The buzz around the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for business is becoming increasingly common. This is not without reason, as AI has traversed a fascinating journey from the realms of science fiction to practical implementation in the business world. Presently, both startups and large global corporations are exploring ways to harness its potential to drive growth and competitiveness.
However, it is not uncommon to question whether this is truly feasible, especially considering the significant uncertainty regarding the scope of its applications and its imminent impact on the economic and social development of humanity.
To address the impact of Artificial Intelligence, we need to take a step back to define what AI is and its current state. Let's briefly explore some of its essential concepts.
Artificial Intelligence is a scientific discipline that focuses on the theory and development of computational systems capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence.
A subfield, Machine Learning, enables models to learn on their own based on previous examples, eliminating the need for explicit programming.
One technique within this realm is Deep Learning, which utilizes artificial neural networks inspired by the human brain. These networks, composed of interconnected nodes or neurons, learn complex relationships in data and make predictions.
Generative AI utilizes Deep Learning to predict new types of content, such as text, images, and audio. Applications like ChatGPT, Bard and Dall-E gained popularity in 2022, making AI seemingly accessible to everyone, at least in this facet..
Three decades ago, AI was confined to academia and a handful of pioneering researchers. Its recent democratization, driven by cloud technology and the proliferation of Generative AI, has expanded its reach and impact. Dr. Andrew Ng compares it to electricity—a general-purpose technology accessible to nearly anyone, regardless of size or industry.
These models, democratized for consumer use, also serve as powerful development tools. For instance, with just a few commands in ChatGPT, an engineer can develop a program that analyzes user sentiments, reducing AI project development time from months to weeks.
Thus, AI for business acts as an entrepreneurship enabler by automating tasks, accelerating idea validation, and allowing the creation of scalable solutions for previously deemed unprofitable problems.
The benefits of AI are not exclusive to startups; existing companies can also leverage its capabilities. To do so, identifying value-generating tasks that can be automated and collecting necessary information to train the required AI model is crucial.
Utilizing existing and proven solutions is an effective way to leverage AI. Take Kuona, for example: with our support, consumer and retail companies can focus on core activities while our platform optimizes pricing, promotions, inventory, and provides insights for better decision-making.
Despite its revolutionary potential, AI presents challenges and risks that must be considered:
Models can produce biased results if not trained with balanced and sufficient variables.
Some models require large amounts of data, sometimes inaccessible or of insufficient quality.
Generative AI may produce imprecise or inappropriate results, known as hallucinations.
Adoption of any new technology opens the door to potential security breaches, and AI is no exception.
While these challenges are not insurmountable, monitoring them is essential to prevent negative impacts on model outcomes.
While some AI applications, like aging filters or caricaturization, may be profitable in the short term, they often lack the capability to differentiate and generate sustainable value for long-term success.
Thanks to the potential resource savings and increased capabilities offered by AI for business, entrepreneurs can focus on creating long-term value in industries where developing technology was once challenging.
AI will continue to influence how we create and manage businesses in the future. Its democratization has opened up a world of possibilities for both entrepreneurs and established companies. Our responsibility is to learn how to use it productively to create long-term value that benefits everyone.
Agustín Magaña is the CTO and co-founder of Kuona, an expert in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, and a lecturer at the School of Engineering at Tecnológico de Monterrey.
A version of this article was originally published in the print version of PRO Magazine and on its web portal, PRO Network, both in Spanish, under the title “Inteligencia Artificial y Emprendimiento: Más allá de la Ciencia Ficción” (Artificial Intelligence and Entrepreneurship: Beyond Science Fiction).