A force for good or evil? Entrepreneurs discuss the pros and cons of AI for businesses

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Artificial intelligence is infiltrating industries around the world. Entrepreneurs have opinions about the impact of AI and few are on the fence. Some are inspired, excited and see what they can create. Others are scared, nervous and struggle to stay relevant or ignore it completely.

I asked entrepreneurs to explain whether they were excited or afraid of artificial intelligence, and they shared their hopes and concerns.

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Pro: Improving creativity

There’s a plethora of AI tools for any creative pursuit you’d like to start. For this reason, setting up a professional looking business is easier than ever. There are tools for branding, website building, and content creation in any format. Creative ideas can go from concept to reality in just a few clicks.

Cameron Adams, co-founder and chief product officer of Canvas, thinks AI will create a huge explosion of creativity and efficiency for businesses, democratize it and allow people to tap into more creativity than they knew before. “Time is the most precious asset of our working day, and AI is an incredible tool to have in your visual communication toolkit,” he said. He doesn’t see AI as something that will completely get a job done for you, but as something that “can help get ideas off the ground, moving you quickly from an idea to a quality concept.” He added that AI could mean “starting with a better design that raises the foundation for creative work,” ultimately resulting in more interesting and engaging results.

Chris Caffrey, founder of Legacy Club, describes AI as “steroids for content” and said AI will “enable entrepreneurs and their teams to engage new audiences and enhance their marketing and digital assets.” Similarly, Neo Nortey of Nortey Razzi is using AI in his business photography, and enjoys that it has “changed the way we create and manipulate images, enabling new creative possibilities and improved workflow efficiency, regardless of experience or budget.” In photography and other creative pursuits, AI means the artist can “spend more time on the creative aspects of their work, without compromising on quality or incurring additional costs” and pass those results on to their clients.

Pro: improving efficiency

Before the internet, there were checks to cash, letters to write, and physical meetings to attend. After the integration of AI, there seems to be no waiting at all. Entrepreneurs take every process in their business and reduce every inefficiency they can.

Vadim Solovey, CTO and co-founder of DoiT International streamlines processes and optimizes resources for maximum efficiency. “By integrating AI into the core of our services, we can extract valuable insights from data and predict trends, make more informed decisions and deliver more effective outcomes.” Within Solovey’s company, he has “automated routine tasks, freeing up talented team members to focus on more strategic and creative aspects of operations”, describing AI as “a supportive backbone”, enabling the company to increase accuracy, speed up response times shorten and scale better. .

Jim Harshaw, Jr of The Harshaw Group applies this to content, using AI to “create higher quality content faster”, describing the main benefit as “reducing cognitive bandwidth to get started with tasks like creating of content”, so he and his team can put their energy into other tasks within the company. “We use AI to write podcast titles, social media and blog posts. While we still need to fine-tune the AI-created content, it significantly reduces workload.” Satisfi Labs’ Don White is excited about the “boring things” AI is doing within his company, including “email and document creation software that has delivered minimal but significant time savings” and “the ability to generate data that be simpler.” for technology partners, consumers and employees to consume.” White has also been able to “skip some time-consuming stages of our product roadmap with the latest tools now available.”

Pro: Provide a better service

Removing people removes human errors. Cutting out the wafer streamlines delivery. AI helps some entrepreneurs to simply serve their customers better. Teaching a machine to perform tasks once performed only by a person makes it easier to produce and operate a business at scale.

Juno’s Ally Fekaiki is “excited about AI’s potential to improve the customer experience,” describing AI-powered tools like ChatGPT as “unlocking vastly advanced capabilities for next-level customer communication and user engagement.” Juno integrated ChatGPT into its platform to “create an AI-assisted wellness planner that helps users achieve their goals.” Same product, add AI, and better service follows, a change that Fekaiki says “allows us to create meaningful, tailored user experiences so customers can get even more value from our products.” Do more for your customers for the same price so they come back for more.

Specifically for health and fitness entrepreneurs, AI creates a multidimensional customer experience that exponentially improves service. Dr. Nora Khaldi, CEO and founder of Nuritas, said they “couldn’t achieve what we’re doing today without AI” when talking about the “health-enhancing molecules that AI allows us to discover.” Khaldi said AI “allows us to unlock previously untapped ingredients from nature, helping us break the decades-old cycle of poor-quality products that have created a wave of health problems for consumers.” RNT Fitness founder Akash Vaghela adds that AI-assisted coaches can “make even better recommendations than humans” because they can “analyze more data, consider more factors and use biofeedback to provide the best advice, in real time, proactive and reactive”, which he says will mean better results and free up space for coaches to “dive even deeper into their clients’ lives”.

But what about the potential drawbacks of AI?

Con: Dehumanizing and impersonal

Not every entrepreneur is convinced by artificial intelligence, and for every pro there is also a downside. More automation means fewer jobs available, short-term gains can be negated by long-term headaches, not to mention the side effects that haven’t been considered.

Anna Hamill of And Hope Designs is “afraid by the prospect of AI being overused or misused” as she said “people buy from people and buy with their emotions.” Hamill is concerned that small business owners, in particular, will use AI to save time and “end up ruining a company that was human and had genuine emotion.” not like the tone of voice their customers know and love. Can AI-generated content ever sound truly human? And if customers suspect that there is a bot behind a brand, will that scare them off?

Charlie Day of Charlie Day Sales is also concerned about “losing that personal connection, which is so important to making money as an entrepreneur”. He believes that too many companies ignore “social selling and old-fashioned marketing,” including phone calls, which are “really effective for me and the entrepreneurs I help.” Day thinks chatbots and auto-replies miss the opportunity to build relationships, which he says are key to sales. “People buy from people, not AI,” he said. The solution is different for different types of businesses, so consider whether human touch or AI efficiency is what your customers really want.

Con: Plagiarism and misinformation

Chat GPT, Midjourney, and several other content creation tools can help you generate articles and images in seconds, given the right prompt. But are those articles and images any good? Robots and humans can both create low-quality content, but humans need to sleep and eat at some point, while robots can just keep going.

Plagiarism and Google sanctions are just a few of the concerns that keep entrepreneurs up at night when it comes to AI. Merchant Machine’s Ian Wright fears “how easy it is to create content without the sources behind it, because there’s no easy way to go back and fact-check.” He said that for medical terms or investment decisions, the impact of this could be huge.

Poem Analysis’s William Green can “appreciate the anxiety that AI can cause, both in controlling it, what it means for online publishers, and in fair use of the use of large dataset models used to train the AI.” If everyone’s hard-earned content can easily be used to train AI models, where are creators? The legislation hasn’t caught up yet, so no one knows for sure.

Con: Concerns about privacy and security

PressPitch.io’s Bilawal Gul is concerned about potential cyberattacks “that could cause significant harm to businesses and individuals alike.” When AI is involved, “cyber attacks are challenging to overrun and defend against because they can adapt and evolve based on the defenses used against them.” Gul posed the question, “What if an AI-powered virus became ‘friends’ with our AI-powered defense system?” and predicts that this means “we will be at the mercy of ‘good AI’ and ‘bad AI’, unable to identify which ones to trust and how to remove them,” a situation he says is “an unavoidable mess.”

Looking at dystopian fiction provides clues to what the future of AI might hold. Relationships with chatbots, artificial friends who take care of children and recreate people after they die are some of the ways it infiltrates our personal lives. Allowed in our companies, what might those implications be? Access to bank accounts, calendars, and email conversations can open cans of worms that are best left closed.

In addition to the improved creativity, improved efficiency and better service benefits, there is also the potential for AI to dehumanize a business and spread misinformation and pose a serious risk. Is AI ultimately a force for good or for evil and how do we take the best parts without the worst? Stay curious, think about what each update means, and be prepared to slow down for the sake of sustainability. Turn and adapt without being reckless or ignoring the dangers.