Reid Hoffman: A.I. Is Going to Change Everything About Managing Teams

Imagine a spider chart mapping a complex web of interactions, sentiments, and workflow within an office. What would your company look like?

When most of us think of artificial intelligence in the workplace, we imagine automated assembly lines of robots managed by an algorithm. LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman has a different idea.

In an essay for MIT Sloan Management Review, Hoffman describes human applications for the technology. Among other things, it would help to use data science to improve the way we onboard new team members, organize workflow, and communicate about performance. Addressing the question of how technology will change management practices over the next five years, Hoffman explains how the use of a “knowledge graph” will become standard management practice.

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Preparing for the Future of A.I.

There is a lot of excitement about artificial intelligence (AI) and how to create computers capable of intelligent behavior. After years of steady but slow progress on making computers “smarter” at everyday tasks, a series of breakthroughs in the research community and industry have recently spurred momentum and investment in the development of this field.

Today’s AI is confined to narrow, specific tasks, and isn’t anything like the general, adaptable intelligence that humans exhibit. Despite this, AI’s influence on the world is growing. The rate of progress we have seen will have broad implications for fields ranging from healthcare to image- and voice-recognition. In healthcare, the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative and the Cancer Moonshot will rely on AI to find patterns in medical data and, ultimately, to help doctors diagnose diseases and suggest treatments to improve patient care and health outcomes.

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Facebook Is Building AI That Builds AI

DEEP NEURAL NETWORKS are remaking the Internet. Able to learn very human tasks by analyzing vast amounts of digital data, these artificially intelligent systems are injecting online services with a power that just wasn’t viable in years past. They’re identifying faces in photos and recognizing commands spoken into smartphones and translating conversations from one language to another. They’re even helping Google choose its search results. All this we know. But what’s less discussed is how the giants of the Internet go about building these rather remarkable engines of AI.

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Machines Won’t Replace Us, They’ll Force Us to Evolve

For all of human history, we have created tools that help us do what we want to do — faster, better, cheaper. But we have always had to direct those tools; tell them exactly what to do for us to achieve our goals. This hasn’t changed from the time of stone tools (which we had to wield with our hands) to modern digital design tools (which we wield with the click of the mouse).

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Why image recognition is about to transform business

At Facebook’s recent annual developer conference, Marc Zuckerberg outlined the social network’s artificial intelligence (AI) plans to “build systems that are better than people in perception.” He then demonstrated an impressive image recognition technology for the blind that can “see” what’s going on in a picture and explain it out loud.

From programs that help the visually impaired and safety features in cars that detect large animals to auto-organizing untagged photo collections and extracting business insights from socially shared pictures, the benefits of image recognition, or computer vision, are only just beginning to make their way into the world — but they’re doing so with increasing frequency and depth.

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Researchers ‘teach’ computers to translate accurately

Online translators are getting better, but there’s still room for improvement. Researchers are now contributing new artificial intelligence techniques that could help accurately build full sentences.

Algorithms developed by researchers at the University of Liverpool give computers a human-like touch while translating words and languages. They believe their methods are key to improving accuracy.

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What HoloLens means for the future of augmented reality

In January 2015, Microsoft revealed HoloLens, an augmented reality headset aimed at blending the physical and digital worlds. The headset would have its own graphics processing unit, allowing the user to move freely instead of being tethered, and the demo video showed various uses from watching Netflix as if projected on a wall, to working on 3D product designs.

At events since, Microsoft’s shown off live demos, like one where the user can play with the popular game Minecraft, and released a few important details, like a $3,000 price tag for the developer kit, as well as partnerships with companies like Lowe’s.

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Bringing Augmented Reality to Real Eyeglasses

If reality isn’t cutting it for you, just hold on; engineers are working on augmenting it. At least, they hope to show you more than what would normally be before your eyes, by adding systems to ordinary eyeglasses that would display images and data to enhance your experience.

“I believe in full augmentation,” says Ulrich Simon, vice president of corporate research and technology at Carl Zeiss, in Jena, Germany. An example of full augmentation, he says, might be a surgeon who looks at a patient he’s about to operate on, and sees the MRI image of the patient overlaid on her body.

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Google Is About to Supercharge Its TensorFlow Open Source AI

GOOGLE’S FREE OPEN source framework TensorFlow is about to get more powerful.

Last year Google opened TensorFlow to the entire world. This meant that any individual, company, or organization could build their own AI applications using the same software that Google does to fuel everything from photo recognition to automated email replies. But there was a catch.

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How virtual, augmented reality helps NASA explore space

Before astronaut Scott Kelly ended his year in space, he accomplished an unprecedented technological feat. He called mission control using Skype and streamed his first-person perspective through an augmented reality headset that NASA sent to the International Space Station in December.

“We messed around with it for like two hours and immediately I sensed this is a capability we could use right now,” Kelly said during a news conference in March.

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