We sat down with Katie King, CEO at AI in Business and renowned author and speaker to discuss everything from ChatGPT, AI ethics and the future of AI.
Katie is also a member of the UK Government All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) task force for the adoption of AI, and previous speaker at last year’s GITEX GLOBAL.
What are your thoughts on ChatGPT and the latest AI wave?
It has been very interesting to see the general public’s enthusiasm for and interest in ChatGPT.
It took only five days for the platform to reach a million users, a feat that took Twitter 2 years and Facebook 10 months to accomplish. This signals that the curiosity about AI is there in the market, and there is a real surge of interest in trying it
out for oneself.
This tool has really captured the imagination of the average person, even those who were not necessarily interested in AI before now.
As someone who has spent many years in the AI space, learning as much as I can about it and exploring different use cases across multiple industries, ChatGPT itself has its limitations as an AI tool.
It is certainly one of the most advanced uses of NLP out there, but overall, it is still fairly limited in what it can do. But that’s understandable. We don’t need it to be everything and do everything.
Overall, the biggest benefit which ChatGPT has brought about is getting the ball rolling on more exploration and more adoption of AI.
I am pleased that it has whet the appetite of people to the point where they might be more open to exploring some of those advanced tools which they resisted prior to ChatGPT.
What does the future of AI look like over the next 5 years?
The future is bright. With this new interest in AI, I think we will see much wider adoption.
More adoption breeds more creativity as businesses and innovators start thinking about “What’s next?” after reaping the benefits of those basic levels of AI.
This will give way to some really exciting ideas and new tools. In 5 years’ time, I believe that we will be much more comfortable with AI as it will just be a regular part of our everyday lives. It already is, but we are not really conscious of that.
Right now, AI works quietly in the background, via your Netflix or Siri for example. We know these things are smart, but for some reason we don’t look at them and think “That is AI.”
Within 5 years, AI will be a much more overt part of our lives. We will be more conscious of it because it will touch so many parts of our daily lives. We’ll be using it more regularly in our jobs, in our homes, and in the ways we consume goods and services.
AI is already transitioning from a buzzy trend to an inevitable reality, and we will see that shift completed in the next 5 years.
What do you see as the main issues with AI being used today?
I think most of the issues with AI involve our perception of it.
On one hand, you have a lot of misconception and dramatization of AI that has been fuelled by popular science fiction through the years.
You still have a large population of people who see AI as a threat to human livelihoods. I think we are getting better at how we present AI in the media, but there is still a lot of scaremongering happening that is really holding back progress.
We also face issues with what we believe AI to be capable of.
AI is a specialized tool that is really good at the tasks it is designed for, but that’s it.
ChatGPT can write a piece of content or answer your queries, but it cannot drive your car. It cannot monitor social media and analyze your customers’ sentiment.
We as humans can do all of those things and switch between tasks with ease. That is because we have what is called general intelligence.
AI is specialized intelligence.
This is a really common misconception of AI today. Many begin their exploration or adoption of this technology with the expectation that one tool can solve all of their problems, when in reality it may take a combination of tools with different capabilities instead.
What are your thoughts on the state of AI ethics?
Ethics are a major concern for any new technological advancement, not just AI. Any new, unexplored territory is going to require some consideration and governance so that it cannot turn sour or cause harm.
In the case of AI in particular, I’m concerned about biases and the impacts that improper use of this technology and poorly trained algorithms can have on society at large.
Ethical AI is any use of AI that does not cause harm and does not contribute to harmful societal structures.
AI should not be used to oppress, nor widen existing gaps within our society. We see this surface regularly in conversations about bias.
While AI is not inherently biased, it is a product of the data it is trained on. ‘Garbage in, garbage out’, as the saying goes.
Therefore, we need to be mindful of what we are inputting into these algorithms and how that might impact the results produced.
We saw a lot of issues with the use of facial recognition in law enforcement, as it was resulting in racial profiling.
The algorithms behind these tools were trained on biased data sets that taught the AI that individuals of certain racial groups were more likely to be offenders, leading to the technology to falsely and unfairly categorize innocent people as threats.
These technologies may be well intentioned, but if trained improperly or not given proper oversight, they become harmful.
When they become harmful, that raises ethical concerns.
This is a real problem right now, as AI is still widely unregulated though we have government and trade bodies working on that. But it is also a concern for the future, because if we don’t start off on the right foot now, we will only make the problem worse down the road.
What are your main problems you believe AI will be able to solve?
Most of the work I do with AI is surrounding its ability to revolutionize and transform business.
AI is for everybody, and that’s what’s so great about it. Absolutely everyone can adopt it and reap its benefits. The solutions themselves may look different for different businesses, but the general advantages are the same.
For example, having a chatbot to assist customers is going to benefit a small business that maybe can’t necessarily afford to hire a human staff member to do their customer service, allowing them to still get the help they need without breaking their budget.
A large enterprise with thousands of customers will have a large team on hand to deal with customer service, but this team may receive loads of calls or queries on an average day and may be overworked and overwhelmed as a result.
Having an AI chatbot can help to solve some more frequently seen or easily resolvable issues without having to get the human agent involved, freeing up the human agent to deal with more complex issues and maintaining customer satisfaction.
It’s the same technology, but it benefits both businesses. So AI is suited to everyone, so long as the right tools are chosen for the needs of that specific business.
As my two published books on AI explain, AI will impact just about every business function across every industry, and already is beginning to.
We already have so many proven use cases across sales, HR, operations, manufacturing, and so on to point to, and that will only grow with time. It’s already being used for hiring and retention, lead acquisition and scoring, safety and compliance, routine maintenance, and beyond.
What you get with that is a way of doing business that is far different from what we have now, streamlined by technology working together with humans to produce better outcomes.
That will result in better customer experiences across the business, increased efficiency, better use of resources, stronger teams, more engaged employees, and so much more.
I’m now seen as the ‘go to’ expert on AI in marketing - I’ve been in the marketing sector for over 30 years, so I spend a lot of time consulting and thinking about the benefits in this function in particular.
AI is going to make it possible for marketers to reclaim a lot of their creativity.
AI is better at data and analysis than we could ever be, and can process hundreds of thousands of data points continuously and in real time.
If we leave AI to what it’s best at, namely the mundane and routine tasks as well as the analytical and research-driven tasks, then that frees the human up to handle the types of activities that machines are not yet good at.
The future is very exciting.