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Letter from the editor

The Greek philosopher Protagoras argued that things are true, or not, according to how individuals perceive them. This view may seem quaint in a world where most information is created and analyzed by machines. Where chess programs routinely defeat grandmasters. Where algorithms buy stocks, approve mortgages and make hiring decisions without human involvement.

Yet there is no work without workers. Mobility, AI and other emerging technologies may change how work gets done and how companies go to market. But they do so by enabling people to work better.

Equally important, although more often overlooked, is how these technologies can make work better for people. After all, we spend a third of our lives at work, and our activities are increasingly mediated by software. How we use digital technology matters for our organizations, for our families, and for ourselves.

Enter WorkflowTM. We cover the evolving relationship between people and technology at work. We seek to understand how companies and individuals can prosper by harnessing the immense power of big data, machine learning and advanced analytics. We publish regular insights about the future of work, backed by original research and reporting.

The stories nearby range widely across the business and tech landscape. In "Meet your new assistant," Jeffrey Davis looks at the rise of voice‑enabled AI in the workplace. In "Is your AI fair?" Alex Salkever offers a four‑step plan to mitigate algorithmic bias. That’s a pressing challenge given the increasingly important role that algorithms play in hiring, capital allocation, criminal justice and much more.

Governments are considering regulatory approaches to AI, as Grant Gross shows in his piece on the European Union’s new mandate that residents there be entitled to an explanation when they are subject to “automated” decisions. Meanwhile, Lee Bruno explains how organizations are increasingly turning to AI as a weapon in the fight against cybercrime. With 95% of all cybercrime resulting from human error, according to an IBM study, security is a field where AI seems destined to play a vital role.

We designed Workflow as a resource for business leaders like you. We hope you will return here often to check out our new stories. Please drop me a line if you have feedback on an article or suggestions for a topic that we should cover: richard.murphy@servicenow.com. Here’s to better Mondays for all of us, and prosperity in the year ahead.

Richard McGill Murphy is the editor in chief of Workflow. A journalist and social anthropologist by background, he runs a research and publishing program at ServiceNow that studies how emerging technologies are shaping the future of work.

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