Work in Progress GS301

CES 2024: ‘AI is the buzzword’

A conversation with Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association

In this episode of the Work in Progress podcast for WorkingNation, we travel to the largest technology show in the world – CES 2024 in Las Vegas – to talk to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), about the impact of technology on the way we do our jobs and what job skills we’re going to need in the future.

CES, produced by the nonprofit CTA, showcases companies from around the world, including manufacturers, developers and suppliers of technology hardware, software, content, technology delivery systems, and more.

“AI is the buzzword for CES 2024,” Shapiro tells me.

From manufacturing to health care to cybersecurity, most of the 4,000 exhibitors on the showroom floor are highlighting how they are changing their industry using advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Here is some of Shapiro’s thoughts on the power of AI and the impact on the way we work and live.

“AI has been around for a while, but what’s changed in the last year or so is that generative AI has come along with ChatGPT, available to anyone who wants to download it, and, now, there’s some other competitors out there. It basically can create things and learn from them based on feedback, which I think is a good thing. Certainly, 99.99% of the uses of this learning AI is such that it’ll be very positive.

“I think the long-term future potential is combining AI and robotics, which is what a self-driving car is. But to take that one step further, there would be all sorts of devices and things which provide service and mobility.

“They’ll move some of the horrible jobs of society that are perhaps more dangerous. Clearly, it started out years ago with bomb disposal units. Why should a human sacrifice their lives in the hope they’re saving others, or their limbs, when a machine could do a lot of that, perhaps, with greater accuracy.

“In every area of endeavor where people are getting hurt, or injured, or they’re getting sick which is avoidable, I think we have an opportunity there with AI. And then, of course, some of the business processes that we all deal with in our jobs, those can be made more efficient with AI.”

Shapiro adds that in addition to highlighting the latest tech innovations using AI, CES is examining all tech’s potential impact on basic human securities – community security, health security, political security, environmental security.

“You combine these technologies in incredible ways and the future for eliminating human suffering, improving the human condition, solving fundamental global problems with technology, is absolutely amazing.”

Listen to the podcast here, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also find the conversation on our new Work in Progress YouTube channel.

Episode 301: Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association
Host & Executive Producer: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Theme Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4
Transcript: Download the transcript for this episode here
Work in Progress Podcast: Catch up on previous episodes here