You cannot afford to miss the AI 0f the West – and possibly the year.  Check it out here (limited tickets left)

The last speaker (and possibly the best wine – no offence to previous brilliant speakers is Fi Hills)  Check out her points here. This is going to be the NOT TO MISS AI conference in Ireland this year.

Fi Hills


London based Fi Hills is an innovator in learning and culture change. A master facilitator and a recognised ‘teacher of teachers’ she has been successfully training people to manage organisational change for almost two decades. The founder of Cafe Style Academy, her programmes are used across Europe and the Middle East.

The Mind Warrior Leadership Experience is her latest creation – a blended and social learning platform established to prepare leaders and their people to not only survive, but to thrive in this time of accelerated human-tech change.

 ITN:  you are an innovator in learning – how do you teach people to continue to learn?

The most important part of the preparation for working effectively alongside AI is a total commitment to lifelong learning. Because of disruptive change, our knowledge and skills simply will not stay the same. Our capacity to change is essential and in order to achieve that, we must accept the challenge to continuously learn. We have to develop high levels of curiosity and collaboration, so social learning has become very important.

This process of teaching has to be done in steps. My teaching method always starts with self-awareness, opening up peoples minds, to discover themselves and the infinite possibility that can lie ahead (of all humans) if we are willing to learn. The second stage is to learn to be mindful, regulating emotions to focus on what is important. The third stage is to understand and embrace learning through collaboration. The fourth stage is to be empowered and then – crucially, to empower others around you to learn. The fifth – eighth stages then develop Higher Order Thinking  skills.

ITN: As an expert in culture change can you advise how companies can achieve this – moving their people forward in the same direction?

Yes, that is why I created the JEDI Pathway! This leads teams from igniting change through to transforming habitual thinking, developing new skills and mindset, and then finally to innovating for culture change.  The fundamentals of culture change for any organisation are a very strong vision and shared values that are embedded into the hearts and minds of the people. A complete transformation of the organisational language will act as the new code for a new culture –  If you change language you change culture!

ITN: Organisational change is not just buying new office equipment and giving everyone a new stapler – should it come from the top down or be fostered from the bottom up? What role does management have in directly the change?  What role does staff and what influence could / should they have?

 Good Question!  Culture change is always going to be led effectively by the leaders, and the environment is led by the leaders, fundamentally. In the old world, change was only considered to be fostered from the top down, however that is not necessarily the case anymore. So, yes, in an ideal world culture change starts from the top down but realistically that is often not the case. So I always say with culture and organisation change – start where you are. It could be from the middle or from the bottom, and  then work through. Do well in one division and then spread that out. My motto is just start where your re and get the job done, ie change.

The question around the role that management has to play is an extremely important one. They must remember that they are not only leading the team, they are part of the team. They have to be the change that they want to see on their staff and that is often where,  if it breaks down,  it breaks down there. Because management can sometimes perceive that the workers need to change but they don’t! And the workforce think they leaders need to change. And the reality is that everyone needs to change. So part of culture change is being willing to start where you are and to be the change. And if you can persuade people to do that then blame stops and silos break down and you get a solution focused, collaborative and innovative culture.

ITN: You teach people how to respond to the rapid tech-human change that awaits them – how can you predict the future?

I don’t think you respond to it, I think you prepare for it. That’s what my work is focused on.  If you are responding you are reacting. No-one can really predict the future but what we do know is that jobs for humans are going to require far higher levels of higher order thinking skills (like creative thinking, critical thinking, cognitive flexibility etc.) We know that humans are going to have to upgrade their emotion and and social intelligence. Think of this as an upgrade to the human mind in order to be prepared to work alongside AI effectively and to the incredible disruptive nature of change. We are going to lose 1000’s between 400 and 800 million jobs in 2030 so the experts say. What we don’t know yet is what new job roles are going to be created. If we did know we would already be creating them.

ITN: Does the idea of Singularity trouble you? How should we prepare?

Yes and No. There are two ways of looking at singularity. The first is as a foe. The second is as a friend. If we look at it as a foe, clearly we are going to be overwhelmed and maybe even overpowered by it. If we look at it through the lens of a friend, we are more likely to celebrate the strengths of the collaboration between humans and technology to reach infinite heights and infinite possibilities to improve our lives and solve the great challenges of the planet including climate change, the threat of nuclear war and the future of how humans live and work. We don’t know how this will play out. The exponential change in technology will dictate the speed of change but it doesn’t have to dictate the outcome and that is where ethics, philosophy and our collaborative approach to the development of AI and of the infrastructure and rules around it comes in to play.

ITN: AI is the killer app. So much so that Professor Stephen Hawkings said in 2014 that “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” Do you agree?

It’s as above. If we develop AI without the right ethics, and if we don’t respect the power of what we are developing in Super Intelligence then yes, it could do. Of course. And that is why ethics play the most important part right now, and philosophy.


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