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Whether it’s in-person or virtual, PMI events give you the right skills to complete amazing projects. In this blog, whether it be our Virtual Experience Series, PMI Training (formerly Seminars World) and our inaugural PMI® Global Summit 2022, experienced event presenters past, present and future from the entire PMI event family share their knowledge on a wide range of issues important to project managers.

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Recent Posts

Presentation Recap: Ask Me Anything: Perspectives from PMI Board of Directors

Presentation Recap: Session 310: Leading an Inclusive Project Team

Presentation Recap: Session 308: Operation Readiness: A Systematic Approach for Industrial Construction Projects

Presentation Recap: Session 315: Best Practices in the Art of Survival with Strategic Planning

Presentation Recap: Session 313: Project Takeover: Transition toward Success

Viewing Posts by Erik Agudelo

Upcoming Presentation: Behavioral Data and Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Transformations, or Managers’ Biggest Fears? (No machine will make decisions for me!)

By Erik Agudelo
Founder, Play Learn Develop

Have we always been afraid of technology? Is it a human trait to be afraid of new developments that we don’t yet understand? But does that have the potential to impact the way we work, learn, and live?

Some people say yes, it’s a human trait, almost a survival mechanism, to be afraid of the unknown. On the other hand, others tell us that humanity’s thirst for exploration, combined with our creativity, is what sets us apart from other animals. Some say these traits have allowed us, people, to expand and conquer almost every corner of the world.

In my view, both approaches are right. Also, both approaches are wrong. Sorry, this is just one of those questions that cannot be answered taking a binary approach. Person A may not like changing jobs. Person B may not like trying new kinds of food. But person A’s static approach to their job situation does not reflect on how they adopt new technologies at home (i.e., choice of mobile and computer and use of appliances interconnected via the internet). Person B may change their diet radically after an unexpected event in their lives. 

It would appear that we alternate between taking on new challenges, new technologies, and sticking to the rivers we know. We alternate between change and stability.

OK, but where does that leave us with regards to our alleged fear of “machines taking the decision-making ability from us humans”? Are we simultaneously both afraid and not afraid of artificial intelligence (AI)? Is this just like Schrodinger’s cat – which is both simultaneously alive and dead?

No, we are not simultaneously both afraid and not afraid of AI. We just change our minds too easily about abstract subjects we haven’t had the time, opportunity, or interest to research and learn about. 

While we are on this topic, I just want to take the opportunity to invite you to never attempt to explain human behavior by using theories (or worse, isolated and oversimplified one-liners) from fields such as physics, engineering, and mathematics. This is extremely misleading (for more on this subject, check out the book Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of ScienceFashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont).

The news we read in the morning has the power to alter the decisions we make throughout the day. More importantly, that process occurs unconsciously. 

Nearly every day, when I open Netflix, I smile at how devilishly smart targeted advertising is being used by this innovative company.

Among many other dimensions of my life, I’m gay and I support women in power. Of course this reflects on the choice of movies, TV series, and documentaries I watch on Netflix. I laugh when I see all Netflix content presented to me through covers showcasing two men, or sometimes even more, looking at each other in potentially romantic ways. And they manage to find these shots even in the most non-gay friendly material ever produced (e.g., the TV series “Friends” from the 90’s).

Undoubtedly, AI has the potential, and the power, to influence how we make decisions. At Play Learn Develop, we harvest this power to ensure better decision-making and support organizational transformation.

Although it seems to me that that very same power is being used to spread misinformation about the risks of AI, it truly worries me when a transformation director says, “I don’t want a machine to make decisions for me. I prefer to trust my gut.”

Interested in learning more and continuing the conversation? Join me at the PMI Virtual Experience Series event on 6 October in Session 405: Datos del Comportamiento Humano e Inteligencia Artificial ¿El Futuro o Temor? and the English presentation on 7 October in Session 423: Behavioral Data and Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Transformations, or Managers’ Biggest Fears?  I hope to see you at the event.

Posted by Erik Agudelo on: September 14, 2021 04:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
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