Artificial intelligence made headlines in early 2023 following the launch of ChatGPT, the generative AI interface where users enter a text prompt that algorithms then use to generate content. Now AI is increasingly beginning to take on human roles. An AI robot lawyer was set to defend a person in court in California in February 2022, but has since been shut down after the defendant received threats of possible prosecution and prison time. This may well become a reality though in the not too distant future. In September 2022, NetDragon, a Chinese company, announced the appointment of an AI-powered virtual humanoid robot as the CEO of its subsidiary, Fujian NetDragon. Codeword, a US marketing agency, hired the world’s first AI interns, Aiden and Aiko, alongside a team of 106 human employees for a three-month trial period.
Why is it important?
Ai is disrupting the world of work in ways that’s difficult to fully comprehend. While the case studies above may appear to be gimmicky, it does herald a change in the way we work. AI will continue to become increasingly embedded in our lives. Last year, the World Economic Forum predicted that AI would replace 85 million jobs by 2025 but create 97 million new ones. Humans will still be in demand but in different ways. There are many benefits to incorporating AI into businesses. Organisations have been adopting AI to reduce operational costs, increase efficiency, grow revenue and improve customer experience. The McKinsey 2020 Global AI Survey reported that 22% of companies using AI said the technology accounted for over 5% of their 2019 earnings before interest and taxes.
What can businesses do about it?
Businesses wanting to implement this technology should do so by augmenting rather than replacing human capabilities.To accomplish this, the right skillsets are required; management needs to invest in talent that can perform such tasks. According to Forbes magazine, it’s essential to define the end goals of your business first and then to invest in smart software that through its flexibility can help you achieve your aims. AI is a powerful, yet emerging technology that has the potential to revolutionise how you do business. It takes an open-minded and forward-thinking attitude to see the benefits it could bring and to embrace it wholeheartedly.
By Faeeza Khan
For more on the rise of the machines, check out our upcoming Open Session The State We’re In 2023 – THE GREAT UNRAVELLING AND THE RISE OF THE MACHINES. It takes place on Tuesday, the 14th of February from 9 to 10am in Johannesburg. Our annual trends briefing – The State We’re In – is designed to give delegates a glimpse of where the world is, and where the world is going. Using our T.R.E.N.D.S methodology we highlight the key trends in each pillar that will have an impact on businesses and individuals alike. We delve into the undercurrents between the pillars and how they come together to create the winds of change that continue to shape our world and affect businesses.
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