Episode III - AI agents in the workplace


Dennis R. Mortensen

During a conversation with Dennis Mortensen, CEO and founder of x.ai, we explored the way artificial intelligence will influence our workplace in the future. Dennis Mortensen is very optimistic regarding AI and argues that things will actually not change much with AI agents in the office. However, he strongly believes that employees will be empowered by AI - not outcompeted.

“Bring your own device revolution”

We all know the impact technology has had on our lives and especially on our work lives. We send, tweet, schedule and calculate with ever more speed and ease. And it’s all thanks to technology. Just a couple of years ago, it was unthinkable to bring your own device to work, but now it is quite common to bring a personal laptop to the office and work from there. People choose the tools that fit their needs and are empowered by these tools.

AI - friend or threat?

But where does technology stop being a friendly helper and start being a competitive workforce out to replace us?

Dennis Mortensen is not in doubt; AI will help employees reach their full potential. He believes that in the near future, employees will bring AI assistants to work - just like people are now bringing their own devices to the workplace.

“So this is not about taking away jobs. This is about giving back time to otherwise smart people.”

Dennis believes that AI will in fact empower employees and give them time to do things for which they were hired. He believes that humans should spend their time on strategy and making decisions - not scheduling meetings and calculating things that an AI agent could do in a second. Humans should ask the great questions, which is where the true value of the human brain lies, Dennis argues.

So how do you evaluate employees who use AI agents?

The use of AI in the workplace leads to new standards when evaluating employees. The value of an employee will now also consist of the contribution of the AI agents belonging to that employee as a result of how he/she used them. By using AI agents employees will be more efficient and valuable.

“And then I think the exciting part will be: So how do I evaluate your contribution to the firm? Is that just you, your education, your experience and your skill sets? Or is it you plus all the agents, which you employ and how you trained them?”

In this way your AI agents will become part of your resume, just like your skill set. By employing these AI agents themselves, people engage in a bottom-up approach and according to Dennis Mortensen, this is the best way to empower employees.

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