A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds AI-synthesized faces are indistinguishable from real faces and humans actually find them slightly more trustworthy. The results highlight not only the risks of deepfakes, but also a tremendous opportunity for researchers and businesses.

The study looked at three experiments. In the first experiment, 315 participants classified 128 faces taken from a set of 800 as either real or synthesized. Their accuracy rate was 48%, no better than a 50-50 guess.

In a second experiment, 219 new participants were trained on ways to identify deepfakes and given feedback on how to classify faces. This group classified 128 faces taken from the same set of 800 faces – but despite training, the accuracy rate improved to only 59%.

Finally, a third group of 223 participants rated a selection of 128 of the images for trustworthiness on a scale of one (very untrustworthy) to seven (very trustworthy). This group rated synthetic faces a slightly higher average of 4.82, compared with 4.48 for real people.“We found that not only are synthetic faces highly realistic, they are deemed more trustworthy than real faces,” says study co-author Hany Farid, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

The results make clear that humans intuition and discernment alone will not be able to effectively combat deepfakes. Researchers should be proactively focused on countermeasures and other tools and techniques that can help detect deepfakes.

While the results suggest deepfakes can be highly effective when used for nefarious purposes, it also highlights the effectiveness to which marketers can use AI-synthesized faces and tools in promoting their services and products. The fact that humans find AI-synthesized to be more trustworthy than photos of actual humans suggests marketers might be able to leverage this attribute to form a stronger bond between consumers and their marketing message. Already, companies like LG are using synthetic humans to promote their products. The study results also highlights the potential role AI-synthesized humans might play in the metaverse.

ast week, I was at the Car Wash Show in Las Vegas speaking about the connected consumer and what it means for the future of the car wash industry. And like so many of the industries I work with, there are massive changes coming their way. Here are some of things I shared about how the next shift in technology is transforming this age-old business.

The car wash industry is a highly fragmented marketplace, but that is set to change as the industry undergoes the next leg in its digital transformation. The fragmented nature is likely one of the reasons the industry has been slow to adopt certain technologies compared to other industry segments but that is changing rapidly. Technology adoption is transforming the front-facing consumer experience and the back-of-the-house operations. Some of these changes are changing the nature of the business, for example, by fostering unlimited wash subscription services, one of the largest areas of growth for the industry. But this is just the start. Consumer facing technologies like license plate readers and digital kiosks will enable a new level of customization, especially important in an environment where labor is hard to find. Technologies like Lidar, used by autonomous vehicles to create 3D maps of their physical environments, are being used to provide greater precision car washes and in the process use less water and few chemicals.

The next big step for the car wash industry is to connect the front-of-the-house with the back-of-the-house. That means connecting CRMs systems with digital kiosks so businesses can deliver a personalized experience at scale. It means gleaning insights from the data exhaust of increasing digitized and connected equipment. And it means using that data to make better informed decisions about things like promotions and staffing.

Of course, these are just some of the changes underway and many are coming to other industries, but I’m excited to see how the car wash industry is beginning to use technology and data to transform and grow.

Some recent research suggests groups working remotely can be just as effective as groups working in-person. So what does influence a group’s ability to work effectively together on a range of tasks? The research finds that how the work is done and who is doing it both appear to be strong predictors of collective intelligence in a group.

For instance, the largest predictor of collective intelligence is a group’s collaboration process. More specifically, two aspects of how groups coordinate their efforts are important: first, that they figure out which member is the best at different tasks and have that person take the lead on it; and, second, that members coordinate their efforts so that they cover all of the different tasks and don’t leave things unfinished. Our analyses show that coordinating members’ skills and covering all of the tasks are just as important for remote teams as they are for face-to-face teams, and collectively intelligent teams are able to coordinate in these ways regardless of where they are working.

In addition, we observed that who is doing the work has a significant influence on a group’s collective intelligence — not only whether they had skills relevant to the tasks, but also their social skills, especially their social perceptiveness. Groups whose members are more socially perceptive pick up on all kinds of subtle nonverbal cues, and we observed that they are also able to coordinate more effectively in the ways we have described — even when working remotely.

Remote teams have better tools at their disposal than ever before. But does your organization have the right processes in place? This is the question you should be exploring.

Last week I keynoted the second annual Asset Management Seminar by BKD CPAs & Advisors. It was a phenomenal night with a sell-out crowd attending in-person and several hundred more registered for the simultaneous virtual event online.

BKD’s CEO Tom Watson kicked things off by sharing a glimpse into BKD’s nearly 100 years of history and how they have built up a leading global #assetmanagement practice in just the last few years.

In my remarks, I shared my outlook for the global economy. I discussed risks on the horizon, including the myriad supply chain challenges we are confronting right now and what it means for diverse industries over the next year.

I also shared my thoughts on several big trends confronting the #investment profession, including major demographic changes that could have a significant impact on wealth distribution, risk appetite, and the future of #philanthropy. I also discussed the changing role of government, the changing nature of going public, and how #ESG is redefining every organization.

I closed with a look into the future. The world is shifting from #digitization to #datafication and this has massive implications for the investment profession. Not just for the art and science of asset management, but also for what it means for the businesses that we invest in.

Following my remarks, BKD hosted two great panel discussions. The first was a conversation with #fundmanagers moderated by BKD’s Kislay (Sal) Shah, CPA. I really appreciated the transparency of the conversation and an honest look into the challenges they are confronting in a #COVID economy.

The final session covered some of the biggest topics in asset management with some of BKD’s leading authorities (Brian Matlock, BKD Partner, Debbie Scanlon, Murat Yasanliel, CPA, MST, Stephanie Rocco, CPA, Paul Russell, CPA, Howard Hong, CPA, and Jim Jordon) on topics like the future of #LIBOR (or a future without LIBOR), ESG, #SPACs, and #DEI.

Thoroughly impressed with BKD’s entire team of #TrustedAdvisors!

#future #event #economy #supplychain

This week, I had the privilege of speaking at the 60th annual Nevada Hospital Association meeting, where I shared insights on the future of healthcare. In my keynote address, I focused on the exciting developments and challenges arising from technological changes and what these changes mean for hospitals and healthcare providers. Specifically, I delved into the shift from digitization to ‘data’fication and what this means for the future of healthcare.

As we all know, the future of healthcare is rapidly evolving, requiring new approaches from hospitals and healthcare providers. Data is playing an increasingly important role in healthcare and is reshaping not only how healthcare services are being delivered but ultimately redefining the services that healthcare professionals will offer in the future. Data is already being used in a number of ways like improving patient outcomes, reduce costs, and streamline healthcare delivery. It is also enabling healthcare providers to improve patient engagement in new and exciting ways to drive better healthcare outcomes.

Data is empowering doctors to identify health problems early on and provide targeted treatments tailored to each patient’s individual needs. Patient and consumer preferences are also changing the way healthcare is delivered. Wearable technologies are giving healthcare professionals access to a wealth of information and allowing patients to play a more active role in their healthcare. Patients are also demanding greater transparency and access to their medical records. Younger generations are accustomed to on-demand access and increasingly want real-time access to information. They also want to be able to self-serve which will mean viewing their test results and medical history online together with other relevant healthcare information.

The advent of telemedicine, wearable technology, and other digital tools are transforming the way healthcare is delivered. Wearable technologies are changing the scope of information available to healthcare professionals and also enabling patients to play a more active role in their healthcare. Telemedicine, as we know, is allowing doctors to diagnose and treat patients remotely, reducing the need for in-person visits and enabling patients to receive care from the comfort of their homes. It is also bridging the urban-rural divide in healthcare.

Emerging technologies will play an important role in shaping the trajectory of healthcare amd Artificial intelligence is having an outsized impact transforming all aspects of healthcare. AI algorithms can analyze large amounts of data and identify patterns that would be difficult for humans to detect. This technology is already being used to help diagnose diseases like cancer and has the potential to revolutionize healthcare in the coming years. AI is also being used to develop personalized treatment plans for patients. AI is also being used to help predict patient outcomes. By analyzing patient data, including medical history and vital signs, AI can identify patients who are at risk of developing complications or who may require additional care. This can help doctors intervene early and provide more targeted care, potentially saving lives and reducing healthcare costs. AI is also being used to improve patient engagement and education. Chatbots and virtual assistants powered by AI can provide patients with personalized health information and answer questions about their care. This can improve patient satisfaction and help patients take a more active role in their healthcare.

Patient and consumer preferences are also changing the way healthcare will be delivered. Patients are demanding greater transparency and access to their medical records. The next generation is accustomed to on-demand access and they increasingly want to be able to self-serve by seeing their test results and medical history online.

Emerging technologies and changing patient and consumer preferences have significant implications for healthcare providers. To stay ahead of the curve, healthcare professionals will need to invest in digital technologies that enable them to provide more personalized, convenient care to their patients. They will also need to embrace telemedicine and other digital tools that allow them to connect with patients remotely and provide care outside of traditional office hours.

Most importantly, healthcare providers will need to be more flexible in their approach to healthcare delivery. This may require providers to restructure their operations and offer new services in new forms. In my remarks, I shared some strategies that all healthcare professionals can consider when framing the future. These include:

  1. work on competing time horizons simultaneously
  2. focusing on preparedness over prediction
  3. holding conflicting views concurrently
  4. holding strong opinions weakly

The shift from digitization to ‘data’fication will require healthcare professionals to think differently. The explosion of data will also require new processes as healthcare workers redefine the future. The future of healthcare is exciting and full of possibilities, and I look forward to seeing how healthcare providers will continue to innovate and adapt to these changes.

In February, I presented my outlook for the economy and the wire harness industry to executives during a virtual Wiring Harness Manufacturer’s Association (WHMA) conference. John Sprovieri covered that conference and recently published a recap of my remarks in ASSEMBLY. At that point I was optimistic, and since then, my forecast for 2021 and 2022 has improved. There are still a number of challenges. Supply chains are constrained and prices are rising across the board. COVID variants remain a risk even with mass vaccination, as we saw with the recent Kentucky nursing home outbreak. But the economic environment is improving.

Another day, another SPAC.

But this is one I was excited to see. I met REE Automotive at this year’s CES, and had the chance to talk with some of their executives. They build a flat, modular EV platform with all of the drive-by-wire, brake-by-wire and steer-by-wire technology in each wheel. This should, in theory, make servicing the vehicle quicker and less expensive.

REE highlights a number of trends in the mobility space: electric, Mobility-as-a-Service (Maas), mission-specific vehicles. It will be interesting to see how these trends evolve.

I joined the PCTY Talks podcast this week to talk about how the digital revolution continues to accelerate and what the impact will be on the HR profession. Here are a few topics we discuss:

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

What we’re learning about digital tools and technology is that it is not neutral. So there are positives that it can bring and obviously negatives, there’s externalities that we have to guard against. I’m actually quite optimistic about the ability of technology to improve diversity, equity and inclusion. Obviously, we have to guard against some of the externalities, we’re seeing things like AI recruitment tools that should hopefully help us avoid and overcome some of the biases that have been in recruitment processes for decades. Now, we have to make sure that the data we’re using to power those tools is fair to socioeconomic groups and that it is aligns with the goals that we have. If we’re just grabbing data that’s a mirror of the way we’ve always implemented recruitment tools and techniques, then we run the risk of carrying those biases into the software programs. So we want to guard against that. But I think there’s a lot of opportunity there. So you know, AI recruitment tools is one. Workforce analytics, and the data around our workforce can obviously really help us. When we’re doing this, we’re looking at setting goals for our diversity, equity inclusion, for the year or for the decade, and then we have to start to capture data around that to see if we are doing that. So you think about not just compensation, but are there patterns in the way our employees are using the benefits that we offer? And do those align with the goals that we have around diversity, equity and inclusion? Or do we have certain employees that are only using certain benefits? We think we’re offering these great benefits, but maybe they don’t align with some of our overall goals. I think that is an area that we really haven’t fully utilized. But I think workforce analytics is really going to give us a lot of insights into our workforce, and the patterns of our workforce, and our organization, and really help us understand whether we’re successful or not.

The importance of data

Ultimately, what will power these AI platforms is the data. We need to make sure that we’re using data that is consistent with the organization we want to be a part of, the organization that we want to build, and the society that we want to live in. We’ve seen in recent years, as we’ve uncovered some of these results, that some of the data we have used has inadvertent biases in it. And in some of these aren’t intentional biases by  programmers or developers, designers, but they seep in because of the the data that’s being used. And so the data, and ensuring that it aligns with our goals, and that it’s fair to all of our employees is extremely important. And it’s something that we’re going to have to continue to monitor throughout time. Because these programs are designed to evolve as the data changes and as the data reveals new insights. I think the other thing that COVID brought is that it changed some of these patterns. And so some of the tools that we had been using are broken because the data changes and the pattern of employees changes. And so we’ll need to recalibrate these programs and and techniques and tools to ensure that they still align with what we’re trying to achieve.

Organizations need to ensure that their data is organized, structured, and well kept. Every organization is sitting on a tremendous amount of information. If you don’t have the data available to really explore and to really understand the patterns that exist under the surface, then you’re not going to be able to employ these tools as effectively as you could. So first and foremost, you’ve got to get your data in order. And data comes in lots of different forms and factors. And so companies and organizations need to realize that there’s lots of places that data will show up. And there’s lots of ways in which data can show up within your organization. There’s lots of data in every organization that will inform executives and HR professionals on the current state of the organization and what needs to change in order to really achieve the goals that they’ve set for that organization.

You can hear more in the full episode.