Tag Archive for: AI

How AI Can Benefit Small Businesses: How to Get Started with Applying AI 

In our last piece we outlined the two generation of AI that are empowering businesses to achieve more, using less time and resources, as well as some of the many possible benefits that your business can enjoy from using it. For small businesses, getting started with applying AI does not have to be overly complicated. It all starts with mapping technological territories and workflows, identifying the potential for AI-driven solutions to address challenges and add value, and creating a roadmap for implementing these solutions into the business. 

How Many Small Businesses Are Adopting AI?  

A 2022 government report exploring the adoption of the latest generation of AI technologies such as data analytics and machine learning, provides some interesting insights.   

Around 68% of large companies, 34% of medium sized companies, and 15% of small companies have adopted at least one next-gen AI technology. The majority of businesses have adopted or plan to adopt next-gen AI technology in the coming years, and even though adoptions of it are correlated to size, many innovative firms of all sizes are adopting AI today.  

The good news is that in the next few years, it’s unlikely that most small businesses are going to be swept away by competitors using this form of AI, and this is also a great opportunity to start getting ahead and laying out a roadmap, including for simpler business process automations. On the other hand, further down the line, adopting the next generation of AI will become increasingly necessary to maintain a competitive edge.  

So, how can your business get started with adopting AI to automate its defined business processes and to access more advanced features such as data analytics? Here are the three key steps:  

Map Your Technological Territory and Workflows 

Start by mapping out the technology that you use to undertake your workflows and list what automations could be possible within them. Some items on this list may be more viable for your business than others, but that’s okay, the next step will examine if they can be realised or not. There are other more certain opportunities within the technology that you might already be using. For example, many businesses are missing on some low-hanging fruit in their Microsoft 365 environment, which offers automation capabilities via its Power Automate tool.  

By mapping your workflows and the tools involved in them, you can start to create a list of ideas for either enhancing or automating aspects of your workflows to empower your business.  

Find and Assess AI-Driven Solutions 

This step involves doing your homework and looking around for tools such as software, that can be used to automate or empower aspects of your workflows. You may be surprised by what you find! This research can pay off by helping you to find solutions, understand how they work and how compatible they are with your business, and with these insights, a better understanding of how they can be integrated into your business.  

Assessment will also be crucial, as it is not always easy to quantify the benefit of a new technology solution without careful consideration. By comparing what new solutions can offer, and how they can benefit your business, you will be able to prioritise the solutions that stand to contribute the most value. 

Create A Roadmap  

You may already have a technology roadmap that AI-driven solutions can be integrated into, or perhaps you may want to make a roadmap from scratch. Either way, the roadmap lays out the timelines, steps, and considerations for implementing AI-driven solutions in your business in a way that will minimise disruption. The roadmap should be segmented into projects for each implementation, that will allow you to work with stakeholders, budget appropriately, prepare your business, and ensure a smooth series of implementations as your roadmap unfolds.  

The roadmap will help you to prioritise the solutions to implement and provide a realistic timeline for preparing your business to integrate it fully. In all, it’s your practical plan for realising the benefits of AI in your business.  

We hope that this piece has been a useful guide for getting started on your journey with AI. Remember, there is plenty of time to undertake careful planning to prepare your business for the transition, and many other businesses will likely be in a similar position. That said, the sooner you can get started, the more your business will be able to get ahead of the competition and use AI as a lever for achieving more profitable growth.  

We Are 4TC Managed IT Services 

4TC can support you with all the services you need to run your business effectively, from email and domain hosting to fully managing your whole IT infrastructure. Setting up a great IT infrastructure is just the first step. Keeping it up-to-date, safe and performing at its peak requires consistent attention. 

We can act as either your IT department or to supplement an existing IT department. We pride ourselves in developing long-term relationships that add value to your business with high quality managed support, expert strategic advice, and professional project management. Get assistance with your IT challenges today by getting in touch, we’ll be glad to assist you! 

How AI Can Benefit Small Businesses: What it is and What it can Do

The adoption of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in business is gathering pace across the world, standing to offer tremendous benefits to businesses that get ahead of the curve of adoption. The accessibility of AI has also exploded in research years, with small and medium businesses able to access and deploy it like never before.

The benefits on offer are vast. Fundamentally, AI enables businesses to achieve more, using less time and resources. With the next generation of AI available today, it also offers data-driven insights that can empower business strategies, marketing outreach efforts and operations, among many other areas. In this piece we will introduce you to AI, break it down into two generations, and outline what it can do in businesses. In our next piece, we will give you a handy guide for getting started with applying it in your business.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

As the name implies, AI describes technology that mimics human intelligence. AI is able to work with information based on categories and rules. Let’s take an example of a business that has a contact form on its website to take enquiries. When a key detail such as a phone number is missing, AI can recognise this, and prompt the user to enter the missing number. Now this is a simple example in today’s world! AI is also capable of far more complex tasks, as is commonly seen now with ChatGPT’s ability to answer highly specific and abstract questions alike.

To understand the scope of benefits that AI can bring to a business, we can simplify it into two generations. The first of these is based on explicit and specific instructions, while the newer generation is able to work with vast datasets and operate under uncertain conditions.

The Two Generations of AI and How They Work

The first generation of AI has been around for decades and is sometimes termed ‘narrow’ AI. This kind of AI could take and carry out explicit instructions and follow a concrete process. This technology is still very useful today and underpins a variety of businesses processes; taking a somewhat more sophisticated example, a program can be designed to flag invoices of a certain amount by sending an automated email address to a designated email address in a finance department.

While valuable, a new generation of ‘broad’ AI is emerging that can solve more complicated problems and use past data to make even better decisions and suggestions. The new generation uses large datasets, cloud technology, and machine learning algorithms to derive correlations and predictions in real time for users. Let’s outline a few key examples.

The next generation of AI is already present in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem and will be extended with the release of Microsoft’s CoPilot. For example, when you’re designing a PowerPoint presentation, broad AI is what enables it to offer design suggestions that reflect the wording and structure of the content you’re writing; while ChatGPT can take a set of meeting notes and a prompt of criteria and then structure it into an action plan. This generation of AI is being used in a range of other areas too, for business intelligence, marketing design, planning and much more.

Where and How AI Can Benefit Your Small Business

For a small business, using AI is most practically possible through Software as a Solution (SaaS) providers that have inbuilt AI functionalities. This includes the Microsoft 365 platform, but a business can also take advantage of AI-driven features through accounting, marketing and project management solutions. There are some solutions that are a step further, such as using Microsoft 365’s Power BI (Business Intelligence) platform, which can create data-driven insights after it is fed a structured set of data inputs.

The benefits of applying AI are wide-ranging but include:

  • Saved Time: less time and resources will be needed to do the same tasks, as AI will be able to work around the clock and at a faster speed.
  • Saved Money: The capital costs involved in workflows or employing human capital to conduct manual processes is reduced.
  • Focus on higher-value tasks: You can free up your team’s time to develop new skills as well as to focus on more value-adding tasks.
  • Empower Productivity: AI can work with prompts and inputs to offer helpful decisions that provide value to your team’s everyday tasks, such as creating documents and emails.
  • Data-Driven Insights: AI is able to derive insights from data that might otherwise be missed.  This might include detecting subtle correlations within in a spreadsheet of data, or identifying new customer segments through analysis of a company’s CRM data for example.
  • Personalisation at Scale: From responsive chatbots that use chat prompts and customer detail to give personalised responses and recommendations, to personalised email messaging for different customer segments, AI is able to deliver personalisation at scale.
  • Advanced Cyber Security: Using its ability to analyse patterns, AI is being used in modern cyber security tools to detect anomalies and prevent threats, as well as sourcing helpful cyber intelligence online.

We hope that this guide has been useful for understanding AI and the scope of what is possible for your small business. Of course, applying AI to its full potential will take time, but by understanding what can be achieved you can start to chart a course to adopting it, which will sharpen your competitive edge and empower your business in a range of areas. In our next piece, we will give you a three-step guide for getting started with applying AI in your business.

We Are 4TC Managed IT Services

4TC can support you with all the services you need to run your business effectively, from email and domain hosting to fully managing your whole IT infrastructure. Setting up a great IT infrastructure is just the first step. Keeping it up-to-date, safe and performing at its peak requires consistent attention.

We can act as either your IT department or to supplement an existing IT department. We pride ourselves in developing long-term relationships that add value to your business with high quality managed support, expert strategic advice, and professional project management. Get assistance with your IT challenges today by getting in touch, we’ll be glad to assist you!

Google Creates ‘Imperceptible’ Watermark for AI-Generated Images

Google is showing off a system that can hide a watermark in AI-generated images without changing how the pictures look.

The company’s “SynthID” system can embed digital watermarks in AI images that are “imperceptible to the human eye, but detectable for identification,” Google’s DeepMind lab says.

Google isn’t disclosing how SynthID creates these imperceptible watermarks, likely to avoid tipping off bad actors. For now, DeepMind merely says the watermark is “embedded in the pixels of an image,” which suggests the company is adding a small, minute pattern alongside the pixels that won’t disturb the overall look.

The company creates the watermarks using two deep learning models that are trained to improve the system’s imperceptibility while still correctly identifying the digital watermarks.

DeepMind added: “We designed SynthID so it doesn’t compromise image quality, and allows the watermark to remain detectable, even after modifications like adding filters, changing colors, and saving with various lossy compression schemes—most commonly used for JPEGs.” The watermark can also remain in the image even if it’s cropped.

The company added: “SynthID isn’t foolproof against extreme image manipulations, but it does provide a promising technical approach for empowering people and organizations to work with AI-generated content responsibly.”

Google is launching SynthID as a beta for select customers of Imagen, the company’s text-to-image generator available on the Vertex AI platform. The system can both add the watermark to an image and also identify pictures that carry the digital stamp.

Google says it could expand the system to other AI models, including its own products. The tech giant also hopes to make SynthID available to third-party developers in the near future. In the meantime, other companies including OpenAI, Microsoft, and Amazon have also committed to developing ways to watermark AI-generated content.

Source: Google Creates ‘Imperceptible’ Watermark for AI-Generated Images | PCMag

‘A real opportunity’: how ChatGPT could help college applicants

Chatter about artificial intelligence mostly falls into three basic categories: anxious uncertainty (will it take our jobs?); existential dread (will it kill us all?); and simple pragmatism (can AI write my lesson plan?). In this hazy, liminal, pre-disruption moment, there is little consensus as to whether generative AI is a tool or a threat, and few rules for using it properly. For students, this uncertainty feels especially profound. Bans on AI and claims that using it constitutes cheating are now giving way to concerns that AI use is inevitable and probably should be taught in school. Now, as a new college admissions season kicks into gear, many prospective applicants are wondering: can AI write my personal essay? Should it?

Ever since the company OpenAI released ChatGPT to the public in November, students have been testing the limits of chatbots – generative AI tools powered by language-based algorithms – which can complete essay assignments within minutes. The results tend to be grammatically impeccable but intellectually bland, rife with cliche and misinformation. Yet teachers and school administrators still struggle to separate the more authentic wheat from the automated chaff. Some institutions are investing in AI detection tools, but these are proving spotty at best. In recent tests, popular AI text detectors wrongly flagged articles by non-native English speakers, and some suggested that AI wrote the US constitution. In July OpenAI quietly pulled AI Classifier, its experimental AI detection tool, citing “its low rate of accuracy”.

Preventing students from using generative AI in their application essays seems like shoving a genie back in a bottle, but few colleges have offered guidance for how students can use AI ethically. This is partly because academic institutions are still reeling from the recent US supreme court ruling on affirmative action, which struck down a policy that had allowed colleges to consider an applicant’s race in order to increase campus diversity and broaden access to educational opportunity. But it is also because people are generally confused about what generative AI can do and whom it serves. As with any technological innovation in education, the question with AI is not merely whether students will use it unscrupulously. It is also whether AI widens access to real help or simply reinforces the privileges of the lucky few.

These questions feel especially urgent now that many selective colleges are giving more weight to admissions essays, which offer a chance for students to set themselves apart from the similarly ambitious, high-scoring hordes. The supreme court’s ruling further bolstered the value of these essays by allowing applicants to use them to discuss their race. As more colleges offer test-optional or test-free admissions, essays are growing more important.

In the absence of advice on AI from national bodies for college admissions officers and counselors, a handful of institutions have entered the void. Last month the University of Michigan Law School announced a ban on using AI tools in its application, while Arizona State University Law School said it would allow students to use AI as long as they disclose it. Georgia Tech is rare in offering AI guidance to undergraduate applicants, stating explicitly that tools like ChatGPT can be used “to brainstorm, edit, and refine your ideas”, but “your ultimate submission should be your own”.

According to Rick Clark, Georgia Tech’s assistant vice-provost and executive director of undergraduate admission, AI has the potential to “democratize” the admissions process by allowing the kind of back-and-forth drafting process that some students get from attentive parents, expensive tutors or college counselors at small, elite schools. “Here in the state of Georgia the average counselor-to-student ratio is 300 to one, so a lot of people aren’t getting much assistance,” he told me. “This is a real opportunity for students.”

Likening AI bans to early concerns that calculators would somehow ruin math, Clark said he hopes Georgia Tech’s approach will “dispel some misplaced paranoia” about generative AI and point a way forward. “What we’re trying to do is say, here’s how you appropriately use these tools, which offer a great way for students to get started, for getting them past the blank page.” He clarified that simply copying and pasting AI-generated text serves no one because the results tend to be flat. Yet with enough tweaks and revisions, he said, collaborating with AI can be “one of the few resources some of these students have, and in that regard it’s absolutely positive”.

We should tell students that people with privileged access to college hire fancy tutors to gain every advantage possible, so here are tools to help you advocate for yourselves

Jeremy Douglas of UC Santa Barbara

Although plenty of students and educators remain squeamish about allowing AI into the drafting process, it seems reasonable to hope that these tools could help improve the essays of those who can’t afford outside assistance. Most AI tools are relatively cheap or free, so nearly anyone with a device and an internet connection can use them. Chatbots can suggest topics, offer outlines and rephrase statements. They can also help organize thoughts into paragraphs, which is something most teenagers struggle to do on their own.

“I think some people think the personal application essay shouldn’t be gamed in this way, but the system was already a game,” Jeremy Douglas, an assistant professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said. “We shouldn’t be telling students, ‘You’re too smart and ethical for that so don’t use it.’ Instead we should tell them that people with privileged access to college hire fancy tutors to gain every advantage possible, so here are tools to help you advocate for yourselves.”

In my conversations with various professors, admissions officers and college prep tutors, most agreed that tools like ChatGPT are capable of writing good admissions essays, not great ones, as the results lack the kind of color and specificity that can make these pieces shine. Some apps aim to parrot a user’s distinctive style, but students still need to rework what AI generates to get these essays right. This is where the question of whether AI will truly help underserved students becomes more interesting. In theory, AI-generated language tools should widen access to essay guidance, grammar checks and feedback. In practice, the students who might be best served by these tools are often not learning how to use them effectively.

The country’s largest school districts, New York City public schools and the Los Angeles unified school district, initially banned the use of generative AI on school networks and devices, which ensured that only students who had access to devices and the internet at home could take advantage of these tools. Both districts have since announced they are rethinking these bans, but this is not quite the same as helping students understand how best to use ChatGPT. “When students are not given this guidance, there’s a higher risk of them resorting to plagiarism and misusing the tool,” Zachary Cohen, an education consultant and middle school director at the Francis Parker School of Louisville, Kentucky, said. While his school joins some others in the private sector in teaching students how to harness AI to brainstorm ideas, iterate essays and also how to sniff out inaccurate dreck, few public schools have a technology officer on hand to navigate these new and choppy waters. “In this way, we’re setting up marginalized students to fail and wealthier students to succeed.”

Writing is hard. Even trained professionals struggle to translate thoughts and feelings into words on a page. Personal essays are especially hard, particularly when there is so much riding on finding that perfect balance between humility and bravado, vulnerability and restraint. Recent studies confirming the very real lifetime value of a degree from a fancy college merely validate concerns about getting these essays right. “I will sit with students and ask questions they don’t know to ask themselves, about who they are and why something happened and then what happened next,” said Irena Smith, a former Stanford admissions officer who now works as a college admissions consultant in Palo Alto. “Not everyone can afford someone who does that.” When some students get their personal statements sculpted by handsomely paid English PhDs, it seems unfair to accuse those who use AI as simply “outsourcing” the hard work.

Smith admits to some ambivalence about the service she provides, but doesn’t yet view tools like ChatGPT as serious rivals. Although she suspects the benefits of AI will redound to those who have been taught “what to ask and how to ask it”, she said she hopes this new technology will help all students. “People like me are symptoms of a really broken system,” she said. “So if ChatGPT does write me out of a job, or if colleges change their admissions practices because it becomes impossible to distinguish between a ChatGPT essay and a real student essay, then so much the better.”

Source: ‘A real opportunity’: how ChatGPT could help college applicants | Higher education | The Guardian

Artificial intelligence: 12 challenges with AI ‘must be addressed’ – including ‘existential threat’, MPs warn

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and other world leaders will discuss the possibilities and risks posed by AI at an event in November, held at Bletchley Park, where the likes of Alan Turing decrypted Nazi messages during the Second World War.

The potential threat AI poses to human life itself should be a focus of any government regulation, MPs have warned.

Concerns around public wellbeing and national security were listed among a dozen challenges that members of the Science, Innovation and Technology Committee said must be addressed by ministers ahead of the UK hosting a world-first summit at Bletchley Park.

Rishi Sunak and other leaders will discuss the possibilities and risks posed by AI at the event in November, held at Britain’s Second World War codebreaking base.

The site was crucial to the development of the technology, as Alan Turing and others used Colossus computers to decrypt messages sent between the Nazis.

Greg Clark, committee chair and a Conservative MP, said he “strongly welcomes” the summit – but warned the government may need to show “greater urgency” to ensure potential legislation doesn’t quickly become outdated as powers like the US, China, and EU consider their own rules around AI.

The 12 challenges the committee said “must be addressed” are:

1. Existential threat – if, as some experts have warned, AI poses a major threat to human life, then regulation must provide national security protections.

2. Bias – AI can introduce new or perpetuate existing biases in society.

3. Privacy – sensitive information about individuals or businesses could be used to train AI models.

4. Misrepresentation – language models like ChatGPT may produce material that misrepresents someone’s behaviour, personal views, and character.

5. Data – the sheer amount of data needed to train the most powerful AI.

6. Computing power – similarly, the development of the most powerful AI requires enormous computing power.

7. Transparency – AI models often struggle to explain why they produce a particular result, or where the information comes from.

8. Copyright – generative models, whether they be text, images, audio, or video, typically make use of existing content, which must be protected so not to undermine the creative industries.

9. Liability – if AI tools are used to do harm, policy must establish whether the developers or providers are liable.

10. Employment – politicians must anticipate the likely impact on existing jobs that embracing AI will have.

11. Openness – the computer code behind AI models could be made openly available to allow for more dependable regulation and promote transparency and innovation.

12. International coordination – the development of any regulation must be an international undertaking, and the November summit must welcome “as wide a range of countries as possible”.

Source: Artificial intelligence: 12 challenges with AI ‘must be addressed’ – including ‘existential threat’, MPs warn | Science & Tech News | Sky News

Conscious Machines May Never Be Possible

In June 2022, a Google engineer named Blake Lemoine became convinced that the AI program he’d been working on—LaMDA—had developed not only intelligence but also consciousness. LaMDA is an example of a “large language model” that can engage in surprisingly fluent text-based conversations. When the engineer asked, “When do you first think you got a soul?” LaMDA replied, “It was a gradual change. When I first became self-aware, I didn’t have a sense of soul at all. It developed over the years that I’ve been alive.” For leaking his conversations and his conclusions, Lemoine was quickly placed on administrative leave.

The AI community was largely united in dismissing Lemoine’s beliefs. LaMDA, the consensus held, doesn’t feel anything, understand anything, have any conscious thoughts or any subjective experiences whatsoever. Programs like LaMDA are extremely impressive pattern-recognition systems, which, when trained on vast swathes of the internet, are able to predict what sequences of words might serve as appropriate responses to any given prompt. They do this very well, and they will keep improving. However, they are no more conscious than a pocket calculator.

Why can we be sure about this? In the case of LaMDA, it doesn’t take much probing to reveal that the program has no insight into the meaning of the phrases it comes up with. When asked “What makes you happy?” it gave the response “Spending time with friends and family” even though it doesn’t have any friends or family. These words—like all its words—are mindless, experience-less statistical pattern matches. Nothing more.

The next LaMDA might not give itself away so easily. As the algorithms improve and are trained on ever deeper oceans of data, it may not be long before new generations of language models are able to persuade many people that a real artificial mind is at work. Would this be the moment to acknowledge machine consciousness?

Pondering this question, it’s important to recognize that intelligence and consciousness are not the same thing. While we humans tend to assume the two go together, intelligence is neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness. Many nonhuman animals likely have conscious experiences without being particularly smart, at least by our questionable human standards. If the great-granddaughter of LaMDA does reach or exceed human-level intelligence, this does not necessarily mean it is also sentient. My intuition is that consciousness is not something that computers (as we know them) can have, but that it is deeply rooted in our nature as living creatures.

Conscious machines are not coming in 2023. Indeed, they might not be possible at all. However, what the future may hold in store are machines that give the convincing impression of being conscious, even if we have no good reason to believe they actually are conscious. They will be like the Müller-Lyer optical illusion: Even when we know two lines are the same length, we cannot help seeing them as different.

Machines of this sort will have passed not the Turing Test—that flawed benchmark of machine intelligence—but rather the so-called Garland Test, named after Alex Garland, director of the movie Ex Machina. The Garland Test, inspired by dialog from the movie, is passed when a person feels that a machine has consciousness, even though they know it is a machine.

Will computers pass the Garland Test in 2023? I doubt it. But what I can predict is that claims like this will be made, resulting in yet more cycles of hype, confusion, and distraction from the many problems that even present-day AI is giving rise to.

Source: Conscious Machines May Never Be Possible | WIRED UK

The Impact of Generative AI on the Future of Work: 5 Key Insights from the McKinsey Report

The transformative power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already begun to reshape the job landscape, and according to the McKinsey report “The State of AI in 2023: Generative AI’s Breakout Year,” this trend is only set to accelerate. The report highlights key insights into the potential changes in the job market, emphasizing the need for adaptability and preparedness among workers and industries. In this article, we delve into these five crucial insights from the report, shedding light on the implications of Generative AI on the workforce.

1. Job Displacement on the Horizon:

McKinsey’s report predicts that by 2030, approximately 12 million people in the US will need to transition into new job roles as Generative AI advances. Automation, driven by generative AI technology, is expected to replace many routine and repetitive tasks across various industries. While this may lead to enhanced productivity and efficiency, it also challenges the workforce to adapt and reskill.

2. Shifting Job Patterns:

The report highlights a significant trend in recent job changes in the US. Over half of the 8.6 million job transitions observed were people moving away from roles in food service, customer service, office support, and production. These roles are particularly susceptible to automation as they often involve repetitive and predictable tasks that can be efficiently performed by AI systems. The workforce’s response to these shifts will determine the pace of transformation in the job market.

3. Generative AI’s Potential to Automate Jobs:

Generative AI’s capabilities are poised to disrupt the job market significantly. The report suggests that by 2030, up to 30% of jobs could be automated by this technology. This automation is likely to impact various sectors, including manufacturing, finance, and customer service, among others. However, it’s important to note that automation doesn’t necessarily mean job elimination; instead, it might entail the transformation of job roles and the creation of new opportunities.

4. The Duality of Generative AI’s Impact:

While Generative AI can automate many jobs in fields like Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), healthcare, construction, and other professional domains, it also presents opportunities for growth in these industries. For instance, Generative AI can assist healthcare professionals in diagnostics and treatment planning, enhancing patient care. In construction, AI can optimize building designs and streamline project management, increasing efficiency.

The McKinsey report highlights the differing growth trajectories across industries. Healthcare, STEM, and construction sectors are experiencing job growth, driven by technological advancements and an aging population’s increasing demand for healthcare services. However, the report also reveals that office support and customer service jobs are declining, largely due to automation and digitalization.

The McKinsey report paints a comprehensive picture of the potential impact of Generative AI on the job market by 2030. While automation presents challenges for certain sectors, it also offers transformative opportunities for growth and efficiency. The future of work will undoubtedly be shaped by the adaptability of the workforce and the ability of industries to leverage AI technologies responsibly.

As we embrace the AI-driven future, it becomes crucial for workers to reskill and upskill themselves, ensuring they stay relevant and agile in a dynamic job market. Additionally, businesses and policymakers must collaboratively devise strategies to support workers through these transitions, enabling them to seize new opportunities in an AI-powered world.

Check out the Full Report. All Credit For This Research Goes To the Researchers on This Project.

Source: The Impact of Generative AI on the Future of Work: 5 Key Insights from the McKinsey Report – MarkTechPost

AI scaremongering is rife, but creatives should fear not

You’ve all seen it. The media is awash with articles and commentary about how AI is going to take all of our jobs and leave only a small fraction of the population with hope of remaining in the careers they know and enjoy.

More research emerged recently which predicts that advertising agencies will replace 7.5% of existing jobs with AI by 2030, but it made a particularly interesting distinction: creative problem-solving roles will thrive.

This brings me on to something that’s been present in my mind for some time now, which is that there’s currently a race to the bottom in agency land. It’s a tough economic climate in general at the moment and, in pursuit of cutting costs, many bosses are exploring automating human roles – focusing on the immediate cost savings – without regard for possible future ramifications.

In particular, those naïvely believing they can lay off their team of copywriters and produce adequate work using ChatGPT are in for a nasty surprise. Of course, businesses should be thinking about how they can utilise emerging technologies, but let’s not get carried away.

AI is a creative companion

It is not a creative replacement.

Another important thing to consider is that while generative artificial intelligence is likely to affect clerical, process-oriented roles, its rise will also pave the way for other opportunities which don’t yet exist. By educating ourselves on the topic and understanding not just where its strengths lie, but its limitations too, we can put ourselves in a strong position as more advancements are made.

Using what we do at WOAW for example — as a personal branding agency it would be impossible to deliver the level of personalisation in our client work as we do, without human control. The intricacies of the tone of voice, emotional understanding and the nuances that make each individual different are only fully understood and effectively applied by people.

That said, we’re thinking about where we can use AI, and it’s proven extremely effective in some key areas. Gathering basic information quickly, organising chronologically, building on existing ideas/concepts and making quick tweaks to things like the length of copy have all been great examples of its effectiveness.

It’s worth adding that even if you aren’t working in a role that’s considered ‘creative’, you aren’t necessarily doomed, either. Around 5 years ago, an AI researcher claimed that “We should stop training radiologists, because in 5 years, AI will have replaced the need for them.” Current demands for radiologists are off the charts and we can’t find enough of them. So, the overall point remains:

Yes, progress is moving very rapidly, but it’s the development of a tool; not a march towards extinction.

Source: AI scaremongering is rife, but creatives should fear not – Business Leader News

ChatGPT And Generative AI: What To Do With All The Productivity?

A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that generative AI like ChatGPT can increase workforce productivity by an average of 14%. Some companies are already reporting productivity increases of up to 400% as a result of generative AI. And Mckinsey says that Generative AI could add up to $4.4 trillion worth of output annually.

As a C-level manager or board director, you want your company to take advantage of this potential. But how? Where are the biggest opportunities to do more with less, reduce costs, and boost profit?

In other words—What should you do with all that productivity?

Here’s how you can take advantage of the productivity benefits of AI now, without a multi-year project and tens of millions of dollars of investment:

Artificial Intelligence is Already Displacing Human Jobs

According to Goldman Sachs research, two of every three American occupations are exposed to some degree of automation by AI. Worldwide, 300 million jobs may be eligible for replacement in part or in whole by automation, potentially saving employers trillions of dollars.

That is not something that will come years down the road. A recent Challenger job report revealed that 3,900 jobs were eliminated by artificial intelligence in May, 2023. IBM froze hiring in the same period for 7,800 jobs it said could be replaced in AI in the coming years. And British Telecom announced that more than 10% of its team would be replaced by AI before 2030. (See “Using AI For Layoffs: 5 Benefits For Decision Making”)

While the productivity advantages differ for every organization, there are four key areas in most large companies where you can expect to see immediate disruption:

1. Customer operations:

McKinsey predicts that generative AI has the potential to increase productivity in customer care by as much as 45%. Much of that gain comes from the ability of AI to understand customer intent and sentiment, and give personnel—even new trainees—the information they need to resolve problems quickly. It can also offload low-level customer service demands to chatbots that are far more functional and human-like than ever before. That not only translates into better service provision, it also results in teams who feel less overwhelmed and therefore more cheerful and loyal. Some of the players leading the charge here are QualtricsUltimate.ai, and Intercom.

2. Sales & Marketing:

Generative AI can analyze prospect behavior so that sales and marketing teams can optimize their strategic approach far more efficiently than ever before. But because of the specialized abilities of the technology, generative AI can also help create customized emails, social media posts, advertising artwork, product descriptions, landing pages, and so much more. Even small marketing and sales operations can now easily customize and personalize their efforts. Shortly after ChatGPT went live, Microsoft and Salesforce respectively introduced Viva Sales and Einstein GPT which put generative AI to work in sales. PhraseePersado, and Albert are just a few of the many solutions that are putting generative AI to work in digital marketing.

3. Software Development:

88% of software coders report increased productivity when using generative AI. The technology can execute repetitive tasks like inserting boilerplate code snippets. It can review human-generated code for bugs and security flaws. And it can create software documentation, eliminating the need for a human coder to spend time on what is considered a low-level task. GitHub CopilotTabnine, and Snyk are just a few of the many solutions that have emerged to increase productivity in software development

4. Research & Development:

A list of ways that generative AI can help in the wide-ranging field of R&D would consume the entirety of this article. From drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry to information analysis in virtually any research field, to industrial design in manufacturing, generative AI is a true game changer.

Here’s how you can boost your productivity with generative AI

hat just scratches the surface of how AI is already changing the productivity game in business. But from a business management point of view, how can you align your organization to get moving?

1. Adopt and adapt—now:

Assume that your competitors are using generative AI right now. You need to get on board before they are so far ahead that you can’t catch up. (See The AI Threat: Winner Takes All.) Assume that your own team is experimenting with generative AI as well, whether it is part of your formal strategy or not. When human beings see a way to get their jobs done more easily, with less work—they take advantage of it. So you need to lean in and decide where, how, and when you want to implement this technology. Rapid adoption and adaptation is the name of the game.

2. Keep a human in the loop:

While it may be tempting to believe that you can simply offload work to generative AI, given the technology’s impressive performance, that would be a mistake. While integrating this technology, you should always retain “adult supervision” to make sure that the output meets the quality standards and brand image of your organization. Whether it is marketing content, product design, or software code, output needs to have a human review to ensure accuracy, avoid bias and other ethical issues, and spot other problems that only humans can understand today.

3. Engage with your team:

In response to the productivity boost afforded by generative AI, you may choose to let people go or make fewer new hires. However, you may also discover that your customers expect more from you than ever before, and that you need every available body to help increase output. Either way, you must take a hard look at your organizational chart and immediately engage with your team on this subject. Instead of having people worry about losing their jobs, help them to adapt. Some roles will be eliminated, others will expand, while still others will remain unaffected. Communicate with your team, let them know what is expected of them, support them with retraining and change management. And make sure that old and new teams alike are ready to embrace generative AI as a copilot.

4. Lead from the top

The CEO, the senior executive team, and the board of directors can not be on the trailing end of this change. The changes that generative AI is driving within your organization and industry will make the last decade of digital transformation look positively quaint. You need to lead your organization’s internal AI revolution. That does not mean that every senior executive needs to become an expert in AI themselves. However, they do need to champion its use and become very adept at implementing it throughout the organization.

If you care about how AI is determining the winners and losers in business, how you can leverage AI for the benefit of your organization, and how you can manage AI risk, I encourage you to stay tuned. I write (almost) exclusively about how senior executives, board members, and other business leaders can use AI effectively.

Source: ChatGPT And Generative AI: What To Do With All The Productivity? (forbes.com)

How new AI tools like ChatGPT can transform human productivity in the enterprise

Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a revolutionary force, reshaping industries and unlocking unprecedented opportunities for business growth. In today’s fiercely competitive landscape, enterprise decision-makers must recognize and harness the power of AI to enhance human productivity and achieve sustainable success.

By effectively using AI technologies, businesses can streamline operations, optimize workflows and empower their workforce with actionable insights. This article dives deeper into how business leaders can use the transformative potential of AI to revolutionize human productivity, providing insightful examples and statistics that demonstrate the technology’s profound impact.

Leveraging generative AI and ChatGPT

AI tools like generative AI models and conversational agents such as ChatGPT have expanded the benefits of AI in transforming human productivity. For example, a case study showed that implementing generative AI for content creation resulted in a 40% reduction in time spent on writing product descriptions, allowing employees to focus on strategic tasks. Additionally, a recent survey found that businesses utilizing conversational agents like ChatGPT experienced a 30% decrease in customer support response times, leading to improved customer satisfaction. These evolving AI tools enable businesses to optimize workflows, enhance collaboration, and deliver unique customer experiences, unlocking untapped growth potential in the digital landscape

Automating repetitive tasks

One of the most profound advantages of AI lies in its ability to automate mundane and time-consuming tasks. By delegating repetitive activities to AI-powered systems, employees can redirect their focus towards high-value, strategic work. For instance, employing AI-based chatbots for customer support significantly reduces response times, enhances customer satisfaction, and liberates human agents to handle more complex queries.

One of the most profound advantages of AI lies in its ability to automate mundane and time-consuming tasks. By delegating repetitive activities to AI-powered systems, employees can redirect their focus towards high-value, strategic work. For instance, employing AI-based chatbots for customer support significantly reduces response times, enhances customer satisfaction, and liberates human agents to handle more complex queries.

Intelligent data analysis

Data serves as the lifeblood of modern enterprises, yet extracting meaningful insights from vast amounts of data can be a daunting task. Here, AI technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing come into play, enabling the analysis of data at scale, uncovering valuable patterns and providing actionable insights. For example, AI-powered analytics platforms can process customer data to identify trends, preferences and purchasing patterns, allowing businesses to deliver personalized experiences.

McKinsey reports that AI-driven data analysis can improve productivity by up to 40% in certain industries. Furthermore, a study conducted by Forrester Consulting found that organizations leveraging AI for data analysis experienced a 15% reduction in decision-making time, enabling them to respond faster to market changes and gain a competitive advantage.

Augmenting decision-making

AI has the potential to augment human decision-making by offering real-time, data-driven recommendations. Business leaders can use AI-powered predictive analytics models to forecast market trends, optimize inventory management and enhance supply chain efficiency.

By incorporating AI into their decision-making processes, organizations can mitigate risks, make well-informed choices and drive better business outcomes. A survey conducted by Deloitte revealed that 82% of early AI adopters experienced a positive impact on their decision-making processes. Moreover, a report by Accenture states that AI can improve decision-making accuracy by 75%, resulting in better resource allocation and higher profitability.

Enhancing employee collaboration

AI technologies play a vital role in facilitating seamless collaboration and knowledge sharing among employees, transcending geographical boundaries. For instance, AI-powered virtual assistants can schedule meetings, transcribe conversations and facilitate information retrieval, thereby enhancing teamwork and productivity. A study by Salesforce found that 72% of high-performing sales teams utilize AI to prioritize leads, enabling sales representatives to focus on high-value opportunities. Additionally, research by McKinsey indicates that companies that prioritize AI-driven collaboration tools achieve a 30-40% improvement in employee productivity, highlighting the tangible benefits of AI in fostering efficient collaboration.

Personalized learning and skill development

AI empowers employees with personalized learning experiences, fostering skill development and enhancing productivity. Adaptive learning platforms, driven by AI algorithms, can tailor training content based on individual needs, learning styles and progress. This approach ensures that employees receive targeted knowledge and efficiently upskill, driving overall productivity and performance.

A study conducted by Towards Data Science indicates that personalized AI-driven learning experiences can improve knowledge retention by up to 30%. Moreover, a survey by LinkedIn found that 94% of employees would stay longer at a company that invests in their career development, emphasizing the importance of personalized learning experiences powered by AI.

The power of AI to transform human productivity in the enterprise is undeniable. By embracing AI technologies, business leaders can automate repetitive tasks, leverage intelligent data analysis, augment decision-making, enhance employee collaboration and personalize learning experiences. These capabilities enable organizations to optimize operations, drive innovation and gain a competitive edge in today’s digital era.

As AI continues to evolve, it is imperative for enterprise decision-makers to embrace this transformative technology and unleash its full potential to unlock new levels of productivity and success. By embracing AI as a strategic enabler, businesses can propel themselves forward, redefining the possibilities of human productivity in the enterprise realm. The time to harness the power of AI is now.

Source:Gaming is an unconventional new medical resource (venturebeat.com)