Leveraging AI for Better Productivity: AmCham’s Tech Tuesday Brings Together Experts to Discuss the Future of Work in Cambodia

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The American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (AmCham) hosted its flagship Tech Tuesday event to educate local and international attendees on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), in Cambodia’s business and educational sector.

The event was moderated by Christopher McCarthy, Co-Chair of the AmCham ICT Committee and CEO of MangoTango Asia, and featured panel discussions led by influential members of the media and educational community.

With over 120 attendees, the goal of the event was to showcase how organizations in Cambodia are already utilizing AI in their workflows and to highlight the benefits of adopting this technology to improve productivity.

Productivity is key to success in business

According to the World Bank Cambodia’s total workforce output level will require quick and significant investment in multiple areas if Cambodia is to achieve its ambitious aim of becoming an upper-middle country by 2030, says the World Bank’s Country Economist for Cambodia.

Upper middle-income countries are defined as economies with a gross national income per capita between $4,406 and $12,535 that currently includes regional neighbors Thailand and Malaysia.

Christopher McCarthy, CEO of MangoTango Asia.

In the fast-paced business world, productivity is key to success, and AI has the potential to significantly enhance productivity in Cambodia’s workforce. AI is already being used by businesses around the world for various purposes, including writing contracts, emails, and even accounting work.

Read more: How to increase Cambodia’s workforce productivity?

In Cambodia, however, the local language, Khmer, poses a challenge as the technology currently runs on English. Despite this, McCarthy believes that this barrier can be overcome in one or two years. “AI is augmenting or helping businesses, and it is the fastest-adopted technology in the world,” he said.

Revolutionize the media landscape in Cambodia 

Harrison White, Founder and Editor of Cambodia Investment Review, demonstrated the potential of AI in a live demonstration. “AI is a fantastic tool that will change the way we run our businesses,” said White. He showed how the technology can produce an article in under 10 minutes and post it directly to a channel, highlighting the efficiency and speed that AI is bringing to his workplace.

“AI has the potential to revolutionize the media landscape in Cambodia. With its ability to produce high-quality content at a rapid pace, AI technology has the potential to streamline the editorial process, freeing up valuable time and resources for journalists to focus on what they do best: telling impactful stories that make a difference.” White added.

Harrison White, Founder and Editor of Cambodia Investment Review.

While some people are concerned about AI replacing human jobs, McCarthy believes it will augment work and free up time for more creative tasks. “AI will do the boring parts of our job, freeing us to focus on the creative aspects,” he said. While AI may be able to mimic human writing, such as producing novels, poems, and research notes, McCarthy believes there is a key difference between AI and human creativity.

Read more: Prince Foundation and CIR Media jointly rollout ‘Young Business Journalist Program’

“It is a mimicry, not actual creativity. Critical thinking is important, but another skill is often overlooked: lateral thinking. Lateral thinking involves connecting concepts and being creative, which computers cannot do,” he said.

Teaching to properly utilize the technology is key

The need for both students and teachers to understand the role of AI in the future was also discussed by Steven Paterson, Chief Innovation Officer at the National University of Management in Phnom Penh. “It is here to stay and it’s important for schools and universities to properly teach students how to utilize it and understand it,” said Paterson.

“AI has the power to transform the way we teach and learn at universities, providing new opportunities for staff and students alike. It is crucial that we not only understand the role AI will play in our future but also have the skills and knowledge to utilize it effectively. By integrating AI into our curriculum and equipping our students with the necessary tools and resources, we can create a brighter future for the next generation of thinkers and innovators,” Paterson said.

Steven Paterson, Chief Innovation Officer at the National University of Management in Phnom Penh.

“As educators, it is our responsibility to ensure that our students are equipped with the critical thinking skills necessary to navigate the rapidly evolving landscape of AI. We must teach them to not only understand the technology itself but also to analyze its impact on society and the world at large. Only then can we truly harness the full potential of AI for the betterment of all?” Stephen added.

Read more: Axiata Group Internships awarded to future digital leaders in SmartEdu USDP program

He also emphasized the importance of establishing ethical guidelines and teaching students about the legalities of using AI. “In the future, schools and universities will need to establish an acceptable reference guideline for writing essays and reports,” he commented.

AmCham ICT Committee fosters discussions on technology-related issues

The Tech Tuesday event also highlighted the many opportunities for Cambodia to improve its workforce productivity by adopting AI technology. With the right training and ethical guidelines in place, AI has the potential to greatly enhance the business sector in Cambodia, freeing up time and resources for more creative and fulfilling work.

Over 120 people attended the Tech Tuesday event.

While AI may be perceived as a threat to human jobs, it is essential to understand that it is a tool that has the potential to augment and enhance human capabilities in the workplace. By educating the workforce on the proper use of AI and its potential benefits, Cambodia can stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in the global business landscape.

The AmCham ICT Committee works to review draft laws and provide input, foster discussions on technology-related issues, and organize regular events. This helps to create a supportive environment for businesses to adopt AI and other cutting-edge technologies, driving growth and innovation in the industry.

*This article was written with the assistance of ChatGPT software.

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