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“Everyone in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you to think.” — Steve Jobs

Have you ever wondered how computer programmers think, how they solve problems or how they even start to approach a real live challenge and translate it into a language which a computer can understand?

Is there something we can learn from coders which could help us to become better at problem solving and decision making?

I have been wondering the same. My background is not in computer science, however about 18 months ago I decided to do a bachelor in artificial intelligence. I was never outstanding in math; had no prior programming experience and I certainly do not have an engineering degree. …


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Whether you are a Startup founder or a leader in a large organisation: Covid-19 may force you to reevaluate your leadership competencies and accelerate many initiatives already under way (e.g. focus on the core business, process automation and digitization). If you look at this systemically, the crisis does not break this, instead it highlights already existing weaknesses.

So, what to do about this? The first step as in any change initiative is to start letting go of old paradigms, behaviours and projects. Some of these might be attached to your identity, which means it will inevitably come with a sense of loss. However, without this clear decision you will forever struggle with conflicting priorities. The 2nd step is to accept that you maybe be in no man’s land for a while and this is ok. This does not mean you are complacent and cannot take clear steps to manage the immediate crisis. It just means the long-term vision of yours might be on hold for a while to be replaced by immediate existential needs of your business. One upside is, that if you manage this well, it will create purpose in your team. …


Effectuation and Design Thinking to Turbo-boost your Business

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When I first returned to Germany after having lived in Australia for over 10 years, I noticed some striking differences in terms of the approach to innovation between the two countries. In Germany even smaller companies often seemed to apply a top down (consultative) approach to generating new business and product ideas. So, we would analyse the market, look at the competition in different regions and industries and then formulate a PowerPoint-based strategy. …


Bulletproof hacks for a Rockstar team performance

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Last time we were exploring the first Superpower: Responsive Mindset. This article will take a closer look at Team Intelligence as a Superpower to build and manage Rockstar teams.

Let’s be honest: Teams suck! If you are a founder or manager of a team, the last thing you want to do is tiptoing around the sensitivities of your people. Even just the offer to have a one on one coffee meeting with your UX designer, will open the floodgates to them moaning about their colleagues, salaries or even worse discussing their personal lives with you. You could not care less. Running a business requires you to take care of stakeholders, customers and cash flow. Why bother about someone’s plea to bring their dog to the office, when Covid19 is about to ruin everything you have built thus far? …


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Four superpowers to boost your business to exponential growth

Let’s face it! The chances of your startup being successful in the long run are slim. Depending on which source you want to believe, the failure rate within the first 7 years is somewhere between 85–90%. It sucks, I know! What makes it worse, is that probably around 50% of your Startup success is determined by pure luck, essentially being at the right place at the right time.

Elon Musk once said: “if you accept the probabilities, then fear diminishes”.


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The secret life of artificial intelligence

In March 2016, something unexpected happened: Lee Sedol, one of the world’s best Go-players, became the first world-class professional to be beaten by Alpha Go, Google’s artificial intelligence. Go is considered the most complex and sophisticated board game of all and many AI experts
were not expecting this event to happen for at least another 10 years. For the first time a technology emerged that would have the potential to replace not only the physical labour force of man, but the highest and most exclusive human good of all: the ability to think.

One consequence of this development has been that Google has now placed artificial intelligence at the heart of their existence. Instead of “Mobile First” the new mantra is now “AI First” (Artificial Intelligence First). But what does this actually mean? Software has always been present in Google’s DNA. However, until the beginning of the 21st century, GOFAI (good old fashioned AI) was largely based on symbolic logic: here reality is being mapped top-down via a set of rules (i.e. symbolism) and traditional programming logic.
Put simply, this corresponds to “if-then” rules as you may know them from Excel: positive numbers are being marked green and negative numbers in red. This logic works well as long as the complexity of the world in which AI operates is manageable. But it fails miserably as soon as complexity increases exponentially. …


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No one saw it coming. It hit us suddenly and with incredible force. Whole fortunes in the stock markets were wiped out overnight. Within a few weeks, vibrant cities like New York and Berlin became ghost towns. Small businesses were torn apart. Restaurants mutated into drive-ins and we started tracking infected and dead people on worldometer instead of our steps on Fitbit.

What had happened?

A royal virus catapulted our capitalist house of cards into a deep crisis before our very eyes. A tiny organism barely larger than 125 nanometres (1 nanometre is 1 billionth of a metre) confronts our fragile, demanding society with the existential questions of our time. A virus that uses a globalised economy as a Trojan horse and does not know national borders. …


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So, here we are! We entered the 21st century and it sucks. Suicide rates are going up in teenagers, science killed our Gods and artificial intelligence is taking our jobs. Plus, we now know: Sleeping with a celebrity porn star will not prevent you from remaining the president of the United States. So our value system is going down the toilet too. Somehow, it feels like we are going through some strange transition. But a transition to what? Let’s see!

I don’t know about you but I hated school. I have grown up in an insignificant town somewhere in the North of Bavaria. Going to high school wasn’t something I enjoyed. For starters, I wasn’t part of the cool kids in class and had to sit next to the nerds, probably because I was nerdy myself. My mum up decided on the selection of my clothes until I was 15 and they were not cool choices. I struggled a lot, sitting in class endlessly for six hours straight. Perhaps, I was an undiagnosed ADHD but I constantly felt like getting up and having a break from being broadcast to. Somehow, I graduated from school though and ended up in university. Here, it wasn’t much better except I was an adult now and the system felt less rigid. …


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I have been asked by a few of my friends and clients what books I have recently read and which rated highly, so I figured it might be about time to write down a top 5 list. I don’t know about you but I feel the intersection between different disciplines is becoming more and more important, so you will find key readings which have recently influenced my professional and personal life. They span from topics such as artificial intelligence and psychology to sociology and behavioural economics.

  1. The great A.I Awakening by Gideon Lewis-Kraus from the New York Times
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This is actually an article by a journalist and not a book. However, it is a long and great read, goes very deep and truly fosters an awakening about the topic of artificial intelligence.

Why this is important: Artificial Intelligence is entering a new paradigm. Whereas before we mostly relied on top down traditional programming logic, we now use a bottom up approach simulating the human brain and evolution itself by applying machine learning algorithms. This shift has made possible the advances in image recognition and applications such as Google Translate and Deepl. As a result of this shift, AI will probably be the most important technology impacting our lives, work and society in the 21st century

What it is about: The author uses Google translate as an example of how the shift to machine learning is disrupting our world at an exponential speed. He elaborates in-depth on the history of AI, the different paradigms prevalent at different stages in the evolution of artificial intelligence and how significant the shift to machine learning has been. Great and profound read! When you read this book, you will look at the future differently. …


The neuroscience of agile

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Aliens in the boardroom

Let’s do a little thought experiment: Imagine you were an alien. Your people let’s call them the Scrummies (because you are an agile bunch) recently visited planet earth for the first time and captured a few humans, a species which seems to play quite a role on their home planet. Now, because they seem so alien, you decide to study them. After all, you are a senior alien researcher on planet Xtreme and because you are so intelligent (we are talking like 1 million times more intelligent than the humans you are studying) you have been able to decipher human language in a heartbeat. So, you have a conversation with them. Whilst you are chatting away, they recommend you go and visit a boardroom in a large corporate. …

About

Markus Von Der Luehe

CEO and Founder of The Future Academy X. Lived and worked in Sydney and the Silicon Valley, lean Startup fan, Viktor Frankl addict https://futureacademy.eu/

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