Like any area of rapid technical innovation, AI is chock full of benefits, both for small and for medium-sized businesses. Yet it also presents many potential pitfalls. Even so, if you ask company leaders to name the biggest challenge to Artificial Intelligence, a common answer is: not already having it in place.
Looking closer, this answer is likely caused by FOMO, the fear of missing out. FOMO isn’t limited to integrating AI by any means. No matter the topic in the headlines, FOMO causes execs to act rashly, to make decisions that might not only provide no benefit to their business, but could actually harm it.
Wishing to avoid such traps, The Louder Co. team of AI experts is devoted to helping our many clients make smarter, strategic decisions when it comes to harnessing the power of emerging tech. One of the keys to the guidance we provide is the avoidance of FOMO, which rears its ugly head in the three costliest mistakes small and medium businesses make in adopting AI. Please find them below.
Mistake 1: Trying to Replace Human Employees
Some businesses start investigating AI with the assumption they will replace part of their workforce with Artificial Intelligence. On its face, the idea is interesting. AI never takes a sick day! It’s also easy to draw comparisons between what AI can do for processes like customer service with the robotics boom in manufacturing. Yet that only tells half the story. After all, most manufacturing facilities still have human workers along with robots.
A better way to consider AI’s potential impact on operations is as an enhancement to your human personnel. For instance, it can make the most painful steps in your business process a breeze, freeing up people to concentrate on more critical responsibilities.
Yet even in this setup, work completed by AI must still be carefully reviewed for accuracy. Microsoft recently learned this the hard way after publishing AI-generated travel articles. (One piece actually listed the Ottawa food bank as a tourist attraction, encouraging visitors to come with an empty stomach. Yikes.) Bottom line: If you try to completely replace your team with AI, your company could be at risk.
Mistake 2: Completing Specialized Tasks with Generalized Tools
Every savvy businessowner knows the importance of using the right tools for the right job. From restaurants requiring commercial-grade kitchen wares to logistics companies needing trailers at the right height for loading docks, specialized equipment is essential for medium and small businesses. Why should AI be any different? When specialists apply general AI tools, the results typically aren’t very good. For example, the most popular general AI tool, ChatGPT, is not reliable for complex responsibilities like designing a treatment regimen for cancer.
This example may seem extreme if you aren’t in an industry as complex as healthcare but the reality holds true across many industries. Your customers value your specialty knowledge and skills. The AI platform you integrate into your business must match these. Otherwise, you’re likely to end up like the lawyer who unwittingly filed a court document full of fake citations generated by ChatGPT. It’s worth noting that OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, also groks the importance of specialization. This is why they now offer ChatGPT Enterprise as a more customized AI system suitable for business.
Mistake 3: Rushing Headlong into AI
Blindly diving into AI by latching onto the first platform to catch your eye can be the clearest example of FOMO leading to bad AI implementation. In part, this behavior is driven by the overwhelming number of flashy ads blanketing the media from software powerhouses like Salesforce and Microsoft, all promising the ideal implementation of AI to their existing products. For business leaders, the key is to treat AI like other major purchasing decisions.
Yes, AI may be the new kid on the block, but it isn’t all that different from capital equipment and other major business purchases. Finding the right AI platform for your business is quite similar to sourcing the right production machine or phone system. Each requires a careful process of documenting business activities, reviewing multiple potential platforms, and determining the best fit from the various candidates.
How to Get the Right AI for Your Needs
Our expert team of AI specialists is ready to help you discover how Artificial Intelligence can improve your business operations. Best of all, most solutions we recommend to clients are designed to be implemented fast and without the need for massive staff retraining. If you haven’t yet explored what AI can do for your business, now is the time. It’s actually ideal—some clients have come to Louder Co. after having experienced one (or all three!) of the mistakes we’ve documented in this article.
We therefore invite you to schedule a call with one of our experts to learn about a better way to do business. Also, if you’ve tried AI and found it to be an expensive mistake, it’s high time for you to discuss your current approach’s shortfalls with us as well. In a one-hour session, we’ll happily review what you’re hoping to accomplish, how your current solution is falling short, and how to turn things around. Fast.