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Success with automation and AI requires a high ‘RQ’

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Companies know that a high IQ can help drive business value. But the analyst outfit Forrester Research believes that if companies are going to successfully work side by side with artificially intelligent systems, they’re also going to need a high “RQ.”

RQ, or robotics quotient, is a measurement of how competent a company will be at automation and AI implementation. The Forrester assessment is based on three main areas: people, leadership and organizational structures. A fourth area, trust, will influence the three main categories and change depending on the type of technology being deployed.

J.P. Gownder, a Forrester analyst serving CIOs, described RQ as the “human contribution” companies need when deploying automation and AI technologies. “It’s not just about the bots; it’s not just about artificial intelligences,” he said in a July presentation at the New Tech and Innovation 2018 conference in Boston. “It’s about real people, real leaders and real organizational structures that you need to put in place to make sure you’re most likely to succeed.”

Toronto moments

Automation and AI technologies are on a spectrum from more deterministic, where A always leads to B, to more probabilistic, where A could lead to B but could also lead to C or to D.

And these probabilistic systems create a new wrinkle for companies: No matter how swanky the user interface or how cutting-edge the technology, probabilistic systems can produce incorrect — and even illogical — results that can erode the trust humans have in the machine’s abilities.

Gownder pointed to IBM Watson as an example. During its Jeopardy! debut in 2011, Watson answered a final question about U.S. cities with “Toronto,” causing the audience to gasp. When researchers did a post-mortem, it became clear that even Watson doubted the response. Using probabilistic judgement, the machine determined that Toronto had only a 30% chance of being correct, but it was the best answer it could come up with at the time.

These “Toronto moments,” as Forrester now refers to them, “teach us something about the intersection between human beings and AI and the trust that is part of this,” Gownder said.

The more probabilistic a system is, the more human intervention it might need. But designing systems and processes that strike a balance between trust and intervention will be a challenging step for companies. That’s where Forrester believes RQ will come in handy.

What is RQ?

The robotics quotient is a self-assessment that “measures the ability of individuals and organizations to learn and adapt to and collaborate with automated entities,” Gownder said. It’s composed of 39 characteristics that Forrester regards as a collection of automation and AI best practices.

Forrester Research, RQ, robotics quotient, PLOT frameworkJ.P. Gownder

The higher the score, the more prepared a company is to tackle the new challenges that come with automation and AI technologies. But RQ doesn’t just measure readiness, according to Gownder. It also enables CIOs to “identify gaps or areas where you need to prioritize resources before you make a big bet on automation and AI,” he said.

The 39 characteristics fall into one of three categories — people, leadership and organizational structure. People, for example, are measured across different dimensions — such as facilitation, which considers how effective an employee might be at communicating with an automated entity, and perception, which includes things like basic digital literacy and “constructive ambition,” or an eagerness to learn.

For leaders, the RQ highlights vision, adaptability, the ability to inspire trust and influence. The final category refers to IT employees and beyond; CIOs will need to influence the C-suite and even the board of directors to secure the budget, buy-in and support that automation and AI tools can demand. “The CIO is no longer a benign dictator who has all the power,” Gownder said. “This is the creation of an ecosystem across business units with lots of participation from the workers themselves.”

Organizational structures will also need to adapt. Automation and AI may require new titles such as bot manager, new training and mentoring opportunities for humans and machines alike, new processes that encourage human-machine team creation, and new metrics. “After all, we can have all the good intentions, and the well-educated employees and the leaders who are on board,” Gownder said, “but if we do not create structures, processes and budgets — the b word — we’re going to have a hard time getting this through.”

Don’t forget about trust

The categories of people, leadership and the organization are then measured against one final category — trust. Gownder called trust “a multiplier in this model.” Automation and AI technologies exist on a spectrum from transparent to opaque, and where the technology falls on that spectrum will influence employee trust.

“If you’re implementing something that is very transparent, that is very deterministic, your employees will bring a high level of inherent trust to the machine. They’re used to these sorts of systems,” Gownder said. “If you’re using probabilistic systems, where the machine is often uncertain of its results, then you’re going to have a higher burden of RQ investment.”

Forrester’s model breaks down the complexity of trust by providing a numeric value for how deterministic the technology is, how transparent the technology is and how much change the technology could have on the workplace.

The changes that automation and AI will have on the workplace could be a sensitive area for leaders, especially as automation and AI instigate changes in the workforce. “As you might imagine, when employees are losing their jobs as part of a deployment of automation, you magnify the mistrust among remaining employees,” Gownder said. “It raises the bar for the change management.”

But the efforts could be worthwhile. As repetitive tasks become automated, job satisfaction generally goes up, Gownder said. And although AI remains in its early stages, it is poised to transform how companies operate and interact with customers.

Whether companies choose Forrester’s RQ method or not, Gownder argued that an organizational competency in AI and automation is needed.

“If you want to be successful in creating a mixed workforce that incorporates digital workers, human workers, lots of automated processes, lots of probabilities, lots of real-time data and AI, you’re going to have to measure your people, your leaders, your organization and the inherent trust that is associated with technology,” he said.

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Source: https://searchcio.techtarget.com/feature/Success-with-automation-and-AI-requires-a-high-RQ

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Meituan shares slump as fallout from CEO’s poem post festers

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Shares of Chinese food delivery giant Meituan slumped further on Tuesday in a sell-off precipated by the social media posting by its chairman of an ancient poem that was perceived by some as criticising the government and President Xi Jinping.

The company, which recently raised $10 billion, has lost $30 billion in market value over two days amid a broader drop in Chinese tech shares as investors remain jittery over a regulatory clampdown that last month ensnared Meituan.

The poem, posted on May 6 by Chairman and CEO Wang Xing on a small social media site that he founded, criticises the emperor of the Qin dynasty, who burnt books to suppress intellectual dissidents, only for it to be overthrown by illiterates. While many on Chinese social media interpreted the posting as an allusion to the anti-monopoly campaign backed by Xi, Wang on Sunday said he was referring to business rivals, saying that “the most dangerous opponents are often unexpected ones”.

The original posting has been removed.

Meituan declined further comment.

Adding to investor concerns, the Shanghai Consumer Council said late on Monday that it had summoned Meituan and e-commerce firm Pinduoduo, accusing them of violating consumer rights. On Tuesday, Meituan shares tumbled 5.3% to a seven-month low. “I think mainland investors paid more attention to the poem, but international investors are more worried about the rising cost of employing riders of the company,” said Fred Wong, chief investment officer at Hong Kong-based eFusion Capital.

He was referring to social media criticism of Meituan and other industry players’ treatment of delivery riders, most of whom are not covered by basic social and medical insurance.

The Hang Seng Tech Index, which includes Chinese tech giants Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com, dropped as much as 4.5% on Tuesday to a six-month low.

(Reporting by Shanghai and Beijing newsrooms, Editing by Tony Munroe and Gabriela Baczynska)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/meituan-shares-slump-fallout-ceos-poem-post-festers/14574

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Meituan shares slump as fallout from CEO’s poem post festers

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Published

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Shares of Chinese food delivery giant Meituan slumped further on Tuesday in a sell-off precipated by the social media posting by its chairman of an ancient poem that was perceived by some as criticising the government and President Xi Jinping.

The company, which recently raised $10 billion, has lost $30 billion in market value over two days amid a broader drop in Chinese tech shares as investors remain jittery over a regulatory clampdown that last month ensnared Meituan.

The poem, posted on May 6 by Chairman and CEO Wang Xing on a small social media site that he founded, criticises the emperor of the Qin dynasty, who burnt books to suppress intellectual dissidents, only for it to be overthrown by illiterates. While many on Chinese social media interpreted the posting as an allusion to the anti-monopoly campaign backed by Xi, Wang on Sunday said he was referring to business rivals, saying that “the most dangerous opponents are often unexpected ones”.

The original posting has been removed.

Meituan declined further comment.

Adding to investor concerns, the Shanghai Consumer Council said late on Monday that it had summoned Meituan and e-commerce firm Pinduoduo, accusing them of violating consumer rights. On Tuesday, Meituan shares tumbled 5.3% to a seven-month low. “I think mainland investors paid more attention to the poem, but international investors are more worried about the rising cost of employing riders of the company,” said Fred Wong, chief investment officer at Hong Kong-based eFusion Capital.

He was referring to social media criticism of Meituan and other industry players’ treatment of delivery riders, most of whom are not covered by basic social and medical insurance.

The Hang Seng Tech Index, which includes Chinese tech giants Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com, dropped as much as 4.5% on Tuesday to a six-month low.

(Reporting by Shanghai and Beijing newsrooms, Editing by Tony Munroe and Gabriela Baczynska)

Image Credit: Reuters

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://datafloq.com/read/meituan-shares-slump-fallout-ceos-poem-post-festers/14574

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Renault, Nissan looking for more savings on batteries – De Meo

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PARIS (Reuters) – French carmaker Renault and its Japanese alliance partner Nissan are in talks to collaborate more and improve the savings they can derive from using the same battery technology, Renault Chief Executive Luca de Meo said on Tuesday.

Batteries are one of the costliest aspects of developing electric cars, at a time when auto groups are racing to pull ahead in this segment. For Renault and Nissan, it has also long been one of the weaker points of a partnership stretching back over 20 years, with each sourcing batteries in different ways, including from South Korea’s LG for the French firm.

“If we manage to come up with a very synergetic approach on batteries, the alliance will probably be one of the first to cross the threshold of a million cars sold on the same battery module,” De Meo told a Financial Times car conference.

Collaborating on battery technology will be a big test of the future of the Renault-Nissan alliance, shaken by the 2018 arrest of its architect-turned-fugitive Carlos Ghosn, and which new managers at both firms are trying to get on track.

They face stiff competition from the likes of Volkswagen in the race to produce cleaner, electric vehicles at an appealing price for consumers. Their German rival is planning to build six battery factories in Europe alone by 2030.

De Meo said on Tuesday that Renault and Nissan were cooperating closely on production and sourcing components.

“We are making a lot of decisions to communalise things… battery modules for example is one of the things we’re discussing right now,” De Meo added.

Both firms are still straining to deliver on their own turnaround plans, and Nissan on Tuesday posted a record annual loss, triggered in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. That will drag on earnings at Renault, which has a stake in the firm.

Renault shares were down 4.8% at 0944GMT.

(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume and Sarah White, editing by Estelle Shirbon)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/renault-nissan-looking-savings-batteries-de-meo/14573

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Renault, Nissan looking for more savings on batteries – De Meo

Avatar

Published

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PARIS (Reuters) – French carmaker Renault and its Japanese alliance partner Nissan are in talks to collaborate more and improve the savings they can derive from using the same battery technology, Renault Chief Executive Luca de Meo said on Tuesday.

Batteries are one of the costliest aspects of developing electric cars, at a time when auto groups are racing to pull ahead in this segment. For Renault and Nissan, it has also long been one of the weaker points of a partnership stretching back over 20 years, with each sourcing batteries in different ways, including from South Korea’s LG for the French firm.

“If we manage to come up with a very synergetic approach on batteries, the alliance will probably be one of the first to cross the threshold of a million cars sold on the same battery module,” De Meo told a Financial Times car conference.

Collaborating on battery technology will be a big test of the future of the Renault-Nissan alliance, shaken by the 2018 arrest of its architect-turned-fugitive Carlos Ghosn, and which new managers at both firms are trying to get on track.

They face stiff competition from the likes of Volkswagen in the race to produce cleaner, electric vehicles at an appealing price for consumers. Their German rival is planning to build six battery factories in Europe alone by 2030.

De Meo said on Tuesday that Renault and Nissan were cooperating closely on production and sourcing components.

“We are making a lot of decisions to communalise things… battery modules for example is one of the things we’re discussing right now,” De Meo added.

Both firms are still straining to deliver on their own turnaround plans, and Nissan on Tuesday posted a record annual loss, triggered in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. That will drag on earnings at Renault, which has a stake in the firm.

Renault shares were down 4.8% at 0944GMT.

(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume and Sarah White, editing by Estelle Shirbon)

Image Credit: Reuters

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://datafloq.com/read/renault-nissan-looking-savings-batteries-de-meo/14573

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