The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up much of the technology change that was already underway. People have found themselves working and learning at home, which is usually at “the edge” of computing networks operated by their employers and schools.
While at home, many employees are also substantially increasing their consumption of entertainment content. The changes in working conditions and the transformation that comes with it will continue, complemented by innovations in AI, processing, and connectivity, empowering new capabilities and services at such edges.
What is an edge network?
In a sentence, what might qualify as “edges” of networks will continue to evolve into collections of devices that work faster and more often locally versus relying on cloud connectivity. Staying away from some of the connectivity will also make devices safer, more reliable, and more energy-efficient.
The transformation has immense implications for the world, some of which we’ve already witnessed.
Here are five reasons smart technology at the edge is here to stay.
First, technology at the edge gives us participation.
Technology has proven itself to be an indispensable tool for getting people together at times and in ways that may once have seemed impossible.
Work teams and families no longer have to physically share the same room to exchange their thoughts and feelings. Even more profoundly, people who were once locked out of the job market because they couldn’t physically show up for a 9-to-5 job can use tech to work where and when it’s best for them.
Having the ability to access all variations of people and their skills has and will bring many new people into the workforce, such as those who spend a large amount of time caring for children or the elderly, or for those who a commute to work, is not an option.
Second, it enhances productivity.
Stay-at-home orders have meant that people have discovered just how much time they spent commuting to work, which is time they can now utilize being more productive.
The time saved that was once lost to being “in transit” can be put to productive use thanks to edge technologies, which replicate many of the functions (access to data and one another, for instance) that was once exclusively available only at work sites.
It also can deliver greater productivity without a commensurate increase in harmful emissions, not to mention the emotional wear-and-tear that comes with sitting in traffic.
Third, edge computing is more protective of our privacy.
Privacy is better protected since more data collected on our devices is processed and used locally, too, the risk of hackers accessing personal data is reduced.
Additionally, if data is distributed in this way — in homes and offices versus collected on giant shared servers or other platforms – it is a less attractive target for criminals.
The effort required to hack a single home will likely outweigh the benefit of whatever might be uncovered. Further, there are significant security protocols (both hardware and software) that make these events very unlikely.
Fourth, it provides us with safe personal spaces.
It has been amazing how many people have found refuge in driving their cars during the pandemic (as “safe spaces” to be while experiencing the outside world).
The idea of that physical movement, from Point A to Point B, as useful personal or professional time, means a greater need for automation and security.
People are looking at these spaces and “moments” as a personal safe time, and also using these spaces and moments productively creates greater urgency for offloading active driving tasks to smart technologies such as ADAS.
The purposes for our use of vehicles may well be changing, as should our expectations for them. We should be able to expect that our time in our vehicles is as safe, both from viruses and traffic incidents, just as our time at home is both personal and protected.
Finally, the edge creates more possibilities.
Putting computing intelligence and faster processing at the point where data are sensed and collected provides benefits. That suggests a variety of new uses, such as smarter security and environmental controls or, in vehicles, more tools to make driving safer.
Doing so more securely makes it possible to consider novel applications for user data, especially in the areas of Machine Learning and lifestyle services.
Imagine digital home assistants that really and truly understood the needs and expectations of their users. The possibilities are endless.
As the pandemic has focused all aspects of our lives into our homes, the edge has broken down barriers that previously segmented or limited what we could experience in our homes.
Now we can do things faster, more conveniently, more securely, and therefore more often than ever before. Experiencing smart technology at the edge has only begun to show us the possibilities of a world that anticipates and automates our needs.
Image Credit: fauxels; Pexels
How to Build a Startup Team With an Entrepreneurial Mindset – ReadWrite
Much of your startup’s success will depend on the quality and integrity of the team you put together. With talented, committed, hardworking people, even a merely decent idea can turn into something groundbreaking. Conversely, even a great idea can struggle to survive if it doesn’t have a solid team in place to support it.
Obviously, you’ll need to work hard to choose the right people for your team – individuals with a solid experiential background, proof of ample talent, and genuine passion for the business. But beyond that, you’ll need to work actively to equip your team with the right mindsets and philosophies to guide them to productive, innovative work.
While there are conflicting opinions for what type of company culture works “best,” there’s no denying that your company can (and likely will) benefit from building a team with an “entrepreneurial mindset.” But what is this mentality, and how can you construct it from scratch?
What Is an “Entrepreneurial Mindset?”
Let’s start with a description of the “entrepreneurial mindset.” This is an internalized mentality, philosophy, and approach to working within the members of your team that mimics what the most ambitious entrepreneurs tend to feel.
The mindset includes:
- Creativity. Entrepreneurs are creative types. They want to create new ideas, modify existing ones, and come up with inventive new ways to deal with problems. They’re not afraid to think outside the box and try out new concepts – even if they don’t work out. They also like to encourage and promote creative ideas from other people, providing feedback, direction, and motivation to their teammates.
- Autonomy and independence. The entrepreneurial mindset also prioritizes autonomy and independence. Entrepreneurs in a business environment don’t wait for someone else to tell them what to do, and they generally don’t have to run their ideas through a bureaucratic chain of command to take action. Instead, they trust themselves, they operate decisively, and they remain agile. In an entrepreneurial environment, your employees will function autonomously in most cases as well.
- Change and growth. To be an entrepreneur is to accept the importance of change and growth. The only way for your business to reach more people and make more money is to evolve; that means adding new products and services, changing internal processes, and sometimes, pivoting the entire brand.
- Experimentation and adaptation. You probably already know how important it is to remain flexible and adaptable when growing your business. It’s also important for your workforce. With an entrepreneurial mindset, your team of employees will be much more likely to experiment with different approaches and adapt to new scenarios.
- Ambitious problem solving. Successful business owners are primarily ambitious problem solvers; they understand there’s some weakness or challenge in the world and are driven to “fix it.” With this mentality, your employees will be more likely to show enthusiasm when solving problems and rising to meet challenges.
The Value of an Entrepreneurial Team
So what’s the real value of an entrepreneurial team?
For starters, you can cut back on direct management and oversight. When all members of your team feel like they have a direct impact on their work environment, and when they’re empowered to do their best, they don’t need as much direction or supervision. Instead of looking over their shoulder, giving them project details, or micromanaging your employees, you can set priorities for them, trust that they’re going to work toward them, and shift your attention to more important matters. This lends itself to a less stressed, more inviting workplace – and allows you to be more productive while tackling the most important projects for your startup.
An entrepreneurial mindset also leads to a diversity of thought. When individuals are encouraged to have their own ideas, thoughts, and opinions, they tend to speak more openly in a collaborative environment. They’re more willing to volunteer ideas, offer constructive criticism, and provide meaningful feedback to each other. Such an environment makes it much easier to identify and get rid of bad ideas (before it’s too late), while simultaneously establishing the groundwork for the presentation of highly ingenious concepts.
Additionally, startups need to keep adapting if they’re going to stay alive. Over time, your target market might change, you might face new competition, and new challenges will threaten your previous approaches. The only way forward is to adapt, incorporating new systems and processes and changing your infrastructure. Ordinarily, teams of employees are reluctant to adapt – after all, most of us don’t particularly like change. However, when the team accepts the importance and value of ongoing adaptability, they’ll be much more likely to be onboard with your latest changes and experiments.
How to Build a Startup Team With an Entrepreneurial Mindset
Now for the big question – how can you build an entire startup team with a baked-in entrepreneurial mindset?
- Create the culture. Everything stems from your company culture. Before you employ any of the following strategies, make sure you have a solid idea for what you want your company culture to be. What are your core values? What is the “ideal” employee mindset? How should this mindset be fostered? What rules exist, if any, to enforce this? Document your company culture guidelines first.
- Choose the right candidates. With a culture document in place, you’ll find it much easier to interview candidates – and find out whether they’re a good fit for this environment. Even if they have a lot of talent and experience, they may not thrive in an entrepreneurial workplace; figure this out early, before you hire someone.
- Lead by example. You’re the leader, so set the tone. People will follow your example. Whatever habits you want your employees to practice, incorporate them into your own daily work.
- Nurture from the top down. You’re not the only leader within your organization, so make sure you select and support strong leaders who can embody and spread your desired entrepreneurial culture from the top down.
- Encourage independent management and decision making. Sometimes, employees will have to run their idea “up the ladder” before taking action. But as much as possible, it’s important to encourage autonomy and independent decision making. Empower your employees to make their own decisions, set their own goals, and devise their own approaches to work.
- Stimulate creativity. Creativity is vital for an entrepreneurial mindset to thrive. Use creative brainstorming sessions, music, art, and other exercises to encourage your team to think in novel ways.
- Get everyone to contribute in meetings. Encourage every member of your team to contribute in your meetings. More contributors will foster an environment of openness and collaborative sharing; it will also help you ferret out the best ideas, which otherwise might be held back by nervous participants.
- Reward good ideas. When a member of your team comes up with a good idea or solves a complex problem, reward them and publicly praise them. It will encourage further idea generation in the future and motivate other team members to volunteer their own ideas.
- Respect bad ideas. It’s not just about good ideas; it’s also important to tolerate and even respect bad ideas. When someone volunteers a questionable idea or makes a poor decision, show your support. Feel free to offer feedback and criticism, but don’t make the person feel bad for trying to do something inventive or helpful. You don’t want to punish people for trying something new.
- Remain adaptive. The most innovative, disruptive businesses are the ones that can adapt. Encourage your team members to remain similarly adaptable, keeping an open mind for new ideas and being willing to change when necessary.
Once your team is full of people thinking and acting like entrepreneurs, your company will be much more flexible, innovative, and productive. And best of all, this entrepreneurial culture tends to be self-sustaining; your employees will naturally spread it to new recruits and continue to foster this creative, efficient environment.
Will AI dominate in 2021? A Big Question – ReadWrite
In 2020, AI had rapid transformations and unexpected developments along with excellent innovations. We, as humans have entered into the most digitalized era of all times.
Due to the pandemic of coronavirus, technology has become the central focus like never before. Internet and social media witnessed a tremendous boost as well. No doubt but the COVID-19 brought about massive success to most technological fields.
Will AI dominate in 2021? A Big Question
With progressive developments and advanced modifications in technology, Artificial Intelligence needs no introduction. This groundbreaking technology has been so promising for the past several years and is moving at an advanced pace.
We are Captivated by Artificial Intelligence
Agreeing with the fact that the technologies are captivating us completely with their interesting innovations and gadgets. From Artificial intelligence to machine learning, IoT, big data, virtual and augmented reality, Blockchain, and 5G; everything seems to take over the world way too soon.
Keeping it to the topic of Artificial Intelligence, this technology has expanded its grip on our lives without even making us realize that fact. In the days of the pandemic, the IT experts kept working from home and the tech-grounds kept witnessing smart ideas and AI-driven innovations.
Artificial Intelligence is also the new normal.
Artificial Intelligence is going to be the center of our new normal and it will be driving the other nascent technologies to the point towards success. Soon, AI will be the genius core of automated and robotic operations.
In the blink of an eye, Artificial Intelligence can be seen adopted by companies so rapidly and is making its way into several sectors. 2020 has seen this deployment on a wider scale as the AI experts were working from home but the progress didn’t see a stop in the tech fields.
For the year 2021, Artificial Intelligence is expected to level up to a great extent and is going to deliver phenomenal AI implementation.
Artificial Intelligence in 2021
Even if we talk about the days before the pandemic, AI and ML were already causing drastic changes and widespread disruption in all sectors and industries. Now after the whole year that is passed in the quarantine, in 2021 — we are expecting everything to resume back to normal.
Artificial intelligence and related technologies are going to be the biggest key components that would be impacting almost every sector. Yes, this impact is definitely going to be highly positive so we don’t have to look at the darker side — yet.
With the passing of time, AI would become a key trend that will reshape our home, personal, and work life. This can be pretty alarming right away but soon you will find the advantages that AI will bring.
-The global artificial intelligence software market is estimated to grow speedily in the coming years and would reach up to $126 billion by 2025, a recent report reflected.
In this article, I will show you the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the whole world. With the below-written trends, you will be able to gain an insight into how Artificial Intelligence is reshaping every sector.
It is predicted that whoever leads artificial intelligence in 2030 will continue to rule the world in 2100.
Trends in Artificial Intelligence for 2021
Will AI dominate in 2021? It is the hottest topic and the biggest question running through everybody’s mind.
Artificial Intelligence is going to bring a huge change in the industry and in almost all sectors. We are looking forward to seeing Hyperautomation in every field. This is basically the idea of embedding everything with the automated processes. The repetitive tasks must be done with automation.
AI-powered solutions will help businesses a lot over here and would help these businesses to be redefined. Intelligent technologies will also reshape workplaces with phenomenal capabilities.
AI-driven dynamic operating models:
Most industries are going to adopt Artificial Intelligence for data-driven strategies and to come up with smart technologies and solutions. Due to the pandemic, almost every business has witnessed a loss. Now, everybody is pretty clear that their future plans need to be smoothed out, via Artificial intelligence.
Also, Artificial intelligence is going to bring rapid changes in decision-making as well. Companies look forward to saving their time and cost both and this would be enabled by using the AI.
Autonomous operations for increased efficiency:
In almost every sector, management looks for options that can help the company to be efficient and more secure than ever. AI will bring a boost and the businesses will implement the technology to bring autonomous operations on the stage that will enhance efficiency and the processes will get simplified.
Multiple technologies will play a significant role and the AI will become the center of the activities. Taking care of all the operations and making them more simplified and enhanced, AI will play a vital plank.
The field of Artificial intelligence engineering is on the rise. People look forward to pursuing their career paths in the niche of AI to get a secure job future. CEOs and IT leaders of the company are looking forward to deploying new artificial intelligence systems that are maintained and more simplified.
AI is also becoming the core of education and we are going to witness a huge change in the education field knowing as the personalized learning in the form of ML or machine learning. Companies are also going to go for robust engineering strategies to enhance performance.
Convergence of AI into AIoT:
The AI and IoT are turning old concepts into the new concept of AIoT — and it’s on the rise. The internet of things and artificial intelligence are being combined to come up with a newer form of technology. Adding AI into the IoT would help the AIoT to complete the tasks and to learn the data without the involvement of humans.
AIoT will be a lot more defined and will dominate the tech industry. Up to 21% of homes will become smart homes in 2021. AIoT will also be able to adjust in the cities and buildings.
Another amazing concept is brought about by Artificial intelligence and the technology of the internet of things. Edge-AI is the technology of moving the decision-making process seamlessly and the provision of secure and analyzed data is the responsibility of edge AI as well. This is the pure blend of edge computing and artificial intelligence.
With the help of edge-AI, the smart devices would use AI algorithms and edge computing to come up with the data processing. This will be deployed to every smart gadget and device including mobiles, laptops, drones, robots, self-driven cars, and cameras, etc.
The total cost of AI:
Earlier, it was considered as only the tech giants can use the AI technology but now the startups and the small software initiatives can also look out for the deployment of Artificial intelligence. It is now more accessible to all the companies and they can use the tools of their choice along with the frameworks.
The projects that are powered by AI and ML are expected to grow tremendously. The companies are looking forward to integrating AI into their systems and making their processes go seamless.
Explainable AI is going to be in the trend of 2021 and is going to dominate for sure. The explainable AI would help the data scientists to create trust across all the companies and the merchandise that are dealing with the AI and ML projects. The model explainability will also be kept in front of AI experts.
The biggest artificial intelligence vendor, Google, has also offered the development tools and frameworks revolving around the concept of explainable AI. We are looking forward to seeing some more interesting projects that are based on the explainable modules of AI.
Quantum computing on rise:
If we say AI is here to stay — then it would definitely not be wrong. As we can see that along with AI, quantum computing is also on the rise. Here AI will combine with the quantum theory that revolves around the concept of computer technology and its principles. Both the technologies together are going to bring drastic changes.
With the increased demand for computer science and technology, artificial intelligence and quantum computing are the most thriving technologies of the industry.
AI as the service:
The demand for AI is rapidly increasing. People are looking for the experts of AI and the professionals who can create custom AI projects so this is indirectly helping the artificial intelligence experts to rise in demand. These professionals are working to provide IT services as well.
Artificial intelligence will continue to thrive for a very long so if the students are going to opt for this career field, they are definitely going to land a bright future.
Artificial Intelligence will continue to dominate the world in 2021. It will soon take over every sector and industry and will continue to thrive.
How Do We Innovate in a World of Slowing Growth? – ReadWrite
Millions of would-be startup entrepreneurs, software developers, and other innovators are struggling. They want to create new products, design new technologies, and introduce the world to new heights of productivity and wellbeing. But we’re entering an era of slowed technological growth – at least in some ways.
How Do We Innovate in a World of Slowing Growth?
Innovation is at the heart of any thriving economy. New technologies mean new companies, new jobs, and new opportunities for all existing companies – not to mention a higher quality of life for everyone involved (in most cases). But if our rate of innovation is unsustainable, where do we go from here?
Are We Really Slowing?
First, let’s explore the idea that innovation is slowing down – because it’s not a foregone conclusion. There are strong signs that innovation is slowing in some respects, but other experts have argued that many of these forms of deceleration are temporary.
For starters, productivity growth in the United States has been slowing consistently over the past few decades.
In the 1950s, American productivity was increasing by more than 3 percent each year. By the 1980s, that rate of increase had fallen to 2 percent, and today, the rate of increase is less than 1 percent annually.
What accounts for this slowing over the past few decades?
There are several potential factors. For starters, research-centric universities like MIT and Harvard were getting more funding and more attention. Major corporations like General Electric and Ford were investing heavily in R&D departments.
And technologies originally developed during World War II (often to fuel the war effort) were commercialized and distributed, with widespread access to them for the first time.
Some experts have suggested that the lack of innovation is a direct result of a lack of investment. If we invest more heavily in R&D in corporate departments and universities alike — we’d be able to see better results.
But this doesn’t necessarily stand to reason; our R&D spending is, collectively, many times higher than it’s ever been before. And yet, the productivity rate growth remains.
Is technological innovation to blame? How can that be?
Others suggest that this is the inevitable effect of technological innovation, which we would see in any society of intelligent beings. Major breakthroughs in technology function like low-hanging fruit; they’re relatively easy to brainstorm, and it’s only a matter of time before they get developed.
Once developed, breakthroughs increase our capacity and make other “low-hanging fruit” technologies easier to think up and develop. From the 1700s through the 1950s, we saw the development of technologies like the steam engine, running electricity, nuclear power, and of course, the internet.
What’s New in Tech?
But now that we’re here, the low-hanging fruit is no longer available. Scientists and researchers are spending all their efforts making our existing technology better – not necessarily coming up with something new.
We’re developing quantum computers as a kind of last area of research for computers, since we’re already pushing up against the boundaries of physics as we know it today.
We’re coming up on some hard limits of human knowledge.
Our model of physics is relatively unchanged since the 1980s. We haven’t made many major advancements in fields like chemistry for decades. And Moore’s Law, which once practically dictated the pace of improvement for transistors — is at its end.
Are we on a tech plateau?
That said, there are some arguments that we’re merely on a temporary plateau. The idea is that, sooner or later, new technology will come along to help us ascend to new heights, opening the door to other technological developments. For example, next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) could make it possible to solve problems that are currently unthinkably hard to address.
What about rates of productivity growth?
There’s also the argument that slowing rates of productivity growth are actually because of innovation, not due to a lack of it. When innovation happens quickly or occurs in an unexpected direction, it can disrupt the economy in such a way that interferes with GDP growth.
For example, when the internet began to encroach on the territory of newspaper companies, it shrunk the profitability of an entire industry.
Directions for Innovation
So how do we continue to innovate in an era with slowing growth?
There are a handful of important possibilities to note:
- “First principles” thinking. One of the most important avenues for progression is going to be “first principles” thinking. In other words, we need to return to the ground level and rethink some of our longest-standing assumptions. When it comes to innovation, we tend to upgrade various components of an existing system or machine. For example, cars haven’t fundamentally changed in many decades; every component of modern cars is superior, in some way, to older variants, but we’re still working with an engine and four wheels. First principles thinking would encourage us to start from scratch, reimagining what a “car” is from the ground up and challenging our previous assumptions.
- Lateral expansion. We could also attempt to innovate and expand laterally. Admittedly, this doesn’t qualify as “innovation” in the purest sense. Rather than inventing something totally new, you’ll be entering new, previously unexplored territory. That could be something as simple as reaching a new target audience with your digital advertising strategy, or as complex as introducing a new industry to a developing country that currently lacks it. Existing technology is highly advanced, but not all people of the world can access it equally. New audience targeting, geographic expansion, and cost cutting can all help us progress in this area.
- Combination and repackaging. In the past decade, most of our best “innovations” have been novel ways of combining and repackaging other existing technologies. For example, the pinnacle of modern technology is, in many ways, the smartphone. But even Apple’s first-generation iPhone didn’t introduce many new features; calling, texting, emailing, and browsing the internet were all already in existence. They just weren’t packaged together conveniently. Since then, we’ve seen many new phone models, but the upgrades are relatively minor, such as more detailed cameras and slightly faster processors.
Supporting Further Innovation
Innovation doesn’t typically happen in a vacuum. It most often happens in dense teams, with strong leaders, and the backing of tons of interested investors and supportive partners. In other words, our best innovators need support.
So how do we, collectively, support further innovation and growth?
- Investment. One straightforward method is to pour mor money into research and development. With more investment, scientists, inventors, and developers can do more. Of course, there are some limitations here; our R&D spending is higher than ever, yet it’s not giving us a steady conveyor belt of new technologies.
- Risk. Culturally, we need to embrace risk and rethinking long-standing structures and systems. It’s a risky move to rethink our concept of a car from the ground up, especially if you’re starting a brand new company to do it.
- Public recognition. We also need to recognize that innovation is slowing and behave accordingly, as consumers. The most recent iPhone isn’t substantially different than the previous generation; perhaps we can throw our enthusiasm behind more novel, innovative presentations.
- Political theories. It’s also worth noting that people from different political backgrounds have different ideas for tackling this issue. For example, some could suggest the best solution is to foster a truly free, capitalistic market that naturally encourages entrepreneurs. Others may believe that more government control and investing could develop ideas that a free market may not support.
Toward the Next Generation of Technology
The human thirst for innovation and growth is unquenchable, so if we’re currently in the middle of a technological slowdown, the optimistic view is that this is only temporary. We’ll continue making iterative progress in areas that can continue progressing and eventually stumble upon a major breakthrough that forces us to reconsider everything we used to know.
However, if we’re going to find that new technological breakthrough, and support a healthy economy while we wait for its arrival — it’s important that we recognize this slowdown and foster innovation in any way we can.
Productivity increases may have slowed, but they’re still increasing – and that should give us plenty of momentum to keep growing for decades to come.
Image Credit: susanne jutzeler; pexels – thank you