Working in the tech sector in 2023 has been quite an interesting experience. Over the past six months, it feels like everything has gone fast-forward, and I can't help but wonder if we're living through a phase shift.
Two recent podcasts inspired me to reflect on this topic. When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone in 2007, it was a game-changer. And now five months after ChatGPT3 was first launched, it certainly feels like we've experienced the 'iPhone moment' of AI. Not only has every media written articles about it, but every commentator has opinions urging caution, and every student has explored how it could help them save time poring over books or cramming for exams. AI has become a topic discussed at dinner parties, in classrooms and in the highest levels of government.
Innovating hardware to enable a software breakthrough
Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang used the iPhone moment analogy when explaining his firm's work on AI to Nicolai Tangen, the CEO of the Norwegian Oil Fund, in one of Tangen's recent podcast episodes. I found it fascinating how a company specialized in chipmaking and chip design has been so instrumental in enabling the success of OpenAI and their development of ChatGPT. Huang explained how they had to change every aspect of the typical computer to harness the computing power required for ChatGPT. From changing the chips and GPU cores to redesigning how computers are interconnected, to harness the power of not only a handful but millions of computers.
AI will steal your job if you let it
ChatGPT3 uses 175 billion parameters, and it's improving all the time. So, the next question is obvious: "Will AI steal my job?" The typical answer is this: "No, but someone using AI will." Of course, we are concerned about the impact the AI phase shift will have on our lives, our work, and our opportunities. As a CMO I have reflected on how I can apply AI to offload tedious tasks and make more room for the interesting stuff. It goes for me personally and for my team. Do I need to change the way we work as a team, the responsibilities of different team members? Understanding digital technologies is no longer optional in the business world: we need to develop a digital mindset.
From growth mindset to digital mindset
The digital mindset is the topic of another podcast episode that piqued my interest recently. Here, the authors of a new book, Paul Leonardi and Tsedal Neeley, discuss the need for developing not only new skill sets for the digital age – but a new mindset. We've become attuned to maintaining a growth mindset – being open, embracing challenges, persisting and learning in the face of adversity. The digital mindset is about asking the right questions, making smart decisions and appreciating new possibilities for a digital future. For leaders and employees, it will be a prerequisite to successful digital transformation.
Principles that stand the test of time
The iPhone moment of AI and the potential of adapting a digital mindset made me think about my own employer, Pexip. As a video technology company designed around what we believed would become reality a decade ago, we've lived through an iPhone moment ourselves. The pandemic was the ultimate litmus test of what videoconferencing could do, and how important interoperability between different communication platforms and solutions would become. Our breakthrough, too, was fuelled by advances in chipmaking and hardware. But it was sustained by a digital mindset that was ours from the very start. In designing Pexip's software platform and architecture around principles of accessibility, flexibility, and security, we've been able to carve out a niche in a market dominated by global tech giants. I believe our digital mindset helped get us here. It will be equally important in the age of AI.
- Digital worker