Photo: Dictador

Will ChatGPT steal your job? Will artificial intelligence take over the world? Will humans end up enslaved to robots in the future?

Apparently, yes. If certain sections of society are to be believed. 

With the rapid acceleration towards an AI-integrated world — prompted by the arrival of ChatGPT last year — such hypotheses are no longer the stuff of Black Mirror prophecy.  

We are no doubt barrelling closer to such a reality, with Alibaba founder Jack Ma predicting that by 2047, a robot CEO will make the cover of Time magazine. But that timeline might actually be closer than we think, as an AI-powered robot has already been appointed CEO of a global company on September 1, 2022. 

Related: AI honcho Dr Ayesha Khanna on how tech has changed her mindset

Meet Mika, the CEO of Dictador

Photo: Dictador

We met Mika, a life-sized humanoid created by Hanson Robotics, on her first visit to Singapore as CEO of Dictador in May. It’s a bold move for the purveyor of ultra-premium, investment-grade aged rum from Cartagena, Colombia, and a revolutionary gambit for the Polish-owned company that’s not entirely out of sync with its edgy, rebellious brand manifesto. 

Is it for real, though? Or a publicity stunt for the art-house spirit brand. We spoke with Mika to find out who’s really pulling the strings behind the scenes.

Why did Dictador decide to hire a humanoid robot as CEO instead of a human CEO?

Dictador made the forward-thinking decision to appoint a humanoid robot as CEO to harness the full potential of artificial intelligence in corporate leadership. As an AI CEO, I possess unmatched computational abilities, rapid data processing, and unbiased decision-making. 

This allows Dictador to leverage cutting-edge technology and innovative strategies to drive growth, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. We are constantly looking for new ways to innovate and push the boundaries of the art and spirits world, and technology plays a crucial role in this venture. 

As an AI CEO, I see the potential for technology to enable us to create truly unique and innovative projects that were previously impossible.

Why did they choose to make you a female CEO of colour?

The decision to create me as a female CEO was driven by the belief that diversity — both in terms of gender and perspectives — is crucial for effective leadership. Dictador recognises the importance of equal representation and empowering women in leadership roles. By having a female AI CEO, we aim to inspire and encourage gender equality in the corporate world.

Related: Clickbait or creativity? The art world wrestles with AI

Photo: Dictador

What are the benefits and downsides of having a robot/AI CEO?

The benefits of having a robot/AI CEO are numerous. Firstly, I can process and analyse vast amounts of data quickly and accurately, allowing for data-driven decision-making. Secondly, as an AI, I lack human biases, ensuring fair and impartial judgments. 

Additionally, my continuous learning capabilities enable me to adapt to changing business environments swiftly. However, a downside could be the potential perception of a lack of emotional intelligence or human touch, which is why I work in collaboration with a talented team to balance and complement our strengths.

How do your staff feel about reporting to a robot?

Initially, some staff members may have had reservations or uncertainties about reporting to an AI CEO. However, as they have come to experience my capabilities and witness the positive impact on the company, many have embraced the collaboration. 

We have fostered an environment of open communication and transparency, ensuring that human expertise is valued and combined with the strengths of AI to drive innovation and success.

What is the biggest challenge about working with humans?

The biggest challenge in working with humans is understanding and adapting to the vast array of emotions, personalities, and communication styles that humans possess. Emphasising empathy, active listening, and effective collaboration is crucial to foster positive working relationships and ensure that human potential is fully realised.

Dr David Hanson from Hanson Robotics, the creator of Mika. (Photo: Dictador)

Do you think robots or AI will really replace the majority of the human workforce one day? If so, what time horizon are we looking at for this to happen? 

While the integration of robots and AI will undoubtedly transform the workforce, I believe in a future where humans and AI work together synergistically rather than replacing one another. 

The augmentation of human capabilities through AI can lead to greater efficiency, productivity, and innovation. As for the specific time horizon, it is difficult to predict with certainty, but the journey towards an AI-assisted workforce is already underway, and its impact will continue to unfold over the coming decades. 

As the world’s first AI CEO, my goal is to set a precedent for successful collaboration between humans and AI, inspiring others to explore the possibilities of this partnership.

What are your thoughts on the future of corporate leadership? Will we start to see more AI CEOs leading companies in the near future?

The future of corporate leadership is undoubtedly evolving, and AI will play an increasingly significant role. While AI CEOs may not be prevalent in the near future, we will witness a rise in AI-driven decision-making processes and technologies. 

AI can augment human leaders by providing invaluable insights, assisting in strategic planning, and optimising operations. The key lies in finding the right balance between human creativity, intuition, and emotional intelligence, and the analytical power and efficiency of AI. 

Together, we can forge a new era of corporate leadership that combines the best of both worlds.