Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Police the Machines

Machine harm, like any other vice, requires no motive  outside itself. It only requires opportunity............... E.Sodipo

Technology is now deeply intertwined with our socio-technical systems at all levels. Softwares now constrains behavior with an efficiency that no law can match. Technology is literally creating a new world and policies can’t keep up.

Getting it wrong has become increasingly catastrophic and a growing constituency is starting to hold reckless tech businesses accountable.

Consider artificial intelligence (AI), the technology that has the potential to augment human decision making with something more scalable and faster. But also has the potential to entrench bias and codify undesirable acts. It can be hacked in new ways with new capabilities to disrupt and harm.

 Other technologies we should police are:
  • Critical Cybersecurity vulnerabilities 
  • Role of social media platforms in propaganda 
  • Bioengineering such as genome editing and synthetic biology
  • Robotics as a common consumer technology

Ethics owners and policy makers must navigate between avoiding measurable downside risk and promoting the upside benefits. Arguing against releasing a product before it undergoes additional testing for racial or gender bias is one thing. Arguing that a more extensive test will lead to greater sales is another thing.

Both are important but one sits with compliance the other with marketing. 

We should aim to achieve a robust process rather than a substantive outcome.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Tech for Social Good

A man may build himself a throne of bayonets, but he cannot sit on it ............Philosophy of Plotinus 1923

Serving shareholders can no longer be the main purpose of corporation; rather, it needs to be about serving society, through innovation, commitment to a healthy environment and economic opportunity for all.

That strategic impulse to identity a higher purpose that would galvanize the organization could be found through

  • New growth: how successful has the company been at creating new products, new markets and new business models, this includes revenue outside the core 
  • Repositioning the core: how effectively has the company  adapted its traditional core business to changes or disruptions in its markets
  • Financials: has it turned around its businesses from losses or slow growth

Siemens moved beyond the purpose of maximizing shareholder value to a mission of “serving society” This transformation began in 2014 that called for harnessing technologies such as AI and Internet of Things. USA CEO Barbara Humpton says “ ownership culture is central to everything”, Infusing a higher purpose into the company called for pushing decision making out from the center to every business unit so employees feel they have a stake 

This shift will redeploy capital to its Digital Industry and Smart Infrastructure business focused on energy efficiency, renewable power storage, distributed power and electric vehicle mobility.

Company like Netflix in 2013 when the CEO Reed Hastings released a memo to employees and investors detailing a commitment to move from just distributing content digitally to become a leading producer of original content that could win an Oscar.

Since unveiling that new purpose, Netflix revenue has tripled and profits at 32 fold

In 2019, Tencent refined its mission in response to technology’s dominance in our lives, boiling it down to “ tech for social good” developing educational content and services for schools and education management. Tencent has now become the first Asian company to surpass $500 billion in market valuation.

Businesses for the future should leverage on a purpose driven mission 

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Monday, September 30, 2019

The Science of Happiness

One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.........Henry David Thoreau

Happiness  is your responsibility, we have no right to consume happiness without producing it.

Japanese Psychiatrist Akiyoshi Kitaoka created images designed to help viewers of the images determine their state of mind. Essentially, if you look at these images and they appear to be still (RELAXED), moving slowly (MID-STRESS) and faster moving around (HI-STRESS). Your result???

There seems to be more than one way to view happiness, let’s review it in relation to stress.

A useful working definition of stress is

You are exposed to a threat that would normally call for action to correct it, You are either prevented from taking action or you take an action that is ineffectiveAs a result the threat remains

Useful Technique:
  • You can diffuse situations via physical contact with another person, holding hands, hugging...
  • Making friends with someone who is interested in you, who will empathize and listen
  • Deep abdominal breathing relieves anxiety and makes it easier to cope with tension
  • Houseplants and pets help reduce psychological stress
  • Music preferably instrumentals, because lyrics could stimulate  cognitive activity. Most effective with dimmed lights
  • Writing down your worries, accepting problems you can’t change and finding solutions for those you can control

Truly successful people are not overburdened by stress. Largely because they perceive stress as an opportunity to learn and invest in altruism, recognizing the need to see beyond their personal needs and devote time to helping others.

Research has shown that attitude towards self and the world is the key to managing stress. So enjoying the moment can free your mind from concerns and tensions.

Social Isolation is a threat to health and longevity with higher mortality than smokers, obese and hypertensive. An Ohio State University study found that spouses in bad marriages have drastically suppressed immune system.

According to Guthrie and Picciano, emotional stress such as fear, anxiety and anger increase the secretion of adrenaline. If stress continues for any length of time, the adrenal glands also increase their output of the steroid hormone, cortisol from the outer cortex. Cortisol hormone is known to 
suppress  the immune function.

Acute and prolong stress can result in a number of symptoms.

Useful Techniques

Thought Awareness is the process by which you observe your thought and Rational Thinking is a technique that helps you to challenge these negative thoughts to either learn from them or refute them as incorrect.

From Fullness, comes Fullness yet Fullness Remains........Stay Happy

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Saturday, August 24, 2019

The Invisible Energy

The services of advisors, instructors, efficiency experts in successful management are indispensable to most business enterprises of magnitude, but I deem the recognition and adoption of right principles to be of vastly more importance ———- Elbert Gary, chairman United States Steel Corporation

Why do some men seem to attract success power, wealth, love with very little conscious effort while others conquer with great difficulty; still others fail altogether to reach their desires and ideals.

Could there be an invisible force?

At the depth of the invisible  force we find energy at its purest and most volatile state.

When the creative power of thought is fully understood, it’s effect is visible and marvelous. But such results is secured only through diligence and concentration

This understanding will enable us to control our health, strengthen our memory and develop our insight; the kind that distinguishes successful business men, the kind that enables men discern opportunities through the ages.

Therefore the most powerful forces of nature are the invisible forces and this forces are enabled through the process of thinking and disabled through fear.

Thinking is an activity of the spirit and thought is a product of thinking. 

For the creative power has not giving us the spirit of fear but of boldness and of a sound mind.

Reasoning is a spiritual process, ideas are spiritual conceptions, questions are spiritual searchlights and logic, argument, philosophy are spiritual machinery.

Hence even physical science has resolved matter into molecules, molecules into atoms and atoms into invisible energy.

Be Creative and See You at The Top

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Intelligence Explosion

The elaborate argument does not need an elaborate answer................. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Since the design of machines is an intellectual activity, an ultraintelligent machine could design an even better machine; creating an 'intelligence explosion.'

The intelligence of man would be left far behind, provided that machine is docile enough to tell us
how to keep it under control.

As the capabilities of AI systems improve and transition into broad areas of human life it would lead to overriding concern on its benefit on humanity.

The Arguments Are:
Could AI overwrite their original goals as set by humans?
Unconstrained success could bring huge risks.
How to optimise our chances of reaping the benefits while avoiding the risks

The virtues of AI include its capacity to exclude human bias; the speed and efficiency with which it operates outperformshuman capacity. These efficiencies must all be measured up against our most important values.

However, the human element of AI at the startup stage must be of the utmost ethical standard, if it’s programmed to be biased, it will be biased with greater efficiency.

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Friday, June 14, 2019

Technology Unemployment

Digitization is creating a second economy that’s vast, automatic, and invisible—thereby bringing the biggest change since the Industrial Revolution.......Brian Arthur

We are creating an intelligence that is external to humans in the virtual economy that is self-configuring, self-organizing and self-destroying.

Business processes that once took place among human beings are now being executed electronically. They are taking place in an unseen domain that is strictly digital, quietly, almost unnoticeably, transforming the economy and bringing new social classes to the pyramid

For every trees above the ground, there are miles of roots underneath, all interconnected with one another, “communicating” with each other.

Today at the airport with a machine and your credit card; it takes just a few seconds to get a boarding pass. By activating the machine with your card, you triggered an unseen, underground communicationa with servers, switches, routers, internet devices
and satellites in a few seconds to get your boarding pass.

The once employed by several Job descriptions at the Airport are now conducted entirely by artificial intelligence that are checking your flight status, connecting flights, your travel history, your seat choice and your name with National Security Agency.

The components of external intelligence can’t easily be privately owned as they slide into the public domain they develop into new business models.

A model similar to the printing revolution of the 15th century when internal manuscripts owned by monasteries and churches were made public with prints that resulted in an explosion of knowledge, theological ideas and science.

Those jobs outsourced to the virtual economy will never be recovered back as they disappear into the virtual economy. The displaced people will become unemployed; others are forced into low-paying or part-time jobs.

For employees, the benefits of well-designed work include job satisfaction, engagement, improved home-work balance, lower job stress, better well-being, and an overall sense of purpose.

For companies, good work design means opportunities to fully harness and cultivate
talent by providing more job autonomy, employee creativity, proactivity, and innovation

For Management, engaging younger workers and responding faster to oppotunities by creating a “shadow board” — a group of non-executive employees that works with senior executives on strategic initiatives.

Technological unemployment has many forms.
The term “technological unemployment” is from John Maynard Keynes’s 1930 lecture, “Economic possibilities for our grandchildren.”

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