AI and the Future of Work

Host Dan Turchin, PeopleReign CEO, explores how AI is changing the workplace. He interviews thought leaders and technologists from industry and academia who share their experiences and insights about artificial intelligence and what it means to be human in the era of AI-driven automation.
  • Episode Number : 45

    This week, we had a fascinating discussion that unveiled the dirty secret of AI and machine learning: algorithm performance is only as good as data quality… and data pipelines break frequently.

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    Data Scientists spend most of their time wrangling data. Barr Moses, CEO and Founder of Monte Carlo, explains how the problem is getting solved and what that means for the future of technology. Plus, learn…

    • The five pillars of data health
    • How to quantify the impact of data downtime
    • How Barr thinks about being intentional when establishing company culture and values
    • Barr’s advice for female and under-represented minority entrepreneurs raising venture capital
    • Shark populations off the coast of South Africa? Well, just listen :).

    Companies and people mentioned in the episode:


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  • Episode Number : 44

    This week’s special episode of AI and the Future of Work features execs discussing how they use AI to reduce downtime. More important, they share how, as leaders, they’re navigating the complicated relationship between humans and machines

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    Listen and learn from some of the best:

    • Joel Eagle on how McDonald’s thinks about managing data at scale to improve the guest experience.
    • Mark Settle, seven-time CIO and best-selling author of Truth from the Valley, on how the shift to cloud-based apps has changed user behavior.
    • Ray Lippig, Program Manager at J.B. Hunt, on how anomaly detection is changing the logistics business.
    • Sean Barker, CEO of cloudEQ, on how AI means we can architect cloud solutions designed for resilience.
    • Plus, hear three predictions for how AI will change work in the next 18 months.

    For the first time, we also published a video version of this week’s podcast on YouTube. Enjoy!

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  • Episode Number : 43

    On this week’s episode of AI and the Future of Work, Colin Fletcher shares insights including…

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    • What he meant by “AIOps” when he coined the term and what has happened since then.
    • How the most mature organizations adopt DevOps.
    • How AIOps will change in the next three years.
    • The new definition of automation everyone in IT will soon be talking about.
    • …And of course, the not-so-secret recipe for earth’s best fried chicken.

    People mentioned in this episode: Patrick Debois, Bridget Kromhaut, Charity Majors. Companies mentioned in this episode: GitLab, ServiceNow, Splunk, New Relic, AppDynamics, BigPanda, Gartner.

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  • Episode Number : 42

    Welcome to this week’s “best of” episode of AI and the Future Work. Today, we’re opening the vault and re-introducing you to Dave Kellogg, serial high-tech CEO, board member, and of course Dead Head discussing SaaS metrics earlier this year.

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    I’m proud to share that the podcast just crossed 100,000 downloads so I’m taking this opportunity to thank you for listening. If you enjoy the show, please rate us wherever you get your podcasts to demonstrate your support for independent media and help more listeners discover our amazing guests.

    It’s a week before the election and we’re all political scientists and data junkies for the next eight days. Dave is the original SaaS scientist. Listen as he puts on a master class about the metrics that matter plus offers coaching for entrepreneurs about how to tell stories with data.

    If you don’t know your CAC from your LTV or how to calculate the true sales cycle, listen up. Metrics matter not just to pitch your company but to run your business, validate your hiring plan, groom your product backlog, and define your marketing strategy. The future of work may be AI but even the best AI won’t replace the kind of decision-making that only comes from really understanding how to analyze your customer’s journey.

    Oh, and if you’re not already subscribed to Dave’s great Kellblog, you’re missing the best SaaS content. Subscribe now!

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  • Episode Number : 41

    Patty Hatter, former CIO, COO, and current SVP Customer Services at Palo Alto Networks, shares advice for women about how to break the glass ceiling in Silicon Valley. Hear how Patty went from engineering grad student to global exec by cultivating an authentic leadership style.

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    Listen and learn:

    • How six months in Europe shaped Patty’s career.
    • The advice Patty says served her best when leaving Bell Labs
    • Why Patty says “being a CIO is the best role to have had in the past.”
    • Tips for dealing with unconscious bias in the workplace.
    • Patty’s advice to women convinced they can’t accomplish what men can in high-tech.

    Here’s a link to the great episode with Mark Settle referenced in the show.

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  • Episode Number : 40

    Deryk Van Brunt is a serial entrepreneur, trained epidemiologist, and Professor at the U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health.

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    CredibleMind uses AI to improve access to mental health resources. What once was relegated to the shadows of healthcare is now mainstream. Anxiety and stress have spiked due to social isolation and the increased burden of elder and childcare.

    Like all fields being disrupted by AI, the fear of biased training data is real. Who owns your mental health data? Who is responsible for monitoring the performance of AI algorithms?

    Deryk introduces us to the future of holistic medicine.

    Listen and learn…

    • The current state of mental health. Did you know over half of the U.S. population has a diagnosable mental health condition over the course of a lifetime?
    • How the pandemic has exacerbated the mental health problem.
    • How to mitigate the impact of biased training data.
    • How virtual healthcare providers like Woebot are giving new meaning to the term “the therapist can see you now”.

    Here’s a link to the CDC article referenced in the show. Deryk can be reached at Deryk @ CredibleMind dot com or via the CredibleMind website.

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  • Episode Number : 39

    New format this week: a special panel discussion with Justin Fitzhugh from Snowflake, Liz Holland from Dell, and Luca Blanzuoli from Credit Suisse…

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    Learn insights about the future of AI in IT Operations from the pros:

    • “We couldn’t keep the environment available without AI technology.” -Liz from Dell
    • “It’s time to switch paradigms. It’s not ok to have outages with the same root cause twice. We should have no outages.” -Luca from Credit Suisse
    • “AI is like having a PhD on the team transferred from generation to generation… without having to earn the degree.” -Luca from Credit Suisse
    • “We can’t keep up with the growth of our business without AI and automation. As a data management platform, the business expects us to continuously innovate.” -Justin from Snowflake


    • We coin a new IT acronym. You’ll soon replace “KTLO” with “KTTPOTS”.
    • We discuss what you need to know to start a new DevOps or SRE team.
    • We learn how Dell was able to migrate 140,000 global employees to home offices…over a weekend!

    Thanks to our wonderful panelists for a fun conversation. Enjoy!

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  • Episode Number : 38

    Cassie Divine, SVP QuickBooks Online Platform at Intuit, shares what she’s doing to promote equal pay and workplace diversity plus her philosophy on leadership during a pandemic

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    We get a unique look into the secrets that have made Cassie and Intuit successful and, more important, what Cassie’s doing to define the post-pandemic future of work for self-employed entrepreneurs.

    Listen and learn…

    • Why Scott Cook, Intuit founder, advised employees to “love the problem not the solution.”
    • How Cassie has changed her leadership style to support remote teams.
    • What “customer obsession” means at Intuit.
    • Why Cassie says “there’s no prosperity without equality.”
    • What Intuit is doing to narrow the pay gap.
    • What Cassie learned from Clay Christensen.


    Episodes mentioned:

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  • Episode Number : 38

    Special guest Gareth Rushgrove, editor of the popular DevOps Weekly newsletter (since its inception ten years ago!) and former product lead at Docker and Puppet, joined the podcast this week for a wide-ranging discussion about the culture of IT operations, security and software development, and the future of application monitoring.

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    Listen and learn:

    • Why Gareth thinks teaching developers to write secure code is a “socio-technical” problem
    • Why the perceived “go fast vs. be secure” perceived tradeoff is wrong
    • What Gareth has been doing to support the Open Policy Agent and accelerate adoption of infrastructure as code
    • What’s ahead for Kubernetes and container management
    • What advice Gareth “newsletter iron man” has for listeners… and the one mistake he made when launching DevOps Weekly
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  • Episode Number : 37

    Ever wonder what “knocker-uppers” did in Britain when alarm clocks were invented? Curious what scribes did after the printing press? Loom operators after the cotton gin? Throughout history, those on the right side of innovation thrive.

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    In this crossover episode, host Dan Turchin is interviewed by Service Desk Institute Chief Value and Innovation Officer David Wright. Hear how technology is changing customer service… and improving the lives of customer service agents while forcing them to upskill and re-skill.

    Listen and learn:

    • What skills won’t be replaced by AI
    • How the service desk is being transformed by automation
    • Why “augmented intelligence” is improving employee service
    • What’s happening now to mitigate the impact of bias in training data
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  • Episode Number : 36

    Greg Poirier understands what it’s like to carry the pager. He started as a systems engineer and has since spent a career developing products that help systems engineers sleep at night.

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    In this episode, Greg explains the past, present, and future of IT operations. He also shares techniques for surviving the quarantine as a geek and an artist.

    Hear from the master…

    • What is observability and why is it more important during the pandemic?
    • What do great product teams do better than everyone else?
    • Will we ever achieve NoOps? Is that even the right vision?
    • Pets? Cattle? Discuss.
    • Is monitoring dead?
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  • Episode Number : 35

    Brent Knipfer started from humble beginnings having taken an oath of poverty in the Peace Corps. He’s now one of the leading authorities in the IT community on the topic of designing AI-first, data-driven strategies.

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    Listen and learn…

    • Why the secret to great AI is having great humans first clean your data
    • How to optimize your CMDB for AI
    • Why service agents that accept recommendations from AI have the lowest MTTR
    • Why Brent’s mantra is “leap to the future”
    • How Brent has made it through the quarantine… including a preview of outrageous outfits he’s been designing for his debut on the runway post-COVID
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  • Episode Number : 34

    Barclay Rae, co-author of the ITIL v4 guides and ITSM consultant, and Sanjeev NC, AI enthusiast and former Product Marketing lead at Freshworks, join host Dan Turchin to discuss where AI is helping organizations and why fears of job elimination are unfounded.

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    Listen and learn…

    • Why “artificial” is a better description of today’s AI technology than “intelligent”
    • How AI is helping reduce training time for help desk agents
    • Key metrics you should be using to make sure your AI project is successful
    • The skills you need to lead your organization’s first AI project
    • What gamification has in common with AI
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  • Episode Number : 33

    Deborah Hanus, Sparrow founder and CEO, joins Dan Turchin to discuss how improving the complicated maternity, paternity, and medical leave process makes life better for employees. Deborah shares her vision for the company, why the problem exists, and what it was like raising two rounds of funding as a solo founder.

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    Listen and learn:

    • What inspired Deborah to start Sparrow
    • Why leave policies are so complicated and how COVID-19 has made the situation worse
    • How leave policies create gender bias and how Deborah recommends companies fix the problem
    • Why leave is tightly connected to job satisfaction and quality of life
    • The world Deborah hopes exists when Sparrow is wildly successful
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  • Episode Number : 32

    Tiernan Ray has published articles in every major tech and business publication over his 25-year career. This week, he joined Dan Turchin on the podcast to discuss what it means to practice responsible journalism at a time when audiences and advertisers are fickle and we’re contending with a pandemic, social unrest, political turmoil, and backlash against social media for promoting hate.

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    Listen and learn…

    • Why journalistic integrity matters even as fact-checking departments at organizations like Barron’s are being eliminated.
    • How the pandemic has created opportunities to tell stories about scientific topics that weren’t previously exposed to mainstream audiences.
    • Why it’s important for writers to not allow their social media brands to influence their presentation of facts.
    • How leaders like former Cisco CEO John Chambers, Applied Materials CEO Gary Dickerson, and Five9 CEO Rowan Trollope are managing company culture as “serendipitous moments for collaboration” go away.


    Follow Tiernan on Twitter.

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  • Episode Number : 31

    This week, we discuss the future of smart homes with Alex Capecelatro, CEO of Working from home has made smart home assistants business essential. They save us time researching, play mood-appropriate music, and help us meditate when quarantine life has an off day.

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    Alex and are navigating the new world of work like all of us. But unlike most of us, they’re doing it while being scrutinized for collecting personal data, trying to maintain international supply chains, and competing with pandemic stalwarts Amazon and Google. Listen and learn why just had its best quarter ever and raised a new round of funding. Hear how Alex is creating a culture well-suited for growth in uncertain times.

    Topics discussed…

    • What is the future of the smart home?
    • How is addressing the problem of data privacy? Why did his team develop a “Snapchat” feature?
    • What is Alex’s leadership style and how has it changed as the company has grown?
    • What would Alex do differently if he started over today?
    • How was Alex able to close a round of funding in the middle of a pandemic?
    • What is it like being David slinging stones at Goliaths Amazon and Google?
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  • Episode Number : 30

    Kenn So is on the investment team at Shasta Ventures, one of the most respected enterprise software investors in Silicon Valley. He evaluates AI-first companies every day and has a few opinions about what’s working and how to get your AI company funded.

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    On this week’s episode, Ken shares his perspective on venture capital, AI, and what the best pitches have in common.

    Listen and learn…

    • How the best SaaS companies are evolving their operating plans in lean times.
    • Why AI explainability matters.
    • What is AI bias and what are innovative companies doing to address it.
    • Why it’s ok that AI innovation is slowing down while AI accountability is catching up.
    • The biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when managing in a crisis.
    • How diversity in the VC community directly impacts innovation.
    • The pitch that made Kenn say “wow!”
    • What Kenn learned backpacking around the U.S. before starting his venture career.
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  • Episode Number : 29

    Bill Davidow is an icon in the venture capital world having made his first $5,000 venture investment in the 1960s before starting Mohr Davidow in 1985. This week’s episode of AI and the Future of Work is a fascinating discussion with Bill about his new book “The Autonomous Revolution: Reclaiming the Lives We’ve Sold to Machines”.

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    This is a rare opportunity to learn secrets from one of the greats who helped launch the 8086 chip at Intel before planting the seeds that became today’s venture capital industry.

    Bill on how today’s autonomous revolution relates to the previous agricultural and industrial revolutions: “If we could figure out a way to adjust in an era of scarcity we should be able to adjust in an era of abundance.”

    Listen and learn…

    • What Silicon Valley was like in the 80s and how it has changed.
    • The future of labor and why we’re measuring productivity the wrong way.
    • What Bill means when he says we’ve locked ourselves in algorithmic prisons.
    • How Bill proposes we mitigate the impact of AI bias.
    • What are the attributes of the best entrepreneurs Bill has coached.

    This is a special one. Enjoy!

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  • Episode Number : 28

    On this week’s podcast, we interview Shannon Burns, internal developer tools manager from Slack.

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    Shannon’s been adjusting to a new style of management during the quarantine. Let’s just say the pace hasn’t slowed down for her and her team but she’s adapted her leadership style to help everyone stay productive while also acknowledging how the pandemic has affected them personally.

    Listen and learn…

    • What makes Slack’s culture unique that might surprise you.
    • Why a manager’s new role is helping team members work less hard… and how Shannon does that.
    • How Shannon’s team gathers requirements in lieu of traditional whiteboard sessions with developers.
    • Shannon’s favorite Slack features (that you’re probably not using).
    • How Shannon has been hobbying her way through the quarantine to stay sane.


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  • Episode Number : 27

    How AI and Humans Will Work Together to Build a More Human Future of Work

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    In this turnaround format, Leeza McKeown and Dan King interview Dan Turchin!


    • Dan’s backstory – starting to help augment the human experience.  (What are his goals?)
    • The benefits of AI for a frontline call center agent.  (Timely…. 600% increase in need for employee IT support for home workers.)
    • How to think about optimizing your “digital labor” resources.  (There is a class for business leaders who want to master this.)
    • What is the first question Dan asks in each virtual meeting & who does he look up to as leaders in the time of COVID-19.
    • Why “building back better” is a realistic goal, because we were built for this.
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