Exploring AI's Role in Future Work Insights from Wales Week in London Event

IoD Wales, in partnership with FTI consulting and Wales Week in London played host to a captivating discussion titled “AI and the Future of Work: Maximising Productivity while Reducing Risk” on 28th February.

The event, chaired by Geoff Hancock, South Wales Branch Chair of IoD Wales, brought together industry experts Charlie Palmer from FTI Consulting and Professor Pete Burnap from Cardiff University.

One of the key themes of the event was the contrast between human intuition and AI capabilities. While machines excel at processing data, humans possess unique qualities such as creativity, empathy, and intuitive leaps that machines cannot replicate. The discussion emphasised that AI is only as good as the data it is provided, highlighting the importance of quality data input

Geoff Hancock, Prof Pete Burnap and Charlie Palmer

Professor Pete Burnap delved into the realm of creative productivity, suggesting that AI can free up human capital by automating administrative tasks, allowing individuals to focus on more specialised skill sets. The conversation expanded to the ongoing debate of humans versus AI, with mention of a hackathon dedicated to exploring this dynamic further.

The event raised critical questions about the proper utilisation of AI and how to optimise its performance for specific tasks while ensuring confidentiality and data safety. While AI can enhance certain roles, such as assisting radiographers in analysing data more efficiently, it was stressed that responsible usage is paramount.

Charlie Palmer emphasised the need for experimentation and piloting AI in various areas to gauge its effectiveness and adaptability. It was noted that AI lacks the ability to learn from experience and adapt to changing circumstances, underscoring the importance of human oversight and intervention.

The discussion concluded with reflections on identifying the tipping point in AI integration and the necessity of maintaining human processes alongside automation. The consensus was clear: AI should be viewed as a tool to aid human productivity rather than a replacement for human expertise. As the future of work continues to evolve, finding the balance between AI and human involvement remains essential.

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