The Happiness Advantage

Digital happiness is rapidly becoming the new frontier of competition. New digital opportunities can make our lives easier, more efficient, safer, and more joyful. You may ask yourself where to begin and which needs to prioritize, but one thing is clear: only focussing on efficiency and effectivity is not enough anymore. Customers and employees are already two steps ahead by actually living in a happiness economy. They are becoming more selective when looking for happiness and a purpose, making the prudent use of technology an additional differentiator. Their findings and judgments are shared in reviews and ratings, giving helpful insights for shopping customers who need these happiness ratings. Enhanced by a customer-centric mindset, it is experience and emotion that are today’s differentiators. Technology empowers organizations to understand these emotions, to persuade people with hyper-personalized touch points, and to directly impact their happiness and sadness. Those who miss this societal trend will have a hard time winning the hearts of the customer and new employees. The advanced state of digitization today requires a holistic approach with the ultimate question in mind: what is the main goal of the products, services, and organization and how do they contribute to the digital happiness of the customer? In this report, we explore three key questions. First, what is the potential advantage of aiming for happiness? Second, how does digital technology impact our individual happiness? And third, what role must organizations play as guardians of the happiness of their customers and employees?

AI First : Learning from the Machine

More and more companies are now taking action with more than a third of the organizations applying AI at scale. Place AI at the heart of your digital activities, that is the most important message. After decades of too much promise from technology, we now see a breakthrough in the realization of concrete business value. A new AI focus is essential because your competitors will certainly use the learning acceleration offered by AI’s specific capabilities to gain a head start. The last in a series of four qualitative research reports on the topic of Machine Intelligence, ‘AI First: Learning from the machine’ states that profit and economic growth go hand in hand with the proactive deployment of AI. It further asserts that companies can raise their Corporate IQ by embarking on a new journey of discovery built on intelligent machines. ‘AI First: Learning from the machine’ explores the latest developments on the journey to being an AI-first organization and recommends a number of actions for improving Corporate IQ with a better understanding of the relationship between man and machine.

The FrankensteinFactor ‘The Anatomy of Fear of AI’

The book by Mary Shelley "Frankenstein, or the modern Prometheus" has inspired many Hollywood scenarios. The fear that is addressed in the book can also be triggered when people are confronted with applications of artificial intelligence. The anatomy of this fear for the artificial, our digital look-alikes, is the starting point for this report. The four FrankensteinFactors we describe provide insight into the underlying question where this fear comes from. The uncanny feeling that robots and automata can raise has been explained by psychoanalysts. Classical psychiatry (such as Sigmund Freud and Ernst Jentsch) and the more modern existential variant (such as Irvin Yalom) both shine an interesting light here. Emotions are explosive material, they should not be ignored. Organizations aware of the FrankensteinFactors increase the likelihood of AI success. Advise from the report: Start the dialogue with the environment (customers and employees), full transparency concerning the functioning of AI-algorithms and make human values central to the AI plans. A recent European resolution and guidelines drawn up by science and industry (Asilomar principles) provide the concrete tools for dealing with this. The report outlines the state of affairs in the current debate on superintelligence (and superstupidity) and unfolds cultural and psychological relationships that explain the fear of AI.

*Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Sogeti Group