Dave Erickson, Jamar Garcia, Botond Seres
Dave Erickson Intro 00:03
Can artificial intelligence 10x Your business productivity? What will all the humans do at your company once AI invades? On this ScreamingBox podcast we're going to look inside the nuts and bolts of AI for business productivity and Process Automation. Please like our podcasts and subscribe to our channel to get notified when the next podcast is released.
Dave Erickson 00:46
Is AI taking over the world? What will humans do? Welcome to the ScreamingBox technology and business rundown podcast. In this podcast I Dave Erickson and my honorable co hosts both on Satish are going to get programmed on AI with Jamar Garcia, practice director at Genius Technologies. Jamar has worked in the Intelligent Automation space for over 20 years, helping companies improve profitability while maintaining compliance. Genius Technologies is a highly collaborative systems integrator, solutions provider and software reseller that maximizes IBM, Kofax, Nuxeo and proprietary software offerings for intelligent document automation, content services and process transformation. So Jamar is AI really taking over the world.
Jamar Garcia 01:44
Yeah, I think we're, I think we're pretty far from it. At least that's, that's my hope that we're, that we're far from it. You know, I think that it's interesting, because maybe they've even since we've first started talking about this, this topic, that so much has changed from this as far as the narrative goes. I think that we're seeing, you know, the technology is is pretty remarkable for one, but I think that one of the things that we're finding, even as we, you know, like we're in the middle of 2023, you know, getting into the fall here 2023, we're seeing a lot of issues around reliability, around consistency of AI and, you know, just like actual uptake. So, you know, I think it's, we're still in the early days yet of, of AI. But, you know, I don't think the world is in trouble anytime soon, at least, that's my hope that we're not in trouble anytime soon.
Dave Erickson 02:45
You’re talking about the biggest issue with AI as everybody has their own kind of fantasy imagination, vision of what AI is. Some people think of it as just, you know, chat GPT and that's AI. And other people know that it can be many different things. In the work that you're doing what seems to be your focus with AI, and particularly with content and with the solutions that you guys provide?
Jamar Garcia 03:13
Yeah, I think it really centers around productivity. It really centers around productivity of the worker and productivity of just like the company itself. And so a lot of what we're finding is that companies that structure business processes, so basically, it's the core things that they do. How can they do them faster? How can they provide better customer experiences? How can we provide better experiences for the employees? And I think that using technology in general, but using AI in specific, I think those are the main levers, that companies, at least companies that, what they should be doing is using those levers to fit, you know, as a lens to think about how they leverage AI.
Botond Seres 03:56
Anytime we talk about AI, I'm wondering how much machine learning are we talking here? Because, like 90% of the time, what we call AI is machine learning. But I did see in some cases that we have some pretty nice, well, learning and, like normal in that sense, and such and saying a bunch of buzzwords, but
Jamar Garcia 04:28
For one, AI is not a new not a new thing, right? I mean, we've, we've been setting AI for many decades now. And you know, I think and even looking at how to design AI, hardware, you know, to mimic the brain, right? I think who I forget it might have been the founder of the palm pilot that looked at AI and in the sense of how can you structure the, how can you mimic the structure of the brain to, you know, to kind of get these structures. And that's pretty much how like, neural networks came, you know, kind of came from that. And so, for the most part, you know, machine learning is AI, right and it is training and it is, you know, there's some inference based stuff in there as well. But, I mean, when you think about humans, right, I mean, it's training as well. And so there is no, there is a matter of learning. And so when we think about AI, in its practical sense, the training becomes important and so when you think about, well, so let's, let's talk about public AI versus maybe a corporate behind the firewall AI. If you are implementing something that's trained on a public data set that you have no control over that you have no knowledge about what goes in there, you kind of get what you get, right. And so I think what we're seeing is well, that's, that's where we are today. And I think that's with, especially with open AI. And when they came out, when, when ChatGPT really just hit the, you know, hit the hype cycle it was all about that, right? But I think that where companies are going now is how can I curate that and how can I make that something that is an internal AI, not even just from a data privacy perspective, but from a data quality perspective and a control perspective? Right? How can I turn this onto our documents? How can I turn that on to our standard operating procedures and our own IP to create AI that is more useful, more controlled, more secure? I think that's kind of where, where we are heading toward. I know, there's, especially when we, when we talk about security, data security. That's, that's going to be one of the biggest aspects of that. Right. So I think that's, that's kind of where we are. But yeah, the quality of training data is going to be huge. And that's, and we're seeing that now that the reliability of this AI is so much in question that we need to understand why answers are coming up the way they are, so that we can troubleshoot and figure out, you know, why, why is it wrong? Like, why is, why are, you know, why are we seeing degradation of ChatGPT over the, you know, over several weeks and months, and no one can really explain it, because it's very opaque.
Botond Seres 07:31
Yeah, say that this is where we are headed. But those are things like this is where we came from. So it has always been a thing behind closed doors, like it has almost been exclusively the thing behind closed doors, and only now it's getting this massive popularity, thanks to well, open AI. But also, Mid-Journey has been pretty significant, which is a different type of AI.
Dave Erickson 07:59
That’s more of an image AI.
Jamar Garcia 08:00
The, Yeah, the multimodal stuff is, is pretty fascinating. And when you think about just, you know, content creation, and you know, your content creators, right, and when you think about content creation, it really kind of you really kind of st…take a step back and say, Well, you know, who's who's at risk. I know, like, you know, a funny story; I went to a conference, tech, a technology conference, big, big software developer. And so it's all about generative, right? And so I'd say maybe 60%, 80%, or maybe 70% of the people there were developers, right? And so this, they start showing, Hey, you can start adding a comment and it'll actually come up with a code block for you. And it's like, all the developers were cheering they're so I'm so excited about it. 10 minutes later, they started going into, Well, we can also have a prompt that lets business users say, create a portal for me that does X, Y, and Z. And almost instantaneously, it built the portal. And then the room was silent. Because all the developers in the room realized that like, Oh, this is also putting me at risk. Right. And so I feel like, that's where I mean, creatives. And I put developers in that sense as well. We need to understand well, what's our value at? Right? How do we move up the chain; the value chain? Because AI is going to be here and it's going to continue to get better? And we just need to we just need to unfortunately kind of outpace it and really understand what what's our personal value add into the situation, whether it's being able to ask the right questions, whether it's even just that human experience that like you're you're coaching and bringing someone through the process, right, that that's that's value, right. And I feel like we just need to understand what that is.
Dave Erickson 09:57
Yeah, I've used a bunch of these AI systems. for content creation, as well as other business aspects, I can tell you that there's a couple of it, they advertise themselves as something where anybody can just step in and start using it and being super productive. That's really not the case. They really need to understand how to apply the tool, how to use the tool, some of them are fairly complex, even though it's simple questions, you got to be prepared that, to have the right information to provide them. Even something as simple as like a chatbot. You know, the Chatbot starting to, people are starting to understand the difference between public data set and private data set, because a lot of these AI chatbot setups now are like, well give us your information we're going to scrape your website, give us your FAQs, give us any documents or blog posts you have. And then when the Chatbot starts working off of that data set, and people ask it questions, the answers are very clunky, and very limited, because the data set, technically is so small, right? And so and so people are like, Well, why doesn't this chatbot seem as intelligent as ChatGPT even though the chat bot is using chat GPT, usually the API to do it. It's the data set, right. And so I think that the future of of this is going to be something where ChatGPT can use a curated dataset that is provided for it, and for the linguistic side, go out to more of a public data set to pull in some of the fluency or some of the filler that makes it, you know, make the responses a little bit more human or elegant. Right.
Jamar Garcia 11:55
Yeah, that makes, that makes a lot of sense. And I think that maybe because at a base level, right, you like language pieces, the language piece, but it's all about that expert knowledge, and how far do you want to push that expert knowledge? Right. And I think that, you know, in a lot of industries, we're seeing just a demographic crunch, right, baby boomers are retiring. So a lot of institutional knowledge is, is going, you know, going by the wayside. So there's urgency there. And so, you know, I think that in industries, like I mean, insurance was a great example of one of those where just like, the average age has increased dramatically over over the last decade, that, you know, how do we capture that institutional knowledge and make technology more useful, right, and that expert knowledge, and yet, we haven't solved it yet? We're definitely still, still out, you know, that's still an open problem.
Botond Seres 12:51
I can't help but wonder, when, when will this revolution do to programmers what the industrial revolution has done to farming? Right? Because now, there is, like maybe 1 to 10 people in the farm with these huge, extremely expensive machines that do all the work that was previously done by 1000s, if not 10s, of 1000s of people. And I do wonder if we are headed for a future where there is one programmer with a server farm right, and they're just cranking out projects.
Jamar Garcia 13:31
That's a, that's a really interesting thought there. You know, there's, I think about the raw material as well, right for AI. I mean, chips, as an example. Right? It's not free. And I think we're actually seeing it now where there is a little bit of crunch. I mean, if you try to, if you try to, you know, reserve a you know, how many GPUs on AWS, it's not instantaneous, right? There's still physical material that's needed to build these chipsets. And I don't know, maybe, you know, it'd be we add there's, we get past GPUs. And, you know, there's always the quantum question out there. But, you know, I think that there's, that is interesting in the sense that, you know, we've got, you know, there might be some, maybe it's, it's a there's limiting factors as far as raw material, but…
Dave Erickson 14:28
And also the electricity. I mean, AI sucks a lot of power almost as much as Bitcoin mining, right?
Jamar Garcia 14:38
I mean, yeah, it's all GPU processing. Absolutely. Yep. Now that makes, that makes perfect sense. So, we're pushing the envelope for sure. But I think that the, you know, the, the scaling of that is probably, you know, that's not too, probably not too far off of what, what, how to think of that right? Programmers just that know, the, the, the real basic techniques like any craft, right? Like there's, there will always be technology that, that, that replaces and that makes that kind of outdated. Right. And maybe we're just at a point where that becomes, that's just a lot faster now we just, I just, it just feels like except for Python. I mean, Python seems to stay, stay there the whole time. It just seems like things just become, you know, obsolete pretty quick. And I don't know, and maybe the strategy there, this is kind of for just like technology vendors as well. Why does Python kind of maintained its, its, you know, dominance over a, like, let's say, a number of people who have adopted it? I think the openness and the, the, the accessibility, and that whole culture has kept it relevant. Right. And so I feel like, you know, if you were, with the exception, maybe Apple, you know, if you're open, you know, that that just gives you a better chance of kind of continuing to be a going concern and, and relevant as we kind of continue on, right. From a technology perspective.
Dave Erickson 16:13
I think Botonds analogy of the farm, and with AI in terms of programming and development, I think is spot on in the sense that, you know, a lot of the AI is about productivity, right? You know, people seem to forget, they use ChatGPT. And the responses that come back to their questions. Sounds like they're talking to a human. But the reality is, AI does not think it is not a conscious being, it is not creative in that sense. It's great at collecting data and organizing and presenting the data in a way that seems somewhat familiar, useful and productive. But it's not very creative. And it, and it doesn't know a lot of context. And the context, it does know, is very limited to what the data sets are, right. So, you know, I do think that the value of a developer is not that he can code. I think the value of a developer is that he understands the mechanics of how software works. And so when a business comes to them and says, I have this business challenge. And the developers like, well, I can solve that challenge. Now, the legwork of actually doing the coding has its value, but really, the value is that the developer thinks through the process and thinks through, okay, if I'm going to code this, it's got to be it needs these components. And the database has to be structured like this and the thought process of making it. I think that AI is a generative tool to generate code. I think it'll just allow developers to just do a lot more projects and a lot more work. Yeah.
Jamar Garcia 18:00
It becomes not what can we do, but what should we do? Right, and I think that's where, in general, I mean, humans and the knowledge workers, we need to think about that more, right? And, and move up in that level of understanding and say, in the business context, what should we do? Right? And not just to say, Yeah, we you know, this is like how we design it. But now you start to move into well, how is this going to affect performance? How is this going to affect actual customer experience, and then really, spending the time that you will, that you would have otherwise spent pounding the keyboard bit, spend that time unpacking those higher level problems?
Botond Seres 18:46
Unpacking those siloed problems, really is the the prime differentiator between good developments and terrible developments? They, I think that's, that's the main thing, right? If someone says that they want an app to take pictures of birds, right? Like, that might just mean that they want Instagram. Or they might mean that they want an application, which automatically takes a picture with metadata telling you exactly which bird it is, with what percentage of certainty and unless someone is there to decide that, Hey that's what they actually want. That's what the business actually needs.
Jamar Garcia 19:42
Well, I mean, another way to think of this is, Why does someone paint a painting? Right? And it's, it could be, could be to, to make money it could be to fit a market, it could very well be to get something out, right. And from a creative perspective, it's like for them. And maybe software development gets to that point where you produce what you feel like you need to get out and then your market finds you. Just that's the whole democratizing of programming that the internet has delivered for us, right? And maybe, maybe we get does, that becomes that just continues to push in that direction, because the cost of development becomes so much lower right? With AI.
Dave Erickson 20:41
I mean, even with AI in development, you know, how many login screens are there in the world? Maybe a billion, right? And AI is going out and looking at all these login screens? And you say to it, hey, I need a login screen. It's got such a huge data set that yes, it can produce a well written login screen for you. But is that really valuable? I mean, does, do you need to pay a developer to hand code it? Or is it just fine to take any login screen and change the color, whatever you want to do? It's more of the complex stuff, like how do you organize data? How do you, what data is important to find? How do you interpret what somebody says is the data they need. And so I think, the challenge or a challenge of AI, or the application of AI is really going to be in this kind of organizing of, data organizing, I mean, we have so many companies with huge inventories of documents and data sets that need to be digitized, but also understood. And humans, you would need 10s of 1000s of humans to do that work. Whereas AI may be able to do it with a longer time, but with fewer humans, you're still going to need people directing that. But what do you see is kind of this future of AI and the organization of data sets and documentation.
Jamar Garcia 22:16
You know, it's interesting, I feel like one of the big use cases that I think I feel like we're close is in understanding of contracts. It's, it's a, humans, except if you gotta have a law degree, for the most part, are just not compatible with contracts, right? And just the legal writing and kind of the whole, like, the length of the structure and all of that, right. So it's like, what does this really say? Like,
Dave Erickson 22:44
Try to read Facebook’s ELUA.
Jamar Garcia 22:47
Right. Exactly, exactly. So I feel like this is, and you know, we've talked to several customers where, you know, part of their job is, you know, let's say they're, they're bringing on a new, let's say, they're, they have financial products, and they are trying to brake on the new customer. And so they, you know, they have their prospect come in and say, well, here are the agreements that I currently have with my current provider, can you match these? And it's like, Okay, let's go peruse all of the different contracts and figure out what is it that you have entitled to you. That's a pain and we've, we've been talking with our customers, years, right to turn that around, or not? Several years. But let's say that from front to back, it's like a year-long process just because parsing, the go back, going back and forth. So I feel like that process can really get shortened. And we're seeing that this will be a huge value add, right? So it's like you put into, you put in the contract and say, Well, what are the T's and C's terms and conditions? And a very, you know, human? Nor, like, what, what would a normal person say? That's in this contract? And so it's, it's the understanding, and it's the presenting that to a knowledge worker, so they can make a decision on it. Right. And so, I feel like that's probably one of the probably the most short term critical, you know, like, where there's a lot of value add and that organizing of content and understanding of content. Maybe not fully automating it in the sense of, Okay, we're gonna put in a contract and you go and spit out a new contract, right? Maybe that's not where it is, but it's really how can you get to understanding so that a human can make a better decision faster? I think that's like, let's let's do that. That's, that's a short term, you know, achievable thing.
Botond Seres 24:42
That would be next level, instead of signing an end user license agreements, it'll just be a chatbot. Like, the Do I own my own data and it will be like, nope. Or do I have the right to request my data to be deleted and it will be like, nope. into the blog? In that case, so like, okay, then I find another social failure page.
Dave Erickson 25:07
It's right. I mean, the Chatbot would only need to know one word: Nope.
Jamar Garcia 25:24
That's what, am I really? Under what's really what am I really, you know, under contract for as a as a, as a resident of this state, right? And when, when our lawmakers go and say, here's what we're gonna throw out, you know, here's what we're voting on. And we haven't had the 72 hours to review it. What's really in this bill that we're putting out there, and really having that visibility? I think there's a huge opportunity for us to, as a, you know, as a populace to get a better understanding of that, right and hold our representatives accountable.
Dave Erickson 26:05
Right, yeah, that's sort of that kind of that mix between public data and private, if you were to set up a website, or a chatbot, or a website with a chat bot, or a chatbot website that was focused on the California state statutes, right. If somebody asked a question, what they would get back is literally the legalese about their question, which is not really what they're looking for. So the Chatbot would need access to a large base of English language, that it can, you know, take the data from the statutes, and rewrite it in a way that is more understandable and human, right? And then present that, I think that's a very good example of where that technology is gonna need to go. Right?
Botond Seres 26:56
You know, who may have the data, actually, the email providers for the biggest law firms, because they surely get hundreds and 1000s and millions of questions like, Am I allowed to do this here? And they probably have to reply in somewhat understandable language, sort of legalese. Right. So that, that could be a dataset for such an AI. So,
Dave Erickson 27:24
Yeah,corporate, corporate email, has a lot of conversations about the business of a company. You know, it starts getting into some really interesting privacy and data questions. But if a company was trying to basically collect up its data set, so that it could develop productivity tools, and client interfacing tools, emails, people's emails exchanged would be part of that. But then there's a question of what are the replies? And are they part of that data set? And so there's some real compliance and I think legal questions that companies are gonna have to address when it comes to putting together data sets. Have you started seeing that already?
Jamar Garcia 28:12
So didn't Zoom just update their terms and conditions? That basically like, every, every meeting that you're a part of, is part of their debt, their data set? I mean, How insane is that? Right? I mean, that's, that probably Elena, I saw some, some headline and LinkedIn. Like, maybe you just like, the last week, right? How insane is that? And, you know, how is that going to fly? Right? So I think that's, I mean, we're, we're, if there's anything that we know, is that data is the gold, right? Data is the, is the thing, and, you know, we need to companies need to strategize about how they, and I think they have been they know, it's like, okay, we need to be very data focused, but I think that's going to be even more so with this AI push. But, but also, I mean, you almost have to look at it in a defensive way. Right? How do you protect what you've got? Like,
Dave Erickson 29:12
I’m sure the CIA is like, Okay, guys, everybody use Zoom.
Jamar Garcia 29:20
Exactly, exactly. So, yeah, I mean, I think that we're seeing in some of the areas where we're playing with AI models is, is to ensure that for our customers that, that it's on prem, and it seems kind of like, oh, well, why on prem? Like, it's all about the cloud. Well, I mean, that pendulum, I think, is swinging back, right. And so it's, it's, we want, it's all about optionality, right. So we could put it into the public infrastructure as a service provider, but also we could keep it behind the firewall, right? So It's, how do we, how do we create those options for us, and so like the whole on prem aspect, is people have thought, you know, this is post on prem, you know, we're in that sort of regime. But now I think we're, it's not always going to be all public cloud, you know. So I think that that that's definitely a part of the conversation.
Botond Seres 30:19
In general, it already is, like, there's always going to be some outliers, statistically, who will need on prem. But at the end of the day, all of this infrastructure is maintained by humans and humans are lazy. So they will go through the path of least resistance, which is clouds. I mean, in that, in those small parts, because on prem is intentionally made more difficult. I'm sure all of us have encountered this when we tried to set up something super simple, on even our own PC and it takes like 10 hours, whereas on the websites, it's as easy as you will log in with Facebook, Google, or with your own email. And it works.
Dave Erickson 31:09
You know, cloud offers some advantages, because those cloud infrastructures are very large and they have enough revenue passing through them that they can update them very quickly. And they're always being maintained. Whereas on premises, servers, development, houses, infrastructure, you're responsible for maintaining them, and you may not have the resources to maintain them well, or you'll maintain them at a certain level that you can afford. On the other hand, on premises, infrastructure, it does allow a lot more security. I mean, if you maintain it correctly, and it does allow, you know, for data security, but then again, you also don't get access to other people's data that may be useful. So there's, I guess, there's some pluses and minuses for it all. But I do agree with you, Jamar, that that on site is, is coming back a little bit, that companies are thinking about what data to stick on site, and what tools and stuff to use on site. But I think it's going to be a hybrid approach that there's going to be some of it, it's in the cloud, some of it, it's on premises. And that balance, that that's really not decided at this point. You know,
Jamar Garcia 32:28
I think one interesting thing to think about is, as we all are now a hybrid work, sort of situation. What does that do to commercial real estate? Actually, does that provide more costly or not as costly to build out? Data centers? Again? Right? And so could you have physical data centers and have that be, you know, sort of your own private private cloud? Because real estate, you know, corporate real estate is now maybe less expensive?
Botond Seres 32:59
I mean, I feel like private cloud is coming back in a big way. Like, you're now you can buy. I mean, I wish they would sponsor this, but Ubiquity, right? They have their private clouds for cameras for network attached storage for access control for electronic locks are everything basically. And I do think there is a severe lack of options in this space. Like, can we even think about any competitors in this space?
Jamar Garcia 33:33
It's funny, I remember back when I was dating myself a little bit, but I remember when I had friends that would go and stand up their Counter Strike server, right, they'd go and like, go find, find a local, a local datacenter. Like, they bring their own, like, you know, 1U 2U, whatever, the rack and go and you had this and would bring it over, install it in there. And he has his he's now as you know, running a Counter Strike server, and maybe those, those days are coming back. Right. I mean, I think, you know, maybe even just from a gaming perspective, that might be, not too far off, right, just given where I think now, gaming culture is, is so pervasive. Yeah. So that might be, that might be, that might be a thing.
Dave Erickson 34:22
A lot of these tools, and a lot of the things that are coming up in AI, really are at this, this kind of concept of productivity, and although a lot of people interpret it as they're going to replace my job. Again, the real value is that of the person who is directing the AI or the productivity tools. That's how they give productivity, right. And so it allows for companies to scale without as much cost to scaling, which allows them to use their money to grow. Right? Where do you see AI and productivity going? And do you have kind of, some examples of how people or companies are using AI to really increase their productivity? twofold or even 3x? Their productivity?
Jamar Garcia 35:20
Absolutely, I think, especially in the, in the realm where I deal with is a document, where, in order for a company that automated its business process, it needs to have clean and actionable data, right. And so a lot of that, if it's if you have unstructured content, or documents, like a contract, or you know, even invoices and things like that, that are PDFs, it doesn't even have to be paper, you need to do that data entry, data cleansing, you know, data cleaning, and things like that. And so that, even though we've been doing that, for decades, right, we've been doing that for a long time, it's still a problem. And actually, we generate so many documents, now we continue to generate so much unstructured content, that it continues to be an issue. And we've kind of seen a resurgence in the hole with what's called the intelligent document processing space because of that. And so I think that's an area because the data entry function is pretty low value, right? And I feel like that's an area where you can really cut down that, the cost and cut down the cycle time. Interestingly, though, we're at a demographic sort of place in the world now, where we're just having less and less people that are, you know, like working age, right? So can we take those people that are doing low value data entry, and put them into higher value analytical knowledge work? I think that's the strategy for companies and has been and continues to be. And it becomes way more important now, especially with baby boomers retiring en masse. Right. And so I think that that's, that's a playbook that has, that continues to be relevant. And so just, you know, put that in your strategy, because that's absolutely what needs to happen.
Botond Seres 37:09
I mean, that's kind of what happened during the Industrial Revolution, like, what people consider low value jobs, or they may have been high value back in those states. And we may be on the precipice of such a shift, as you say, I'm quite certain we are reasonably close, like few generations of maybe, at most.
Jamar Garcia 37:36
Yeah, and I think I mean, what's crazy is that this speed of change feels like it's accelerating, right? So we're even, we're the, it's not even that things are changing, but the, the rate of change is accelerating. And so that that's something that is, it is unnerving, a little stressful. But I think, you know, I'm an ever optimist, right. And kind of, I look at it as an opportunity, as, you know, for us to really, really define what it means to, to work. What it means to be human, what it means to be creative, right? And if, if tools are free, what it means to be productive, absolutely. And, and taking that and finding fulfillment in what we do as in our jobs, right. There's, there's going to be pushed back back and forth with with with business and individuals and, and frankly, we're at a point where there's so much power for individuals to create the jobs that they want, and create the situations that they want, even working wherever you want to work that how can you not be optimistic? I think that that's the way I like to look at it. And, and I know there's a lot of different people think of it in lots of different ways, but I feel like this, this gives us a lot of options and a lot of power, or still
Dave Erickson 39:13
We’re still kind of stuck in the old world, a lot of our definitions about what is work, right? 40 hours a week, Monday through Friday, these are concepts that fit and worked 30-40 years ago, right? Now, we're trying to bump up against that, right, and you have companies saying you must come back to work, because they got a building they got to fill in, they're paying rent on it. So gotta fill it up. Maybe you know, they're not thinking about what's best for the business or the the people, right? You know, they're looking at some numbers on a spreadsheet and saying, Hey, we need to fill it. We have a building, fill it up. Right. And I think people are starting to really question that and productivity and AI are going to stress that, that that kind of situation even more, right? If I'm a person, and I can use, you know, five AI tools to do the work of 10 people, but you need me to do that, then the 10 people you would have hired, they can also do the same thing. So you, they can now help other businesses. And so the scaling and trying to make it all fit into the old style box, I think is really being challenged now. And I think companies need to really address that issue.
Jamar Garcia 40:40
I totally agree. And actually, I think that there's, you know, there's a place in the middle because I actually love working in an office. And so, you know, I started, I started working at Genius about nine months ago, I had my own practice for 10 years, and they bought my practice. And now I'm, you know, the practice director there. And they're based in Minneapolis, or we're based in Minneapolis, or you know, but we have people that are remote, but I've been traveling there, like once a month for the last nine months, for the most part, I love going on site, I love being at the office, because it's you even though we can be on calls like this, there's nothing that replaces human interaction and human connection. Nothing, absolutely nothing that replaces that. So one strategy to think about as well, how can we get the best of both? Right? How can we have the remote, but also get that human interaction, right. And maybe it's, you have positive workers that are you know, like functionally focused that are, you know, this is our, our pod in SoCal, this is our pod in Minneapolis is our pod, you know, in Denver, and they get to meet each other at a convenient location where they all can get there and it's easy, and they don't go there every day. But when one's they, when they have to do really deep work, they can get together and do the deep work. No really, we're not like businesses aren't at that point yet. And I think that's where we need to be because we can't be all everyone be at the office because its traffic sucks. But also working remotely, you're missing something, right? So where can we get the best of both? And, like back to, and I think companies that really want to be best of breed and best in class, they're going to, they're gonna need to adjust, right? That's why I'm optimistic about the small businesses, right? Because you know, you can be nimble and make, that make that choice. But I do think that humans like, how can you get the most out of the people and be that human centered, you know, company? For sure.
Dave Erickson 42:42
Yeah, I think AI is a real boon to small business. Because, you know, it allows a small business with almost zero resources, one or two people and very small amounts of money, to be able to do a lot of things that used to take 10 people to do, right. And so for small business, it definitely is going to have a huge impact. I think as the businesses grow and get bigger, or start, you know, looking at different sizes, AI is going to have different impacts. And, and I agree with you on workers coming together, you know, my wife is like you, she prefers being in the office, right? She likes meeting people, she loves that interaction. On the other hand, she really liked the productivity of working at home where she isn't bothered by a lot of people and she can really focus on getting the work done. And I think that's kind of where the corporate AI strategy is going to have to kind of kick in is allowing these people the ability to have an AI assistant do that work. So they can focus on the real work, which is relationship and communication. And so instead of needing three hours to work on this presentation, they only need five minutes to tell the AI what it really needs. And then it does the work and kicks out the presentation. I have a feeling that may be where for larger corporations, what are some of the AI may be going or the AI strategy, um, you know, that
Jamar Garcia 44:17
That makes a lot of sense. It's almost like what Steve Jobs would say, you know, computing being the bicycle of the mind. It's like it's now you've got, now you've got a car or you got something a lot faster than a motorcycle. Well, it's interesting. So thinking about that, but also just technology companies that are just technology focused and on business focused. I think that what AI gives you and that there's a risk there. It, it makes technology more accessible for business minded folks. So if you are a technology company that doesn't have a business focus or business approach, you are at risk, because business, the businesses themselves are turning into technology companies. Right? So it's not like, so they can, they can now add that capability, where otherwise you would have had to have gone to a software development house, right? It's like, now I don't need to go to a software development house, I could bring that in house. And so that's where, you know, if you're, if you're a technology company that has no, you have to move, you have to change, you have to evolve to have to be able to bring that business value, be consultative, have business problem solves that goes that go along with your technology solves.
Dave Erickson 45:39
With AI, it's going to have a profound effect on education, not just how it's going to impact the art of teaching and education. But what is taught, right, and the, the skills that people who are going through high school and university are going to need to work with AI and to understand how it can be used for productivity. How is that going to be changing over the next couple of years?
Jamar Garcia 46:13
Wow, that'd be that that is. So I've young kids, 13 and 8 and there. So we're right in the middle of Yes. And actually, I just, I was just talking to my wife. And she was saying she's she's she had coffee with a friend who, whose son is just starting at a university. So freshman, right. And he's frustrated, because the papers that he's submitting are being graded by AI. So nope, no Professor feedback. It's just like, they're just, you know, they're being graded by AI. And my initial reaction was like, that's horrible, right? Because it's just like, Wait, like, where's the value? What's that?
Botond Seres 46:56
Graded by AI?
Jamar Garcia 47:00
So, it's not so, so the human is graded, and it's been graded by AI. And so it's like, so one is like, worrying, okay, so why is that even useful? And so I think that, you know, we're right, we're on the bleeding edge, right? So, the, okay, that's the, that's the one or beta and it kind of sucks. We're gonna get along, and we're gonna progress and maybe when my daughter gets to college, it's going to be better. And when my youngest daughter gets to college, it'll be so much better than it is today.
Dave Erickson 47:30
Yeah, the funny thing is, is you're going to have students having AI writing their papers, and then AI is going to be grading those papers.
Jamar Garcia 47:39
It's like, yeah, exactly. It's going somewhere. Summer. I think. Yeah, we,I think we're, I think we're there. For sure. So, but the question about what's being taught, you know, it's, it almost goes back to the classics, right? And it's like, you go back to, you know, not rote memorization, and not facts and figures, but about rationalization and problem solving, and being a better person and building up that you know, your character. I think that's going to be more than emphasis because yeah, we can. We can all Google something, or we can all like, recall facts, and figures, we're just doing a search. And that's just going to be less important. But the hope is that we move into that direction. And that we, as parents,think about, well, let's just, let's make sure that that's what our kids are learning. Right. You know, and I think that universities, I think, are at risk. You know, I think we, you know, that's that the trajectory there is, is clear, right? And so, you know, I think that that's going to be an issue. But you know, for learners, it's going to come down to really redefining, Why are you learning that? The job that you are probably going to have when you graduate college doesn't exist today. So what do you do? What are you training? Right?
Dave Erickson 49:20
The curriculum is gonna have to change. I mean, I know you're involved in the University of California, Irvine. My mom graduated from the University of California, Irvine, I think class is 67 or something like that. Not sad. Yeah. And my wife graduated UCI, and my daughter would like to go to UCI, but the question is, if she goes to UCI, what is she going to be learning? Right? And it's almost like they need a degree. The degrees are gonna, I think, go away from things like business administration, and they should have a degree that's probably problem solving and problem solving applications. Right? That would be a useful degree, because then it's about using tools to solve problems. And I don't know if the education system is able to make changes like that right now, what do you think? Are you seeing something in it? Or they're recognizing this?
Jamar Garcia 50:21
This might differ between blue collar and white collar, right? Because blue collar knowledge is on an absolute crunch. Right? It's like, generationally, our parents are like, we want you to be the doctors, we want you to be the lawyers, right? Like we don't want you to, we don't want you to work as hard as we did. Being machinists and working in you know, like blue collar work. We can't get people to fix our machines now. Right? So I feel so, so. So that might be actually a different story, right? So like, from an education perspective, being an actual, someone who could work with your hands, there's so much value in that now. Like, maybe I should just, you know, turn in my computer science degree and go on. And do you know, like woodwork? And I'd probably make more money than I do. Now.
Dave Erickson 51:12
Yeah, if you want to, if you want to buy a 5 million, if you want to buy a multimillion dollar home in the area we live in, you need to be a plumber. Right? If you're a doctor, man, you don't make enough money, you need to be a plumber.
Jamar Garcia 51:33
That's, that's. So I mean, I think that I think we're still the education system. And I, I'm not gonna, I'm not an expert in education systems by any means. So really, it's like, I'm, uh, you know, I, I'm an alumni volunteer with, with UCI. And so you know, we're there for engagements. So I won't, I won't pretend to say that I know what they need to do. But I do know that something's got to change, because as a parent, I know that what my kids are getting is not what they need. Right. And so my hope is that I can help steer them in a way that is, where they're, they're fulfilled, and they position themselves in a way that at least I believe, they'll be able to thrive when they're adults. And I think every parent needs, you know, makes that decision for their kids as much as they can. And so whether the education system participates in that is something, you know, to be seen, right?
Botond Seres 52:36
I mean, you said that some people might, may hand in their CS degree and just go get a blue collar job, as this is something I did in the past. And the funny thing is, it was so much less stress, so much more joy, and just so much more feeling like an actual human being.
Jamar Garcia 53:03
I love working in my, I love working in my garden. And like, I don't have a big one. So it's so it's so so I can say that because it's easy, right? Like I like that maybe like a month to six weeks ago or so I had to cut back but cut back the weeds and trim the hedges and things like that. And just being outside and enjoying nature, and enjoying what the world has to offer. Just even being curious. And just, you know, having wonder about what,what nature is. There's something to that. Absolutely. Right. And being keyboard jockeys that we are like, it'd be, it'd be good for us to, you know, kind of continue on like that. But yeah, I totally agree with that. I totally agree with that.
Botond Seres 53:49
Your opinion? What is the future of AI?
Jamar Garcia 53:55
I would say that the future of AI is, is where individuals can truly create, and make and create value in the sense that they can be self sufficient. So that very much like the promise of democratization of data and tools and computing, where if I were an individual, and I knew how to code and I knew how to problem solve, that I can create a career for myself as an individual, and I, you know, I did that for 10 years and it was it was great because I can be here for my kids and, and how to make good money at it as well. And so I would I would, I believe that AI continues in that trajectory, that it becomes a tool that allows us to be more productive and allows us to continue to be introspective gives us the time to be introspective about what it means to be human. and make that a better experience.
Dave Erickson 55:03
Jamar, thank you so much for this great discussion on AI, and his business applications and for content and processes.
Botond Seres 55:11
Well, that's about all the time for this episode today. But before we go on to think about this important question, How are you going to apply AI in your business processes?
Dave Erickson 55:25
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