Sultan Nazrin says empathy, cultural understanding crucial in facing technological uncertainties

Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah says empathy and cultural understanding are important as humanity faces various uncertainties in a more connected world. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, June 10, 2023.

WHILE the world is more connected by technology, transport, business and personal links, empathy and cultural understanding are important as humanity faces various uncertainties, Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah said.

Delivering a royal address at the Asia School of Business graduation ceremony for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) class of 2023 today, His Royal Highness said among the uncertainties and risks are those from artificial intelligence (AI), geopolitics and impacts from the climate crisis.

“To steer humanity through these challenging times, what we need perhaps even more than the excellent understanding of business attained through your MBA programmes is compassion, togetherness, and above all a sense of global community.

“We need to be aware of this community as perhaps never before – extending our concerns and applying our responsibilities not only to the rest of humanity, but to all other living creatures in the world, and to the planet itself,” he said

He added that new developments in technology such as generative AI are unfolding where the unpredictable process is rapidly rendering existing jobs obsolete while previously unheard-of jobs are being created due to the fast rate of change.

“In the post-pandemic era, various hybrid forms of work are already here to stay, while other high-tech adaptations are on the horizon, from business meetings in virtual reality to AI-driven customer service agents to marketing in the metaverse.

“Your generation and beyond will inhabit these as yet unimagined worlds of technological innovation, which may be quite alien to those of my generation and before,” he said.

He pointed out that rapid technological development, especially generative AI tools and chatbots such as ChatGPT are being hailed as a saviour for humanity as these tools massively boost productivity, are time savers and create efficiencies across all kinds of processes, as well as spark ideas for anyone struggling with writer’s block.

However, the Perak ruler said AI tools can become a downfall for the community as they can reshape a multitude of aspects that are beyond the workplace in unprecedented and unsettling circumstances because as generative AI progresses, especially in combination with other advancing elements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, this is only the beginning.

“Therefore, empathy, ethics, practical hands-on skills and an academic grounding are part of the legacy you are taking with you from here as you graduate,” he added.

Drawing on Academy Award-winning actress Michelle Yeoh’s speech at the Harvard Law School Class of 2023, Sultan Nazrin complimented her advice on “how to survive the fall” and get back up again as she recounted her experience of moving unexpectedly from a career in dance to an actress by taking on industry barriers.

“If you want to learn about falling and bouncing back, whether metaphorically or physically, I urge you to look up Yeoh’s wonderful speech. So, instead, after much deliberation, I have decided to offer you this small piece of guidance that resonates with my own life’s journey: keep learning,” he added. – Bernama, June 10, 2023.

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