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11 Jayarethanam Pillai on future of work and career tips


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Podcast with Jaya Part 4 


ai, chatbox, book, digital transformation, developing,digitization, act, mankind, future, virtual assistants, tools, podcast,digitalization, inclusive innovation, courses, jaya, data, life, development,products 


Jaya, Liew Wei Da Andrew  


Show Outline 

Section 1: About the show 

Section 2: About the guest 

Section 3: Jaya’s view on the future of work with AI 

Section 4: Jaya’s use case on the application of AI for Edtech 

Section 5: Jaya’s favorite book 

Section 6: Jaya’s recommended app 

Section 7: Jaya’s career tips  



Jaya shared with us that AI can remove repetitivework or augment productivity on repetitive work. He shared his story on how AIis being used to enhance learning for students in central Asia. The AIapplication in the education industry can not only help students, teachers and principals but also parents. He shared some of the books that he read to guide his curiosity in AI. His favorite apps are LinkedIn, STATA, R and Python. His 3 career tips are: (ACT): Acceptfuture, carve out your interest and transform yourself   

Mentioned Resources: 


Liew Wei Da Andrew 00:18 

Hi, everyone. Welcome to the AI of mankind show where I shareanything interesting about mankind. I'm your host for the season. My name isAndrew Liew. I've worked across four continents and 12 international cities. Also, I work in tech startups across a range of roles from selling products, making customer happies, figuring out fundraising, making finance tick, building teams, and developing sticky products. Apart from building startups, I've also worked in Fortune 500 companies. As a chief data scientist or technologies, or people leader. You can call me Jack of all trades or master of learning. I hope to make this podcast show a great learning experience for us.And each season there is a series of interesting things, where invite guests to share their views about their life and interests. Now, let the show begin.   

Liew Wei Da Andrew 01:10 

Hi, everyone, thank you for coming to the show. kindly allow me tointroduce my guest for today. Jaya or Dr. Jayarethanam Pillai. Jaya is the chief innovation and data scienceofficer. He has run his own technology startup company and consultancy firmoffering regional experience in providing analytical and data science work for companies and government agency in the likes of United Nation, Asia Development Bank. You know. And also particularly specializing in developing strategicdecisions using economics, data analytics and artificial intelligence. Jaya has done over 20 analytics related projects and widely published papers in economic policy, digital transformation and entrepreneurship while working and living in 11 international cities. He has expert level advisory experience in deploying end to end data engineering and data systems. In addition, he has obtained his PhD in Economics from the Australian National University. Let's put our hands to welcome Jaya.   

Jaya 02:5

Thank you very much, Andrew, for having me part of your forecast.It's such a pleasant surprise. I'm pretty good.   

Liew Wei Da Andrew 03:0

Okay, so the purpose of this podcast is to really understand topicsin AI, artificial intelligence, understand digital transformation, and alsounderstand about your story.    

Liew Wei Da Andrew 03:11 

So my question to you is that living into a new post COVID-19world? What do you think is about the impact of AI development on the future ofwork?   

Jaya 03:22 

What we can look at is how, AI tools can turn some future workers,right, right, by reducing the repetitive work and supporting employees. So someof these common things which we are seeing in submission, and it's a solution that encourages computers to act without programming assistance, or human intervention, very limited human intervention, right? Automation, right?Program, robotic programming tools can perform repeated high volume tasks to give humans more time on other projects. NLP very interesting in natural language processing, identify human language to support data, natural processes and customer service, right. So, in a nutshell, AI has two main areas with which we can actually be used to enhance the future of Work , conversational AI, which is relevant for thefuture of work. companies developing speech based assistants like Amazon Alexa are capable responding to human language as well as IVR system and chatbots.    

Jaya 04:33 

Next is how search virtual assistant and chat box are helping andenhancing efficiency. machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligenceare moving beyond the basics of understanding of the text. So such chat bots are able to set up meetings, search chatbox able to give comprehensive answers of for customers questions. They are readily available where they are 24/7,right? So many leaders in this AI space believe that virtual assistants will transform the future workplace by giving every employee the support they need, right? Well, we, in fact, one of my very important experiences that when our developing the future futuristic intelligence Institute, together with a very calm, private investor, we wanted to develop chatbox in the vicinity of education, that is how students can actually use chatbox to understand the kind of courses the syllabus how, what kind of languages they want to take, what kind of courses which allow them to progress in their individual career path.     

Liew Wei Da Andrew 05:39 

As you mentioned, in your previous example, that chat bot that youuse for educational technology, and fundraising, and you do the development ofthe study about the user experience test? Right. So what happened to that progress? Like, do you how many students manage to sign up on the feedback like?   

Jaya 06:00 

Yeah, I mean, if what would happen is that while I was completingmy leadership at this university, we were almost 10, to 15%, down the road onthe chatbox development and what he called the program itself, the launch had a pre trial mode. And that's when I was shifted to another university as an associate dean. So to my best knowledge, what happened is that the enrollment actually increased by almost 5 to 10%. Instead of face to face, a lot of them were able to actually undertake this chatbox conversation, to find out the relevant courses to do, what kind of path they should take in the degree courses, even high school students, right, they could actually check, checkwith these virtual assistants to actually get help to entry into the, to the university, and what kind of courses would actually fit in with their tastes, and their aims, their admissions, so it was very helpful.   

Liew Wei Da Andrew 06:58 

You know, these days, everybody worked from home, like parents,Iike, you know, my co workers, or my ex colleagues or my friends who are whohave kids, they have to do home based learning in Singapore, I believe that during COVID-19 times for a lot of countries, there was a lockdown. There were alot of schools. There you have to do home based learning and in new home basedlearning. We have such a chat boy, the parents have probably feel at ease.  

Jaya 07:24 

Yes, definitely. Because if they can't approach a face to faceinteraction with the teachers, or the administrators, the best next choice theyhave is AI, the virtual assistants, something which they can go to, it's like the go to machine, the go to person, like the usage of AI have to be increased,in order to to be improved and increased so that these machines can be traineda lot more better.   

Liew Wei Da Andrew 07:53 

Now, coming back to this interesting question, like to what is thebest book that you read about digital transformation? What is the best bookthat you read about AI? And why?   

Jaya 08:08 

I would say there is no one hand book, which actually deals witheverything you need to know about AI or digital transformation. That is a fact.Right? I'm not gonna lie about it. Because, as I say, my background comes from a very interdisciplinary. AI and digital idea, innovation, adoption. It's allin the last 10 years, I've been working on it. And I'm still learning. Right? So while I have developed the skill sets and expertise in this area, I'm still learning. So to my best knowledge, right? I would say I would like to recommend if anyone is interested. So look at three main books, which I always like to refer back is. One is the AI superpowers, China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order by Kai Foo Lee. Amazing book, Life 3.0 Being human in the age of AI, this is a very intelligent book and very funny in in many sense the way he presented. And the last but not least, is the future is faster than you think. How converging technologies are transforming businesses, industries and ourlives by Peter Diamandis, and Steve, Steven Kotler, write very product provocative books, yet very excellent to actually handheld, lots of readers through this whole idea of digital transformation, because people are yet to understand what exactly digitisation is and what digital transformation is, right? People are still in this cloud of understanding what exactly they are. I would say, having a look at this books would kind of like give you the basic understanding, right? They gave good framework how to rethink businesses and operating more especially what it takes to sustain and have a competitive advantage. Right. Not only are they is excellent in their content, they highlight the global challenges and of mankind, particularly which I strongly feel.   

Liew Wei Da Andrew 10:09 

So coming back to you just mentioned about like we were talkingabout what are the best books that you read about digital transformation. It isthe first book if I recall correctly, it's AI superpowers, China Silicon Valley and a new world order by Li Kai foo. The second book is life 3.0 Being human inthe age of AI by Max Tegmark. And the third one was the future is faster than you think how converging technologies are transforming business industries in our lives by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, right. And because these books, actually, like you said,it provides a good framework to rethink business and operating models with AI. Yeah.    

Liew Wei Da Andrew 10:51 

So what about, you know, software and application?    

Jaya 10:56 

Haha Well,as I say it, again, this is another of this question where I'm not promotinganybody, but I'm very comfortable knowing that I have a one to go to Application like LinkedIn. Right? A because I get very latest information, it keeps me posted about the professionals in my field and their work and achievements. And it is very up to date. Right? I don't feel like I'm left out with the news with the activities with the professional network. So it's like one of my number one software where I am. It's basically like, for me reading newspaper, right? consistently being updated with so many interesting facts and scenarios. The software, which I always enjoy using, that's a personal thing isSTATA because coming from economics and modeling, guy, but with the adoption, and the reason love affair with Python and R, I would say these three basically made my life a lot more easy when I'm analyzing data. And presenting visually. And integrating it a lot well, with a lot of the newer software's which I'm learning why, because it's amazing, amazing what I can do now with those, asopposed to maybe 10-12 years. Back when I was just using EViews, and Excel. Now I'm able to look at terabytes worth of data and able to run models along these packages itself. And of course, I am a bit of Mac machine user. So I love my Mac products. I'm not promoting anything. I'm not supporting anything. It's just that I've been using Mac products and its products for so long, because it has very good level of security and stability and never had any issues that should. So yeah, these are the things which I it's personal take on my outlook and expectations,    

Liew Wei Da Andrew 13:00 

I see. So LinkedIn is your number one for communication andconnecting with people. STATA for econometrics. R and Python for analytics,policy, modeling work. And for hardware. Toys is mac staff.    

Liew Wei Da Andrew 13:14 

Okay, cool. So now, I know that you're definitely has been in theanalytics digital AI machine learning space for many years, almost like 15-20years. Now, the interesting question is there for those folks out there who arekeen to start a career in this space? What are your top three career tips forthem?   

Jaya 13:40 

Oh, I would say I have this nice saying in my head, ACT act, thatis accept the future of digitalization, right, do not run away, simply becauseI have friends who have ran away and regret not actually be part of it. So act on it, right, Accept future. Karma, your interests like for me Phyton. It's like, wow, that's a program called python. And when I jumped on away, like R and Python, I just enjoyed it because it made things so much easier. So you have to carve up your interest in digitization can be artificial intelligence can be neural networks doesn't matter. Even trying to actually learn theadvanced modeling in use in Excel. Carve out your interest in digitalization, that's important. And last but not least, transform yourself. If you don't transform, you're going to be left back because digitalization of services and activities and even education so learn act and carve out your interest so act is of ones which leads a comprehensive and inclusive digital habits.   

Liew Wei Da Andrew 14:50 

Wow, that's a very good treat tips. Let me recall so it's act iscalled accept the future of digitisation, carve out your interest indigitization and transform yourself towards digitization. So we've ACT. Anybody can embrace to have a kickstart in their career in the digital machine learningspace. So fantastic folks out there.    

Liew Wei Da Andrew 15:18 

So we're coming to the end of the podcast. Last but not least, whatis your request from those listening to this podcast?   

Jaya 15:27 

Andrew I would like to say it's a pleasure to present all my viewsabout the world of digitization and digital transformation and the applicationand impact of AI. I've always been an explorer of new knowledge, right? I like to experiment and are obviously coming from a academic background, initially, as an educator, and I continue to do that. My strong news is that with a new era of AI, and the metaverse, which is just about running, let's say push over industrial 4.0. Let's bring in the metaverse, mankind consume focus on towards such tools to improve lives, create a sustainable future, funding clean technology, solving and preventing environmental degradation and climateagenda. They have to actually increase the possibilities of new, inclusive innovation. Remember, what we need now is inclusive, not exclusive innovation. And for me leaving a positive future for the next generation because that's what we all are here. This is what mankind is about, right? We have the tools, we need to have strong mindsets to lead the way. This is my urge and strong idea.ideology, I would say right, my my field to say this is what we need to do.   

Liew Wei Da Andrew 16:46 

Wow. Okay, that's a very handful of new inspiring words that yougive out to the audience of this podcast. So let me summarize is that, youknow, you're appreciative out there and your ask from the audience is to, you know, use tools, embrace inclusive innovation, make a positive future for next generation.    

Liew Wei Da Andrew 17:10 

Hey guys, thanks for listening to this podcast. If this is thefirst time you are tuning in, remember to subscribe to this show. If you have subscribed to this show and love this episode, please share it with your friends. family and acquaintances. See you later and see you soon.