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For many of us, our experience with artificial intelligence (AI) may be, for lack of a better way to put it, “helpfully cool.” That can mean asking Amazon’s Alexa to play a particular song or querying Google’s Home to see if butter is a suitable replacement for vegetable shortening.

But the potential for AI goes far beyond cool. Its application in businesses and industries of all sorts will exponentially revolutionize how we both think and work. And that sort of change is coming faster than you might expect. Organizations that anticipate the most effective ways to leverage AI will profit handsomely.

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A Hard Trend That’s Gaining Speed

I first identified AI way back in 1983 as one of 20 Core Technologies that would become powerful drivers of exponential economic value creation.

Looked at in the context of my overall Anticipatory Organization Model, AI is an ideal example of a Hard Trend—a future certainty—in this case, our overall increasing use of this technology in a broad array of applications. Further, this Hard Trend is not just a future fact, but one that’s accelerating in power and application at a predictable, exponential speed.

The issue of disruption is another central element that pertains to the potential of AI As I repeatedly stress in my books, presentations and consulting work, a broad array of products and services haven’t merely changed their markets or industries—they’ve thoroughly disrupted them, completely shattering the status quo.

Further, there are only two sides to this particular fence—either you’re the one causing the disruption or you’re the one forced to react as best as you can to this powerful disruptive force.

That’s the kind of disruptive opportunity that AI affords organizations of all sorts.

Other Areas Poised for AI Opportunity & Disruption

Optimism about the potential of AI is pervasive—as this article points out, a recent survey of 2,500 U.S. consumers and business decision makers identified widespread confidence in the role of AI in the future. In fact, more than 72 percent of survey participants labeled AI a decided “business advantage.” If they understood the concepts I teach of Hard and Soft Trends, that percent would be 100.

That raises the question: Where else will AI effectively transform entire industries?

Here’s just a sampling of some other industries positioned to leverage AI:

  • Health care. Major medical and pharmaceutical companies are already using AI in a broad array of applications. One example is AI health assistants that can be used to streamline clinical processes. Rather than doctors earmarking time for rudimentary tasks such as getting information from a patient and checking vital signs, medical assistants augmented with AI instructions, insights and actions can cover a large part of those sorts of clinical and outpatient services, freeing up doctors’, as well as nurses’, time to attend to more serious cases and patients.
  • Transportation. Most everyone is aware of the growing use of AI in autonomous and semi-autonomous cars. The overall result will be a decreased number of accidents, less traffic congestion and significantly lower energy costs.
  • Education. AI is fast taking hold in a broad array of uses in education. For example, there’s “smart content” creation, including chatbot guides of textbooks and customizable learning interfaces. Add to that intelligent tutoring systems that provide personalized tutoring and real-time feedback.
  • Legal. AI’s impact isn’t limited just to fields with an overriding focus on tech. With regard to the law, AI is poised to streamline and improve efficiency in legal work. Additionally, with regard to litigation, natural language processing (or text analytics) can summarize thousands of pages of legal documents within seconds as opposed to several days for a human employee—not to mention reducing the probability of error. Further, as AI devices such as Watson learn from all of those legal books, lawyers and the entire legal community, including their clients, stand to benefit greatly.

A variety of major players see the game-changing opportunities afforded by AI So, consider: How might you and your organization benefit from the potential—both realized and anticipated—that AI affords?

If you’d like some guidance on how to think about AI in your career or business, read The Anticipatory Organization.

 

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