AI Is Infiltrating Every Corner of the Business World. Is This A Good Thing?

“From Siri to Alexa to Watson, we’re living in an AI world,” says Peter George, CEO of empow, a global cybersecurity firm. I couldn’t agree more. From carrying on conversations with humans to propelling self-driving cars, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fast becoming an integral part of everyday life. And its influence in the world of business is no exception.

The vast capabilities of AI and how they are being used in business is the focus of a recent American Express OPEN Forum article which features the viewpoints and predictions of eleven business leaders, of which I was one. (Peter George was another.) 

Though we come from different industries, the eleven of us all recognize the enormous value of AI and how it can be used in business to complement, but not completely replace, humans. This is a big subject, and only getting bigger, which is why I’d like to share with you a sample of these leaders’ statements, along with my own. Enjoy, learn and share. (You can access the article here.)

We can almost measure human productivity in terms of before, and after, AI

Here’s what I said in the AmEx article:

“AI is proving to be as transformative of our society as the invention of the printing press, the development of the steam engine, the introduction of machines to make clothing, the discovery of jet propulsion and the internet. It is making headway in a wide variety of areas, including energy and the financial services sectors.”

Some other observations that are really on-point:

“AI understands concepts and context. From the weather to the shop floor to robotic surgery, AI’s massive processing power is far faster than the human brain in computational ability and is progressing in conventionally ‘human’ areas like strategic thinking and inference.”                                                                               Peter George

“AI is to meant to complement and enhance humans. It offers the opportunity for businesses to automate routine tasks so that humans can better use their time, providing higher value contributions.”                                  —Ellie Mirman, CMO of Crayon

“We’re starting to see features based on AI that eliminate repetitive or mindless tasks. This means we can expect productivity gains and much more effective competition at companies that embrace AI.”                                             David Thomas, CEO of Evident

“Chatbots can answer questions, provide sales suggestions and offer customer support. I expect to see a lot more websites and social properties with AI-powered chatbots in 2018.”                                                                                      —Andy Bernhart, FirstDentist 

“Robots can’t shake your hand or look you in the eye or feel emotions such as empathy and sympathy. That’s always going to be something you can only get from a real person.”
—Clare Cooper, executive director and head of Glocomms

Humans need AI but fortunately, AI needs humans 

For those of you who worry that AI is going to grab your job, I offer this great quote from Ben Plomion, CMO of GumGum, an artificial intelligence company:

“There’s a lot of fear of AI in business taking jobs, but let’s look at Facebook as an example. Brand safety is a big concern for many companies like Facebook. Monitoring social media sites for altered photos or incorrect news takes a powerful combination of people and machine, which is a common recipe of AI.”

So for now at least, I think we’re safe.

For other influential business innovations you need to know about, check out these blogs and podcasts:

Is your business ready for the future?

More than ever before, businesses need to be able to sustain growth in changing times, before there is a crisis. Do you have a plan in place or are you on the brink of being disrupted? At Simon Associates Management Consultants, we specialize in helping organizations change, grow and thrive amidst today’s fast-changing times. Please contact us. We’d like to help.

From Observation to Innovation,


Andi Simon, Ph.D.
Corporate Anthropologist | President
Simon Associates Management Consultants

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