Artificial intelligence has quickly swept into business operations across industries worldwide. AI has the power to transform the way companies work, how employees work, and what they do. Noted AI expert Hassan Taher recently discussed the critical issues facing businesses regarding AI.
In our article here, we share what he said about what businesses can do to prepare and respond to the disruptive role AI is playing today.
For example, Taher said most businesses have been unprepared for the dramatic change brought on by the seemingly sudden emergence of AI. In late 2022 and throughout 2023, ChatGPT and hundreds of other AI technologies brought considerable change to how businesses function.
“Many businesses may still be unprepared for the AI revolution due to a variety of reasons,” Taher wrote in a blog post. “Understanding these reasons, their potential negative impacts, as well as the benefits of adequately preparing for AI integration, are crucial for any business wanting to stay competitive in the evolving market.”
There are three core reasons, Taher notes, as to why businesses have been unprepared: poor technical understanding, lack of infrastructure, and ethical and regulatory concerns.
AI technology ranges in complexity. There are many app- and website-based programs that are relatively simple to understand and use. But others need to be integrated into—or replace—existing systems before businesses can use them.
Moreover, a lack of understanding and technical knowledge can cause many businesses to delay in adopting AI. The technologies inherent in artificial intelligence include machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks. All of those technologies require expertise and technical knowledge before an enterprise can use them effectively.
For companies, especially small- and medium-sized businesses without the technical resources and expertise on staff, these transformative opportunities can go unused.
A lack of infrastructure can be another barrier. AI needs foundational properties to work effectively. One is strong computer capabilities. Another is good, accurate data.
The absence of these capabilities can hinder the deployment and efficacy of AI. For businesses in underdeveloped regions or in industries that don’t often focus on advanced technology, Taher said that AI can be a challenging tech to deploy.
According to Hassan Taher, “Many companies, especially those in developing economies or in industries not traditionally associated with advanced tech (like agriculture or manufacturing), might lack the necessary IT infrastructure or data collection practices to effectively use AI.”
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AI is still a relatively new technology, although it’s quickly being adapted for broad use. However, with it comes a massive set of ethical and regulatory questions. For example, since AI often relies on multiple sources for its outputs, what are the implications for the intellectual property holders?
“This lack of clear regulation can deter businesses from adopting AI technology due to the potential risks associated with misuse of data, bias in algorithms, or other potential violations,” wrote Taher.
These significant outstanding questions may lead some businesses to limit their use of AI until they have more clarity.
Even with these obstacles, Taher believes AI can have a transformative impact on businesses. Specifically, AI can bring about productivity gains, job creation, better accuracy and reliability, more robust customer experiences, and improved decision-making.
Productivity gains are the result of AI taking on menial tasks and completing them faster and more efficiently than human workers in some cases. By automating routine tasks, AI frees up employees to work on more complex, more critical, or more urgent matters that require creativity and intuition.
AI-driven chatbots are one example. Already, these technologies are helping website visitors with answers to basic questions. Chatbots also assist people with navigating sites and other routine inquiries. This work in turn frees up customer service workers to handle more complex queries more quickly.
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The media is full of stories today of AI taking away jobs in various professions. However, Hassan Taher argued, “Although AI might replace some jobs, it will also create new ones that didn’t exist before. AI specialists, data scientists, and other tech jobs are in high demand and tend to offer high salaries.”
AI can also help make processes and business outcomes repeatable and reliable. That means more accurate results, better customer engagement, and fewer errors.
AI can also improve quality control, adapting to new inputs and data to determine flaws in processes and systems. For example, in many cases, AI can identify product defects far better than human inspectors.
With better products delivered with improved accuracy, there’s less rework needed and reduced waste. That means more profits and revenue.
There are clear implications for delivering products and services that are better, have fewer defects, and are of a higher quality. Obviously, among the benefits will be an increased level of customer satisfaction.
With more personalized service, faster responses, and customized recommendations, companies can deepen relationships. They can get better reviews and better word-of-mouth advertising, as well. All of these benefits extend the lifetime customer value.
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AI requires you to use data differently. In doing so, companies have more data available. This provides them with more insights about customers, products and services, competitors, pricing, and markets.
Leveraging this data is a powerful opportunity for companies, even those not accustomed to collecting and using data. Today, AI allows you to make better decisions in the moment of need. With more data available, you can understand a situation better.
AI can also analyze, interpret, and scour data for deeper insights that would take human analysts months to discover. For example, AI can scan massive data sets in seconds, revealing trends, opportunities, challenges, and patterns that can drive quick, accurate, and responsive business decisions.
Insights and Expertise on AI from Hassan Taher
“Overall, businesses and industries need to understand that AI is not just a trend, but a key player in the future of business and economy,” wrote Taher, a leader in the field of AI as a speaker, consultant, and author.
His company, Taher AI Solutions, helps businesses with the development and deployment of AI technology. He’s worked in multiple sectors, including finance, health care, and manufacturing. Moreover, Taher advocates for an ethical approach to AI.
In working with clients, Taher helps companies harness the potential that AI provides, from identifying the right technologies to use to deploying them effectively within business ecosystems.
His books include The Rise of Intelligent Machines, AI and Ethics: Navigating the Moral Maze, and The Future of Work in an AI-Powered World.
He attended the University of Texas at Dallas.
Businesses that are not ready for AI are liable to suffer the consequences, losing out on the benefits noted above.
A failure to adopt AI means a potential loss of a company’s competitive edge. Its rivals will begin to use the technology to their advantage. In addition to losing market share, companies risk slower economic growth, difficulty recruiting and retaining employees, and lower productivity and revenue.
The AI revolution is here. Those companies that are exploring and investing in AI are going to be better positioned. Transformation, as with other emerging technologies such as cloud computing and automation, is more likely than not. Warned Taher, “Employers who invest in AI, in upskilling their employees, and in the necessary infrastructure, are likely to see significant returns on their investment. Those who do not risk falling behind.”
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