AI can now access up-to-date information: What impact does this have on your SME?

In the ever-evolving world of business, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for success

AI can now access up-to-date information

Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays an increasingly central role in decision-making processes, offering companies valuable insights and enhancing efficiency. However, when it comes to AI, the relevance of the data it uses is crucial. AI systems have been frozen in time, only being able to draw information from September 2021.

Using outdated information can lead to significant legal implications. A prime of example of this was when a New York attorney, Steven Schwarts, got sanctioned for submitting a legal brief which was written by ChatGPT. Schwarts got fined $5,000 and has been publicly shamed by the media. This goes to show, when AI makes a mistake or you rely on data which could potentially be outdated or wrong, it is the user living with the consequences and not the Chat bot. 

However, the use of outdated data is changing. With OpenAI (the Microsoft backed creators of ChatGPT), announcing that their chat bot will soon be able to search the Internet to provide current up-to-date information in their responses. 

This transition has widespread implications for businesses of all sizes, particularly for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In this article, we’ll explore the positive and negative impacts of this transition on SMEs and how they can adapt to harness the benefits while mitigating potential challenges.

Positive impacts

Enhanced decision-making

 AI powered by current data provides SMEs with up-to-the-minute insights, enabling faster and more informed decision-making. This real-time intelligence can lead to better stock management, pricing strategies, and customer service improvements.

Improved customer experiences

SMEs can personalise customer experiences by analysing current data to predict consumer behaviour. Targeted marketing campaigns and tailored product recommendations are just a few examples that lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Competitive edge:

SMEs can better compete with larger corporations by utilising AI-driven strategies that are responsive to market shifts. Real-time data allows SMEs to identify trends and opportunities quickly and respond with agility.

Cost savings:

Efficiency gains are significant when AI systems have access to current data. This results in reduced operational costs, as processes can be optimised for maximum efficiency, with reduced waste in resources.

Negative impacts

Data security

With current data at the core of AI operations, maintaining robust data security becomes paramount. SMEs need to invest in cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive business information from potential breaches.

Financial investment

Adapting to AI with current data may require a considerable financial investment. SMEs may need to allocate resources for infrastructure upgrades, staff training, and the acquisition of AI technologies.

Skill gaps

SMEs often lack the in-house expertise required to harness the potential of AI effectively. It’s crucial to bridge skill gaps by hiring or training employees with AI capabilities or outsourcing to experts.

Market saturation

 As more SMEs adopt AI, markets can become saturated, making it challenging for individual businesses to differentiate themselves solely on this basis. It’s essential to have a comprehensive AI strategy that complements overall business goals.

Adapting to the Change

To thrive in the AI era driven by current data, SMEs should consider the following strategies:

Invest in cybersecurity

Prioritise data security measures to protect valuable business information from potential threats.

Adopt incremental changes

Implement AI gradually to manage the financial burden. Start with small projects to build familiarity and trust in the technology.

Staff training

Train existing employees or hire individuals with AI expertise. Encourage continuous learning and adaptation to stay competitive.

Strategic Partnerships

Collaborate with AI experts or service providers to leverage their knowledge and technology, reducing the burden of in-house development.

Data Ethics

Ensure compliance with data privacy regulations, ethical data handling, and transparency to build trust with customers.


The transition to AI with current data is an exciting development for SMEs, offering unparalleled opportunities for growth and competitiveness. However, this shift also presents challenges, particularly in terms of data security and financial investment. SMEs that adapt wisely by focusing on cybersecurity, incremental changes, staff training, strategic partnerships, and ethical data use will be better positioned to thrive in the evolving business landscape. In the AI era, data is indeed king, and SMEs that wield it effectively will reign supreme.

Karen Holden
Karen Holden

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