We continue our week long look at how technology improves the way we work, learn, and live. Be sure to check out yesterday’s post on leading technology-driven change.
As artificial intelligence continues to make headway in our day-to-day lives, it’s hard to overstate how much it will impact the things we do on a daily basis. According to Gartner, “AI is starting to deliver on its potential, and its benefits for businesses are becoming a reality.” And according to research from Deloitte, “virtually all adopters are using AI to improve efficiency; mature adopters are also harnessing the technologies to boost differentiation.”
Adding fuel to the trend, funding allocated to AI initiatives remains strong, and there are many different flavors of Artificial Intelligence coming onto the scene. Suppose we glance at the Gartner Hype Cycle on AI. In that case, we discover a fascinating list of products and concepts, including items such as “Things as Customers” and “Digital Ethics” and “Autonomous Vehicles.” The fact of the matter is that AI is here to stay, and nearly every serious discipline will be altered by it.
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Artificial Intelligence Vantage Points
There are two fundamental vantage points for looking at AI. On the one hand, we can consider AI as a consumer, and as consumers we use AI as we go through our day in various ways. We might use the natural language processing in our voice-to-text features on our phone to send a message to our colleague, or we might use the self-driving mode that’s available now in many modern cars.
On the other hand, we can consider AI as a producer running a business. For producers, AI has become more of a mandate. This distinction between consumer and producer is important because, as a consumer, we might be cautious when adopting AI.
Artificial Intelligence Implications
As a producer of products and services, the situation is reversed. We may find that we must invest in AI as part of our product to stay competitive. The market pressures are simply too significant to stand back and wait. The sooner we engage in using AI as producers, the sooner we can learn what works and what doesn’t. It doesn’t mean that we must surrender our decision making to the algorithms. It means, instead, that we are engaged in learning. With a keen eye on the customer, we can look for ways to provide a better product or service and to remain competitive in the process.
As a consumer, we might be skeptical of the implications of AI in our day-to-day life. We might prefer, for example, to use a foldout paper map to find our way somewhere new rather than relying on the efficient directions provided by a smart map on our phone. Perhaps we enjoy the pleasure of unexpected discoveries along the way.
Many of us are both producers and consumers in one way or another. This affords us the opportunity to come at AI from both angles. For now, I’ll keep using voice-to-text for those messages to colleagues, but I’m not taking my hands off the steering wheel.
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