News Roundup: AI Awakening

The “AI Awakening” is here—in everything from work collaboration to the Pentagon to the latest M&A.

Why human-AI collaboration will dominate the future of work

At the 2018 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, the focus was on AI as usual, but this time, how it can collaborate with humans. While AI has the power to do many individual tasks equivalent or better than humans, when competing to complete a group of many tasks, humans still won out.

As a result, the speakers pointed not toward job replacement, but towards a “co-bot” model, where routine work is performed by a bot and humans are able to do the more strategic, valued work. While it’s estimated that AI will eliminate some jobs, a higher number of jobs is expected to be created as a result. As Jason Jackson, assistant professor in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning put it, “We can think about ways machine learning can be used to complement existing work, and make it even better.” While technology is critical for efficiency, humans are essential for strategic thinking.

Google had 85,000 reasons to change its mind about its Pentagon contract

Tech companies have power, but so do the employees in these organizations. After 4,000 Google workers signed a petition and some even resigned in protest to Google’s contract with the Pentagon on improving AI capabilities, Google announced they will not be renewing the contract after its expiration next year. Project Maven, which Google has been involved with as a result of winning the contract, works on helping drones identify targets more accurately. As Google employees caught wind of the project that works on creating technology that could lead to deaths, a protest began. As millennials and investors alike push for social responsibility, Google is setting the precedence of valuing employee opinions, showing that the future of business is not only in the tools used but the impact of decisions made by companies.

Epiq Acquires Soliton Systems’ E-Discovery Business, Japanese Character Processing

Epiq looks to solve the problem of language translation in e-discovery through its latest acquisition of Soliton Systems e-discovery tool that optimizes and processes Japanese characters. With a growing market in Asia, this looks to be a smart decision for the company as they continue to expand. As business becomes more globalized, having technology in all languages becomes increasingly important. This is another huge M&A to add to the list of 2018, which is proving to be high in M&A, especially in the e-discovery realm.

As business moves faster than ever before, finding the right tools to adapt, whether it be AI, employee happiness, or the right M&A, is critical for success. Working smarter looks both like using these tools and being aware of the latest news.