Podcast Episode 18

AI and The Job Market: AI Startups, Job Displacements, and The Future of Work

In this enlightening podcast episode, host Ryan Davies engages in a dynamic dialogue with Anderson Amaral, an accomplished tech leader with a wealth of experience. Together, they explore the complex interplay of artificial intelligence (AI), job markets, and entrepreneurial endeavors. Anderson, a co-founder of a stealth-mode AI startup and a distinguished freelancer on Upwork, shares profound insights into the evolving landscape of AI startups and their profound influence on the job market. The conversation delves into the nuances of AI applications, the potential for job displacement, and the broader implications for the future of work. Tune in for a comprehensive exploration of the tech business world, where AI innovation meets the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.

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Ryan: I’m your host, Ryan Davies, and today I’m hosting our discussion with Anderson Amaral Anderson. Thank you so much for joining.

Anderson: You’re welcome. I’m excited to be here again.

Ryan: I am super excited to get to talk about our topic. Our discussion today is about AI and the job market, AI startups, job displacements, and the future of work. This is a huge topic when we’re talking about tech business and AI and Anderson. I know you’ve had a career. You’ve held a lot of leadership roles as the head of data and credit engine at major fintech companies like Stone and Pick Pay. You ventured into entrepreneurship. You’re now the co-founder of a stealth mode AI startup and lead a diverse and expert team in creating innovative, scalable AI products for various domains. Twenty-six years of coding experience and 15 years of building and managing data teams really helped digital transformation companies embrace data-driven environments. Top-rated plus freelancer on Upwork. You’re in data science, data mining analysis, credit modeling, fraud prevention chatbots, you name it. This is the guy that we want to talk to about this. Anderson. Thanks so much for being here. Is there anything I missed in the bio and background that you want to add for our listeners to kind of color up a little bit more about your expertise and, really, what you’ve experienced with this AI in the job market so far,

Anderson: Ryan, you mentioned half of my life, right? Actually, I am also a full-time dad and a brown belt in jiu-jitsu Brown belt. So, like as a brown belt, I spend a lot of time training as well. So, I train jitsu every single day. I think it makes me ready to face the AI workup for the rest of the day.

Ryan: Good for you, man. Like, I mean, we talked about that before we started talking here about both being dads and the time commitment from work to being a dad and finding that personal time. So that is a huge thing to kind of put yourself into and, again, give you a little bit of break from AI and everything that’s happening. But we really want to talk today heavily about AI again and the job market. So, there are AI startups that are impacting the job market. People are worried about what the future of work looks like, but where I want to start is really around those job displacements. And you shared an amazing couple of amazing stats with me. One from Gardner, you know, 50 million new jobs are expected from AI globally by the end of the decade here. But the one that really drove me there that I love is that 62% of people feel AI is going to create more jobs overall. Well, 47% of people think AI is coming for their job. It’s a threat to their job security. So we’ve got quite two sides of the coin on that one where, hey, new jobs are coming, but also, at the same time, my job might not exist anymore. So give me your thoughts on when you see stats like that with your experience.

AI’s Impact on Job Displacements

Anderson: Yeah. Like I would tell you, it could probably be the one where we can clone your voice for the good or the bad. You know, you are successful here. We can make sure we have enough data to clone your voice. The same with me, right? And you could just let them see how creative they can get. It’s crazy to think about that, but it’s a fact. It’s something that is really going to happen. So, on top of that news, I have another one from the World Economic Forum. It’s pretty much the same, you know, 54% of business leaders believe AI will create more jobs than it destroys 54 54%. But at the same time, 42% of businesses are concerned about the implications of AI, right? When it comes to the environment, it’s important to think about who will be using products, who will be affected if jobs are lost, and who will step in to address these changes. Losing jobs is a concern for 4 to 7% of people, and it’s something we need to consider. Many people are uncertain about the future, and there’s a fear of losing jobs and the impact it might have on creating new ones. For example, here, as an AI programmer and AI coder, I can tell you that an agent can do most of the things that I do as well. So even if we work in technology, we can do that. How can I say you are more productive? As an entrepreneur, you don’t need a front-end developer, for example, if you need five of them before now. But then there’s something that Microsoft created, and it’s open source. So, even though it was created by Microsoft, anyone can use it. Other examples from University Chinese companies and et cetera are open for everyone to use, which are called outdoor agents. I’m just giving you one example in a certain industry. In the tech industry, there are limits to what we can do.

The question is whether it’s creating new jobs or if we have to create our own opportunities. Personally, I’m not too optimistic about it. The speed at which AI is advancing is faster than our ability to learn new skills quickly. It’s unrealistic to think that the 50 million jobs projected by the end of the decade can all be filled. According to McKinsey, there might not be enough people for all those jobs. We can’t rely on someone else to figure it out. All jobs are important, but someone working in a petrol station does not necessarily need to study as much as the one who is studying with a who’s working with AI. So we should not expect all those people are going to be ready to occupy those job positions. So I don’t think I’m as optimistic as some leaders, but at the same time, as an entrepreneur, of course, I’m happy because now I can create things faster with less budget. Consequently, I don’t rely that much on investors like I used to do in the past, for example.

Ryan: I think that’s an important thing to consider. We were just taught. You were just touching on it. Here are two things that people need to consider in this space: what’s the impact on headcount, and what’s the impact on job rules? And I think a lot of an AI’s job is to assist us and upskill us. Take away those meaningful, menial, draining tasks sometimes or repetitive tasks or research-driven tasks, which AI is so strong at now, and be able to change people and adapt to what the new roles would look like. I mean, we came from an age of print, which turned into radio, which turned into TV, which turned into the internet, which turned into AI now, which is kind of the upscaling of it. And each time people went well, this is it; everything’s changing, but it created a different role and a different skill set for people. You mentioned coming into this: you’ve done startups, you’ve had it where you’ve upped your headcount, you’ve been able to reduce your headcount because of it, which has allowed you to scale faster and, in turn, up your headcount again. So give us a little bit about that journey and what your thoughts are of these changing job roles that you’re seeing and being able to fill those.

The Future of Work and New Opportunities

Anderson: No excellent point that I mentioned exactly if I’m lowering some positions, let’s say if I need no longer five from 10 developers, or I can spend that somewhere else, especially from an early stage. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be hiring people. In my case, for example, the less I spend with the developer, the more I spend with marketing with growth. So, this is not my core area. Consequently, other companies that might be automating their marketing product and so on might also benefit from the fact that I’m putting my company’s money into their company. So we see that the money goes around. Still, I understand that, and in new job positions, they are going to be more specific in the niche. Some things, of course, are very hard to automate, and some people want eye-to-eye conversation; they won’t close a deal with you without that. Some services and products are like that. So, let’s just think about, in general, you’re not going to have from, one day to another, a hairdresser, as a robot, you’re not going to have that. Some things are going to be really difficult to automate, such as someone who can really cook nice food for top restaurants.

Anderson: That’s not possible to be automated. So, a lot of main job positions that maybe we have not paid attention to in the last decade. All of us in the tech industry are being paid well, just like the financial market. Now they’re going to be in evidence, and we’re going to see it again. For example, I have a yoga instructor, and she’s amazing. And I mean, like, I’m 40 years old now, so I’m seeing what my body can do, etcetera. I cannot manage it. She’s very busy, and she has different entrepreneurs as clients as well. So, at six am in the morning, I’m there learning my yoga, practicing yoga, and so on; that’s not a job that can be automated. So when I see the new jobs being created in AI, I know that they might not last long either. For example, I think just 12 months ago, everyone was talking about prompt engineering. That would be a job, the ability to ask exactly the AI what you want. This is not a job anymore.

Anderson: Like you have to be good no matter your background; you have to be good at explaining what you want. And that the cure for life is not only between you and AI. If you don’t know what you want, you’re probably not going to have the level of success at your workplace, your life, and your relationships. So that’s something you expected. People are realizing that prompt engineering is just a way of talking to a guy. So it was what everyone was talking about in some magazines as well. I’m not going to mention it, but everyone is saying, oh, prompt Engineering is paid up to $200,000 a year, and now it is no longer true. So, it’s hard to predict which jobs are going to be created and which are going to be destroyed. I gave some examples here. I like agents who can be created for some skills. So yes, I think of clerks. For example, if you’re a small business, you don’t need someone there sitting 9 to 5 just answering phone calls and booking meetings for you. You no longer need that. You can easily have one that allows you to take a look at your calendar and book meetings according to availability and at the same time reply to phone calls, giving budget to clients saying the services that you offer that subject. It’s easy to create. On the flip side, there are tools for programmers, like a top-notch virtual assistant from a great Italian team. I’ve personally used their product for one of my businesses. You just provide your name and industry, and they conduct thorough research for you, which would normally take weeks. Of course, it comes at a cost, but then you have all the information you need about your market, share, property, success factors, and competitors. So even if you see yourself replaced by AI, I think the best ones are going to have the. Imagine if someone leaves their job; it means there’s an opportunity for someone else to step in, maybe even in a different field or business. I’m optimistic about this because I believe everyone has a hidden talent. Personally, if I weren’t in technology, I’d probably be a competitive jiu-jitsu athlete or involved in MMA since I love sports like boxing. In the past, if I had to switch from being an entrepreneur in tech, I’d likely be working in the sports industry.

Influence of AI Startups on the Job Market

Ryan: Yeah, I agree. As you mentioned, there’s always a way to pivot and learn something new. Jobs in AI engineering, machine learning, and data science consistently rank high on job lists like Indeed’s. These fields are where the future is heading. You also brought up the impact of AI startups on the job market, and I’d like to explore that further. Given your involvement in this space, how do you see the rise of AI startups influencing the job market, and what has been your experience in this dynamic sector?

Anderson: Great! I recently had a conversation with a client from Australia. In addition to my work with ST mode startups, I also run a software house, which is a significant source of revenue for me. One of my Australian clients has an agile service platform. Would you like me to share the brand names with you?

Ryan: Oh, absolutely. Yeah.

Anderson: Sure, I can mention several brands, but let’s keep it confidential. Recently, a client asked for help automating her tasks on Monday.com. She was finding it confusing and wanted to ensure that her team was on track. In just a few hours, we created a tool that could understand her voice commands, adding the specific tasks she needed. She works in real estate and uses it to manage projects like creating new apartments. For instance, she might say, “Start a new project for 100 apartments next month, aiming to sell at least 10% by the end of the year.

After signing an NDA, we transcribed her voice and automated her tasks on Monday.com. It’s amazing to think about the potential cost savings for her. She’s in the early stages and initially hesitated due to the expense. I explained that despite the upfront cost, it’s more cost-effective than hiring people for the same tasks. This is just one example of how people are starting businesses by leveraging AI. As we discussed before, there are AI solutions for various needs, allowing you to focus on your core business and innovate. I truly believe we’ll see many successful companies emerging next year, maybe not all worth a billion dollars, but definitely creating significant impact. So, concerning that matter, I’m certainly optimistic.

Utilizing AI Tools in Business

Ryan: I want to touch on that, too. So in the world of. I was going to say for startups. For people that are starting up, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true. It’s for any stage you are because we have listeners at all stages of the journey that are looking to, like you just said, how do I automate a process? How can I save in one area so I can spend that budget in another area? Maybe, again, it’s hiring that person. It’s on maybe the non-AI side of things around HR or different art, you know, type of things that you need to be able to build even though that all exists now, too, but how do you find those tools? What’s your recommendation? So when people are coming to you, and I don’t want you to spill your secrets here, obviously. But from that side of things, I’m trying to scale any stage of your business journey on how they can take advantage of AI to create more jobs around other areas of their business and have AI take some of those other tasks off some of the ideas.

Anderson: No, excellent question. Actually, a lot of things that we might find hard, we have to think. Is there any possibility of automating that? For example, in my case, even though I’m a technical person, I used to find it very difficult to develop areas. People are saying that setup, which is a position, usually involves very expensive guys working with cyber security and so on. In my free time, between work and spending time with my daughter, I’ve been diving into advanced cybersecurity using AI. It’s all about considering if an idea is feasible, how challenging it is, and leveraging specific AI models. Technology has evolved a lot, with new models emerging daily that are tailored to specific tasks. This got me thinking about something seemingly difficult a few years ago—like starting a podcast. Is it really that hard? I used to think about creating a podcast in the past, but I never attempted it because I thought it was too hard. Even when people invited me to join their podcasts, I hesitated, thinking about the recording process, removing background noise, finding sponsors, and the time it takes. Nowadays, with tools like Anchor, it might be getting easier, but I still haven’t mustered the courage to start one myself. I think a lot. But definitely, that’s something that maybe someone is now listening to us. I should start a podcast as well.

Startup Progression and Rapid Advancements

Ryan: Yeah, I mean, it’s all about. One of the biggest things about AI that I love is that it’s so community-based, and everybody wants to share what they’ve got to help other people succeed and grow further. Because everybody, traditionally in business, it’s, again, I hold things close to my chest, and I don’t want to give up any information or whatever. Whereas this is, like you said, there’s an AI for that is a look, if you’re looking, if you have a problem, there’s likely a solution here, if you have a problem and there is a solution here. Well, now you maybe have a business model and have already started an ideation where you can take it, right? And build off of that. So I absolutely think that’s one of the great things, and I’d love to have another. Maybe I’ll get to be a guest somewhere someday on something about how to host a podcast or something along those lines. I believe it boils down to this, right? With new ideas and rapid advancements, do you think startups can now catch up and progress faster? Can they expand their influence on job opportunities and contribute to both the AI and overall job market more rapidly, thanks to the available tools?

Anderson: Without a doubt, I strongly believe that nowadays, you don’t have to rely heavily on venture capital. You can turn a profit from the very first month or even the first week. Personally, in my past four startups, I always needed investors. However, my current venture is not reliant on VC funding at the moment. Of course, I’m open to discussions, and if someone interested in my company is listening, let’s connect and have a conversation. In the past, I created a company named HS, representing AI in Portuguese. Initially, I started with 30 people, including developers, data engineers, and data scientists. Now, I can achieve similar results with maybe just one person, thanks to advanced tools like output agents. Despite being a business entrepreneur, I’m also quite technical—I’ve been coding for the past six years. I can tell you all agents, either with genes from Microsoft or Auto Agents in general, are created by people and are open-source; they can be trained to be whatever you want in the tech industry. So you no longer need a big team like that. Absolutely, if you have a great idea and truly believe in it, investing time is crucial—it’s often the most valuable asset for many people. With time invested, you can create something impactful. However, it’s important to note that some ventures are still risky, especially if you’re entering an unfamiliar market. I’ve noticed many people working on things that can easily be created by someone else. For instance, this week, there’s a lot of buzz about DBT4, allowing you to upload and calculate PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, and more. Many startups are relying on tools like this, which were not available before. If your business relies solely on DBT4 or any other API, it’s unlikely to be a sustainable venture. These tools can be supportive, but they don’t showcase your creativity or the core intelligence behind your business. Many startups, even those that have received funding, may eventually realize they need to pivot from their original idea. On the flip side, companies with entirely different ideas, especially those not centered around AI, often have a better path forward. For instance, someone wanting to create a new type of bread might find success in a unique and less competitive space. Instead of obsessing over whether to choose model A or B from Hugging Face and OpenAI, I believe it’s crucial to focus on automating the bread-making process to keep costs low. The food industry remains important because people will always need to eat, even as AI evolves over the next ten years. By concentrating on fulfilling basic needs like food, I’m confident you’ll find a sustainable path forward.

Ryan: That’s a fantastic summary of what we discussed. If people, whether they’re venture capitalists or others, want to connect with you, learn more about your businesses, or tap into your wealth of information, how can they get in touch with you? Where can our listeners find you?

Anderson: Oh, great. I hope people find me through this podcast. They can look for us on Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts. So they can find us and see our names. I’m on LinkedIn. So people can easily find me, Anderson L. I’m going to be there and have a good number of followers, around over 2000, yeah, 12,000, actually. And most of them are data-related people, so I see that. For example, I have some posts about how data scientists and data leaders see me. So, I have a very qualified audience. And, of course, if I see something wrong, they are going to be the first to point the finger as well. So, I really like talking to people from my industry. So they can find my LinkedIn easily as Anderson Amaral and I own a software house named ScoraS Bot. It’s one of my companies like delivery bought as a service, right? So we are handling many types of service. This company is aligned with the idea of democratizing AI through a subscription service. For instance, if you own a bakery and don’t want to hire an AI team to automate your processes, you can use our service. It’s cost-effective, as you don’t need to invest a large sum upfront. Instead, you pay a monthly fee based on your performance. If you sell more bread and generate higher revenue, your monthly payment adjusts accordingly. This approach has been adopted by one of my companies. That’s the idea. Ok, let’s see how you can make that. Maybe instead of paying for an app delivering bread, you can just talk through WhatsApp telegram and have the owner’s voice there, negotiating a price to sell your suppliers, etc. That’s just an example. So, they find more links in talking about AI nearly every day.


Ryan: Love it. That’s amazing. So be sure to reach out to Anderson Amaral. If you’re seeking AI advisory skills, expertise in large language models, chatbots, or anything related to data science and analysis, you should connect with Anderson. He’s a top-rated freelancer on Upwork, and it seems there’s nothing he can’t handle in this space. For our listeners, Anderson is a valuable resource, so don’t hesitate to reach out and tap into his wealth of knowledge. I want to express my gratitude to Anderson for joining us today on this insightful podcast about AI, the job market, startups, job displacements, and the future of work. Thank you so much for being here; it’s always a pleasure talking with you.

Anderson: I really enjoy discussing statistics and delving into the job market, providing sources to help everyone understand the ongoing conversations. Today, we’ve clarified things a bit and aligned our perspectives, ensuring that listeners and people, in general, are on the same page regarding the uncertainties of the future. Make sure to stay informed by tuning in to podcasts like Ryan Davie’s here, gathering as much information as you can, and forming your own opinions about the future. That’s the best approach. Once again, it’s been a pleasure talking with Ryan Davies, and I look forward to knowing that good people will be listening to our conversation.

Ryan: Absolutely. I mean, that’s what we’re here for, right? The tech business round table. The whole point is us all sitting and sharing information, like you just said, gathering that information, learning more, and making informed decisions, Anderson. We’re going to have you back. I know that before we started this podcast recording, we had a list of topics. So we’re not done with you yet. Anderson Amaral. Thank you again for being here. We will definitely have you back on the TBR podcast until we meet again for another amazing TBR episode. I am your host, Ryan Davies. Thanks, everybody. Stay curious; be kind out there. Take care.

About Our Host and Guest

Director of Marketing – Ekwa.Tech & Ekwa Marketing
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“4% of business leaders believe AI will create more jobs than it destroys 54%. But at the same time, 42% of businesses are concerned about the actual implication of AI.”

– Anderson Amaral –