Robots Do It Better Why Automation Is Good for Business

first_img No matter what your job is, it’s likely that a machine will someday do it better. And, for many American workers, that day may come sooner than later.According to a paper published by researchers at Ball State University, roughly half of the jobs American workers perform could be automated in the near future; the study also found low-income work as the category most susceptible to automation.Related: 5 Areas to Automate to Drastically Increase Your Business ProductivityWhile change is inevitable in the more physical professions, it’s increasingly apparent that knowledge-based jobs — those requiring some special skills or expertise — are equally at risk. In fact, some of those positions are already being replaced.The value of hard laborAs a college professor, I spend most of my days reading, writing and thinking about theoretical topics. It often feels like my fingers are the only parts of me that get any exercise, so I like to set aside time on the weekends to work in my yard.I recently dedicated an entire day to whipping my front yard into shape. I grunted and groaned as I hauled dirt, hacked away at vines, chopped down trees and shrubs, and mulched. Aside from offering a great workout, those hours of grueling manual chores allowed my mind to wander in sometimes unexpected ways. In the midst of this exhausting work, I started to think about automation.I certainly enjoy working in the fresh air, but I’ll admit it would be nice to have someone else — or something else — handle the backbreaking labor for me. I could always pay a company to take care of it, but I would spend as much time making sure the job was done right as I would doing it myself.Another option: I could invest some capital into advanced tools capable of handling the job: A few thousand dollars would buy a Honda Miimo, which is like a Roomba for your yard. Fire it up, and you can cut your grass without breaking a sweat.So, the message is clear: Instead of our paying for someone else’s labor — or paying with our own sweat equity — we can let machines do the hard work for us. The economy employs engineers and entrepreneurs to build these advanced machines, and the upshot is that consumers need not turn to experts to tackle jobs around the house. In fact, Recode has reported that using these machines is more affordable than ever.But there’s a problem with this thinking, in that Americans tend to view the elimination of jobs as a negative. One reason for those eliminated jobs — automation — even feels like the end of the world as we know it. Picture sci-fi movies and scenes of robots wiping out the human race.In reality, though, the evolution of machines will actually lead to a more prosperous society. While Amazon has started to use thousands of robots to help deal with menial tasks in its warehouses across the country, Quartz reported that the company is still hiring tens of thousands of new workers every quarter.So, highly educated workers will have jobs developing these machines, and less skilled workers will be able to use those machines to boost their productivity. We’ll get more output per labor unit, forever liberating people from humdrum drudgery. Sounds good to me.Bringing disruption to any industryRather than a threat, then, the rise of more intelligent machines represents an opportunity to disrupt the economic status quo through automation. Here are three strategies for entrepreneurs who want to shake things up by replacing existing processes with novel new ideas:1. Think in terms of value rather than cost. Entrepreneurs are successful when they’re able to find new ways of doing things. To successfully replace production processes, you must aim to create value rather than minimize or manage costs. You can’t disrupt an industry simply by doing something “a little cheaper” than competitors — that’s neither a rationale for starting a new business nor a sustainable business advantage, as others will simply do the same thing.Instead, aim to develop completely new ways of doing things. Some people assume companies such as Amazon are successful because they’re able to undercut competitors on price. Yet Amazon has achieved 25 percent year-over-year growth, according to the Motley Fool, because it has created an entirely new way of delivering goods and services to consumers.Likewise, think about who gets the value you create. Entrepreneurs serve themselves by serving others. You profit only if your customers are satisfied, and you have to know who they are if you want to keep them happy. If you’re able to identify a market for an innovative product or service and deliver value, people will pay for it. Cost doesn’t matter as long as the value you provide is greater.Related: Four Ways To Give Your Customers Value2. Invent your problem.Entrepreneurs have a tendency to think they need to solve a problem to be successful. That perspective leads many would-be entrepreneurs to seek a problem lacking a solution, but this is a shortsighted approach. If you want to actually disrupt a market, you need to invent a problem that doesn’t yet exist.Apple sold more than 211 million iPhones last year, and the iPhone undoubtedly solves plenty of problems on a daily basis. But when Steve Jobs first introduced the product, it didn’t solve a problem that anyone could identify. People didn’t mind a lack of the internet in their pockets back in 2007 — it wasn’t a problem at that point. Instead, Apple changed the way people behaved by offering unprecedented value. A decade later, most people would be absolutely lost without their iPhone.3. Ignore what’s already being done.It’s easy to fall into the trap of examining existing products and processes and trying to brainstorm ways to improve upon them. But instead of creating value, this approach tends to focus more on minimizing costs. When you think like this, you’re entering the arena of incumbent firms and trying to beat them at their own game.Do you really think people in those organizations haven’t thought about how to improve production processes? Of course they have. Your advantage lies in creating new value, which requires you to focus less on what other companies are doing and more on what could be done instead.When Arianna Huffington wanted to differentiate the Huffington Post from other media outlets, she knew she had to do something truly unique. So, she mastered the art of search engine optimization before anyone else was even thinking about it. While other publishers guessed at reader preferences, the Huffington Post team used data-driven methodology to give readers exactly what they wanted. It’s no coincidence that the site remains a media behemoth.Related: 4 Ways Startups Can Harness Innovation and DisruptionAutomation isn’t a new phenomenon, and it doesn’t signal the end of work. Elon Musk discussed automation during the 2017 World Government Summit in Dubai, arguing that there are “fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better.” But even as Musk pronounced a future where robots will take our jobs, he predicted that this increased automation will help create abundance in our society.The takeaway here is that each innovation increases our labor productivity, meaning we can do more work more efficiently, reaching our desired standard of living along the way. For entrepreneurs, the latest wave of automation presents new opportunities to disrupt the economy and create a brighter future for everyone. And that doesn’t sound like any sci-fi movie to me. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 7 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. October 20, 2017 Register Now »last_img read more

Twitters CEO Jack Dorseys Senate Testimony On Twitter algorithms platform health role

first_imgLast week, on Monday, The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will testify before the committee regarding Twitter algorithms and content monitoring. The hearing is scheduled to take place on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 5, 2018. It is Wednesday, and Jack Dorsey has released a Testimony ahead of appearing before the committee today. Mid August, Jack Dorsey announced plans to rethink how Twitter works to combat fake news and data scandals. In July, Twitter deleted 70 million fake accounts in an attempt to curb fake news and improve Twitter algorithms. It has been constantly suspending fake accounts which are inauthentic, spammy or created via malicious automated bots. In his testimony, Dorsey has pushed back critics who have accused Twitter of censoring political content and not acting quickly enough to take down hateful expression. “Twitter does not use political ideology to make any decisions, whether related to ranking content on our service or how we enforce our rules.” His testimony provided information on four important factors that E&C sought answers for. Improving Twitter’s health Twitter algorithms Twitter’s work on Russian meddling of the 2016 elections Information on recent malicious activity Twitter saw on the platform. Twitter Healthcare Regarding Twitter’s health, Dorsey asserted that the platform has developed a more “comprehensive framework” to encourage healthy debate, conversations, and critical thinking. Earlier this year, Twitter began collaborating with the non-profit research center Cortico and the MIT Media Lab on exploring how to measure aspects of the health of the public sphere. They also requested outside experts for their proposed health metrics for Twitter. Following which the social platform is partnering with the University of Oxford and Leiden University and other academic institutions to better measure the health of Twitter, focusing on “informational echo chambers and unhealthy discourse on Twitter”. Twitter Algorithms In 2016, Twitter introduced a Home Timeline new ranking feature to show people the Tweets they might find most interesting first. Twitter also has a notification timeline that enables people to see who has liked, retweeted and replied to their Tweets, as well as who mentioned or followed them. Twitter algorithms also promote “Safe Search”. Per this mode, potentially sensitive content is excluded from search results, such as spam, adult content, and the accounts an individual has muted or blocked. Individual accounts may also mark their own posts as sensitive. Twitter also uses behavioral signals to determine how Tweets are organized. When a Tweet is identified as potentially detracting from a healthy conversation, it will only be available to view if you click on “Show more replies” or choose to see everything in your search setting. Using behavior signals, Twitter has had a 4 percent drop in abuse reports from search and 8 percent fewer abuse reports from conversations. In preparation for the hearing, Twitter data scientists analyzed Tweets sent by all members of the House and Senate that have Twitter accounts for a 30 day period spanning July 23, 2018 until August 13, 2018. They observed that there is no statistically significant difference between the number of times a Tweet by a Democrat is viewed versus a Tweet by a Republican. Their performance is the same because the Twitter platform itself does not take sides. Twitter’s work on Russian meddling of the 2016 elections After the meddling of Russian interference in US presidential elections in 2016, Twitter conducted a comprehensive platform activity. They identified 50,258 automated accounts that were Russian-linked and Tweeting election-related content. They also conducted an analysis of accounts that promoted election-related Tweets on the platform throughout 2016 in the form of paid ads.  The two most active accounts were affiliated with Russia Today (“RT”), which Twitter subsequently barred from advertising. Per Dorsey’s testimony “Twitter’s main focus is on promoting healthy public discourse through protection of the democratic process. We must continue to work together with our elected officials, government partners, industry peers, outside experts, and other stakeholders so that the American people and the global community can understand the full context in which these threats arise.” Recent Malicious activity Twitter saw on its platform Twitter has suspended a total of 3,843 malicious accounts affiliated with the Russian Internet Research Agency. “As an example of Twitter’s ongoing efforts, Twitter identified 18 accounts in March 2018, believed to be linked to the Internet Research Agency uncovered by our ongoing additional reviews.” They have also suspended 770 accounts for violating Twitter policies in Iran. These accounts were in violation of  Twitter’s platform manipulation policies and were engaged in coordinated activity intended to propagate messages artificially across accounts. Dorsey says, “Twitter has been in close contact with our industry peers about the malicious accounts located within Iran—we have received detailed information from them that has assisted us in our investigation, and we have shared our own details and work with other companies.” Dorsey ends his testimony saying that increased transparency is critical to promoting healthy public conversation on Twitter and earning trust. “We remain vigilant about identifying and eliminating abuse on the platform perpetrated by hostile foreign actors, and we will continue to invest in resources and leverage our technological capabilities to do so,” he wrote. You can read Dorsey’s entire testimony here. Read Next Facebook, Twitter takes down hundreds of fake accounts with ties to Russia and Iran, suspected to influence the US midterm elections. Twitter’s trying to shed its skin to combat fake news and data scandals, says Jack Dorsey. Twitter allegedly deleted 70 million fake accounts in an attempt to curb fake news.last_img read more

Insight Luxury Gold added to Virtuoso lineup

first_img Posted by Share Insight, Luxury Gold added to Virtuoso lineup TORONTO — Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold have been accepted into Virtuoso’s portfolio of luxury travel partners, which comprises 1,700+ preferred suppliers in 100 countries.Inclusion in Virtuoso will open up new sales and marketing opportunities to the network’s more than 16,000 luxury travel advisors around the world and their highly desirable clientele, says Ulla Hefel Böhler, CEO of Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold. Virtuoso agencies sell more than US$21.2 billion annually.“Virtuoso’s acceptance process is incredibly discerning, so becoming a preferred partner is a true honour, and we are 100% committed to fully supporting the long-term success of our partnership,” said Böhler. “The reputation Virtuoso member advisors have for outstanding dedication to their clients is a perfect fit with our own bespoke approach to service. Now that we’re part of this renowned network, we look forward to offering Virtuoso advisors and their clients special amenities, values and experiences that surpass their expectations.”More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJInsight and Luxury Gold’s acceptance into Virtuoso gives them direct relationships with the world’s leading leisure travel agencies in North and Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, she added.Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold join several other TTC brands that are already part of the Virtuoso network, including African Travel, Inc., Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, and several properties that are part of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection: The Milestone Hotel and Residences, The Egerton House Hotel, The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat, and Ashford Castle.“We are pleased to welcome these two award-winning brands, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold, as Virtuoso’s newest luxury travel partners since they offer unforgettable experiences and exceptional service,” said Matthew D. Upchurch, Chairman and CEO of Virtuoso. “We also share similar principles in making sustainable travel more accessible for travelers and providing purposeful travel experiences to our clients.” Tuesday, January 9, 2018 center_img Tags: Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, Virtuoso Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more