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Will Humans Lose Jobs to AI Agents?

There is a great deal of concern associated with artificial intelligence taking over jobs that are currently performed by humans. It’s a valid concern and one should take a deeper look at the type of a job that could eventually be performed by a robot or some sort of AI agent.

We should also look at this issue from a different perspective: humans. Which will then beg the question of “Whose job will be transferred to an AI agent?”

What I mean to find out is, who is at risk of losing their job to an AI Agent? Whose job will be eliminated and what can be done about it? In this context, we discuss AI Agent in a broad sense: robots, computers, algorithms, and any other AI product.

I think the following is the first group of “at risk” folks, and the first wave of jobs that will be transferred: Everyone who has stopped thinking at work and are fully relying on computers to tell them what to do.

For example, An Uber driver who only pays attention to the route that is provided by their route guidance app and doesn’t survey the surroundings for potentially better route; A retail cashier who will only do what the computer tells her to do and wouldn’t make better recommendations because the computer didn’t say so; A customer service attendant who’s bound by what’s available in the computer and has forgotten the human touch necessary in the customer service industry. In each case, the human only operates within the bounds established by the computer – and performs his or her job without any initiative or innovation.

Let me simplify my point: The first waves of transfers would happen to folks who have fully given to computers and don’t use any imagination, initiative, or innovation to solve daily work problems.

The one thing that AI agents haven’t mastered yet is imagination, initiative, innovation, and service with a smile.

So, if the above premise is correct, we’ve now identified a way for people who are either in the workforce today or will be in the workforce in the near future: make sure to use your brains on the job to solve problems. As of now, we can teach computers a lot of things, but we still can’t teach them initiative, innovation, and the human touch.

If you are still going to school and thinking of what you should study and what work function you should perform, then choose a career that forces you to use your brain, to imagine, and to innovate! That’s the competitive advantage that will keep you on a job in the future.

 

Majid Abai – July 2017 – Los Angeles

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 About The Author:

Majid Abai is Managing Director of Concepts Rise, LLC. (www.ConceptsRise.com), a High-Technology and Innovation Consultancy based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. With over 30 years of experience in supporting US and global organizations, Mr. Abai focuses on strategic and tactical approach to use of innovation and technology to increase revenues and reduce costs for organizations. Majid could be reached at 424-320-0524 or via email at majid.abai@ConceptsRise.com.

 

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Big Data + Big AI = Big Results

Based on a 2017 marketing report from IBM[1], 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone, at a rate of 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day! And, the report adds, with new devices, sensors, and technologies emerging, the data growth rate will likely accelerate even more.

With so much data to analyze, a great number of organizations, large and small, have invested in building Big Data repositories that contain both internal and external data; and developing new processes and models to take advantage of this informative data.

Big Data has been an excellent topic of conversation in IT departments, executive meetings, and even boardrooms for some time now, and due to excellent results associated with Big Data, we expect the trend to continue for many years to come.

In addition, we are seeing a new approach that can and will raise Big Data to a new level – and that is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) processes to analyze specific areas. You have heard a lot about AI in self-driving vehicles, drones, home cleaning robots, and other areas.

With Big AI being utilized ­in financial, law, healthcare, insurance, and other industries which would allow organizations to focus and customize their products and services to a specific client.

For example, in financial industry, we’re seeing a trend of organizations replacing their stock analysts with AI agents in order to maximize the effectiveness of stocks for each of their clients. Black Rock, for example, has been a pioneer in such movement[2]. In addition to stock selection, financial sector will soon find a variety of AI agents and apps that would customize and manage wealth, savings, credit card selection, purchase analysis – and a lot of other functions for the consumer.

In law, an AI program called Robot Lawyer has successfully overturned more than 160,000 parking tickets in New York and London alone[3] – and is expanding to other areas in the US!

In healthcare, the impact would be even more drastic! With all IoT and mobile devices available for use and the ability to analyze personal data, parental history, and other data sources, we could see a big impact in use of AI in Healthcare anywhere from establishing appointments, increase throughput within hospitals, and even getting patients to and from clinics.

Insurance industry has started using AI for claims management and fraud detection – as well as underwriting and loss prevention[4].

In retail, AI will be amazing! Logistics (just-in-time ordering and shelf management), sales improvement (more customized coupons, and better shopping basket analysis), payment processing (evident from Amazon’s purchase of Wholefoods), and fraud detection and loss prevention (to catch a thief – on spot!), we will see a wholesale change in how retail will start to function.

It is important to reiterate that although I use the examples associated with larger organizations, smaller and mid-sized organizations can certainly take advantage of Big Data and Big AI without having to make multi-million dollar investments. Every company would be able to use the same set of data and processes and take advantage of its Big Results.

 

Majid Abai – June 2017 – Los Angeles

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 About The Author:

Majid Abai is Managing Director of Concepts Rise, LLC. (www.ConceptsRise.com), a High-Technology and Innovation Consultancy based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. With over 30 years of experience in supporting US and global organizations, Mr. Abai focuses on strategic and tactical approach to use of innovation and technology to increase revenues and reduce costs for organizations. Majid could be reached at 424-320-0524 or via email at majid.abai@ConceptsRise.com.

 

[1] IBM Marketing Cloud, “10 Key Marketing Trends for 2017” – https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?htmlfid=WRL12345USEN&

[2] Sara Krouse, Wall Street Journal, March 28th 2017:  https://www.wsj.com/articles/blackrock-bets-on-robots-to-improve-its-stock-picking-1490736002

[3] Arezou Rezvani, NPR, January 16, 2017: http://www.npr.org/2017/01/16/510096767/robot-lawyer-makes-the-case-against-parking-tickets

[4] Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/e07cee0c-3949-11e7-821a-6027b8a20f23?mhq5j=e1

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Innovation Consulting

We simply help companies innovate effectively, consistently, and continuously.

We find many companies innovate once, enjoy the fruits of their innovation, and then stop thinking! Concepts Rise consultants work with our clients’ executive teams to keep them thinking about new products, new services, new markets, new industries, and new set of clients.

How do we do it?

Our approach is simple: We focus on uncharted waters. Our consultants use data and predictive analytics tools to identify a client’s best customers, niche industries, and blue waters – and help client executives develop new products, services, partnerships to support such areas. Moreover, we help them do this consistently, effectively, and continuously, so that their growth is constant.

It’s never too late to innovate! Let us show you how.

For more information – and a free consultation – please contact us via email at info@ConceptsRise.com or call us at424-320-0524.

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10 Steps of a Successful Business Continuity Plan

As part of our engagements with our client organizations, we always ask about the organization’s business continuity plan. We ask this question regardless of the size of the company, or our level of engagement. Answers often sound something like this: “We’re covered!” or this: “We have a very detailed disaster/recovery plan” or our favorite: “We backup our data every night”.

As we dig deeper, our Sherpas often realize that most companies either don’t have a business continuity plan or at best have a data backup plan.

This has prompted me to write this article about the areas that an organization needs to think about when it comes to business continuity.

Step 1: Business Continuity Plan is an Operational Risk, Not an IT one.

Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is an operational risk. It effects much more than just simply the technology side of the house, and would include cross-training, rescheduling, and focusing on worst case scenarios

Step 2: Disaster Recovery Plan is a subset of a Business Continuity Plan

In our opinion, the Disaster Recovery (DR) plan is the technology subset of the business continuity plan. For example, a medium-size break and mortar print organization with several offices across the US, and running several systems including CRM and ERP platforms would not only need a DR plan, but also, need to figure out how to deliver customer online, telephonic, and manual orders should a disaster wipe out one of its print centers. In addition, should a call center be closed due to a natural disaster, would other centers have adequately trained specialists to answer the customer phone calls?

Step 3: Define Key Business Activities

We’d like to start by defining key business activities, processes, and systems within the organization. For example, production lines for manufacturing companies, systems, key resources, and important business processes. We also ask some stupid questions: What if the phones are down for more than one day? Could you continue to operate? Are the phone systems designed to relay phone calls to people who work from home?

Step 4: Define Potential Disasters

What does disaster look like in your business? The scenarios are quite different for each organization. Of course, the following categories are the most common set of business disasters:

  • Natural Disasters (earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, etc.)
  • Architectural Disasters (Fire and Water damage)
  • Technological Disasters (servers crashing)
  • Terrorist attacks (e.g. September 11)

In addition to the above set of disasters, each organization has its own set of issues that could be potentially disastrous for the company. For example, a number of major public companies – as well as the US Federal Government – prohibit traveling of 2 of their high ranking members on the same flight as a method of insuring business continuity.

Step 5: Define the Potential Cost of the Disaster

The way to answer this question correctly is to be able to realize that there are 3 types of cost associated with each disaster (a) The unproductive time/money loss due to lack of resources; (b) revenue loss due to lack of sales; and (c) long-term loss due to customer dissatisfaction. For example, an e-commerce company whose servers have crashed will have to pay its personnel while the site is being recovered; will lose sales for the duration; would pay for online ads during this period; and would potentially lose customers as they might find the rival site and never come back. One should calculate this cost as it would directly help with the next section.

Step 6: Define an Acceptable Recovery Time

Following the above example, if e-commerce company A could potentially lose $1,000 per hour, its business continuity strategy might be quite different than e-commerce company B that is losing $75,000 per hour. In case of Company A, the company might be happy for a recovery time of several hours or days, where Company B, would like the recovery to be a matter of minutes.

Step 7: Define an Acceptable Recovery Budget

So far, we have identified disaster types, cost of each disaster, and acceptable recovery times for that disaster. But how much are we willing to pay to be prepared? Nobody really wants to pay for something that could never happen (including the cost of cross-training, re-deployment, etc.), but it is a necessity of life.

Step 8: Consider External Vendors

What if you couldn’t fulfill your products and services for a certain period of time? Could there be external vendors who could perform these services for that period to keep the customers happy? If so, start building a relationship with them and establish the criteria of working together.

Step 9: Protect Your Data!

Data is the new gold. As part of any solid BCP and DR Plan, you’d need to make sure that your data is backed up, accessible, and recoverable. As long as we know data us accessible, recoverable, and easily discoverable, we would be able to restore it or use it in the interim to support our customers. Let’s use this example: Company A uses a sophisticated ERP format. IT department backs up this data every night to a secure offsite location. A few months down the line, the ERP servers crash and we have to wait for new servers for a week. During this period, this data is not accessible which could cause a lot of issues for the company.

Alternatively, a better business continuity plan, would have dumped key data (customer, product list/cost/price, etc.) to an unsophisticated system on nightly basis, allowing users at various offices to have access to this information during the disaster period.

Step 10: Train Your Employees

And finally…. Make sure your employees know what to do in case of a disaster, whether it is natural, technological, or architectural. It’s important for them to have all steps documented in a manual and practiced those scenarios so that they could react to those conditions naturally. Such manuals should be customized for each vital set of groups, so that they’re simply focused on their specific function in case of a disaster.

In Conclusion

As you can see, organizations should be actively developing business continuity plans and should remember that these are live documents that be modified continually as business requirements, systems, and personnel change. As such, it’s very important for executives to review, update, and test the plan, and schedule training and reminders for their employees and team members, on annual basis. One hopes that such plans are never put into action, but executives should always be ready.

 


 About The Author:

Majid Abai is Managing Director of Concepts Rise, LLC. (www.ConceptsRise.com and www.RevenuesRise.com), a Technology, Revenue Growth, and Innovation Consultancy based in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

With over 30 years of experience in leading and managing US and global organizations, Mr. Abai focuses on strategy and tactical approached to innovation and rapid growth of organizations.

Majid could be reached at 424-320-0524 or via email at majid.abai@ConceptsRise.com.

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FBI Warns of Security Issues of IoT Devices

After reviewing a November 8th article from Wall Street Journal, we can see one of the unintended consequences of our connected lives. The article, titled “FBI Warns internet Online Attacks on Private Business Will Continue” – should be used as a wake up call on potential dangers of such devices. You can see the full article here.

As IoT devices become more relevant to our day to day lives and are utilized more in our business world, their vulnerabilities become more apparent and potential dangers loom in.

This will become a very important time for manufacturers of such devices to think about the ability to analyze warning signs of such attacks and to notify other devices of such dangers.

As we can see, we have a long way to go.

Majid Abai

November 2016

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 About The Author:

Majid Abai is Managing Director and Chief Sherpa at Concepts Rise (www.ConceptsRise.com), a Hi-Tech selection, management, & implementation consultancy to US and international organizations. With over 30 years of experience in leading and managing technology organizations, Mr. Abai focuses on technology management and strategy. Majid could be reached at 424-320-0524 or via email at majid.abai@ConceptsRise.com.

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IoT Data Integration and Analytics

Internet of Things definition: The vast network of devices connected to the Internet, including smart phones and tablets and almost anything with a sensor on it – cars, machines in production plants, jet engines, oil drills, wearable devices, and more. These “things” collect and exchange data.

At Concepts Rise, we help move IoT data from silos into a stream of knowledge. Our tools catalogue and integrate data delivered from IoT devices and above all provide an analytics layer that provide actionable knowledge to our clients. We provide such data to various industries including medical, automotive, retail, and effectively all industries.

Our consultants can also help you determine how IoT would affect your business. Can it reduce costs? Can it increase revenues? Can it impact the future of your organization? We can help!

For more information – and a free consultation – please contact us via email at info@ConceptsRise.com or call us at 424-320-0524.

Information Security Analysis & Advisory

Weaknesses in information security can jeopardize your mission, threaten your profitability, and invite fines and penalties from regulatory bodies. If you aren’t completely confident in your information security posture or your ability to manage IT risk, talk to Concepts Rise. Our cyber security consultants provide services and solutions that deliver continuous security assurance for small/medium size businesses, government, and critical infrastructure.

Concepts Rise is focused on identifying current issues associated with infrastructure, software, and tools used by small/medium size businesses and work with the internal teams and outside vendors to close the security gaps. Concepts Rise protects organizations in various industries.

Outside Counsel for Cyber

Understanding the total realm of possibilities is critical to defending the cyber domain. More than a vendor of technical capabilities, we act as outside counsel to ensure you have an objective view of your security posture and IT risk management strategy. We provide independent advice based on your industry’s best practices and more than two decades’ experience in protecting the information of various organizations.

Whether assessing risk, investigating vulnerabilities, testing for external and internal threats, or engineering a hardened IT security environment, Concepts Rise delivers the capabilities you need for information security and assurance.

For more information – and a free consultation – please contact us via email at info@ConceptsRise.com or call us at 424-320-0524.

Big Data

With Over 25 years of managing massive amounts of data, our team is the best partner for your company to develop, manage, and implement Big Data, Business Intelligence, and Information Analytics projects. We utilize the most experienced specialists, latest technologies, methodologies, and processes in order to minimize project costs, and maximize ROI for our clients.

Our business advisors work with our clients to devise a plan of approach for capturing the nuggets within massive amounts of data that is sitting internal and external to your organization. Since we are fully technology and vendor agnostic, we can offer the best approach that would fit your organization’s vision, approach, and budget.

Let Concepts Rise’s  Big Data consultants help your organization take advantage of many of the best technologies Google, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, and other data giants continue to use and enhance. Our expertise in Hadoop-based platforms, MPP databases, cloud storage systems, and other emerging technologies will help your enterprise get its feet wet with Big Data if you are just embarking on Big Data’s big return or have some infrastructure in place but need some help. We have expertise to help you, including:

  • Business Consultants to plan the right approach for your organization
  • Big Data Architects to design your system
  • Installation and Configuration of Cloudera, Hortonworks, and other Hadoop distributions
  • Data processing using Hive, Sqoop, Pig, and Spark
  • Development using Java, Python, and Scala
  • Integration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure environments
  • NoSQL processing with MongoDB, HBase, and others
  • Relational analysis with Redshift, Vertica, Teradata and others
  • Analytics with Spark, R, Python, and others
  • Visualization and analysis with Datameer, Alpine Data Labs, Tableau, and others

For more information – and a free consultation – please contact us via email at info@ConceptsRise.com or call us at424-320-0524.

Software & Platform Selection & Implementation

For a one-stop solution to tool and platform selection consulting, your organization needs a team that cuts through the sales hype to determine which tool or platform best suits the project, the organization, and the team.

Because we are independent and technology agnostic, we don’t push one software package or another.  Our goal is simply the success of your organization.

Essentially, we are your advocates and program managers in this process. Our goal is to guide you through the challenges and concerns associated with tool and platform selection, manage vendors, and reduce time and cost associated with such deployments.

We take the pain out of tool, platform, and even vendor selection, customization, and installation.

For more information – and a free consultation – please contact us via email at info@ConceptsRise.com or call us at 424-320-0524.

Mobile Enterprise

Concepts Rise’s Mobile Application team possesses comprehensive technical & business acumen capabilities. Its skilled professionals are able to meet the high development standards of the iPhone, iPad, Android phone and Tablet. Our team offers multitude of services, including system architecture design, business and system analysis, UI Design, Interface Design, Code Implement and Q&A. The team has developed several mobile applications that are compatible with iOS and Android for clients globally and in various industries.

For more information – and a free consultation – please contact us via email at info@ConceptsRise.com or call us at 424-320-0524.