The 8th Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum, focusing on "AI & Business: creating value, minimizing risks," held at the University of Cyprus on Tuesday (28/11), delved into the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on business. The discussion centered on the significant changes anticipated with the application of AI and the necessary current and future actions for humanity to harness its potential while mitigating associated risks.
Professor Theodoros Eugeniou, a keynote speaker and expert in Decision Science and Technology Management from INSEAD University, highlighted the transformative potential of AI. He emphasized the technological revolution of 2015, where machine accuracy surpassed human capability. Eugeniou advocated for balanced innovations and outlined AI's potential benefits in medical advancements, digitalizing transport for safer roads, reducing negative climate impacts, saving costs, eco-friendly agriculture, and combating misinformation.
Eugeniou noted that AI's global economic impact reaches trillions of dollars with the growth of AI start-ups. A survey by the Social Science Research Network revealed a 40% improvement in employee work quality and a 17% increase in productivity with the use of AI tools like ChatGPT. He emphasized the necessity for organizations to recognize that AI usage necessitates cultural and organizational changes, a tailored strategy, the right funding model, and improved digital skills for employees.
Discussing the risks associated with AI development, Eugeniou stressed the importance of a holistic approach, acknowledging recent global increases in regulations regarding technology and personal data. Risks include strategic threats to competitiveness, citizen data collection and targeting, mapping tensions with AI-generated propaganda, enhanced cyber attacks, and malware creation.
Post-Eugeniou's presentation, a discussion ensued on how AI is shaping Cyprus's business landscape, its growing opportunities for local industries, and the required policy frameworks for technological progress.
Xenia Miskouridou, a Lecturer at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Cyprus, emphasized that Cyprus can benefit from AI if it actively participates in this journey and effectively communicates associated risks. The goal, she stressed, is not to replace people with technology but to provide them with a tool. She highlighted the need for transparent and ethical use of new technologies, emphasizing government investment in education to prepare the youth for future businesses.
Dimitris Lottidis, CEO of SPP Media Group, pointed out that the European Union is already in the process of regulating the use of data by AI. He stressed the necessity for government support and urged for proactive measures to prevent technological lag. Lottidis cited the absence of solar panels in most Cyprus houses despite ample sunlight as an example of unfulfilled technological potential. He emphasized the role of humanity in shaping the context, ethics, and environment for AI to serve as an assistant rather than a boss.
Anna Prodromou, an expert in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) and Communications, predicted benefits for various sectors in Cyprus from AI, particularly the banking and finance sectors. She underlined the challenge of overcoming habits and the time required for transformative change. Prodromou advocated for a focus on education, open business communication, and skills improvement to fully leverage AI's potential.