Microsoft Business Applications MVP
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Thanks for listening 🚀 - Mark Smith
[mark_smith]: Today's guest is from London in England. That wonderful place I used to live in. He works at Dynamics Lab as a Dynamics 365 architect. He actually also is the owner of that company. He was first awarded as MVP in 2022. He has more than 20 years of CRM technology experience focused primarily on the Microsoft stack. You can find links to his bio, his social media, et cetera, in the show notes for this episode. Welcome to the show Vlad.
[vlad_sarov]: Yeah, thank you for having me. We need to do a full disclosure before I start talking. We know each other for how many years, and we have so many calls. You've been on my show, so it's almost like, yeah, it's a conversation of old friends, at least old mates.
[mark_smith]: Yes, agreed, agreed. But of course, the audience listening might not know who you are, so why don't you tell us about food, family, and fun, all those exciting things that don't involve work?
[vlad_sarov]: So my extended family is quite large. I don't know even all names of my extended family. That's so large in my country. I'm originally actually from a small country called Moldova. So you can guess it from my accent. So I didn't live in the UK and my accent is not. People joke my accent somewhere between Moldova and UK. People say it's maybe Netherlands. Well, that's exactly, as probably you can tell.
[mark_smith]: I can see that.
[vlad_sarov]: And yeah, so yeah, so, but my smaller family, almost four years old and you have all the fun with small kids. Food, I like all kind of food. It's a problem getting close to Mediterranean. In the COVID times, I opened the HelloFresh and I cooked all kinds of meals. I think I've lost count when I reached 70 meals, 70 dishes. And I've actually tried all kinds of food and I realized I like Asian. I think I like Chinese food and I like Indian. I was spending too much time at the computer. Yeah. But in reality, in my school time, I play a piano, I still play piano. I was part of a band. And then I was a DJ at some school parties. So I guess I was way more fun at that point of time. Yeah.
[mark_smith]: That's so good. That's so good. Yes, I've known you of course for quite some time. I think we first met in Seattle from memory, right back at Microsoft's first business applications conference once they had gone to that model. It was a last-minute conference that was organized. I met you there with Steve Mordue, introduced me to you from memory. Of course, when I lived in London, I spent quite a bit of time with you and your brother, your brother, Igor.
[vlad_sarov]: Exactly. Yeah, I didn't mention about him. I need to say, I vividly remember that point of time, and I still remember the story how you told, you traveled through the Russia, and you've been at my show, we don't need to spoil people who might want to go and see, and the impressive thing, you try to do it in the, usually people do it from Moscow to Siberia, and you decide to go from Siberia to Moscow.That's unusual.That's fun.
[mark_smith]: Yeah. I mean, amazing trip. And I always said in traveling Russia, I said to my wife, I said, you know what? I don't feel that we're going to have this freedom to do it in the future. And of course, I was not predicting anything or knowing where we would be today. But I am so pleased we did that trip, you know, from coast to coast of Russia. And I, man, I wish I wish that I could go back and do, you know, I'd like to spend more time in Moscow and St. Petersburg particularly. I probably don't need to go back to Siberia, although you know what, I wouldn't mind going back to Lake Baikal again in the middle of winter. I was there in spring, and so
[mark_smith]: the ice was mounting, but I'd love to go. You could still walk on the ice, but it was still mounting, but I'd love to go back. But I mean, who knows what will happen in the years ahead, and
[vlad_sarov]: Yeah,for you.
[mark_smith]: the way the conflicts work out.
[vlad_sarov]: For new years, a person from New Zealand experienced that harsh weather. It's tough. You know, the people, I have a couple of friends who moved to Canada and many of them coming back. And the only people who can stay and say, oh, we like the Canadian winter, is the people who come from Siberia. The rest of people think it's too much. Yeah,it's actually,it's tough. It's quite cold.
[mark_smith]: Yeah, I tell you when we're over in Vladivostok side of things and meeting people and you know talking to them I tell you Google translate was amazing tool We had a three hour conversation with a guy in the Russian army on it because we're on the train You know with them and then he was in our cabin a three hour conversation just by using Google translate Typing, you know in English handing to him he had type in Russian and translate backwards and forwards It just yeah, it was amazing because we learn all the stories and everything and over the that side of Russia I said we were crazy that we would even come there like why would you even come here and for a holiday like it blew their mind
[vlad_sarov]: Yeah, that's a good thing. You know, you mentioned Google Translate, and it's hard to believe how much change since then. So today, probably you would use things like DeepL for translations, and probably you'll use ChargeGPT for kind of, I know ChargeGPT is not there yet, but I'm sure it's some, maybe even in a year of time, will be in a place where you'll be able to talk, and it will translate, and it will sound, it will be pitch perfect with no accent,
[mark_smith]: today we're recording this, you know, GPT-4 got released this morning. And yeah,
[vlad_sarov]: I miss it, wow.
[mark_smith]: yeah, it just got released today. And I tell you what, you should go and look at the data difference or how much smarter it is than the previous. Now, when you talk about, you know, the voice sound and translation to English, I've just recently got into a new app called Speechify. document which is I mean it uses other document formats but it reads it I think there's over 240 different voices you know Gwyneth Paltrow is one of the voices Snoop Dogg is one of the voices and the thing is it takes a minute obviously before you start reading it's obviously reading your head and getting the structure and stuff in place but it's so so good like for me you know being for anything I do. So for me to really get the comprehension and for it to stick in my brain. And so, you know, recently I've been sent some, you know, power platform books to review and these are big books. And I was like, oh, if I just have to manually read them, I know that the way my mind works, I'll get distracted. I'll like, I'll finish the end of the sentence and I can't remember even what I read, you know, and yes, I've got the audio, which somehow makes me read like through my eyes much better. I bought it yesterday and I'm already impressed how good it sounds like a real person reading the book.
[vlad_sarov]: that's mind-blowing. Have you tried those tools which can generate your voice?
[vlad_sarov]: No, so there is a tool I'm using it for my channel, Descript.So
[mark_smith]: Oh, yes, Descript.
[vlad_sarov]: what Descript can do, it can let do your talk hard, talking hard shows
[vlad_sarov]: and edit as a Word file. So what it does, it does the transcription.
[mark_smith]: Yes. I've heard a lot about Descript. In fact, Descript, you know, the product I use here is called Riverside for the recording, because at some point, you know, because we are recording video as well at the same time, I will go to a model of doing some videos, like an extract of some of the shows. And Descript plugs into this. Yeah.
[vlad_sarov]: So what it does, exactly, yeah, we can take it offline because otherwise people, this script will have to sponsor the show. I have a few things maybe to share with you because I've used it for a few weeks at least, for a month maybe even more. So the funny thing, you have that fragment of text and you realize, okay, my podcast wasn't perfect. So you don't have time, you don't want to re-record it. So what you do, you ask this script to use a sample of your voice and it has more than enough sample of your voice.phrase you wanted to have and then it voice over in your sound. It's amazing, it's mind-blowing. I'm just thinking, okay, is it safe? Does it mean the script can use it to call my bank and use my voice?
[mark_smith]: Well, here's the thing. Here's the thing. I've just been reading a lot of books at the moment on AI. And I was reading the other day around fraud being committed using your voice. So in other words, a member of your family gets called. So the call's coming from me as an example. And it's absolutely perfect. Perfectly my voice and everything. And for that to happen, right, with your voice in it. I've been podcasting I think, I'm in my sixth year of doing podcasting. There on the public domain, there is probably every word variation I've ever spoken. Someone could easily take my voice print and you know, act as me. And so I like one of the things I said to my family, I said, be aware that because I have podcasting, my voice is out I'm in danger and or I need money or some bullshit like that make sure that you go hang on hang on I'll call you back and you text me or message me on another channel than the one that's been engaged with because then You know we'll get the validity of that because some people have been already ripped off tens of thousands of dollars By that, you know, they've contacted their family said the end that I need money something's happened blah blah blah lost the money.
[vlad_sarov]: It actually happened to one of the guys I used to work with, his grandma was called. And actually the person who was calling showed up to take money. So they were so, yeah, so they didn't, they were not afraid to show their faces. That was weird. Yeah, I hear you. Yeah, but that's, yeah, AI definitely takes the world by storm. I know you're reading, I remember a few years ago you've mentioned you were reading many books about AI and it's still, yeah, it's still happening. Yeah. Yeah, see your light. light is blinking for peole who listen to us. Mark's light
[mark_smith]: Then, I read a book by Dan Brown, his latest book. Um, man, I can't even remember the title of the book. And, um, it was brilliant. It was basically set in Spain as, as the source and this great, you know, entrepreneur, you know, one of these types of startups had built this, you know, AI intelligent computer and the whole premises, really started and of course it debunked every religion out there and just made every religion factually wrong and of course every religion around the world from the very senior leadership they all get played into the drum I'm not gonna spoil the book because the ending just kind of you think you've end the books ended there's like two chapters to go and you're like you know the answer how it all happened and then you read the last two chapters and then your heads is like came to the door and collected it. One of the things the AI did was it would employ like Deliveroo or these different type of people to do the physical part of what the AI in the computer couldn't do. And you know, the AI was actually the actual supercomputer running. The AI was located in Barcelona. And I tell you, it's such a good book to read because
[vlad_sarov]: yeah so are you on the side of the camp people believe it's good thing or it's an or it's a bad thing because I see people taking sides now
[mark_smith]: I think I think I'm on the side that it's going to happen whether we think it's good or bad. There's like there's no way it's going to be stopped. Like right now if everybody agreed this is going to be a bad thing it would still carry on because the risk is that if you don't carry on let's say you're America or China as an example and you're competing against each other and one has a superior AI. Brad Smith wrote a book a couple of years ago about weapons warfare and where data was going to be the gold miner future and the other gold of the future. And and what he's you know if you've got a swarm of drones that are all controlled autonomously via AI they can do whatever they want. what a human intervention could do. So there's going to be no, should we kill, not kill, no, that decision would be too late. And so that's why there's this kind of like, like there was, you know, the nuclear arms race, I think now we're in an AI arms race, you know, yes, we see what from a business perspective and from our personal lives perspective. But mate, it's at a whole new level when you look at it from a military or government perspective of where they are going be a good thing if we do the right thing. But at the end of the day, if you look at mankind, or humankind, sorry that was humankind, you will see that we are currently the most intelligent species on the planet and therefore we're at the top of the food chain. I don't believe within 10 years we will be the most intelligent species on the planet. I believe there will be a super feeling emotion, everything that we can do humanly plus have it all knowledge and all understanding of anything that ever was and potentially be able to predict a lot of what will be. So if we're no longer at the top of the food chain, the risk is they might decide they don't need us, right? Does the aunt say to the person going to swash it, you know, don't do that to me. You squash it, right? Dance in the way
[mark_smith]: or whatever. So I think we go into an interesting world. If the AI decides in the future that we are the problem that's causing climate change or any of the other bad things happening in the world and going, you know what? The best way to eliminate this is to eliminate the biological material that's creating the problem for everybody.
[vlad_sarov]: You pretty much think covering the plot of the latest Terminator, what, 6, 7? That's when AI realized that we are the cause of the problem. My perspective, we probably have 50 years for that. I think 10 years. Some people, I think if chatGPT wouldn't happen in this November, we will probably not hear. So it was using OpenAI for a few years and my brother was actually promoting and saying, oh, let's use it everywhere. And before ChargeGPT came about, I didn't even bother. So I think it's still in place of hype. My gut feeling tells we still have a few decades. You do, you think it's 10 years.
[mark_smith]: You should read the book. It's called AI 2041. And this guy
[vlad_sarov]: Okay,I'll do it.
[mark_smith]: wrote it in 2021, right? So in the height of the pandemic, and he was one of the head Google researchers who wrote this book. And so what he did is he said, this I'm gonna write this book based on only 20 years out because if I go for further than that, people go, ah, I won't even be alive. It doesn't matter, right? So he wrote it 20 years out. He goes through everything that's from the maturity of autonomous cars. So there's a scale of autonomy, and level five on that scale is there's no steering wheel. Right? In other words, it doesn't need humans to run. And he doesn't think we'll be there for another 20 years till we get to that point, because of all the roading infrastructure, every vehicle has to be updated with new technology. But then other stuff, you know, I read some time ago another book in that factually when I was in London and it was Guy, I can't pronounce his name, but he wrote the first big book that was famous, it was Sapiens. And after Sapiens,he wrote, yeah, he wrote Homer Deus and then he wrote another one.And so the whole idea of of the three books he wrote is kind of like past, present and future. And one of the things there, he said, is that at the end of the day, because people are going, they'll never have emotion or they will never have, well, hang on a second, we do. And if we were advanced enough in our understanding the brain, everybody is really just a program. And so therefore, why can't we believe that emotions aren't programmable? people probably crucify me for saying this, but they're all algorithms at the end of the day, right?
[vlad_sarov]: Could be,yeah.
[mark_smith]: And so therefore, if it's an algorithm in a biological format, why couldn't it be an algorithm in a machine format?
[vlad_sarov]: Yeah, the question is, yeah, it's actually putting us in a God position. Will we create a new intelligence? And we call it artificial intelligence, but I still believe artificial intelligence these days, statistics on steroids. I still believe it's statistical steroid. Yeah, I know it's getting bigger with neural networks.
[mark_smith]: It's getting beyond that.I think we're at the point where I think AI is going to start rewriting its own code. as it will rewrite itself to optimize itself. And then I think that once that happens, once that happens and you combine quantum computing, I think the world just, I mean, I think that the change could be like overnight. If they can get the quantum computing to the level that they need to, you think instantly all encryption becomes irrelevant once quantum computing reaches that point, right? So all our security models
[vlad_sarov]: That's exactly it.
[mark_smith]: are gone They could be cracked in microseconds. But here's the thing, to think that AI will be bad or break laws or anything, I don't think it'll do. The AI will be so smart, it will do everything it does in the realms of the legal system that it is adhering to. It doesn't need to think of ways of getting around, as in sorry, ways of breaking or doing something illegal. I think it'll be, you imagine, knowing every bit document poured out by a government mate it wouldn't take long to find out all the back doors back holds that type of thing hey we're already over time and we've just talked about AI which is so interesting to do with you
[vlad_sarov]: so separate yeah
[mark_smith]: so I didn't talk about you and MVP or anything maybe
[vlad_sarov]: No, it's okay, I think.
[mark_smith]: maybe we should do some another podcast in the future because this has just been interesting you know spitballing
[vlad_sarov]: Yeah, it's just AI. I think people who are listening to this, they would rather hear about AI and what MVP story I have nothing new to bring. The only thing I could tell, if you want to know how to not be an MVP, go and learn and check my background. I think Mark, I think I'm the latest person jumping on that wagon. So I spent 20 years in this space and just became an MVP. So I think my career path is, what you need to do or no, what you not need to do to become an MVP.
[mark_smith]: I think that's awesome. Vlad, thank you so much for coming on the show.
[vlad_sarov]: nice seeing you, man.
Vlad Sarov is the COO at Dynamica Labs, an ISO9001-certified Microsoft Dynamics CRM development team, one of the oldest Microsoft CRM partners. For over 16 years, years, they have developed deep expertise in all aspects of MS Dynamics: updates and continuous improvements, configuration, customization, migrations, quality assurance, etc. Vlad has been involved in a large number of projects for both SMBs and large companies, including Shell, Citizen Advice Bureau, Transwestern, and the Civil Aviation Authority.