Brick and mortar stores have been cautiously embracing data, but Target has turned its cornucopia of information into a key to market success.
In this week’s news roundup for IT pros, we bring you four articles on artificial intelligence – to help prepare you for a future in which your co-worker may be a robot.
Getting educated in A.I. If you have any doubts that artificial intelligence (A.I.) will be a hot trend next year – or several years into the future for that matter – just look at the curriculums at top business schools. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, John Simons reports, “Harvard Business School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, France’s Insead and a handful of other programs recently have added M.B.A. courses on managing the applications and algorithms that help businesses make more informed decisions” (Tomorrow’s Business Leaders Learn How to Work with A.I.). Simons quotes Brian Uzzi, a professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, who says an increase in A.I. courses is satisfying student demands. “They want to be recruited by the best tech firms on the planet, they want to build businesses that rely heavily on data analytics, and they want to be leaders and creative artists,” Uzzi told Simons.
Advice for students. Facebook executives have their own advice for students interested in landing A.I. jobs after they graduate. As John Mannes summarizes their advice in TechCrunch, it’s to “
eat their vegetables take Calc I, Calc II, Calc III, Linear Algebra, Probability and Statistics as early as possible” (Facebook’s advice to students interested in artificial intelligence). Beyond the coursework, Facebook urges students to “work to address a specific problem and try to release a piece of open source code before all is said and done.”
A.I.'s impact on the economy. If you want to know exactly how A.I. is going to shape the future, you may be out of luck. Jeff Hawkins, founder of AI and brain research company Numenta, is quoted in Kevin Maney’s in-depth Newsweek article saying, “Twenty years from now, this technology will be one of the major drivers of innovation and technology, if not the major one. But you want specific predictions? It’s impossible.” Maney looks at historical examples of automation replacing jobs performed by humans, and highlights some of today’s jobs that seem to be on a similar path. His article touches on the good, the scary, and the reasons to be optimistic about the future of A.I. (How Artifical Intelligence and Robots Will Radically Transform the Economy). “The one thing worse for the human race than developing AI would be stopping the development of AI,” he concludes.
A.I.'s impact on business. Finally, if you just want to know if A.I. is right for your business right now, Harvard Business Review brings us an article from Anastassia Fedyk that may help. She provides practical advice for determining which business problems may benefit from machine learning, whether you have the right data, and setting the right expectations for results (How to Tell If Machine Learning Can Solve Your Business Problem).
Donald Trump’s tech troubles [Economist]
Has IT become too complex to manage? [NetworkWorld]