Friday Fave: AI and Disruption


Today’s Friday Faves aligns with the nature of conversations that will be occurring at Disrupt Sydney conference today. There are a couple of articles that represent the ways we need to consider and engage with digital disruption – including AI (artificial intelligence), robots and technologies. As we have done for the last 5 years, my team at the Ripple Effect Group were scheduled to present a workshop on Saying what is not said: using personas to convey meaning rather than achieve a technological end, a combination of our work in the field of human centred design and Nat’s research into our practice of using personas. We will not be presenting this workshop, although we know she would have wanted us to, we find the process of representing her work, combined with our theory in practice approach, was just a little too soon to manage.

This week, I’ve collated a number of resources with the intention of counter-balancing some of the fear-mongering and wild claims about robots and AI taking over the world.

There are 2 TED Talks by leading AI developers that should provide some inspiration – particularly if you take on their mindsets about the meaning of work and our personal lives.

First up – Tom Gruber (the co-creator of Siri). I love the way he draws us into speculation about the future with AI. He asks:

“How smart can our machines make us?”

A powerful refocus on working with what he calls: humanistic AI.

The second TED Talk is from computer scientist and Google China’s President, Kai Fu Lee. He sets the scene for the future of work. About halfway through the talk (around 6-7 minute mark), he presents his future scenario of jobs. How AI will liberate us from the routine and mundane and how people will work alongside AI with analytical tools. The irreplaceable aspect of humans: our brains and our hearts.

Now comes the real world scenarios. Recently released reports from LinkedIn and the World Economic Forum outlined new and emerging roles that will be created by the presence of AI.

“Machines and algorithms in the workplace are expected to create 133 million new roles, but cause 75 million jobs to be displaced by 2022 according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) called “The Future of Jobs 2018.” This means that the growth of artificial intelligence could create 58 million net new jobs in the next few years.”

From the Emerging Jobs in Australia report from LinkedIn, these jobs align with the roles identified by Kai-Fu Lee – not quite to the full extent as he describes them, but certainly trending in that direction.

So yes – there will be disruption. Yes, it may be a bumpy ride. But I find it inspiring – as with the examples also collected by the team this week – when we view the future scenarios and the people behind these developments.


This post is part of a weekly Friday Faves series contributed by the team at Ripple Effect Group. Read the entire series and collections from other team members here.