TECHNOLOGY
Is AI the answer to a more affordable world?
By Cam Upshall, CEO & co-founder
on December 12, 2017
The much-hyped release of an arguably overpriced iPhone might be bucking the trend (it's the most expensive version of the handset to date), but everywhere else, technology is becoming more affordable as it gets more advanced.
In every industry – from communications to energy to medicine – things are getting done faster and cheaper thanks to robots, the cloud and artificial intelligence (AI).

Just think of how little you already spend on a simple activity like catching a movie. Instead of driving out, getting petrol, ordering popcorn, then buying a movie ticket, you can now sit at home and queue up as many movies as you want – all for a small monthly fee.

In the near future, machines will be so good at doing some of our jobs that human employees will become redundant. Because of that, futurists are proposing a universal basic income to replace pay cheques. (If you spend your days whinging about long work hours with not enough time for everything else, isn't that good news?)

While we're still a long way from a truly jobless society, executives should take advantage of AI right now. We already know that AI can significantly reduce costs in manufacturing (by replacing humans in assembly lines, reducing waste or 3D printing) and even customer service (chatbots are increasingly augmenting customer interactions on websites and social networks).

Here are some other areas where your business may benefit from AI:

Management
Managers may spend up to 54% of their time on administrative tasks, but automated human resource platforms are poised to become smarter – with employee schedules, creation of reports and monitoring of deliverables all being fully automated. Employees can receive approvals faster and spend less time on timesheets; managers can chuck out paperwork and focus on leadership tasks such as making judgement calls and maintaining a bird's-eye view of operations.
Data intelligence
Big data is crucial to any business, and it's becoming easier and faster to maximise it. Emerging AI tools can help managers acquire analytics in real-time, instead of waiting days or weeks for performance reports to be generated. Third-party AI companies can aggregate your site traffic and sales data to optimise timing for production or marketing tasks. AI is also helping marketers generate leads and hand-pick quality contacts from a mountain of search results.
Content creation
The consensus is that the age of AI will free up humans at work, and allow us to focus on decision-making and creativity. But soon, even the latter could be left to the machines if things get too tedious (or if your resident content producer calls in sick). Robots are being built and trained to generate their own artwork and music. Production companies are even looking into reactive content – immersive VR storytelling that switches narratives or outcomes as it reads into users' body rhythms, emotions, preferences and data points. The author is dead – and the story has never been more alive.
And the big picture is…?
So AI keeps your business costs low and customer-satisfaction rates high. How does that 'level up' your role in making the world better?

  1. Aside from reducing operational expenses, AI takes your business idea beyond a single-minded proposition. When your company isn't tied down by menial tasks or limited human skills, you can transform and adapt to your clients' needs as necessary.
  2. When goods and services (such as those you might provide) start becoming more affordable, you and your consumers gain economic bandwidth for other things – healthcare, investments, passion projects.
  3. Right now, your business is just one cog in the giant machine of 'change', but if our society can be freed from the burden of worrying about having enough regular income, there will be more room to test ideas that could change the world.
What are your thoughts on this? We'd love to hear all about it. Let's keep the conversation going!
If you want to hear more about what we're brewing at the Rare Birds Labs, send us a message at [email protected]
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