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The Future of Work is X+AI

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5th Mar 2021

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It is imperative the AI movement concentrate on making technology that is good for humanity. As the industry diversifies and the technology grows, making sure to keep this ideal is paramount in the adaptation of Artificial Intelligence. The Hub Culture team was back for it’s 14th year in Davos Switzerland, establishing a Hub on the main Promenade, around the corner from the 50th annual World Economic Forum. This conversation was recorded live at the Techlodge, a space built in honor of cutting edge conversations that influence the world at large and hosted with Cognizant, Mastercard and TikTok. Industry leaders join Stan Stalnaker around the Hub Culture thematic goal for the year of Co-Creating Future Societies. Participants were given the opening question: “How can AI support a better future for work?”

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Ben Pring of Cognizant starts off with the bombshell that AI is the great story of our time; "the most important invention in history because AI runs throughout every aspect of work from here until as far out as we can foresee". Jobs, equality, security, and most aspects that people envision when thinking of their workplace will all have threads or layers of AI influence coursing through their future veins. "Not having an AI strategy will leave you behind the curve today", and extinct in the future. The title of this story comes from a quote shared by Pring from Kevin Kelly from Wired Magazine: “The Future of Work i s X+AI”. It is at the center of the definition of work.

The panel goes on to discuss different types of AI. Rapid Automated Processing is very different than Cognitive Neural Networking even though both are mentioned under the ambiguous title of AI. The role of ‘trust’ in all aspects of AI development commands agreement among the participants. Equality of augmentation and the emergence of super humans fill out the picture on trust as ethics of management develop within the AI conversation.

Stan Stalnaker remembers even a few years ago there was concern augmentation would be the main issue confronting the species, and what concerns would that bring? Now, subconscious acceptance is upon us. We have surpassed that conversation because we are inundated with different aspects of augmentation through smart phones, hearing aids, medical devices, insulin pumps, contact lenses, and soon full on neural links and implants. At some point the world added abilities to the human experience for longevity and creativity that cannot live without. Augmentation is now a foregone conclusion. 

The largest shifts to social norms in the coming years will be around money/finance and who controls communication. Will these be human directed or will algorithms dominate the landscape for decision making? Either way, work done in technology industries needs to be good for humans. Ethically responsible AI governance is key for moving forward with this new frontier of technology. There is a vision of AI as a benevolent friend that supports citizens to be able to flourish, but there is no guarantee of such an outcome.

Removing the fear is part of training for this industry. AI biases are scary because they can have unintended negative externalities that greatly affect the lives of humans working with them. Programming from a fearless, compassionate space of good will for all will be the future of an effective and adaptable AI for our planet. Much of this is in line with the Davos Manifesto   

AI is the Future. Remove the fear. May AI Be with You. Join the conversation, Episode 4 How Can AI Support A Better Future For Work? on Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud, Anchor or wherever you get your podcasts.