The hype around AI is at an all-time high, and everyone seems to have a hot take on the subject. Some say it’s another trend that will fizzle out within a year, while others say it’s even bigger than anticipated. However you view AI, its impact is already being felt in the business world, and the implications are becoming more apparent for your company.
Let’s weigh the pros and cons of AI from the standpoint of running a business in today’s world and see if we can find some best use cases while avoiding possible downfalls.
Pro: Automate Repetitive Tasks
It’s no secret that business is a grind from one day to the next. There are spreadsheets to fill, files to organize, reports to complete, and the list goes on. The bigger the operation, the more automation can help make quick work of these repetitive tasks.
“Think of all the time that could be saved with AI tools that reduce how much you have to click, code, calculate, or communicate throughout your day,” says Gina Iovenitti, Growth Operations at Carda Health. “AI is best suited for these mundane, repeatable tasks that don’t require a human touch. That’s good news from an efficiency standpoint.”
The next time you’re plodding through tedious tasks when your time could be better spent on significant projects, consider how AI might assist.
Con: Difficult to Implement at Scale
It’s easy to dream of an office where all the simple stuff is automated, but that doesn’t happen with the flick of a switch. Even the best AI platforms must be programmed to support business operations, and one small change to the system can bring you right back to square one.
“Automation is easier said than done, especially in large organizations with multiple departments and hundreds of unique workflows,” explains Alex Novak, CEO of SLR app. “It’s more likely that we’ll see small-scale AI implementations for teams and individuals before we see business-wide automation make major waves. The bigger the business, the tougher it gets.”
Remember that while automation can make aspects of your job easier, employees will still be expected to contribute in other areas, so it’s far from a free pass.
Pro: Fuel Your Marketing Creativity
Marketers are always looking for a creative edge, and AI platforms like ChatGPT have helped fuel the process for many in the marketing sphere. The software can create catchy taglines, sales pages, and social media posts that fit the style you have in mind. With the right inputs, you can build a campaign from scratch with only AI.
“We’re already seeing Tweets, Instagram captions, and Facebook ads completely formulated from AI text and design programs,” said Trina Johnson, CEO of Blue Forest Farms. “They’re far from perfect, but at the very least, they offer a good starting point for creatives to work with. These can be supplementary tools to get ideas flowing and help put new brands on the map.”
You’ve likely seen AI posts online without being able to identify their artificial origins. Even if you aren’t convinced from a quality standpoint, there are ways to use AI to your advantage in the creative process.
Con: Miss Out on Genuine Innovation
A common critique of AI is that it can only take bits and pieces from existing content and reformulate it into a new format or order. This explains why AI posts often feel stiff or inauthentic. Many marketing companies have already sworn off AI to reassure clients that their work is 100% human-made.
“People are often put off by generic or repetitive marketing, no matter what industry you’re talking about,” said Christy Pyrz, Chief Marketing Officer of Paradigm Peptides. “It’s almost like we have a sixth sense for what’s real and what’s not, and the top brands understand this. We’ll probably see more AI stuff coming from smaller low-budget brands while industry leaders stick to the trusted format and call on real talent to do the creative work.”
As you think about using AI for marketing and other creative tasks, remember the limits of the technology and use your best judgment.
Pro: Offer Digital Assistance to Customers
Customer service has always been an exciting place for innovation, and businesses have been quick to adopt AI to better communicate with customers. Certain programs can chat directly with visitors on websites or provide assistance to customers with disputes or questions about an order or process. So far, implementations have proven successful, with only a few hiccups along the way.
“The chatbots and AI email correspondence has been pretty impressive by all accounts,” said Jin Young Woo, CEO of Like Dreams. “Customers are mainly looking for fast and useful service, so if that’s accomplished, there’s little else to worry about. If you can swap out a customer service team for AI, that means a lot of extra time, cash, and effort saved, hopefully leading to more profitability.”
Many businesses are still weighing the costs of AI bots and determining if the service is worthwhile, but in many cases, the benefits are clear enough to move forward with confidence.
Cons: Reduce Connections With Customers
While AI can offer a considerable customer service boost, it often struggles in areas where direct human interaction is necessary to reach a conclusion. This is apparent in many high-level customer service cases where one-on-one communication is the only way path forward to customer satisfaction.
“If you’re dealing with situations like banking, insurance, and other high-level situations that impact people’s lives, most folks aren’t going to be happy going back and forth with a bot,” said Darren Carvalho, Co-Founder of MetaWealth. “We’ve all had experiences where the automated phone line is more trouble than it’s worth, and at some point, you just want to talk with a real person who gets your situation and figures it out fast.”
There will likely always be a place for direct communication via phone or video conference, but AI can help fill the gaps for lower-level questions, disputes, or service requests.
Pro: Get Legal and Financial Insights
Compliance and legal work are a big part of doing business, and these frameworks grow more complex as companies scale in size and scope. The same principles apply to financials, which may also get a boost from AI models for accounting, taxes, payrolls, and more.
“It’s amazing how accurate the legal and financial input can be from AI platforms like ChatGPT,” revealed Nick Allen, Founder and CEO of SportsLingo. “You don’t have to worry about human error, and the results are fast. Many law firms and accountants have already adopted these tools for the better, and businesses will also be looking for that edge.”
AI won’t replace lawyers or accountants any time soon, but its insights can prove useful for small and large companies alike.
Con: Issues with Ethics and Accuracy
However tempting it may be to create contracts and run financial models with AI, businesses should avoid going all-in when the technology is far from complete. It’s not worth the legal risk, and ethical oversights are a perennial concern.
“No matter how much you trust AI and its abilities, there’s no substitute for having personalized legal advisory on the biggest benchmarks for your business,” Morgan Rogers, Director of Marketing at Luna Grill shared. “Whether you’re a pizza shop or a tech giant, you can’t avoid the legal realities that come with the territory.”
As always, business leaders should use their best judgment and insights from trusted associates before relying too heavily on AI.
Pro: May Save Money Long-Term
In terms of dollars and cents, AI is an attractive proposition from many angles. This may mean reducing labor costs, cutting down on redundancy, and generally streamlining business for more efficiency and output.
Since boosting profits and pleasing shareholders is priority number one for businesses everywhere, this money-saving potential is the main driver of interest in the private sector.
Con: Costly Upfront Investment
The conversation around AI is so ecstatic that it’s easy to overlook the cost of these platforms when implemented on an enterprise level. ChatGPT may be free to play with for now, but you can be sure that such programs will be pricey in their final form.
“The promises of AI are great for reducing business costs long term, but that initial sticker shock is a point of hesitation for a lot of companies,” explains Joshua Host, CEO of Thrivelab. “For starters, there’s never a guarantee that your business will save money from AI because it’s still a matter of speculation. Add in those steep costs, and you can understand the apprehension of many execs.”
As AI platforms develop and prices come down to earth, this cost-benefit analysis will prove more appealing for businesses everywhere. For now, it’s hard to say that AI is a sure bet, and CEOs are waiting to give the green light on investment.
Balance the Best of AI for Your Business
While the world makes sense of AI and its implications, business leaders are hard at work weighing the pros, cons, costs, and possibilities of the technology.
Stay tuned to see how AI changes the business world and beyond because it’s only a matter of time.