Would you trust an AI business coach? Entrepreneurs share their hopes and concerns

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As the capabilities of artificial intelligence expand, it will become an integral part of many aspects of our lives. Many entrepreneurs are using AI tools to come up with ideas, create content, and execute processes that they would have previously hired a human to do. So what other roles will robots replace in our lives?

Of the 580 million entrepreneurs in the world, about 25% have used business coaching services to improve their business operations and achieve growth. 15% of organizations have a consistent coaching culture at all levels, and 97% of those that do believe it has an impact on their employees’ performance.

For AI to replace coaches, it must be welcomed by customers. Otherwise, man rules. I asked entrepreneurs to explain why they would or would not use or trust an AI coach, and opinions were divided.

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Why entrepreneurs should use an AI business coach

“Available, affordable, no shame, judgment or emotions,” he said Doctor Cici Basseydoctor, fReance health writer and editor, explaining why she signed up and put her faith in artificial intelligence. “Those are things an AI coach can offer that are (almost) impossible to get elsewhere. “The advice would be personalized and the AI ​​coach would have built-in analytics to track what worked.”

CEO of technology consultancy ROCK, Rob Dance, likes the accessibility of AI coaches, that they are available 24 hours a day and highly relevant to their clients. “AI coaches have the ability to leverage the knowledge and expertise of skilled individuals in a particular field,” he said. “An AI coach can be trained with the knowledge and experience of a top investor like Warren Buffett or Peter Lynch. I could then use that knowledge and guidance to develop my own investment skills.”

Unbiased and confidential

Other entrepreneurs were drawn to the unbiased nature they believed an AI coach would have, especially when compared to a human. “It’s hard for human coaches not to be biased based on their own personal experiences, emotions and beliefs,” said Maria Amalia Rojas, chief marketing officer at X We can. “An AI coach would provide a more objective approach to coaching. It would not be affected by my race or socioeconomic status.”

Vanessa Edwards van Practically fantasticwriting about artificial intelligence in interior design, felt that with an AI coach I would “feel more free to explore my true thoughts, opinions, and fears without having to edit them to maintain a certain image of myself, such as my tendency with a human coach,” and said she would love to use one.

A human coach can tell a friend about you even if they left out identifying details. They may use you as a testimonial on their website or reveal information you did not want to share. Their questions may be accompanied by bias or coercion toward their way of thinking. This may be exactly what you want, or it may not be.

Straight to the point

Apart from the privacy and influence side, Michael C. MarkertAI enthusiast and blogger, said “so far AI has been useful to me as a very effective brainstorming partner for creative endeavors”, and believes that “as a coach I imagine it would work the same way. Coaches don’t really tell you what you need to do, they help you figure it out on your own, so an AI coach would be quite effective.”

Maleeka Hollaway, keynote speaker and founder of SAVEDpreneur, would hire an AI coach to “avoid all the perks that come with being coached by humans.” She liked that an AI coach “might be less empathetic and more strategic and logical depending on how it’s made,” and would like “additional questions based on human curiosity that may or may not have something to do with the topic” to avoid. at hand.” Hollaway sees an AI coach as someone who helps her, “laser into achieving a specific result.” Can an AI be trained to identify problems and suggest ways to solve them? She and others are open to trying.

Why Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Use an AI Business Coach

For every entrepreneur who believed AI coaching could be effective, several believed not. Missing nuance, limited empathy, lack of human qualities and concerns about privacy were some of the opinions of the skeptics.

Not human enough to inspire

SEO consultant Steven J. Wilson is convinced that this is not going to happen. “Even trained in the successful methods of the greatest coach ever, there is one thing AI will never be able to achieve, at least not anytime soon, and that is their ability to connect with and inspire the learner.” He added: “AI may be able to provide useful feedback, but it will miss what a real coach can provide in terms of personalized and motivational guidance for each client.”

Kellie Whitehead, UK Office Director at Tish Tash, who “would not trust an AI psychologist or doctor” can only see the benefits of AI coaching, “if the AI ​​is based on specific, believable individuals and their work.” But even if an AI coach were based on the work and knowledge of someone with a lot of real-world experience, Joe Baguley, chief technology officer of VMware EMEA, believes it wouldn’t be enough, “if that were just their written work in takes up.” AI coaches need more to sign up.

Lack of instinct and nuance

Finally, Bethanie Durham, associate director at We are North, believes AI’s lack of instinct lets it down, as in coaching “it is essential to adapt the style and content of sessions”. While she thought AI’s improved ability to recognize patterns could partially offset this, she doesn’t believe the technology is quite there. She is inspired by coaches sharing their “past experiences and stories, which an AI coach would struggle to provide.”

Entrepreneurs expressed concerns about an AI business coach’s ability to notice body language and read between the lines. Where AI coaching is based on large language models, “I don’t think it can hear the nuance, look for congruence and examine what isn’t being said,” says psychology expert and author of How to feel betterRuth Kudzi. By this she means “the congruence or incongruity between what someone is saying, their body language, their tonality, their energy,” adding, “As a coach, you listen with all your senses, and I don’t think AI will.” pick it up like a person would.

But what about when AI coaching encompasses all senses? When their customers are connected to sensors and filmed and analyzed in such detail that only a machine can process the data. Would heart rate, eye movements and spacing between words indicate how to coach them more effectively? Head of Communications read, Rachael Lloyd, would not want her “goals and progress to be judged purely on statistical data.” She said, “there should be room for observing eye contact and perceiving subtle energy shifts.” However, Lloyd added that “as AI becomes more and more aware, maybe it will be a more perfect fit.”

Could AI business coaching be a thing in the future, or will it never happen? Some entrepreneurs are ready to give it a try, others are simply not convinced of its effectiveness. There are pitfalls to the potential benefits of accessibility and knowledge based on AI’s lack of feeling, empathy, and other human traits. Will this be a role a robot will never replace, or will technology advance enough to cause even the biggest skeptic to jump on board?