The Slovenia Times

Panel debate tries to dispel fears of job loss due to AI


Igor Zorko of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), which hosts the conference, said that AI should be, first and foremost, demystified.

According to Zorko, who chairs the management board of the Association of Informatics and Telecommunications at the GZS, stakeholders need to get connected and "look what is the first, and what is the second step" when it comes to the development and use of AI.

Slovenia's digital champion Marko Grobelnik, who researches artificial intelligence at the Jožef Stefan Institute, said that there was a lot of room in Slovenia to develop AI, with the country being near the top of the EU in the number of AI researchers per capita and having the "critical mass of know-how".

For this reason, Jernej Tovšak of the Internationalisation, Entrepreneurship and Technology Directorate stressed that the transfer of knowledge to the economy should be facilitated, which was the task for companies and the government.

Zorko added that support should be provided also to companies which do not know AI, as companies are very interested in principle in using solutions from this field.

But the problem in Slovenia is that the range of solutions that could be used by small and medium-sized companies is very small, he said, adding that helping small companies in this field was a great challenge.

The panellists tried to dispel fears of AI in society, including in relation to potential loss of jobs, with Igor Milojevič of Huawei saying that it could not be imagined at the moment what new jobs AI could create.

Andrej Guštin of the business management consultancy CreaPro said that AI could fill the void created by the ageing population and the shortage of adequately trained staff.

The panel debate is part of the conference intended for networking of suppliers and users of AI, the research and education sectors and state administration.

According to Nenad Šutanovac, director of the Association of Informatics and Telecommunications, said that cooperation between these stakeholders was of key importance for Slovenia's breakthrough in the field.

For this reason, the Artificial Intelligence for Slovenia initiative has been launched at the conference to bring together all key stakeholders in the country.

In her opening address, GZS director general Sonja Šmuc meanwhile discussed the use of digital technologies, from automation to robotisation and AI, in replacing simple manual and intellectual labour.

She said that "we have to think again what to do to better utilise the human potential", as digitalisation brought disruptive innovation in almost all segments of the economy and beyond.


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