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jerryking : checks_and_balances   5

The robot-proof skills that give women an edge in the age of AI
February 11, 2019 | Financial Times |by Sarah O’Connor.

in a world of algorithms and artificial intelligence, communication skills and emotional intelligence — traditionally seen as female strengths — could prove key.

The latest panic about artificial intelligence is that it will deal a blow to women in the workplace..... The concerns are legitimate enough, but they fail to appreciate the big ways in which the world of work is going to change. In fact, it is quite possible the age of AI will belong to women. Men are the ones in danger of being left behind....Some AI tools may be biased against women — a risk for any group that has been historically under-represented in the workplace. Because machine learning tends to learn from historical data, it can perpetuate patterns from the past into the future......It is right to pay attention to these problems and work on solutions. Algorithms shouldn’t be given power without transparency, accountability, and human checks and balances. Top AI jobs should be held by a more diverse set of smart people.....As machines become better at many cognitive tasks, it is likely that the skills they are relatively bad at will become more valuable. This list includes creative problem-solving, empathy, negotiation and persuasion. As Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England, has put it, “the high-skill, high-pay jobs of the future may involve skills better measured by EQs (a measure of emotional intelligence) than IQs”..... increasing demand in these jobs for supplementary skills such as emotional intelligence, which has given women an edge.....as the AI era dawns, it is the right moment to overhaul the way we value these skills, and the way we teach them. With an eye on the demands of the future, we are trying to persuade girls that coding is not just for boys. So why aren’t we also trying to persuade boys that empathy is not just for girls?

We could start by changing the language we use. For too long we have talked about “soft skills”, with connotations of femininity and a lack of rigour. Let’s call them what they are: “robot-proof skills” that neither men nor women can afford to face the 21st century
21st._century  algorithms  artificial_intelligence  biases  checks_and_balances  dark_side  emotional_intelligence  EQ  future-proofing  gender_gap  machine_learning  soft_skills  smart_people  under-representation  women  workplaces  pay_attention  historical_data 
february 2019 by jerryking
‘How Worried Should I Be?’ - The New York Times
By SUSAN CHIRAMAY 12, 2017

For scholars of democracy who have kept anxious watch over the tumultuous first months of this presidency, this week’s firing of James Comey set off a new round of alarm bells.

As President Trump attacked judges, intelligence agencies, the press, even the Congressional Budget Office — all potential independent constraints on presidential power — they constantly adjusted their scorecards, trying to sift the alarming from the merely noisy. But firing the official who heads an investigation into possible collusion between a presidential campaign and a foreign power crossed a line, they agreed......Few argue that the United States is in imminent danger of becoming an autocracy, a term much chewed over by pundits these days, including some conservative ones like David Frum...but in conversations over the past few months, scholars’ moods and assessments have soared and plummeted...... “Political scientists assume that politicians are ambitious and mainly motivated by a desire to win and retain office,” she said. “It’s not an uplifting image of our leaders but at least it makes them predictable, their actions explicable. An ever-improvising president, one who is utterly undisciplined, even to the point of undermining his own positions — [is worrisome].”....Political scientists are particularly concerned by the way congressional leaders immediately backed Mr. Trump [suggesting]
that partisan loyalty is still far more powerful than checks and balances,”....The scholars agree on what to watch for next: Who will be nominated as head of the F.B.I. and what will Republicans do?....“[Trump's] ability to undermine independent institutions is in the hands of the Republicans.”

Mr. Drutman said that if Republicans continue to reflexively back Mr. Trump, he would raise his “alarm-o-meter” to 8.
Donald_Trump  James_Comey  institutions  autocracies  authoritarianism  partisan_loyalty  democratic_institutions  warning_signs  checks_and_balances 
may 2017 by jerryking
An Activist Investment in Whole Foods Exposes Shifting Power on Wall St. - The New York Times
APRIL 25, 2017 | NYT | By ALEXANDRA STEVENSON.

Neuberger Berman has eschewed its nearly 80-year-old tactic of playing nice (i.e. buy and hold stocks, sit back, and hope for the best), turning to the bare-knuckled world of activist investors made famous by the likes of Carl C. Icahn and William A. Ackman. Last year, as Neuberger Berman’s roughly $200 million investment in Whole Foods Market languished, the firm quietly approached some hedge funds and urged them to agitate for change at the high-end grocer. Two weeks ago, Jana Partners took up the fight......Neuberger Berman’s behind-the-scenes campaign to shake up Whole Foods is the latest example of a dynamic that is upending relations between public companies and the big investors that own their stock.....a reflection of the shifting balance of power on Wall Street....Traditional money managers in search of market-beating returns are demanding a seat at the table, turning to activists for help and even employing some hedge fund tricks of their own. And activists, once the black sheep of the investment world, are now accepted as regular, if meddlesome, investors. ....[Activist investors], she added, “[are an] important ‘check and balance’ on management that has lost its way.”....Neuberger Berman executives prepared an inch-thick presentation--a thorough critique--the kind of document usually produced by activists.....failures in how Whole Foods handled its brand development, and to what it said were customer service deficiencies and a poor strategy for distribution......Relations between institutional investors and activists have evolved in recent years, and it is not unheard-of for big investors to support activists who have set their sights on a high-profile company. ..... be careful of what you wish for, Neuberger Berman discovered that utilizing board seats on an underperforming portfolio company can be "expensive and time-consuming.”.....it is less common for an institutional investor to share its work on a specific target with activists in the way Neuberger Berman did with Whole Foods....There is even a term for the interplay: “R.F.A.s” or “requests for activism.”....Institutional investors do not make investments predicated on an activist showing up.
Wall_Street  money_management  shareholder_activism  beat_the_market  hedge_funds  Whole_Foods  Jana_Partners  Neuberger_Berman  institutional_investors  checks_and_balances  Carl_Icahn  William_Ackman  boards_&_directors_&_governance 
april 2017 by jerryking
The Enlightenment Project
FEB. 28, 2017 | The New York Times| David Brooks.

Enlightenment thought. The Enlightenment included thinkers like John Locke and Immanuel Kant who argued that people should stop deferring blindly to authority for how to live. Instead, they should think things through from the ground up, respect facts and skeptically re-examine their own assumptions and convictions.

Enlightenment thinkers turned their skeptical ideas into skeptical institutions, notably the U.S. Constitution. America’s founders didn’t trust the people or themselves, so they built a system of rules, providing checks and balances to pit interest against interest.

....Today’s anti-Enlightenment movements don’t think truth is to be found through skeptical inquiry and debate. They think wisdom and virtue are found in the instincts of the plain people, deep in the mystical core of the nation’s or race’s group consciousness.

Today’s anti-Enlightenment movements believe less in calm persuasion and evidence-based inquiry than in purity of will. They try to win debates through blunt force and silencing unacceptable speech.

They don’t see history as a gradual march toward cooperation. They see history as cataclysmic cycles — a zero-sum endeavor marked by conflict. Nations trying to screw other nations, races inherently trying to oppress other races.

These movements are hostile to rules-based systems, multilateral organizations, the messy compromises of democratic politics and what Steve Bannon calls the “administrative state.” They prefer the direct rule by one strongman who is the embodiment of the will of the people.

When Trump calls the media the “enemy of the people” he is going after the system of conversation, debate and inquiry that is the foundation for the entire Enlightenment project....
David_Brooks  grand_strategy  history  Yale  John_Locke  Immanuel_Kant  rules-based  Abraham_Lincoln  multilateralism  De_Tocqueville  the_Enlightenment  skepticism  checks_and_balances  Stephen_Bannon  worldviews  zero-sum_games  strongman  constitutions 
march 2017 by jerryking
Gain a competitive edge by preventing recalls
Aug 2003 | Quality Progress pg. 41.| Tavor White & Renata Pomponi.

Product recalls are a serious problem for consumer products companies. A conservative estimate indicates each recall costs more than $8 million on average to the company in reimbursement to consumers, recall execution costs and compensatory damages from litigation. This translates into a cost of more than $6 billion a year to the consumer products industry. The estimate does not include lost sales due to reduced marketplace credibility and lost market share. Companies can sharply reduce product safety risk and the number of recalls by implementing best practices to improve product safety and quality. Consumer products companies are under intense pressure to commercialize new products as quickly as possible. This pressure to get products out quickly means safety checks and balances are often overlooked. Consumer products companies can adopt both preventive and proactive practices to sharply reduce product safety risk and resultant costs. Some companies apply these practices and manage safety issues well enough to use their safety record and high quality as a competitive advantage. These companies have institutionalized best practices and achieved impressive results...If rushing a product to market before it is ready results in a costly product recall, however, then the decrease in time to market comes at the expense of time to profitability-a more meaningful measure....In fact, our root cause analysis of product recalls found more than 75% can be traced back to shortcomings in product development.
ProQuest  product_recalls  root_cause  product_development  competitive_advantage  checks_and_balances 
june 2012 by jerryking

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