AI BOOGEYMAN — Introduction

Dispelling Fake News About Job Losses
By AI Practitioner of 30+ Years

Honesty is in short supply these days. Yet its scarcity is well compensated by an abundance of fake news, fake data, fake policies, fake flattery, fake apologies, fake advice, fake smiles, fake hair, fake boobs … should I go on?

Whether you have a job or plan to get one soon — chances are that you have many questions about the impact of AI on the job market. You’re not alone. So, treat my book as: “The Honest Advice For The Fake World”

Driven by a burning desire, I decided to write an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Business Book that is:

• As profound as “Good To Great”

• As provocative as “Zero To One”

• As powerful as “Blue Ocean Strategy”

I view book publishing as an entrepreneurial venture, too. As such, my book needs to offer a unique value proposition to a reader, and in order to sell — a strong brand. I view this book as … an ANXIETY BUSTER!

“AI BOOGEYMAN — Dispelling Fake News About Job Losses” will dismiss an unprecedented onslaught of doom and gloom predictions — from a unique perspective of a seasoned AI practitioner. It’s time to focus my readers on what’s notable and skip the noise!

You may ask: why to call this book ANXIETY BUSTER?

Well, when I ask aspiring AI entrepreneurs to clearly articulate their brand in two words, it starts with a single question:

IMHO, spreading unproven and hypothetical statistics about job losses is equivalent to spreading an airborne virus. It’s a disease — a social disease, to be precise.

Not since Y2K scare, the predictions of AI-linked job losses have turned the prophecies of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) into such a massive cottage industry.

In the past, the doom and gloom projections primarily aimed at blue-collar jobs — to be replaced by robotics and automation. Now, AI is being perceived as a threat to all — including white-collar professionals.

If you’re a doctor, a lawyer, a Fortune 500 CEO, or even a …. book publisher — sooner or later, you begin to think about how AI is going to affect your own job security. And the more mass media articles you read — the more it creeps under your skin.

Like it or not, such uncomfortable feelings can’t be easily ignored. The anxieties and confusions created by mass media articles are real. Surprised? — don’t be. It’s like hitting someone over the head with a 2x4 — and then asking politely if he/she is dizzy?

To all the economists, futurists, scientists and authors spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt about shiny robots replacing blue and white-collar professionals — I like to remind a single quote from Yogi Berra:

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”

My aim is to help separate facts from fiction. Whether you’re just entering the job market or are currently employed and concerned about losing your job in the next few years — read my book!

It’s time to share my 30+ years of AI “wisdom” with a wide audience. After all — lives will be changed … as they are changing already.

My concern, however, is that without restoring a common sense — too much energy, time and money will be wasted by both: employers and employees of many progressive businesses and institutions. In some cases — such bad decisions will bring devastating consequences.

In many ways, the present AI craze resembles the “.com” bubble of the late 1990s. And yet, there is one fundamental difference:

· During the “.com” bubble, many of the rising stars such as eBay and amazon sold EXISTING products and services on the Internet.

· Many of the aspiring amazon “wannabes”, however — died not because of the non-existing technology, but due to their lousy and dreadful business models.

AI offerings are different. Few and far between existing products are actually working. Most of the lauded opportunities are nothing more than glorified Promissory Notes … and plenty of hand-waving.

Reason being, neural networks are trained on labeled data — lots of it. In many cases, reliable training and testing data sets still do not exist, yet.

IMHO, the book publishing industry is no different than any other market segment. Successful authors are no different than a successful physicist, or musicians. In the end, it all boils down to …. people:

With thousands of followers on Twitter and LinkedIn — I often speak my mind without anesthetics. But first, I would like to tell you more about my unique background and life experiences:

I advise VC/CVC and Private Equity funds during due diligence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) investments. To do so, I rely on my 30-yr hands-on AI expertise. I also advise & help fund’s portfolio companies create profitable AI business models & avoid unexpected losses.

In most cases, it involves joining BODs and Advisory Boards (ABs). Frequently, I also become portfolio company’s CEO — to accelerate scale-up and expansion, with emphasis on EBITDA Growth, Revenue Acceleration, Margin Enhancement, Opening New Channels/Markets, International Expansion, Turnarounds, Brand Enhancement & Innovative Exit Strategies.

The promises of Artificial Intelligence are all around us. But you also see & hear a lot of hand-waving and “imagine-the-future” narratives. So, basically, what I do — is help separate wheat from the chaff and share my 30-year “wisdom” to distinguish facts from fiction.

Due to the nature of my work, I deal with a lot of companies in diverse markets: finance, renewable energy, infrastructure, building materials, construction, real estate, manufacturing, etc.

However, it’s the COMBINATION of my AI EXPERTISE and BUSINESS ACUMEN — that is so uniquely effective.

As so many companies are planning to further leverage AI-driven growth prospects, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of building OUTSTANDING Advisory Boards. My message is equally important to CEOs and to their financial backers:

BOD members are not your friends — they are your investors!

The only impartial advice to CEOs and VCs may come from … the Advisers they choose!

As we all know it, those who are truly open to guidance end up solving their problems much better than they would have on their own. And even by offering a sounding board, it may help companies clarify and sharpen their own thinking.

From experience, I find that even two opinions are often enough to make a better decision, especially for complex & ambiguous problems.

When I look back at my 30+ years of using PracticalAI™ in Technology, Finance & Renewable Energy (TFE) sectors — I see an evolving pattern: I learned to focus not only on making existing businesses better but also on what is missing.

I view TFE as 3 intersecting pillars of a modern business world. And such expertise, allows me to bring unique perspectives to problem-solving.

What I enjoy the most, however, is successfully porting breakthrough strategies from unrelated fields — to new markets!

Already 20 years ago, my startup: International Neural Machines Inc. (INM) — was the ONLY, product-oriented neural network AI company in Canada!

At that time, I dealt with complexities of risk management running a whole slew of Fraud Detection & Money Laundering Detection projects at financial institutions — linked to Visa Fraud at Canadian banks, World Bank, and Workers Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB).

More recently, as a founder of Canada Green ESCO Inc. (CGE), I frequently covered Climate Change and Environmental Risks — dealing with stranded assets at the largest utilities. CGE raised $1B+ in project finance linked to solar (utility-scale and distributed), wind, geothermal, Waste-To-Energy (WTE), energy efficiency, and more. It covered: equity, non-recourse debt, balance sheet financing, and tax equity.

Back in the 1990s, I also used to be an Associate Professor at The University of Waterloo, School of Optometry — and helped graduate students, to become proficient at advanced image processing.

I’ve been involved with both: the funding and the receiving end of entrepreneurship. For example: taking a tiny start-up and turning it overnight into a $125MM Market Cap entity — by merging with a publicly trading company on Toronto Stock Exchange and employing 150 people.

In addition, I’m extremely proud of the work I did at the Microelectronics and Computer Consortium (MCC) in Austin, Texas. MCC was the first, and — at one time — one of the largest, computer industry research and development consortia in the United States, headed by Navy Admiral, Bobby Inman.

At its peak, MCC housed over 400 PhDs under one roof, and I was supervising for 3 years a large group of world’s brightest neural network and Artificial Intelligence researchers — on behalf of $7B NCR Corporation.

Yet technology is only one part of a much bigger picture. After all:

The graveyards of AI innovation are full of brilliant ideas with a lousy business model — no matter the industry

When I join Advisory Boards, my aim is not to help increase revenues that year, but to set exponential growth trajectories for the next 3 years!

Yes, I’ve done it with Verizon in the past, and I’m delighted sharing with readers my personal experiences. In addition, you will also find in this book many of my comments on Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital behind Artificial Intelligence. Essentially, view it as:

Your Personal Advisory Board on PracticalAI©

Unique pattern recognition abilities allow me to see what’s still missing in describing the true meaning of AI job losses. And looking at existing problems with a pair of fresh eyes — often brings a set of creative solutions, that were never even considered in the past.

So, as far as AI Boogeyman goes, my message is quite straightforward:

Stop letting Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) to blind your professional judgment!

After all, our own brains contain more than 100 billion neurons — nothing to sneeze at! Companies and their employees may lose billions — if they try to put all eggs in a single AI basket! Or, as I often say:

“Stay curious and open-minded — but not lopsided!”

Join the movement! This book is the first step to bring urgent attention to various AI disinformation campaigns. And if AI thrives on data, then let’s see the evidence of Doom and Gloom scenarios through data — instead of guesses, hunches, and hypothetical theories.

We have enough worries as is. Nobody needs to be manipulated by the so-called “experts” — who never actually developed any viable AI application, whatsoever.

I aim at counterbalancing the empty threats of disappearing jobs linked to AI Boogeyman. And I offer real examples — in order to restore sanity. Thank you for joining me on such a rewarding journey and helping me pioneer the “resistance” to a fluffy science …

Fans, like-minded rebels, die-hard revolutionaries and … publishers sitting on the fence and waiting for the next blockbuster to miraculously emerge and fall in your lap — unite!

So, help me turn this book into a real catalyst for a much bigger movement! One day, you’ll be able to tell your grandchildren that you’ve been there, with me — from the beginning. Through crowdfunding, my aim is to identify the most dedicated supporters and to galvanize the movement — as early as possible!

The last time I checked, there was no letter “B” nor “S” in the words:

A R T I F I C I A L

I N T E L L I G E N C E

So, why should we let BS in?

Enough is enough! To paraphrase Peter Finch’s call to arms from 1976 Network movie: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Are you?

This book will help you find such a BALANCE!

Remember: baseless fear of job losses caused by AI may prevent many from embracing the natural evolution of AI capabilities. Such misplaced apprehension may lead to a long-term loss of engagement with AI innovation — by those who need it the most …

Oleg Feldgajer is President & CEO of Canada Green ESCO Inc. Oleg is positioning the company to become a leader in financing AI-enhanced green energy projects and ventures. CGE’s mission is to guide DISRUPTIVE businesses in ENERGY & TRANSPORTATION toward profitable business models. Oleg is passionate about such mission and firmly believes that without AI-based innovation, we will all prematurely choke on polluted air and dirty water. CGE delivers 100% financing (levered and unlevered) to its clients — and utilizes large equity pools, and non-recourse debt. Oleg offers creative, fresh ideas to open-minded businesses — that embrace both: logic AND opportunistic intuition. CGE stands against mediocrity & its modus operandi is quite simple: If CGE is not invited to join your BOD or Advisory Board — we failed!

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