Tech CEO Says AI Will Give Workers ‘Superpowers,’ Is ‘Crazy Powerful’

  • Job van der Voort, CEO of HR-tech company Remote, says AI will give workers “superpowers.”
  • He said Remote made an AI bot for staff that helps them complete tasks faster and more accurately.
  • Van der Voort said he thinks AI won’t replace workers but will instead transform their jobs.

The CEO of an HR-tech company says that AI will “transform every single business going forward” and give workers “superpowers.”

Job van der Voort said that staff use AI to search through information in its databases on a daily basis at Remote, his HR company that helps firms employ people globally by managing their payroll, benefits, compliance, and taxes.

AI “gives you superpowers,” van der Voort said. “It’s crazy powerful.”

Though companies have been using AI for years, OpenAI’s launch of ChatGPT in November has ushered in a new era of so-called generative AI that creates text and images based on prompts. Google has also debuted its own generative AI, Bard, while Microsoft has launched an AI-powered version of Bing.

Generative AI platforms like these have been used by students to write essays, news outlets to publish articles, and job hunters to craft résumés and cover letters.

But critics say that AI can plagiarize material and develop bias, and some companies have warned their employees against using generative AI to help them with their jobs, with Amazon telling employees not to share confidential information with ChatGPT.

The platform has been taken offline in Italy and tech CEOs, software engineers, and professors including Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak have signed an open letter calling for a six-month pause on advanced AI development.

AI “is going to transform every single business going forward, I think without any exception,” van der Voort said. “This technology will change every business and all of our business in the most meaningful way possible.”

He said that Remote had created an internal AI bot using company databases that staff can use to get information about sick pay in Ireland or sabbatical-leave policies in Tanzania, for example, which they can then share with clients, he said. It saves staff time and helps make their work more accurate, van der Voort added.

The bot also tells staff when it doesn’t know the answer, rather than making one up, which can be a problem with these kind of models, van der Voort said.

Van der Voort, who has a background in neuroscience, was one of the first employees of software company GitLab and went on to become its VP of product. He started setting up Remote in 2019, and it was valued at more than $3 billion last year.

AI won’t replace humans

One of the biggest concerns about AI is that it could end up pushing people out of jobs, with Goldman Sachs estimating that it could impact 300 million full-time jobs worldwide. Legal and finance jobs are among the most at risk, studies suggest.

But rather than replacing people’s jobs completely, van der Voort said said that AI would instead cause a redeployment of the workforce. Humans will spend more time doing tasks that require more communication or creative skills rather than simple or monotonous work, he said.

“I think simple administrative work will disappear because an AI can just take it on quite easily,” he continued. “Bill Gates has similarly said that in the future, ChatGPT would be like “having a white-collar worker available to help you.”

Van der Voort said that Remote uses AI to automatically generate email responses to customers but that these are read by a member of staff before they’re sent.

“In a year or two from now at the latest, we’ll have an AI just answering any email directly if it is confident about it,” he said. “And if it’s not, then it will escalate it to a human.”

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