What advantages would an A.I business have over a non-A.I company on a short term and long term basis?
It is very hard to draw the line nowadays between AI and non-AI companies, and will increasingly be harder in the future. It would be like differentiating between digital and non-digital companies in this day and age. I reckon every business will benefit from AI as soon as they commit serious resources to understanding its application to business reality. But that requires new specialised hires to be set up for success by working closely within the present operating reality, rather than remaining isolated from the rest – even it it takes time and causes frustration, this is better than creating the future in a vacuum and then trying to force it down people’s business units.
In Asia, which sectors do you see A.I having notable impact on?
Despite the ubiquity of smartphones, Asia strikes me as a region that still has a long way
to go in terms of making digital financial services easily accessible to people. AI may help us
do that effectively and lend the ability to scale faster and better in areas where traditionally,
a lot of manpower is required. For financial services, this is a great opportunity to reach more people, and in terms of employee recruitment and training, we will see a shift in perspective
from the notion that it’s always either software or people doing a job, to the understanding that
in the future, everything will likely involve both. I would say that is already the case, but the idea
of symbiotic coexistence between man and machine (-learning) versus simply handing over between technology and people – and its effective execution – will still take time.
If there is an advice for key leaders to prepare for the new world of A.I, what would it be?
AI is as good or bad as humanity shapes it to be. We are on the brink of a potential wave
of life and work enrichment powered by AI, which will allow us to of more of the things we
enjoy doing – ideating, connecting with people, creating, strategising – and less of the equally necessary things we dread (reporting, project management, administration, etc.) In order for this to happen, leadership will have to accept that their imagination of the future leans too much
on their concept of technology today. Sentience and logic are completely different things, and we currently benefit and struggle from the rigidity of logic-based technology such as software today. AI may introduce a new level of dynamism and awareness to our economic and social lives,
a key dimension being the ability to respond correctly to emotions, which drive our decision-making more than we would like to admit.
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