🦾 On the AI Commission: Your country should become a centaur society

🦾 On the AI Commission: Your country should become a centaur society

A look into the work of the Swedish National AI Commission and why every country should quickly become a centaur nation.

Mathias Sundin
Mathias Sundin

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Last Thursday, the Swedish government decided to establish a National AI Commission. On Friday, it was presented by Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and the commission's chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, who is the former CEO of Ericsson and current chairman of Volvo. And as early as yesterday, Monday, the commission had its first meeting. It moves as quickly as AI development!

I am very happy to be one of the ten members of the commission!

Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Minister for Public Administration, Erik Slottner presents the AI Commission.

Without in any way recounting what is said at the commission's meetings – members must be able to have a free and open discussion – I want to give you an insight into the work until the final delivery in 2025, some of my views on the commission's questions, and of course welcome input from you. It is a Swedish commission, but the questions are equally relevant for other countries and cities around the world.

The commission's mission

The mission is to "strengthen Swedish competitiveness," which can mean everything and anything. But it is specified in the directives to the commission. We will, among other things, look at AI related to higher education, how Sweden should attract venture capital and facilitate innovation for strengthened competitiveness in AI, and how the public sector can be made more efficient by using AI.

We must report no later than July 1, 2025, which is an eternity in AI terms. Therefore, the commission should also regularly keep the government informed, and nothing prevents us from making suggestions along the way.

Send me your input!

I gladly welcome input, opinions, and thoughts regarding the AI commission's questions. It doesn't just have to be about Sweden, examples and ideas from other parts of the world are equally welcome. Including whom we should visit and meet. Here is my contact information.

Group picture, from the first meeting.

My approach: Become a centaur society

The Centaur's Edge

The centaur's edge means that by becoming really good at using AI tools, amateurs can perform better than experts.

This has been shown in chess, but also in many other areas. Professor Ethan Mollick, along with the Boston Consulting Group, tested how consultants who do not use ChatGPT compare to consultants who use ChatGPT (centaur consultants.)

Those who used AI worked 25 percent faster, with 40 percent higher quality. But most of all, the lowest-performing half improved significantly and almost caught up with the highest-performing half.

Applies to individuals, organizations – and countries

Thus, it is possible to level up oneself or one's company by becoming good at understanding how and when AI should be used, and when it should not. But it doesn't stop there; we can say the same thing about a country.

To simplify quite a bit, one can say that Sweden, United States, Ghana, or any country can work faster and with higher quality if they use AI correctly.

Or if we look at the public sector: All municipalities, cities, states, and agencies. Many of their tasks can be performed faster and better with AI.

Easy to become number one

Becoming the world leader in applying AI, especially generative AI like ChatGPT, is not difficult. The area is so new that no one is in the lead.

When it comes to the big models like OpenAI's GPT-4 and Google's Gemini, the U.S. is in a clear lead. Becoming world leader there is really tough.

But when it comes to using AI no one is in the lead. Those countries that make it their mission to quickly become centaur countries will gain a significant edge.

Mathias Sundin
The Angry Optimist