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Artificial Intelligence

Preparing the next generation for AI and the digital world of work.

Preparing the next generation for AI and the digital world of work.

With the rapid growth of technology and the looming presence of the 4th Industrial revolution, the workers and employees of tomorrow will need to make AI more than a simple tool. AI will be their assistant, their co-worker and possibly even their manager.

Artificial Intelligence will be an everyday part of their lives. So it is vital that this generation of employee learns to use AI and Big data as effectively as possible. This process needs to begin sooner rather than later.

Preparations must be made to prevent businesses and people entering the workforce from falling behind industry trends. With proper training comes better understanding of these platforms. What are their weaknesses, limitations and their strengths?

This new generation must come to understand that AI and their abilities as employees benefit one another. There must be emphasis on the qualities that differentiate the two from one another. Such as human creativity, adaptability and interpersonal skills versus AI’s impressive response time and handling of large data streams.

While there must be consideration given to elementary and secondary education, the tertiary education sector is where this type of training is most important. Providing education into problem solving and ethics. With the introduction of AI systems, many new ethical dilemmas present themselves: From excluding prejudices based on race, gender and sexual orientation; to influencing automated decision making; to how a self-driving car balances the lives of its occupants with those of pedestrians.

The world needs well trained people and programmers who can make thoughtful contributions to these decision-making processes. We need to take the youth who are preparing to enter the world of work and ensure that they are prepared for what AI and Big data means for businesses. Hurdles that obstruct this process are lack of funding for computer programmes in the majority of schools, as well as a shortage of teachers with experience in computers sciences.

Some are calling on tech companies to compensate for this lack of governmental capacity. To begin investing into the next generation to enable them to understand and interact with the new tech environment. Within a few years their investment would pay off for them in providing a trained and tech savvy batch of new hires. We must begin this process of investing in the next generation as soon as possible. It will benefit not only them, but will pay off for all

Event: Financing Skills Development

Event: Community of Experts Workshop

Title: Financing Skills Development

Date: Friday, 19 July 2019

Time: 10 am – 12 pm

Cost to attend: Free

Book Your Seat

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Industry 4.0 with Prof. Daniel Mashao & Stafford Masie

Industry 4.0 with Prof. Daniel Mashao & Stafford Masie

by Alex Kinmont

Technology is rapidly changing the fabric of our time. We need to adapt the way we live, personally and professionally, before we are left behind. The question is, how?

On Friday we had Professor Daniel Mashao, the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at UJ and Stafford Masie, the first CEO of Google of Southern Africa discuss the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the effects it will have on business and society.

Prof. Mashao defined 4IR in three parts – new technologies, new business models and new value systems.

New Technologies

Smartphones and slim laptops are only the surface of new tech and what it can do. Robotics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence (AI) are the next leaps in technological advancement.

Masie describes AI as the “superpower” of 4IR. He sees the future ‘everywhereness’ of AI as rendering it intangible and invisible. Like electricity, it will become so streamlined within our lives that we won’t even recognise its presence. We will only experience it.

“It’s not the Internet of Things,” says Masie, where people and objects are connected via devices with wifi. “It’s the Internet in Things”, transversally, just like electricity.

New Business Models

These new technologies are redesigning the future and how we see the world. As a result, professional success is reliant on how well we adapt to, and utilise, these changes. Businesses must take on new structures in order to best utilise advances in tech.

Old ways of doing cannot sustain new ways of being.

Business need to evolve into algorithmic marketplaces. Professor Mashao points out successful digital businesses Uber and Airbnb. As the world’s largest accommodation provider, Airbnb owns no property. As the world’s largest taxi company, Uber owns no cars.

We are all a part of Uber. We input our information, rate our drivers and travel in traffic. We use Uber, and in using Uber, we allow it to grow and continue. Uber owns no assets; instead, they use technological advances in geolocation and personal credit and compliment that with people and their own resources.

Latent Human Potential

Masie champions the value of humans and their creative capabilities. He explains that Uber is a platform, and not a traditional business, which combines advancements in tech with human potential. This is what makes them giants in the digital landscape.

Where machines can replace our mundane jobs, they can never imagine like we can.

Businesses who wish to thrive in the new digital landscape must take on an algorithmic marketplace model. Masie explains that businesses must recognise “latent human potential and let it cascade in”. Machines must not replace humans; they must provide a platform from which humans can fully exercise their creative abilities.

Uber, and other apps like Netflix, Alibaba and social media, have realised the key to keeping up with new technologies and the changing way of life and business. They recognise unique human potential and how it would be a waste to let machines replace the people in a business. Rather, machines must free up the time of employees to do more creative and complex work.

This is how we can prevent machines from taking our jobs.

Self-driving cars don’t have to take the jobs of drivers. Through AI, a driver can own a fleet of automated vehicles. Robots don’t have to take the jobs of stock takers. With automation, a warehouse worker can programme an army of box packing machines.

New Value Systems

It is important to note here that Uber and Airbnb are only possible with the new value system of digital trust. Online ratings on these apps allow hosts and drivers, guests and travellers, to build an archive of reviews and earn a grade in order to prove their honesty and reliability. Where machines cannot earn trust, an innately human function, they can be adapted to provide a platform from which its users can input data and create trust.

The future of jobs doesn’t have to be mass unemployment. Your business does not have to crumble under the waves of change.

Technology and its advancements will change life as we know it. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is coming and we need to adapt if we wish to keep up. Our businesses need to welcome the shortcuts of technology and move redundant employees upwards to better use their cognitive and creative abilities. We must let our latent human potential cascade in. Like with the Uber trust model, we must recognise the possibilities of humans and tech working together.

Masie concludes that if we lose our jobs it will not be because of technology. It will be because we weren’t imaginative enough.

To request more information on our Digital Skills courses, click here.

Event: Digital Disruption

Event: Community of Experts Workshop

Title: Digital Disruption

Date: Friday, 14 June 2019

Time: 10 am – 12 pm

Cost to attend: Free

Book Your Seat

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