Artificial intelligence (AI) may seem like a new technology, but the concept of AI can be traced back to 1950’s. Having said that, it has truly boomed in the last 10 – 15 years with the increased access to data and substantial improvements in computing power. We are only just starting to understand the potential of AI and how it can be used.  

Some people were sceptical of the Internet when it was first introduced – an article published in Newsweek in 1995 called predictions of e-commerce, digital networks, and online meetings “Baloney”, going on to state, “The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.” We can see some similar sentiments around AI today, but are these comments driven by fear or are some underestimating the power of this new technology?  


AI is only going to get better 

Recent developments in language models and greater availability of cloud computing sources have made it possible to train AI systems at scale. These developments have brought us devices such as virtual assistants, which for many are now an everyday essential, while 30 years ago the ability to ask a speaker to add items to your shopping list would have seemed like a sci-fi dream.  

Now we are even starting to hear reports of machines providing legal advice in court and assisting in judicial decision-making. Computer scientists will undoubtedly continue to expand their knowledge and gather more data, it’s exciting (and perhaps slightly disconcerting) to consider what will come in the next 30 years.  


Consider ways AI can help you 

If you’ve read anything about AI, you have likely come across ‘click-bait’ headlines like ‘Will AI replace humans?’, ‘Can robots take our jobs’. ‘AI will dumb us down’… The headlines alone could be enough to send some into a panic. While we expect AI will significantly impact roles and how we carry out our work in the future, we must also acknowledge that this is not the first-time technology has changed our processes, and it certainly won’t be the last. We have adapted in the past and we will learn to adapt again. Consider ways your work and the work of other will be made more effective and efficient with the use of AI.  


Improving customer experience   

Have you noticed Ads are now targeted to your specific interests? Thanks to AI algorithms businesses are now able to better understand customer preferences and market to them more effectively. 

A Chatbot is also a fantastic tool to communicate with your customers and ensure timely customer support. While AI alone can’t resolve every customer issue it can certainly manage commonly asked questions and repetitive tasks, helping customer support teams focus on the larger concerns.     


Speeding up research processes

Search engines are great when you know exactly what you’re looking for. Ask Google for recommendations of Thai restaurants in your area and you will immediately have a list of places, with a contact number, a link to a menu, and customer reviews. But if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for you may have some work to scan through the mountain of sources Google spews back at you. With tools, such as Chat GPT, you can ask any question and get one answer.


Deriving insights from data

We live in a world with an increasing abundance of data, valuable data. However, businesses can sometimes struggle to deal with and decipher large volumes to gain relevant insights. AI tools can run deep data-analysis, create detailed reports, identify trends, and even form predictions of future metrics. This can significantly increase the overall data-analytics process, reduce the risk of human error, and free-up more time for employees to focus on building strategic business plans, guided by the data insights.  


The common trend in all these AI-assisted tasks is that the use of AI makes processes faster, more precise, and more efficient. But a human is still required to drive the strategic thinking, to review work with a complete appreciation for broader context and rationalise decisions.  

Embrace AI, but don’t rely on it 

As humans we are naturally averse to change, particularly if we feel like that change could lead to significant impacts in our own lives and jobs.  If anything, the development and adoption of AI and AI-based tools appears to be accelerating and for many people it may be a case of embrace it or be left behind.  


A critical step to embracing AI and taking advantage of the technology is to understand the risks and challenges associated to the development of this technology. This is a reasonable step to take with any activity in life. Consider how you will interpret, verify, and contextualise information produced by AI tools. A multi-disciplinary approach should be followed to achieve comprehensive and innovative solutions.  


Follow the FAL Lawyers’ AI series to learn more about technological developments, limitations, legal considerations, and more. Through this series we aim to drive discussion around the future of AI and gather insights on what these developments will mean for our work and lives.  


The contents of this article does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If this article pertains to any matters you or your organisation may have, it is essential that you seek legal and relevant professional advice. 

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