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AI Threat or Opportunity? Our partners participated in “Leaders of the Future” Congress in Opatija

5 October 2023 – The picturesque town of Opatija hosted a riveting confluence of intellect and innovation, as the Croatian Association of Managers and Entrepreneurs (CROMA) presented the “Leaders of the Future” Congress. Central to the discussion was the evolving relationship between mankind and artificial intelligence, the implications of AI in business and daily life, and the potential role of the upcoming Generation Z in shaping the future of AI.

An interesting introduction to the AI debate came in the form of the revealing study on the “Perception of Artificial Intelligence in Croatia”. Jointly conducted by Effectus University College, Croatian Post, and Alca Zagreb, the results shed light on a somewhat disturbing trend: a majority of Croatians exhibit a negative stance towards AI.

As the congress shifted its attention to the panel titled “AI – Threat or Opportunity?”, it was steered by the adept moderation of Robert Kopal, President of the Effectus University College Board.

The panel featured a line-up of notable experts including Medeja Lončar, who heads Siemens Croatia and oversees Siemens in both Slovenia and Serbia; Nina Šesto, AI4Health.Cro Coordinator for Healthcare and Director of Digital Health at Magdalena Clinic; Aleksandar Raić, spearheading AI transformation at Infobip; Vedran Bajer, the Director of Microsoft Croatia; Gordan Kolak, at the helm of KONČAR Group; and our consortium partner Mislav Malenica, the visionary founder of AI startup Mindsmiths and president of the Croatian AI Association (CroAI).

A historical perspective brought context to the apprehension many feel today: “People have historically feared new technologies. In the 19th century, they destroyed steam engines; it’s hardly surprising they’re wary of AI’s rise today,” was a sentiment echoed by the panel. However, the discourse wasn’t mired in negativity, with panellists unanimously acknowledging the immense potential AI holds. As one optimistically put it, “AI has reshuffled the deck, presenting everyone with an equal opportunity for newfound growth.”

In a charged and interactive setting, the panel delved deep, tackling questions from the role of AI in future corporate governance to its tangible benefits and potential threats. A highlight was the engaging discussion around CEOs’ risk propensities in the post-COVID era and its influence on AI adoption.

As the debate touched upon regional disparities in AI adoption and the possible restrictions on AI tools like ChatGPT within corporate networks, it was clear that this was not just a discussion of technology, but a reflection on society, ethics, and our collective future.

Nina Šesto’s insightful contributions, combined with the collective expertise of the panel, ensured that the “Leaders of the Future” Congress addressed pressing concerns and paved the way for future dialogues on AI and its interplay with humanity.

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