Let’s focus on the Silver Linings

Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Let’s focus on the Silver Linings

By Arup Chakraborty

The current total of worldwide confirmed cases at a little over 6.8 million and deaths at around 363000 are certainly not encouraging numbers from Johns Hopkins University. One, however, ought to notice that the current number of recoveries worldwide is also around 2.8 million.

Nevertheless, these huge infection numbers do strike fear in many hearts. After all, we are human.

In this context, a quote of the late televangelist and motivational speaker, Robert Schuller, is worth noting: “If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.”

It’s important to take heart from these kind of positive messages and move forward. I’ve listed 10 positives that the COVID era has thrown up, knowing fully well that the list is not exhaustive.

  1. There’s so much innovation around us even in these times. Doctors, for instance, are diagnosing patients over the phone and video conferencing calls, suggesting that tele-health and tele-medicine may become the new normal once we all recover from the onslaught of this virus.
  2. Governments are holding online press conferences, ushering new transparency in the governance process.
  3. Online groceries are delivering our groceries to our homes.
  4. Governments are mooting the use of drones for the same.
  5. Thousands of businesses are using collaboration and video-conferencing tools to stay in touch with their employees and clients.
  6. Even as millions are losing their jobs, there are companies and industries that are hiring in the midst of COVID-19 include pharmacies, teleworking software, grocery stores and tech support.
  7. A lot of businesses are pivoting to make their products suit the COVID era. For instance, robots and drones being used for delivery and medical services. We at Mirrorsize, too, have now pivoted from just an app to a whole AI-powered 3D scanning platform.
  8. Many employees are taking online certification to upgrade their skills. This will certainly make them more employable.
  9. People across the world are standing up to protest injustices even during partial lockdowns. The moral: Humanity lives
  10. I found this INSEAD research, published on June 4 (https://knowledge.insead.edu/leadership-organisations/you-may-be-more-original-than-you-think-13981) very interesting.
    It says, among other things, that people systematically underestimate their originality — a defining characteristic of creativity — throughout the ideation process. Such bias in the evaluation of our originality stems from the belief that other people think like us.
    The research suggests that we may be wrong when we feel that our ideas are not original enough. Consequently, we may cast off promising ideas and invest needless effort searching for better ones.

Do you agree with the 10 positives I’ve listed here? If not, please feel free to add your own or modify any of these.

I meanwhile, will take heart from the INSEAD research which insists that we must not doubt the originality of our ideas.

(Arup Chakraborty is Founder and CEO of Mirrorsize, an AI-powered 3D body-scanning platform)