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Welcome to the ‘AI for everything’ era

Futurist: Sinead Bovell (Photograph supplied)

Futurist Sinead Bovell is predicting that swiftly evolving technology will change industry so much, and so frequently, that gig work will become the norm.

“In a world with smart machines that continue to learn new tricks over time, and continue to disrupt how we build and deliver products and services, more and more companies will opt for flexible working contracts,” Ms Bovell said, as she provided a guided tour into the future.

Her presentation from her base in Toronto, billed as a fireside chat, was presented by the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce.

She said gig and contract-based work, will become more desirable for companies than locking someone into a role that could look different at the end of the year.

Ms Bovell was speaking during a virtual presentation as part of Bermuda Tech Week. Her talk was sponsored by Willis Towers Watson and Blue Bison Software Solutions.

Ms Bovell, is founder of Waye, an American organisation aiming to prepare the next generation of business leaders for a world radically transformed by technology. She has also spoken at the United Nations five times.

Findings from a 2017 MBO Partners study suggest that by 2027, 60 per cent of the world will be gig workers.

The same study also found that organisations will focus on the results gig workers provide and not their labour.

The Institute of the Future predicts that 60 per cent of jobs in 2030 have not been invented yet.

She said artificial intelligence and augmented reality will have a profound impact on the way we work in the coming years.

“The way we stream the internet, is the way we will soon be streaming artificial intelligence,” Ms Bovell said. “We will be able to point AI at problems we are trying to solve, or tasks we are trying to complete, and it will assist us in completing those tasks. We are stepping into an era I like to call ‘AI for Everything’.”

Ms Bovell said AI is good at examining vast amounts of data, finding patterns, and making predictions, all without human intervention.

She said the education system will have to go through a fundamental change to promote the things humans are good at: problem solving, critical thinking, imagination and team work. Fact-based learning will be increasingly irrelevant in a world of smart technology.

“AI will continue to get smarter over times so the skills that humans bring to the table will also have to change and adapt,” Ms Bovell said. “The idea that education is largely a one-time deal, front-loaded in the first quarter of one’s life, will no longer be adequate for a future with evolving AI.”

Instead, she said education will become a lifelong process.

“If I need to upgrade my skills every few years it is likely I would opt for a more subscription-style school than a one-time deal,” she said. “I might pay a yearly fee to a university so I can pop in and out of classes throughout my life, as needed.”

Ms Bovell said the way we stream the internet now, is the way we will one day be streaming AI.

“We will soon point AI at tasks we are trying to solve,” she said. “AI will quickly become a scaled, general-purpose technology, partly because the learning curve for work-community systems is incredibly small which means they can be adopted with minimal barriers to entry.”

She was excited by the emergence of text-to-image and text-to-video AI systems.

“Meta recently announced a text-to-video AI system,” she said. “You give it a line of text and it creates a corresponding video. That could lead to small businesses creating an entire advertising campaign from a single text prompt, writers and directors being able to create an entire movie from their computer, and the idea of a remote Hollywood.”

Ms Bovell said this would allow entertainment creation to happen anywhere.

“We are no longer tied to certain locations being a hub,” she said.

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Published November 03, 2022 at 7:47 am (Updated November 03, 2022 at 7:47 am)

Welcome to the ‘AI for everything’ era

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