Artificial intelligence or AI, a term coined in 1956, is in the headlines every day. It’s been touted as the best thing to come along and the worst thing as well. The reality probably lies somewhere in the middle. Will it mean the end of humans (as Stephen Hawking suggested), or at least a big job killer (replacing 300 million jobs worldwide)? Will it provide solutions for small businesses? Have you thought about AI and your business? Do you understand what ChatGPT can do (there are already more than 100+ million users)?
It’s time to understand the technology and what it can mean for your business:
Recently, Clutch surveyed small business leaders to determine where they stand with respect to AI. Here are some of the key findings:
- Almost all (82%) leaders anticipate that AI will disrupt their operations in the next few years, and many think that AI will completely transform their businesses in that time.
- Demand for AI development services on Clutch grew 514% YoY in the first quarter of 2023.
- Top feelings about AI: excited, optimistic, motivated, although 10% felt overwhelmed, frightened, or worried.
- Currently, 84% of small businesses already use AI for chat bots and customer engagement, preparing presentations, and writing marketing materials.
- Small businesses expect AI to increase their need for outsourced services across departments: Engineering (83%), Sales and Customer Experience (78%), Marketing (77%), and more.
Impact of AI on small businesses
Entrepreneur had a blog explaining how AI can help run a small business. The key points:
- Generate high quality content. (Question to readers: Will this make me, a content creator, obsolete?).
- Streamline mundane and repetitive tasks, such as document generation.
- Identify variables that can impact just about everything you do, such as pricing, customer preferences, and operational costs.
- Detect and respond to changes in the marketplace by analyzing trends.
The future is now
The quote “the future is now” has been attributed to various sources, including Doc Brown in Back to the Future. Whatever the correct source, it’s meaning is clear. AI is not a distant sci fi technology; it’s here. I recently received an email from my grandson with an intro stating it was generated by an app; the content sounded just like him.
New York City is set to begin enforcing a law regulating how employers can use automated employment decision tools (AEDTs) in making hiring and promotion decisions. Under rules implementing the law, employers using AEDTs must conduct annual bias audits and provide certain notices to employees and job candidates.
Forbes has a list of considerations that small businesses should look at when considering AI for their companies. All of these considerations factor in cost and what can be achieved.
Read more about using automation tools for your small business in this earlier blog.