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We have seen an explosion of chatbots in the market. AI has become ingrained into the daily fabric of our lives. Service industries have turned to AI-driven chatbots to manage customer interactions, increasing speed and quality of resolution while decreasing cost. Millennials increasingly prefer to interact with chatbots rather than humans. As we embrace chatbots in our lives, it is paramount to evaluate the role they play in reinforcing and perpetuating societal biases and stereotypes. …


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According to Bar-Lev, a broad definition of AI orchestration would be “managing the set of tools, processes, data and talent related to the application of AI within an organization such that it becomes a part of the operational day-to-day as opposed to staying within research or an experimental process. This definition takes into consideration the larger set of decisions and resources required for this to happen — such as management, application of budgets and resources, etc.” And this is the same definition used in this report.

In short, AI orchestration provides the infrastructure to enable automated decision intelligence in the daily operations of the business. …


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What is a legacy system? It is old software that is very hard to maintain, to extend, and to improve. On the other hand, it is also a system that is working and is serving the business, otherwise it would not have survived.

Perhaps, when it was first created, a legacy system had an excellent design, a design so good that people started to say, “Okay, maybe we can use it also for this, and this, and this.” It becomes overloaded with technical debt, but it still works. These systems can be amazingly resilient.

Still, developers hate working on legacy systems. It can seem there’s more technical debt than anybody could ever repay. Perhaps we should just declare bankruptcy and move on. …


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If you’re already a software product manager (PM), you have a head start on becoming a PM for artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML). You already know the game and how it is played: you’re the coordinator who ties everything together, from the developers and designers to the executives. You’re responsible for the design, the product-market fit, and ultimately for getting the product out the door. But there’s a host of new challenges when it comes to managing AI projects: more unknowns, non-deterministic outcomes, new infrastructures, new processes and new tools. …


A Bad Outcome Doesn’t Mean a Bad Decision

Editor’s note: There’s no question that we live in uncertain times, where we face a range of challenging decisions on a daily basis. This essay examines how we can take a more mindful approach to decision-making using conceptual and cognitive tools. Hugo Bowne-Anderson helpfully prods us to evaluate risk, interrogate data with helpful skepticism, prioritize our decisions, and better understand the nature of predictions.

In the 1996 cult classic film Swingers, two friends, Trent and Mike (played by Vince Vaughan and Jon Favreau, respectively) make an impromptu trip to Las Vegas. At the blackjack table, Mike gets dealt an 11 and Trent tells him to double down. Mike responds “What?!” and Trent replies “Double down, baby. You gotta double down on an eleven.” Mike doubles down and loses the hand. …


The Value of Focusing on Engineering Productivity

Editor’s Note: In this excerpt from Software Engineering at Google, Ciera Jaspen, Google’s Tech Lead Manager of Engineer Productivity Research, reviews the organizational value and importance of measuring engineering productivity at Google. We’d love to hear from you about what you think about this piece.

Google is a data-driven company. We back up most of our products and design decisions with hard data. The culture of data-driven decision making, using appropriate metrics, has some drawbacks, but overall, relying on data tends to make most decisions objective rather than subjective, which is often a good thing. Collecting and analyzing data on the human side of things, however, has its own challenges. …


What Makes an IT Architect? (And What Doesn’t).

Editor’s Note: In order to describe something properly, it’s often easier to start off with what that something isn’t. In this excerpt from The Software Architect Elevator, Gregor Hohpe, Enterprise Strategist for AWS, reviews some of the roles that are often misattributed to software architects. We’d love to hear from you about what you think about this piece.

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Sometimes, it’s easier to describe what something isn’t rather than trying to come up with an exact definition of what it is. In the case of architects, exaggerated expectations can paint a picture of someone who solves intermittent performance problems in the morning and then transforms the enterprise culture in the afternoon. …


BaaS Simplifies Blockchain Applications

Editor’s Note: Using a BaaS can help to ease the burden of administering everything inside the blockchain layer, and help to distribute this layer in a secure and simplified way. In this piece from Blockchain as a Service, author Karen Kilroy helps technical business leaders, solutions architects, and innovation officers understand blockchain and evaluate options for BaaS.

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  • Is this a pilot intended primarily to prove a concept? If so, a quick standalone application might be best for the first prototype. …


Leading Lean

Editor’s Note: Before you can lead others, you must be able to lead yourself. As a senior executive and expert on the Lean mindset, Jean Dahl reviews the skills and abilities that one needs in order to become a leader that people want to follow. We’d love to hear from you about what you think about this piece.

You must be able to lead yourself before you can lead others. The skills, abilities, and competencies discussed in this piece — self-development, having a bias toward action, meeting challenges head-on, to name a few — will provide you with the strategies and insight to do just that. As we discuss them, you’ll find that many of these skills, abilities, and competencies are quite interrelated and difficult to separate from each other or talk about in isolation. Becoming self-led means being a well-rounded person — someone who is emotionally, physically, intellectually, spiritually, and socially balanced across both their personal and professional dimensions. …


Raising Money Is Hard. Don’t Screw It Up.

Editor’s Note: Fundraising is daunting — terrifying, even. And like many hard-won accomplishments, fundraising requires strong networking skills. But there are right and wrong ways to secure introductions. In this article, Dan Shapiro shares some best practices for networking effectively, targeting new potential investors that can make a meaningful impact on your fundraising goals.

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Raising money is hard. Regardless of whether you’re targeting angels or VCs, though, there’s no way to screw it up faster than going around asking, “Hey, could you introduce me to some investors?” …

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