Fears of #AI

There are two sides to everything. When there is fire, there is water. When there is life, there is death. When there is white, there is black. When there is positive, there is negative. From ages, mankind has been divided while taking sides. There are supporters of peace and there are supporters of war to restore the order. There are people who love meats and non-vegetarian foods and then there are pure vegans. And many more such divisions and splits build the equilibrium in the world. In Chinese philosophy, this is well depicted with Yin – Yang.

ying_yang_sun_and_moon_311740

The new technological revolution triggered with advent of affordable Artificial intelligence has left the world again split wide open. With more technological adoption, there are more advancements. This is Yin. The Yang to is the growing threat to privacy and cyber security.

Data mounted machines with ability to think themselves provide significant edge to the make the smart animal called human beings to do smarter things. The mundane shall be taken care of by these intelligent machines that learn, adopt and execute on their own to first do these mundane tasks and then quickly move to the more advanced ones. The advanced tasks make machines capable of doing more things smartly. Consequently, they become more useful and enable human beings do more smarter things.

So far so good.

What if the fundamental assumption that the humans are smarter and can do smarter things turns to be untrue. Numerous studies highlight that humans are perhaps becoming dumber and more dependent on the machines. The smart human being is not doing the smart thing but is becoming lazy. So does this growing smartness of these machines, opens human beings to the risk of being dominated by the machines? Are we actually going to see a world where Terminators shall roam around and machines will decide what human beings will do.

These scenarios have divided the world and the smartest of people in the world are arguing on it. Intelligence and smartness of people like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg is beyond debate.

Debate worthy is the positions they have taken. While Mark Zuckerberg believes that machines will make lives easier, even though his own product Facebook struggles to wriggle out of the fake news problem. He clearly sees the value in machines dominating smooth human interactions. He believes that AI can trans form the world for better. Perhaps he needs to first put some of his solutions on to Whatsapp – to tackle with fast flowing fake news problem.

Check out his views on AI in the FB Live below:

 https://www.facebook.com/zuck/videos/10103911836230631/

The contrary view has been taken by Elon Musk, who thinks that the world may not be such a beautiful place after AI comes full throttle in the forefront. He fears that machines led world may be more susceptible to creating worldwide disruptions and that it would not be a better place to live.

The video below further emphasizes Elon’s stand that we are looking at a doom’s day scenario if there is no regulation on AI.

The contrarian views of the two Technopreneurs have reached to the limit of public spat between the two with Elon accusing Mark of not having enough understanding of AI.

Its an unhealthy discussion but it surely opens new view points and thoughts for probable pitfalls of AI.

Here is the link to the full public fight.

Public Spat between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg

I am running a small Twitter poll to assess how people think about the doomsday scenario. Please participate.

6 ways to improve listening

In a world filled with cacophony and sounds of multiple types, listening is becoming more and more sparse. The advent of technology and increasing domination of technology gadgets in our daily lives, conversations have fast approached their untimely death. Within homes, people are interacting less with each other and spending more time watching TV or reading social media posts on their personal mobile phones or tablets. This is truly a connected world with disconnected people.

listen

An obvious casualty of this limited one to one interactions is the ability to listen or in other words, listening skills. Lack of listening skills is leading to more and more gaps and distances. These distances are filled with confusion and chaos. We are building a sparsely connected world where opinions and judgments are made with partial listening – so partial information. Compound with the inherent nature of human beings to do stereotyping, we are leading to more angst and more hatred in the society.

The growing number of road rage cases are just one indication of growing angst in the society and how the sense of community if getting lost.

Three separate research articles spanning over 60 years suggest listening has not evolved as much as it should. In the first article dated 1957, the research points to the need for active listening and how it is causing loss of the high amount of business dollars.

Read more about it here.

The second article demonstrates the same problem still persists. There is still significant productivity loss due to lack of active listening.

Read more about it here.

The third article talks about the things that great listeners do and emphasizes the lacks of active listeners.

Read more about it here.

60 years have gone by emphasizing the importance of this significant skill and lack of its adoption in the world, in general. The significant loss underscores the need – especially in the context of being better business owners, managers, and better human beings.

So what can one do to improve their listening skills?

Julian Treasure has spent a significant amount of his life researching on the skill of listening. He has spent years researching the subject and has identified 5 ways on how we can improve our listening. Here are his 5 popular ways –

  1. 3 MINUTES OF SILENCE – Julian advocates practicing 3 minutes of silence every day.  With this, he says that people can be better at understanding the sounds in the environment they are operating. This helps to become an active practitioner of the art of listening and improves cognitive skills significantly.
  2. Next, he suggests understanding the MIXER. This is basically a habit of trying to identifying the different sounds in a noisy place.
  3. He further encourages people to SAVOUR the sounds in their surroundings and enjoying those sounds while relating to something familiar.
  4. Then one needs to determine the different types of LISTENING POSITIONS that are possible for them to actively participate in a conversation through listening. Following are the filters that he suggests to apply in the sounds –
    • Active Vs. Passive
    • Reductive Vs. Expansive
    • Empathetic Vs. Critical
  5. Finally, he relies on the RASA, meaning juice or essence in Sanskrit. This is expanded as below –
    • RECEIVE – Pay attention others
    • APPRECIATE – via little sounds like mm, hmmm
    • SUMMARIZE
    • ASK

With these Julian concludes that one can become a much more active listener and be effective in their realm of activity.

You can watch his Ted Video on ‘Listening of Sounds’ here.
https://embed.ted.com/talks/julian_treasure_5_ways_to_listen_better

The 6th way is to breathe in a rhythm, in tandem with the sound to focus on what is being said. 

It is important for us with the cacophony around us to become active listeners. Let’s start practicing these today itself.

You can listen to the related podcast at Soundcloud.

July #AI Digest – #Gains, #Clothing, #Apollo and #AndrewNg

Things move at a fast pace and fast pace requires fast steps. Fast steps require more energy and the more you conserve is more you have – unless you have boosters to provide the extra energy. The system in equilibrium has the unique ability to stay in that state for a long time or at least till there is any disruption leading to entropic state and consequently moves to another state of equilibrium.

This is how the physical states work everywhere. This is how growth happens. This is how Momentum Moments are built.

The current world is undergoing a similar entropic state with multiple disruptions coming. Consequently, a new equilibrium state will come with its own tenure till something else disrupts it for good.

A recent report by PwC has predicted that Global GDP will grow by up to $16 Trillion through AI with productivity gains and consumption patterns shift. In numbers that is –

$16,000,000,000,000,000

And here is how PwC claims it.

PwC Analysis

Highlights from above chart:

  1. Labour productivity improvements that are assisting the work force to be more productive through the adoption of AI tools are going to give 55% of overall gains.
  2. Product innovation increases and gains traction with faster throughput for products and services.
  3. Consequently, there would be increased consumption and also AI would help in reducing the amount of consumption side wastage. Thereby, giving 58% of GDP gains by 2030.

In addition, SalesForce predicts that there would 800,000 new jobs and $1.1 Trillion in revenue growth by 2021 through AI.

On the other side, data Mining of 100 Million Instagram Photos revealed Global Clothing patterns. What is also means –

  • Now you can find out what clothing trends are emerging
  • That you can introduce new styles by adopting the fashion trends from anywhere in the world
  • The old order of what fits right and what fits not is quickly blurring and shadow lines are disappearing
  • Your data once published is easy commodity for anybody to use
  • Your lives so private become horribly social without your knowing
  • You may be inspiring somebody who may have no means to extend gratitude

Check out more about the study here.

clothing-1

Our friends with Oriental Lineage have a lot to share in the last few days.

The father of Deep Learning, Andrew Ng,  is making significant strides after his stint got over at Baidu. Perhaps the corporate culture was suffocating the entrepreneur in him. He has recently announced, yet another initiative for Deep Learning, this time named DeepLearning.ai. Below is the link, the scientist does have an appeal to some marketing too. Check out the capital letters in the name below.

DeepLearniNG.ai

And lastly, Andre Ng’s former employer Baidu has launched Apollo – what it is calling the Android of Self Driven Cars. Its good to hear such open systems based announcements from companies that operate in geographies where Google, Facebook, Amazon and many more companies – known for bringing openness to the forefront – are not allowed to operate. So, good luck to them and their strides. And of course, they are not doing it alone, but in partnership with Microsoft – another organisation that took years to learn about the openness of systems.

Learn more here.

Our salute to Andrew Ng for relentlessly pushing the limits of AI. Here is a famous video from him. Do watch it!

Enjoy reading… Happy rest of the week!