Why tech needs the humanities – and why we should provide business with it

Eric Berridge is an entrepreneur. A humanist, to be more precise. He thinks we are obsessed with STEM and technology, and that this is biasing our kids’ judgement in choosing their life path.

In his brilliant talk, he recalls the experience in which his company – a computer programming consulting firm – was literally rescued right before being fired by a bartender with a major in philosophy. Why is that? Because humanities help seeing a broader context, and this does not mean to lose perception of the details whatsoever.

We tend to think that a degree in a technical subject will be more appealing to the labour market. Actually, the opposite is true most of the times: people with a degree in humanities can make great leaders. So what will be the message to the students who just started their courses at university? Choose a path you like, walk on it, enjoy every step.

Life can be hard sometimes, but passion makes the burden much lighter.
Enjoy the new year, and make the most of every opportunity.


Meet the CEO: Zhang Ruimin, Haier

z-830x553Zhang Ruimin is one of the top 50 global management thinkers, a world renowned enterpreneur, founder of Haier Group, Secretary of the Party Committee of Haier Group, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Haier Group.

In recognition of his achievements in management innovation, Zhang Ruimin has received many awards from the international management field including “Inspired Leadership Award”, “IMD Management Thought Leader”, “Asia Brand Eternal Spiritual Leadership Award”, “Dale Carnegie Leadership Award” and Fortune “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. Continue reading

What humans will look like in 1,000 years

Humans are still evolving, So, where will evolution take us in 1,000 years? Chances are we’ll be taller. Humans have already seen a boom in height over the last 130 years. We may also merge with machines that can enhance our hearing, eyesight, health, and much more.

Will we be cyborgs, monsters or Martians?

The viable progress

tim-cook-commencement.jpgI’m not worried about artificial intelligence giving computers the ability to think like humans. I’m more concerned about people thinking like computers without values or compassion, without concern for consequences. That is what we need you to help us guard against. Because if science is a search in the darkness, then the humanities are a candle that shows us where we’ve been and the danger that lies ahead.

This is how Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed MIT graduates a couple of weeks ago, in his commencement speech. The full transcript of the speech is available here. A profound and heartfelt reflexion upon the impact of technology in our lives.

What is the border between being social online and being alienated from the real world? What is the one between being well informed and misinformed due to fake news? What is the ultimate purpose of all this? Continue reading

Don’t fear intelligent machines, work with them

In 1985, aged 22, Garry Kasparov became the World Chess Champion after beating Anatoly Karpov. Earlier that year, he played what is called simultaneous exhibition against 32 of the world’s best chess-playing machines in Hamburg, Germany. He won all the games, beating 32 computers at the same time.

In 1997, he was still the world champion when chess computers finally came of age. He lost a memorable match against Deep Blue, the IBM super computer. Not that Deep Blue did it, but its human creators — Anantharaman, Campbell, Hoane, Hsu. As always, Kasparov says, machine’s triumph is a human triumph, something we tend to forget when humans are surpassed by our own creations. Continue reading

People with autism in the Israeli intelligence: the case of Unit 9900

Unit 9900 of the IDF, the Israel Defence Force, is the section dedicated to visual intelligence. The satellite captures images that should be analysed to determine risks and suspicious movements in a certain area.

It has been a few years since Unit 9900 recruited young men and women with autism. This job requires extraordinary – and uncommon – capacities for visual thinking and attention to detail, both of which lend themselves well to the highly specialised task of aerial analysis. According to a study from the University of Cambridge, those skills often come with autism. Continue reading

10 suggestions from Mark Zuckerberg to LUISS students

Mark Zuckerberg, the young founder of Facebook and pioneer of the new digital world, was in Rome yesterday and spoke to students in LUISS, after visiting Pope Francis and the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi.

It was an incredible opportunity and a great inspiration because of the many themes at stake. Pokemon Go, the importance of the origins to achieve success, to emotion in mentioning his daughter; Zuckerberg answered the many questions from students (whether LUISS or not) and those asked by the online community.

Many questions coloured the Aula Chiesa, in a Townhall Q&A that will be difficult to forget. To this extent, I found useful to write up a vademecum to keep clear the inspirations we received in this unforgettable day. Continue reading