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May The 4th Be With You - AI and its Endless Possibilities Elevating Businesses

Updated: May 12

✦ To coincide with Brilliant Magazine’s latest issue celebrating “May the 4th be with you” this month, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to turn our focus once again to Artificial Intelligence (AI).


"Do or do not. There is no try.” - Yoda

The quote is, of course, a fun twist on one of the most famous pieces of movie dialogue in history from a film that was showcasing the potential of AI way before most of us even knew what it meant.


Star Wars was ground breaking in its ambition, creativity and reach, and still is today; far off fairytale worlds, jaw-dropping set pieces, dazzling spacecraft and a wide range of truly wacky creatures and characters made for an epic space opera for us all to get lost in. It was also one of the earliest movies to depict intelligent, interactive beings that were non-human, with standout droids C3-PO and R2D2 genuinely the stuff of legend.

DALL-E's interpretation of this article May the 4th be with You! | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Online
DALL-E's interpretation of this article May the 4th be with You!

Fast forward almost 50 years and AI is now very much front and centre in our daily lives, a new powerful force that has the potential to bind our contemporary galaxy together and that continues to shape our world - suggesting that maybe sentient droids like C3-PO and R2D2 are not that far off after all! 


Just like space itself, the possibilities of AI are seemingly endless. While 2022 was the year when the very concept immersed itself in widespread consciousness, last year was when AI started jumping from research labs into users' homes, typically via programs such as ChatGPT, Google Bard and Microsoft Copilot that all make AI accessible to the average person on the street.

Expect things to ramp up even more in 2024, with a recent report by IBM stating that this year “stands to be a pivotal year for the future of AI, as researchers and enterprises seek to establish how this evolutionary leap in technology can be most practically integrated into our everyday lives.”

Adoption of AI in the business world has already seen eye-watering acceleration in recent years, exemplified via a recent report by Authority Hacker that shares some substantial statistics, such as:

“Nine out of ten leading businesses invest in AI technologies... [and] support AI for gaining a competitive edge over rivals; 75% of top executives believe AI will help their organisation grow; 68% of healthcare organisations employ AI; 63% of IT and telecom sector organisations utilise AI; 44% of automotive organisations implement AI; 50% of consumers are now optimistic about AI; [and] the global AI market is predicted to hit $1.81 trillion by 2030.”

In his commentary piece in Forbes earlier this year, Shahid Hanif (Chief Technology Officer and Founder of Shufti Pro, a biometric identity verification solution), said: “the rapid investment surge in AI is a problem that needs to be approached with a sound strategy. Businesses that are jumping blindly into this race to gain profit will have to face disappointment. On the other hand, businesses that have identified the growth potential of AI and are looking forward to growing with this technology will have a positive future.”


Bitter sweet impact

One common resistance point is the threat to existing jobs and future employment opportunities. A blog earlier this year by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) states that “almost 40 percent of global employment is exposed to AI... [and] In advanced economies, about 60 percent of jobs may be impacted by AI. Roughly half the exposed jobs may benefit from AI integration, enhancing productivity. For the other half, AI applications may execute key tasks currently performed by humans, which could lower labor demand, leading to lower wages and reduced hiring. In the most extreme cases, some of these jobs may disappear.”


The Authority Hacker study suggests the impact of AI on employment is something that stands to be bitter sweet, depending on the industry. “By 2025, AI might eliminate 85 million jobs but create 97 million new ones, resulting in a net gain of 12 million jobs,” the report states. Editors, journalists and those operating in the creative writing industry (gulp!) seem to be most at risk with the reports stating that “85.1% of AI users use the technology for article writing and content creation... [and] 81.6% of digital marketers think content writers’ jobs are at risk because of AI.”


However, my learned colleagues of the written word, all is not lost! AI shouldn’t be perceived as the dark side of the force but as an ally that can in fact improve things. Consider it more Annakin Skywalker as opposed to Darth Vader, to be used in a productive manner to help, not hinder or threaten.


At Brilliant Magazine we stand at the forefront of the AI revolution, embracing it as a tool for crafting stories that resonate across galaxies of diverse readers, while acknowledging that it has not come to replace the heart and soul of the writer but to enhance it, to free us from the mundane and give us the speed of hyperspace when delivering our narratives. It can help with research and context by providing rich data-driven insights, it can help overcome writer's block and send us down wonderfully creative roads by enhancing our energy to inspire impactful storytelling that resonates far and wide. One could argue the case that AI is the Yoda to our Luke Skywalker, a wise advisor that enhances our innate abilities and helps us realise our full potential.


One of the definite positives about AI in the writing world is it focuses on connecting with readers and not just reaching them. The analysis of reader behaviour and preferences by AI tools enables a level of personalisation previously unattainable which can create a unique experience via content tailored to specific interests. Enhanced content strategies, from SEO optimisation to targeted marketing campaigns, ensure that the value delivered is as expansive as the universe itself.

The Ethics of AI: Navigating the Moral Cosmos

However, tread into those enticing galaxies with an element of caution! As we embrace AI’s potential, we must also navigate the moral cosmos it presents where opportunity for abuse can be abundant. Issues of privacy, bias, authorship, deepfake and copyright challenge us to use the force of AI wisely. Regulation is key, witnessed in December 2023 when the European Union passed the Artificial Intelligence Act, which, among other measures, prohibits indiscriminate scraping of images to create facial recognition databases, biometric categorisation systems with potential for discriminatory bias, “social scoring” systems and the use of AI for social or economic manipulation. 


Things are slower in the United States where legislation of AI in the private sector will require action from Congress, something unlikely in an election year. However, Reuters reports the U.S. Homeland Security Department very recently establishing “a blue-ribbon board that includes the CEOs of OpenAI, Microsoft, Google parent Alphabet and Nvidia that will advise the government on the role of artificial intelligence on critical infrastructure.”


China has been more proactive, banning price discrimination by recommendation algorithms on social media and mandating the clear labelling of AI-generated content. Ultimately, with great power comes great responsibility and, just as the Jedi adhere to a code, so too must we commit to ethical AI use, ensuring that the benefits of this technology are shared fairly across the galaxy. 

The aforementioned IMF Blog cautions furthermore in respect of inequality measures: “AI will likely worsen overall inequality, a troubling trend that policymakers must proactively address to prevent the technology from further stoking social tensions. It is crucial for countries to establish comprehensive social safety nets and offer retraining programs for vulnerable workers. In doing so, we can make the AI transition more inclusive, protecting livelihoods and curbing inequality.” The report summarises by stating that AI will absolutely transform the global economy and that a careful balance of policies to tap its potential is required to ensure all of humanity benefits. Effectively, the ball is in the court of the policy makers and they could do far worse than heed Jedi master Yoda’s wise mantra of “Do or do not – there is no try” to ensure they find the correct balance.


Ultimately, we will all need to adapt in some way shape or form to AI and its impact, be that in a professional or social manner. We need to understand and accept the fact that the very aim of AI is actually to complement human processes, to copy human behaviours and capabilities and that 2024 is a crucial year in achieving this augmentation. To borrow a quote from another much loved movie,

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.”

Ferris Bueller’s words mightn’t quite match those of the wily Yoda but they carry a certain gravitas in this current, intriguing time we are in. Life is moving pretty fast and AI is only speeding things up so move with the times, embrace it and “May the 4th be with you, always!”

 

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