6 min read

🥡Debating the economy, presidential-like, 4M, AI Characters, Eth costs, and unlocking value via data modernization

🥡Debating the economy, presidential-like, 4M, AI Characters, Eth costs, and unlocking value via data modernization
Photo by Jr Korpa / Unsplash

Welcome to S3T, the essential newsletter, podcast, and learning platform for change leaders. Every week we review the top developments and insights you need to stay ahead of the curve, build your ethics & leadership skills, and drive intentional beneficial innovation.

🎧 Listen to this episode on the S3T Podcast - Be sure to follow the S3T podcast so you never miss a show!

In this edition of S3T:

  • Presidential Debate on Economy 🗣️: Highlighted inflation pains and economic disparities.
  • US Economy 📊: Leads G7 in rebound but struggles with high inflation and a declining Prosperity Index.
  • Economic Charts 📈: Atlantic Council's charts show US economic trends that need more attention.
  • Inflation Insight 💹: Corporate pricing power has driven ongoing inflation, masked by modified tracking methods.
  • AI News 🚀: Apple and EPFL release 4M framework for multimodal models.
  • AI Partnerships 🤝: Apple in talks with AI companies, including Meta, for AI integration in daily life.
  • Data Modernization Challenges 🗄️: Generative AI drives the need for data modernization, but legacy systems and data politics create significant hurdles. This week we'll learn 8 strategies for data modernizations that prepare organizations to leverage AI to unlock value in their data.

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Presidential Debate Highlights

The presidential debates highlighted inflation pains felt by families, but the economy was discussed as if it were two different worlds.

The Atlantic Council has prepared a set of (really good) charts on the US Economy with some key items that should have gotten more airtime in the debate:

  • The US leads the G7 nations in economic rebound, but
  • The US still has higher inflation that most others, and falls behind Germany, Canada, Japan, the UK even Italy on the Prosperity Index - a falling trend since 1995.
  • US economy has rising GDP and declining emissions (that's a good accomplishment)

I think what gets lost in the tit for tat about who had the best economy is that yes, inflation is high, but that's not a recent trend - its decades old, as noted in previous editions of S3T. Perennial inflation driven by corporate pricing power has been doing its dirty work for a long time. For a while, the issue was masked by modified inflation tracking, as reported in the March 22 edition of S3T. We just happen to be in a phrase right now where its harder and harder to hide.

Related: The Flawed Evolution of Economics

Quote of the Week

"If 54% of finance can be automated by GenAI, then why can't 54% of Government be automated and the income taxes can be reduced...Formal economics is decades behind...they can't explain NVIDIA." - Kartik Gada, 3rd Millennium Economics, ISSIP Future of Finance Forum.

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Apple and EPFL release 4M - vision and multimodal generative models

4M - Massively Multimodal Masked Modeling is an open source framework for any-to-any multimodal foundation models. Out of the box 4M can perform a wide range of vision tasks such as captioning, object detection, 2D edges, 3d curvature and a lot more. Start exploring 4M on Github.

Apple + OpenAI + Meta + others

On the heels of Apple/OpenAI's partnership, news that multiple AI companies including Meta are talking with Apple about AI partnerships hints that Apple may be able to position itself as the preferred gateway through which to incorporate AI into everyday life. Original WSJ piece here.

Ethereum efficiencies kick in

As predicted back in February, the cost to conduct transactions on Ethereum drops to lowest levels seen in years, even as network activity continues to soar. Ethereum continues to evolve in a measured intentional way.

Go here for a complete history of S3T editions covering Ethereum.

AI Characters

Meta is testing AI characters on Instagram - Meta promises special labeling. Character.AI (which has been enabling the creation of AI personas for some time now) is now enabling users to talk with AI characters via a phone call in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Chinese and more. Dragonbridge is an example of where this can go.

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laptop computer on glass-top table
Photo by Carlos Muza / Unsplash

The politics of data: challenges for data modernization and corporate use of AI

"First get control of the data" he said.

It was January 2001. We were in my corner office on the 22nd floor of the nicest building of downtown Honolulu, a highflying startup - for the moment. My boss had come from other successful experiences in Asia, but the mindset he shared represented the same mindset of many in US based IT enterprises - then and now.

Get the data. Keep it under your control. If you control the data, nothing else matters.

A few months later, 9/11 would happen. A few short weeks after that our startup would close down as investors reacted to the uncertainty in the aftermath of 9/11.

But the simple blunt way he summarized the politics of data has always stayed with me, as an example of the very common thinking that drives the fears, resistance, and often tug of war decision-making that always seems to coincide with large and valuable collections of data.

The long and winding path to unlocking the full value of your data with AI

Today, Generative AI (GenAI) is motivating corporate leaders to unlock the full value of data stored in their enterprise data warehouses. However, the politics of data make this endeavor more challenging than expected. Unlike the freely available Internet data used to train Big Tech's large language models (LLMs), much of the corporate world's high value domain-specific data remains trapped in legacy systems.

Significant investments in data modernization are essential to leverage AI and unlock this data's true potential. Unfortunately, data politics - and hesitation due to fears of losing control - can interfere with the planning and execution of data modernizations, and limit the value delivered.

Understanding the politics of data is crucial for any change initiatives involving data or AI. Change leaders must navigate these challenges effectively - and the good news is - principles for data-related change leadership can also apply broadly to other change leadership scenarios.

In the continued learning section below you'll find three S3T Playbooks for Change Leaders, each providing timely advice and skill building that you can immediately apply in your work.

Continued Learning

Continue your learning and dive deeper with these resources for Paying Members. If you haven't gotten your own Paid Membership yet, click the subscribe button here to unlock full access and continue your essential learning!

S3T Playbook: 8 Strategies for Successful Data Modernization

S3T Playbook: 6 Proven Ways to Resolve Conflicts

S3T Playbook: Developing and Maintaining an Independent Understanding of the Modern Technology Landscape

Nature Notes: Ghost Pipe

This is a good time of year to look for Ghost Pipes in your hikes. These rare plants, which have no chlorophyl, live in shaded forests. This one seen at Brumley Forest near Hillsborough, NC. Learn more about the Ghost Pipe at iNaturalist.org

Thank you for reading and sharing S3T. If you are enjoying S3T please give it a like or repost on LinkedIn or other platforms where you learn and share! This helps us with our mission of encouraging change leaders and innovators in their vital work.

mountain summit during sunrise
Photo by Rayana Gasparotto / Unsplash

About S3T

S3T (pronounced "set") is a community of change leaders who are committed to learning and developing their change leadership skillset, and then applying those skills to drive intentional innovation toward beneficial change.

Change Leadership is fast becoming recognized as the most critical skillset of the 21st century. This skillset is comprised of 3 competencies that are traditionally taught separately but should be taught together: Emerging Tech Literacy, Economic Literacy, and Influential Leadership.

To effectively address the most urgent problems of the world, change leaders must

  • leverage emerging technologies in thoughtful beneficial ways,
  • effectively address flawed economic beliefs that drive resistance to change, and
  • work as a positive influential leaders who empower other change leaders to compassionately learn the needs of individuals and communities, envision a better future, break it down into executable chunks of code, work, policy, and best practices, then navigate the challenges and barriers on the road to that better future.

S3T community members are following this pattern to drive mobility rights, more ethical AI, affordable healthcare, more equitable decentralized finance and much more.

Opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not reflect the official positions of companies or organizations those individuals may be affiliated with. Not financial, investment or legal advice. Authors or guests may hold assets discussed.