There Are Those Who Love and Hate Artificial Intelligence
Many for long-standing reasons, others because they see technology as a threat to jobs and the way we live today, and some out of lack of knowledge about the potential of the AI market. The fact is that you cannot ignore the growth of Artificial Intelligence, which should generate, in 2021, almost US $3 trillion in business value and 6.2 billion hours of productivity worldwide, according to Gartner.
For some experts, cognitive intelligence platforms are seen as a symbol of hope for solving more complex issues in the areas of education and health. It is difficult to think of an industry that will not require AI functionality to manage data that can be used strategically in decision making.
The initial skepticism about the use of technology has given way to deeper discussions about the evolution of AI and how it will impact people and businesses in the coming years. The topic has become so relevant that it has guided discussions at Choose France, an event organized by the French government with the aim of attracting investments, and the World Economic Forum, in Davos. I myself had the opportunity to participate in the launch of INSEAD’s The Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2020 (GTCI) report, which this year addressed global talent in the era of Artificial Intelligence.
The study’s data points out that AI represents a real opportunity to help several regions start a new cycle of growth and efficiency. Latin America, for example, has the potential to become a talent hub for Artificial Intelligence and digital solutions in the coming years. The INSEAD report, produced by one of the largest and most prestigious business schools in the world, evaluates the application of technology globally and reveals progress in the region. Among the 100 countries best prepared to use Artificial Intelligence, 15 are in Latin America, with emphasis on Mexico, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil.
If, on the one hand, there is the challenge of developing specialized AI talent, on the other hand there is an increase – in some places more than in others – in the number of young people entering universities. With an estimated population of half a billion people in five of the most promising countries in digital sourcing – Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Argentina – the region has a native entrepreneurial spirit, which can leverage people’s interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and, consequently, for digital transformation programs.
Through partnerships with universities and continuous investments, companies will be able to count on not only professionals capable of executing projects with Artificial Intelligence, but also on highly qualified people to work with research and development.
This new scenario will directly reflect GDP performance. The research “The impact of AI on the labor market,” carried out by the American consultancy DuckerFrontier at the request of Microsoft, points out that Artificial Intelligence can boost and increase the efficiency of the Brazilian economy. The simulations show that the maximum adoption of AI in various segments can increase the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 7.1% per year until 2030, considering a scenario of maximum impact for the benefits of AI. This is a higher increase than the projection of 2.9% of GDP growth made by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the same period.
With the training of new talents and the expansion of AI-based projects, some companies will be able to use digital technologies in the nearshore model, that is, between nearby regions or in neighboring countries, with similar languages, time zones and cultures. This means that companies of Latin American origin are able to serve the American market well, in the same way that suppliers in Eastern Europe can supply the demand for services on the Western side. When they are in similar time zones, professionals interact more and better, increasing productivity.
In the chapter I signed in the INSEAD report, in partnership with Fábio Caversan, director of cognitive research at Stefanini United States, we highlight that there are senior professionals in Latin America who can be retrained with a focus on AI. For that, it is necessary to invest in education, bringing a more humane approach to the debate.
It is also essential to understand the scope of Artificial Intelligence, possible changes in human behavior and the logic of the algorithms so that the government and the private sector can build a national AI strategy, which excels in ethics and is capable of transforming the society of the future. From the discussions followed at Davos, there is no doubt that the best in Artificial Intelligence is yet to come and that this technology, working together with humans, will change the game’s rules much earlier than we imagined.
(*) Marco Stefanini is founder and global CEO of Stefanini, a Brazilian multinational present in 41 countries. He was one of the founders of the Brazilian Association of Software Companies and Services for Export (BRASSCOM), the Brazilian Association of Information Technology and Communications Companies, which has been established with the objective of positioning Brazil as a key player in the global IT services market. He is also a member of the Brazil-U.S. CEO Forum, which brings together leaders of the respective business communities from the United States and Brazil to discuss issues of mutual interest, particularly ways to strengthen the economic and commercial ties between the two countries. Marco’s role in the Forum is to represent the IT Industry in Brazil.