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Q&A on the impacts of AI, the human side of AI and fear of AI - TGH Technology and Business Portal/Blog

Q&A on the impacts of AI, the human side of AI and fear of AI

In my earlier article that I published on the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI), I shared a summary of key takeaways, findings and views at the recent fireside chat with Temus and Qlik. An enriching, insightful and informative, fireside chat, more than just deep insights and knowledge into AI, and how AI technology is playing a key role in business and services provision. On my end, I also have my own set of interview questions that I put across as part of my ongoing write up on AI, it’s a Q&A on the impacts of AI, the human side of AI, and fear of AI.

First and foremost, it’s a great honour for me to have two big organisations, Temus and Qlik, taking on my interview questions that I put across to them. I learnt a lot from the fireside chat, and I hope that my interview Q&A sharing below would be able to add on to those who wished to learn more in-depth and understand about AI, whether you are just starting to learn more about AI or you are already in this AI technology field, reading more different diverse views and thoughts from other industries.

In the next few paragraphs, we would be going more in-depth into AI with my interview Q&A, that has been on my mind through my recent months of understanding and researching on AI. The next few segments are going to be lengthy and in-depth.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Interview Questions Part One (Technology and Business Industries) with Temus
By KC Yeoh, CEO, Temus, and Matt Johnson, MD, AI and Data, Temus

Impacts of AI on Business and Technology Industries

1) Which industries would benefit most from AI technology implementation that would not cause too much loss of working human capital?

KC:

We believe that Artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful technology which will have a broad impact across all sectors, private and public. AI offers numerous opportunities to increase a business’s value and if implemented in the right way, it can help optimise operations, improve overall sales, and utilise manpower in more important tasks. I see AI technologies and solutions as an additive tool, which will enhance and augment the way we work, business functions, and ultimately the human experience instead of a direct replacement of human labour.

Beyond specific industries, AI technologies will be instrumental for labour-constrained countries, like Singapore. With AI, smaller workforces will be able to function more efficiently and effectively, alleviating talent shortage issues.

2) Are we seeing technology companies rushing to be the first in AI domination, for money, power and control at the expense of the human race?

KC:

We are seeing many technology companies, ourselves included, excited by the potential and the new doors opened with AI technology. Especially with the recent explosion of interest in ChatGPT and generative AI, there is now also a push from consumers for tech companies to develop and implement AI technologies.

This has caused tech giants to rethink and rewrite their product plans to capitalise on the trend. Companies such as Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Alphabet (MAMAA) have been aggressively acquiring AI startups to lead the race for AI. Additionally, other tech companies like Microsoft, Google, and Baidu are competing to launch language models that will shape the future of online search.

There are risks that need to be considered, such as protecting the privacy of users. However, when applied responsibly, AI can be an enabler for organisations going through digital transformation. For example, through our partnership with AI Singapore (AISG), Temus is testing solutions which unlock value from text and image data. These new solutions are enabled by AI.

The advancement and implementation of AI signal a shift in how humans work with technology, with software at the core of the enterprise and humans at the edge. The AI factory, if implemented correctly, can free firms from traditional operating constraints and enable unprecedented competitiveness without compromising the human element of doing business.

3) There are media reports recently on IBM that they could be replacing 7,800 jobs over the years with AI. Would this news send more fear, concern and anger to the human race that their jobs and livelihood could be at stake and replaced by AI?

Matt:

There will always be a certain level of fear and uncertainty when new technology is being introduced. Technological innovations are tools that disrupt the status quo, in turn, these disruptions provide for higher standards and quality of life. For example, when technology and industrialisation were introduced to agriculture, although it reduced the amount of human labour needed for farming, it has freed up talent to explore other avenues of life and innovation. Though most of us aren’t farmers anymore, modern technological innovations have – and will continue to – drastically improve our quality of life, if managed effectively.

Many technological innovations throughout human history have been an addition to human societies, enriching our daily lives instead of direct and total replacements. I believe that AI will be no different. We might not know what the future of an AI-augmented human civilisation would look like, but we should not reject AI because we fear the unknown. Instead, let us continually upgrade our skills to be able to adapt and evolve along with it.

4) The European Union is pushing forward with its first AI framework. Would an AI legislation framework be established in Singapore to regulate AI related business/work/activities?

KC:

In Singapore, there is a growing concern over the potential risks posed by the deployment of AI systems, particularly in areas such as privacy, bias, and accountability. As a result, the Info-Communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) have developed an AI governance testing framework and toolkit called A.I. Verify. This framework and toolkit are designed to enable industries to be more transparent about their deployment of AI by conducting technical tests and process checks.

Through A.I. Verify, Singapore is taking its first step towards identifying and defining an objective and verifiable way to validate the performance of AI systems. The international pilot of the framework and toolkit will help to facilitate the development of industry benchmarks for AI ethics principles. Overall, A.I. Verify represents a significant step forward in ensuring the responsible deployment of AI in Singapore and beyond.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) also introduced frameworks and checklists for principles that guide responsible AI use in the financial sector, namely Fairness, Ethics, Accountability and Transparency (FEAT). The assessment methodologies help guide the development and implementation of the AI models from assessing unintentional biases in the programmers, to ensuring ethical and transparent adoption of the technology.

It is clear that governing bodies in Singapore recognise the potential value of AI, but are also cognisant of the potential harm that the technology could bring. It is good to see regulatory bodies developing guidelines and frameworks to assist AI developers in ensuring that the technology is not misused.

The Human Side of AI

5) What are the things that human beings can do and must do, in order to navigate, adapt and adopt this whole new AI revolution, into their work, and also their daily life?

KC:

The accelerating shift in required workforce skills over the past 15 years means that a human-centred approach to artificial intelligence is required, where people and machines collaborate instead of compete. As machines become increasingly capable, workers must adapt and acquire new skills to work alongside them. This may involve moving from declining occupations to new ones, with a growing demand for advanced technological skills such as programming as well as social, emotional, and higher cognitive skills like creativity, critical thinking, and complex information processing.  Small countries like Singapore need to invest in workforce agility and lifelong learning to remain competitive.

To optimise collaboration between humans and AI, companies can benefit from following five principles:

  1. Reimagine business in the context of new AI & data capabilities
  2. Stay focused on human experience and benefits
  3. Embrace experimentation and employee involvement
  4. Manage data responsibly and ethically
  5. Invest in building new skills and capabilities

By adopting these principles, companies can not only improve their collaboration with AI but also help their employees acquire the necessary skills to augment the way they work using AI and achieve better outcomes.

6) In what ways can AI be helpful and useful for us in terms of how we manage our work/business, and not seen as fearful that would ultimately replace a human doing their job?

KC:

AI can assist businesses in automating procedures, analysing data to gather knowledge, and interacting with clients and staff. However, to make the most of AI, businesses must identify which technologies can handle specific jobs, prioritise projects based on business requirements, and create scalable strategies for the entire organisation. We also need to ensure that AI is used responsibly to add value to our people and our communities.

Matt:

Humans play a crucial role in the development and functioning of AI. Without human intelligence, there would be no artificial intelligence. Humans design AI, write the code with which AI is developed, input data that AI machines operate with, and use these machines. As AI applications grow, so will the need for human services in designing, creating, operating, and maintaining these machines.

That being said, just as life is about death and rebirth, innovation and technology are all about change – changing the way we work, the nature of work, and the way we live our lives. On this ever evolving path of change, we should embrace change and adapt,  instead of fearing that the technology will replace human jobs.

7) Which AI development stage are we at now? Humans train/control the AI or is it going to be AI train/control the humans in the near future?

Matt:

Humans are certainly leading AI and not vice versa. However, there are material risks that humans may abuse the technology to create harm or use it irresponsibly, deploying AI in critical use cases without sufficient guard rails to prevent harm.

Even though AI is still in its infancy, it is expected to advance quickly and upend conventional approaches to problem-solving in commercial enterprises. Recent elevated societal awareness of AI, greater regulatory pressure, and increased investments in AI will also drive the discussion and development of practical and applied AI issues. Additionally, AI’s ability to boost employee productivity is likely to further drive its adoption.

In 2023, we can anticipate more ethical AI, which will help dispel scepticism and mistrust of technology. Ethical AI seeks to recover people’s trust by describing how system decisions are made and the variables taken into account. This will be done in conjunction with strengthening cybersecurity practices.

Although Large Language Models (LLMs) are showing great promise and demonstrating superhuman capabilities, they are still early in their development cycle. The first notable LLM, Google’s BeRT, was first released only seven years ago. There is still much development to be done to develop this into a mature and reliable tool.

8) Do you feel that human race has grown complacent and lazy with the rise of industrial revolution, digital transformation, a wide suite of technology services, platforms and gadgets, thus giving AI the edge (and fear) over the human race?

Matt:

The development of human civilisation is closely linked with the development of tools. We believe that AI is an awesome tool with the potential to make us superhuman. If we ensure that this technology is used responsibly to the benefit of all, it has the opportunity to enhance all of our lives: our health, our productivity, our creativity and even our relationships.

Is Terminator trilogy going to become a prophecy come true?

9) Some years back, some were commenting that the Terminator movie won’t happen and AI won’t take over the world. However, in recent months, the tune has changed, AI has developed at such a pace that they might be smarter than human. Is AI developing too fast too furious that would make it more harmful to the human race than beneficial and helpful?

Matt:

Terminator is a great movie that has enthralled millions; but it is fantasy not reality. It does however encourage us to pay attention to the potential risks of AI and this is a very positive outcome. Like any powerful technology, AI has the potential for both great good and great harm. We need to stay attentive to the potential risks of AI in order to be able to guard against them.

AI technology is ultimately just a tool without any inherent morality. On the one hand, it is a wonderful instrument that can bring our society to the next level in terms of productivity and analytics. However, it may also be a powerful adversary when malicious actors begin to use it with the wrong intentions, such as to unleash malware infections.

Much like a car or airplane has the potential to do harm, the many safety protocols and policies in place help to ensure that these tools are being used for the betterment of humans. Similarly, we need to invest our resources into devising and implementing precautions and protective protocols to mitigate the abuse and misuse of AI technology.

10) Mr Geoffrey Hinton, a.k.a. “The Godfather of AI” leaves Google and warns of danger ahead. What are your thoughts and views on Mr Hinton’s thoughts and views, and where do you think this AI journey is going to take us? Is AI going to lead the human race into doomsday?

Matt:

Geoff Hinton has been central to the development of deep learning. Moreover, he has followed strong ethical principles throughout his career. Geoff maintains his optimism about the potential for AI to do good, but is mindful of its risks. He left Google to be able to speak more freely about AI, call out the risks and by doing so better manage those risks.

We will do well to listen carefully to Geoff’s perspectives as they develop: how AI can be used for good but also how it may be used for harm. We will only manage these risks if we search them out, confront, and manage them. We are enormously grateful for his contribution and we are thankful he continues to speak his mind.

11) Armed forces are looking at implementing AI into their military equipment/technology. Would we see a new era of arms race in a whole new military strategy direction?

KC:

The more important focal point here is that AI is advancing rapidly, and businesses globally are realising its potential for enhancing their capabilities and improving efficiency. From guiding decisions on crop harvests to automating customer service, AI has the potential to revolutionise various aspects of life. To ensure companies stay ahead of AI development, it’s crucial to understand that people and AI bring different strengths to the table. This highlights the importance of augmented intelligence that is collaborative and aims to improve humanity while increasing task efficiency.

While AI has the potential to bring immense benefits, safeguards and governance need to be in place to prevent its misuse. These regulations should ensure that AI is not used in a way that disrupts or destructs the social fabric of any community where organisations operate. AI is a game-changer that makes businesses more efficient, responsive, and innovative, thus improving the overall quality of life. It is particularly useful for processing vast amounts of data that humans cannot process manually, generating actionable insights to inform human decision making.

Therefore, organisations need to stay up-to-date with the latest AI developments while keeping the ethical implications in mind. They need to ensure that AI is used for good and not misused, which could have disastrous consequences. To reap the benefits of AI fully, businesses need to take a responsible approach, safeguarding against the misuse of AI while collaborating with the technology to drive innovation and efficiency.

Qlik’s Response for Artificial Intelligence (AI) Interview Questions Part One (Technology and Business Industries)

By Geoff Thomas, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, Qlik

Impacts of AI on Business and Technology Industries

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has rapidly evolved recently, especially with generative AI, which offers great opportunities for new waves of creativity and ways of working. From developing new and innovative product prototypes to generating synthetic data to train fraud detection algorithms, we see businesses across industries like healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and telecommunications implementing the technology to automate tasks, save time, and improve efficiency.

In the field of data analytics and business intelligence, we at Qlik are building AI and machine learning (ML) into our products to amplify the power of human intuition, not replace it. With the quantity of data available, we want to help employees use technology to analyse data patterns, predictive models, and anomalies. Instead of spending time integrating data in different formats and sources, our customers can automate many of the more menial data preparation tasks and focus on higher-value tasks to make smarter business decisions faster. For example, we help Vejthani Hospital, one of the leading hospitals in Thailand, refine its operational processes using data and business intelligence. The hospital observed a 20% improvement in the use of operating theatres using data. What took two weeks can now be decided in one meeting just by accessing one data dashboard. This has boosted the efficient delivery of services and led to better care for hundreds of thousands of patients.

The Human Side of AI

AI is constantly advancing, and job skills must evolve with them. Most AI technologies like generative chatbots provide valuable and relevant responses to questions asked, but knowing how to ask the right questions is essential for high quality responses. Here’s where data-informed decision making is important. By analysing data from various sources across a business, teams can better understand their company, customers, and industry, and focus on the most critical issues to get the best possible insights and recommendations from AI technologies.

As data rapidly grows in volume and complexity, it is important for businesses to build a data-driven culture and cultivate data literacy skills that help workers keep up. For example, we helped the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) create a data-driven culture by training public officers across the organisation in data science. By giving officers access to learning resources, industry best practices, and the latest data tools, Qlik helped GovTech improve its data literacy levels and build data discovery and visual analytics capabilities to better meet changing citizen demands.

Companies should constantly evaluate their data tools and processes. Leaders can consider pairing analytics experts with business teams, promoting a culture of shared learning to do more with data. More importantly, individuals also need to be curious about self-directed learning opportunities like virtual on-demand courses. There are several free digital resources available for data literacy upskilling, including Qlik’s Data Literacy 2.0, a comprehensive training programme with over 20 online self-service data literacy classes and supporting resources.

Is Terminator trilogy going to become a prophecy come true?

Generative AI can effectively supplement and improve the work that humans do, not replace them. While it is a promising new technology, there are reasonable concerns about how generative AI will impact society. The considerations that are most common include privacy intrusion, the possibility of biases sneaking into AI model results, and even potential fraud or misinformation.

To ensure a positive impact with generative AI requires thorough checks, limitations, and regulation. Organisations must thoroughly modernise their governance practices across the entire data landscape from data warehouse to analytics solutions. They also need to establish metrics like key performance indicators to ensure success. This enables data to be delivered securely to end-users and gives organisations the confidence to use data to make better real-time decisions.

Personal Thoughts and Views from the experts Temus and Qlik sharing in my Q&A

My Q&A on the impacts of AI, the human side of AI, and fear of AI, is just the tip of the iceberg that the world is going to face head on right now, and its incoming waves in the very near future.

That’s so much more to learn and understand about AI, its full potential, its impacts and changes. We shouldn’t be asking AI, questions on AI, even though they should be able to handle them. The human race has to come together, to know more in-depth about AI, how this technology can help them in their lives and work, as well as the potential impacts to the work.

Temus and Qlik have shared extensively from both their AI technology expertise, wisdom and knowledge, with real life industry applications. From this interview Q&A with Temus and Qlik, it might be quite a fair bit of AI technology knowledge, expertise, views and thoughts to digest and understand.

Nevertheless, I sincerely hope that my sharing from the first part, the fireside chat with Temus and Qlik, along with this second part, this interview Q&A segment, would give readers the learning and understanding a better understanding about AI technology.

My current two articles sharing might be of interest to AI technology industry professionals and fellow technology writers if they are gathering a wider scope of insights and views of AI technology, and industry professionals in other fields that might be looking at adopting/implementing AI technology to their products and services.

I am concerned on this point, there might be a huge influx and overload of everything and anything AI technology. While all these might be of a lesser impact on the industry providers segment, the end consumers (mass community level) might find it too overwhelming and just get turn off by AI technology, when they do need to be aware of how AI technology has already entered (probably fast and furious) into the world of living and working, and how this is going to help, impact or affect them as AI technology improves and expands further, taking place in the very near future.

Next AI technology coverage – Photography and Creative Industries

Next up on my AI technology topics coverage, I am working on another interview article on AI and its impacts on photography and creative industries. As a small photography business, a visual storyteller and content creator, what are the potential impacts and changes of AI on these industries?

Stay tuned!

Thank you Temus and Qlik!

I would like to sincerely say a big thank you to Temus and Qlik, especially KC Yeoh, CEO, Temus, Matt Johnson, MD, AI and Data, Temus, and Geoff Thomas, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, from Qlik, for taking their precious time to share their technology expertise, wisdom, insights, views and thoughts on Artificial Intelligence (AI), the impacts of AI on business and technology industries, the human side of AI and the fear of AI.

I would also like to thank Progressive Communications for the communications, liaising, support and patience (with my writing/time constraints) for my series of AI technology related articles with Temus. C

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