AI Is Here. Are You Ready?
Franka Baly
July 6, 2023

$99.94 billion is the expected worth of the global AI market by 2023.

—Research and Markets (May, 2020)

In case you haven’t heard, AI is here. It’s everywhere. Some jobs will be replaced and companies who were once paying for services humans did, will choose to replace them with AI tools, but it may take a little longer as many of us still don’t quite know enough about the technology.

So what’s new about this iteration of AI?

AI has been around for a while, but what we’re now seeing is wider adoption of generative AI programs like ChatGPT and Canva AI (for you Mailchimp users there’s also a Mailchimp AI version in Beta). These programs use large language models (LLM) to generate audio, text, video, or images based on a prompt or action that YOU initiate.

Some interesting facts…

(Courtesy of a recent Honeybook research study)

  • 60% of business owners are already using AI in their business. (Gen-Xers use AI technologies more frequently than all groups).
  • 22% of business owners consider themselves knowledgeable about the technology.
  • 78% of business owners believe it will be more transformative than previous technologies (the Internet, iPhone, or Social Media).
  • 40% believe it will disrupt their industry.
  • 59% of independent business owners believe AI adoption will give them a competitive edge.
So, let’s have a conversation about AI…

1. AI technology is already smarter than you think. The technology that been around for a while now and data has been consistently fed into a lot of systems for years and it’s gotten extremely smart. The more you use it, the smarter it gets. The big concern now is how quickly it is learning and not if it will become sentient (capable of sensing or feeling), but when.

2. The people creating AI are not humanists, they’re technologists. This means that they will not stop to consider the ramifications of their actions, they’re in a race to win the AI war. This is based on their ability to capitalize on the financial benefits of the technology instead of how it will transform our world. Be mindful of this aspect as you see how the technologies are rolled out and adopted across our society. A good example of this is the reactive mode tech companies have been in as it relates to the impact of social media. It transformed the way we interact on a human level. It has irrevocably changed our world, some good and some bad. Don’t look to our policymakers to put a plan in place, our legislators tend to be more reactive than proactive.

3. AI is already disrupting many industries such as finance, health care, transportation, retail, IT, and marketing. Chatbots, self-driving cars, facial recognition systems, wearables for tracking overall health, and systems that write smart code. This is the year (2023) you started seeing visible signs of disruption. Take the time to understand how it will impact compliance and regulatory changes in your industry, even if you’re not ready to incorporate it into your day-to-day activities.

4. It has incredibly fast adoption due to its many benefits. Because AI has immediate and practical application for everyone that uses it, people are adopting it at a rapid pace. For the small business owner, it has led to a reduction in costs, improve efficiencies, improved customer experience, and enhanced decision-making. If you’re not using it yet to help you develop content, take a look at this list of AI tools to see how much is being developed.

5. It’s both exciting and scary. While I’m excited about some of the benefits of AI, it also scares me. It has the potential to impact our world more than anything I’ve seen in my entire life. What helps me manage my fear is the knowledge that humans have a history of rallying together to face challenges when presented with unexpected risks. My hope is that we respond with education and restraint as we continue to roll out this incredibly powerful technology.

Now that AI is here, leverage it to help you save time, money, and improve efficiencies so that you can focus on what you do great.

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Homework: Get informed about how AI is going to transform your industry or career and create a plan. Be proactive instead of reactive.

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I’m Franka Baly

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