Industry Insights

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May Monthly News Digest: Data Science & Analytics

May 31, 2023

Welcome to Burtch Works’ Monthly News Digest, your go-to source for a comprehensive overview of the month’s most significant stories in the world of data science and analytics. This month, we delve into the various AI applications in the domains of retail, education, and advertising. Additionally, we shed light on the escalating concerns surrounding deepfakes and discuss how IBMs hiring needs are evolving in response to AI's increasing dominance, particularly in replacing administrative roles.

AI in Retail: Smarter Stores, Smarter Product Design

The retail industry is increasingly adopting AI technologies to address various challenges such as changing consumer behavior, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and theft. Analysts predict that retail spending on AI in 2023 will be second only to banking, with a projected 40%adoption rate that is expected to double by 2025. Companies are turning to AI-driven analytics and applications to navigate long-term changes in buyer demographics, consumer values, sales channels, and sustainability demands.

In this context, two areas of high-value AI innovation in retail include intelligent video analytics for loss prevention and generative AI for fashion design. Intelligent video analytics technologies are being used to reduce shrinkage, prevent losses in real-time, and enhance asset protection. On the other hand, generative AI is helping retailers create new designs and optimize product onboarding. The adoption of AI in retail is driven by the need for better decision-making, improved customer experiences, increased revenues, reduced costs, and optimized operations. Retailers that embrace AI are poised to benefit from its transformative potential and gain a competitive edge in the rapidly evolving industry.

Read the full article here.

Realtime Deepfakes are a Dangerous New Threat. How to Protect Yourself

Deepfake technology, once known for creating humorous videos of famous people in unusual situations, has evolved into a serious threat. Cybersecurity experts warn that real-time deepfakes, which can replicate someone's voice, image, and movements, are increasingly being used for fraud. The technology is readily available and easy to use, making it difficult to distinguish authentic content from synthetic media. Although tools to detectand combat deepfakes are emerging, they are not always effective or accessible. Scammers have exploited real-time deepfakes to deceive people into sending money, gain insider information, influence voters, and commit other fraudulent acts.

The process of creating deepfakes has become more efficient, allowing attackers to clone faces and voices with basic equipment and readily available software. This poses a significant challenge as deepfakes can be used for malicious purposes, such as catfishing scams or defamation. Even security measures like two-step identification using pictures and voice recognition are vulnerable to deepfake manipulation. The risks extend beyond individuals to businesses, as employees may be deceived by deepfake calls from cloned colleagues or superiors. It is crucial for individuals and organizations to be vigilant and take steps to protect themselves from this emerging form of deception.

Read the full article here.

IBM Plans to Replace 7,800 Jobs with AI Over Time

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna has announced a pause in hiring for approximately 7,800 positions that could potentially be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) systems in the future. This decision will primarily impact back-office functions like human resources, affecting around 26,000non-customer-facing roles. Krishna believes that up to 30% of these positions could be replaced by AI and automation within a five-year period. The move comes amid growing concerns about the impact of generative AI chatbots on human jobs. A recent report by Goldman Sachs estimated that around 300 million jobs could be exposed to automation, potentially leading to reductions or replacements by AI systems. While the role of AI in job displacement remains largely hypothetical, the fear of job loss has become a common explanation for layoffs and reorganizations.

This announcement by IBM reflects a broader trend seen across industries, where companies are exploring the potential of AI and automation to streamline operations and improve efficiency. As technology continues to advance, it will be intriguing to observe how administrative roles, including those in human resources, evolve over time.

Read the full article here.

ChatGPT in Education: Friend or Foe?

The newest phenomenon in educational systems is ChatGPT, and news outlets are seeking teachers' opinions on whether it should be embraced or discarded due to its potential impact on the educational landscape. Students are leveraging ChatGPT for their studies in various ways. It offers inclusivity, allowing nontraditional learners to ask clarifying questions without judgment and assisting teachers in curating lesson plans for students with disabilities. Moreover, it helps students prepare for future workforces by teaching them responsible use of chatbots and providing skills relevant to tech-reliant industries. Additionally, ChatGPT acts as a free tutor, simplifying complex concepts and offering step-by-step instructions.

For teachers, the impact of ChatGPT differs, but it presents both opportunities and challenges. Some argue that teachers should incorporate AI in the classroom to modernize lesson plans and align education with job expectations. However, teachers may spend more time on grading quality control despite the potential time-saving benefits. The decision to ban or allow ChatGPT sets a precedent for teacher-student relationships with technology, raising ethical questions about trust and responsibility.

Read the full article here.

AI Ethics for Ad Professionals: 10 Rules of Engagement

The use of AI in the workplace depends on how it is employed as a tool. Unfortunately, regulations have not kept up with the pace of technological advancements, leaving the responsibility of ethical AI use to individuals. This has led to debates about using AI for tasks like peer reviews or generating AI mockups for presentations. The article proposes ten rules for ad professionals using AI at work. These rules include disclosing the use of AI, providing system transparency to understand how decisions are made, offering recourse for challenging AI outcomes, auditing AI systems for bias, prioritizing human dignity and well-being, and advocating for regulatory protections.

As AI continues to evolve, it will have a significant impact on industries such as advertising, reshaping various job functions. This transformation will bring both benefits and drawbacks, as well as unforeseen changes. To navigate this road ahead, individuals and companies must be prepared and proactive in their approach to AI.

Read the full article here.