FORBES Feature: The Future Of AI In Business: Predictions And How To Prepare
Updated: Sep 20
AI has exploded in popularity in 2023. From businesses getting started with AI to teens chatting with sophisticated bots on their phones to a lawyer attempting to use AI for legal research, it seems AI is everywhere now.
I've been watching developments in AI over the past few years. While I've been impressed by the trends I've seen, we have a ways to go with this technology. Here are my predictions for what's to come with AI and how your business can prepare.
We'll Continue Testing AI's Abilities
While using AI for legal research is a cautionary tale about relying on AI without fact-checking its output, it points to a significant trend: People outside of Silicon Valley are testing AI to see what it's capable of.
As people begin to use this developing technology to see what it can (and can't) do, the people who built the technology will see where they need to improve upon it.
Be careful when doing this kind of push. Find new ways to integrate AI, but don't put yourself or your clients at unnecessary risk. Keep your eyes on changing laws, especially with respect to intellectual property and copyright. Make sure that you and your clients don't run afoul of industry regulations.
We'll Gain A Greater Understanding Of AI
As we test AI's boundaries, we'll likely gain a better understanding of what AI is capable of. Over time, I expect that people will abandon the idea of AI replacing humans.
Yes, we're going to see AI take over some tasks. We always see this with new technology. We've also seen that when technology takes over a task from a human, it opens the door for new jobs for humans. Whether it's humans supervising AI, collaborating creatively with AI or directing an AI's efforts, we're not going to be redundant in a world with AI.
Before we can begin creating these new roles and training people for them, we have to fully understand AI's capabilities. Look into continuing education opportunities for yourself and your team that highlight building with and upon AI technology.
We'll Develop More Opportunities For Human-AI Collaboration
We're already seeing collaborative tools for AI and humans. Earlier this year, Sudowrite launched Story Engine, a collaborative writing tool that doesn't just write from prompts but helps writers brainstorm ideas, clarify passages and enhance their writing projects. Notion AI steps up the game as an automated assistant that can assist with creative collaboration.
AI tools like these can help businesses organize and boost productivity by saving time on mundane and repetitive tasks—but these tools can seem daunting to people new to them.
As you train your team to use AI programs, don't rely on instructions and tutorials to help new employees. Instead, appoint experts to help people through problems they encounter.
Data Analytics Will Become More Sophisticated
As we gain a greater idea of AI's business applications, I believe we'll develop new ways to capture and analyze data. With AI analyzing workflow, for example, we can get a better understanding of how our teams work. By gathering data through embedded AI, we can get a broader picture of how consumers use our products and services.
Following suit with the human-AI collaboration we'll see elsewhere, AI could help us make sense of this new data.
Data Security Will Become More Robust
Just as AI can help us more effectively gather and sort through data, it could also help us find weaknesses and secure data better. AI can test network capabilities faster than a human, so I see AI becoming more important in how we secure networks, databases and our own information.
AI isn't perfect, however, and isn't creative in the way that a human mind is. I expect we'll see human ingenuity helping to direct AI security.
We'll Create Content With AI In Mind
Just as we build content with SEO in mind, I predict we will begin building content around how AI tools like ChatGPT and search-integrated AI on sites like Bing and Google read and learn from text and images.
The goal? Simple: to get AI to put your brand, products and services in front of everyday AI users. This will mean a renewed focus on removing ambiguity from writing as well as a focus on alt text beyond accessibility.
Be careful in making these moves yourself. In the early days of the internet, it was common for less scrupulous web designers to plug irrelevant keywords in the metadata of their websites to boost their ranking on search engines. When search engines began ignoring irrelevant metadata, keyword stuffing became an issue. We may see the same kind of over-focus on performance for AI reading, at the expense of engaging content.
As you consider how AI will read your content, don't forget that real people will read it too.
Ethical Rules And Regulations For AI Will Be Enacted
The use of AI has brought many ethical concerns to the forefront. While some concerns are hyperbolic, others are not only valid but worth addressing right away.
As our understanding of AI levels out, I think we'll see the ethical concerns around AI take center stage, and we'll likely see much-needed regulation. These regulations may focus on protecting creators from having their work used in AI learning without their permission. They also may focus on how businesses can use AI tools, which we should use to strengthen AI-human collaboration.
Bringing AI To Your Business
To summarize what we've discussed and build upon it, consider where you may find the opportunity to integrate AI into your business:
• Look for areas of your business where AI can improve productivity.
• Choose AI tools that your existing employees and teammates can incorporate into their roles.
• Watch for new regulations and laws concerning the use of AI.
• Find unique ways to use AI, but listen to the ethical and legal concerns your employees mention.
• Discuss AI capabilities with the technology vendors and platforms that you currently use, and look for opportunities to test new software.
Whatever your role or industry, AI will likely be there. Its utility is simply too great to not consider.