There are all sorts of top 10 predictions for the coming year. As I have done for every year going back to 2014, I want to limit mine to just one half-baked prediction to ponder.
For the coming year, the key trend, according to yours truly, is “artificial intelligence for all”.
Harnessing the power of AI will no longer require being a PhD-level data scientist, worrying about statistical probabilities, designing algorithms, or worrying about the viability of test data. (Though those are still vitally important.) You just use AI like you would a search engine. I’m referring to the likes of ChatGPT, of course.
AI has been heading towards democratization – accessible to everyone without the need for expertise – for some time now. Salesforce has had its Einstein Platform in play for a while, just as Grammarly has offered AI-powered writing assistance. Of course, many other apps use AI behind the scenes, and we all come across AI-powered chatbots in our “customer experience journeys”.
Lately, as ChatGPT illustrates, AI-powered information is now as easy to use as a search engine. In fact, the likes of ChatGPT may represent the next generation of search engines, with requested information bundled into one flowing story, as opposed to lists of links.
While I have questions about the legal implications of mining AI-generated text for purposes other than personal investigations (I’ll write about that soon), such democratized AI tools can help reshape and inform our aspirations in many ways previously impossible.
“There are also many use cases for putting AI directly into the hands of non-technical end users,” says Dr. Vishal Sikka, Founder and CEO of Vianai Systems. “We see it outside of the enterprise with generative AI where anyone can create image mashups and stuff,” he says. “In enterprises, AI can be put directly into the hands of non-technical users via causal inference. There are other such examples in healthcare and other industries, where AI can amplify the work of the user, for example a doctor, by putting these AI tools directly in their hands.
The potential of democratized AI to help new business ideas is documented by Ethan Mollick, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. “ChatGPT might be able to provide incredibly useful help along the way,” he explains. “It does not replace education, but rather provides a tool to help founders in a very practical way. And that’s especially valuable for founders who otherwise might not have started a business because they’re held back by a perceived weakness, whether it’s poor writing ability or poor writing skills. lack of experience in subjects such as market research.
For example, as a highly knowledgeable assistant who could help you start a new business. Entrepreneurship is something everyone should experience in their lifetime, multiple times if possible. But often people jump in on an idea and a whim, and it’s often difficult to get a thorough idea of what the possibilities may or may not be. The US Small Business Administration has an excellent mentorship program called SCORE where retired executives and other volunteers will help you develop your idea. Of course, you can get great advice on funding and ideation from shows like Shark Tank. AI cannot replace such expertise, but can help bring ideas to life and validate them as soon as they come to mind, whether for startups or new ideas within existing organizations.
Or consider how healthcare professionals can now simply extract insights from AI-powered platforms to improve patient care. Alignment Health, for example, uses AI to “play the central role of a doctor in the family through its AI-powered AVA platform. leverage actionable, data-driven insights to deliver better care outcomes and an enhanced care experience,” says Dr. Arta Bakshandeh, Head of Medical Informatics at Alignment Health. “This high-tech system powers each virtual care interaction with personalized and predictive information about each member. By unifying over 200 unique member datasets with over 13,000 individual attributes, then evaluating the data through over 170 artificial intelligence models. The tool also “predicts care alerts such as risk of hospitalization and disease propensity, prompting clinical teams to intervene before these warning signs turn into a real emergency,” Bakshandeh adds.
AI is not the last word on things, but rather can provide helpful nudges to open up new ways of thinking. The release of ChatGPT, for example, “works even better for sparking personal exploration of startup concepts,” says Mollick. “And, you can always tell ChatGPT to review the results as well.” An innovator can also ask ChatGPT “to sketch out a business plan for this idea. But, again, the value is in going further.
Many ideas or information can be provided through the ChatGPT output. “It doesn’t matter that some may be bad or inaccurate because no entrepreneur will simply be able to keep up with AI, or be able to get enough useful advice to run a business,” says Mollick. “Instead, lowering the barriers is what’s important. And those answers are more than enough to help point to next steps.
Again, AI tools like ChatGPT are good for recommendations, but that’s it. “I would be careful not to take specific advice from AI too seriously, but as motivation for next steps and a way to outline potential plans, it can be very helpful. AI is not a substitute for to professional advice, or even to courses on entrepreneurship, it rather fulfills a different role: it lowers the barriers and multiplies the often overloaded time of the busy founder.
Indeed, AI for all has finally arrived.