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26th Apr 2024

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Event Insights: Risks and Opportunities for the Human-AI Age with Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic last visited IMI in 2016, when the world was a very different place. At the time, AI technology was not widely available, and much of its potential was largely unexplored. In the intervening years, the dialogue has evolved, echoing a mix of apprehension and opportunity, as society grapples with the implications of AI integration. In our recent IMI Masterclass event, Tomas delved into some of the key generative AI technologies that will shape the future of the business world.

One recurring theme in discussions around AI is the fear of the technology rendering humans obsolete. Yet, amidst the apprehension lies a fundamental truth: creativity remains distinctly human. While AI may streamline processes, industries reliant on human ingenuity remain resilient. Take HR, for example. Despite technological advancements, the nuanced aspects of human resource management defy automation, underscoring the enduring value of human insight and empathy.

However, alongside fear, there’s recognition of the potential AI holds to augment human capabilities. From job automation to task refinement, AI reshapes the employment landscape, demanding a shift in skill sets rather than rendering roles redundant. For instance, while Google Maps streamlines navigation for taxi drivers, it underscores the need for adaptability and continual learning in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.

Another common factor of concern is the potential for bias within AI systems. AI, trained on human-generated data, inevitably reflects societal biases. Yet, there’s hope for mitigating bias through conscious design and training, aiming for objectivity and inclusivity. However, this endeavour requires introspection, as biases often lurk within human decision-making processes, sometimes unnoticed or unacknowledged.

Critics often question whether AI fosters social isolation, citing rising narcissism levels and dwindling interpersonal connections. Yet, amidst these concerns lies an opportunity to prioritise distinctly human traits—empathy, creativity, curiosity—skills that defy automation and form the bedrock of meaningful human interaction.

In the new world where AI technology is ubiquitous, cultivating deep expertise becomes paramount. It’s no longer solely about possessing knowledge but about asking the right questions and critically evaluating AI-generated insights. Embracing the analogue world offers a counterbalance to the digital deluge, emphasising the enduring value of human-to-human experiences in an increasingly virtual world.

As we navigate this Human-AI era, it’s crucial to abandon our double standards and acknowledge that AI, like humanity, is a work in progress. Perfection isn’t the goal; rather, it’s about continually striving for improvement and embracing the inevitable evolution of human-machine collaboration.

So, could AI replace a human manager? Perhaps not entirely. While AI may streamline processes and offer insights, the essence of effective leadership—empathy, adaptability, and strategic thinking—remains distinctly human, underscoring the enduring relevance of human skills in an AI-dominated world.

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