AI: The next frontier for small or medium enterprise?

AI: The next frontier for small or medium enterprise?
Alex Yip
Alex YipPuritan AI

Posted: Fri 28th Jun 2024

Artificial intelligence (AI) sounds big, scary and complex. Terms like AI singularity, artificial narrow intelligence (ANI), artificial general intelligence(AGI) and artificial super intelligence (ASI) can be intimidating.

There are 5.5 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK like us and we often say: "Thanks, but no thanks!"

However, it's not as complex as you think.

Hear me out

Let me give you an example. In 1983, when Microsoft Word was released, if you were still using a typewriter, would you care about how C++, .NET framework, or VBA — all coding languages — were developed? Or would you just want to use MS Word? What happened to the people who started using MS Word? What happened to the people who kept using typewriters?

We need to jump onto the AI bandwagon because if we don’t and our global competitors do, we are in trouble.

New technologies always replace the old, like Apple versus Nokia, Netflix versus Blockbuster, cars versus horses and AI-driven sales processes versus human sales processes.

Instead of hiring someone, you can use AI agents to do the work.

Watch this webinar to discover practical steps on how you can use AI to improve efficiency:

Are you still using humans for repetitive tasks?

Are you a restaurant, sports hall or golf course struggling with managing bookings or changes? Does your HR department spend more time handling operational staff questions about HR policies, contracts, holiday entitlements, expenses and training than doing value-added work? Does recruitment still take up a lot of time and involve complexity?

Are you able to seamlessly handle customer queries after hours from quoting to sales, taking orders and processing payments while no one is around? Are your customers frustrated when they want to place an order, pay and move on with their lives?

Are you still using humans for repetitive manufacturing tasks? Have you tried AI-powered robotics to take over repetitive tasks so your staff can do more value-added work?

A typical human worker costs £8 an hour, whereas an AI-powered 'digital' agent costs 40p an hour.

But I am on the side of humans! I hear you.

AI agents are agents of change that replace tasks, not people. They enable companies to free up their human staff to focus on more value-added activities, like making more sales, making more calls and being more productive. This allows business owners to focus on growth rather than dealing with increasing hiring costs.

What are AI singularity, ANI, AGI or ASI?

If you are still reading, you may now wonder what is AI singularity, ANI, AGI or on!

1. AI singularity

The AI singularity refers to a hypothetical future point, where artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence and capabilities, leading to rapid, unpredictable advancements in technology and society. This concept is often associated with the idea that AI could continue to improve itself autonomously, resulting in exponential growth in intelligence.

2. Artificial narrow intelligence (ANI)

Also known as weak AI, ANI is designed to perform specific tasks. It operates under a narrow set of constraints and limitations, meaning it can excel in its particular domain (like playing chess or recognising speech) but lacks general cognitive abilities. Current AI technologies, such as virtual assistants and recommendation systems, fall into this category.

3. Artificial general intelligence (AGI)

AGI, or strong AI, is a type of artificial intelligence that possesses the ability to understand, learn and apply knowledge across a wide range of tasks, much like a human being. AGI can reason, solve problems and exhibit cognitive functions that span multiple domains. It represents a more advanced and versatile form of AI compared to ANI.

4. Artificial superintelligence (ASI)

ASI goes beyond AGI, representing a level of intelligence that far surpasses that of the best human brains in every field, including scientific creativity, general wisdom and social skills. ASI would not only understand and learn at a human level but would exceed human abilities and improve itself autonomously, potentially leading to transformative changes in society and the world.

These concepts outline the potential stages and impacts of AI development from current specialised applications (ANI) to hypothetical future scenarios where AI could rival or exceed human intelligence (AGI and ASI).

Relevant resources

Alex Yip
Alex YipPuritan AI

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