‘Human values more important than ever’

KUALA LUMPUR: People need to have compassion, togetherness and a sense of global community to steer themselves through challenging times, says Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah.

He said the world is changing at an unprecedented rate, due to developments in technology such as artificial intelligence (AI).

“To steer humanity through these challenging times, what we need – perhaps even more than the excellent understanding of business attained through your MBA programmes – is compassion, togetherness, and above all, a sense of global community.

“We need to be aware of this community as perhaps never before – extending our concerns and applying our responsibilities not only to the rest of humanity, but to all other living creatures in the world, and to the planet itself,” he said in his royal address at the Asia School of Business graduation ceremony for the MBA class of 2023 here yesterday.

Sultan Nazrin said new developments in technology such as generative AI are unfolding where the unpredictable process is rapidly rendering existing jobs as obsolete, while previously unheard of jobs are being rapidly created.

“Various hybrid forms of work are already here to stay, while other high-tech adaptations are on the horizon, from business meetings in virtual reality, to AI-driven customer service agents to marketing in the metaverse.

“Your generation and beyond will inhabit these as of yet unimagined worlds of technological innovation, which may be quite alien to those of my generation and before,” he said.

The Perak Ruler said AI tools, however, can reshape a multitude of aspects that are beyond the workplace in unprecedented and unsettling ways because as generative AI progresses, especially in combination with other advancing elements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, this would only be the beginning.

“Therefore, empathy, ethics, practical hands-on skills and an academic grounding are part of the legacy you are taking with you from here as you graduate,” he added.

Drawing on Academy Award-winning actress Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh’s speech at the Harvard Law School Class of 2023, Sultan Nazrin complimented her advice on “how to survive the fall” and get back up again as she recounted her experience of moving unexpectedly from a career in dancing to acting by breaking down industry barriers.

“If you want to learn about falling and bouncing back, whether metaphorically or physically, I urge you to look up Yeoh’s wonderful speech. So, instead, after much deliberation, I have decided to offer you this small piece of guidance that resonates with my own life’s journey: keep learning,” said Sultan Nazrin.

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