27 Jan January 27, 2020 – TennisPAL Haleh Emrani, Alexa Stealing Your Job Rhonda Scharf and Cancer Scholarships Eric Christophersen
Anytime I was traveling, I had an issue finding other tennis players
and actual facilities, so I thought wouldn’t it be nice to have a way
to connect locally with other players.
Haleh Emrani is the founder and CEO of TennisPAL, a mobile app that unites tennis enthusiasts from all over the world on an app that helps them refine their technique, improve their coaching, and meet local people interested in playing a game. Haleh is an engineer whose avid tennis playing led to the creation of an app that lets her pursue her passion anywhere. TennisPAL also inspired Haleh to create a larger business, SageDom.com, a company that aims to make similar apps to TennisPAL for different sports and interests. Haleh is a pioneer in the space that brings internet connections into real world meetups, collaborations, and friendships, and a true visionary of our app-driven world.
Rhonda Scharf – Author of Alexa is Stealing Your Job: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Your Future – Read interview highlights here
If you can write instructions down on how to do your job,
then it can be done by artificial intelligence.
Rhonda Scharf is an award-winning speaker, consultant, and author specializing in tech-driven people power. For over 25 years, she has helped companies and individuals get on the right track and improve their productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency. She’s conducted more than 2,500 training workshops and seminars for Fortune 100 companies and tens of thousands of people worldwide. Her new book is Alexa Is Stealing Your Job: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Your Future helps employees and employers alike navigate the new roles AI will open up in the workforce, and provides the foresight necessary to manage the job losses that AI is already creating. Rhonda proclaims that AI is allowing us to do much more, much faster than we ever could before. While this threatens some jobs, it also allows more people to produce much more valuable work. In the end, she says, AI is offering us a promotion, not a pink slip.
Eric Christophersen – Vice President of Strategic Philanthropy and Community Relations, Northwestern Mutual
You don’t have to be a straight A student to get a scholarship!!
Eric P. Christophersen is Vice President of Strategic Philanthropy and Community Relations, a role he assumed on January 1, 2016. In this position he also serves as president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, which focuses on developing and implementing giving and volunteerism strategies that create community impact and underscore the company’s commitment to its employees and financial representatives. Christophersen joined Northwestern Mutual in 1984 as a systems analyst in the Information Systems Department and has held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility in the Agency, Employer Product Marketing, Annuity and Accumulation Products and Investment Products and Services Departments. He transferred to the Compliance/Best Practices Department as vice president investment products compliance in February of 2004 and was appointed vice president and executive officer of compliance/best practices in 2006, before assuming his most recent role in May of 2010 as vice president of wealth management and president of the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company.
Highlights from Rhonda’s Interview
We know that artificial intelligence is here. It’s alive and well. What’s happening is, it’s starting to creep into the workforce. Alexa is a metaphor that I’m using because everybody knows Alexa, but there are all kinds of artificial intelligence out there. This is the fourth industrial revolution, and it’s the next step to automating everything that we do. If you can write instructions down on how to do your job, something you do more than once, and someone can follow those instructions and do it, then that job can be done by artificial intelligence, AI. It’s going to take away a lot of the task-based jobs that we have in the very same way that automation in the ‘50s took away a lot of jobs, and in the very same way that computers in the ‘80s took away a lot of jobs. However, both of those examples made—and, I believe, our current example is going to make—a net positive score. There are going to be more jobs made, but a lot of the jobs that we do now, a lot of the tasks that we do now, are going to disappear.
Using being a radio host as a job example, there are a lot of steps that you do that can be automated and can be replaced, no question. But not everything. Your personality and all of that can’t be replaced, but the rest can. You can already replace speaking guests. There’s no question. Holograms have been around for a while. You could always watch video; you can watch a recording. I think there’s something to be said for face-to-face interaction. Of course, you could pick somebody really famous, you could put Jeff Bezos there. He’s gonna cost a little bit more than I am. But there are definitely going to be changes. Your job, my job, everybody’s job’s going to be impacted to a certain point, to a certain degree.
In the middle of the book, there’s about 35 pages of pretty much every job title, and it’s from a study from Oxford University that gives you the percentages of how much in that job can be automated. And there’s 99% on quite a few of those jobs, which means those are the jobs that are likely disappearing much faster, but not 100%. Take being a teacher. When I speak or I train, very much like a teacher, we’re not going to artificial intelligence-ize—let’s make that a verb—our education system. But they’re going to be able to use AI in a lot of the education system or a lot of the medical system. We’re still going to need people. There are still going to be a lot of jobs, and we’re still going to have a lot jobs. But a lot of the routine stuff that we do, that I call task-based stuff or time-sucking stuff that we all have—that stuff is going to disappear.
It absolutely could happen that AI replaces teachers. There’s no question. Using the Alexa analogy, let’s assume we get up to AI teaching the multiplication tables, and Alexa says to your child, “Six times six,” and for whatever reason, your kid struggles with anything over five. Alexa will know that. It will know that it took a nanosecond longer to respond, so she can go back and review that. That type of tutoring, that type of education can be done, no question.
Think about how much easier that’s going to be for studying, for any age. Even when we were in college and we would write those little flashcards or whatever to remember what we needed. Alexa can do a lot of that, all of this, absolutely. If it’s not already here, it’ll be here by the time this interview airs—really, really fast. That’s how quickly things are changing with artificial intelligence. But AI can’t teach kids how to socialize. That’s why, while education will change, it will certainly not completely change.
How does it affect our interpersonal relationships? That’s a really great question that I’m not sure I know the answer to. In one sense it’s going to make it easy, the same way that cell phones made it easy to pick it up and chat with somebody. You can reach somebody around the world, and AI is going to be built in so I can be punching around the kitchen, and I can say, “Hey, Alexa, would you send Patrick, my son, an email that says this?” or “Go on Amazon and order him this and send it to him please?” There’s that type of thing. And I say please, because I’m nice to my Alexa, but it’s that type of stuff that’ll be made easier. You know, “I’m thinking about you, buddy. And I just wanted you to have this,” and that took two seconds of my time to be able to follow through. So there’re a lot of interpersonal relationship applications. People say, “I just wish I had more time, so that I could do this.” I’d love to send birthday cards, say, but I never have time. That’s going to be something that we can use AI for. Maybe it’s a server that says, “Here’s another business for Rhonda-Jim: birthday cards. Just say, “Alexa would you send a birthday card?” There’s all kinds of stuff that it’s going to do. Again, it’s the task-based stuff, right? So is it going to improve interpersonal relationships? No, I don’t know that it’s going to but I also don’t know that AI is going to hurt them either.
There’s an Aristotle quote that that goes back—obviously, forever—that says the next generation is going to be the death of us. And when I was a kid, I was a telephone girl. I would spend hours on the phone. And at that time, this was in the ‘70s and the ‘80s. At that time, people said, “Kids don’t get together and play like they did when we were kids. They never hang out! They’re on the phone all the time. They don’t know how to have group conversations.” And they said the same thing about my generation, and I’m thinking we’re okay. We say the same thing about the current generation. We’re going to say it about every single generation.