Burn the career ladder down it doesn’t work anymore

That’s a snippet of the advice I shared during my guest appearance on Your Confident Self podcast.

I had such a ridiculously fun time talking with the delightful host and coach, Allegra Sinclair. I could have talked with her for hours.

In the episode, How to Take Control of Your Career and Remove Fear, I shared all the things about how the world of work is changing, whether robots are taking all our jobs, and why the career ladder is dead.

Give the episode a listen and then subscribe to her podcast for more goodness.

50 Curious Conversations with Career Changers

Tldr: I want to interview career changers for a mini-podcast launching this summer. Submit your info here to be interviewed!

My new book for career changers is moving right along. I’ve just given it over to the publisher this week which feels damn good. With the first draft completed and editing in progress, I have some free time on my hands.

With this new free time I’m launching a new summer project. It’s based on my love of podcasts, conversations, and people. 50 Conversations is a limited run, mini-podcast featuring informal conversations with career changers.

Mini-podcast is really just code for informal podcasting because these audio nuggets won’t include intro music, editing, or sponsors. It’s simply short conversations with people who have made the jump from one career to another. You can sneak a listen to these stories on your commute and between meetings.

Continue reading →

If you want to understand AI and ethics, start with this podcast

One of the things that sort of keeps us up at night is if you think about the way that we check that our current systems are fair in, say, criminal justice is that we have a system of appeals. We have a system of rulings. You actually have a thing called due process, which means you can check the evidence that’s being brought against you. You can say, “Hey, this is incorrect.” You can change the data. You can say, “Hey, you’ve got the wrong information about me.”

This is actually not how AI works right now. In many cases, decisions are gonna be made about you. You’re not even aware that an AI system is working in the background. Let’s take HR for a classic case in point right now. Now, many of you have probably tried sending CVs and résumés in to get a job. What you may not know is that in many cases, companies are using AI systems to scan those résumés, to decide whether or not you’re worthy of an interview, and that’s fine until you start hearing about Amazon’s system, where they took two years to design, essentially, an AI automatic résumé scanner. – How will AI change your life? AI Now Institute founders Kate Crawford and Meredith Whittaker explain.

Everyone who works on AI products needs to understand the ethical implications of their work. AI engineers and product managers need to understand their product’s impact on users. Business leaders and engineers need to bring in diverse voices and specialties to help ensure their product doesn’t have negative implications. Human resources leads need to hire interdisciplinary workers, who connect the dots between design, engineering, and business performance.

All of this is of course easier said than done. Judging by the many, many, many fails in AI product development, we aren’t even close to that point inside of AI organizations. These “fails” have a tremendous impact on people’s lives.

Ethics is a loaded term and businesses aren’t quite sure what ethics and AI even looks like. Just look at the recent dissolving of Google’s AI ethics board. While many questioned who got to be on that board, many others questioned exactly how an ethics board translates into ethical business practices and products.

Thankfully there are several individuals and organizations working at the intersection of AI and ethics. My personal favorite is the AI Now Institute. I could have pulled so many other impactful quotes from their recent interview on the Recode Decode podcast. Have a listen to that episode to get your head around the many challenges of AI and ethics. And if you’re really into AI and ethics, check out this list of people to follow on Twitter.

Now that my first book on the future of work is moving forward, I’m turning my research towards AI and ethics, specifically how organizations train talent to reduce bias in AI products. So expect more of this type of content in the coming months.

I’m also speaking at Portland’s Machine Learning for All conference on how to have curious conversations. I’ll be teaching software and machine learning engineers how to hone their soft skills to build connections and work interdisciplinary to ensure they’re bringing the right voices into their work.

My podcast love comes full circle

I’m a guest on a podcast!

Last year I MC’d the Women in Travel conference. I told an audience full of 400+ influencers that my goal was to be a guest on a podcast. And Lisette Austin, aka Jet Set Lisette, delivered. She asked me to join her podcast, The Globe Trotter Lounge, to talk about global careers.

It was a delightful conversation full of fun. I’m thrilled how it turned out. In the episode I share all kinds of advice on global careers, the future of work, and why travelers are in the best position to navigate our new world of work.

I honestly could talk to Lisette for hours because she has such a fabulous perspective on all things travel (plus she loves languages too!). Subscribe and listen to her other podcast and episodes while you’re visiting.

Road trip podcasts

I’m fresh off a much needed vacation. I road tripped down Highway 1 and I binged some seriously good podcasts.

My two favs:

Heaven’s Gate: A deep look into the lives and leaders of Heaven’s Gate, the cult that made international headlines in the late 90s when 39 members killed themselves to board a UFO in the heavens. This isn’t a salacious look – it’s an examination of the members, families affected, reasons for joining, lives of the leaders, and the cultural context surrounding the cult. What I really loved is the examination of how we other people. It’s easy to say, holy shit all those people were crazy, but like anything in life, it’s a lot more complicated than that. On top of that, the host, Glen Washington, shares his experience growing up in a doomsday religion.

At 10 episodes, it’s an ideal road trip podcast.

Bubble: I don’t normally listen to fiction podcasts but made an exception for this one after reading about it on the Atlantic’s Top 50 Podcasts of 2018. They had me with the show description:

“The rules of the show are this: You either live a protected life somewhere like Fairhaven—a so-called deliberate community reminiscent of Portland, Oregon, that is encased in a literal bubble—or in the monster-infested brush beyond. The story follows mismatched roommates living in a dodgy part of town. Morgan kills monsters; Annie then sells the creatures’ blood on the black market to get people high.”

Click to download, please. It didn’t disappoint. The show is so damn funny, ridiculous, and spot on with it’s cultural critique that I’m recommending it to everyone. With 8 episodes, it’ll transport you to familiar-yet-not-quite world, keeping you distracted from traffic or any of the bored bits on a road trip.

Learning how to learn

The shelf life of your college degree is getting shorter and shorter.


David Blake, founder of Degreed on the podcast episode, Speaking the language of skills

Spend any time in future of work or higher education circles, and you’ll notice how often people throw around the term lifelong learning. It’s incredibly in fashion to tell people how they’ll need to become lifelong learners. Beyond that though aren’t a lot of resources on how people should make this shift.

Degreed is out to change that. This interview with the founder of Degreed is an inside look at the challenges and opportunities of cultivating life long learning among employees.

I really appreciated this podcast episode, especially where they talk about learning to learn and creating a learning environment in the workplace. Plus I learned about an entire new category of YouTube videos: bad corporate training.

If you spend any time in future of work circles or higher education, you’ll like this perspective.

All Americans should listen to this one.

I’m burning through a new series, Perception Gaps, a podcast that “explores different topics in which people’s perception, or what they think is true, doesn’t actually line up with reality.”

It’s absolutely fascinating. But the one that I wish everyone could listen to is The Other Side, a dive into the political divide in our country.

In the episode, I learned that what studies show we overestimate the amount of people who believe things on the other side and that we treat politics like a sporting event in the US (which ok, I knew that but cool to hear it validated). I also listened to a really good story about how two freshmen roommates found friendship, despite having their very different political beliefs.

It’s such a good episode. I hope it stops and make you think about your own assumptions and the stereotypes we give into.

Go share it with everyone you know, but especially everyone who thinks like you do.

This podcast about Magic the Gathering gave me all the feels

Never thought I’d write something like that. But this 99% Invisible episode on the storytelling and design that goes into making this epic card game (and fanbase) is absolutely fascinating. Magic the Gathering folks get a lot of shit for their fandom and obsession with fantasy worlds. This podcast takes you deeper into the game, covering strategy and the people whose day jobs involve building these worlds. It’s really well done.

Most people might skip this topic. But that’d be a mistake.

Give it a listen.

 

(def not how to play Magic)

Poetry and AI

 

Just outstanding. Joy Buolamwini, the founder of notflawless.ai, delivers a spoken word poem on the reality of bias in AI. This organization is a must follow resource for anyone working with AI with topics on the dangers of facial recognition technology and police use of facial recognition tech. Also includes links to books and talks on the subject.

Imagine if every emerging AI engineer read this resources on this site.