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RECENT PUBLICATIONS

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September 2019
MIT Press
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Designed for Digital

Jeanne W. Ross, Cynthia M. Beath, and Martin Mocker
How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success
Practical advice for redesigning “big, old” companies for digital success, with examples from Amazon, BNY Mellon, LEGO, Philips, USAA, and many other global organizations.

Most established companies have deployed such digital technologies as the cloud, mobile apps, the internet of things, and artificial intelligence. But few established companies are designed for digital. This book offers an essential guide for retooling organizations for digital success. In the digital economy, rapid pace of change in technology capabilities and customer desires means that business strategy must be fluid. As a result, the authors explain, business design has become a critical management responsibility. Effective business design enables a company to quickly pivot in response to new competitive threats and opportunities. Most leaders today, however, rely on organizational structure to implement strategy, unaware that structure inhibits, rather than enables, agility. In companies that are designed for digital, people, processes, data, and technology are synchronized to identify and deliver innovative customer solutions—and redefine strategy. Digital design, not strategy, is what separates winners from losers in the digital economy.

Designed for Digital offers practical advice on digital transformation, with examples that include Amazon, BNY Mellon, DBS Bank, LEGO, Philips, Schneider Electric, USAA, and many other global organizations. Drawing on five years of research and in-depth case studies, the book is an essential guide for companies that want to disrupt rather than be disrupted in the new digital landscape.



About the authors:

Jeanne W. Ross is Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research.

Cynthia M. Beath is Professor Emerita at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business.

Martin Mocker is Professor at ESB Business School at Reutlingen University, Germany, and Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research.


September 2019
MIT Press
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Resisting Reduction

Joi Ito
Designing Our Complex Future with Machines
Provocative, hopeful essays imagine a future that is not reduced to algorithms.

When Joi Ito published an essay, “Resisting Reduction: A Manifesto,” about human flourishing in an age of machine intelligence, his argument against industrial optimizations in the pursuit of growth and for the importance of natural complexity and resilience received such an impassioned response that he invited writers to develop full-length essays continuing the conversation. Resisting Reduction is the result: Ito's manifesto and nine equally provocative responses, all imagining a future that is not limited by a worldview defined by algorithm. Rather than await our inevitable domination by machines, Ito and his respondents argue, we should work toward a future of interconnected complex systems.

Ito blames Silicon Valley's “groupthink” and “cult of technology” for claiming that narrow technical solutions can resolve the world's complex problems. More computing power does not make us more “intelligent,” he tells us, only more computationally powerful. In their responses, the other writers offer persuasive and compelling variations on Ito's argument. Among other things, they call for a “Human+AI Centaur” as the best way to augment intelligence; draw on indigenous epistemology to argue for an extended “circle of relationships” that includes the nonhuman and robotic; debunk the myth of the lone pioneer and propose instead a model of adaptive interconnectivity; cast “Snow White” as a tale of AI featuring a “smart mirror”; point out the “cisnormativity” of security protocol algorithms; and consider the limits of moral mathematics.

Contributors Noelani Arista, Nicky Case, Sasha Costanza-Chock, Vafa Ghazavi, Kat Holmes, Joi Ito, Suzanne aka Kite, Cathryn Klusmeier, Jason Edward Lewis, Molly McCue, Archer Pechawis, Jaclyn Sawyer, Gary Zhexi Zhang, Snoweria Zhang


About the author:
Joi Ito is Director of the MIT Media Lab, where he is also Professor of the Practice of Media Arts and Sciences. He is the coauthor of Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future.


June 2019
ILP Research Group
Request Research Survey

Digital Transformation

ILP Research Survey
Survey of MIT research including such topics as:

Digital transformation--Vision, strategy, process * Digitization & digitalization tools and technologies ...



Please note that the ILP RESEARCH SURVEY LIST serves as a guide to MIT research on topics that have been of interest to ILP member companies and that the older the survey is, the more likely that it will contain some inactive projects.

October 2019
Simon & Schuster
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More From Less

Andrew McAfee
The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next
Bestselling author and co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy Andrew McAfee says there’s a new reason for optimism: we’re past the point of “peak stuff”—from here on out, it’ll take fewer resources to make things, and fewer dollars to lead a comfortable life.

What has made this turnabout possible? One thing, primarily: the collaboration between technology and capitalism. In More From Less, McAfee explains how capitalism’s quest for higher profits is a quest for lower costs; materials and resources are expensive, and technological progress allows companies to use fewer of them even as they grow their markets. Modern smartphones take the place of cameras, GPS units, landline telephones, answering machines, tape recorders, and alarm clocks. Precision agriculture lets farmers harvest larger crops while using less water and fertilizer. Passenger cars get lighter, which makes them cheaper to produce and more fuel efficient. This means that, even though there’ll be more people in the future, and they’ll be wealthier and consume more, they’ll do so while using fewer natural resources.

However, the future is not all bright, cautions McAfee. He warns of issues that haven’t been solved, like overfishing and global warming. But overall, More From Less is a revelatory, paradigm-shifting account of how we’ve stumbled into an unexpected balance with nature, and the possibility that our most abundant centuries are ahead of us.


About the Author:
Andrew McAfee is a principal research scientist and Co-director at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy.

October 2018, July 2019
MIT Press
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The AI Advantage

Thomas H. Davenport
How to Put the Artificial Intelligence Revolution to Work
Cutting through the hype, a practical guide to using artificial intelligence for business benefits and competitive advantage.

In The AI Advantage, Thomas Davenport offers a guide to using artificial intelligence in business. He describes what technologies are available and how companies can use them for business benefits and competitive advantage. He cuts through the hype of the AI craze—remember when it seemed plausible that IBM's Watson could cure cancer?—to explain how businesses can put artificial intelligence to work now, in the real world. His key recommendation: don't go for the “moonshot” (curing cancer, or synthesizing all investment knowledge); look for the “low-hanging fruit” to make your company more efficient.

Davenport explains that the business value AI offers is solid rather than sexy or splashy. AI will improve products and processes and make decisions better informed—important but largely invisible tasks. AI technologies won't replace human workers but augment their capabilities, with smart machines to work alongside smart people. AI can automate structured and repetitive work; provide extensive analysis of data through machine learning (“analytics on steroids”), and engage with customers and employees via chatbots and intelligent agents. Companies should experiment with these technologies and develop their own expertise.


About the Author:
Thomas Davenport is a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. Davenport is currently the President’s Distinguished Professor in Information Technology and Management at Babson College, Director of Research at the International Institute for Analytics, and a Senior Advisor to Deloitte Analytics.