The democratization of AI will certainly have a massive impact on the workplace, the business landscape, and perhaps even the global economy.
How Deeply Will AI Impact the Business World?
According to many, AI will have a bigger impact on humanity than the Internet.
Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet, says that AI will make humans “more productive than we have ever imagined” and that it will be more profound than electricity or even fire.
If artificial general intelligence and the technological singularity come about, making AI capable of self-programming and self-replication, then this is an understandable perspective.
While many may feel that AI will not be as profound an invention as fire or electricity, it will undoubtedly have a dramatic impact on the way we work and live.
In part, this is due to the foundational role that AI is expected to play in our everyday lives. One reason AI will become so pervasive is that it will be implemented an available on a wide scale to virtually everyone.
How the Democratization of AI Will Affect Business
The democratization of AI will enable people at every level of the economy to leverage AI and develop innovative business solutions.
There are several ways that AI is being democratized:
- Through business platforms, such as digital adoption platforms (DAPs), that allow non-programmers to create AI-driven apps
- No-code and low-code AI app builders
- AI models, such as GPT-3, which can be accessed via APIs
- Specific services, such as Google’s Cloud Vision API, which can also be accessed via APIs
Through means such as these, AI is being distributed at affordable rates to people across the globe.
What does this mean for the business world, the economy, and society itself?
Here are a few implications:
1. Improvements to employee efficiency
One of the major benefits of AI is increased efficiency and productivity.
AI enables employees to work much more quickly then they could otherwise and can even perform tasks in dependently of humans. AI-enabled automation will have a number of other impacts on the business, as we will see below.
2. Decreased workloads for IT staff
IT staff are overburdened with a number of activities and tasks that can be performed by machines.
AI-powered automation can tackle tasks both inside and outside the IT department, which means:
- Employees can use AI tools to perform operational tasks, which can reduce IT workloads
- AI can also be used to automate IT operations
- As AI advances, it will also be able to perform more cognitive functions, further freeing up IT workers’ time
Importantly, AI will likely not reduce the need for skilled IT staff. If anything, the more we use AI, the more technically skilled staff we will need.
3. A shift in workforce composition
As AI becomes predominant in the workplace, it will create shifts in job roles, the organizational structure, and more.
For instance, many experts suggest that AI will not necessarily take over entire job roles. Though that may occur in some instances, we should examine AI’s impact on individual job tasks.
That is, AI and automation will take over individual tasks within jobs, rather than entire jobs. As a result, employees may still have the same job title, but the tasks they perform will shift.
A marketing executive, for example, could give up a significant portion of job tasks to automation tools. While the job role will be the same, the executive’s tasks will evolve as a result of the democratization of AI.
4. Organizational restructuring
Over time, as AI penetrates society and the workplace, organizations themselves will change their structures.
A company that makes heavy use of AI, for example, may have a very different structure from a company that doesn’t use AI.
Or, as mentioned, with the use of AI, certain IT tasks may become distributed across the organization.
In short, the more heavily a company relies on AI, the more its structure and job roles will shift to accommodate AI-powered technology.
5. New types of products and services
The internet gave birth to entirely new industries, products, services, and forms of value.
AI will likely do the same.
With the advent of GPT-3, for instance, we have seen new tools such as automated copywriting platforms, automated coding platforms, story generators, and more.
This is just the beginning, however, and in the years ahead we will see a plethora of new inventions and innovations.
The Future of AI
The democratization of AI will drive the adoption of technology at every level of society. From the workplace to the home, we can expect to see AI-based technologies that disrupt, revolutionize, and enhance the way we work and live.
Although much remains to be seen about the exact impact of AI, we should pay close attention to the areas mentioned above: the workplace, job roles, and the organizational structure. Organizations and employees who prepare ahead of time will have a better chance of surviving and thriving in tomorrow’s AI-driven world of work.