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AI Renaissance – a new era of human potential

Magda Dziewguć, Country Manager at Google Cloud Poland, shared a glimpse into the era of AI Renaissance

We are on the threshold of a new chapter in human history – the AI Renaissance. It is a time when Artificial Intelligence ceases to be just a futuristic notion and becomes a fundamental tool with the power to completely change the way we work, interact with our environment and the way we think.

“Welcome to the era of the AI Renaissance – a time that will redefine our lives, work and technology. Today, I share with you my optimistic view of a future where artificial intelligence is more than a technological buzzword. It is a force that will change everything we know,” – said Magda Dziewguć, Country Manager, Google Cloud Poland during the Masters&Robots 2023 conference.

A renaissance of human potential

History has taught us that after every period of stagnation comes a time of flourishing. The one with the strongest history was the renaissance, in which human beings once again took centre stage and their talents and skills were central. Today’s technology, especially AI, heralds a new kind of renaissance: a renaissance of human potential, where technology is a tool, not an end in itself.

Beyond technology hype

For too long, technology has been treated as a self-sufficient goal. We are now witnessing a shift in emphasis – from the technological centre of the universe to the human mind, its creativity and capacity for innovation. Analogous to the impact that electricity or steam engines have had on our history, AI also has a ‘revolutionary potential’ , which will define our era.

“We are moving away from an era where technology was the centre of everything. AI is bringing us closer to a time when humans, their creativity and ability to think, will drive change.” Magda Dziewguć, Country Manager, Google Cloud Poland during the Masters&Robots 2023 conference

Demystifying AI

Artificial intelligence has long been shrouded in an aura of a sinister term, evoking dystopian visions from science fiction books and films. It has very often been personified with the machines from “Terminator” – forces of evil. This negative image of AI was further fuelled by early interpretations and stories that projected apocalyptic rather than optimistic visions of the future. Partly responsible for this is the nomenclature established by John McCarthy, considered the father of artificial intelligence.

In 1956, McCarthy introduced the term ‘artificial intelligence’, setting the foundation for a whole new field of research. Although his intentions were purely academic and progress-oriented, the very choice of name may have unwittingly ingrained in the public mind an image of AI as an external and potentially threatening force. Talking about ‘intelligence’ that is ‘artificial’ may have evoked disturbing associations, indicating something unoriginal, fake or even dangerous. This has accepted the notion that AI is something that can only mimic or even replace human behaviour, rather than acting as a supportive component of human development.

Today, we aim to disenchant AI by showing its true, usable dimension.

The end of office monotony

The development of artificial intelligence offers the chance to revolutionise the world of work, mainly by veliminating monotonous and repetitive tasks. It is envisaged that routine processes such as invoicing or email management will become automatic. Even the work of a programmer, hitherto considered the pinnacle of technological creativity, may change in the face of the possibilities offered by AI.

AI and creative productivity

Contrary to popular fears, AI’s role will not be to replace human creativity, but to significantly enhance it. The results of the BCG experiment (Human-Generative AI Collaboration Experiment, May-June 2023, BCG Analysis) indicate that the use of artificial intelligence can increase creative productivity by up to 40%, which represents not only a quantifiable benefit in terms of time and resource savings, but also a qualitative change in the approach to creation. This shows that AI is a tool that can accelerate the creative process, not replace it. It can provide inspiration, suggest new paths, analyse data and see patterns inaccessible to the human eye, becoming an invaluable partner in the creative process.

However, in the context of solving business problems, the role of artificial intelligence is not obvious. The results of the aforementioned experiment indicate that the introduction of AI into business decision-making processes does not always have the desired effect. In some cases, instead of adding value, AI was able to reduce the level of value, leading people astray and distracting them from the right solutions. Instead of serving as a supportive tool, it has proved to be a disruptive element, increasing decision-making chaos and distraction. What lessons can we learn from this?

Lessons from Florence

Let’s go back to the Renaissance for a moment. The Renaissance flourished in Florence thanks to a combination of a favourable historical conjuncture and the enlightened actions of its leaders. It was they who created the conditions for the development of art, science and philosophy, introducing patronage and supporting artists, with the result that the Renaissance was one of the most prolific eras in human history.

Lorenzo de Manzo, a Florentine thinker, can be a symbol for managers: instead of rushing, slow down and take time to think. He was a patron of the arts and a leader who intuitively understood that real achievements require time and reflection.

In an age of accelerated technological development and fascination with the possibilities offered by artificial intelligence, Florence’s lessons gain particular relevance. Today’s society, rushing after the next innovation, can learn a lesson from the past and…. slow down. To reflect on the direction we are taking, to better understand the possibilities and potential of AI, to anticipate and prevent its destructive effects.

Just as Lorenzo di Manzo enabled the Renaissance to flourish, so we, in the age of AI, should consider how best to use the tools available to support the development of human creativity and bring about positive change. Instead of giving in to the blind pursuit of technological innovations, we should take a cue from the past and take the time to think about what values we want to bring to life through new technologies. Only then can we hope to create a future in which AI becomes an enabling tool rather than a threat to our autonomy and creativity.

The lesson from Florence teaches us that sometimes we need to slow down and rethink the direction we are going in order to create space for innovation and progress.

The greatest asset is thinking

In a time of ubiquitous artificial intelligence, it is not advanced algorithms, but human thinking, that defines our success. AI has the potential to liberate humanity from the daily monotony, giving more space for our minds to indulge in creativity and reflection. The renaissance of artificial intelligence is not just a promise, it is an opportunity for a new dimension of development in which technology serves as a platform for the realisation of human aspirations. So let optimism prevail and focus on what matters most – the human aspect of technology, which, as history proves, has always been crucial to our progress.

“Let’s slow down. Let’s enjoy AI taking over monotonous tasks, giving us more time to be creative, to think, to grow. This is the real AI Renaissance.” – Magda Dziewguć