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75. AI and the Future of Jobs:Navigating Opportunities and Challenges with Harry Hazhrul

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Podcast with Harry Hazhrul Part 4



Discover the intriguing perspective ofHarry Hazhrul on the future of artificial intelligence and its impact on job opportunities. In this thought-provoking podcast, he delves into the
contrasting views of Jack Ma and Elon Musk and presents a unique take that
blends both perspectives. Unravel the secrets to thriving in the age of AI as
Harry reveals the essential soft skills that can't be replaced by technology.
Join him as he shares eye-opening stories of generational businesses and
innovative strategies for successful digital transformation. Get inspired by
this episode that calls for greater representation and empowerment of ethnic
minorities in the tech industry.

In this podcast episode, the guest,Harry Hazhrul, discusses the different perspectives on artificial intelligence
(AI) held by Jack Ma and Elon Musk. He believes both are partially correct.
Jobs that can be easily replaced by AI will disappear, but those who adapt and
see AI as a companion will thrive. He emphasizes the importance of acquiring
soft skills, as they are irreplaceable by robots and AI. For business leaders
seeking digital transformation, Harry advises them to consider the generational
businesses that are hesitant to embrace technology. He shares the example of a
company that successfully firewalled its traditional business while starting a
new digital venture. In the end, Harry encourages more representation and
support for ethnic minorities in the tech industry.

[00:00:00] Andrew Liew: There's this always two schoolsof thought in terms of artificial intelligence.

[00:00:02] Andrew Liew: One is by Jack Ma. One is by ElonMusk. Jack Ma is always saying AI will create a lot more opportunities. We
shouldn't. We should fear AI. We should love AI. Elon Musk said, oh if AI
becomes super smart, we should worry that they will take away the jobs so fast
that there'll be a lot of job displacement.

[00:00:19] Andrew Liew: Where do you think it sits?What's your view? Which school of thought is more correct? They're both right
and they're both wrong lah. So what is your new view? What's your new school?
Okay Must is right in the sense that a lot of jobs will disappear because of
AI, say, for example, I think jobs that are at risk or of AI jobs that can be
repeated very easily.

[00:00:40] Andrew Liew: And as it gets smarter andsmarter, a lot of even more creative type of jobs might, not be there in the
future, but Jack, Ma is also right in the sense that the type of people that
will thrive in the future of AI are the people that don't see AI as a threat,
but see AI as their companion and they adapt around [00:01:00]AI rather than so it's, a lot of skills change, right?

[00:01:03] Andrew Liew: You change your skills. You needto adapt to the skills that that, you face due to the challenge of new
technology like AI, right? And I'll give you an example like when the Ford
Motor Company started to revolutionize the way People build automobiles rather
than hearing the, technology revolution that Ford brought in by building a
factory line, he actually provided employment to these people who formerly built
cars the old way.

[00:01:32] Andrew Liew: So they didn't lose their jobs inthe sense that, Oh, now there's a factory line. The still had a job because
they were part of the factory line now. So Jack is right in the sense that so
long as we build systems in, mind of jobs in the future, to make sure people
still have a job.

[00:01:51] Andrew Liew: Yes. So it's, a pricing score,but it really there's, no right. And there's no wrong in my opinion. It all
depends on the [00:02:00] capitalistic natureof people like Elon Musk, who was from the West, who believes that you've got
to win at all costs, right? And if I can take one unit or two units or three
units of labor out and replace it with AI, replace it with robotics, I win.

[00:02:16] Andrew Liew: In the expense of other peopleand this is their culture and jack ma is right in the sense that in china in
east asia we don't think like that, right? We care about the people then if we
bring in new technology we need to Reorientate these people's jobs so that they
still have a job. We are more caring in the sense of more empathizing In terms
of how we can still take advantage of technology, but not lose people's jobs,

[00:02:42] Andrew Liew: And I, am somewhere in thecenter. I said, look, you are going to be at risk if you don't change your
skills. And for me, my advice to students that come to me for mentorship,
right? They ask me, oh, should I take that course or should I take this course?
I said, there's really no right or wrong answer.

[00:02:57] Andrew Liew: And you think. Just look at it [00:03:00] logically. Let's say you want to doengineering, right? If you're at a cross between engineering, competent
science. And my, answer to that is engineering has not changed for the last 100
years. You always have a job. Competent science have changed drastically in the
last 40.

[00:03:12] Andrew Liew: When I came into poly I had sixlanguages. I graduated with six languages. Two years in NS, half of it gone.
Had to learn new things, right? And if you think along that line, when a lot of
new things, a lot of skills are changing rapidly how do don't you think that
people will be fearful ah, I gotta learn this, and then this thing change so

[00:03:33] Andrew Liew: Do you think universal basicincome, this idea that was introduced from the West, would be useful to solve
this problem? I'm not a politician. I grew up thinking about a few chairs.
Yeah. Universal basic income makes sense. If we can figure out how to fund it,
you can figure that out. I think it would make sense.

[00:03:51] Andrew Liew: Universal basic income is presentin a lot of countries that Iran, for example which the U S criticizes a lot
for, they actually do have universal basic income, right? [00:04:00] And for, the life of me, I still don't understandwhy they hate Iran so much, right? They have already experimented in universal
basic income in some parts of the UK and some parts of Australia.

[00:04:09] Andrew Liew: It was deemed a success. I thinkit's still a matter of policy. It's like somebody needs to fund it, right? We
are touching back into, skills, right? My my advice to students was all these
hard skills, right? All these hard skills, whether it's engineering or whether
it's computer science.

[00:04:23] Andrew Liew: You go online now, you can learnalready how to do programming. The way I used to learn it, I go to the library
and I open a book and I try to memorize it. When, before I entered poly, I
already memorized the whole book, HTML 4. 01. So I entered class, right? I can
already code because I memorize it.

[00:04:40] Andrew Liew: Today, people will go to, where,Stack Overflow? Check GPT ah! Ah, check, ah, check GPT right? I need code for
you, right? Ah these, hard skills will eventually be replaced by technology.
Maybe, and you can see now with the advent of low code, so easy now to code
things. I told them that... One thing that robots and AI cannot replace is with
[00:05:00] soft skills.

[00:05:00] Andrew Liew: So you need to pick up softskills that, that will ensure longevity in in the job market. You need to learn
how to talk to people, how to negotiate how to read finance, how to do finance,
right? Things that may seem hard to you, but if you don't do it, then you, are
at risk, right? Because these, are the skills that robotics and AI cannot
easily replace you with.

[00:05:21] Andrew Liew: The human touch, the humanfactor. And that's why I enjoy doing product. And that's why I left software
engineering, basically, because I got tired of upgrading myself with hard
skills. Wow. How so from we see HTML, CSS, the JavaScript, then all these new
frameworks, I cannot take it up, bro. No, I think what I realized that the,
Part of building a product that enjoy the most is the product management part,
the ideation, the discovery, the delivery talking to people, even though that
I, wasn't really A people person. I don't know how to talk to people, but I
forced myself to learn how to talk to people Right because that will ensure [00:06:00] my legitimacy in the job market easy.

[00:06:01] Andrew Liew: My advice to students has alwaysbeen Hard skills. You can go online to learn you don't need to go to university
if you if you want to pick up that skill, actually if you go to university for
two things your network because robotics and I can't do that Okay and the soft
skills you need to learn how to Talk to people and negotiate and all these are
things that you can't do Right, and then of course once you get your degree,
you are now mobile You can go to anywhere in the world you want emigrate there
get a visa.

[00:06:29] Andrew Liew: You don't like it go somewhereelse Why just stay in singapore, right singapore? You want to be successful in
singapore good for you the world is your oyster now right, so go get your
degree because You should go around the world, don't just stay in Singapore. I
think, if you stay in Singapore, your world view is only limited lah.

[00:06:46] Andrew Liew: It's a bummer. You go around theworld lah. Ah! You go around the world, you challenge your assumptions and you
realise, oh, the world is actually like this. And you learn the different
culture, you get better at knowing other cultures. And these are things AI
robotics [00:07:00] can't replace you with.

[00:07:01] Andrew Liew: These are what will make yourlife full. So again pick up the soft skills, you will be successful in life.
Okay, great. So what, about like the tips for business leaders, like who's
listening to this podcast, if they wanna start digital transformation on their
e-commerce in their respective industry, whether is it retail, whether is it
industrial goods?

[00:07:20] Andrew Liew: What are your tips? Okay, so mostbusiness leaders in obvious Asia, they're still stuck with old mindsets now or
mindsets. Who thinking why? Because like, for example, in Singapore, I think
95%, or is it 99% of the economy are is, all SMEs, right? But there are
generational businesses. Sorry educate the audience because some of the
audience are from the U S and Canada okay.

[00:07:39] Andrew Liew: I'll, cascade it off for you. Soall my second thing, for example, in logistics, in particular, okay, that
initial to digitize. Okay. Initial to digitize because they don't understand it
and they're still making money. So why do I need to digitize? They are
comfortable where they are.

[00:07:57] Andrew Liew: So I think if I would translateit for people in the U S and [00:08:00] Canadait is about when I say, Oh, my side, we're thinking is about generational
businesses that don't understand technology and, they don't care too much about
it. And I think it exists in the U S as well. We've got industries like people
who run plumbing companies, for example what, form of digitization are you
talking about?

[00:08:19] Andrew Liew: Best companies people who runyour mom and pop, your groceries, for example these are generational
businesses, SMEs small, media enterprises form the bulk of the economy. And
there is an inertia to digitize because they are comfortable where they are not
thinking about scaling, right?

[00:08:37] Andrew Liew: When, you scale, then it makes alot more sense to digitize because you've got. Technology helping you to get
economies of scale. But if you are still stuck in your own mindset,
comfortable, then I feel stuck because you are at a risk because since it's a
generational business, your offspring, your children may not want to take over

[00:08:55] Andrew Liew: Interesting. What about likeduring COVID 19, everybody's forced to go online, right? I don't, [00:09:00] you think some of the business companies,I say, let's do an e commerce site and just try it. So you think that it's
still like the prevalence is not there yet or what, that was only because of
COVID and once the pandemic was over, I tell you what, I was at East Coast a
couple of days ago and I wanted to eat from this nasi ayam, this chicken rice
stall at East Coast Park and I was surprised there was no penang.

[00:09:22] Andrew Liew: Oh, I asked them. No, You gothere. We draw money. You pay me cash only. Cash only. And this is not the only
one I saw. Wow. Ah, it's not the only one. So there are many other small
businesses, right? That refused to digitize. They only did it because of the
pandemic. If not because of the pandemic they wouldn't care because this These
business owners, they're all they don't understand the tech and they mist, they
distrust the tech.

[00:09:48] Andrew Liew: You don't understand, so theydistrust it, right? But because also it's generational, okay? If your children
don't want to take over, then your business dies with you lah. Or you need to
find somebody to [00:10:00] buy over yourbusiness my advice, I think, is that if you want, to... Provide for your family
generation down, then you must let the younger generation take over the way they
want it.

[00:10:13] Andrew Liew: Okay. Number one, but if let'ssee because of the way they, because of the way that they want to adopt
technology might be risk, then you fire all the old business. So let's say
somebody listening to this podcast and they want to do something like e commerce
for their businesses, whether they are a young kid taking over their father or
grandfather shop, what are the baby steps that you would recommend for them to
start something on digital?

[00:10:37] Andrew Liew: Okay. So for a lot of people theyare probably more educated now before their fathers or their mothers running
the small and medium enterprises, right? And that's why they do what they do.
They sacrifice their lives to give you the education. So now that you're
educated, do you want to give the business over to you?

[00:10:53] Andrew Liew: And then you are faced with achoice. Do I take over the business or do I do something else? But this is a
legacy. If not, because of that business, you're [00:11:00]not going to be you are not where you are today also. So you're faced with a
dilemma that you don't want to get rid of the legacy.

[00:11:09] Andrew Liew: Simply because this is not whatyou want to do. So I would say think, about whether or not you want to do it
first. If you want to do it great. Now, what do you do to make sure legacy is
kept alive? Again you want to protect, you want to protect your legacy.

[00:11:21] Andrew Liew: One of the advice that I would, Iwill give is firewall the old business first. All right, so if you want to try
something new and something risky at least the whole business one example I can
give right is perhaps wmg world marketing group I met this guy jim Jim Huang. I
think his name is Jim Huang.

[00:11:37] Andrew Liew: If I'm not wrong, he's one of thefamily members in this business. He started out his career there after
university as a business manager. And then later on, he became the group
president. So what marketing group was in the business of deliveries, right?
But. I tell you what, the backend system is all very archaic ah.

[00:11:54] Andrew Liew: It's very archaic, they have oneserver room and all that so the system is very slow. But he didn't want to [00:12:00] touch that business and try torevolutionize it. He decided to build his own called Pasal Center. Oh. So he's
also the CEO of Pasar Sentar. Okay. And and Pasar Sentar is the same office.

[00:12:14] Andrew Liew: Okay. Yeah. Pasar Sentar. Okay.So Pasar Sentar is a local system company. Okay. So they were one of the
pioneers for local systems in Singapore. Okay. Not your Ninja Point. Okay.
Ninja Point maybe one of them, but the. He came up with a brilliant strategy to
make sure that he can prove that he is good enough to run the business, but
also bring it into a different direction.

[00:12:36] Andrew Liew: So he built Pasal Center and theyare the market leaders in the condo environment. So you go to most of the
condos today, you will see Pasal Center lockers. Oh, ah, so the way that he
firewalled the business. Okay. Is that parcel center locker has a direct
relationship with WMP. WMP is also the distributor or the agent for Amazon.

[00:12:59] Andrew Liew: For [00:13:00]example, they are delivering, Amazon parcels. So only certain 3PLs like WMP can
use parcel center locker. So he firewall in that way. And then he opened up to
other 3PLs. So only certain 3PLs can use parcel center locker like DHL, FedEx
and so on. If you're not any of these 3PL, you cannot use the password on the

[00:13:17] Andrew Liew: Brilliant! It was a masterclass.. And this, is a new generation that is taking over an older generation
business, right? And and, in, in, in companies like Y C H for example where
they built other subsidiaries, right? To fire all the, old legacy business. So,
now they have an a subsidy that builds the the software or logistics.

[00:13:38] Andrew Liew: They're another subsidiary doingthe e commerce express service, right? So they firewalled it so that the, old
business doesn't get affected by Any problems with the new businesses. So if
this business fail, it doesn't affect the old one. I see It doesn't affect a
lot. So what else I mean you have given so much to the audience What is your
ask like what do you [00:14:00] want from theaudience please share Okay i'm a minority in singapore.

[00:14:05] Andrew Liew: I'm a malay from singapore andYou see I like more malaysia from singapore to be willing to venture out of
singapore we and, make a name for themselves. So we need more allies. We need
more allies like you, Andrew who I thank for bringing me on this podcast and
and, help us get recognized out there.

[00:14:24] Andrew Liew: And help us do a more diverse,tech industry. We are totally underrepresented, right? But I want to, tell
people that Malaysians are just as capable. We're often unrecognized until they
move overseas. And I've got a lot of people that I know that move overseas.
They're still so I want I, I want our, countrymen to.

[00:14:43] Andrew Liew: Help more Malays to enter thetech industry so that we can be seen and we can be accounted for and all grow
together as one people and we recognize for all our efforts hopefully more
people who are listening and can, see us and change the perceptions that they
have towards us[00:15:00] after so many yearsof working in Singapore.

[00:15:01] Andrew Liew: I do. Thank you. I have faceddiscrimination before, even when I was running my own business. One, one of the
stories that I like to share with you was when, Ali, my, my co founder was
pitching to some old businessman for our company and, they saw a deck and all
the measurement was all Malaysia.

[00:15:19] Andrew Liew: He actually asked us to go backto the measurement side and ask this ironic question. Where is the diversity in
their management? Which was shocking to me because what are you talking about?
These are all minorities, right? It is damn diverse if you're talking about the
norm in Singapore. You won't get that question when you show a slide deck like
Ninja Van.

[00:15:37] Andrew Liew: All Chinese, you won't get thatquestion when companies like the people who sell it. com, all Indian. You won't
get that question. I would say that maybe the, group of investor that you pitch
just happen to have something different criteria.

[00:15:53] Andrew Liew: from the other day. Yes. I don'tknow what's going on. Yeah, man. What I can say is yes [00:16:00]it's been a very great pleasure to have you into the podcast show and you have
been a shining representative for the Singaporean Malay. And I really hope that
those audience listening to this, especially if you are a minority and this

[00:16:14] Andrew Liew: In the case and you want to seekinspiration, this podcast would be a great inspiration to you. And if those who
are hoping to co-founder with an ethnic minority I hope also used to use this
podcast to inspire those co-founder that they are sitting and fans and waiting
till the day it never ends.

[00:16:35] Andrew Liew: So give it a try, give it a shot.Thank you so much Harry and I wish you all the best we have come to the end of
the podcast. Thank you. Thank you, Andrew. Yeah. So let me put a stop to this.
Yeah. So how are things coming out for You Like when are you leaving again?
Hopefully next week.

[00:16:51] Andrew Liew: I'm my visa is supposed to comehopefully today or tomorrow. When it comes, then my employee is supposed to
arrange. For my [00:17:00] flight ticket and toset up the process for getting the residency visa as well. Saudi is a, strict
country in terms of processes, right? Processes, wah, I think it's more mafan
than Singapore.

[00:17:09] Andrew Liew: Really? Yeah, mafan man. So yourwork visa is not multiple entry, it's single entry. So once you enter Saudi,
you actually cannot leave.