Weekend Leadership Reading: 1/24/20

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular workdays. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about artificial intelligence.

From Fortune: Big Tech’s quest for human-level artificial intelligence and how this A.I. could reshape business

“Giants like Alphabet and Microsoft are investing heavily to develop technology that could radically reshape the business world. When it arrives is anyone’s guess.”

Wally’s Comment: This is the lead article in Fortune’s special report on AI.

From Greg Satell: How Artificial Intelligence Is Forcing Us To Answer Some Very Human Questions

“As the technology becomes more powerful, it’s also forcing us to ask some uncomfortable questions that were once more in the realm of science fiction or late-night dorm room discussions. When machines start doing things traditionally considered to be uniquely human, we need to reevaluate what it means to be human and what is to be a machine.”

From Phanish Puranam: Where AI Can Help Your Business (and Where It Can’t)

“Your firm produces data, so surely it can benefit from applying AI, right? Wrong. Here are five questions to ask yourself about whether a business problem is ‘AI-solvable’.”

From Wharton: Four Ways Leaders Can Gain Value from AI and Advanced Analytics

“Advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning are arguably the most powerful general-purpose technologies invented since the dawn of modern computing. Extracting value from these is an imperative for business and society. It requires a deeper understanding and self-reflection among leaders of human strengths and frailties in contrast to that of modern, software-based machines and algorithms, writes Ravi Bapna in this opinion piece. Bapna is a professor of business analytics and information systems at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.”

From Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Why Some AI Efforts Succeed While Many Fail

“The report classified the total survey population into four subgroups based on their understanding of AI tools and concepts and their levels of adoption of AI applications: Pioneers (20%) are leading-edge organizations that both understand and have widely adopted AI; Investigators (30%) understand AI but have not deployed applications beyond the pilot stage; Experimenters (18%) are learning by doing, conducting pilots without a deep understanding of AI; and Passives (32%) have not adopted AI and have little understanding of the technology.”

From Steve Rose: ‘It’s a war between technology and a donkey’ – how AI is shaking up Hollywood

“This isn’t how artificial intelligence is changing the movies – yet. But AI is changing the industry in other ways, to a greater extent than is being admitted. In early January, Warner Bros broke cover and announced it had signed up to an AI-driven project management system that would ‘inform decision-making around content and talent valuation to support release strategies’. In other words, Warners will be using AI to help it decide what movies to make.”

From Tim Fountaine, Brian McCarthy, and Tamim Saleh: Building the AI-Powered Organization

“One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is to view AI as a plug-and-play technology with immediate returns. Deciding to get a few projects up and running, they begin investing millions in data infrastructure, AI software tools, data expertise, and model development. Some of the pilots manage to eke out small gains in pockets of organizations. But then months or years pass without bringing the big wins executives expected. Firms struggle to move from the pilots to companywide programs—and from a focus on discrete business problems, such as improved customer segmentation, to big business challenges, like optimizing the entire customer journey.”

Book Suggestion

Applied Artificial Intelligence: A Handbook For Business Leaders by Mariya Yao , Adelyn Zhou , et al.

Every two weeks, Art Petty and I talk about leadership and management books on our podcast. Here’s a link to the most recent edition on great books we re-read.

Note: All links to Amazon are Affiliate Links

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