Leaders Shaping the Digital Landscape
April 6, 2023

The Future of Tech

Welcome to Tech Leaders Unplugged, where we will delve into the thought-provoking topic of "Will AI Reshape Everything?"

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and join us for a fireside chat with Tullio Siragusa, CSMO of LogiGear Corporation, along with a distinguished lineup of featured guests: Brenda Armstrong, Client Services Ambassador, Wade Erickson, Sr VP of Global Business Development, Adam Wendel, Customer Success Manager and Bill Vannerus, Engineering Services Delivery at LogiGear.

We'll explore how artificial intelligence is transforming the landscape of products and services, and its potential to reshape the way we conduct business... and our world.

Tune in and get ready for an engaging conversation.

A fireside chat with Tullio Siragusa, CSMO of LogiGear Corp, and distinguished guests: Brenda Armstrong, Wade Erickson, Adam Wendel, & Bill Vannerus.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover AI's transformative impact on products and services.
  • Explore its potential to revolutionize business practices.
  • Prepare for an engaging conversation on reshaping our world.

Tune in and expand your AI horizons! 🌐 #TechLeadersUnplugged


Tullio Siragusa (00:12):

And we're LIVE! Good morning or good afternoon, depending on where you're watching. This is Tulio Siragusa with Tech Leaders Unplugged. So excited to launch our very first live video podcast. We're looking forward to having an interesting conversation today. First, I want to introduce the co-hosts that are joining me to have this fireside chat. We're talking about the future of technology, and we're discussing is AI going to reshape everything so promising that it's going to be a very fun 20 to 25 minutes. Let me start off by introducing your co-host. Joining me today is Wade Erickson. Hey, Wade. How are you doing? Great. How are you doing today? Great. We have who else do we have here? We have Wade, I'm sorry, <laugh>, Adam <laugh>. Let's put the names up. Okay. We have Adam Wendell, who's joining us as well. Nothing like a live show, right?

Tullio Siragusa (01:09):

Where, where everything is seen, all the little bugs are seen. We also have Bill Vannerus joining us today, and we have, I can be here, Armstrong. Hey guys. And we have been Armstrong, everybody's here from the Logic Gear team. So thanks for coming and let's get started. So, we're going to start off the conversation today with a first question that we're going to chat about, and we've seen a lot of buzz, I don't even know if it's called Buzz anymore. It's become like daily life about chat, G p t or in general, generative ai. How it's reshaping everything that we do. And one of the first questions I want to talk about is how is that going to impact, I mean, it already is, but how's that going to impact the way we do business? You know for example as it relates to businesses using generative AI for generating content or pro-automating processes or even product design. How do we leverage this in such a way that's powerful, but at the same time, do we lose some sort of authenticity and originality by leveraging this too much? Let's start off the conversation. What do you guys think?

Brenda Armstrong (02:26):

I think that AI is definitely going to level the playing field. There's a lot of, you know, industry leaders and people who've been in this realm for a very long time and have had to learn to do these things, you know, by hand and auto. Not automatically, but by hand, manually. There you go. And now all of a sudden there's just like this new, this new cohort of rising leaders, rising stars and businesses because of leveraging AI and, you know, being able to get things done in, in a millisecond of the time. So, I definitely think it's going to, it's going to level the playing field off a lot.

Tullio Siragusa (03:00):

All right.

Wade Erickson (03:02):

Yeah. I think, you know, as you know, we looked in the past, you know, 20, 30 years really 20 years since the internet became a thing, and content became a thing. People have always just used other people's works to seed ideas and, and bring about some thoughts that they may have not you know, had on their own. And then they build on those. And so whether you are a musician, or learning your favorite musician songs, we've always modeled and used other people's products and spun that into our own. And I think that as long as we see ChatGPT and these other generative ais as a starting point, and we add our own spin on what came out of it, I think this is very positive. It raises, like Brenda said, it does raise the playing field for that seed of thought. And then how, how you take it from there is your responsibility. So it does provide some personalization. If you take something as is, you know, buyer beware <laugh>, not everything coming out of those tools is accurate, and you might be called out on it. So definitely do your homework. Use it as a tool, not the only tool. And I think we're in great shape.

Tullio Siragusa (04:27):

Yeah. I, I think it's not a replacement for what requires creative intelligence to put together. I think it's definitely a tool that can speed things up. I think of it more like an in-your-pocket analyst, if you give it the right parameters and you give it the right input, and you ask it to provide you some, some summary of, you know, maybe best practices. I think it's a super, super awesome tool. But to your point, Wade, if we start to become dependent on it, it's kind of like you, you, you start to lose that value that comes from the human input, from the, it doesn't have any emotional intelligence, let's call it what it is, right? <Laugh>, it's a tool. It's, you know, you give it input, you give it some thought, it analyzes the information and spits out how this is perhaps how you should look at this. There's more value to it than that, but I don't think it's going. I think if people are going to replace it you know, their thinking abilities, it's going to be, it's going to, we're going to have a very, very clinical kind of world, just <laugh> kind of world. All right, let's, yeah,

Bill Vannerus (05:40):

I think,

Tullio Siragusa (05:41):

Go ahead.

Bill Vannerus (05:43):

No, I think you know, you know, generative AI in your toolbox is, is definitely exciting. And, you know, I, I, I think I look forward to seeing what comes out as, you know, in, content sales and marketing. Also interesting, you know, how it could help design, but on the engineering delivery side, you know, it's all about, you know, quality-to-market, time to market, and user adoption. So that's an exciting area too, that I'm looking forward to seeing, you know, what it brings to the table. I think that there's a lot of debate out there and still remains to be seen how it can help in that area.

Adam Wendel (06:21):

Yeah, and I, I would just add too, within content creation or really customer service you know, chatbots, virtual bots, they've already been in place for a while now. And I think a lot of it's just how we maintain, our quality and authenticity and the human element to the work that goes on. You know, for me personally, like grammar correct autocorrect and emails, that, that was very helpful when that was instituted at this point, you know, sometimes the human elements kind of just a fun piece to add, but definitely compounding with ai improves our ability to reach others.

Tullio Siragusa (06:55):

All right. Let's shift gears a little bit. I think it's fair to say that some of these tools have actually outplaced certain functions, like ghost riders are probably struggling right now, you know, because you can essentially put enough parameters into this generated AI, to spit out content that you can spin into a blog, for example, or even a book. So, let's talk a little bit about how AI and automation's going to change the landscape of the workforce. So what do you think are some of the strategies that businesses can implement to adapt to these changes?

Brenda Armstrong (07:34):

I think that you should definitely use AI's like a supercharged assistant, not necessarily a leader <laugh>, but a supercharged assistant. And I think it's, it's a fortunate and unfortunate thing, like you said, for a lot of, you know, ghostwriters and people do a lot of very niche work that's manual and kind of the stuff that takes up t lot of time. AI can do it like that, and that's great for, you know, business owners, leaders who just, you know, need things done, delivered faster. However, you know, on the other side of people who actually do that work, it's I think it's a little tricky area for them trying to figure out, you know, how to, how to navigate in this new world where AI can do what they can do in a millisecond of the time.

Tullio Siragusa (08:18):

All right. What else?

Bill Vannerus (08:21):

Well, I think, I mean, it, it may be a, you know, first to market first in you know who, who has the advantage type of scenario, you know, well, it definitely levels the playing field, that's for sure. But I think, you know if leaders consider opening the door to people to have this type of tool in their toolbox, right, and provide for, you know, career path growth avenues it will really facilitate and people will really come on board with using it not only in in the gig environment but also, you know, in, in large company workplace. I think that's important.

Tullio Siragusa (09:04):

How about this scenario? I just learned, for example, that in the past 10 years, the cost of going to a restaurant in Tokyo has come down, whereas everywhere else it's gone up. Now what they've done is they've used robotics to replace a lot of the human functions and, and cut costs significantly, and have passed on the savings of those operations to customers in terms of what they're, what they're paying for, for food and services. Now, do you think that people will leverage this as a way to add more value in terms of lowering costs? I mean, we've seen inflation go up pretty high in recent years, or do you think people will leverage this opportunistically, you know, to generate more profits and possibly put some people out of work? How do we balance that out, you know, ethically, what do you guys think?

Wade Erickson (09:59):

You know, I think that's inevitable. I mean, anytime technology has been introduced, the automobile against the horse, right? You know, technology is always you know, the, the cotton gin you know, all kinds of technologies that come into our society. And, you know, we can just look even to robotic process automation that came into the lives of folks in the workplace seven years ago, probably. And although, you know, I remember, you know, people like generative ai, they said, oh, this is going to put 20 million people out of work in the next five years. That has not taken place. People have learned to partner with these man machines that interface and, and, and use these technologies to take care of the mundane just like we've always applied technology in the past. And I think as a society, we have not seen mass unemployment because of these technologies.

Wade Erickson (10:58):

Things change. People need to change with that. And so, the technology, as long as it's leveraged to, to expedite the mundane and the maybe physical and allow other people to come into the workforce we have low code, no code citizen developments the same thing too, you know, people we're concerned with programmers being replaced. And all of these things have a certain amount of governance that needs to be applied when we apply them to the workforce for automation to make sure that indeed the automation doesn't go wild and re, you know, put things into production ERP systems that shouldn't be put in place. So again, technology will always change our society, and it's, it's leveraging it. It does find its path of normalcy, and we have all kinds of concerns that people have. And I think in general people are generally honest and hardworking and, and want to see their people succeed. And technology is just paired with that to make everybody's lives better, in my opinion.

Brenda Armstrong (12:13):

Yeah. and to your point, Wade, I'm going to hop in really quick. Sorry. To your point, Wade, I love that you, you know, the perspective of it. You're absolutely right. I think that there's more than one way you can look at it. And with AI coming in, it can actually help a lot of people. You know, when AI is replacing this mundane work or the, the work, that's it, it's tedious. There you go. The tedious work, it actually, it can free up a lot of people to be able to pursue Exactly, you know, what, to expand their thinking, okay, well, I don't have to do this anymore. I can do something on a bigger scale. Maybe they can start something of their own. And I think that that's, I see the world going that way as well. Especially after Covid, the gig economy, everyone kind of finding their own their own path, creating new things. I think AI could definitely help in that aspect as well.

Adam Wendel (13:06):

I would add just one more thing too. I mean, whether it be the industrial revolution, electricity, you know, it's all about increasing efficiency and cost savings, but at the same time, that doesn't have to stop us from being able to actually personalize our products and services even more now that we have that additional capability to have AI in the conversation.

Tullio Siragusa (13:27):

Speaking of the

Bill Vannerus (13:28):

Yeah, I would agree with that. Go ahead. Yep. I definitely agree, and I think, you know, the capability of generative AI you know, taking over the, the, the mundane tasks allows, you know, for more creativity to come into the pitcher for sure, you know, across the board.

Tullio Siragusa (13:46):

Speaking of the gig economy let's talk about where the use of AI and automation has actually helped us, right? So it used to be the only way your skills can be utilized properly. You shouldn't have to be an employee of a company, stay there forever, and then potentially move somewhere else, get a promotion, and what have you. It didn't have any way to really promote yourself or even establish a self as, as a solopreneur, which is kind of a theme in the gig economy today. Now, with a lot of automation and ai, it facilitates people having access to a global pool of talent. There's even a way to facilitate payments. One could say blockchain can kind of create a worldwide payroll kind of system. So what are your thoughts in terms of how AI can, is reshaping the gig economy? What are some of the use cases you guys think that could be of value for us as individuals, and also at the same time for companies for talent, for example?

Bill Vannerus (14:54):

Well, I think initially there's probably a learning curve on how to use generative ai. So I think I mean, I think I've already seen it coming out people in the gig economy, you know, doing tutorials and such on, on how to leverage it, right? As, as we're all getting on board. So, I think that's going to be something we'll see a lot more until un until people really, you know, engage and, and really immerse themselves in it and kind of handle on it. So, I think we're going to see a, you know, probably a, a spike up in, in that type of, of, of gig or, or maybe even consulting right? On how to apply it.

Adam Wendel (15:35):

Yeah, I mean, I think it expands our ability to integrate freelancers, the gig economy into our existing workforce without the risk of saying, oh, I am handing over anything? It just, it enables more to leverage technology, streamline communication, and work together.

Wade Erickson (15:53):

Yeah, and I think the key too on the gig economy is really about outsourcing work and tasks. So far the generative AI has not replaced the actual work product, it's just assisted in the creation of the product. So, if that means that I'm not going to use a gig worker and use chat g p t to build out that marketing campaign or something that product still has to be developed. The, the, the chat G p t by itself is not going to generate the whole marketing product. So I think if, it may lower the amount of time that that gig worker needs to spend, yes, it might be a little bit reduced income, but they can actually now take on more work, build a bigger you know client base because they're more efficient, lower the costs for their customers, and in the end, we outsource for an end product.

Wade Erickson (16:46):

We, I, I don't think any of the automation in, the AI tools has built the product that is buying in and of itself the end product. So we will always need the gig workers to have more flexibility. You know, logic Gear is an outsourcing company with our talent, so we already are, you know, in that space to support our customers and freelancers you know, whether it's doing something you love alongside the job you, you have experience in, or what have you, the, you know, the opportunity to, to do gig work even driving an Uber, I mean, that's the gig economy, right? Ju Lyft, those kinds of things provide an additional income stream or a partial income stream that without that, you know, families struggle. So, I, I'm very hopeful that these tools can help the gig workers expand what they can do and you know, allow customers to be more op or, you know, folks that need the gig workers to be more open to leveraging outsourcing of work instead of relying on full-time employees.

Tullio Siragusa (18:03):

Any other thoughts on this before we move on to the final topic?

Adam Wendel (18:06):

I, I would just say it's a delicate balance of tools and processes to build a strong relationship toward that goal that whatever we're aligned on to make happen, and that's what we do for our customers.

Tullio Siragusa (18:20):

Great. Okay. As we come to the end here let's talk a little bit about how AI can reshape or is reshaping already corporate social responsibilities. So, for example, how can businesses use technology to minimize their environmental impact or contribute to a more sustainable future? What are some of the things you guys have seen or, or potentials on how we can leverage AI or automation or nuances in technology and emerging technologies too, you know, have companies contribute to a better world? What are your thoughts?

Brenda Armstrong (18:58):

To that question, Julie? I think it's, it's, it's kind of funny because you're asking that question and let's just say an executive who's been at a company for a while, he sees or she sees that there's a need and they ask themselves this question too, but maybe they're not on the, the creative side, right? They're more on the technical side. You can actually ask the same exact question to <laugh> ChatGPT or an ai and it'll compile a list of ways that it can accomplish that. So I think like, just on the ground floor of that obviously it pulls from existing, existing resources and ideas, but I think it's a great way to leverage the, the actually just taking the action kickstarting it, because, you know, a lot of people kind of get how do you say, frozen <laugh> frozen with it now it is paralysis. They know it's a good idea, they know it needs to be done, but they're kind of like, okay, I'll get to it later. Because they don't, it's like you having to sit down and put a lot of thought into it. So just something like that. I think that definitely just asking the question, literally a bare minimum, just asking the question to AI can generate a bunch of ideas to kickstart that.

Tullio Siragusa (20:03):

Great input. Great input.

Adam Wendel (20:06):

Yeah, it can't hurt. I mean, it's like asking Google, Google search, what can we do? But, you know, when it comes down to what can AI also help us with virtualizing your operations, you know, finding different ways to use energy-efficient technology with what we're already currently doing, but definitely a great idea feed for anything. Love it. I think

Wade Erickson (20:26):

We, you know tying quantum computing and some of these other advanced computational technologies that are coming our way. I mean, we're just barely touching that new technology. And as you add machine learning, AI, and quantum computing together those are going to come, come up with solutions that we just never have enough scientists or time in our lifetime to come up with options for research and problem-solving in a way that will absolutely accelerate our advancement in, in finding cures. So, biotech or, or other solutions to global warming and modeling that, you know ai, machine learning, quantum computing, all of these come together to, to really advance our society in a way that I, I think it would take, you know, generations to maybe solve these problems in our old technology.

Tullio Siragusa (21:28):

So as we come up to the end, I'm, I can't help but ask this question. We, it's clear we can speed up the process to learning, to generating ideas, to solving problems with AI. It's very clear. It's clear that we also to do that effectively have to maintain this relationship between human and machine and this balance between human and machine. But what about the impact that's going to have on human-to-human relations? You know, how can technologies that we're using, for example, we have a lot more remote work. It's a lot more prevalent. We're seeing more productivity from AI, more collaboration, but what are some of the things that can also help us stay connected, you know, to have that human-to-human collaboration? Is there a risk that we will become, you know, less engaged as people? What's the balance you guys think that we need to strike to not completely become a human to machine society? <Laugh>, what's the thought process, you guys, as we wrap up?

Brenda Armstrong (22:45):

I think people generally want to be around other people. Even if, you know, after a while you kind of get used to being in your own space. And some of us are introverts at the end of the day, we're, you know, human beings and we're made to be in the sun, we're made to interact with one another. So I think at the end of the day, it comes down to everyone's personal choice. But if we allow AI to relieve a lot of stress and work on our plate, it actually frees up time and opportunity for us to get in person with people that we work with. Mm-hmm. Or to really focus in on those actual, you know, issues from, I don't want to say the old world, but previous to ai, <laugh>, you know, and especially after Covid when we went into lockdown and everybody just face-to-computer, no interaction. Now with the introduction of ai, it kind of flips that around. We don't necessarily have to be face-to -omputer so much. AI can relieve a lot of that and allow us to be in the same spaces with each other.

Adam Wendel (23:45):

Interesting. Yeah. I,

Bill Vannerus (23:46):

I don’t know. Yeah, I, I definitely agree

Adam Wendel (23:48):

With that. Yeah, I really like that too. I mean, I, at the end of the day, I don't know if we've all been on a, on an inquiry or insurance or customer service and you, you need help. And sometimes it's just really important to have that human channel where you can go to, talk about your question because AI as wonderful it is, isn't always going to understand everything with a sense of empathy and to get to the point. So I think that's just really important point.

Bill Vannerus (24:16):

Yep, definitely. For sure. And you know, I think that the, the promise of that you know, AI brings to the table of freeing up the Monday tasks, especially like Adam and Brenda were saying on, on the delivery side, we're you know, keeping the customer engaged in that relationship with the customer directly. If it frees up more time for us to spend, you know, more one-on-one time with our, our key customers, that's, that's a, a huge benefit.

Wade Erickson (24:44):

And, you know, we've seen technology come in in the past with some of the older folks might remember when MTV came out <laugh>, it, it really did hurt the concert going industry. And everybody thought, oh, everybody's just going to watch the videos and not go to concerts anymore to save money. It did impact it in the short term, just like the VCR impacted moviegoing when it first came out. But in the end, people did realize they want to be around others when they experience music, when they experience music and work life is no different. Covid has absolutely changed. What we experience is work and we're still seeing that people want some are wanting to come back to the workplace part-time so they can still get that human interaction. And the same thing. Some want to stay home and it and Covid is really, one thing it did is it showed business leaders that you can harmonize with remote workers, hybrid working, all of those things that, you know, 20 years ago I, you know, had ideas about a company called I Workplace and it was going to help companies do more remote work, save money, leverage lower cost regions of the country, South Dakota, Idaho, where very smart folks live, and it's a lower cost resource and just, it did not take hold.

Wade Erickson (26:10):

But obviously, Covid showed we can, as a society, work with remote and then there's a lot of people that are missing that human interaction. And, and we are a species that absolutely is tribal pack mentality and, and needs to have that cohesive bond in, in person to experience things, whether it's music, movies, or work.

Tullio Siragusa (26:36):

Well, I want to thank you all for participating. A very interesting conversation. Great launch to the podcast. We're about to announce very shortly in just a minute who we have coming up, what executives we have coming up on this show, but I, I can't help but comment to the idea that it'll be very interesting how the future work be, you know, gets become what the future of work looks like, right? If we go back to the early days of the Industrial Revolution, people worked like seven days a week, then they went to six days a week, then five days a week. And with information today and all these automation tools, do we even need to redefine what the workday looks like or what the workweek looks like? Who knows? It'll be very interesting to see how it evolves over time, but that's a conversation for another day.

Tullio Siragusa (27:26):

So here's what we got coming up. Here's the lineup. We will announce when these guests are coming on the show. Please keep your eyes open on the social media channel you're watching us on. We've got Ravi Sankar, who's the enterprise CTO, at Microsoft. He is going to be our guest coming up. And we are Gary Sarina, the CIO, CTO, and CISO at Zoom. We have Daryl Bracken, he's the CEO at Logitech. Great company. They just recently came out. Really cool EarPods. And then we also have Jill Rosen or Gil Rosen, excuse me, who is CMO at Amdocs. So that's just a little lineup of the next tech leaders who are going to get unplugged with us here. So just keep your eyes open on the social media streams when we make those announcements. We're looking forward to having you participate as well. So if you ever watch us, you can make a comment. We'll see those comments and we'll respond to you. If you have a question, you can submit those questions and we will respond to you. That's the show. It's going to be very interactive with the audience. So, thanks for being with us today, and thanks for bearing with us on our first launch, some of the bugs, if you will. And thank you all for participating. Have a great rest of your day.


Tullio SiragusaProfile Photo

Tullio Siragusa

Digital Strategist

Tullio Siragusa, a pioneer of disruptive technologies, is an EQ thought leader, speaker, author, and coach. He has built world-class leadership teams for 34 years in technology companies and startups.

Tullio interviewed over 400 CxOs while producing and hosting dojo.live, gaining unparalleled insights into tech industry trends. He showcases his deep understanding of Design Thinking and EQ-based leadership to 1.3MM readers through his syndicated blog.

Tullio currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for the University of California, Riverside's Design Thinking Executive Program.

He promotes a human-centered approach to innovation with a strong emphasis on empathy. Tullio is a founding member of RadicalPurpose.org, advocating for human dignity in people-centric workplaces.

Wade EricksonProfile Photo

Wade Erickson

Sr VP of Global Business Development

Wade Erickson is a highly experienced professional with over 30 years of technical expertise in a diverse range of fields including defense, IT, music entertainment, and apparel.

As an accomplished executive, Wade has a strong track record in system implementation management, executive leadership, and team building, with extensive experience working with both Government and Large Enterprises to SMBs and founding multiple startups.

Wade is currently serving as SVP of Global Business Development and acting-COO for LogiGear Corporation, where he utilizes his deep knowledge of organizational design and development to help businesses optimize their processes and enhance their efficiency.

Wade is a skilled project manager with a proven track record of success in organizational development, process design, financial planning, vendor/client management, software lifecycle management, and quality assurance.

Adam WendelProfile Photo

Adam Wendel

Customer Success Manager

Adam Wendel is a seasoned professional with over 15 years of experience helping organizations create value through innovation and relationships.

Adam serves as Customer Success Manager at LogiGear where he plays a vital role in managing renewals, implementing service solutions, identifying expansion opportunities, and driving client success on their digital journey.

With a strong background in customer success, relationship building, account management, and delivery, Adam has proven himself as a well-rounded expert in his field.

Brenda ArmstrongProfile Photo

Brenda Armstrong

Single mom featured on CBS and Fox News for my 501c3 providing a mentorship program and creative mental health outlets through the arts to foster youth and underprivileged kids.

Created and developed a production company from zero to 36k in 6 months using Networking and High-Value appointment setting, presenting, and closing skillset. Procured partnerships in the Entertainment industry with MMD Companies such as, Redbull, World of Dance, and Beyonce's Creative Development Team.

Bill VannerusProfile Photo

Bill Vannerus

Engineering Services Delivery

Bill Vannerus is an experienced and seasoned professional with over 30 years of hands-on technical experience across a wide range of industries including telecommunications, defense, NASA, satellite communications, and energy.

As an accomplished leader, Bill has a proven track record of building quality into solutions & systems design, implementation, and product & service delivery pipelines across Enterprise & Technology software development organizations.

Bill currently serves as Director of Global Engineering Services Delivery at LogiGear driving excellence in quality assurance, test & data design, testing, and automation by aligning QA/Testing teams and best practices to Design Thinking methodology supporting organizations in their Digital Transformation journey, at scale.

With an expert background in quality assurance, Bill understands the significance of establishing KPIs & Metrics, but also cultivating crucial relationships & softskills within an organization needed to not only engage, but embody the user community needs & requirements that drive quality throughout the software design, development, Test & delivery
processes to ensure success delivered.