AI is a new powerful tool and if used smartly can make our lives so much richer in every sense.
After spending 25 years of my life studying the emergence of AI in various countries in the world I am convinced that far from being a threat, it will be the biggest complement that humankind has ever experienced offering huge benefits in many key areas of our lives.
In this era of AI – because that’s what it is, a completely new era – I am confident that all manner of private and public enterprises will thrive the world over as a result of innovations resulting from AI technology. And this is something to be welcomed and celebrated, not feared. AI is a new powerful tool and if used smartly can make our lives so much richer in every sense.
Firstly, AI is the driving force behind the fourth industrial revolution and expected to create an emerging market opportunity of USD 13–16 trillion dollars globally, or 16–26% per cent of global GDP growth by 2030 according to reports by McKinsey and PWC. Secondly, we can see that the surge in innovations based on AI are already offering a wide range of improvements to all our lives.
In healthcare, for example, it is already making significant contributions, from AI-assisted surgery to medicine applications and patient care and monitoring. It is not replacing doctors and nurses in any way. It is helping them to give their patients the best care possible.
The legal profession is another good example. It makes little sense to spend so much time on finding documents, background information or points of law when AI algorithms can do it faster, searching and selecting only information that is relevant. This enables legal minds to focus more efficiently on the needs of their clients. Moreover, as these tasks are usually performed by junior staff, it also means that different entry-level tasks will have to be provided for aspiring lawyers.
Social care is another area where AI can lift many of the administrative burdens off the shoulders of carers, particularly those who care for the elderly, enabling them to spend more time with the people they are helping. And the same goes for many other professions, too.
However, it is also true that company structures and management roles will have to change. For example, new structures will have to be set up to manage situations in which AI creates overlap, crosses boundaries, business sectors and processes. In addition, the CIOs will need to become or be accompanied by CAIOs – Chief Artificial Intelligence Officers – with a mandate to ensure that AI is fully exploited wherever it has the potential to add value. Can AI produce vital insights that can be monetized? Can AI be leveraged to improve the customer experience? Can AI be used to generate new revenue streams and increase profits? If the answer is yes, then AI becomes a true competitive differentiator.
In conclusion, we are living in exciting, but also challenging times requiring new industry regulations. For example, when smart devices – a ring or a watch – can track our health status better than doctors, what does this mean for medical documentation? How should legal text proofed by AI algorithms be validated?
The role of dialogue and collaborative problem solving could not be more important as AI-based systems become our smart companions in the next decade.
Interested to learn more about AI and AI ethics? Discover results from our Nordic AI Survey.
This article was orginally published in the CIO Magazine.