Category Archives: Technology & Organizations

Machines that Learn Our Jobs?

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A metal lathe. A 40 year old clasp. A playlist of unfortunate songs. Most unfortunate. A suspicious relationship between Henry Ford and Thomas Alva Edison. All of these point to questions about what we know about our jobs and know that knowledge can be captured by machines. Deep learning. Big Data.

Capturing what we know. A new thing, right? Is it only the new generation, the millennial who squint into the future with the gloaming dread that there will be nothing for them in the future? Nothing at all?

The answer is “Not quite.” Those with the greatest fear of automation and smart machines are those at the end end of their careers, not at the start. Those that realize that their skills will not survive them. Furthermore, one quality of work makes it possible to capture knowledge, the fact that we tend to do jobs in sequence, that we have a set of steps that we follow to get things done.

To protect yourself, do you need to be good at things that are done out of order? That wander from task to task? So we ask in our story about captured knowledge.

Cast:

  • Bix the Master Scrum Master – Ron Bianchi
  • Molly the Podcast Consultant – Caraid O’Brien
  • Anna the Intern – Sarah Corbyn Woolf

[18520]

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Smart Technology in the Intersection

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A series on smart technology technology and autonomous vehicles is running when a self-driving Uber car goes astray. It probably does not mark the end of the technology. However it causes us to remember the true nature of what we are doing and how the public may not forever sustain its enthusiasm for digital products or its willingness to serve as the test subjects for new ideas.

Thoughts on the Tempe crash from the staff of How We Manage Stuff.

Cast:

  • David Alan Grier- Executive Producer

[18512]

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Your Job Taken by a Machine?

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Are machines taking are jobs? Or perhaps more to the point, are you concerned that machines, smart machines, are poised to take your job?

With this episode, we start an examination of smart machines as a substitute for workers. We put it in the hands of our intern, Anna. After all, more of her career is likely to be taken by a machine than anyone else.

As always, we start with the big picture, the context for work. Just because a machine is capable of doing your work doesn’t mean that it makes sense for it to do your job. We start the series with a visit to an automated office, or more accurately, an office that we were told had been automated. Our cast doesn’t quite find what they expected, which gets us asking the question “How Smart Are You?”

Cast:

  • Sullivan from PR – Josh LaForce
  • Evelyn the Business Manager- Margaux Amie
  • Anna the Intern – Sarah Corbyn Woolf

[18505]

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Why Don’t They Finish?

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Do young employees find it hard to finish tasks? Is it somehow difficult for them to bring a job to completion? So we ask the question and start to look for an answer.

Our cast moves from the problem of finishing tasks to the problem of finishing MOOCS – Those Massive Open OnLine Courses that seem to be everywhere and no where at once. And from finishing MOOCs, they return to the problem of finishing tasks and grasp, for a moment, that they are the same thing. In a world where information is ubiquitous, why do we need to finish anything?

Cast:

  • Vinny the CTO – Geoffrey Grier
  • Penelope Othmar from the LMGSDI- Debbon Ayer
  • Anna the Intern – Sarah Corbyn Woolf
  • Rohit from IT – Noah Masur
  • Kit Kuksenok – Himself

Podcast written by Kit Kuksenok & David Alan Grier
[17505]

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Why Do We Code? (Computer Science Week)

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Why do we need to learn to code? Really. Can’t we just get an app and be done with it? A bunch of tech people are giving us a bunch of reasons to do it but they are, in all honesty, silly. Fix a web page? Add a function to your spreadsheet? Have these people never heard of the law of comparative advantage?

In this episode, reposted from Computer Science Week, Maddie, our model of the perfect CEO gets to the point. We need to learn to code because that is how we now think. We live in a world of programs and code. Hence we need to understand what programs and code do to our thinking.

Featuring:

  • Zoe Anastassiou as Maddie the CEO
  • Noah Masur as Rohit from IT

[16442]

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17510: Remembering Gertrude Blanch

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Once computing was work. Hard work. Paper. Pencil. Nothing more.

Once, thousands of people calculated in mass computing labs. Now, they are generally forgotten.

This November, The National Institute of Standards and Technology has corrected our memory by honoring their chief computer from the 1930s, Gertrude Blanch.   Blanch was the director of the Mathematical Tables Project, a WPA work relief effort that was once the largest computing office in the world.

Our cast adds their appreciation.

Featuring:

  • Zoe Anastassiou as herself
  • Noah Masur as himself

[17510]

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17335: A Holiday for Statistics

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How do you think about data? How do you you look for an office in Bangalore?

And how do you deal with a country that has a holiday for statistics?

This episode starts with with the Stats Holiday, moves through a real estate agent brimming with confidence in his own ability to understand the client’s needs, and ends with a staff member who dreams of a new office within walking distance of a Premier League Cricket Stadium.

What does all this tell you about Big Data? That it is only part of our business experience.

Featuring:

  • Sonam Powar As Jameela, the Bangalore Office Manager
  • Margaux Amie as Evelyn, the Business Manager
  • Josh LaForce as Sulley, from Policy
  • Ron Bianchi as Deepak, the The Bengaluru Real Estate Agent
  • Noah Masur as Rohit from IT

[17335]

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17330: Big Data in Bangalore

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Bangalore. Bengaluru. India’s High Tech Capital. If you’re gong to be a global podcast, you have to have an office somewhere near MG Road. The How We Manage Stuff team arrives in Bangalore – well most of it arrives in Bangalore – to find a place to work and to build a practice based on Big Data.

Featuring:

  • Sonam Powar As Jameela, the Bangalore Office Manager
  • Margaux Amie as Evelyn, the Business Manager
  • Josh LaForce as Sulley, from Policy
  • Ron Bianchi as Bix, the Scrum Master

[17330]

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