Intelligent Automation: Today’s Killer App

Intelligent Automation: Today’s Killer App

Lost in the gold rush of Generative A.I. is a much bigger truth that will impact how influential and disruptive this new era of human-computer collaboration will be. IBM recently announced the company’s mantra for 2023, consisting of three choice words: “Eliminate, Simplify, Automate.” Behind these seemingly non-human-centered words is a very human sentiment—namely, focusing on IBM’s significant people power on work that moves the needle for the business vs. busy work. IBM’s CHRO, Nickle LaMorreaux, states, “We’ll first look to help remove areas of work that don’t drive growth or add value to the business. Next, processes that can be streamlined will be saving valuable time. And then comes automation.” This sentiment perfectly captures this new era of technology, where A.I. is poised to integrate further into existing tech platforms simultaneously while new ones are created.

The Intelligent Tech Stack

Without giving specific details, Microsoft has already announced that it plans on integrating ChatGPT in its Bing, Azure, and Office business lines—signaling an evolution of the enterprise technology stack, supercharged with artificial intelligence. Enter the intelligent tech stack full of the promise and potential peril of automating anything. But it’s not just legacy systems or tech companies fueling the Generative A.I. arms race—new ecosystems are beginning to form. Noah Brier, the co-founder of Variance, a customer data software company, has also created a curation of A.I.-powered tools focused on the brand space. BrXndscape is positioned as “A landscape of the world’s best companies at the intersection of brands and A.I.”

BrXndscape functions as an all-things A.I. app store for people looking to boost their productivity and creativity across categories such as image generation, text-to-speech, logo design, presentation generation, and much more. In addition to what Microsoft is doing with ChatGPT and Google’s scramble to launch conversational search—a new ecosystem of applications built on readily available A.I.-fueled APIs is rapidly emerging. Of course, tech consolidation is inevitable, as we’ve seen during the Web2.0 era—but even a consolidated intelligent tech stack is poised to transform business and work. A popular slogan in tech: “there’s an app for that”—is rapidly changing to “there’s an A.I. for that”.

Opportunities For Small Business

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses in the U.S. for 2022, there are an estimated 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S., contributing an estimated 473 billion dollars in revenue. Consider that with even non-A.I.-powered technologies; it has never been easier to stand up a business. An entrepreneur with a good idea could work with a freelancer from anywhere in the world to create a logo on a service such as Fiverr and self-publish a Website on a platform such as WIX. With the aid of A.I. today’s entrepreneurs can design and build a Website in 30 seconds with tools such as Durable, billed as the world’s fastest Website builder.

Companies like WIX and Fiverr know change is coming. Micah Kaufman, founder and CEO of online freelance marketplace Fiverr, recently took out a full-page ad in the New York Times stating: “Dear A.I., as an advocate for human talent, allow me to assure you that we come in peace.” Kaufman’s tongue-in-cheek missive preemptively addresses the inevitable shift in his business model—more human-A.I. collaboration will happen. Days ago, Fiverr announced new A.I. categories as searches for A.I. services increased by over 1400 percent.

Human Collaborators Wanted

Disclaimer: This article was not written or assisted by ChatGPT, which Monice Arés, head of Immersive Learning, thinks of as a “calculator for writing.” However, that doesn’t mean I am not actively using the service to think about ideas and other creative endeavors. Intelligent automation doesn’t replace humans as much as it increases the need for human collaborators who can work harmoniously with the emerging intelligent tech stack. Mike Toner, a CMO for 3-D Web company Threedium, describes this kind of collaboration as the next big tech magic trick: “The ability for the entrepreneur, the teacher, or anyone, to go from idea to reality instantly is the next big tech magic trick. Some people will build powerful businesses like the social tools before it, but everyone will be impacted —whether they know it or not.”

Toner’s comment is pivotal for Big Tech, as industry insiders speculate that recently laid-off tech talent will flood the zone of generative A.I. possibilities. The potential for ex-Googlers and their peers is to create new tools, services, and business models. Soon, it wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possibility for some of the recently impacted tech workers to find themselves back in the fold of the companies who let them go, except this time—by necessary acquisition. All of this—would be made possible by human ingenuity and collaboration with machines.

While workers everywhere may wonder,” will A.I. take my job?” the more significant question on the table is more akin to “how will A.I. advance or change my business?”. Those who begin to get the answers to this question sooner than later are poised to take advantage of the rapid advancements of artificial intelligence, which is the promise of intelligent automation.

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