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Understanding AI : Embracing the Future

In the second installment of our blog series on artificial intelligence, we pivot from the shadows of controversy to the bright potential AI holds for the future. Chevaan Wickremasinghe, Co-Founder and CEO of Apollo Digital, offers a compelling perspective, emphasizing the need for education and dynamic regulations in the face of inevitable AI integration. Learning and Embracing AI



Chevaan Wickremasinghe, CEO at Apollo Digital speaking at AOD Sri Lanka


Wickremasinghe's recent panel discussion at the Academy of Design for the Sri Lanka Design Festival 2023 sheds light on the positive aspects of AI. He stresses that learning and embracing AI are not just beneficial but necessary. In a world constantly evolving with technological advancements, those who adapt and harness the power of AI stand to gain a competitive edge.


Tying AI adoption to the "survival of the fittest" theory, Wickremasinghe suggests that businesses and individuals unwilling to adapt to AI may find themselves left behind. This perspective aligns with the idea that AI can be a tool for empowerment, driving innovation and efficiency across various sectors.


Furthermore, he reiterated the sentiments of the CEO of IBM, Arvind Krishna. as he agreed that the initials 'AI' should stand for Augmented Intelligence. The term 'Augmented' truly describes the future of AI extremely well as it means that it would make something better by adding to it. This outlook that the Chevaan Wickremasinghe shares with Arvind Krishna is a positive outlook on AI that almost guarantees that humans will not be replaced but rather empowered.



Arvind Krishna, The Chief Executive Officer at IBM

The Importance of Education


Wickremasinghe goes further to advocate for increased education around AI. Rather than imposing blanket restrictions, he argues for a comprehensive understanding of AI and its potential benefits. Education, according to him, is the key to demystifying AI and ensuring that individuals can harness its capabilities for their benefit.


He highlighted that education around what is unknown is imperative as it is knowledge that pushes improvement in technology but also regulations. Regulators often tackle key issues that the average citizen faces and so long as the general public does not adapt to these technological advancements, there will be little to no effective regulations to protect individuals from the potential harms of AI.


Striking a balance between innovation and ethical considerations requires a regulatory framework that is both flexible and effective in mitigating potential risks.

Chevaan Wickremasinghe's insights from the panel discussion shed light on a crucial aspect of AI integration in businesses – the notion that AI isn't just about replacing human jobs but rather enhancing the capabilities of human workers. His emphasis on the fact that none of Apollo Digital's employees have been replaced by AI is a powerful testament to this perspective.



Fear of AI


By highlighting that AI has empowered their workforce, Wickremasinghe brings to the forefront a key benefit of AI integration: the augmentation of human potential. Rather than displacing employees, AI technologies have equipped workers with tools and capabilities that enable them to deliver high-quality work in shorter timeframes. This empowerment aligns with the idea that AI can streamline processes, automate repetitive tasks, and enable employees to focus on higher-value work that requires creativity, critical thinking, and nuanced decision-making – areas where human intelligence excels.


Businesses worldwide are increasingly integrating AI into their operations because it demonstrably enhances efficiency, productivity, and the overall quality of work. The narrative around AI is shifting from one of apprehension to one of recognition for its transformative potential. Numerous industries, ranging from finance to healthcare, are embracing AI-driven solutions because they tangibly improve outcomes.


For instance, in customer service, AI-powered chatbots can efficiently handle routine inquiries, freeing up human agents to tackle more complex issues and provide personalized support. In manufacturing, AI-driven predictive maintenance systems can anticipate equipment failures, reducing downtime and optimizing production schedules. In marketing, AI enables targeted advertising, personalized recommendations, and data-driven insights that significantly improve campaign performance.


The integration of AI isn't solely about efficiency gains; it's about unlocking new possibilities and capabilities that were previously unattainable. Businesses that leverage AI effectively gain a competitive edge by harnessing technology to innovate, optimize processes, and deliver enhanced products and services to their customers.


Wickremasinghe's assurance that AI has not replaced employees at Apollo Digital but rather empowered them aligns with the broader narrative of AI integration across industries. It underscores the idea that businesses are integrating AI not just because it's a trend, but because it genuinely makes operations more efficient, employees more productive, and ultimately, businesses more successful. As AI continues to evolve, its role as a tool for empowerment and augmentation in the workplace is becoming increasingly evident, reshaping the way we work and driving innovation in myriad sectors. When people hear that ChatGPT 4 outperforms Albert EinsteIn when it comes to achieving a perfect IQ test result, there is a general sense of fear. However, similar concerns came around with the introduction of the calculator, digital camera and even smart phones.


AI is here to stay, the question is are you ready to embrace it?


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