The impact of artificial intelligence is so significant that many believe it will be the catalyst that powers the next industrial revolution – forever changing the way we as a society work, live and think. In many ways, that revolution is ready happening. Just consider the transformations AI has created so far in the consumer cyclical, healthcare, and finance sectors.
- The consumer cyclical sector is using AI to advertise more tailored products and media based on users’ consumption habits. Through the use of machine learning technology, retailers, especially online retailers, are able to provide high-quality recommendations without dedicated salespeople. The integration of AI is lowering consumer costs without sacrificing quality.
- The healthcare sector is improving virtually every element of patient care thanks to AI. From robot-assisted surgeries to genetic research and even automated diagnostics, patients have greater access to medical providers and customized treatment plans, and clinicians have more time available for medical concerns instead of logistics.
- The financial sector has seen AI show up in many forms. From customer service chatbots and robo-advisors, to investment research and risk analysis, the security and management of our investments, like 401(k)s and IRAs, are dramatically improving thanks to AI.
AI in all forms is becoming a necessary element to remaining competitive in a complex, highly-saturated global market. It is revolutionizing the workplace of every industry, and AI researchers are in the highest demand. So, what can you do to remain competitive and put artificial intelligence to work for your own advantage?
Know where your industry is headed
We are working and living in a technology-first economy. There is no industry exempt from the impact of technology, which means there is no industry exempt from the integration of artificial intelligence. Recognizing the role and opportunity for artificial intelligence in your industry will help you adapt to the changes that will soon come.
Your perspective toward AI matters. Those who will succeed in today’s economy are those looking at AI from a glass half-full perspective — seeing the value AI can bring, rather than focusing on what it might displace.
Quickly identify repetition
Algorithms are designed to replace repetitive, computer-powered tasks. Those tasks are always the first to undergo automation, because of the simplicity to make quick changes. Even analytical tasks are vulnerable if they are repetitive and consistently use the same data sources because of machine learning, a type of AI. However, no singular AI is yet capable of replicating multiple, general tasks. Instead, AI specializes in solving specific, individualized problems. You can think of it this way: Predicting risk would be a completely separate algorithm from one that translates your voice to text. Those limitations are good news for you.
Find ways to use the limitations of AI to your advantage. Stay innovative in the work you are responsible for by carving out roles and responsibilities that go beyond singular point-and-click, or rote analytical behaviors.
Your best course of action is to integrate AI-powered technology into specific, high-value elements of your organization, and then use the efficiencies to drive productivity for you and your team. The best way to think about AI is to consider its possibilities and what can be achieved through the technology that was once impossible before.
Focus on building relationships and your value proposition
Once you understand the specific tasks you need AI to target, it’s time to start building relationships with technical talent in and outside your organization. Make the time to attend events, conferences and meetups that focus on exploring new, innovative technologies. Those events will allow you to cultivate relationships with innovative, forward-thinking talent, sparking new ideas you may have yet to consider.
This might sound like a strange concept for those in non-technical roles, but it is a great use of time. You may not be the one executing the technical applications of your organization, but by surrounding yourself with technical talent you gain exposure and insights into new innovations, and can make yourself instrumental during the implementation.
AI applications are impacting all areas of business and there is a gap in ability to bridge the technical details to the business side of the house. If your goal is to build connections and find ways to appropriately apply innovative technology, you must maximize your value to your organization by filling that gap. By building relationships and being forward thinking, you will position yourself to take advantage of the technological boom, rather than being adversely affected by it.