WIP Vilas Dhar (1)

‘AI could potentially transform every job on the planet’

A conversation with Vilas Dhar, president, The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation

In this episode of Work in Progress, I am joined by Vilas Dhar, the president of The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, $1.5 billion philanthropy advancing AI and data solutions to create a thriving, equitable, and sustainable future for all.

Advances in artificial intelligence are moving faster than our ability to comprehend their implications. Will these technologies enable inclusion and access to opportunity for workers and communities, or will they increase inequity?

Dhar sat down with me to discuss these questions earlier this month at the Changemaker Forum, part of the Global Inclusive Growth Summit in Washington, DC.

Before we got deep into the conversation about how artificial intelligence, machine learning, and ChatGPT will ultimately change how we work and live, Dhar felt it was important to shift our perspective a bit. While AI does have the power to disrupt, there is a more fundamental issue we should be looking at, he says.

“Before we think about what AI is, we have to center ourselves in the fact that we need to build a future where every person has dignity in their work. AI might come in and take some of the skills that are necessary to succeed in today’s world and make them obsolete.

“It may come in and create new pathways for humans to be productive, to be creative. If we don’t start from a question of what’s the dignified outcome we’re solving for, it’s too easy to get lost in the details.”

To get there, he says, we need to examine what it means to be a productive worker, someone who “finds a job where they both contribute and feel fulfilled, and then find something that so fundamentally transforms that.”

Says Dhar, “Now we face a moment where that abstraction is becoming real. AI could potentially transform every job on the planet.”

Listen here to find out how Dhar believes we should address that transformation in the workforce and preparing workers. You can also download the podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

Episode 269: Vilas Dhar, president, The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation
Host & Executive Producer: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Executive Producers: Joan Lynch and Melissa Panzer
Theme Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4.0
Download the transcript for this podcast here.
You can check out all the other podcasts at this link: Work in Progress podcasts