Getting Started with AI
It seems like Artificial intelligence is everywhere these days. Students are using ChatGPT to cheat, and AI may even be able to get a Wharton MBA. Artists are worried about Stable Diffusion stealing their work. Marketers everywhere are wondering how AI will impact their jobs.
There’s no doubt that AI will have a dramatic impact on many industries. What that impact will be, though, is unclear. Most new technologies go through a “hype cycle.” At first, they seem to address a lot of use cases as people try new applications and the strengths and weaknesses of the technologies aren’t well known. Eventually, though, the technology will settle into its areas of strength and the uncertainty of the hype cycle subsides.
Engaged leaders are also thinking about how to use AI technology to more effectively run their businesses. Far from being the sole domain of tools like ChatGPT, AI is being implemented into many of the tools we use every day. In its most effective form, AI stops being a parlor trick that can write a term paper and starts blending into the background.
So where does a business leader get started?
First, don’t panic. AI isn’t the beginning of intelligent computers that it’s often made out to be in the press. It may look like magic, but it’s mostly math. There’s no question that AI will impact the way jobs are done today, but that change isn’t likely to be as widespread as it seems to be in the middle of the hype cycle.
Second, have a plan for how to leverage AI. At Inference.io, we work closely with companies around the world who are implementing AI-enabled solutions. The biggest benefit we see for customers from our technology and other AI solutions isn’t replacement, it’s focus. By letting users focus on what’s impacting their business instead of a large number of maybe-not-relevant reports, they have more time to resolve issues and repeat successes. Likewise, ChatGPT may be able to write marketing copy for you, but it’s not going to replace the time needed to figure out the right message in the first place. That’s the real job of a marketer–AI just lets you focus on the important things.
Finally, be open to doing things differently. It’s human nature to find a comfort zone and try to stick with it, but right now AI is all about change. The means of doing the job (like looking at reports) shouldn’t be confused with the actual job itself (increasing conversions, revenue, or acquiring customers). AI may make the means easier, but it won’t yet replace the job itself.
We’ve seen significant advances in AI recently, particularly in areas that mimic human behavior. But you only have to look at more mature AI-related technologies like Alexa and Siri to know that it’s not a perfect replacement for people. Find the areas where AI can make your job easier, and focus on what’s really important.