THINK Week In Review: The “Future” Edition

Predicting exactly how the future will play out is impossible. But, if you look in the right places, it is possible to make some educated guesses along the way:

Yes, it’s that time of the year: What’s next? Predictions for the Banking Industry in 2018. “The speed of change in financial services will not slow down. Consumer expectations will continue to rise as digital innovation defies what we can imagine today. From AI and IoT, to chatbots and voice activated banking, it will be harder and harder to keep up – or catch up.

As mentioned by the authors of the Forrester report, “Consumers and prospects don’t care about a bank’s clogged-up digital backlog or an insurer’s problems with its legacy systems.” Stop-gap solutions will no longer suffice. Significant investments in infrastructure and a internal shift from a legacy culture is needed that embraces the opportunities of the future.

In the end, it is about value creation for the consumer, who will reward those organizations that make their daily life easier.”

Why AI is the ‘New Electricity’. “AI is the new electricity,” said Andrew Ng, co-founder of Coursera and an adjunct Stanford professor who founded the Google Brain Deep Learning Project, in a keynote speech at the AI Frontiers conference that was held this past weekend in Silicon Valley. “About 100 years ago, electricity transformed every major industry. AI has advanced to the point where it has the power to transform” every major sector in coming years. And even though there’s a perception that AI was a fairly new development, it has actually been around for decades, he said. But it is taking off now because of the ability to scale data and computation.

Human-Centered Design is so yesterday. Now we design for AI. Welcome to the age of Centaur Design. “Today, most tech products are designed to optimize for attention, which requires elevating the individual user above all else. Human-centered design has been great at streamlining users’ everyday activities, like navigating a city (Google Maps), socializing (Snap, Facebook), and shopping (Amazon). It hasn’t been great at understanding how users interact with, and are influenced by, larger political, economic, cultural, and technological systems–sometimes to disastrous effect. Design’s next big paradigm will have to account for these systems. Put another way: What happens when computers stop working for us, and start working with us? What does that look like?”

Great corporate strategies thrive on the right amount of tension. “Strategy making involves both the deliberate execution of intentional plans and responsive actions to emerging issues. Both activities are necessary to ensure strategic success and corporate longevity. Therefore, your strategy needs a level of stress that requires you to cope with the gap between the plan and its execution.

Too much stress to your strategy can be detrimental; but a sufficient amount of strategic stress ensures that your organization moves forward efficiently, and keeps you alert and responsive to emerging developments. Just like a diamond is the valuable outcome of constant pressure from multiple sides, strategic success results from balanced pressure on your strategy.”