How to harness the power of AI for your business 

What are the common misconceptions about AI?

How to harness the power of AI for your business

The word artificial intelligence, better known as AI, has become the newest lingo in the world of business. Piers Linney, former BBC’s Dragon Den, co-founder of Implement AI, Elena Sinel, Founder of Teens in AI, Erika Brodnock MBE, founder and CEO of Kinhub and McVal Osbourne, co-founder of The Future Communicator, took to the stage at Elite Business Live 2024 for the Digital Transformation panel as they discussed the pros of using AI in your business – and the potential risks involved. 

We often hear misconceptions about AI, from what it is to what it can do. What are the common misunderstandings around AI? Erika Brodnock spoke about the ‘fear-mongering’ around AI, and how AI is not here to take over but rather to assist businesses in their day-to-day functions. “There are many misconceptions about AI, and over the years we’ve had alot of fear-mongering around computers and machines and that they’re going to take everybody’s jobs, and it’s going to be absolute pandemonium,” she said. Praising the Open AI Chat GPT function, Erika added: “I’m really grateful to the team at Open AI over the last couple of years because what they’ve done is create ChatGPT. Everybody’s been able to use it and see that instead of it being something that will take over and obliterate the way that we work as humans, it can be something that assists us and helps us in ways that haven’t really been possible before.”

Erika explained how AI can be used to bridge the skills gap for people in the workforce, helping to assist in tasks and enabling them to do their jobs more efficiently. “I think the best way of looking at AI is how we can use AI for good to democratise access,” she said. 

How are businesses implementing AI in their operations? Is it more of a hype, or are companies really implementing AI on a grand scale? McVal Osbourne believes that AI is being talked about a lot in the news but it is not being used to the degree that we may think. He said: “I think that adoption of AI tools across larger businesses is going to be harder than people think. We are living in a filter bubble of entrepreneurs who are following the same people on Twitter, and reading the same newspapers and we would think that everyone is living with Chat GPT on their home page. But when I walk into a lot of businesses, a lot of comms teams are using Chat GPT once or twice per week.” 

What is the biggest blocker for businesses that stops them from adopting more AI tools in practice? McVal explained: “I think it is overwhelming, just complete overwhelm with seeing how many tools there are out there and also the safety concerns. I don’t think it (AI) is hard to use, but I think that there’s a lack of clarity in terms of the tools and models.” AI is the talk of the town these days, but why aren’t more businesses jumping on the bandwagon? The rapid advancement of Artificial Intelligence raises significant ethical and societal concerns. Elena Sinel explained the potential risks around AI, and how some businesses still don’t fully trust adopting AI solutions into their company infrastructure. “I think people don’t trust AI systems in a way that perhaps others who develop those systems anticipated,” she said. “So, we are not seeing the mass adoption because people just don’t trust it. It hallucinates, and it makes a lot of mistakes. There are safety risks, particularly for children using those AI systems. When Snapchat AI came out, I was interviewed the next day being asked what exactly was happening. They asked me what my take on it was. And I mean, my take is that it’s too early. This AI system should never have been released so early. When chapter two came out again, I was on the cautious side and on the fence, along with many other AI critics, about the risks and the safety around it and of course, the developers of those systems because, who are they?” 

Even with the risks surrounding AI, some businesses are still diving into the deep end and using AI solutions in their practices. “That’s what we do at Implement AI, we help businesses get over this issue.” Piers Linney said. “Large companies struggle sometimes to implement this technology, but they understand the potential of it and how to use its resources. So, even if they’re struggling a bit, they’re eventually going to crack that nut.”

While AI applications continue to grow, business leaders will likely explore ways to use AI while mitigating risks, Piers said. “With AI you have to have policy and governance in place because they’re very powerful tools,” he added. “You almost need a sandbox so people can use AI responsibly but have some leeway to work around it. Yes, AI does have hallucinations, but the danger is that whenever you are in the exponential curve of growth, there will be shortcomings. So, the shortcomings of AI today are about the worst it’s ever going to be, it will likely improve from here.”

Latifa Yedroudj
Latifa Yedroudj

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