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What Happened when Coronavirus Set In?
Chatbots Made Mass Entry
High-tech companies closed call centers and turned to chatbots created by technology company LivePerson or to AI platform Watson Assistant.
“I really think this is a new normal–the pandemic accelerated what was going to happen anyway,” says Rob Thomas, senior vice president of cloud and data platform at IBM, which deploys Watson. Roughly 100 new clients started using the software from March to June.
The future of chatbots looks bright.
Microsoft recently was granted a patent that lays down a process to create a conversational chatbot of a specific person using their social data. “In an eerie twist, the patent says the chatbot could potentially be inspired by friends or family members who are deceased, which is almost a direct plot of a popular episode of Netflix's Black Mirror.”
Robots Repalced Labor
Robots started cleaning floors at airports and taking people’s temperatures.
Salad -making robot Sally, created by tech company Chowbotics became popular in hospitals and universities, replacing dining-hall employees.
Knightscope security-guard robots started to patrol empty real estate.
Companies that manufacture in-demand supplies like hospital beds and cotton swabs turned to industrial robot supplier Yaskawa America to help increase production.
Robots have been deployed during the pandemic to meet guests at their rooms with newly disinfected keys. “No tip required,” mechanical butler designed by robotics company Savioke got busy delivering towels and toothbrushes.
In the past, when automation eliminated jobs, companies created new ones to meet their needs. Manufacturers with production prowess, created more goods using machines, needed clerks to ship the goods and marketers and sales people to reach additional customers.
“Without technological advancement, much of the American workforce would be toiling away on farms, which accounted for 31% of U.S. jobs in 1910 and now account for less than 1%.”
In theory, automation and artificial intelligence should free humans from the monotony of the mundane and empower them in intellectually stimulating assignments, making companies more productive and raising worker wages.
In practice, this is what happened.
“The U.S. shed around 40 million jobs at the peak of the pandemic, and while some have come back, some will never return. One group of economists estimates that 42% of the jobs lost are gone forever.”
COVID-19 was simply a catalyst in the process.
The Backdrop for the Cause of Concern
The U.S. government incentivizes companies to automate, he says, by giving tax breaks for buying machinery and software. A business that pays a worker $100 pays $30 in taxes, but a business that spends $100 on equipment pays about $3 in taxes, according to Daron Acemoglu, an MIT economist who studies automation and jobs.
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowered taxes on purchases so much that “you can actually make money buying equipment,” Acemoglu says.
Fast forward 3 years, we have a planet programmed pandemic.
This is how some companies reacted.
Facing the Facts
There is no denying the fact that automation lets companies do more with fewer people. The most valuable company in the U.S. in 1964, AT&T, had 758,611 employees; the most valuable company today, Apple, has around 137,000 employees.
LivePerson, which designs conversational software, could enable a company to take a 1,000-person call center and run it with 100 people plus chatbots. A bot can respond to 10,000 queries in an hour; an efficient call-center rep can answer six, says, CEO Rob LoCascio
Though today’s big companies make billions of dollars, they share that income with fewer employees, and more of their profit goes to shareholders. Again, in the words of Daron Acemoglu, “Look at the business model of Google, Facebook, Netflix. They’re not in the business of creating new tasks for humans.” ... Now, that's a sobering reminder.
Looking Ahead — 'Reskilling Revolution'
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for change, by disrupting economic activity and fast-tracking automation and digitization, “creating both devastation across labor markets and new opportunities for online learning, redeployment and reemployment.”
According to data gathered by LinkedIn, Coursera and the World Economic Forum in the Future of Jobs Report 2020, projects that by 2025, the hours of work performed by machines and people will be equal. Around 85 million roles are set to be displaced by automation – primarily across manual or repetitive roles spanning both blue-collar and white-collar jobs – from assembly factory workers and accountants.
The most in-demand roles in future job markets include Data Analysts and Scientists, AI and Machine Learning Specialists, Robotics Engineers, Software and Application developers as well as Digital Transformation Specialists, Information Security Analysts and Internet of Things Specialists.
The most in-demand skills of the future will include working with people, problem-solving and self-management skills such as resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility. This increase in required self-management skills is clear as workers face a range of pressures to adapt to new, more digital ways of working. Product Management, Digital Marketing and Software Development Lifecycle are among the core set of specialized skills required for emerging professions.
According to the report, reskilling for the roles of the future will require a time investment ranging from three weeks to five months. That is the good news.
Stay Safe. Stay Positive. Celebrate your uniqueness!
CNBC, World Economic Forum, Time, MIT News, Forbes, Ernst and Young, USA Today, Edelman Trust Barometer, Forrester, Prosper Insights and Analytics, Autodesk, Bill Gates, Pega, BBC, CareerBuilder, Daniel Susskind, Capittal IQ, Financial Times, Grocerydive.com, popularmechanics.com
The more effective stratagem: Instead of saying "I'm the best and I can do it," ask "How can I do it?" It's called "interrogative self-talk," and has been shown to be more effective than positive statements alone. Asking questions leads to answers. It gives you strategies for carrying out your task right at the top of your mind, and reminds you of your motivation. Source: To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
Welcome to the Age of Enlightenment.
Enlightenment is not about knowing as much as it is about unknowing; it is not so much learning as unlearning. It is about surrendering and letting go rather than achieving and possessing. It’s more about entering the mystery than arriving at a mental certitude …On the Threshold of Transformation
We need a different set of tools to navigate in this new paradigm. "It's multidisciplinary. It involves elements of design, empathy, and symphonic thinking. It's self-directed rather than "managed." And it's animated by a sense of purpose."
Below is a snapshot of 'do's that work!
Smile: It is Contagious
“The world is like a mirror; frown at it, and it frowns at you. Smile and it smiles, too” ― Herbert Samuels
Professor Ruth Campbell, of University College London, professes the idea of 'mirror neuron' in the brain that triggers the part responsible for the recognition of faces and expressions and causes an instant mirroring reaction. In other words, whether we realize it or not, we automatically copy the facial expressions we see. Science has proved that the more you smile, the more positively you will be accepted. This is the baseline when it comes to the Rules of Conduct.
Be Interested. Uphold Transparency
"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen." ― Ernest Hemingway
It easy to read off a script and go into features and benefits. Engaging at trade shows is not about you. It is about them. Inquire about their needs and how you may satisfy them. What are they here for? What are they looking for? Perhaps they are here for the IPAD contest. Listening to your demo is only a pretense. Whatever, that may be, identify it and be transparent in the conversation. Transparency leads to better lead analytics.
Be Interesting. Respond with Humor and Grace.
"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." ― Charles Swindoll
Every potential prospect is a "viral sparkplug". Use targeted words that captures their attention and augments their curiosity. Be brand specific and benefit intended.
Surprise and Delight
"The most delightful surprise in life is to suddenly recognize your own worth." ― Maxwell Maltz
The element of surprise often consists of giving away things for free — “This one’s on the house” — and can make someone's day. The 'coolness' of the "free" give away sparks delight. "A great gift is buzzworthy; it’s organic, it’s exceptional, and it makes people unable to not say something". A surprised person is a delighted one. Word-of-mouth take a life of its own.
Draw a Crowd. Propagate your Brand.
According to convergence theory like-minded people come together to form a crowd. At conventions and trade shows, comedians and tricksters propels the formation of crowds. However, when you pepper their act with the features of your product, observe what happens. The crowd goes through a distillation process. What remains is the cream of the crop. This is what you want.
The Art of KISS
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”― Leonardo da Vinci
We live in an international age of inter-connectivity. We are faced with increased complexities and the need to adapt to the changes is fast and furious. Perhaps to maintain our sanity we are leaning more towards simplicity. Employ simplicity in your exhibit design and in your product presentation. Break down complex ideas and numbers and express them in its simplest form. Simplify your product message to amplify your brand resonance.
The Act of Gratitude
"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." ―Gilbert Chesterton
Gratitude is the bedrock for building strong code of conduct. Express your commitment. It is not just in your mind but in your heart and gut as well. Thank your customers, appreciate your prospects.
“The New Paradigm requires a leap of consciousness. It invites us to find the balance between rationality and intuition, between inspiration and application. This balance has always been a feature of great geniuses like Leonardo and Edison but now it must become the standard for all.”
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When the great Phidias designed this temple to house goddess Athena Parthenos, I wonder if he realized that this rubble of a ruin would one day stand as a testament to the Athenian Golden Age and parade itself as the paragon of Western civilization. Perhaps not. Any here is why?
Nancy Duarte, the most sought after presentation expert says, 90% of the creative process is actually destructive. You create a slide presentation—and then slowly but surely see what you can peel away. What the mighty Phidias could not possibly achieve, disastrous geo-political affairs managed to turn the temple into a core shell of pristine elegance that seems to follow this destructive law.
When you are presenting at a trade show or an event try using using a single word on a slide to convey your core message. Want your audience to remember various benefits? Don not plaster all bullet-style on a single slide; Reveal them one at a time, unveil a mystery, create a story, and share an example or anecdote to illustrate each one. "Have an image or quote that accurately expresses your idea? Let it! "Don't be afraid to remove everything else from the slide, and let that one powerful image say it all."
The mathematical ratio "phi" is a tribute to the phenomenal Phidias. The sculptor of the goddess of wisdom have successfully spread his ideas & moved people over centuries.
Don't just share your ideas or your data; make meaning. Again in the words of Nancy Duarte, don't focus solely on changing minds; put some effort into changing hearts. Powerful imagery and though-provoking video are excellent tools for connecting your audience to your message emotionally—which is how we humans make decisions.
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The classic metaphor "The Melting Pot" and its message holds a tremendous power on the national imagination – the promise that all immigrants can be transformed into Americans and be part of the American democratic wheel of freedom and civil liberty. Another overused contemporary metaphor that comes to mind is “war”. It is one of the dominating visuals of our current mass psyche....The war on cancer, the war on drugs, the war on terrorism, the war on middle class...We are devoted to war games and ponder about the violence in our society.
Nothing rivals the human body when it comes to metaphors. Since the time of Aristotle architectural metaphor attributed to human anatomy and vice versa. "What walls and beams provide in houses, poles in tents, and keels and ribs in ships, the substance of bones provides in the fabric of man." In our modern techno-machinist society, the computers are described in bodily metaphors. In athletic interplay or in armed conflict human body is nothing less than a high performing machine. In creative expression of ballet, human body is an art form. In fashion, human body is a display. In metaphysics, human body is a vehicle for the spirit and in the skilled hands of Richard Macdonald human body becomes the celebration of spirit.
Metaphors are powerful aid to our imagination. Metaphors shape and define the boundaries of how we think about problems and how to solve them. Metaphors capture our imagination by speaking the language of the brain. It is the language of experiences, attitudes and influences. Metaphors appeals to all our senses and makes dry business messaging a common play ground that is shared by Visuals, Kinesthetics and Auditories. Metaphors make communications easier, richer and quicker to understand. Capture the imagination and you Capture the heart.
Come up with a metaphor to represent your personality or your marketing message. When you are presenting at a company meeting or special venues like trade shows use the magic of metaphors to direct your audience to their senses and transport excitement, imagination and dimension. Your audience will thank you.
As I draw an end, the perennial metaphor about human body comes to mind. In the Katha Upanishad 1:3:3., it has been said “Know that the Self is the rider, and the body the chariot; that the intellect is the charioteer, the mind the reins and the five senses the horses.”........ I will let the richness of this metaphor feast your brain. Good Luck!
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To get into the habit of knowing the traits of influencers, observe people in a group setting and scrtinize how they interact with each other, whether it be a family gathering, in a shopping mall, in a cafe or in a playground. You will learn a lot simply by observing.
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I think, write, do and deliver on design, marketing, and technological trends. I help clients in marketing their products for attention retention and ultimate conversion.
In my writings I am often an explorer, a mapmaker — sometimes, a voyager of the human mind and other times: a creator who is tormented by the inner longing to expand, express, and delight!
Age Of Knowledge
Art Of Attracting
Art Of Creativity
Art Of Presentation
Call Of Color
Face To Face Marketing
Face-to -face Marketing
Multi Generational Marketing
Social Media And Trade Shows
Technology For Our Life Style
Trade Show Displays
Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. Franz Kafka