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Which Jobs Will Machines Take Over? Movie Critics, Doctors, Truckers...
The most make-or-break aspect of job automation? How policy makers handle your transition into a new career.
Angela Zutavern is the Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton, pioneering the application of machine intelligence to the fields of organizational leadership and strategy. She is an inventor of machine intelligence and data science strategies and led Booz Allen’s most advanced data science R&D efforts, including in the areas of deep learning and quantum machine learning. She is passionate about data science for social good and helped create the Data Science Bowl, a first-of-its-kind, world-class competition that solves global issues through machine intelligence. Zutavern, together with machine learning expert Josh Sullivan, is the co-author of The Mathematical Corporation: Where Machine Intelligence and Human Ingenuity Achieve the Impossible, the first book to show business leaders how to compete in this new era: by combining the mathematical smarts of machines with the intellect of visionary leaders.
Angela Zutavern is the Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton, pioneering the application of machine intelligence to the fields of organizational leadership and strategy. She is an inventor of machine intelligence and data science strategies and led Booz Allen’s most advanced data science R&D efforts, including in the areas of deep learning and quantum machine learning.
She is passionate about data science for social good and helped create the Data Science Bowl, a first-of-its-kind, world-class competition that solves global issues through machine intelligence.
Zutavern, together with machine learning expert Josh Sullivan, is the co-author of The Mathematical Corporation: Where Machine Intelligence and Human Ingenuity Achieve the Impossible, the first book to show business leaders how to compete in this new era: by combining the mathematical smarts of machines with the intellect of visionary leaders.
Angela Zutavern: So machine intelligence includes two main areas. One is high-performance computing; all the chips you need to do the complex math required, and then artificial intelligence.
Within artificial intelligence all the breakthroughs are happening in the area of machine learning, and machine learning includes the ability for computers to think, learn and act on their own. There are a lot of great examples throughout business, government, and the nonprofit world as well. For example, in the U.S. government, machine learning is completely changing how census workers visit houses to collect the census data. These enumerators in the past would just use their own judgment on what routes to take and when to visit houses and, of course, they often found people not home. In the upcoming 2020 decennial census, machine learning will actually give them the best routes and the best predicted times to find when people are going to be home.
When people ask me if machine intelligence will affect them I turn the question back around and say, “Could you imagine your life or your job without the Internet?” And most people will say no. And I say, that's how machine intelligence will become for us. It's already involved in our personal lives whether it's Amazon recommendation engines or Netflix recommendations, but it will continue to spread not only in our personal and entertainment lives but also in our day-to-day work lives as well.
One example is IT departments in corporations. Many companies spend the majority of their IT budget on IT operations, operations and maintenance, and it's a huge budget line item. Machine intelligence is now able to perform most or all of those mundane routine activities. That frees up an entire skilled workforce to focus on creativity and innovation beyond the jobs that they're doing today.
So, machine intelligence is not about completely removing the person from the equation, it's about machines and humans working together. We never recommend that you completely abandon your judgment as a leader. Many times machine learning is wrong and as leaders we need to recognize that and know when to ask questions and how to adapt. So judgment is still absolutely critical in this equation.
An interesting example is automated trucking company Otto. It was formed by Google engineers and within ten months was bought by Uber for $680 million.
Now what would make a company worth $680 million in ten months? Well, Otto developed a cab-top device that sells for $30,000, and can fully automate any 18-wheeler truck built after 2013. In fact they've already made their first delivery using a self-driving truck: it was 50,000 cans of Budweiser beer, last year.
Right now the truck can't handle every situation, it's really great on the highways, but it has problems in bad weather and on city streets, so for now the drivers continue to ride in the cab, but when they're in on the highway the driver is free to conduct whatever activities they choose—and I love the story of a driver doing yoga while going down the highway—and then the driver takes over in difficult situations.
There is no question that artificial intelligence will replace certain types of tasks. There are tasks today that machines are better at than people; tasks like organizing, remembering, finding patterns. So those kind of tasks will be replaced by machines. But people are still so much better at creativity and framing problems and reasoning. So what will happen is that machines will replace some of the rote tasks that people are doing today, and it's up to us then to figure out as leaders: what do we do with that talent, and how do we take advantage of the opportunity that that gives us? So it's not a matter of machines putting people out of work across the board, what goes hand-in-hand with that are the new businesses that it will create, the new industries that it might spawn, and a whole new set of demands that don't exist today that people will be able to go into for a second or third career.
One example of this is the Data Science Bowl. Every year we put on the Data Science Bowl with Kaggle and we choose a really hard social-good problem. Kaggle puts it out to its community of a million data scientists around the world, and they work as volunteers to solve the problem. Last year the challenge was around heart health, and this year it was around new ways of predicting lung cancer.
And of the top ten winning teams many of them had no background in the medical field whatsoever prior to this competition. They were able to learn the medical knowledge they needed through tutorials, and because they came at it from different angles and different perspectives they were able to make breakthroughs in the lung cancer challenge. The top ten algorithms will improve by ten percent the accuracy of predicting lung cancer.
In fact one of the winning teams has already secured venture capital funding to turn that algorithm into a new business. So that's an example of a business that didn't exist previously and is launched because of machine intelligence.
As a society we need to make sure we help folks whose jobs will be taken over by AI, because there will certainly be tasks that no longer require a person to do them. The answer to that dilemma is to retrain those folks into different skill sets that can be applied to the new industries and the new companies and the new jobs that are created.
So the best policy position that we can take as a nation is to invest in retraining those workers. It doesn’t help to deny the problem or to think that it’s “way out” when it’s already happening today. We need to be proactive about retraining that workforce so that we don’t have a class of people left behind.
And by the way, this doesn’t apply only to blue-collar type jobs. For example, doctor—their jobs will be completely disrupted and changed. We will no longer rely on a doctor’s knowledge or experience to diagnose and treat diseases. Instead doctors will become interpreters of models.
The legal profession will be disrupted. No longer will we require people to do research on precedence and case law; machines will be able to do that. So it affects every walk of life and every industry, but we need to invest in the people who are displaced, so that we take full advantage of that talent to use toward greater ends. One thing I'd say about barriers is that anyone can learn machine intelligence. Many people feel like this is something they had to major in in school or they have to work at a tech company to become an expert. That's no longer true, many of the leaders that we interviewed for our book had no background in machine intelligence whatsoever before they took on these projects, and so anyone can and should learn about machine intelligence, it will be that much of a game changer.
So, what will your second career be? There's no playing coy with it anymore: intelligent machines are coming for our jobs, but rather than let this be a point of fear and the start of even greater class division, Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton Angela Zutavern hopes that human leaders, in politics and in corporations, with be proactive in the face of job automation by re-training displaced workers with new skills that will be highly valued in the AI landscape. She's not just talking about manual laborers, either; job automation will not discriminate on the color of your collar, and doctors and lawyers will be hit just like truck drivers and rote-task professionals. The upside is that machine intelligence will spawn new industries we haven’t even thought of yet, so while it's true you may lose your job, you'll already have teed up a new one—provided we develop appropriate policy sooner rather than later, warns Zutavern. If we do this right, machine learning won’t replace humans, it will augment us, leaving our talents to be put to better use in creative and reasoning tasks, which is where we are yet to be beaten. Angela Zutavern and Josh Sullivan are the authors of The Mathematical Corporation: Where Machine Intelligence and Human Ingenuity Achieve the Impossible.
Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.
A time for sleep<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="Mt29uUqI" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="931343dee3c02121445e51e94ba22446"> <div id="botr_Mt29uUqI_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Mt29uUqI-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/Mt29uUqI-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Mt29uUqI-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Previous studies had already suggested a link between persistent nightmares in childhood and psychosis and borderline personality disorder (BPD) by adolescence, but researchers at the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology wanted to see if a similar connection existed between these mental disorders and other childhood behavioral sleep problems.</p><p>To do this, they scoured data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a longitudinal cohort study that followed approximately 14,000 children born in Avon, England, in the early 1990s. The study followed the children for more than 13 years. During that time, mothers filled out questionnaires asking about the children's lives. Factors looked at included housing, parenting, nutrition, physical health, mental wellbeing, environmental exposures, and so on. </p><p>The cohort study inquired about sleep routines, sleep duration, and awakening frequency when the children were 6, 18, and 30 months old, and then again at 3.5, 4.8, and 5.8 years. It also assessed mental health in adolescence using semi-structured interviews, such as the Psychosis-Like Symptom Interview.</p><p>"We know that adolescence is a key developmental period to study the onset of many mental disorders, including psychosis or BPD. This is because of particular brain and hormonal changes which occur at this stage," <a href="https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/psychology/marwaha-steven.aspx" target="_blank">Steven Marwaha</a>, professor of psychiatry at Birmingham and senior author on the study, <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200701125431.htm" target="_blank">said in a release</a>. "Sleep may be one of the most important underlying factors—and it's one that we can influence with effective, early interventions, so it's important that we understand these links."</p><p>After compiling the data, the researchers discovered an association between children with irregular sleeping patterns and teenagers with <a href="https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/psychosis/about-psychosis/" target="_blank">psychotic experiences</a>—that is, episodes when the person perceives reality differently than those around them. Even when depression at 10 years old was considered as a mediating factor, their findings still suggested "a specific pathway between these childhood sleep problems and adolescent psychotic experiences." </p><p>Toddlers with shorter nighttime sleep duration and late bedtimes were likewise associated with a <a href="https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml" target="_blank">borderline personality disorder</a>—a disorder marked by a pattern of varying moods, self-images, and behaviors—in their teenage years. Depression at age 10 did not mediate this particular association, suggesting a separate and more specific pathway. </p>
A more restful tomorrow<p>While the sample size was large and mental health was assessed with a validated interview, there nevertheless remain limitations to this data. For starters, sleep habits were based on mothers' reports. Because they came from memory, versus a more direct observation method such as actigraphy, these data may be prone to imperfect recollection and reporting error. There are also many confounders that could be secretly nudging the results, such as family conditions, prenatal medicines, and a host of environmental factors. Finally, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6024884/#:~:text=Sleep%20difficulties%20in%20youth%20with,fear%20of%20dark%20%5B13%5D." target="_blank">the relationship between sleep problems and mental disorders</a> is both complex and two-way.</p><p>As such, the study shows an association between poor childhood sleep later mental disorders but does not prove a causal link. Parents need not worry that a string of nightmares or the eternal struggle settle into bed will be the first ingredients in a witches' brew of debilitating mental disorders. The goal of the study, the researchers point out, is not to create undue worry but improve our ability to recognize the signs of at-risk children and deliver necessary interventions earlier.</p><p>"The results of this study could have important implications for helping practitioners identify children who might be at higher risk for psychotic experiences or BPD symptoms in adolescence, and potentially lead to the design of more effectively targeted sleep or psychological interventions to prevent the onset or attenuate these mental disorders," Isabel Morales-Muñoz, the study's lead researcher, <a href="https://www.healio.com/news/psychiatry/20200702/childhood-sleep-problems-linked-to-adolescent-psychosis-borderline-personality-disorder#:~:text=Sleep%20problems%20during%20early%20childhood,study%20published%20in%20JAMA%20Psychiatry." target="_blank">told Healio Psychiatry</a><u>.</u></p><p>If a parent reading this is worried that their child's sleep patterns are deleterious, the take away should not be despair over an unyielding fate. It should be to seek professional help as soon as possible to begin improving sleep duration and quality. Even if you aren't worried, it's worth remembering that childhood experiences lay the foundation for a lifetime of salubrious sleeping habits. It's so much more than beauty rest.</p>
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.