Entrepreneurship in New Reality program – Summary of the 8th webinar

11. 03. 2021

“AI will be the helping hand for humans!”

The Entrepreneurship in the New Reality eighth webinar

On Tuesday, March 9th, the eighth webinar in Entrepreneurship in the new reality program was held, hosted by Shlomo Engelson Argamon from the Illinois Institute of Technology (US), Marko Grobelnik from the Jozef Stefan Institute (SI) and Bojan Cestnik from GEA College (SI). The webinar was moderated by Jure Trilar from 4PDIH and Laboratory for Telecommunications (SI).

The guests discussed opportunities (and threats?) that artificial intelligence (AI) brings to the table for businesses and entrepreneurs. The focal point of the debate was identifying the need for infrastructure, expertise and know-how of AI, so that businesses can take advantage of it. We have also learnt that AI will drastically shake the labour market in the future. However, it will not be in a bad way – although some jobs will disappear, humanity will most likely benefit from the experience overall. Guests at the webinar also had the opportunity to listen to some very interesting and in-depth questions from the attendees.

Entrepreneurship in the New Reality program brings together top local, regional and US experts who, in a series of 10 free moderated webinars, provide the audience with professional know-how and expertise, sharing entrepreneurial experience to encourage entrepreneurs to grow, prosper and find new business methods for the future. The program is organised by GEA College Ljubljana with cooperation of the Embassy of the United States of America in Slovenia.

How well do business people understand AI today?

AI has never been so close to our lives as it is now. We already experience an immense application of AI in our day-to-day lives: Virtual assistants, translators, eCommerce or social networks recommendations, chatbots…But this in fact is nothing new, is it? We would like to know what the future holds for businesses and how well entrepreneurs and business people understand the benefits of AI.

Marko Grobelnik: “Well, there is an entire spectrum of business people so it is hard to generalise, really. Nevertheless, my impression is that business people in higher positions understand AI less than they should or could. It’s not that hard to understand AI itself, but it is difficult to imagine is the consequences or the opportunities. People need to understand that AI is a set of tools or solutions that were not solvable before or not automatable, at least. But let’s not to be too harsh on businesspeople, because there are not enough AI experts on the market that could help them. Tools are out there, knowledge not so much.

Rapid development and the number of new tools with great power have led to a situation where (business)people don’t understand how to use them. But there is another factor, in my opinion. There is a hype that creates a great deal of noise and confusion in terms of what AI can actually do vs what it claimed it can do. And that can lead to scepticism,” added Shlomo Engelson Argamon.

What infrastructure is needed for AI to be integrated into businesses?

On one hand, we have people in business that could use AI, but who are not aware of the available tools. However, we also have businesses that invest a lot of money in AI without having a clear picture what to use it for. Businesses need to ask themselves why they would need AI in the first place. So, once those questions are answered, we can assess the need of infrastructure. Can it be in-house? Maybe outsourced?

I would like to stress that it is crucial to determine business goals first. So, after you understand your business, you have to understand data. Is there a lack of certain data, do I need some other? So planning, doing, checking and acting is the methodology I believe businesses should deploy before integrating AI into their models,” Bojan Cestnik said.

Will AI be able to take our jobs?

A lot of ink has been spilled over this question and the answer isn’t just yes or no. AI will definitely shake up the world, especially the labour market. But not in a bad way. Surely there will be some extinct jobs in the near future, but new ones will be created, and according to some research, the latter will prevail. There is no doubt that some people will have to re-educate, re-skill etc. and the education system will need to think about this too because the demand for new competences and skills will be high.

Marko Grobelnik: “I believe physical jobs with repetitive simple moves should be done by robots. Creative and socially intensive jobs are on the safe side, so to speak. But there is also complex work, which I think we will perform with a great deal of help from AI.

The systems will potentially open up new positions. We need to talk about augmented intelligence here. I think we will incorporate more augmented intelligence in our work environment rather than fully automated artificial intelligence. We need to develop algorithms that will learn how to work with people, and vice versa, in the area of complex systems,” added Shlomo Engelson Argamon.

Which countries are the world leaders in developing and implementing AI?

Business, as a result, is booming. The 2019 AI Index Report, published by the Stanford Institute for Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence in California, estimates that global private investment in AI in 2019 was more than US$70 billion. The US, China and Europe took the largest share; Israel, Singapore and Iceland were found to invest heavily in per capita terms. According to the report, start-ups founded on AI technologies are a major part of the ecosystem, garnering more than $37 billion globally in investments in 2019, up from $1.3 billion raised in 2010.

Bojan Cestnik: “Canada and Russia are also important players in the field! Not from the investments’ perspective, but more from a research perspective. Canada, with only 20 million people, cannot compete in absolute numbers but it does really well per capita. We could then add Singapore and Switzerland if we talk about per capita performance.

After a very interesting hour, the guests summed up that AI and people will work hand in hand for the foreseeable future. We still lack knowledge and experts to fully embrace the technology. Instead of being afraid, we should rather welcome it and take advantage of the tools that are out there.

We would like to invite you to the ninth webinar: Entrepreneurs vs Society = WIN-WIN on 16th of March at 5.30 PM CET. In this free webinar, we will discuss how young people can get to be more active citizens, and we will compare the EU and the US initiatives that encourage the youth to be proactive. We will also discuss how entrepreneurs can help in shaping a system for the youth to become involved in politics, entrepreneurship, society, etc. Guests in this panel will be Peggy Parfenoff (World Chicago, US), Gretchen Zucker (Ashoka, US), Uroš Skrinar (Zavod Movit, SI) and Matic Žmuc (Zavod Ypsilon, SI). The moderator of the webinar will be Alja Gajšek (CEED Slovenija, SI.)

You can apply here: https://mba.gea-college.si/module-9-entrepreneurs-vs-society-win-win/




We are proud to be part of this great program that will be carried out in partnership with:

This project was funded, in part, through a U.S. Embassy grant. The opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the Authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of State.

Entrepreneurship in New Reality is a tailored-made project, aimed at sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas among entrepreneurs in the times of new reality. It aims to promote cross-national collaboration, facilitate development of new business and enhance Trans-Atlantic perspective.





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