AI's Unstoppable Surge: Seizing Opportunities In The New Business Frontier

By Erik Knight, the CEO of Knight Industries. He is a seasoned AI strategist investor […]

By Erik Knight, the CEO of Knight Industries. He is a seasoned AI strategist investor and multifaceted entrepreneur.

We are quickly approaching the one-year mark since the dawn of public access to cutting-edge AI technologies like ChatGPT. We’ve gained substantial insights, confronted fresh anxieties and glimpsed the future landscape of work—a panorama that bears little resemblance to what we’d previously imagined.

We have long waited, myself included, for the merits of coding and digital technology development for youth, predicting these skills would be the key to unlocking the jobs of the future. This year our expectations were changed, however, with the launch of AI applications like ChatGPT, a system capable of writing blog posts, social media updates and even coding more effectively and consistently than some proficient human coders. With the rise of positions such as “prompt engineers,” the professional landscape may be shifting away from traditional coding expertise. The weight of “work output versus time invested” has changed.

In recent months, AI has made substantial inroads into the media and graphics industries. The leap from creating simple illustrations to realistic photos, videos and music has been astounding. A brief YouTube search will reveal a dramatic surge in AI-generated cover songs, increasing from a handful to hundreds of thousands in a matter of months. While the quality of AI-created videos still falls short of professional studio productions, they are nonetheless impressive given the lack of budget required to create them. The legal quandaries this has spawned are likely only just beginning, promising a level of disruption unseen since the introduction of Napster over two decades ago. The wheels of the legal process will undoubtedly take a decade to adapt to this new normal. That’s if it can be put in place before these technologies take hold in everyday life.

My own experience with AI development this past year has spanned an array of products and sparked new entrepreneurial ventures that would have been unthinkable a year ago. Business owners I’ve spoken with have expressed enthusiasm for incorporating these innovative technologies, but upper management often applies the brakes. One can’t help but speculate that this hesitation is rooted in fear—fear of disruption to established roles and routines.

The only certainty we face now is change, and it’s happening at an unprecedented pace. Resistance by professionals who assert that “AI can’t outperform me” is futile in the face of well-engineered AI that may indeed be able to do better. I urge professionals to rise to the challenge and engage with AI, rather than adopting a defensive posture. While the role of managers remains crucial, I believe their value will increasingly be gauged by their prowess in handling data inputs and outputs from these novel technologies and their ability to measure outcomes accurately.

As the chair of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) AI group, I have the unique privilege of being involved in the rapid evolution of AI developments firsthand. Our monthly meetings serve as a platform where early adopter entrepreneurial minds introduce a staggering array of innovative AI solutions. The velocity of AI advancements I’m seeing is truly extraordinary and echoes the rapid speed of technology’s broader evolution. Each month, new applications of AI emerge that reshape businesses and industries in ways that continuously surpass expectations. This constant innovation is a testament to the ingenuity of entrepreneurs and a powerful indicator of the transformative role AI is set to play in the business landscape of tomorrow.

To the entrepreneurs eager to try out the potential of AI, I recommend starting with a high-level audit of their existing operations. Identify repetitive, boring tasks, data-heavy processes or areas that require predictive analysis—these are great candidates for AI enhancements. Workshops or think-tank sessions can also shed light on business challenges for which AI might offer good solutions. For increasing skills, consider investing in AI-focused training programs or seminars for both leadership and staff. This can not only equip them with the knowledge to better navigate the evolving landscape but can also foster a culture of innovation. Encouraging employees to obtain experience in AI prompting and machine learning tools can further bridge the knowledge gap, ensuring that businesses remain at the forefront of this technological revolution. The most important thing to remember is that these are tools here to enhance operational efficiency, not replace people. Those companies that embrace these tools early could outperform those that delay.

Concerns loom large over our current education system as some believe that the higher-skilled jobs we’ve been preparing for will be the first to be consumed by AI. I believe urgent recalibrations are needed within our businesses, educational institutions and daily lives. The changes are propelling us forward at a rate far faster than we can conceive of—exponentially so. The immediate future holds vast opportunities for those willing to learn and adopt these emerging AI technologies. There is an AI specialized for just about anything already. Those who resist may find themselves struggling to keep pace.


The original article can be found at: Forbes (Entrepreneurs)