Weekend Leadership Reading: 3/9/18

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular work days. 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 AI and the future of work.

From the Economist: Using thought to control machines

“TECHNOLOGIES are often billed as transformative. For William Kochevar, the term is justified. Mr Kochevar is paralysed below the shoulders after a cycling accident, yet has managed to feed himself by his own hand. This remarkable feat is partly thanks to electrodes, implanted in his right arm, which stimulate muscles. But the real magic lies higher up. Mr Kochevar can control his arm using the power of thought. His intention to move is reflected in neural activity in his motor cortex; these signals are detected by implants in his brain and processed into commands to activate the electrodes in his arms.”

From Irving Wladawsky-Berger: AI and the Productivity Paradox

“AI is being successfully applied to tasks that not long ago were viewed as the exclusive domain of humans, matching or surpassing human level performance in more and more domains. But, at the same time, productivity growth has significantly declined over the past decade, and income has continued to stagnate for the majority of Americans. This puzzling contradiction is addressed in Artificial Intelligences and the Modern Productivity Paradox, a working paper recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).”

From Adi Gaskell: Blending Man And Machine To Get The Most From AI

“It’s a strange paradox of our times that we are repeatedly told that AI and automation will destroy jobs, whilst at the same time most of the western world is struggling with incredibly low levels of productivity growth. A recent study led by Stanford University suggests that the failure of AI investments to pull through into higher productivity numbers might be down to the economic model that underpins how companies get their data.”

From Wharton: The Future of Jobs in the World of AI and Robotics

“Artificial intelligence and robotics are disrupting every aspect of work and redefining productivity. The old ways of not just working, but also assessing capabilities, hiring and compensation, are undergoing a massive change. In a conversation with Knowledge@Wharton, Srikanth Karra, chief human resource officer at Indian IT services firm Mphasis, discusses what this means for individuals, organizations and countries.”

From Harold Jarche: a foundation for the future of work

“So what is the future of work and how can we best learn how to adapt to a post-industrial, network economy? There is no shortage of future skills prescribed by various think-tanks and organizations. The World Economic Forum (2016) identified 10 work skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. McKinsey & Company (2017) stated that, ‘We will all need creative visions for how our lives are organized and valued in the future, in a world where the role and meaning of work start to shift.” PwC concluded (2017) that the nature of future jobs is unknown.”

Book Suggestions

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin

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