Delivering classes in LU summer school about AI workers

Automation and robotics student Dominik from Poland had always a correct answer for any question. On the photo receiving a certification from prof Henrijs Kalkis (LU, on the right) and Ance Saulite (LU, in the middle).

… It was 10:02 on Monday morning and I had just finished a lavish breakfast table at Belleveu hotel restaurant, Riga (Latvia). My phone rang and it was prof. Kalkis, starting the phone courteously asking how was my arrival to Riga. I replied accordingly, thanking for the invitation and expressing my best interest towards the summer school. He asked, when I am arriving to the site and I replied that as my session is to start later that day, I would join them in a couple of hours. He replied with a surprise “You are the first presenter!”. It turned out that I had misunderstood the agenda, as the first names where just delivering welcome words. I replied “I am close and will be there in 10 minutes!” Well, it was more like 18 minutes. Although Jelgavas iela 1 (University of Latvia) was about a kilometer away, there was morning traffic. I reached the seventh floor of the LU House of Nature and saw the professor finishing a very long introduction of myself.

In this week, 3-7.june 2024 I participated in University of Latvia (LU) summer school “Human Factors and Effective Business Management” (ERASMUS BIP WEEK) and delivered AI related lectures and practices.

Monday’s LECTURE SESSION was titled “Replacing human workers with Virtual Assistants – what can businesses win or lose”
In this two lecture session, we discussed the impact of AI on the job market, highlighting roles likely to be replaced by automation within the next five years, such as data entry clerks and truck drivers. We examined the parallels between current technological advancements and historical industrial revolutions, noting the dynamic shifts in labor demand. The Wendy’s order-taking chatbot exemplifies how AI is being implemented in everyday tasks. We also explored the concept of augmented workers, where AI amplifies human capabilities, offering opportunities for digitization and efficiency in business processes. Lastly, we addressed the future of work, focusing on how AI will increasingly handle specialized tasks and decision support, transforming various industries.

Students answered a poll question “jobs that are at high risk of being automated by AI within the next 5 years” (Mentimeter)

Tuesday’s PRACTICE SESSION “Using BPM+LLM for customer complaint handling”
In our two practical classes, we prototyped an LLM-based automation system for handling customer complaints, following the BPMN model steps. We set up Google Sheets and used Apps Scripts (JavaScript) to manage and process customer inquiries received via email or text. By crafting prompts, we guided the LLM to generate responses, applying rule-based filters to evaluate if the resolution was sufficient. If the LLM provided an acceptable solution, it was recorded and sent to the customer; otherwise, the case was forwarded to a human agent. This exercise demonstrated effective prompting techniques and the integration of rule-based filters to automate customer service processes.

After submitting their works, Polish automation and robotics students were about to leave, but all gathered in a group at the door and waited for me. I was first unsure what they were waiting for and went to talk to them. They had all a big smile and one of them replied “We now know how to set up our own business”. They referred to a new type of business which is manned by virtual workers – a topic we covered in a lecture on a previous day. I understood immediately – a lecture talk is nice to listen, but having a practical experience of setting up your own virtual agents, really empowered them. I shook everybody’s hand, thanked them for the participation in the class and wished them happy summer. For the rest of the day, I had a big smile also.