From healthcare to automobiles, agriculture to hospitality, manufacturing, or education, AI is increasingly impacting every industry. In fact, by 2030, it’s estimated that artificial intelligence will add 15.7 trillion dollars to the world’s GDP, boosting it by 14 percent. In this episode of The Agent of Wealth Podcast, host Marc Bautis is joined by Manuj Aggarwal, an elite technology consultant, business mentor and global thought leader who has been in AI for 15 years. Together, they talk about all things Artificial Intelligence.
In this episode, you will learn:
- What AI (Artificial Intelligence) is, and why it’s suddenly everywhere.
- How AI will change the way we live.
- How we can take advantage of AI to achieve more in our personal lives and businesses.
- The risk and dangers of AI.
- And more!
Disclosure: The transcript below has been lightly edited for clarity and content. It is not a direct transcription of the full conversation, which can be listened to above.
Welcome back to The Agent of Wealth Podcast, this is your host, Marc Bautis. On today’s show, I brought on a special guest, Manuj Aggarwal. Manuj is an elite technology consultant, business mentor and global thought leader who has been in AI for 15 years and has 4 patents in AI.
Manuj has served clients like Microsoft, IBM and Pearson Education, producing $500 million in value. His work has impacted over 10 million lives and has been mentioned by the likes of President Obama and Bill Gates.
He is also the author of two best-selling books and the host of Bootstrapping Your Dreams Podcast.
Manuj, welcome to the show.
Thank you so much for having me. Very excited to be here.
AI, short for artificial intelligence, it’s all the talk these days. Can you start off by explaining what AI is?
What is AI (Artificial Intelligence)?
Basically, AI is a very powerful and detailed pattern recognition machine.
AI sort of learns how our mind learns about the environment around us. So I’ll give you a quick example. For example, let’s say a 10 year old kid touches a hot stove with bare hands. Because of the reaction, he understands to never touch a hot stove again. That becomes a data point recorded by the mind. But let’s say the same kid is now in the middle of Antarctica, wearing heat resistant gloves. Now, if it touches the stove, it’ll actually feel pleasant, warm, rather than scolding hot. So our mind learns that there are multiple variables – it’s not black and white – so if the second set of conditions exist, it’s okay to touch the hot stove.
Now, let’s say we are working to solve a big challenge, like climate change or a cure for cancer. In these cases, there are hundreds and thousands of millions of parameters that our mind is not able to understand. Even the smartest people can only handle maybe 10-15 variables in a situation. With these large problems, machines are powerful enough to ingest data, which could be millions and millions of parameters, and then figure out the patterns and minute details our human minds can not.
Makes sense. Now, AI is not new – you’ve been in the industry for over 15 years. But what changed over the past six months or so, to where it’s exploded and now almost everyone is aware of it?
Why is AI Suddenly Everywhere?
As you said, AI has been around for decades. Then, around the beginning of 2000, people in-the-know began using AI to their advantage – like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg… Their direct wealth was generated because they knew how to use data and AI.
In November of 2022, OpenAI released software called ChatGPT, which is an AI software that is easy enough for everyday people to interact with. As technology becomes easier to understand, it creates mass adoption. So that’s what happened, AI became easy enough for people to approach and create meaningful use cases. That’s why it exploded.
How did you get involved in AI?
So, I’ve been doing AI for about 15 years now and have worked on a variety of projects in healthcare, education, and other various industries. I work to create solutions, and I’ll give you two examples.
One was to help with joint pain. Some people have joint pain in their knees and back because of the way their feet are constructed – high arches, flat feet, etc. I helped create AI algorithms which allowed people to take a photo of their feet with a mobile phone, and based on the picture, it created a 3D model of their feet within two millimeters of accuracy. That 3D model was then fed into a 3D printer, which created a custom orthotic that provided support for their feet, aiding joint pains.
This technology used computer vision, which is a field of AI. I have two patents on this, and this technology was actually licensed and white labeled by a $43 billion German company.
The second one is in higher education. Approximately 30% of students drop out of university programs because they find that this program is of no interest to them or it is too difficult. I helped create AI algorithms which can help students find the courses that are relevant to them and within their capability to finish. It’s similar to how Netflix recommends shows to us. This technology was actually really helpful in helping kids get through their entire program without dropping out. And this work got special mention from Obama and Bill Gates.
These are a couple of examples where we used AI. There are many, many applications. It all depends on what the client is looking for. What is the problem we are trying to solve?
What’s the hype versus reality in terms of how AI will impact people’s lives going forward?
How Will AI Change the Way We Live?
Any new technology is adopted in waves. The first wave is adoption by innovators and risk takers – generally about 2-5% of the population. In that adoption phase, the innovators will create innovations which will then be adopted by others. So, after a couple of years, you can imagine the rest of the population will begin to adopt it.
Now, the hype around AI is very powerful right now. But, it is still a beta product. It can do a lot, but we are pretty much at the same stage as we were with the internet in 1992-1995. At that time, people were creating static websites with simple HTML. Not much functionality was available.
Then, five to 10 years down the line, e-commerce came in. Now, we work remotely, collaborating with people all over the world. A lot of our life depends on the internet.
We can imagine the same kind of progress will happen with AI. There will be so many more use cases – ones we haven’t even thought of will start to emerge.
One thing is for sure: Any business who does not adopt AI will either be out of business or need to play a huge game of catch up.
How does someone acquire that skill, to use AI in their business?
Applications of AI in Business
When you adopt a new technology, it’s all about taking baby steps. My advice to people is first of all, sign up for ChatGPT. Don’t be scared. Don’t listen to the negative news cycle that it should be banned. That’s just fear and sensationalism. Ignore that, sign up.
Then, I ask people to do two things. First, use ChatGPT to ask better questions. Because what happens is, in business and in life, we have never been taught how to communicate with other people. We have never been taught how to empathize with other people. But consider AI as a very wise human being who can answer pretty much any of your questions. That is a powerful thing, to converse with AI and get better at asking questions.
Secondly, use Chat GPT to tell better stories. Because once again, when we start to answer other people’s questions, we need to make ourselves memorable. And the way that we make ourselves memorable is by telling stories. Our mind is not capable of remembering facts and figures, but stories are more memorable for people.
I’ll give you another example for businesses. Let’s say you own an ice cream store. You can go to ChatGPT and say, “I’m serving clients ages 18 to 25. What kind of ice cream flavors do you think they will like?” Or, another example, “What kind of paint should I paint my walls so that it becomes inviting to my clients?”
Using your ice cream example, how does AI compute a response? It is based on data it’s compiled from various ice cream stores?
So the thing is that so far, before the advent of AI, we have been working in silos. As you said, immediately as we said ice cream store, we immediately said, “Okay, let’s look at the data for other ice cream stores.” But with ChatGPT and AI, you can consider it as a sum total of human consciousness, all the thoughts, all the writings that have ever been written. And it’s actually harnessing that and saying, “Okay, as a human being, what will attract you?” And it’s pulling that information from that point of view.
It’s a very broad piece of information, but you can narrow it down. For example, you can tell ChatGPT where your store is located, who your ideal client is, etc. You can describe these things in detail, and ChatGPT will give you different, more specific answers, based on the knowledge of humanity.
Earlier, you gave two examples of how someone can start using AI through ChatGPT. Do you also recommend that as we go about our daily lives, we begin to think about how AI can enhance or assist us?
Absolutely. Because what happens is your own creative light bulbs will start to go off.
The Risks and Dangers of AI
So we’re talking about AI in the way it enhances life. Now let’s talk about the opposite. There is a lot of talk about how AI can get out of control. Warren Buffet, at the Berkshire Hathaway conference, likened AI to the creation of the atomic bomb. And earlier this year, tech experts and researchers, including Elon Musk, suggested a six month pause on AI development until we understood the potential risks. What are the risks of AI? How likely are they to occur?
Well, the risk is never the technology. The risk is always the human beings using the technology. For example, when we talk about an atomic bomb… there are many peaceful uses of atomic technology, but humans use it as weapons. The idea is that there’s going to be some disruption pause as I said, people who don’t use AI today will need to play catch up. Now if the majority of people don’t take advantage of it, there could be effects in the economies. There could be effects at a country level, at a community level, and that may cause some socio-economic unrest. So, we need to start upskilling people.
Now the second aspect is people say AI may take over. What I tell people is that there are millions of species on this planet, but there is only one species that wages organized war against others: human beings. No other species has the same emotions of jealousy, ambition, hatred etc. that causes them to wage war. So, to think that humans will be able to create algorithms which plant jealousy and ambition in a machine… It sounds absurd to me.
The last thing I will say is those people who signed the petitions to stop AI are, interestingly enough, creating their own powerful AI. Elon Musk’s company Tesla is a data company. Self-driving cars are AI. And by the way, those self-driving cars have actually killed people in the testing phase.
Everybody has their own point of view and way of thinking. But I believe that technology is never malicious. It’s humans who are malicious.
Is AI Coming For Your Job?
Are there certain industries or sectors that you see being more impacted by AI than others? Because throughout time and knowledge advancements, it was usually those with technology skills – coders, developers, programmers – that were advancing. Now, we’re hearing AI could replace them. Is there going to be a change of structure going forward?
Oh yes, there will be a huge change, but AI will never replace humans. It will actually enhance a human’s ability to be more creative and productive.
I’ll give you an example: Let’s say I make a living building furniture. It was possible to build furniture manually, before the use of tools like a saw or hammer. Like, instead of a hammer, they used rocks, right? But, once the hammer was invented, furniture makers didn’t go out of business or lose their skills. The hammer actually made their work more efficient – they created better products.
So, a programmer aided with AI can now let AI do the mundane work of typing code or creating a contract while they can focus their mind and energy on something else.
That makes sense. Well, Manuj, that just about wraps up today’s show. Thank you so much for joining me for an episode of The Agent of Wealth. AI is a hot topic right now, and it was an honor having you, a global thought leader in AI, on the show. Thank you for taking the time to share your expertise.
Would you be able to share your website for those listeners who want to learn more about you and your work?
Awesome, we’ll link to that in the show notes. Thank you again, Manuj, and thank you to everyone who tuned into today’s episode. Don’t forget to follow The Agent of Wealth on the platform you listen from and leave us a review of the show. We are currently accepting new clients, if you’d like to schedule a 1-on-1 consultation with our advisors, please do so below.