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Expert interview: Artificial intelligence will become our GPS


Artificial intelligence will be a key player in the future. It will not solve our challenges with a snap of the fingers. We need to set the direction, and then artificial intelligence will help us find our way, says futurist Anne Skare Nielsen.

The future has arrived. And this shit show we're in... it's the 'new normal.'

That's what futurist, speaker, and author Anne Skare Nielsen says about the rise of artificial intelligence. This includes both the new tools and everything that has already become an ingrained habit.

"Take your GPS. You don't even think about the fact that you're using artificial intelligence. You just open an app and ask it to find your way. If we look 10-20-30 years into the future, I think we'll be at a place where artificial intelligence will be the big project manager, without us even thinking about using it," says Nielsen.

Whereas today we use AI for sparring and new ideas, or to write better sales emails and create slick graphics, AI will become even more involved in our working lives.

"AI can take over all the operational tasks. As soon as we've created a routine, the task can be programmed - and then humans are freed up for 'something else'. That's why we need to be really good at defining what's important - for you, for me, for us and the planet. That's what promotion will be in the future. You don't have to move up in the system, you have to move towards what's exciting. But you have to tell yourself what you're passionate about. What problem you want to solve, and with whom. Then the big project manager will help you and your team get there," says Nielsen.

Artificial intelligence amplifies, reveals, and transforms

She explains that when new technology arrives, three things happen. The technology amplifies what we already have, and thus reveals what doesn't work. When we get tired enough of that, the transformation comes, where we use the technology to turn "the way we do things" inside out, and then we arrive at a completely new - and hopefully better - place.

"Take meetings. We don't hold better meetings just because they've moved online. We just hold a million-billion more meetings because the technology makes it possible - it amplifies what's already there. Online meetings are not boring. We as humans are boring. In phase 2, what doesn't work is revealed. How awful it is to sit in back-to-back meetings without a focused and creative agenda. In phase 3, the transformation comes, so expect a whole new way of meeting both synchronously and asynchronously, online, physically - and assisted by artificial intelligence," says Anne Skare. "For example, you will only be invited to meetings where your presence makes a real difference. So think about it... if you're not invited, it's because AI doesn't need you."

This means that in order to get to new, better, more humane places with artificial intelligence, we need to dictate a visionary direction. Like with the GPS. Because a GPS doesn't know where to lead you until you've told it. And it's the same with artificial intelligence. If we don't decide where we want to go, we won't get anywhere as a human race.

"If you have a messy business and you add digitalisation or artificial intelligence, it will just get even messier. But if you ask yourself what it is you want, where you make a difference, then the transformation will come," says Anne Skare. And from there it's about training, training, and more training. Both of yourself and not least your AI tools.

"It's a bit like with pancakes. When you make pancakes, the first pancake is always really bad, right?

That's also the case with ChatGPT, if you ask it a question, it will come up with something relatively useless. So you shouldn't say it's stupid. Because with AI, "what you say is what you get". AI is not "something". Not until you start putting content into it. When you give it feedback, it comes back with "something" that makes you sit there and think, gosh, I've never thought of that before. And that mirror is actually yourself - because it's you who suddenly gets new thoughts. AI is your coach, your guide, your personal assistant. So what are you? Another white overlord? A slave owner? A bad boss who yells at his new intern? Or are you one of the future heroes who solves problems and saves the world in the new planetary communities?"

Trade should make the world a better place

When we talk about international trade, Anne Skare believes that we need to do away with the idea that we need to sell as much as possible for as much profit as possible. Instead, we should use trade to make the world a better place. That was the original idea, after all - and that trust needs to be rebuilt.

"You should think of artificial intelligence as your own personal assistant. We shouldn't just power up the existing. It's not the existing customer service that "just" needs to run faster. It's about creating the most important relationship between what you do and what you want people to do at the other end," explains Anne Skare.

She believes that artificial intelligence will put the customer more in focus. It is no longer your product, but the customer's needs and the company's ability to innovate that will come first.

Anne Skare's good advice on AI

  • Artificial intelligence should not be used to add power to the existing. You don't have to do more, faster. You must use it to make things better, smarter, so that you free up time and energy for what makes the most sense.

  • Artificial intelligence is ourselves. It's not some diffuse monster. It is a mirror of who we are and how we think. See it as traffic and infrastructure, where AI helps us drive better together - and also forces us to focus on ethics, propriety and "making things slide".

  • Be open to the new technologies. It's perfectly fine that you don't understand the scope of the new tools, but you have to have a feel for what it can do, and that only comes by exploring and trying things out. Start with - it's fun.

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