-Fei Li, an associate professor at Stanford University and director of the school’s AI lab, suggested using AI to retrain workers. “I think there’s a really exciting possibility that machine learning itself would help us to learn in more effective ways and to re-skill workers in more effective ways,” she said. ‘And I personally would like to see more investment and thought going into that aspect.‘” wired.com/wiredinsider/  WIRED Brand Lab for Accenture. GETTY IMAGES

A Simple Tool to Start Making Decisions with the Help of AI.

Clarifying these seven factors for each critical decision throughout your organization will help you get started on identifying opportunities for AIs to either reduce costs or enhance performance. Here we discussed a decision associated with a specific situation. To get started with AI, your challenge is to identify the key decisions in your organization where the outcome hinges on uncertainty. Filling out the AI Canvas won’t tell you whether you should make your own AI or buy one from a vendor, but it will help you clarify what the AI will contribute (the prediction), how it will interface with humans (judgment), how it will be used to influence decisions (action), how you will measure success (outcome), and the types of data that will be required to train, operate, and improve the AI.hbr.org Ajay AgrawalJoshua GansAvi Goldfarb MARTIN HOLSTE/EYEEM/ GETTY IMAGES

Physicists Just Discovered an Entirely New Type of Superconductivity: No one thought this was possible in solid materials.

One of the ultimate goals of modern physics is to unlock the power of superconductivity, where electricity flows with zero resistance at room temperature. What they found was odd – as the material warmed up from absolute zero, the amount that a magnetic field could penetrate the material increased linearly instead of exponentially, which is what is normally seen with superconductors. After running a series of measurements and calculations, the researched concluded that the best explanation for what was going on was that the electrons must have been disguised as particles with higher spin – something that wasn’t even considered as a possibility for a superconductor before. While this new type of superconductivity still requires incredibly cold temperatures for now, the discovery gives the entire field a whole new direction.sciencealert.com FIONA MACDONALD (Emily Edwards, University of Maryland)

Australian Scientists Just Solved One Of The Biggest Quantum Computing Challenges Using Material Found In DVDs.

In quantum technology, information is carried on quibits, single photons. For the quibits to be actually useful in quantum technologies, though, they need to be produced by Single Photon Emitters that work at room temperature (it’s just practical, really) and at telecom wavelength (the most efficient way to transfer information via optical fibres) all at once. It wasn’t easy, but they’ve done it. Those plucky Australian Scientists have gone and done it. And they did it using a material found in DVDs.” www.gizmodo.com.au  Rae Johnston Image: NASA

Feynman 100.

”’Dick Feynman relished the pleasure of finding things out, and he had a remarkable knack for conveying the excitement of science to a general audience,’ says John P. Preskill, Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech. ‘We hope this event will capture some of that boundless curiosity and sense of fun that made Feynman such a treasured colleague.’ The event will be divided into two days, with an evening celebration on Friday, May 11, and a scientific symposium during the day on Saturday, May 12.http://m.caltech.edu/news/remembering-richard-feynman-81875 Credit: Caltech Archives  Whitney Clavin

Einstein and the Quantum.

The notion of an underlying quantum probability proved to be too much for Einstein (and Schrödinger as well), who would now turn his back on the new quantum mechanics forever to pursue his dream of a causal unified field theory. In the end, Einstein would never realize this final dream, and the “strangeness” of quantum mechanics continues with us today.https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/einstein-and-the-quantum  Credit: Getty Images Scott Bembenek.

Steps:

(19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction.

When Will Your Industry Get Turned Upside Down?

Lessons from one era often cannot be applied to the next. In the 50s and 60s, IBM’s singular focus and investment proved decisive.

 
The only way to defend ourselves is to build codes that even the most powerful machines conceivable cannot crack.

 

When can an era’s key success factors be applied to the next?  Why do so many digital transformation initiatives fail? And what about block chain?  Is your industry about to fall prey to its disruption?

Disruption. Chaos. Innovation. Cancer. Graphene. Quantum.  A quick update.

Disruption

Why So Many High-Profile Digital Transformations Fail.

“With innovative information technology, however, executives sometimes lose their rational decision approaches. Certainly it’s true that in times of radical technological change there’s a lot of figuring out to do.  Executives have to understand what new technologies can do, and understand their impact on markets, products/services, and distribution channels.  These decisions are inevitably influenced by hype from vendors and the media, expensive consultants offering “thought leadership” insights, many high profile experiments, and a few exciting success stories that keep people wanting more. A charismatic CIO or Chief Digital Officer may make it even harder to be level-headed in those heady times.” Thomas H. Davenport George Westerman Harvard Business Review

9 Industries That Will Soon Be Disrupted By Blockchain.

“As new technologies are developed, affected industries are forced to adapt or be replaced. The newest technology that is quickly becoming the next major disruption is blockchain technology.  Blockchain is a digital ledger system used to securely record transactions. It is poised to impact the way business is done across the globe. Here are nine prominent industries that are slated to be overhauled by blockchain technology in the near future. 1. The Banking Industry 2. The Real Estate Industry 3. The Healthcare Industry 4. The Legal Industry 5. The Cryptocurrency Exchange Industry 6. Politics 7. The Startup Industry 8. The Video Industry 9. The Education Industry.” John White CREDIT: Getty Images

‘Asking Really Big and Bold Questions.’ Experts Debate the Power of Design to Disrupt.


Moderator: Clay Chandler, Brainstorm Design
Photograph by Stefen Chow/Fortune

“Big data and rapid technological development pose a myriad of challenges to giant firms to start-ups alike—and design can help surmount them through its ability to disrupt. That was the conclusion of the Disruption x Design panel concluded on Wednesday at Brainstorm Design, the Fortune, Time and Wallpaper* conference held in Singapore. “For me, start-ups equal disruption,” says Charles Hayes, a partner and executive managing director of innovation consultancy firm IDEO in Asia, who has been based in Shanghai for the last nine years. “This is a world where you have young leaders who don’t necessarily have a deep expertise in a field, but are asking really big and bold questions,” says Hayes.” CASEY QUACKENBUSH Stefen Chow/Fortune

Chaos

Chaos Theory, The Butterfly Effect, And The Computer Glitch That Started It All. 

“Yet if you do have enough wind velocity information, combined with an array of readings from barometers, thermometers, and such, you might ask a weatherman, particularly a trained meteorologist with access to state-of-the-art computers and software, to make a sound forecast. We often plan our outdoor activities these days with the help of newscasts, websites, apps, and voice assistants that provide reasonable forecasts hours or days in advance. It is rather amazing that meteorology can perform such a feat. Lorenz not only discovered chaos, he also identified its key mechanism. When he graphed his data along several axes, he noted the strange property that iterating (plotting the trajectory over time) any two nearby points resulted in their separation. The gap would grow greater and greater with each iteration until the mathematical “offspring” of the two points would be so widely separated that they be in completely different regions of the cloud of information.” Paul Halpern, Forbes. Hellisp of Wikimedia Commons / Created by XaosBits using Mathematica and POV-Ray

Innovation

Three Steps To Developing An Innovative Instinct — And The Questions To Ask Yourself To Get There.

“My core innovation principles are very simple no matter if I share it with my students, my employees, or my kids,” added Dror. “Have more dreams than achievements. Chase your dreams as fast as you can and fail fast if needed, but always, always ask ‘WHY?’.” Take a step back from what you do, and reflect on how you do it. Analyze the tasks and the roles you perform. Ask yourself a few questions.” Jay Sullivan , Forbes, Shutterstock

4 Things You Need To Do To Win In The New Era Of Innovation.

“Lessons from one era often cannot be applied to the next. In the 50s and 60s, IBM’s singular focus and investment proved decisive. A generation later, agility and speed to market became core competitive attributes. Today, were entering a new era of innovation in which the basis of competition will shift from disruptive to fundamental technologies. This will become even more true in the new era of innovation, when we struggle to leverage technologies that we do not fully understand. Firms that want to be on the cutting edge are actively participating in a wide range of collaboration platforms, from manufacturing hubs to open source communities. So in this new era, we will find it even more essential to focus on networks rather than nodes. The best way to become a dominant player will be to become an essential partner.” Greg Satell inc.com Getty Images

Cancer

Army of Nanorobots Successfully Strangles Cancerous Tumors.

“The precision of the nanorobots, which is what makes their potential for safe cancer treatment so great, is due to their meticulously crafted structure. The drug-holding “package” is made up of DNA sheets, measuring 60 by 90 nanometers, that wrap around thrombin molecules. On the outside of the folded sheets are molecules that zero in on nucleolin, a protein that’s present in the lining of blood vessels associated with growing tumors. These nanorobots show great promise, but they aren’t ready for humans yet. To get there, the researchers are seeking out clinical partners to further develop this treatment pathway. Still, the fact that it seems to work in mice and pigs makes it likely that nanorobots like these will be available as cancer treatments within our lifetimes.” Peter Hess inverse.com

Graphene

Graphene film makes dirty water drinkable in a single step.

“Now, researchers have developed a process that can purify water, no matter how dirty it is, in a single step. Scientists from Australian research organization CSIRO have created a filtration technique using a graphene film with microscopic nano-channels that lets water pass through, but stops pollutants. The process, called “Graphair”, is so effective that water samples from Sydney Harbor were safe to drink after being treated. And while the film hails from graphene, Graphair is comparatively cheaper, faster and more environmentally-friendly to make, as its primary component is renewable soybean oil, which also helps maximise the efficiency of the purifying technique’s filter counterpart”. Rachel England, Engadget CSIRO

It turns out graphene has been deceiving us this whole time.

“In a paper published to the journal Carbon, the team eventually discovered that trace quantities of manganese contamination from the original graphite or reactants actually hide within the graphene lattice. When the graphene enters the right conditions – such as in a fuel cell – those minute metal bits activate the ORR. The reason that analysis was unable to discover this until now is because the contrast between carbon and manganese atoms is so slight that the tools used to analyse them weren’t sensitive enough.” Colm Gorey Image: Angel Soler Gollonet/Shutterstock

Quantum

Intel just put a quantum computer on a silicon chip.

“The researchers used a special type of qubit (the quantum version of a classical computer’s bits) called spin qubits to run two different quantum algorithms on a silicon chip. Other quantum systems, like Intel’s breakthrough 49-qubit computer, rely on superconductive materials and near perfect-zero temperatures. A spin qubit doesn’t require either, it’s an electron that’s been agitated by microwave pulses. While other quantum systems are closer to being useful, the idea here wasn’t to create a better computer but one that would work with existing infrastructure. Intel, it’s worth mentioning, is the world leader in silicon chip sales.” TNW · Tristan Greene

Quantum Theory Bends The Limits of Physics, Showing Two-Way Signaling May Be Possible.

“Consider the simplest scenario, where two players, Alice and Bob, want to exchange a simple bit of information, i.e. either 0 or 1,” Dakić explained to Lisa Zyga at Phys.org. “They encode their respective bits or messages at the same time, directly into the superposition state of a quantum particle. Once the information is encoded, the partners send their parts of quantum particle towards each other.” What’s then needed is some kind of smart device and mechanism between our two players, which can route the parts of the particle depending on its contents. “For example, if the particle ends up with Alice, she would know that Bob’s bit was just opposite from her bit, and vice versa,” says Dakić. Alice and Bob have therefore sent and received a message in the same time as it would take a message to pass from one to the other under a classical physics system.” DAVID NIELD, ScienceAlert (ktsimage/iStock)

Unbreakable: The race to protect our secrets from quantum hacks.

“The danger lies in the fact that, before long, someone will build a quantum computer that can crack our most powerful encryption methods – the mathematical tricks that turn data into unreadable secret code to hide it from prying eyes. The only way to defend ourselves is to build codes that even the most powerful machines conceivable cannot crack. Which is exactly why some of the world’s smartest mathematicians have been attempting to invent a whole new class of encryption algorithms. Having submitted their best designs to the post-quantum cryptography group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Maryland, scores of teams are now engaged in a global race to identify the most secure by trying everything they can think of to crack each other’s codes. If we find an algorithm that survives every attack, it will emerge as the 21st-century’s gold-standard digital padlock.” Michael Brooks. newscientist.com Raymond Biesinger

Google thinks it’s close to “quantum supremacy.”

“It’s not the number of qubits; it’s what you do with them that counts. Here’s what that really means. – Though there are some potentially promising applications, such as precisely designing molecules (see “10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018”), classical machines are still going to be better, faster, and far more economical at solving most problems. “Using a quantum computer would be like chartering a jumbo jet to cross the road,” says Oxford University’s Benjamin. He suggests that rather than “quantum supremacy,” we should be talking about attaining “quantum inimitability”—in other words, specific tasks that only quantum computers can do. Other researchers have suggested names like “quantum advantage” or “quantum ascendancy.” Martin Giles and Will Knight MIT Technology Review GOOGLE

Steps:

(19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction.

Grabbing an Option While Falling Through Space

Falling Through Space

Disruptions.

From the same chapter, “Why Careers Are like Real Estate Markets”:

“Those of us who have been in transition (between jobs) can tell you that when you are blind-sided it’s not fun.” 

Major disruptions in our lives force us to change our normal habits.

A widespread and prolonged economic disruption across industries dictates …

  • where and how you retire,
  • the value of your house,
  • where you live,
  • your children’s education and
  • career choices,
  • your hobbies,
  • whether your are starting,
  • buying, or
  • selling a business,
  • your estate and
  • tax planning, and
  • even your charitable giving.

We know from change experts that we respond to a job loss in one of two ways.

The first is a version of walking the plank.

We’re pushed off a cliff into the valley of despair — the death-and-dying model — of

  • shock,
  • bargaining,
  • denial,
  • anger,
  • depression, and
  • finally acceptance.

Because we naturally practice selective filtering to focus on business as usual, we miss the clues that suggest just how close we’ve come to the edge of the cliff or plank.

Then we’re falling through space.

The Rules Have Changed.

And, they keep on changing!

A previous version originally appeared in the How We Got Here section of Adapt! How to Survive and Thrive in the Changing World of Work, in 2009, Co-Authored by Steve Howard .

It ‘s no longer enough to simply dream – it’s now more about making the best decisions possible in uncertain, confusing times — whether as individuals, teams or as organizational leaders.

When we come to a crossroads in our lives the path you’ve been on may feel like a dead-end.

But, you have many more options available to you than you initially realize.

You can choose any one of 11 options:

  1. Change positions in same organization;
  2. Change organizations in same field;
  3. Change careers;
  4. Work in the same job while moonlighting;
  5. Start a business from scratch;
  6. Buy a business with its own customers;
  7. Buy a franchise with a proven business model;
  8. Launch a consulting practice;
  9. Turn a hobby or artistic talent into a lifestyle business;
  10. Move to a lower-cost-of-living community and live on your investments and volunteer; or
  11. Retire, yet freelance or consult to supplement your income.