Introduction, AI and What’s on My Radar


Beyond Hype


By Ricardo Viana Vargas

Lisbon, Portugal


This is the first article for a new series in the PM World Journal based on my monthly newsletter where I try to do a deep dive into new topics related to project management or that I am personally interested in.  I try to make sense of some of these issues, some of which are of serious concern to many of us, and, of course, how they might impact project management, business agility or organizational transformation. I hope you find my comments interesting or even perhaps a little bit useful.

Will AI Drive the Future of Human Intelligence? 

First things first, this is written by a real human, myself! I cannot say the same about the readers. They can be humans, bots, AI tools, or all sorts of technology that have intrinsically become part of our lives.

In recent months, artificial intelligence (AI) has left the corridors of tech companies and the hands of software developers and analysts to become mainstream, accessible by anyone, anytime.

Newly developed AI engines can digest and analyze huge amounts of data in seconds. They can generate incredible insights in plain text, images, and even videos. They are getting smarter as they can attempt to understand the context of the conversations. This is a scary yet exciting reality for everyone, including myself. I only know one thing for sure: More and more AI tools will come, and they will come fast.

Much faster than we think.

Of course, you, myself, and anyone else have the same question: how will these massive changes affect our jobs and lives?

Is this just hype, or is there something deeper behind it?

We need to remember that hype comes in cycles. The current hype cycle we are living in is attributed to the Generative Pre-training Transformer (GPT), or one of its commercial products developed by Open AI called ChatGPT. GPT is a technology that uses deep learning to produce human-like text.

As someone who is not 100% in the technology business, I see myself far more as a user of these tools than as someone who creates and develops them. Last December, during a short trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where I opened the International Project Management Conference, talking exactly about emerging technologies and their impacts on projects, I had the chance to use ChatGPT for the first time. I just typed: Can you prepare an email to my boss with a summary of the following status report? I pasted the report below the text and clicked “Enter.”

Bingo. I was stunned by what I saw.


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Editor’s note: This series of articles by Ricardo Vargas, PMI Fellow and recognized thought leader, is based on his LinkedIn newsletter called Beyond Hype in which he periodically shares his thoughts on emerging issues and potential concerns related to project management or the PM profession. Ricardo is a former Chair of the PMI Board of Directors and the author or co-author of many books on project management, including the recent  Project Management Next Generation: The Pillars for Organizational Excellence (co-authored with Dr. Harold Kerzner and Dr. Al Zeitoun). Learn more about the author in his profile at the end of this article.

How to cite this article: Vargas, V. V. (2023). Introduction, AI and What’s on My Radar; Beyond Hype: Issues and Concerns, series article, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/pmwj130-Jun2023-Vargas-introduction-AI-radar-beyond-hype-series-article-1.pdf

About the Author

Ricardo Viana Vargas, PhD

Minas Gerais, Brazil
Lisbon, Portugal


Ricardo Viana Vargas is Managing Partner at Macrosolutions, past Executive Director of the Project Management Institute’s Brightline Initiative, past Director of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Infrastructure and Project Management Group, and former Chair of the PMI Board of Directors. Passionate about transforming ideas into action and a popular speaker at international PM events, Ricardo is recognized worldwide as a chief advocate for the project economy. Specializing in implementing innovative global initiatives, capital projects and product development, he has directed dozens of projects across industries and continents, managing more than $20 billion in global initiatives over the past 25 years.

Ricardo shares his expertise with millions of professionals around the globe through his “5 Minutes Podcast,” which he’s hosted since 2007. He has written 16 books on project management, risk and crisis management, and transformation, which have been translated into six languages and sold more than half a million copies.  His latest book Project Management Next Generation: The Pillars for Organizational Excellence, in partnership with Dr. Harold Kerzner and Dr. Al Zeitoun has recently been released.

Ricardo’s influence on project management was affirmed when he became the first Latin American to be elected Chairman of the Project Management Institute. More than two decades ago, he founded Macrosolutions, a global consulting firm with international operations in energy, infrastructure, IT, oil and finance. Between 2016 and 2020, Ricardo directed the Brightline Initiative, a Project Management Institute think tank bringing together leading organizations in a coalition dedicated to helping executives bridge the expensive, unproductive gap between strategic design and delivery.

Prior to his work with Brightline, Ricardo was Director of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Infrastructure and Project Management Group, leading more than 1,000 projects and $1.2 billion in humanitarian and development projects. He has worked as a venture capitalist and entrepreneur in artificial intelligence, blockchain, big data, chatbots and machine learning resulted in tools and products that have revolutionized how users bring agility and agile management into project management software.

Ricardo holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Federal Fluminense University in Brazil and an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering, as well as a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. He can be contacted at ricardo@ricardo-vargas.com or ricardo-vargas.com  or Linkedin: com/in/ricardovargas.

To view other works by Ricardo Vargas, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/ricardo-viana-vargas-phd/