Are You an AI Hypocrite?

In our business, we evaluate hundreds of different technology companies each year, many of them claiming to to use Artificial Intelligence and/or Machine Learning to drive their technology. Like many technologies and their associated terms, we roll our eyes when they become table stakes and I see this with our members too. It’s not that AI/ML isn’t interesting or important, it’s that we want more. We want to know what their AI does differently and what results our members are going to see that will make their tech better than the next. This is where our vetting process begins.

What I find really fascinating are the people that don’t appreciate AI and ML for what they are and the power they can bring to their business. We come across people all the time that think their human teams can do more than an AI solution. It’s hard not to scoff when we meet these people. Perhaps their resistance is more about self-preservation than knowledge. Most people realize that AI and ML is more efficient than humans at certain tasks but more importantly, it’s often better. These people may not realize how much their daily lives revolve around AI.

It’s 2:00 PST while I am writing this and AI has impacted my life in a positive way at least 10 times today:

  • Unlocked my phones with my face
  • I put on a shirt that was recommended to me by a personalization engine
  • I made coffee with my Spinn coffee maker that knows how to grind my beans and saturate them based on that specific bean
  • The traffic lights I approached while driving my kids to school that know how to regulate traffic based on patterns
  • The filters that sort my email
  • The articles and posts in my LinkedIn feed
  • The map I used to drive around traffic congestion
  • The biometrics used to access my online bank account on my phone
  • The shows and movies Amazon and Netflix recommended that I download for my trip later this week
  • The adjustments my Nest made as we moved through and out of the house this morning.

I am sure I was impacted by more AI than this list and didn’t even realize it. So if we all take AI for granted in our personal lives, why are some hypocrites in their business lives? If you sell on Amazon or Instacart, why wouldn’t you use AI to make bidding decisions? If you are a retailer that sells fashion, furniture, or cosmetics, why wouldn’t you use AI to show people what else they could buy with an interested item? If you run an eCommerce website, why wouldn’t you use AI to learn consumer behavior and adjust the conversation based on each consumers path? If you are a Marketer, why not use AI to learn more about your consumers so you can speak to them uniquely?

If you are a buyer of tech, you are probably thinking that you are unique and I need to understand each situation and you may be right. But I feel comfortable stating that there is a place for AI in every business and if it’s not being leveraged, it’s an opportunity lost. Businesses that leverage AI will ultimately beat out their competition that doesn’t. Not only will consumers have a better experience where AI is utilized, companies that don’t utilize AI are likely paying humans to do the same task to generate a far less superior outcome. Humans can not make decisions and optimizations nearly as fast as AI.

If you are worried about your job because you think AI is going to take it over, then maybe AI should. The truth is, AI should replace some tasks but that just means that those humans can start to do other tasks to help grow the business. This is how economies grow…

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