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Artificial intelligence refers to the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. From enhancing efficiency to revolutionising customer interactions, its benefits are undeniable. However, alongside the advantages lie complexities and challenges that demand careful consideration. Below, we cover the pros and cons of using ai for your business.
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Artificial intelligence or AI is reshaping every aspect of our lives. When used correctly, AI can have plenty of advantages for businesses, including increased productivity, streamlined tasks and improved efficiencies.
If you’re a business owner, you might be wondering whether you should be using AI tools for your business. In this blog, we cover the pros and cons of using AI tools, as well as how you can train your team to stay up to date with the latest trends.
Artificial intelligence is the use of computer science and robust datasets to aid problem-solving. Some examples of commonly known AI tools include ChatGPT, free AI image generators such as Deep AI and TikTok’s Cap Cut.
Much like the birth of the mobile phone in 1973, these widely known tools are quickly gaining momentum.
This sweeping trend is being witnessed across various sectors, including HR, technology, education, and healthcare. Even the major social media platform, Meta, uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to incorporate DeepFace, which can automatically identify you in a photo that is shared on the platform.
According to predictions, the AI market is set to grow by 33% in 2024 and continue this trajectory by at least 26% every year until 2025.
As the AI market continues to grow, the world's dependency on it and demand for it increases. This means that businesses face increasing pressures to adapt and stay abreast with recent trends.
Ben Mushen, Digital Adoption Specialist at Sunderland Software City, uses AI regularly. He said:
AI has the capacity to drastically increase your agency. When used correctly, it can plug knowledge gaps, accelerate skills development, free up resources, and give you the confidence that you can accomplish more. Used incorrectly, you get cookie-cutter responses, made-up facts, and rambling nonsense, which is what makes experimentation and iteration so important with this ever-evolving technology.
With that in mind, let’s go over the pros and cons of using AI for your business.
AI tools use very powerful algorithms to automate tasks, processes, and workflows, leading to increased efficiency and productivity within your business operations.
For example, suppose you are often involved in repetitive tasks such as data entry, document classification or customer support inquiries. In that case, AI tools can streamline these processes by analysing patterns, making predictions, and executing tasks.
The speed and accuracy at which AI can operate are often beyond human capabilities, making it easier for businesses to achieve higher output levels with reduced error rates and faster turnaround times. This efficiency frees up valuable human resources time to focus on more complex and strategic tasks.
The major online retailer, Amazon, is no stranger to AI and uses it to analyse images and videos, allowing it to make improved product recommendations to customers.
Scalability is an important aspect of business growth, allowing new opportunities and increased revenue. Without scalability, businesses may find it hard to adapt to changing market demands, handle growing customer bases or capitalise on emerging opportunities.
AI systems can help with scaling, allowing businesses to handle a growing volume of data and user interactions without significant increases in costs or infrastructure requirements.
Plenty of AI tools, such as Chat GPT, Character.AI and QuillBot are adaptable to a range of industries. Whether you work in healthcare and want to streamline the data process or work in marketing and would like to summarise your meeting notes, these solutions offer customisable features and functionalities to suit diverse business needs.
HR teams have evolved vastly over time. From managing payroll to datasets, AI can play a crucial role in streamlining operational processes.
Before ChatGPT experienced a surge in usage, it was apparent that repetitive tasks such as data entry were a major drain on resources for organisations. These tasks were perceived as time-consuming - and often led to errors and inefficiencies. Not only does it hinder growth, but it also reduces employees’ capacity to focus on higher-value activities, which are essential to growth.
Through techniques such as regression analysis, clustering, classification and natural language processing, AI can extract valuable information from structured and unstructured data. These insights enable businesses to gain a deeper understanding of customer behaviour, trends, and operational performance.
Implementing AI tools can give your business a competitive advantage by allowing you to operate more efficiently and optimise processes. According to a study by McKinsey (2020), companies that leverage AI witness a 20% increase in efficiency.
When used correctly, AI can save valuable time and resources for a range of individuals. If you are often working against tight timeframes and deadlines, this is one example of a circumstance where AI can be used to help give you a competitive advantage.
Some platforms such as JasperAI enable you to personalise the language it responds in, making it a highly flexible tool under a range of circumstances.
The rate at which technology is perceived to increase and by 2025 the amount of data produced by the world is expected to exceed 463 exabytes. Ultimately, those who do not stay up to date could be overtaken by their competitors.
Personalisation is one of the best features of AI tools, allowing you to use prompts and change default settings to improve the quality of output you receive.
For example, if you own a marketing agency and need to write an article about the ‘5 Steps to Running a Successful Business’ but are stretched for time, AI can be used. However, the success of the result depends solely on the prompts you give the machine.
Language and tone of voice can all be personalised to create a unique blog. There’s no limit to how many different preferences you can add, allowing you to receive a blog that is like that of an experienced copywriter.
Additionally, AI tools offer flexibility in adapting content for different audiences and platforms. Whether you’re targeting a professional audience or a casual readership, the customisation options enable tailoring the message accordingly.
It takes time to refine prompts and settings, but over time users can refine the AI’s understanding and enhance the relevance and accuracy of the generated content. This will ensure that the output adheres to specific needs and objectives.
AI can handle data at a much faster rate than humans. However, this presents concerns around data and privacy for various reasons.
Firstly, the technology’s ability to hold extensive data about an individual raises concerns about data storage, usage and access. Many of the data storage platforms we use today such as the Cloud and Dropbox require two-factor authentication. However, there remains uncertainty around how AI is storing our data and where it is being passed on.
Combined with the risk of unwarranted surveillance, it presents a significant risk for businesses of all sizes.
Ultimately, the more data AI systems accumulate, the greater the risk of data breaches. Cybercriminals may target AI systems to gain access to large datasets containing valuable personal and propriety information.
How do you prevent these attacks from happening? When in doubt, always question the data you are inputting into AI systems, considering whether it is potentially sensitive information.
As technology continues to advance, our dependency on these tools and systems increases.
According to figures, the UK AI market is worth £16.9 billion and is expected to grow to £803.7 billion by 2035. Additionally, around one in six UK organisations have embraced at least one AI technology, according to government research.
Although huge feats in technological advancements demonstrate positive enhancements to our society, an overreliance on these tools renders societies susceptible to disruptions. = A single point in failure in a critical system could have cascading effects across various sectors, leading to major economic losses.
One of the best uses of AI systems is to extract complex data from large databases. However, the risk lies within non-experts using these tools to automate tasks without knowing the validity of the data or the result.
For example, a Senior Data Analyst may use AI systems with caution to extract data. However, if they noticed an anomaly, they would be able to correct it. Conversely, someone without experience of complex data may not recognise the anomalies, creating risks of inaccuracies.
Job displacement is a huge concern for many organisations that are embracing AI.
Estimations predict that automation will impact around 30% of UK jobs by mid 2030’s, with sectors such as financial services, transport and manufacturing the most affected.
As AI technologies become more sophisticated, they can handle increasingly complex tasks across various industries. As more businesses recognise the reduction in cost and overhead, this automation of tasks could lead to the redundancy of certain job roles, especially those involved in repetitive, rule-based activities.
While AI can create new job opportunities in fields such as technology, cyber security and software development, the transition may not be seamless for workers whose skills are not easily transferrable.
AI algorithms work based on the data they are trained with, so they are only as good as the data they are provided with.
There’s no promise that these algorithms will update over time, meaning there’s a strong chance of generating factual errors. For instance, they may not be able to detect false information or fake news which runs the risk of using AI as a manipulation tool.
The biases present in the data used for training can amplify social prejudices, leading to discrimination. Without continuous monitoring and intervention, AI may cause more issues for society.
The danger is when individuals use these systems without checking for validity. Every time you use AI, you should always check the data to ensure it isn’t providing a false narrative.
As AI systems inevitably become more complex and intelligent it results in a greater demand for workforce training. To stay up to date with the competition, employees may need to learn how to operate, maintain and troubleshoot these systems effectively.
Additionally, staff may require training on data management, privacy protocols and ethical considerations associated with AI implementation to ensure responsible and effective use.
Although many employers would argue that technology improvements bring positive benefits to the workplace, many employees fear it will do the opposite.
For example, the Navigator: Made for the Future report describes how 76% of companies think that new technologies will make their staff more productive and enhance wellbeing.
However, a separate view by the Commission on Workers and Technology found that 58% of workers disagree that they are allowed to influence how technology is used in the workplace.
The decision on whether to use AI for your business ultimately depends on your organisational needs. Factors such as budget, available resources, scalability and employee feedback all play crucial roles in determining the feasibility of implementing AI technology.
Adam Hill, Director of Operations at Sunderland Software City, believes that AI is often underestimated. Adam said:
AI has catapulted into our lives over the last twelve months and is an extremely powerful tool that can now be used by everyone, but it has its pros and cons. Businesses must acknowledge both when leveraging that shiny new “assistant”, and understand the financial, legal and ethical considerations needed to reduce risk and be truly effective.
AI is currently a bubble and there is a lot we don’t know, so my advice? As new and exciting tech is, experiment and be free, but when it comes to business, do your research, and use it responsibly.
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