15 August 2022 21:31

MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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CIOs Should Maintain and Promote an Objective Understanding of the Real Capabilities of Smart Machines

The growth of sensor-based data combined with advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) are enabling smart machines to make increasingly significant business decisions over which humans have decreasing control, according to Gartner, Inc.

"As smart machines become increasingly capable, they will become viable alternatives to human workers under certain circumstances, which will lead to significant repercussions for the business and thus for CIOs," said Stephen Prentice, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "In the 2015 Gartner CEO and business leader survey, opinions were equally divided on this issue and indicate that business leaders are starting to take notice of the advances being made and more readily acknowledge that the threat to knowledge work is real."

Already the growing capabilities of automation and robotics have led to their increasing deployment in a wide range of industrial and business environments, which has prompted debate as to their impact on existing jobs in sectors such as manufacturing. "As smart machines become more capable, and more affordable, they will be more widely deployed in multiple roles across many industries, replacing some human workers. This is nothing new. The deployment of new technology has eliminated millions of jobs over the course of history," said Mr. Prentice. "At the same time, entirely new industries have been developed by those technologies, almost always creating millions of new jobs. Organizations must balance the necessity to exploit the significant advances being made in the capabilities of various smart machines with the perceived negative impact of resulting job losses."

During the next five years, Gartner predicts that smart machines will inevitably be relied on to make more decisions that are of growing significance to the business, raising the fear that they may become "unstoppable" or run out of control.

"The fear among many individuals is that the machines will 'take over,' start making decisions on their own and run out of control, posing a threat to individuals, society and even humanity itself," explained Mr. Prentice. "However, within the confines of currently known technology, the idea of machines attaining some level of 'self-awareness,' 'consciousness' or 'sentience' is still the stuff of science fiction. Even with the coming generation of smart machines, which actively 'learn' and will be able to adapt their actions to optimize their progress toward a goal, humans can choose to remain in control."

Additionally, the explosive growth of sensors, both physical and virtual, will provide smart machines with more "perception" and context of the physical world, enabling them to work more autonomously in support of business goals, leaving CIOs to highlight the risks and opportunities involved.

In the early days of computing, human operators "fed" the system with relevant data, thereby effectively controlling the machines' knowledge of the physical world. With the increasing availability of low-cost computing devices, increased connectivity, sensor networks and the Internet of Things, computing "complexes" are now collecting data about the physical world without direct human involvement (other than the initial launch of the system and sensor devices). The number of sensors, each collecting data in an automated fashion, is set to grow rapidly — Gartner estimates that more than 25 billion devices will be connected by 2020. It will create a massive increase in this background data collection.

"In effect, smart machines are now collecting information about practically every facet of human activity on a continual, pervasive and uncontrollable basis, with no option to 'turn off' the activity. The potential reputational damage arising from uncontrolled and inappropriate data collection is well-established and can be substantial," said Mr. Prentice. "CIOs should work hard to increase awareness of this issue inside the organization and ensure that the implications of this activity are fully understood and that appropriate controls, processes and procedures are established."



According to ZenithOptimedia’s new Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, in 2017 the internet will be the biggest advertising medium in 12 key markets, which together represent 28% of global adspend.

In four of these markets internet advertising will attract more than half of total adspend. Globally the internet will remain in second place, behind television, though the gap between the market shares of the two media will shrink from 11 percentage points this year to just four in 2017.

The internet was already the dominant medium in seven markets last year – Australia, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK – and by 2017 will dominate another five – China, Finland, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand. The internet’s market share will exceed 50% in the UK this year, in Denmark and Sweden next year, and in China in 2017.

Mobile is driving growth in internet market share and global adspend

The main driver of internet growth is mobile advertising. Between 2014 and 2017 we forecast that mobile will more than double its share of global adspend, from 5.1% to 12.9%. Desktop internet’s share will remain stable, changing from 19.3% in 2014 to 19.4% in 2017, while every other medium will lose share to mobile. Mobile is also the driving force behind the growth of the whole market, and will contribute 70% of all global adspend growth between 2014 and 2017.

Global adspend to grow 4.2% in 2015

ZenithOptimedia forecasts that global adspend will grow 4.2% to reach US$531bn in 2015, and will accelerate to 5.0% growth in 2016, boosted by the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and the US Presidential elections. Adspend will then slow down slightly in the absence of these events, growing 4.3% in 2017.

We have reduced our forecasts for adspend growth in 2015 and 2016 fractionally, by 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points respectively. This is partly due to the strength of the US dollar against the currencies of many faster-growing markets, which reduces their contribution to the global total, and partly due to a weakening in Latin America.

Latin America remains key driver of ad growth despite slowdown

Latin America has been restrained by low prices for oil and other export commodities, and the weakness of the economy in Brazil, which shrank 1.6% year-on-year in Q1. We have reduced our forecasts for growth in Latin American adspend by three percentage points in 2015, from 11.4% to 8.4%. For our full forecast period, between 2014 and 2017, we have scaled back our forecasts for Latin America’s growth from 12.0% a year to 6.9% a year. Latin America remains one of the world’s fastest growing regions, and a key driver of global adspend growth. We still expect double-digit annual growth rates from Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela, with Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama close behind, growing at 8%-9% a year between 2014 and 2017.

Fastest growth coming from Fast-track Asian markets

The fastest growth in adspend is coming from the region we call ‘Fast-track Asia’, which includes China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Their economies are growing extremely rapidly as they adopt best business practices and technology, while benefiting from the rapid inflow of funds from investors. This region is the main engine of global adspend growth, and we forecast it to expand by 9.1% a year between 2014 and 2017. The star performers are India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, each of which we forecast to grow at double-digit rates over this period.

Eurozone continues to strengthen, though risks remain

The eurozone economy has strengthened over the past few months, thanks mainly to low oil prices and the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme. The eurozone is a big net importer of oil, and the drop in oil prices has acted like a tax cut for consumers, who have spent their savings elsewhere. The economic stimulus has fed through to the ad market, which we now forecast to grow 2.0% this year, up from our previous forecast of 1.6%.

Not all eurozone markets are in recovery yet, though most are moving in the right direction. We forecast a 0.3% decline in Finland this year, followed by 1.6% growth in 2016; for France we forecast a 0.4% decline this year and a 0.1% decline next year.

Greece had a strong 7.9% recovery in 2014, but the election of the Syriza government and its fraught negotiations with its creditors have brought this recovery to a halt. We forecast just 0.5% growth for Greece in 2015. Clearly there is a big downside risk to this forecast if Greece’s debt negotiations break down, resulting in default or eurozone exit.

“The internet is quickly establishing itself as the dominant advertising medium, and on current trends will overtake television by the end of the decade,” said Steve King, ZenithOptimedia’s CEO, Worldwide. “However, this refers only to traditional television viewed on TV sets. The amount of time viewers spend watching online video on their laptops, tablets and smartphones is increasing rapidly, and advertisers are shifting their budgets online to follow them. The spread of internet devices and new advertising technology will give advertisers new opportunities to communicate with and learn from consumers, and to do so more effectively than ever before.”

MSLGROUP, the strategic communications and engagement consultancy of Publicis Groupe, and the largest brand and reputation advisory network in Asia and Europe, took home three awards at the 2015 PRWeek Awards Asia including one Silver and two Bronzes.

Recognised as a benchmark in the communications industry, the PRWeek Awards Asia rewards clients and agencies for the best strategies and achievements that have transformed businesses and brands.

Charlotta Lagerdahl Gandolfo, Regional Business Director, MSLGROUP in Asia, said “Being recognized by the PRWeek Awards once again demonstrates our capabilities in delivering integrated solutions, grounded in insights, that generate real impact on our clients’ bottom lines. We are comitted to driving change in our industry and will continue to evolve to exceed our clients’ expectations.”

The winning campaigns include :

 CeBIT India from ‘just a trade fair’ to ‘technology intelligentsia’ by 20:20 MSL, won Bronze for B2B Campaign of the Year for the integrated media advocacy campaign that cut across conventional PR tools to ensure the success of the first CeBIT in India.

 Follow Me! The Dongfeng Citroën New Elysee Journey to Mount Everest by Genedigi MSLGROUP, won Bronze for Brand Development Campaign (product) for a bold idea that drove consumer engagement with user-generated digital content that was amplified through mobile marketing. A high-risk, high-reward camapign, it generated amazing sales results.

 Crowdsourcing Brand Loyalty: Huawei Fan Celebration by Genedigi MSLGROUP, won Silver for Corporate Branding Campaign of the Year for its creative and strategic engagement with consumers which showcased the company’s transparency and openess to enhance brand loyalty.

These accolades follow a string of award wins for MSLGROUP this year, including a Gold Stevie in the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, Marketing Magazine’s Event Marketing Agency of the Year, Best Mobile Campaign from PR Daily Awards, and a Silver in Advertiser Magazine’s yearly awards competition in China.

‘ht48hours’ is the new weekend lifestyle supplement which will be distributed free along with Hindustan Times in select areas in Mumbai.

This supplement will come out every Friday & Saturday.

‘ht48hours’, the new weekend read,  has been specially curated for Mumbaikars so they can get the best of 48 hours to delve deep into the most interesting weekend activities from art, theatre, travel, shopping, offers at spas and salons, weekend brunches and everything else that is happening in the city.

The cover stories, every week, will take an in-depth look at lifestyle activities, or an event, or a new trend which everyone is talking about, with the help of innovative design and fun elements.

This supplement will cover various categories including the latest happenings in the tech world, with reviews of the latest gadgets, and apps, latest trends in food with innovative recipes from well-known chefs and all the latest happenings in Music, Dance, Stand-up Comedy, Theatre, Art and Fashion.

It will be complete with an ‘Insider's Guide’ to hidden secrets at famous establishments and neighborhoods; coming from experts.

Talking about this new supplement, Nitin Chaudhry, Business Head – Hindustan Times, Mumbai said, “At HT Mumbai our endeavours have always been to provide our readers of this fast paced city, with more than just news and ‘ht48hours’ is a step ahead in that direction. This supplement will be a definitive weekend fix for our readers and will make their weekend unwinding even more exciting!”

Monday, 22 June 2015 00:00

Conflict Is Good for Creativity

Conventional thinking says that conflict is bad for teamwork and should be kept out of the office, but putting individuals in a conflictual state of mind can enhance their creativity.

The workplace can be full of conflict. Groups of people, driven by different goals inevitably find themselves at cross purposes and disagreements flare up, regardless of industry or country. Add personality clashes and different personal values into the mix and the firm can become a crucible of professional rivalry. Sometimes it can become destructive to the firm as a whole.

For this very reason, managers are told to downplay conflict as much as possible and to foster and facilitate team harmony because clashes are detrimental to trust, collaboration and creativity.

But what if such conflict could be harnessed by managers to enhance performance?

In our paper The Combined Effect of Relationship Conflict and the Relational Self on Creativity, my doctoral student Eun Jin Jung and I, found that helping people to see themselves in relation to others, especially during episodes of conflict, made them crystalise their goals and strive to achieve them by more creative means. This is because most people want harmonious relationships with those around them and when obstacles to achieving that harmony appear, they become more determined to overcome them.

Who are you?

Many of us define our “self” in relation to those around us, for example, “me when I’m with my partner or close friends” and “me at work with my colleagues”. Some are more relational than others. For example, those of East Asian origin where social interdependence is strong are more relational than those from Western backgrounds that emphasise autonomy, while women across cultures tend to be more relational than men.

This matters because relational selves consider close others’ outcomes as their own and greatly value their responsiveness to others’ needs. This desire for harmony can be a powerful tool for enhancing work outcomes and as we discovered in our paper, even less relational individuals can be motivated by conflict.

Putting conflict to work

In our study, we asked 113 Americans in two groups to read a short story on a situation that put them in the shoes of a relational individual and another in an independent condition. The two groups then had to recall a harmonious and a conflictual relationship situation they’d felt in the past.

They were then asked to write down their thoughts and feelings of those particular situations, which we examined for depth and detail of their experience to determine their persistence to overcome the conflict.

Afterwards, participants completed a creativity test called the Remote Associates Test, which measures the ability to identify associations between normally unrelated words (for example, elephant, lapse, vivid; Answer: memory) so we could see how putting them in this frame of mind impacted their creative ability.

We found that relationship conflict has the positive effect of boosting creativity for relational people, because it motivates them to think harder to find solutions for the conflict. We also went on to study a Korean sample in which we were able to replicate our findings.

We also investigated what sparks creativity in more independent individuals. What we found in this case was that a process conflict (i.e. controversy in a group about how a task should be completed or how resources are allocated), rather than a relationship conflict, was equally effective at making them persistent and hence creative.

Making conflict work for you

For managers, this means that the concept of removing all conflict from your teams should be taken with a pinch of salt. But this isn’t a call to create a conflictual environment for your employees to work in. Remember that this is about putting people in a frame of mind that makes them aware of the differences between themselves and others.

In a practical setting, this could be applied by using instances of conflict or past conflict to invoke the relational self in the individuals involved or to help them be mindful of interpersonal incompatibility to activate relational thinking. For the more independent individuals, perhaps managers should think twice about intervening to remove obstacles that might make the individual facing them work harder to overcome them. Setting people’s minds to think about their place in their families can also be an easy way to create a natural conflict within between the self at home and the self at work to fire up an ambition to maintain harmony in both settings.


Written by Sujin Lee, Associate Professor at KAIST.



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