AI- The Road to Superintelligence

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The term “human intelligence” consists of our ability to learn, reason, problem solve, perceive and understand language. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is something that aims at human level intelligence, with machines gradually taking over and becoming an essential part of our daily lives. One of our primary sources of entertainment these days is Netflix, which provides us accurate predictive suggestions about what we like to watch, mainly by tracking our reactions to previous films or TV shows. When it comes to finding our favourite songs, asking for directions, or updating our calendars, we tend to rely on Apple’s personal assistant, Siri. Then there’s Tesla, one of the best cars ever made. It’s human like features, such as self-driving, and predictive capabilities is slowly diminishing our ability to drive without help. The list goes on, and so does our need for another hand.

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Apple, Deepmind, Amazon, Google and Facebook are just a few companies leading the Artificial Intelligence Revolution. We are all familiar with the fact that Google is the largest search engine in the world, Amazon’s AI services bring natural language understanding and of course, as mentioned earlier, Apple’s Siri. These technologies are able to provide digital assistance, decrease repetitive jobs, reduce error and work consistently. One thing we are less aware of, however, is the fact that AI is becoming popular in medicine. This is seen with the IBM Watson, which is a “customized computer designed to deliver a single, precise answer to a question posed in natural language.”   Recently, it has been used for rapid diagnosis of rare leukemia. Writer mentions that so far, hospitals in Japan have used this computer system for about 100 patients with hamartiological diseases and Watson has helped find causes of illnesses for 70 to 80 of them (Writer, 2016).

Our top worry is that superintelligence is just years away, however it is said to be at least decades away (Tegmark, 2017). But is it really? Chinese researcher, Han Wang, thinks otherwise. His introduction of the idea of Artificial Synapse, could lead to smarter AI. Synapses serves as a gateway for our neurons to transmit signals, whether it’s inhibitory, which makes the brain more calm or whether it’s excitatory, which makes our brain more alert. Just as the human brain, Wang mentions that AI allows similar functions, enabling synapses to process digital information (Science, 2017). The mere idea of machines replacing humans is exciting, however, the thought of robots handling customer inquiries wouldn’t be too great. Unemployment will be booming up and machines will always lack a certain human touch, specifically emotion. We, as humans, can care and understand one another, something machines will never achieve. This also suggest a lack of innovation and creativity. Therefore, the statement that “AI will never be able to control humans” is a myth, because humans will always be smarter, however if we give up the position of being the smartest, then we will probably give up control as well.  Just as Tegmark says, intelligence aims control (Tegmark, 2017).

 

The top 3 Ingredients used to Retain Tech Talent

We`re living the in 21st century, a time where IT professionals are in high demand by employers and that’s the recipe for an increasingly competitive market. We’re living in a time where five generations of employees are sharing office space, but employers are still in need to start humanizing their workplace, and that can be achieved with the help of the tech-savvy millennials today.  So how do we retain this tech talent?

Simple: Build a supportive work environment, help employees excel in their careers and finally, provide a competitive compensation package.

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Millennials are hard to satisfy, especially with a boring work environment that doesn’t fulfill their needs. As Forbes mentions, that`s where the innovation or the “Go big and innovative“ come into play. This is a generation that likes working from home, spending time with family and showing off their competitive skills within the workforce.  This is the point where millennials prefer working in an innovative work-space, mainly developing a culture that respects the employees’ life and family. Employers should be offering their employees job security, through the provision of flexible work schedules and work-from-home options. Not only are they in need of a supportive work environment, employers need to go back to basics. Work place should be optimistic and far from toxic, which can be achieved through employee motivation and minimizing conflict when dealing with team dynamics.

Providing an opportunity for career growth:

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Candidates are looking to grow in their careers, which emphasizes the idea that employers should start realizing that promotion isn’t the only way to retain tech talent within the workforce.  One of the main things these tech-savvy millennials want in a job is career growth opportunities. Employers can make this feasible through the provision of performance reviews, job shadowing as well as providing encouragement and support. Performance reviews can help employees gain some feedback, perfecting what they’re doing right and minimizing the incorrect approach. With that being said, job shadowing can enable employees to observe and gain perspective when completing tasks. Finally, encouragement and support will cause employees to perform with the best of their ability as well as increase motivation within the workforce.

Providing a competitive compensation package:

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Of course, most people aren’t motivated solely by money. However, it is still important for an employer to realize that a competitive pay is crucial for employee skill and knowledge. Employers can always step it up by incorporating performance and project based bonuses within their budget. This can help enable reward and recognize tech talent within the workforce.

Bibliography: 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanbiro/2016/01/17/4-tips-for-finding-and-retaining-tech-talent/#4c5154c43425

http://cybsearch.com/why-retaining-top-tech-talent-is-more-important-than-hiring-them/

http://www.cio.com/article/2386250/careers-staffing/8-tips-for-retaining-top-it-talent.html

http://globalnews.ca/news/3349180/millennials-in-the-workplace-why-theyre-not-entirely-to-blame-for-everything/

Images: 

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10 Skills to Look For When Hiring Tech Talent (Hard & Soft Skills)

Searching to find the best candidate can sometimes be a difficult and tedious process. There are many aspects to consider, and ultimately, you just want to hire an individual who can adapt well and fit into your company culture. Any employer wants to find individuals who not only have the necessary hard skills for the job, but at the same time embody the soft skills which are just as important to have.

Listed below are the top 10 Skills to look for when hiring tech talent. 5 of which are Hard Skills, followed by the other 5 Soft Skills.

Hard Skills

  1. Database Administration

The challenges and opportunities of big data are making database administration more crucial than ever. Interest in big data have significantly increased throughout the years, since through it, companies can learn more about their customers. Every company should want to be aware of all that is stored in their internal systems and ultimately collect data from sources. These sources can be from but not limited to the Web, social media sites and third parties. Hence, it is advisable to focus on individuals that are able to construct a logical data map of the company’s systems and collect relevant data, and then report to their management team.

  1. Help Desk and Technical Support

There needs to be technical professionals that are able to aid and support non-technical users. Especially when gaining more clients, there will be subsequently more demands, so it is vital to adhere to their needs. A candidate who Blog Image 3is able to communicate clearly and efficiently with customers is tech talent you need to look for. A big role of this skill is to ensure that no clients are left without answers or explanations if they have any questions or concerns with the products or services provided by your company.

  1. Mobile Application Development

In today’s time, mobile devices have become a massive part of the consumer and corporate worlds.  Giving portability to technology is not just an opportunity, but it is imperative to keep up with current trends. The development of mobile applications continues to be a huge advantage in many business companies. A candidate that possess this skill is beneficial to your company with their ability to create mobile applications that can enhance and help boost your company’s status.

  1. Programming and Application Development

Tech talents with software-developingBlog Image 5 skills are extremely fundamental to any company. Software developers and programmers are deemed to be a difficult position to fill. This is why you want to look for candidates who are capable of delivering customized solutions, which is an asset to have in your organization. In recent studies, there aren’t many students who are pursuing information technology. Utilizing a recruitment agency or having a strong recruiter in your company can help to fill this position efficiently.

  1. Networking

Creating effective links between systems is a fundamental skill for today’s IT professionals. Networking is about making connections and building enduring, mutually beneficial relationships. Thus, look for candidates who have experience and the enthusiasm to partake in networking. From using social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter, to attending conferences that can advertise your company’s brand to its full potential.

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Soft Skills

  1. Adaptability

Organizations in the IT industry are constant changing, growing and evolving in order to keep up with changing market demands. This is why talent that’s adaptable is a valuable asset to your company. “If you’re not finding the right people who have learning agility, who can listen to feedback and evolve, you’re not going to do well as a company. You are looking for someone with a ‘change orientation,’ who can obviously take on new skills and challenges and thrive”, says Jennifer Shappley, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition.

  1. Potential for Growth

It is important to recognize that many IT companies and start-ups are rapidly growing, which means that it is essential to look for talent that will not only fill today’s roles, but advance and develop with the company. “Can they grow with us? Are they able to take on different roles and succeed?” are questions to consider when looking for talent.

  1. Culture Fit

Although there isn’t a definite definition, cuBlog Image 2lture fit continues to be an important aspect to look into about a candidate. Ask questions like “Do candidates share your values? Do they have a variety of skills they’d need to succeed?” (Shappley, May 2016). Applicants who have similar values as your company are the ones you want to hire.

  1. Leadership

Even though this is a broad term, searching for a candidate who is an independent thinker, has a strong voice and a willingness to speak up are necessary to consider. At the same time, you want to look for candidates who are engaged in their company and community, those who are willing to give back without hesitation.

  1. Collaboration

Another key skill to consider is the ability to collaborate with others from different aspects of the company. Candidates who have worked in a matrixed environment, where they have experience working with teams cross-functionally is proven that they will be successful.  This shows that they are flexible, work well with others and are able to communicate effectively with multiple people.

Sources:
http://www.itnews.com/article/3184920/hiring/6-soft-skills-employers-should-be-looking-for-in-tech-talent.html?platform=hootsuite
http://culturefit.com/chicago-top-skills-tech-talent/
http://info.spearheadstaffing.com/blog/bid/379534/Top-5-Skills-to-Look-for-When-Hiring-Tech-Talent-in-The-Financial-Industry
http://www.infoworld.com/article/3166032/it-careers/the-value-of-soft-skills-in-a-high-tech-world.html
https://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2014/11/22/every-company-know-hiring-tech-talent/#.tnw_J7YLbc2h
http://startupheretoronto.com/partners/techvibes/tech-leaders-fed-up-with-talent-shortage-in-canada/
https://www.collegesearch.in/information-technology-in-india