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#shifthappens Conference Day 2: Embracing the Shift Together

After a busy kickoff to #shifthappens Conference 2023, we’re back for Day 2 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. The day began with a main stage session by Jason Payne, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Federal. Jason delivered a thought-provoking ride into the dynamic realm where cutting-edge technology intersects with the intricacies of modern work environments.

Jason Payne presenting at #shifthappens conference 2023

Jason talked about digital debt and the burden of work, citing that 62% of workers say they spend too much time searching for more info, while having three times the number of meetings on their calendar since February 2020, leading to inefficiency. Jason shared his personal predictions on what the future holds regarding AI in the digital workplace, based on customer and partner conversations, some of which included:

  • AI will enhance productivity, augment cognition, and accelerate discovery. Generative AI is just the beginning. While it’s providing us text today, language and conversation will be the next phase. The ability to ask a question in natural language and obtain an answer that you can trust is where this technology is heading.
  • The gap between those who are using AI to aid in their work and those who do not is very real, and something businesses must manage actively in order to not fall behind.
  • AI models will expand and coalesce, but the impact AI applications have will be what the market remembers.
  • While the industry has amazing technology that drives automation, humans will remain in control.
  • Responsibility, safety, and transparency will remain paramount. Fairness, inclusion, and ethics must be at the forefront of all AI conversations.

Following Jason on the main stage was an insightful panel exploring AI myths, realities, and ethical considerations in the digital workplace, hosted by Alyssa Blackburn, Director, Information Management at AvePoint. Participants included Miri Rodriguez, Senior Storyteller at Microsoft, Gino DeGregori, President & CEO of Bravo Consulting Group, and Mario Carvajal, Chief Strategy Officer, AvePoint.

#shifthappens panel discussion members on AI

Key takeaways included:

  • Miri shared TJ’s sentiment from yesterday that AI can serve as a really smart intern but doesn’t hold the institutional knowledge that an employee does. She uses the tools for research, removing biases, and enhancing her work, but stated that it only gets about 15% of her job done. Miri recommended surveying your customers and partners on their AI perspectives, and advocated for becoming an early adopter of AI, rather than fearing it.
  • Gino uses ChatGPT every day, saving massive amounts of time and allowing him to work faster, and encourages his team to do the same. He related leveraging AI tools to being a pilot, and how some solutions allow us to go on “autopilot.” He believes the difference will be how we grab intelligence from AI’s insights and make them work for us.
  • Mario doesn’t believe AI is any threat to our careers but related the advent of AI to the mobile phone boom, and trusts that AI will also create new jobs. He stressed the importance of speaking with customers and finding the right use cases that will provide the most return, and that establishing a strong data culture is the foundation. While Mario thinks there is some conflict in transparency and IP ownership between humans and AI, he believes that conflict creates opportunities, and this issue will be sorted out over time as the use of AI continues to expand.

Check back later as we recap today’s news and key takeaways from the great Day 2 sessions in our industry voicebusiness value, and technical implementation tracks.

Christopher Musico
Christopher Musico
As Senior Director of Content & Communications at AvePoint, Chris is responsible for all external and internal corporate marketing communications. Chris brings more than 15 years of experience to his role at AvePoint, previously holding roles at EisnerAmper, BASF, MetLife and CRM Magazine. Chris received two American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) awards for feature articles on salesforce.com and generational trends.

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