By Brian Mitchell, Managing Partner & CEO.
I attended the Possible event in Miami last week which featured many high-profile business leaders and consumer influencers. Elon Musk, a pretty big “get”, was one of the panelists and his session was packed. Say what you will about his social views or politics, the guy is brilliantly disruptive. A lot of the discussion was around AI and how/what its impact might be on the greater marketing industry as well as society at large. It was riveting in moments while predictable in others, but provocative and exciting and scary.
It seems AI’s influence is actually beyond what most of us can currently comprehend. Cars to the civil war era, TVs to the gold rush settlers, microwaves to the 1930’s homemaker, combustion engines, incandescent light bulbs, vaccines and surgeries, airplanes, computers, the internet, mobile…..all of these things seemed unfathomable to most people at one point in time and now they’re societal norms. Day-to-day life evolves with technological advances. Careers, vocations, and simple jobs do as well. I’ve read that Monster.com was predicted to wipe out the recruiting industry and then it was LinkedIn; however those tools have only grown the recruiting industry. Change is inevitable and it is a certainty that AI will be a giant seachange in many professions and some will be threatened. Will AI eliminate the need for graphic designers and software developers or will today’s and tomorrow’s coders leverage AI for even greater execution and outcomes? Will research, financial, data, and legal analysts be put out to pasture or will they thrive utilizing the near immediate insights AI can provide to them? It’s been suggested that accountants, paralegals, journalists, and even teachers can be replaced by AI, however I’m not convinced all of these professions can simply be washed out. I do believe they’ll evolve and the skills necessary to be successful in those functions (or tangential/altered/elevated functions) will require new skills and a progressive mindset. My head isn’t in the sand, I realize we don’t need facsimile manufacturers nor their salespeople anymore so I’m not blind to the reality that some jobs will go away. Only time will tell which ones disappear and which ones thrive by embracing the reality of AI. That’s the key – embracing reality…and AI will be webbed into our daily reality in ways we don’t yet see. It’s still early days for AI language systems and its own evolution for creativity, emotional intelligence, ethics, and critical and situational thinking are yet to be consistently proven. AI is also not a one-size-fits-all solution. Here’s the deal: dig into it, understand how its impact might affect your current professional function and get ahead of it if you can. Charles Darwin said “adapt or die” and this new era of innovation will require some adaptation from each of us…unless we want to look in the print newspaper’s want-ads section for fax-machine salesperson jobs.
btw, I plugged in the subject header to this blog into chatGPT and it generated a pretty bland article, but take comfort that according to itself “it is important to note that AI systems are designed to complement and enhance human capabilities, rather than replace them entirely”...so apparently there’s nothing to be concerned about!