At the end of 2017 if it didn’t become abundantly clear that artificial intelligence is well on its way to changing everything that matters about the way we work, then you weren’t paying attention.
The examples were too numerous to list, but here’s a few: In 2017 AI systems beat human doctors at detecting irregular heartbeats , tracked player statistics for NFL football fans , and out-bluffed the world’s best poker players at Texas Hold’Em.
When it comes to solving problems, and doing jobs that are inherently based on patterns, the machines have overwhelmingly won the race against the human brain.
Is Education changing fast enough?
So as 2018 gets underway, it’s worth asking this out loud: If AI is changing everything about our jobs, what does that say about how we as humans prepare for those jobs? How must education from the pre-school through graduate school, change?
I got into a conversation about this last month with Gordon Ritter , founder and general partner at Emergence Capital. The San Mateo, Calif.-based venture capital firm has made some notably strong thematic bets with its investments over the years. It was early to back cloud application companies. Its first investment in 2003 was a $1 million stake in Salesforce.com. You can guess how that one turned out, but in case you can’t, Salesforce is worth a whisker less than $80 billion today.
Five years later Emergence paid $4 million for a 30 percent stake in Veeva Systems, the cloud software company that specializes in life sciences. By the time of Veeva’s 2013 IPO , the value of that stake had grown to north of $1 billion, and Ritter is currently the chairman of its board . The company is today worth more than $8 billion.
More recently Emergence has been making its funding bets in the areas of AI and machine learning. Its portfolio includes Chorus, an AI-based tool that helps coach sales teams to close more deals by telling them what to say to a potential customer and when to say it. Another portfolio company, Textio, uses AI to help companies write better job postings that have a higher chance of attracting qualified candidates. […]