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Myths about AI and jobs - a dinner symposium

Updated: May 29

Thanks to all those that came to the fabulous night we hosted with Loud Whispers at Supernormal in Melbourne on Thursday 23rd May. We were lucky to have Nick Kennedy of the Workplace Planning Insitute and Domenic Brasacchio of Cloudera, convene a thought provoking conversation about their experiences on the myths about AI and jobs.


The key takeaways from the evening were:


  • Many large organisations are looking to employ AI to displace routine and repetitive tasks, not jobs, and improve staff engagement by providing the space for more creative and meaningful work.

  • When we consider exponential growth of technology it's hard to predict exactly where we're heading with regards to the potential of AI but it's clear workforce needs will shift to AI development, maintenance and oversight. There will also be a need to develop skills at all levels, as Nick stated: "AI might not take your job, but someone who knows how to use it will!"

  • The productivity gains that some large organisations are banking on will also mean there could be unemployment. We're already seeing most mining operations now operate in fully automated contexts, but this has resulted in a shift of capabilities, not a shift in numbers. However, is everyone capable of retraining and what happens to those left behind? As we talk about a just-transition in climate contexts for sustainable energy solutions, we should also be talking about just-transitions for AI workforces. There is also a need for sector specific strategies.

  • There are still some workplaces where people have not even heard of ChatGPT. Is it the reponsibility of employers to make sure their staff do not become digitally excluded from society? It seems clear that at the very least policies might be required to ensure equitable access to AI and the new opportunities it creates.

  • Australia is most certainly behind the eight ball on AI developments, but if you're interested in wanting to know more, you could start by checking international patents to see what we need to prepare for with regards to innovation.

  • Education is responding to the need to prepare for a society with a lot more AI use, by improving the building of critical thinking skills from primary school up.

  • There is a need for all organisations to embrace ethical guidelines for AI use and to make sure governance frameworks are in place to manage impacts. Making sure a sound data strategy is in place is a good first step.

  • AI is still predominately seen as an augmentation to human capabilities. The human-AI collaboration shift will likely force organisational redesigns and a need to understand new ways of decision making. Building trust and accountability in AI models will be key.

  • On a positive note, in seeing utopian future possibilities, AI's integration into the workforce might lead to a reevaluation of work-life balance and the concept of work itself.


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As always the food at Supernormal was delicious with the following delicious menu enjoyed (with dietary options offered to those with alternate needs):


House-made kimchi, garlic chive & mussels

Nori cracker, seared tuna, bonito

Korean rice cakes, sesame, sweet chilli

 

Butter lettuce, toasted sunflower, candied hijiki & shiso

Prawn & chicken dumplings, chilli & vinegar

 

Slow-cooked lamb shoulder, truss tomato, Yuxiang sauce

served with

Steamed Japanese short grain rice

Shredded cabbage, cumin seeds, ginger & mint

 

Peanut butter parfait, salted caramel & soft chocolate


Paired wines -

NV Mainegra Cava Peñedes Esp

2023 Torzi Matthews 'Frost Dodger' Riesling, Eden Valley SA

2021 Monte Guelfo Chianti Sangiovese, Tuscany Ita


If you'd like to come to one of amazing dinners, subscribe to our email list to stay in the loop!



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