Image credit : The World Economic Forum
Leaders in the sector said in Las Vegas this week that artificial intelligence may even replace human workers in routine jobs like email replying.
Ambereen Toubassy, the chief financial officer of Airtable, said she sees artificial intelligence as an addition to and augmentation of the workday rather than a replacement, despite concerns that it could hurt jobs.
“We’re really excited about AI and we think AI changes fundamentally what people do [and] how they do it,” she said on a panel at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference. “It should help remove routine and repetitive tasks and focus more on critical thinking and creative thinking. We’re excited about helping our customers, help their employees really deploy and take advantage of AI.”
Toubassy acknowledged that AI will probably replace some tasks, but that it will primarily complement people and speed up their job.
“It helps you learn quickly and deploy yourself to more interesting work,” she added. “I actually am pretty optimistic about the fact that people will do more interesting work over time thanks to AI, as opposed to not have work.”
Doug Sieg, CEO of Lord Abbett, shared this idea and asserted that as technological transformation continues to advance, jobs will become more dynamic and fascinating.
“It makes what are mundane jobs, better jobs,” he said. “I don’t think it gets rid of people necessarily, but I think it gives them more fulfilling roles. Longer term, I think there’s more flexibility.”
Igor Tulchinsky, the founder, chairman, and CEO of WorldQuant, claimed that AI will make it possible for individuals to complete daily chores much more quickly and pointed out that point B might not even be what was initially intended because AI has new ideas.
The panel’s moderator, Brian Sullivan of CNBC, noted that he receives hundreds of emails every day and queried the experts on when AI would be developed enough to reply to his emails in his voice and manner.
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“It can do it now, you just have to be prepared, that’s all,” Tulchinsky responded. “Generally it can get about 80% of the content correct. So in theory, you only need to spend 20% of the time doing equal amount of work.”
“Occasionally you’ll get an email that you kind of don’t know how to respond to because something happens or it’s an unusual circumstance … the AI will know how to respond, it knows the proper etiquette, it knows what to say, you just have to go through it, make sure it’s kosher.”