Martin Schmalz is an Associate Professor of Finance at Oxford’s Saïd Business School. He is also the co-author of the book The Business of Big Data: How to Create Lasting Value in the Age of AI – and he was introduced to me by Uri Bram who I’ve had on the show twice before here and here.
You don’t need to have been paying much attention to the world in recent years to notice that Artificial Intelligence is a big deal.
Global politicians and business leaders like Elon Musk and Bill Gates are talking more and more about how AI is going to change the world dramatically. Meanwhile billions of dollars are being spent by businesses as they try to gather data and run AI algorithms on it to try and predict your behaviour, not to mention the arms race going on between the US and China at the national level.
But what does this all mean for you? What skills should you be learning to become future proof and what do you need to know about how these businesses operate to protect your privacy online? That’s what this episode is all about and in it we discuss:
- The mainstream narrative around artificial intelligence and what you actually need to know
- The uniquely human skills we should be developing to thrive in a world with AI
- How the business of big data affects your privacy and what to do about it
We also talk about Martin’s experience in academia and his own learning projects – he’s learned to fly a plane and speaks 7 languages amongst other things. Regardless of your understanding of AI, this episode will give you a lot to chew on and get you thinking critically about the way you learn and live with technology.
- Introducing Martin [00:40]
- What was school like for Martin? What subjects was he good at while he was still studying? [03:27]
- Why did Martin choose to study economics in university? How did Martin manage to graduate from his program in high spirits? [06:37]
- As an economist, how did Martin get into artificial intelligence and end up writing a book about it? [09:54]
- How is artificial intelligence defined in the context of Martin’s work? [11:49]
- How does Martin envision the future unfolding with the rise of artificial intelligence? [15:27]
- What are some uniquely human skills or capabilities that cannot be replaced by artificial intelligence? [17:52]
- How should people be thinking about their relationship with AI in terms of improving the quality of human life? [19:41]
- Martin on the recent explosion of data, how businesses utilize the data they’ve collected, and how it affects people’s privacy [24:45]
- How do companies, like ridesharing firms, use data they’ve gathered as their competitive advantage? [28:17]
- China as an emerging tech market and an indication of where the future of artificial intelligence is headed [32:01]
- What does Martin do to protect his privacy online? [33:57]
- How did Martin learn to fly a plane while in grad school? [37:56]
- Why did Martin decide to learn various languages? How did he start picking them up? [39:54]
- What has Martin changed his mind about recently? [41:40]
- What book would Martin recommend to listeners? [44:15]
- Closing remarks [45:11]