10 Wonderful Examples Of Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) For Good

by Bernard Marr

One of the many benefits of using artificial intelligence (AI) is to help us view societal problems from a different perspective. While there’s been much hubbub about how AI might be misused, we must not overlook the many ways AI can be used for good. Our global issues are complex, and AI provides us with a valuable tool to augment human efforts to come up with solutions to vexing problems. Here are 10 of the best ways artificial intelligence is used for good.

Cancer Screening

Artificial intelligence, powered by deep-learning algorithms, is already in use in healthcare. Specifically, AI’s imaging capabilities are promising for cancer identification and screening, including breast cancer. Artificial intelligence is also used to predict the development of diseases across a healthcare network. A group at Mount Sinai used deep learning-based AI algorithms to predict the development of diseases with 94% accuracy, including cancers of liver, rectum, and prostate. Thanks to published cancer research, clinical trials, and drug development, there’s a plethora of data that AI can help to review and then guide healthcare decision-making.

Save the Bees

Did you know The World Bee Project is using artificial intelligence to save the bees? The global bee population is in decline, and that’s bad news for our planet and our food supply. In a partnership with Oracle, The World Bee Project hopes to learn how to help bees survive and thrive by gathering data through internet-of-things sensors, microphones, and cameras on hives. The data is then uploaded to the cloud and analyzed by artificial intelligence to identify patterns or trends that could direct early interventions to help bees survive. Ultimately, artificial intelligence makes it easier to share real-time information on a global scale and take action to save the bees.

Tools for People with Disabilities

Another way artificial intelligence is used for good is to help people with disabilities overcome them. Huawei used AI and augmented reality to create StorySign, a free mobile app that helps deaf children learn to read by translating the text into sign language. The company also created Track.Ai, an easy-to-use, affordable device that can identify visual disorders in children so treatment can begin before the disorders cause blindness. Facing Emotions, another AI app created by Huawei, translates emotion into short and simple sounds. The app assesses the emotion it sees on another’s face to help blind people “see” the emotion of the person they are talking with. The app uses the rear camera on the phone to evaluate the nose, mouth, eyebrows and eyes, and artificial intelligence to analyze the expression on these facial features and what emotion they convey—contempt, anger, fear, disgust, sadness, happiness and surprise.

Climate Change

We can make tremendous progress in solving one of the world’s biggest issues with the support of artificial intelligence. Climate change is a gargantuan problem, but several thought leaders in AI and machine learning believe technology might be able to tackle it. Machine learning can improve climate informatics—machine learning algorithms power approximately 30 climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Artificial intelligence can also help educate and predict the impacts of climate change on different regions. Researchers from the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) use GANs (generative adversarial networks) to simulate the damage of severe storms and rising sea levels.

Wildlife Conservation

Another way AI is put to work for the planet is in conservation efforts and allows underfunded conservationists an opportunity to analyze data inexpensively. A team from the University of Hawaii’s Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project used AI to analyze 600 hours of audio to detect the number of collisions between birds and power lines. In another effort to halt the decline of endangered species by using AI, the University of Southern California Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society uses an unmanned aerial vehicle to spot poachers and locate animals. The data collected by the drone is sent back to be analyzed by machine learning tools that use game theory to help predict poacher and animal activity. AI is also used by Wild Me and Microsoft to automatically recognize, log, and track endangered animals like whale sharks by analyzing photos people upload to the internet.

Combat World Hunger

One of the most viable tools in the fight to end the world hunger crisis is artificial intelligence. It can analyze millions of data points to help determine the perfect crop, develop seeds, maximize current output, and control herbicide application precisely. Many applications are in use already, but one we’ll highlight here is the Nutrition Early Warning System (NEWS) that uses machine learning and big data to identify regions that are at increased risk of food shortages due to crop failure, rising food prices and drought.

Reduce Inequality and Poverty

Although one of the criticisms with AI algorithms is the human bias that can be introduced via skewed algorithms or training data sets, AI can actually help reduce inequalities. The Center for Data Science and Public Policy of the University of Chicago’s project Aequitas and IBM’s AI Fairness 360 are open source toolkits that can track and correct bias. Smart text editor Textio, that makes job descriptions more inclusive, helped one publisher grow its percentage of women recruits to 57 percent, from just 10% previously. Imperial College of London is training AI to Identify inequality based on street images of living conditions in cities, with the aim to ultimately use this information to improve the situations. Similarly, AI analyzes satellite imagery in a Stanford University project to predict regions of poverty, which can then influence economic aid. Another way AI/machine learning is working to end poverty is through IBM’s Science for Social Good directive Simpler Voice to overcome illiteracy.

Spot “Fake News”

It’s true: AI is the engine that pushes “fake news” out to the masses, but Google, Microsoft, and grassroots effort Fake News Challenge are using AI (machine learning and natural language processing) to assess the truth of articles automatically. Due to the trillions of posts, Facebook must monitor and the impossibility of manually doing it, the company also uses artificial intelligence to find words and patterns that could indicate fake news. Other tools that rely on AI to analyze content include Spike, Snopes, Hoaxy, and more.

Assess Medical Images

In general, artificial intelligence is leveraged in many ways to improve healthcare systems. German-based Siemens Healthineers is a leading medical technology company that integrates AI into many of its innovative technologies. One of these technologies is the AI-Rad Companion.4, a radiologist assistant that supports routine reading and measurement tasks on medical imaging. AI augments the review of medical imaging to help alleviate some of the workloads for over-taxed radiologists. Another innovation is the AI-Pathway Companion5. This tool integrates insights from pathology, imaging, lab and genetics for each patient to provide status and suggest the next steps based on the data.

Prioritize Upgrades

At the USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society (CAIS), AI is deployed to figure out how to maintain Los Angeles’ water supply in the event of an earthquake. Since the city’s utility infrastructure is aging, the project aims to identify strategic areas for improvement in the network of pipes, so that critical infrastructure (those that serve hospitals, evacuation centers, fire and police centers) is prioritized for upgrades to earthquake-resistant pipes. This is a problem AI is adept at solving by simulating many different scenarios to find the best solution.

Source: Forbes

Shoring Up Executive Careers in a Pandemic

by Lee Seok Hwai

The best time to plan for contingencies was yesterday. The next best time is now.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic derailed the global economy and decimated jobs by the millions, executives everywhere were grappling with technological disruptions as well as issues triggered by climate, social and political upheaval. Then COVID-19 happened. Whether you are in danger of redundancy or simply reflecting on what your career might look like in the new normal, this is a good time to evaluate how you could improve your job outlook.

The first step is to take stock of where you stand in the three stages of the executive career, said José Luis Álvarez, INSEAD Senior Affiliate Professor of Organisational Behaviour. They are: the establishment stage, the maintenance stage and the withdrawal stage. Integral to these are the network, especially mentors and sponsors, and the plans that you lay out for each of the stages, ideally well in advance.

“The important thing is that you have a plan, you have a strategy. You don’t wait, you have some idea ready for implementation,” Álvarez said at a recent webinar, “Executive careers in the face of change”, part of the INSEAD series on Navigating the Turbulence of COVID-19.

“Don’t wait for the future to tell you what to do. It is better to make mistakes in a strategy than having no strategy at all.” (more…)

The Digitization Imperative

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WHAT IS TOP TALENT AND HOW IS THAT IDENTIFIED?

As a part of our talent acquisition engagements, we ask our clients how they define “top talent” and how they would assess those traits in the interview process. Reflecting on the insightful comments we hear every day, we thought there would be great value in a new blog in which senior executives/thought leaders share their “Take on Talent.”

This is the twenty-forth in a series of blogs/interviews with senior executives who are thought leaders in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Career Development and Leadership who will share their perspectives on this ever present question.

 

Asheesh Mehra, Co-founder and Group CEO, AntWorks

Asheesh Mehra is the co-founder and CEO of AntWorks, a global leader in AI and Robotics. He believes humane, responsible AI is the future, and is excited by its limitless applications to solve for issues that impact business, our lives and the planet we inhabit.

 

 

Please share with us the top five characteristics (in priority order, first to fifth) of the most talented people you have encountered during your career, and your definition of each.

 

Curiosity

For entrepreneurs, curiosity does not kill the cat. It’s one of the main characteristics I have personally drawn from in my decades long career and was a driving force in starting my own company. It’s that desire to keep learning, to look at new and undiscovered ways of doing things and always looking for a better way to solve problems.

Emotional Maturity

Technical skills are essential but as you rise through leadership levels, it’s the softer skills you can’t afford to forget. Many studies have shown that a high degree of emotional intelligence is what sets good leaders apart. Communicating effectively, collaborating, developing positive relationships and successfully working through conflict and operating with a high degree of empathy are characteristics I look for in my leadership team. The challenges COVID-19 has brought organisations across the world are many, yet what we have seen is the businesses that lead with empathy and consider the many new and unforeseen circumstances employees are facing today are more successfully weathering this storm.

Creativity

At AntWorks, one of the central pillars of our hiring practices is to look for individuals who are creative, passionate, and capable. We actively look for people who want to challenge the norm and dedicate their time and attention to thinking differently.

Competitiveness

There is a fine line with competitiveness. What I value about this trait, is that at its core it’s about never quitting. It’s not about backstabbing or that one person wins and the rest fail. It’s what competition teaches you when you’re faced with high pressure situations and how best to respond, how to bounce back and learn from those situations when you don’t “win” and what it is you need to do next time around to get it right.

Superior analytical skills

In the Intelligent Automation industry, having top notch analytical skills, questioning the status quo, and using quantitative and qualitative data to drive marketplace solutions that will help customers meet their digital transformation goals are absolutely essential.

 

How do you communicate these characteristics to your HR and senior management team?

It sounds trite but the best way is to lead by example. That doesn’t mean I’m perfect but as a leader you have to be incredibly self-aware and recognize the tone is set from the top. I hold myself to a high standard and expect the same from those around me. It’s about pushing day in and day out to be the best version of ourselves we can be and be the best colleagues and co-workers we can be. As the saying goes, “A rising high tide lifts all boats.” We all stand to benefit when everyone is at their best.

 

How do you handle challenges to the existing culture by talent you have brought in?

At AntWorks, we firmly believe culture trumps everything. And are strongly guided by our approach to hiring ‘Ants’ by looking for capability over experience, for attitude over accolade, and for healthy risk taking over cookie-cutter thinking. We also experience our greatest wins when we break down silos and team cross-functionally and look for talent that is dedicated, diligent and collaborative. Our last fiscal year, we had an incredibly low attrition rate of just under 3 percent clearly indicating our approach to recruitment and retention is working.

 

 

Seven Ways Leaders Can Prepare for Post-Pandemic Times

by Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

Avoid knee-jerk reactions when creating a plan for the future.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” This opening line from Charles Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities captures the contradictory times we live in. It also describes how organisations may react to the coronavirus pandemic in very different ways.

Take fictional Company A. When the pandemic occurred, fear permeated its top echelons. For years, its leadership had bought back shares to improve its financial metrics and warrant fat bonuses for executives. This reduced its financial leeway, prompting the CEO and the CFO to go on a major cost-cutting spree, including the cancellation of all training and development activities. They also used the turbulent economic environment as an excuse to lay off many employees they didn’t like, without any explanation. In light of these actions, a doomsday atmosphere prevailed.

At fictional Company B, senior executives reacted very differently. Granted, with the lessons learned from the last recession, they had created strong financial reserves, which enabled them not to lay off anyone. Instead, they eliminated overtime hours, put in place sabbatical programmes and made use of government support schemes. They instituted a salary freeze and downsized their own remuneration. Knowing that recessions offered exceptional opportunities to pick up high-quality talent, they kept their eyes open. They would not fall into the trap of having a shortage of people with key skills. Although it would have been easy to cut training, top management decided to keep key elements of it to better prepare its workforce for the future. (more…)