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From Hype to Reality: Understanding the True Impact of AI on Businesses and Individuals - Part 1

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is undoubtedly one of the most talked-about topics in the world today. From social media to mainstream news, AI has become a ubiquitous term, and it is not hard to see why. In recent years, AI has become a driving force in technology, with businesses utilizing it to increase efficiency, improve effectiveness, reduce costs, and enhance customer experience. However, amidst the hype and the fear-mongering around AI, businesses and individuals alike are struggling to understand the true impact of AI on their lives.

While there is no denying that AI has already started to revolutionize industries, there is still much to be done to ensure that its potential is fully realized. The true impact of AI can be seen in its ability to automate repetitive tasks, process vast amounts of data, and make predictions based on that data. This technology has the potential to increase efficiency, reduce errors, and free up employees to focus on more complex tasks.

Impact Analysis Framework

To fully comprehend the effects of AI, it is crucial to not solely view it through the lens of process or operational efficiency, which can lead to concerns over job displacement. Instead, one should also consider AI's potential for product and service innovation and increased demand. PwC's report titled "Sizing the prize: What's the real value of AI for your business and how can you capitalize?" predicts that AI could make a monumental contribution of $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Of this figure, $6.6 trillion is expected to come from heightened productivity, while $9.1 trillion could stem from consumption-side effects.

The framework introduced in the report provides a systematic approach to classify and evaluate the effects of AI, encompassing new generative AI products like ChatGPT, GPT-4, and Midjourney. We have employed this framework to conduct a thorough assessment of the influence of AI on different areas such as Marketing, Sales, Product Management, and Software Development.

AI Categorization and Impact Analysis Framework
AI Categorization and Impact Analysis Framework

Over the years, Marketing and Sales experts have employed AI-powered tools like Keyword Recommendation Tools and Google Ads, alongside non-AI-powered ones such as Google Analytics and CRM, as "Assisted Intelligence" aids to boost their efficiency. More recently Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has emerged as an "Automation" tool to automate a wide range of manual tasks.

While "Assisted Intelligence" and "Automation" tools are designed for specific tasks, Generative AI tools such as GPT are not limited to a single task or audience. In addition to generating text, they are also capable of coding in various programming languages. Nevertheless, these tools still necessitate human involvement, and as a result, GPT should be classified as an "Augmented Intelligence" tool - the third category.

We are confident that AI will have a positive impact on GDP, and PwC's report reinforces our stance (and more specifically the following excerpt) - "Eventually, the GDP uplift from product enhancements and subsequent shifts in consumer demand, behaviour and consumption emanating from AI will overtake the productivity gains, potentially delivering more than $9 trillion of additional GDP in 2030. Consumers will be mostly attracted to higher quality and more personalised products and services, but will also have the chance to make better use of their time – think of what you could do if you no longer had to drive yourself to work, for example. In turn, increased consumption creates a virtuous cycle of more data touchpoints and hence more data, better insights, better products and hence more consumption."

Note: No AI has been built that can be classified as "Autonomous Intelligence" (or Artificial General Intelligence)

Understanding the Impact on Businesses

Companies need to take more targeted approaches (using "Assisted Intelligence") and deliver more personalized content (using "Automation" to improve customer support. ChatGPT and the like ("Augmented Intelligence") can help by enabling faster content creation, but it does not ensure the production of high-quality content that can be consumed effectively by humans or search engines. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to ensure that their content is engaging and effective. Poor-quality content will not suffice.

Similarly, AI can automate translation to a large extent, but proofreading will still be necessary. As the cost of translation decreases, more customers will demand content in their native language. Therefore, businesses need to think about incorporating AI into their products and services to grow their business.

While businesses can leverage AI to reduce costs and accelerate sales growth in the short term, they must also focus on creating superior products and more compelling content over the medium to long term to compete effectively. Customers' expectations will also rise, and they will demand better customer service. To increase the value provided to customers and improve the quality of service, businesses should consider incorporating AI into their products and customer service processes, with a focus on enhancing customer experience rather than solely reducing costs.

Understanding the Impact on People

People need to consider the following trends when trying to analyze and understand the impact of AI

  • Some job functions are being/going to be automated

  • People using AI are going to be much more productive than people not using

    • In many are people using AI will be at least two times more productive

  • In some instances, AI will help you solve more complex problems

Based on the above analysis we have identified some strategies below that can help you not only survive but also thrive in this brave new world of AI

  • Embrace AI and learn to use AI tools effectively

  • Figure out where you can add more value using AI

  • Broaden your scope of responsibilities. Examples:

    • Backend developers could become frontend developers

    • Frontend developers could become backend developers or marketing specialists

    • Sales folks can assume marketing responsibilities

    • Marketing folks can assume sales responsibilities

  • Implement personalized AI productivity hacks to boost your productivity

Summary Recommendations

AI has become an inevitable part of our lives despite the exaggerations and scare tactics surrounding it. It's crucial for both businesses and individuals to adopt, educate themselves and use AI effectively. Although companies may prioritize efficiency and cost reduction, to stay competitive in the long run, they should explore ways to leverage AI to create superior products and services. Individuals, on the other hand, may worry about job security, but they can ensure a more prosperous future by embracing AI and expanding their responsibilities, which will increase their value and success.

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