Tech Leader Vision with Jesper Nielsen, Luxair

As AI is deployed within organisations, how should the role of the human being evolve? How can employees be engaged in a dynamic of collective value creation? This theme will be at the heart of the Golden-i 2024 Gala on 16 May at PwC Luxembourg. Ahead of the event, we have invited several Tech Leaders to share their views on these issues. Jesper Nielsen, CIO of Luxair Group & CIO of The Year 2023, answered our questions.

April 16, 2024

At a time when there is a lot of discussion about artificial intelligence, what is your perception of these technological developments?

The evolution of technology, particularly through this fourth industrial revolution, holds unprecedented potential to transform our world and civilisation significantly. Artificial intelligence (AI) stands out for its exceptional capabilities in enhancing efficiency, analytical precision, and fostering innovation, thereby fuelling economic growth and equipping us to tackle complex challenges. Given our track record of environmental impact, AI may represent a pivotal opportunity for rectifying some of the damages inflicted on our planet, aiming to secure a prosperous future for all. The transformative power of AI is immense.

However, the current regulatory frameworks are insufficient to prevent AI misuse, necessitating robust safeguards to ensure its responsible deployment. Without such measures, the repercussions on humanity could be severe.

Despite Europe’s lag in AI development compared to the US and China, it is imperative for us to engage proactively and assertively in the AI domain. This urgency is not just about competitive advantage but ensuring we have the autonomy to shape our future. As Europe strives to bridge this gap, our focus must remain steadfast on harnessing AI’s potential responsibly and ethically, ensuring it serves the broader good and aligns with our values and aspirations.

How do you see it being integrated into organisations?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already a pervasive force within organisations, though its presence is often unnoticed as it seamlessly integrates into tools and applications, particularly within SaaS solutions. As the adoption of AI continues to escalate, an increasing array of services will incorporate embedded AI to enhance their offerings. This integration is already evident in a variety of domains, such as HR interview analytics, legal contract management, customer experience personalisation, and platforms like Microsoft Office.

In the forthcoming years, the utilization of AI within organizations is expected to surge, primarily catalysing efficiency improvements. Moreover, AI’s profound capabilities in data analysis will significantly bolster organizational effectiveness by informing and enhancing decision-making processes.

The evolution of job roles is an inevitable corollary of AI’s integration, with certain positions undergoing substantial transformation. Concurrently, the technological landscape will grow in complexity, necessitating adept management and operation. To navigate this transition successfully, a strategic emphasis on workforce development is crucial. It is imperative that employees across all organizational levels, not just within IT departments, receive the necessary training to upskill or reskill, aligning their competencies with the demands of an AI-augmented workplace.

This proactive approach to employee development will be instrumental in harnessing the full potential of AI, ensuring organizations can not only adapt to but also thrive in this evolving landscape. By investing in human capital in tandem with advanced technologies, organizations can create a synergistic environment where both AI and employees drive mutual growth and innovation.

How will the role of the human being evolve? How can we re-engage people (within collective intelligence) to create value?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is by no means a recent innovation. However, the transformative shift in its accessibility and impact can be attributed to several key developments: the surge in cloud computing, the proliferation of open-source tools, significant advancements in algorithms, and an unprecedented increase in available data. Reflecting on my own experience, when I completed my thesis in 1992, I explored the technology of AI, examining a system that read handwritten addresses for postal sorting. At that time, such technology was prohibitively expensive and within reach for only a select few organisations.

The democratisation of AI has catalysed its integration across various sectors, making it an engine for innovation accessible to a broader audience. This democratisation is pivotal, as historically, technological adoption and innovative practices have been primary drivers of value creation. AI is no exception and holds the potential to unleash a new era of creativity and innovation.

Looking ahead, AI is poised to liberate individuals, granting them the freedom to engage in more creative and innovative pursuits. This shift could usher in a wave of novel products, services, and solutions, potentially altering the competitive landscape and enabling entrepreneurs to challenge established corporations. Moreover, it may empower employees, fostering a more dynamic and innovative workforce.

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