AI friend or foe? Unveiling the bright and dark sides to AI adoption
There is no denying it – AI is the definitive technology of our time
AI has changed the game when it comes to innovation. From enhancing drug development, delivering personalised learning and powering self-driving cars, AI has proven itself as a powerful ally in human advancement.
Despite being around for decades, AI adoption has only truly skyrocketed over the recent years, with organisations jumping on the AI bandwagon as a means of keeping up with customer demands and market competition.
While it undoubtedly has its upsides, there is more to AI than initially appears. And there are major complications that can arise should organisations fail to approach its implementation in the right way.
So how can business leaders navigate the dark and bright sides of AI? And more importantly, what are they?
Navigating the dark side of AI
AI usage has been the subject of intense debate, even to the point of satirical exaggeration among newspapers and media. The threatening images and elusive warnings from infamous leaders like Elon Musk, have sparked scrutiny about the way that businesses and governments are incorporating AI into their business models. A top discussion among leaders today, how can we ensure responsible usage? And how do we define the boundaries?
Under the microscope – Ensuring ethical practice
Since AI produces its output based on data it receives, there is a danger that the training model perpetuates discrimination and bias if left subject to poor training. The outcome of this can be dangerous, leading to discrimination against particular social groups, societal unfairness and socioeconomic divides.
So how do we solve this? Well, it falls into the hands of business and country leaders.
Business leaders need to focus on creating ethical frameworks that support responsible AI adoption across their organisation, all the while training employees on what it means to engage in safe AI usage. On the other hand, country leaders must prioritise putting in place the right policies, regulations and rules, working together to ensure safe AI adoption on a global level.
Adieu to security? The security conundrum
The emergence of adversarial AI is causing strife for organisations and governments worldwide. Attackers are now leveraging AI to create sophisticated phishing emails, imitate employees and evade detection within security naive organisations. And it is working. According to a recent survey, 82% of employees are concerned that hackers are using generative AI to create virtually unidentifiable scam emails.
More so, the rise of Deepfake has led to serious security ramifications. In fact, a recent report revealed that Deepfake has taken the lead as the most dangerous criminal activity due to its ability to seamlessly impersonate another individual’s identity.
But this is only half the story. When leveraged correctly, AI can also be a used as an impactful tool for fending off cyber-attacks, and it can do this more efficiently and faster than capable by humans.
Read more about defending your attack surface here.
Say goodbye to your job, the robots are here?
We have reached a significant inflection point in the workplace. The mass uptake of AI has enabled organisations to automate tasks readily while simultaneously benefitting from its advanced thinking capabilities.
375 million people will be forced to switch careers by 2030
A concern for all – will AI replace my job? We have already witnessed significant change in the workplace, with roles in the warehouse, data entry and customer service being axed by more efficient robots. According to reports, AI is expected to replace a significant 85 million jobs worldwide by 2025.
While it’s also true that reports project an additional 97 million AI related roles will be created by 2025, the reality is that many employees lack the required technical skills to fill them. Thus, leaving them vulnerable if companies fail to invest in upskilling their workforces.
Enough of the doom and gloom, what are the upsides of AI?
While AI poses several risks when it comes to security, workforce displacement and ethical practice, there are vast upsides to its adoption. Its main advantage, it is a significant value creator and optimiser.
Enhancing efficiency and productivity
AI enables organisations to streamline operations by automating highly repetitive tasks. Organisations that adopt AI are observing greater efficiency and productivity, reduced error rate and more time to focus on valuable business activities. According to recent AI predictions, AI is on track to optimise business efficiency and increase labour productivity by 67%, improve data analytics by 59% and automate communication by 70%.
Learn how AI improved efficiency in cancer diagnosis here.
Enhancing customer experience
Personalisation in the customer journey is becoming paramount for staying ahead of the competition. In a survey, 73% of consumers reported that they prefer to purchase products from companies that tailor their offerings to their individual preferences. The advent of AI has provided an opportunity for organisations to easily personalise experiences across multiple touchpoints and analyse consumer behaviours. What’s more, the arrival of chatbots has enabled customers to have 24/7 communication with companies.
Better decision making, more success
Data is growing in popularity as a top business case for implementing AI. Its advanced capabilities allow organisations to analyse mass-data sets, uncover hidden trends, assess data quality and automate data entry. Real-time AI insights are also a major facilitator for making informed decisions and allows businesses to adapt to emerging changes in the markets and capitalise on new opportunities.
Balancing the risks – Implementing responsible AI
There is no doubt that AI will continue to define the future of work and stipulate societal change. But with the fast pace of technological change, it is becoming more essential than ever for leaders to lay down real guidelines to ensure responsible usage of AI.
Business leaders looking to create an AI strategy must consider:
- Responsible AI usage
- Governance and compliance
- Defining AI use cases
- Encouraging internal cultural trust
- Monitoring and analysis
No person is an island, and it is the same for AI
Heard the saying, ‘no person is an island?’ Well, it certainly stands true when it comes to AI. To ensure successful AI adoption, it is essential to put the human ‘at the centre’ of technology. This means rather than looking at AI as a replacement entirely for humans, leaders need to understand that it is more an ‘augmentation’ of human capability. And technology and humans cannot work effectively when isolated from each other.
Ensure responsible AI with NashTech
The consensus? When it comes to AI it is still early innings. The long-term impact of AI implementation on society and organisations is yet to be seen. It is essential for business leaders to do their part when it comes to safe AI implementation. After all, AI implementation can cost organisations their security, shape the future workplace and lead to undesirable ethical consequences.
At NashTech, we can help you accelerate innovation with our own dedicated portfolio of AI products. Together with our powerful AI solutions and experience in safe implementation, we can help you achieve responsible and effective AI that yields returns.
Meet our experts here.