April 14, 2024
How AI can be a 'multivitamin supplement' for many industries


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No matter where you are, AI, ChatGPT and related tools are the most popular topics of conversation. Statistics show that the global generative AI market is growing at a CAGR of just over 27% and will surpass $22 billion by 2025.

Now, the question is how it will change the way we operate?

You are here: The current state of AI 

Because nobody knows what technology can and cannot do for us yet, we are still in the “try it on everything and see what sticks” phase. Some businesses have laid off workers or cut budgets because they believe that AI can do their jobs better, faster or cheaper. For example, the German publication Bild recently cut about 200 jobs due to automation and “reorganization.” 

Instead of taking the route of eliminating jobs, companies should focus on leveraging AI-human synergy to boost entrepreneurship and business growth. This path leads to job creation, more security for — and loyalty from — existing employees and a better overall job market. Working together with AI means laborers have jobs that are easier and more plentiful, freeing businesses to grow, expand and experiment without worrying about their bottom line as much.

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We have learned that AI is great for aggregating, parsing and analyzing data. It’s also a good frontline customer service stand-in, providing round-the-clock basic assistance for customers in nearly every industry. Gen AI for a more “human” first-line customer service experience has already been tested with positive results, and it’s a simple, effective way for other companies to “get their feet wet” with the technology.

The most important thing to understand about the current state of AI in business is that now is the time to take risks and innovate. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to implement AI yet, so businesses of all sizes have a unique opportunity to trailblaze new and effective applications for AI technology.

Peering into the proverbial crystal ball: Predictions for an AI-powered future 

AI will be the “multivitamin supplement” of many industries. It won’t replace humans in the same way that supplements don’t replace a healthy diet. Still, it will strengthen companies’ existing operations and fill in the gaps that are currently making work more burdensome for human laborers.

People will do fewer routine tasks and instead fill supervisory roles for automation and robotics. It’s exciting to realize that there will soon be professions that we don’t even have names for yet. As the technology ages and matures and governing bodies create the necessary laws and regulations, our current state of uncertainty will transform into an exciting, bright new future of human-tech cooperation.

We are already seeing this future take shape. For instance, MarTech companies are testing AI-powered fraud detection to supplement the work that human experts do to monitor traffic quality and transparency. This not only eases the human workload but helps companies save resources while getting better results overall. 

Similar benefits of human-AI collaboration can be seen in healthcare, with AI that can be trained to assist patients with recovery treatments or perform routine tasks in medical offices or hospitals, freeing nurses and doctors up to focus on patient outcomes. It’s present in warehouses, manufacturing and q-commerce as well, and I think the future will see even more cooperative roles that we don’t even have a frame of reference for yet. 

The most likely future for AI is treating it as a “joint effort” technology that requires humans to reach its full potential, so these types of collaborative applications are what corporations should focus on when considering new AI integrations.

How AI affects startups: The investor’s perspective

With equal parts excitement and uncertainty, startups are eager to find the most unique and promising applications for AI. One of the most beautiful things about this AI-powered world we’re moving into is that nobody really knows what the “right” direction is, so founders are free to be as innovative as possible. 

Startups are often focused on capitalizing on the trends of the moment, and AI is no exception. We’ve seen big companies like Microsoft make massive investments in AI applications, and we’ve also seen ambitious startups bet on AI’s capabilities. Still, the truth is that many other corporations are slow-moving and not yet ready to take significant risks with the technology. This is where startups can come in to fill those riskier innovation gaps. 

It’s a race to impress investors right now, so I think we’ll see these companies pop up like mushrooms over the next year or two. Founders are looking for ways to launch projects centered around ideas that already exist in the world but can be applied in AI.

Entrepreneurs seeking capital right now are likely wondering if investors will be evaluating them based on whether they have the capacity for AI expansion. The truth is that it is better for startups to build AI into their business plans. The technology is here to stay, and it is more attractive to investors to see a startup with long-term goals that incorporate AI in some form. However, it’s just as important to have ready answers to questions about ethical implementation and fair use because these topics are already being spotlighted as potential problems with the technology. 

Alexander Bachmann is founder and CEO of Mitgo and has more than two decades of experience in the MarTech industry.

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