The influence of artificial intelligence (AI) has rapidly spread far beyond the domain of technology. We talked about the importance of everyone in an organisation understanding AI in our CEO’s practical guide to AI . And analysts at Gartner have gone so far as to say that in 2024, “every strategic conversation needs to include GenAI”.
As a technology leader, you know you need to be adopting AI across your organisation. But as a mainstream phenomenon, AI remains relatively new. As a result, there’s still plenty of uncertainty around exactly what you should be doing.
To help you address this, we’ve put together four practical steps you can take during 2024, based on conversations we’ve been having with Bristol’s technology and business leaders around their AI hopes and fears.
Shift the focus from AI to the outcomes and benefits
Phrases such as ‘Powered by AI’ have become something of a marketing must-have. Whether you’re buying a toothbrush, electric car, e-commerce platform or something else entirely, chances are you’ll be bombarded with superficial messages about how the product includes AI.
This type of message will likely attract the tech visionaries in the boardroom and beyond. But when you’re trying to get buy-in for the use of AI or AI-enabled tools, there are additional people you’ll need to convince. Other stakeholders, particularly if you’re in a highly regulated industry, may well see ‘powered by AI’ as a great big red flag.
This is partly because ‘powered by AI’ and other AI-related buzzphrases don’t make clear what they actually mean, or the value they result in.
So for 2024, make it your goal to use more accessible language around AI. Whenever you and your tech team talk about incorporating it into your own products and services, or bringing in AI-powered tools, focus on the outcomes and benefits. How will using AI make a difference to your organisation, your customers, citizens, patients, or community?
Encourage people to concentrate on AI in their niche
Technology has always evolved quickly, but the speed of change in AI feels like a whole new level. The frequency of new releases that make last month’s state-of-the-art look primitive, mean it can be hard to keep up.
If you’re finding this rapid pace of development overwhelming, you’re not alone. How do we keep abreast of what we need to know, when there’s so much news coming at us? The resulting information overload risks people switching off, meaning your organisation will get left behind in the AI knowledge race.
So our advice for 2024 is that less is more. Don’t try to keep up with every development in AI, or even everything that’s happening with AI in your industry sector. Instead, encourage everyone in your organisation to focus in on their specific niche. What AI-enabled tools are out there that could help them and their teams be more effective?
Engage with others on AI
In a field that’s developing so quickly, everyone’s got questions they need answers to. Moreover, your knowledge, even if you think it’s relatively limited, will likely be beneficial to others.
At a recent roundtable discussion that we hosted with business leaders, we asked attendees to put forward questions they had about AI. Each person had multiple things they wanted to find out. And in most cases, there was someone else at the table who could answer their question, or at least point them in the right direction.
Whether you’re already involved in the conversation around AI in your organisation and wider network, want to learn more from your peers, or help others, have a look at what events are running in your local area or online throughout 2024. Ghyston will be hosting a variety of sessions in the Bristol area over the coming months – check out our LinkedIn page for updates, to be notified when the next ones are planned.
Invest in AI learning and development
Given how new many AI-enabled tools are, particularly in the generative AI (genAI) space, it’s unsurprising that relatively little training has taken place for those adopting it. This needs to change during 2024, if your organisation is to use this new class of software safely and responsibly.
As we touched on at the top, AI will touch every part of your operations. And that means everyone in your organisation needs to understand the potential implications of using it, including in areas such as privacy, data security, and ethics. These are topics we explore in more depth in the fourth part of our practical guide to AI for business leaders .
While the aforementioned conversations and events will help raise awareness of some of the issues among your teams, the potential impact on your business means formal training for everyone is essential.
So our final recommendation around AI in 2024 is to invest in your people’s learning and development in this area, to ensure you can unlock the benefits of AI, without putting your organisation at unnecessary risk.
Ask us anything about AI!
As well as asking your peers at an event, if you have AI questions – perhaps around integrating it into your products and services – you can also have a chat with one of Ghyston’s AI specialists. Please feel free to contact us and we’ll set up a one-to-one conversation with someone who can help you plan your next steps for 2024 with confidence.