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"By creating more or the same quantity of higher-quality things, businesses can propel forward," states Ondřej Vaněk, CEO of Blindspot Solutions. AI is poised to enhance productivity without necessitating a reduction in workforce numbers. However, companies must first tailor their employee requirements and decide whether to invest in training and developing internal AI-specialized teams or to hire external experts, who may offer more efficiency for certain types of projects.
- Which types of work activities can AI truly replace?
- How can AI specifically enhance the quality of performance?
- Why might it be better for a company to hire external experts?
Watch the interview
Read the interview transcript
Ivana Karhanová: Newspapers write about how artificial intelligence will replace people. We read texts like “Ten Professions That Will Cease to Exist.” However, the future is much brighter than journalists try to tell us. What if there will be more and more work and it will have an increasingly higher added value? That was Ondřej Vaněk, AI expert and CEO of Blindspot Solutions, and a member of the Adastra Group. Welcome to the show, Ondřej.
Ondřej Vaněk: Thank you, Ivana.
Ivana Karhanová: Most concerns are about AI taking jobs, but you argue the opposite: that there will be more jobs. What are you basing this on?
Ondřej Vaněk: There are a number of facts, actually. As with new technologies in the past, some jobs ceased to exist, that’s true. However, there’s a fallacy of finite labor, which suggests there’s only a finite amount of work, which isn’t true. History shows that every innovation and civilization shift brought more work and opportunities for increasing numbers of people. I strongly believe this will happen with AI as well.
Ivana Karhanová: Can you compare this with a specific development in the past, and maybe find parallels where the result was more jobs and work?
Ondřej Vaněk: Certainly. Take the Industrial Revolution, for example. Many people were working in the fields, but new factories arose, creating more jobs. As work in factories became automated, the need for people in agriculture decreased. But this automation led to an increased need for skilled labor in industries. Similarly, the information age, with the advent of computers and the internet, created a plethora of jobs for a wide variety of skills, not only for highly intellectual roles.
Ivana Karhanová: What will further AI development mean for employees, companies, and managers?
Ondřej Vaněk: Businesses will use AI to improve and push forward. Employees will need to adapt to a world where AI is ubiquitous. There will be a skillset gap, where employers will require new skills and employees will need to catch up. Employees should think about how their work will be impacted by AI and what to do about it.
Ivana Karhanová: Will this change education?
Ondřej Vaněk: Yes. Let’s divide education into two aspects: lifelong education for employees, who will need to reskill or upskill, and classical education, like schools. For young children, human contact is crucial, but as they grow, more education will move online. University education is already seeing a significant portion of online classes, achieving the same quality of education without direct human interaction.
Ivana Karhanová: Considering the large amount of people performing routine tasks, how much upskilling or reskilling will they need?
Ondřej Vaněk: GPT and large language models show that jobs can be partially automated or scaled intellectually. AI won’t replace physical tasks like building a house, but it can help create marketing content, for example. People working intellectually can use AI to become more productive or to create more demanding content. The scariest part is that AI might replace some intellectual aspects of jobs. However, I see a future where humans and AI work hand in hand for better output.
Ivana Karhanová: Does this mean AI could replace junior roles?
Ondřej Vaněk: Yes, to an extent. But we need juniors to become mid-level and senior. While AI can automate some junior tasks, new jobs like prompt engineering will arise, where juniors will work alongside technology and learn from it. This hybrid collaboration will enhance their productivity.
Ivana Karhanová: Are we on the way to skipping the junior level of experience?
Ondřej Vaněk: Perhaps it’s simpler to say ‘yes,’ though I believe hands-on experience remains crucial, and we cannot merely overlook it. In my view, technology will significantly enhance the outputs of everyone, particularly juniors. The level of improvement will be most pronounced at the junior level, reasonable at the mid-level, but negligible at the senior level. For instance, technology architects can use technology for advice, but its impact is somewhat limited. On the other hand, juniors can benefit from and be made significantly more productive by technology.
Ivana Karhanová: Ondřej, thank you for sharing your insights with us.
Ondřej Vaněk: Thank you for having me, Ivana.
(Text has been edited for better fluency using CHATgpt.)