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Innovation Update: Really Testing AI and Workforce Skills Gap

by Andrew White  |  November 27, 2017  |  Comments Off on Innovation Update: Really Testing AI and Workforce Skills Gap

In today’s US print edition of the financial times there was an ‘investing in innovation’ insert that contained several interesting articles.  I call out two for you.

In ‘Google brain connects his StarCraft past with AI future‘ we read of a real interesting test of AI.  An old StarCraft national champion is working with DeepMind to develop an AI not capable of winning StarCraft.

This is quite different to the recent breakthrough that came with winning Go.  Chess and Go are examples of games with no ‘fog of war’.  Both games show all information about all pieces on the board.  With StarCraft, a protagonists moves are hidden until a legion of aliens come swarming at you from a part of the board you least expected.  As such StarCraft introduces tactics not expressed by the rules of chess and Go!  AI will have to learn to feign, fake, and virtually lie.  This would be quite interesting.  And I have to admit that I have played StartCraft, though I am personally more of an old Command and Conquer fan.

In ‘Retraining the labour force is the ‘challenge of our time‘, we read of one of the less sexy aspects of the innovation cycle; how to retrain a workforce so that it is able to leverage and exploit innovation and technology.  It seems this need is currently at a stressful point: the gaps are wide and the number of vectors along which new skills are needed legion.

Public policy and educational organizations need to work harder and closer with individual if we are to help close the gaps.  If not we will fail to provide an improved standard of living to our children.  Workforce skills is not just important but critical to effective innovation.  Along with management capability (meaning an organizations ability to organize), the right workforce skills have to be aligned with technology innovation.  If any one of three are at the wrong level needed to maximize productivity-diffusing innovation, all will be for naught and we will regress.

So some sobering and some interesting thoughts for your morning coffee break.



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Category: artificial-intelligence  deepmind  innovation  workforce-skills  

Andrew White
Research VP
8 years at Gartner
22 years IT industry

Andrew White is a Distinguished Analyst and VP. His roles include Chief of Research and Content Lead for Data and Analytics. His main research focus is data and analytics strategy, platforms, and governance. Read Full Bio

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