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Solutionism: The Perils of Using Technology to Solve Other People's Problems

Posted by Learningly Staff on

What will it take to design socio-technical systems that actually work? With the current focus on the U.S. as an “innovation economy,” it’s common to read essays predicting the end of a major social problem due to a technical innovation.Bitcoin will end poverty in the developing world by enabling inexpensive money transfers. Wikipedia and One Laptop Per Child will educate the world’s poor without need for teachers or schools. Self driving cars will obviate public transport and reshape American cities. The writer Evgeny Morozov has offered a sharp and helpful critique to this mode of thinking, which he calls “solutionism.”...

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Executive pay: Neither fair nor rigged

Posted by Learningly Staff on

Bosses’ pay in the rich world is not a fix. But it is flawed IN SEPTEMBER 2012 Marissa Mayer, newly installed as the CEO of Yahoo, an internet firm, and positively glowing with star power, met members of the company’s compensation committee. She told the committee that she was in discussions with a potential candidate to be her right-hand man, and wanted to get guidance on “compensation parameters”. Ms Mayer described the candidate’s expected compensation package as “$15m per year (with $40 million as part of that up front in a four-year grant) and a $16m or more make-whole payment.”...

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The quest for digital skills

Posted by Ron Diorio on

The quest for digital skills is an Economist Intelligence Unit report on the supply and demand of digital skills across four industries: financial services, healthcare, retail and manufacturing. The research is based on an online survey of 422 European and US executives, from functions including strategy and business development, marketing, sales and human resources. Survey data is supported by in-depth interviews with senior commentators and experts, including: Susana Berlevy, digital HR director, Lloyds Banking GroupElizabeth Cowper, HR and people-development director, Harvey NicholsJessica Federer, head of digital development, BayerRobert Mahowald, vice-president, IDCRich Pearson, senior vice-president, UpworkPeter Sondergaard, senior vice-president, GartnerRachel Weiss, vice-president of digital...

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Education and policy: Re-educating Rita

Posted by Ron Diorio on

Artificial intelligence will have implications for policymakers in education, welfare and geopolitics IN JULY 2011 Sebastian Thrun, who among other things is a professor at Stanford, posted a short video on YouTube, announcing that he and a colleague, Peter Norvig, were making their “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course available free online. By the time the course began in October, 160,000 people in 190 countries had signed up for it. At the same time Andrew Ng, also a Stanford professor, made one of his courses, on machine learning, available free online, for which 100,000 people enrolled. Both courses ran for ten...

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Cross the boss

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SHOCKING as it may sound, bosses occasionally ask underlings to do unscrupulous things. In a study in 2013 by Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI), a non-profit body, 9% of American employees said they had been pressured by managers to undertake a task that compromised their ethical beliefs. Standing up for yourself can be bad for your career. When Countrywide, an American mortgage broker, leant on its staff to commit fraud by passing on defective loans to the government, it fired those who spoke out. Indeed, according to ECI, 21% of employees who reported misconduct at work said they faced some...

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