The Future of Jobs w/ Adam Dorfman

Last week we hosted the meet-up with Adam Dorfman  (founder at IF) and his presentation about The Future of Jobs: How Platform Business Models, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Will Change the Nature of Work.

After the event, Adam answered a few questions. Below is the interview. Enjoy!

How do you start on this path? (about AI, jobs)

If you want to find the best business opportunities in the world you need to look for misconceptions. Meaning, you’ll need discover something that is true while everyone thinks is false. It takes time and lots of efforts. You need to talk to a lot of different type of experts in the subject matter. But by exploring outside of your comfort zone and by looking at the frontiers edges, you start to better understand what is possible and what is not. This is how I started exploring new technologies and emerging sciences.

“The real safety question, if you want to call it that, is that if we give these systems biased data, they will be biased,” says John Giannandrea, who leads AI at Google

So when you explore AI uses in an open system, you should ask yourself can we ever completely reduce bias. Isaac Asimov once suggested that “all theories are proven wrong in time”, arguing that there exist degrees of wrongness.

This is an important way to think about science and innovation. Everyone is wrong, but there are answers that all less wrong. We are simply trying to find solutions that are better than the previous ones. We can learn from our experiences and mistakes. It’s a circular effect.

For me, I noticed 3 major misconceptions and opportunities for progress:

The philosophy of science
Platform business models

During this process, I was influenced by many different leading thinkers but Sangeet Paul Choudary has had one of the greatest impacts on my outlook. His work is featured throughout my presentation and he is an advisor to my early stage startup, If When Then.

One of the biggest takeaways from his work is that you are not building technology, you are enabling interactions. Platform business models and the digitizing of our interactions along with new technologies are changing the nature of work. And, the future of jobs is about enabling better interactions and experiences.

In my opinion, the big question about AI is when should be it be data-driven (closed systems) and when should it be data-informed. Meaning when should AI take the decision or informs us about the environment and our biases. (open systems).

When we figure this out a more intelligent system will emerge.

You had presentations in Bucharest, Timisoara & Cluj. Which city is more prepare for the future?

To me, cities and countries are platforms and should be designed to build trust and enable the best interactions. When I visited these cities, I didn’t think about them as competing for startup communities. I thought about them as interconnected ecosystems of knowledge and people.

There are so many passionate and interested people about the future of jobs in every city. The future is bright for Romanians. Now, it’s up to startup community leaders to create interactive online and offline communities for people to share ideas and collaborate with each other.

It’s not about one city, it’s about the country and its connection to the rest of the world. If Timisoara becomes a leader in 3D printing technology, Bucharest and Cluj will also benefit from this emerge. In my opinion, it’s about doing it together, enabling better interactions and learning opportunities to discover marketplace misconceptions.

The talent is there.

How can I, a simple man, prepare for this future?

Curiosity is your most powerful tool to step outside your comfort zone and master the skills of the future. We live in a knowledge-intensive world, so the future is about learning to ask the right questions. Building networks and becoming active in these new learning communities to get exposure to new ways of thinking.

New industries will be constantly being born and old ones are becoming obsolete. This trend will create millions of jobs that don’t even exist today and force people to learn very different skills that are needed today. So:

Do what you are passionate about. Without passion, you can never be your best.
But, do something that creates value for many people. If only a few people will use it, it’s not important enough.

Get out there and find other people that share your passion.

Don’t compete with them. Collaborate until you are ready to lead a different project on your own.

Recommend 3 books that everyone should read.

1 – The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Edition 4th Edition, Kindle Edition by Thomas S. Kuhn

2- Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy–And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary. You can follow Sangeet’s twitter here:

3- Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

You can say “Hello” to Adam on Facebook and here you can find the presentation.

future of jobs