CIW: Kick Your Algorithm

Are algorithms good for our lives? They impact everything we do in an age where people live on their phones. Would you be up to the challenge of turning off your phone for a full day? Most people are not! The apps themselves have many positives, but we have all seen some of the negatives that arise from cyberbulling and general haters. Still, they can help us in the case of an emergency and can give us immediate information that is tailored to our interests.

As we look at the decisions that are made for us, we have to be aware of potential traps to make sure that we do not develop bad habits. Brad Keywell sat down with Dick Costello, the former CEO of Twitter and they talked about how we should and should not manage relationships with our digital platform. Costello shared some interesting insights into his time at Twitter and how being the head man created problems because nobody is willing to talk to you. One of my favorite elements from what he discussed was the concept of telling staff that nobody is allowed to say “Dick said _______________”. In other words, if you want to rationalize and support your work and/or behavior, you cannot use the crutch that Dick said something or that you thought Dick said something. He gave an interesting example of how an off-handed comment led to the removal of all plants around their headquarters. At the end, he gave three recommendations which made a lot of sense: 1) Stop treating all Twitter accounts (and other social media accounts) equally; 2) Recently created accounts should be given less weight than reputable brands and long time participants, a step that prevent the spate of recently set up accounts; and 3) Make people earn their way into the eco-system–you will earn the reputation that you have.

Ramesh Srinivasan, author of “Beyond the Valley” spoke about how many major societal advances come out of public projects, the internet being a shining example. He also spoke about how many of the largest companies in the world own nothing, except their systems: Uber, Facebook, Air BNB and Alibaba. He estimates that 47% of existing jobs could be based on AI and machine learning but that the challenge will be making sure that we do not perpetuate existing biases.

Julie Zhou, author of “Making of the Manager” shared her experiences with AI attempts and the challenges of being responsibly intentional.

This session had a ton of great information and it was challenging to capture it all. I think next time I need an AI robot to help me take all of the notes!!

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