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Empowering the Future: Christopher Peter Makris on AI Leadership & AI Empowerment

Welcome to the forefront of innovation where AI isn’t just a buzzword, but a catalyst reshaping our workplace with AI leadership and AI empowerment. In this week’s "iAi Speaker Spotlight", you will meet Christopher Peter Makris, the vanguard of this transformation into AI leadership. As the lead data scientist at Dataiku, Chris isn’t just an expert; he’s a visionary. From honing his skills with a master’s in Statistical Practice at Carnegie Mellon to spearheading cutting-edge data science teams at Dataiku, his journey is nothing short of inspiring.

Chris’s mantra? AI Empowerment. He’s not just about algorithms and analytics; he’s dedicated to upskilling his teams, turning them into architects of tomorrow in a workforce that’s evolving faster than ever. But wait, there’s more – beyond the corporate walls, Chris is a mentor at heart, guiding bright minds at CU Boulder and crafting the blueprint for the next wave of AI maestros.

But here’s where it gets really interesting. Chris isn’t just playing the tech game; he’s changing the rules. For him, AI is a societal game-changer, a tool not just for profit, but for progress. His philosophy? Humans at the helm, AI in the copilot seat. He’s tackling the AI fear factor head-on, advocating for a future where AI isn’t a threat but a liberator, enabling us to achieve more with less – true empowerment.

So, as we embark on this journey through AI leadership with Chris as our guide, it’s clear that we’re not just exploring technological advancements. We’re joining a movement here at the Institute for AI Transformation. This community is poised to redefine the boundaries of AI, fueled by knowledge, empowerment, and a vision for a future where technology amplifies human potential. Dive into our exclusive Q&A session with Chris to explore the depths of human potential and the future of AI empowerment and learn more about him before his panel spot @ iAi Summit 2024 in Austin, Texas!

“With AI, our greatest legacy will be how we use this technology to empower our lives, not overshadow them. It’s our job as leaders to teach people by leading the way with AI as our tool, not our master.”
Christopher Peter Makris

Lead Data Scientist @ Dataiku

Bruce Monaco: “Chris, with AI becoming a bigger part of our daily lives, how do you see the skills we’ll need in the future changing?”


“Think of it like a toolbox that’s getting an upgrade. The future of humanity has to be nimble, ready to learn new tricks. AI isn’t just giving us new toys to play with; it’s changing the game. We need folks who can think on their feet, get creative, and work hand-in-hand with AI.

Q: Can you discuss the role of AI leadership in empowering employees in the workplace?


“AI leadership is crucial. AI leadership isn’t just about nerding out on algorithms. It’s about actually creating an environment where AI is a growth catalyst and tool for employees. We’re encouraging teams to learn, adapt, and use AI tools to boost their creativity and efficiency. AI isn’t replacing humans; it’s empowering them to achieve more.

Q: The future workforce will need to adapt to AI. What skills do you see as essential?


“The future is all about agility and a mindset open to continuous learning. The future with this technology is all about being quick on your feet, embracing continuous learning. AI is changing not just the tools but the very skills we need. Critical thinking, creativity, and collaborating with AI will be as crucial as technical know-how. It’s about enhancing our natural intelligence with AI, not being overshadowed by it. There will always be some level of human element to it.”

Q: A lot of folks still get the jitters around AI. Still a ton of fear about people losing their jobs, deep fakes, Super AGI terminator robots, etc… How do you handle that?


“Fear comes from the unknown. It stems from misconceptions. Get to know AI, and suddenly it’s like this cool tool that boosts your abilities, not a job-stealer. It’s about doing more with what you’ve got, and thinking smarter, not harder. Once people understand AI as a tool that amplifies capabilities, allowing us to do more with less and approach problems with enhanced creativity, the fear starts turning into enthusiasm”

Q: Can you compare the acceptance of AI tools in workplaces to other technological integrations, like Photoshop?


“Absolutely! Just like when Photoshop and other game changing digital tools were introduced, there was initial skepticism and fear of what could happen. But now, they’re indispensable. AI is on a similar path. We’re transitioning from viewing AI as a threat to recognizing it as a vital part of our creative and professional toolkit. It’s about normalizing AI and understanding its benefits, much like we did with digital design tools.”

Q: What are your thoughts on AI empowerment, especially in light of events like the writers’ strike?


“It’s really tough to decide since it’s all such a grey area for humanity really. The writers’ strike puts a spotlight on AI’s complex role in creative industries, especially around issues of ownership and ethics. It’s a delicate balance between fostering innovation and respecting individual contributions. Who owns AI-generated content? These are critical questions we need to address as AI becomes more prevalent in creative fields.”

Q: As we leverage AI, what do you believe our legacy as people will be?


“Our legacy in leveraging AI will be defined by how we balance technological growth with human values. It’s about using AI to better our lives, empowering individuals, and solving real-world problems responsibly. We’ll be remembered for our ethical approach and for making technology accessible to everyone. Human’s greatest legacy will be how we use this technology to empower our lives, not overshadow them. It’s about people leading the way, with AI as our tool, not our master.”

Q: Finally, how do you foresee the economic implications of the shift towards AI?


“AI’s not just about making more money; it’s a game-changer. Smaller teams with fewer resources are getting a shot at the big leagues. It’s like when the internet first popped up – a whole new playing field. Real game changing innovations are happening literally every single day in this industry, which is truly mind blowing. AI’s resetting the ecosystem, and it’s exciting to watch!”

Christopher Peter Makris’s will be speaking on Day 2 in Austin at the iAi Summit 2024 in Austin, Texas. His insights provide a profound understanding of AI’s impact, showcasing its potential to revolutionize our world while emphasizing the importance of human-centric development and application.