The last few years have been inundated with major acquisitions, each creating buzz from within and beyond the business world. To name a few, in June of 2016, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn (which had already acquired online learning site Lynda.com the previous year). Fast forward to last month when Walmart announced it would buy Bonobos - a mostly-online men’s upscale clothing retailer - and Amazon announced it was set to buy Whole Foods Market.
For the last 35 years Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been promising much yet not delivering outside of the academic world. So what exactly is AI? There is actually a fair bit of confusion about even the definition of AI, and here I would like to take Gartner’s viewpoint, avoiding marketing terms like ‘cognitive’ in that AI stands for “Amazing Innovation”.
“The future is already here -- it’s just not very evenly distributed,” is an oft-repeated William Gibson line. (Especially by bloggers, I would imagine.) It’s an insight that may help explain the odd disconnect between innovation and productivity. If you look at the broad US economic growth and productivity statistics for the past decade -- actually a little longer -- it’s sort of like Silicon Valley doesn’t exist.
As important as advanced technology innovation is, its rewards are not distributed evenly. Not every region in the United States has what it takes to be a technology innovation hub like Silicon Valley, and not every U.S. worker currently can get a high-paying, secure technology job working at Google.
The total score for each country--and thus the final overall ranking--is based on 81 criteria, collected under 7 ‘pillars’ that in turn represent 2 overarching sub-indices. The five pillars under the Innovation Input Sub-Index are: 1) institutions, 2) human capital and research, 3) infrastructure, 4) market sophistication, and 5) business sophistication, all of which address elements of the national economy reflecting innovative activities.
It’s challenging to track the breathless pace and breadth of all the emerging technology making it increasingly easy and exciting to collect and share information and images about ourselves, each other and the world we experience. But if you are taking note of the rapid growth, you might well wonder: Where are we heading? How will life change?
Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the USA and the UK are the world’s most-innovative countries, while a group of nations including India, Kenya, and Viet Nam are outperforming their development-level peers, according to the Global Innovation Index 2017 co-authored by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
It’s easier to change an organization’s technology stack than its culture or talent pool, and for banks, sometimes the biggest obstacle isn’t technology or regulation, it’s force of habit. Wells Fargo and Citibank know that now. Both banks have created dedicated innovation units within their organizations in 2015.
Today, we use our phones to do everything from hail rides to find dates to avoid any and all eye contact on public transportation. Of course, there were and are other smartphones out there, but it is hard to argue with how the iPhone has captured the consumer imagination with the potent combination of Apple’s technology, secrecy and flair for design.
Many talk about and plan for an Internet of Things (IoT) future, but they don’t truly understand the true power of its capabilities. Predictions suggest that IoT will have as much impact on human lives, governments, businesses and institutions as the harnessing of water for steam power, the discovery of electricity and the computer age had on the generations before us.