Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #665 - Will AI's impact on jobs finally force Silicon Valley to grow up?


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #665 - Will AI's impact on jobs finally force Silicon Valley to grow up?

Hi Mom, Catch up mode.
Just a repost.
But a good one.

Around 2009, Oscar Salazar started working on a startup idea that we now call Uber. While he was building the ride-hailing service’s first prototype, he likely thought very little about how the application would impact society.
Seven years later, with the $70 billion ride-hailing company now available in more than 70 countries, Salazar finds himself thinking about that impact a lot more.
“We are all responsible,” he said on Monday at the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles. “We are adding technology to a society without thinking about the consequences. I think government, industry and society need to work more together, because it is going to get crazier and crazier.”
In a panel discussion moderated by Recode’s Kara Swisher, the founding Uber CTO discussed how he has started to rethink the tech community's role in shaping the future of work. Advancements in artificial intelligence and automation could mean as many as 50 percent of today’s jobs will go away, according to some estimates. Joined on stage by other high-profile members of the tech community, Swisher forced her panelists to defend Silicon Valley’s seeming incapability to take responsibility for the downstream effects of its innovation.
Salazar left Uber shortly after it launched and is now working on a startup called Pager, an on-demand marketplace for healthcare. In his mind, the new venture will make healthcare more accessible and affordable. Acknowledging that the platform he first created could put countless drivers in the taxi industry out of work, Salazar views his new venture as one that could potentially create work for more people than it would displace.
“I don’t think machine learning will replace jobs,” he said. “It will change industries, but no one is creating companies to get rid of humans. We need to take accountability.”
Salazar’s evolution from a solely code-focused CTO to an entrepreneur discussing things like artificial intelligence’s potential impact on education may mark a shift in how the tech community views its societal impact. Salazar’s fellow panelist Belinda Johnson, Airbnb’s chief business affairs and legal officer, discussed how the online marketplace has changed its thinking on the same topic. Initially, internet companies don’t want to think about regulatory or societal impact out of fear of stifling growth or innovation, she said. But once Airbnb realized how integral human interaction was to its guests' experiences, they started to pay attention.
In 2016, Airbnb support to local communities totaled the equivalent of roughly 730,000 in newly created jobs, she added.
“We are invested in making sure that we are not part of the problem,” she said. “We are very aligned that we are having a positive impact on cities.”
The issues that unicorn startups Uber and Airbnb are just now trying to grapple with are some that Devin Wenig’s company have been dealing with for quite some time. The president and CEO of eBay, Wenig thinks a lot about how the twenty-one-year-old e-commerce marketplace is changing jobs in retail. While eBay supports over a million small businesses that are exporting products on the platform and hiring people in the process, Wenig acknowledges the downstream effects of his platform. The U.S. retail market lost 60,000 jobs this February and March, marking the worst string of job losses in the sector since 2009.
The tech community must not only participate in discussions about what that means for the country, they have to “own them,” he said.
While Recode’s Swisher seems convinced that Silicon Valley is in a perennial state of adolescence that it just can’t seem to shake, her panelists appeared to think otherwise. Pointing to things like a growing discussion around the importance of retooling and reskilling the workforce for tech jobs in the future, Wenig said there is evidence that the tech community is starting to take responsibility for its actions.
It just might take some time for us all to see the same progress Wenig and his fellow panelists feel like they already do.
“As these startups are getting more powerful, they are growing up,” he said. “It may be a painful adolescence, but they are growing up.”

Caroline Fairchild

Senior Editor, Technology and Startups at LinkedIn


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 667 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1705.02 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.


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