We know that AI is coming. This year has shown us a vision of what’s possible with Generative AI – but these technologies are not going to deliver on this vision. I say that confidently – they are not really AI. In fact, they might tempt some businesses into really bad decisions about how they use their people and systems – mistakes will be made.
So, smart business leaders must rather use the glimpses of the future that ChatGPT, Bard, Bing and GenAI tech have given us, to accelerate the strategic conversations about building truly bionic businesses. Bionic means that humans and machines are integrated, bringing out the best in each other, and building a system that is better than both would be on their own.
What does this mean in your business? Can you see beyond the hype of these early systems and imagine what a bionic future looks like? Let our team at TomorrowToday guide you as you think about this.
You can sign up here for my webinar next week.
Welcome to Throw Forward Thursday, my name is Graeme Codrington and I want you to come with me some time into the future, probably 15 to 20 years from now when we have proper, artificial intelligent virtual assistants helping all of us. You might be saying, Graeme, hang on, we’ve got that already, we live in 2023 and you might have heard of Chat GPT and Bard and Bing. I hope you are using those technologies. They are very, very useful and if you know how to use them and what to use them for, they can be hugely valuable tools.
But they’re not artificial intelligence. Whatever label we use for them, they’re language models and I think that the best use of them is to help you to articulate yourself better. But beyond that, they have huge limitations and there are plenty of stories of people misusing them and getting into big trouble for doing that.
The point of my story today in the Throw Forward studio is that we’ve caught a glimpse, we have a vision of what’s possible, and that’s always a wonderful thing, to have, a vision of what a future might look like. Of course, now we have to really deliver on it and we’re going to discover that to deliver proper artificial intelligence, to deliver a system that doesn’t just try and predict the next word, that sounds smart, but a system that actually is smart can make real decisions and doesn’t frustrate us in how it engages with us. Well, that’s going to take longer than we thought.
And what you need to do as a business leader is make sure that you do not fall into the trap of using these technologies, replacing people in your business, and then realising that you have created something that’s way worse than you had before. Having said that, there are so many bad customer service systems out there at the moment, because I think that’s where this is going to be applied most. And first, I’m not sure how you make it worse. I’m trying to get a refund from a University at the moment. My daughter finished her studies and discovered that she had credit on her account. She got some scholarships, she was employed by the faculty, and in order to get the refund, we had to prove that I had made the deposit on her account 18 months ago.
Okay, so that’s easy. We go onto my bank website, I download the statement. Luckily, my bank gives me access to all those archives, download the bank statement from 18 months ago, upload it to the University and then get told that it is not a valid document because it’s older than three months. So now I have to prove to the university that I made a payment 18 months ago, but I’m not allowed to use any documents older than three months in order to prove it, obviously an impossibility. There’s some glitch in their system, but no one can help us because the people in the department are not allowed to think, they just have to do, ‘Computer says, no’.
It’s not their fault, but it is the system’s failure, and if they get replaced by Chatbots, which I think is very likely, I think it’ll make it even worse. Because now at least I’m going to have the same frustration of not getting the job done, but I’m going to be talked to in impeccably good and articulate language, and I think that’s going to frustrate me even more.
What you want to be doing is capturing and catching this vision of AI and the world that’s going to be possible in a few years’ time and having strategic conversations in your business about what it means to be a bionic business, a bionic person. A bionic organisation is one where technology and humanity combine, work together and integrate to give the best of both. That you can upskill your people, so they are allowed to think and then they’ve got proper artificial intelligence systems to work alongside them, to give more value.
What you don’t want to be doing is giving even less value as you chase the costs down to zero. If you join that cost-saving, value-reducing race, you might discover that you win that and then you end up with nothing. What we need to be doing is chasing a value-adding technology race, and that’s the conversation people need to have.
It’s going to take 10 or 15 years, but you’ve got to get on the path, you’ve got to get into the race now. Realising what is at stake and avoiding the hype, the overhype of what we have at the moment, and the disillusion that’s going to happen along the way.
If our team at Tomorrow Today can help you to navigate that path and have the right conversations, please make sure that you contact us. This is what we do and we’re pretty good at it. Thank you for joining me this week, a slightly different episode of Throw Forward Thursday. I’m planning for a really big webinar next week and I’ve got this AI technology on my mind.
Thank you for joining me once again as we consider what we need to be thinking about as we think about generative AI and the future.
I’ll see you next week in the Throw Forward Thursday studio. Next week we’re going to be talking about NASA, asteroids, and spaceflights. It’s going to be fun. I’ll see you there.
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Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change. Chat to us about booking Graeme to help you Re-Imagine and upgrade your thinking to identify the emerging opportunities in your industry.
For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.