Posted by & filed under Career, Digital Transformation.

Jaydeep Vacchani, a software developer in Toronto, began to hunt for a new job just as the surge of layoffs in the technology sector spread across the world.

Mr Vacchani found that his expertise in automation and cloud technology was in demand, and in October he had five interviews on the go.

Using cloud technology involves shifting data storage and processing to a third party like Amazon’s AWS or Microsoft Azure. Meanwhile automation, in this case, means building software that streamlines labour-intensive work, like processing paperwork.

By November Mr Vacchani had found a “perfect fit” at sherpa°, a remote-only tech firm offering customers a way to secure travel visa documentation online.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: January 13th, 2023

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-63871090

Discussion

  1. With there being a broad discussion about a global recession, it is understandable that many students in business might be worried about career prospects. This article highlights that being “tech-savvy” is an in-demand skillset. A discussion with students about the broad issue of a recession and what it means to have an in-demand skillset around MIS would be useful
  2. One point to discuss with students is “creative destruction” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_destruction) . When a tech firm such as Amazon lays off 10,000 people what the means is that there are now 10,000 highly skilled people who might go work at a non-tech business and bring in their tech skills. This is GREAT news for companies who have basically not been able to compete with the likes of Amazon, Google and Facebook for talent. What it means is that digital transformation skills, and the need for people who understand them, is being push more broadly across a wider range of businesses and business types. This is what “creative destruction” is all about – yes, Amazon lays off 10,000 tech workers, but that brings creativity to 10,000 other companies that didn’t have it before.

Posted by & filed under Data Analytics, FinTech, Privacy.

As we near the end of 2022, the Canadian banking system is experiencing multiple forces that are propelling it toward a once-in-a-generation transformation. Within the next five years, four major factors — portable identity, data portability, richer and faster payments, and digital currencies — are expected to come together to create major disruption at the core of Canada’s financial services industry.
While reckoning with the coming changes will challenge banks and other financial institutions across the country, it also presents an important opportunity for growth and innovation.

Source: Toronto Daily Star

Date: January 2nd, 2023

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/2022/12/24/tech-is-about-to-shake-up-financial-services-four-different-ways-heres-how-youll-benefit.html

Discussion

  1. Richer, faster payments drive efficiency and opportunity: Modern advances in digital banking have brought real-time payments, such as e-transfer or QR code payments, to the forefront”
    In what ways is it going to be important for anyone doing anything with payments to have an MIS major?
  2. Data portability unlocks customer benefits and innovation: As the social contracts that underpin our increasingly digital society become more fluid, so too does the portability of our data. At its most basic level, data portability refers to customers’ ability to securely share their personal data between different vendors, institutions, and other organizations.”
    What are some of the MIS issues around this?

Posted by & filed under Career, Robotics.

Around three billion litres of water are lost through leaks across hundreds of thousands of miles of water pipe in England and Wales daily, says water industry economic regulator Ofwat.
Engineers have now developed miniature robots to patrol the pipe network, check for faults and prevent leaks.
They say maintaining the network will be “impossible” without robotics.
Water industry body Water UK told BBC News that companies were already “investing billions” in leakage.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: January 5th, 2023

Link (to 21 second video): https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-64052740

Discussion

  1. In what ways is an MIS major relevant to this type of technology?
  2. What sorts of MIS skills would help push this technology beyond looking inside water pipes?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, ChatGPT.

Genre-fiction authors are using AI in their novels. Most write for Amazon’s Kindle platform, where an extremely rapid pace of publishing, as fast as a book a month, is the norm. AI helped them write quickly, but it also raised complex aesthetic and ethical questions. Would the widespread use of AI warp fiction toward the most common conventions and tropes? What parts of the writing process can be automated before the writing no longer feels like their own? Should authors have to disclose their use of AI?
With the debut of ChatGPT, many of the questions these writers were dealing with have become more urgent and mainstream. I checked back with one of the authors, Jennifer Lepp, who writes in the cozy paranormal mystery subgenre under the pen name Leanne Leeds, to see how she was thinking about AI now. She’s still using the GPT-3-based tool Sudowrite — in fact, she is now paid to write tips on using it for the company’s blog — and has begun incorporating some of the more recent tools into her fiction. We spoke about what it’s been like working with ChatGPT, how its debut has roiled the independent author community, and other topics.   

Source: The Verge

Date: January 2nd, 2023

Link: https://www.theverge.com/23520625/chatgpt-openai-amazon-kindle-novel

Discussion

Obviously for an MIS class we are not helping students write novels, but what this author has to say about using ChatGPT to help her writing process is, I think, very useful for our business students.

  1. In what ways could you use ChatGPT AI to enhance your work as an MIS major?
  2. Are there ways to help companies use ChatGPT to enhance their work? What are the possible careers around this?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Future of Work.

ChatGPT a ‘landmark event’ for AI, but what does it mean for the future of human labour and disinformation? Chatbot is the newest artificial intelligence tool on the block — and its responses feel scarily human


ChatGPT is the newest artificial intelligence tool on the block, and it can do anything from create poetry, write an intro for aradio show — like The Current — and even help with homework.
“I introduced this program to the class last Tuesday,” said Ethan Mollick, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
“People were asking it to find the error in their computer assignment, polishing up drafts, explaining a concept to them like they were five years old,” he told The Current’s Matt Galloway.
ChatGPT is an interactive program trained by AI research lab OpenAI. It was launched on Nov. 30, but has already amassed more than a million users, according to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.
IUsers can type a question or prompt into the program, and ChatGPT answers with a response designed to mimic that of a human — which the program does well, according to Mollick.
“This is one of several of these models … and [it] feels much more realistic and has really crossed a line where the kind of work it’s doing actually feels human as opposed to talking to a machine,” he said.
Michael Wooldridge, a computer science professor at the University of Oxford, says it’s a “landmark event” for AI.
“These tools can produce language, which is certainly at the level of an undergraduate student or a typical office worker,” he told Galloway. “That feels like a really important moment.”

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: December 19th, 2022

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/chatgpt-human-labour-and-fake-news-1.6686210

Note: there is also a 19 minute podcast at this location that you could use as an assignment before or after class

Discussion

  1. Just this weekend I was talking to a current MIS student who said the following:
    “I was assigned to write an essay on a topic. I put the exact question into ChapGPT. I used that answer and fixed some of the repetitive stuff like it kept saying “Ronald Reagan said this…”. I put that answer into the paid version of Grammerly to fix the grammar. I put that answer into the Grammarly plagiarism engine, and the output was that the only plagiarism was the stuff I’d wrote! I think that’s because I am remembering what I’ve been told has been said. I submitted the answer, and got a 98% with a comment that I clearly understood the material, but could have just been a little more focused.
    If they are going to treat my like a robot I am going to use a robot to do the work”

    Really, you should just ask your students to discuss.
  2. Next semester I plan on using ChatGPT in my Intro to MIS class where I have the students write a lot of essays to make sure they are learning.
    I plan on having them put the exact prompt I give them into ChatGPT and to compare that answer to their answer, and to discuss with their neighbors.

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Future of Work.

Google’s DeepMind AI division has already built machines that can wreck you in StarCraft II and predict millions of protein structures, but now it’s taking on an even harder task: writing coherent code. In an apparent effort to put themselves out of a job, DeepMind researchers have created an AI that can write code, and it performs surprisingly well in programming challenges. It’s neither the best nor worst when compared with humans participating in the same challenges, but the StarCraft AI was only a middling player at first.
While machine learning has advanced by leaps and bounds, it’s hard to create an AI that’s good at more than one thing. So, a machine could be trained with data to handle one class of programming challenges, but it would fail when given a different problem to tackle. So, the team decided to skip all the training on algorithms and code structure, instead treating it more like a translation problem.

Source: Extreme Tech

Date: December 19th, 2022

Link: https://www.extremetech.com/computing/341451-deepmind-builds-ai-that-codes-as-well-as-the-average-human-programmer

Discussion

  1. For me, the best use of this article is a class discussion around what it means when you can just ask an AI to write code for you.
    Good prompt questions are:
    “Does this mean you don’t yourself need to know how to code?”
    “Is this similar, or not similar, to using a calculator to do math? (you don’t need to know now the calculator works, just that it does)?
    “Who looses a job with this technology?”
    “What are the new jobs created with this technology?”

Posted by & filed under Digital Transformation, Future of Work.

This video explores what ABBA’s Voyage Concert means for the future of live music. Is ABBA Voyage, the concert, going to change live music, forever? Billed as an “immersive experience” that blurs “the lines between the physical and digital”, this new series of ABBA Voyage concerts uses state of the art “motion capture technology” to allow digital versions of Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid (“ABBAtars”) to perform a 90 minute set of 20 songs. In this video, let me try and explain how this show just might end up changing ‘live’ music, for good.


Source: YouTube
Date: December 19th, 2022
Link to 7 minute 20 second video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5RRSQqT3pU

Discussion

  1. I use the Abba Voyage Concert in both my Future of Work section of class and my Digital Transformation section of class.
    For the Future of Work, many students conclude during our discussion that careers that are “creative” are likely not at risk. You can use the Abba Voyage Concert to discuss this further. Why does the Abba Voyage Concert change the name of the game (haha…using Abba lyrics!) for music when it comes to the Future of Work?
  2. In what ways is the Abba Voyage Concert a “digital transformation”?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence.

ChatGPT is artificial intelligence chatbot software capable of writing poems, college-level essays and even computer code. Experts say the software highlights how far AI has come in just a few years, while still spotlighting concerns around accuracy.

Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Date: December 14th, 2022

Link (also includes 2 minute video): https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/chatgpt-artificial-intelligence-1.6681401

Discussion

  1. ChatGPT is basically a game changer for anyone who is allowing students to do work in an un-proctored situation.
    Given it’s ability to enable cheating, the real issue is then how do students use this technology sensibly?
  2. How do you refine the prompts to this technology to improve your answers?

Posted by & filed under Career, Environment, ESG.

To many, the CSRD will be a game changer in ESG reporting. But what is it, who will it affect, and when does it come into force? This introduction breaks it all down. 

What is the CSRD?

The CSRD is the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. 

First proposed in April 2021, this new EU legislation developed by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) will gradually be coming into play over the next few years. It expands upon, and will replace, the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD), which has been in force since 2018. 

Like the NFRD, the CSRD sets out environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting requirements for companies. Its aim is to significantly expand the scope of the NFRD, both in terms of who needs to report and what needs to be reported.

Note: This is a European standard, but any company operating in Europe (which is likely almost every substantial company most students can name) will be required to be in compliance with CRSD

Source: Workiva.com

Date: December 14th, 2022

Link to article: https://www.workiva.com/uk/resources/introduction-csrd

Discussion

  1. Initially, students need to understand what ESG is: Environmental, Social and Governance issues that face or impact a company. Most students will understand that if a company uses electricity to make its products, then the type of electricity it uses will impact the carbon footprint of the products being made. If the electricity is 100% wind or hydro, then the carbon emissions from the electricity used to make the product will be zero. If there is a mix of gas-generated electricity and/or coal-generated electricity, then product will not be carbon-zero based just on the electricity used in manufacturing component. Of course, most products used far more than electricity to produce.

    As you can see from the diagram at top, the reporting standards in Europe go FAR beyond the issue of carbon-impact of the electricity used to make the product, or deliver the service.

    What sorts of management information systems might help track “diversity” (just one component from the diagram)?
  2. Given the scope and impact of CRSD on companies, how important are management information systems going to be, and how important are MIS majors going to be?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence.

Since releasing their debut single I’m Real in 2021, K-pop girl group Eternity have racked up millions of views online.
They sing, dance and interact with their fans just like any other band.
In fact, there’s mainly one big difference between them and any other pop group you might know – all 11 members are virtual characters.
Non-humans, hyper-real avatars made with artificial intelligence.
“The business we are making with Eternity is a new business. I think it’s a new genre,” says Park Jieun, the woman behind Eternity.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: December 14th, 2022

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-63827838

Discussion

  1. As of December 14th, 2022, the most watched YouTube video of Eternity has 6.4 million views.
    What are some issues that a business should consider when using entirely digital characters to make money?
  2. What are other applications of this AI technology?