Amy Webb is a quantitative futurist and a bestselling, award-winning author. She is a professor of strategic foresight at the NYU Stern School of Business and the Founder of the Future Today Institute. Amy discusses what leaders need to be doing today to gain valuable foresight into their industry when faced with regular uncertainty. She also shares the framework on how we tend to think of future problems vs. how we should be thinking of future problems.
[3:00] Futurists don’t make predictions, they make connections.
[7:05] In artificial intelligence, some of the systems do not work as well as they could because they suffer from the ‘paradox of the present.’
[9:35] AI has been in development for hundreds of years now.
[11:25] The best way to think of AI now is that it’s the 3rd generation of computing.
[15:55] If you want to make things better, you need to know what to measure. The problem is, people don’t know how to measure the uncertainty of what’s outside of their realm of knowledge.
[17:25] The best way to navigate the unknown is by accepting that there will be a number of things you simply cannot control.
[18:15] Most people are really good at measuring the stuff that they can control, but they do not account for everything else. You have to actively look outside of your field for trends and other signals.
[20:50] Amy uses a framework called a time cone. The tip is filled with certainty, but as the base gets wider and wider, it becomes unclear where to go, yet we still have to make leadership decisions.
[24:00] Take a look at Nintendo. Multiple times that company should have been disrupted out of business.
[26:45] Just like anyone can be technically proficient at playing piano if they sit down and study it long enough, the same is true with foresight.
[38:20] What prevents organizations from moving forward is the attempt to maintain the status quo in organizations.
[42:15] If you do not comfort cherished beliefs over and over again, you become vulnerable.
[45:05] Elon Musk and other technologists are concerned about AI and its power, which is why we need incredibly courageous leadership during this time.
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Quotable Quotes“I cannot think of an instance wherein an academic discipline or industry does not really, truly benefit from a cross-functional team and a diverse team.” Click To Tweet“This term artificial intelligence is meaningless because as soon as something works, we no longer think of it as approaching human-scale intelligence.” Click To Tweet“The only way to really solve that doubt is to go forth knowing that there are unknowable things over which you will have no control. That is a terrifying prospect.” Click To Tweet“Machines learn by repeatedly completing tasks that are in service of the stated goal or purpose.” Click To Tweet“What preserves the status quo is nobody is willing to ask difficult questions.” Click To Tweet“You can’t chase certainty. Certainty is brittle. So instead of certainty, you should aim for being confident and instilling confidence in the people that work with you.” Click To Tweet
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