What are the Benefits of Artificial Intelligence? Is AI Good for Humans and Society?

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: April 5, 2023

Artificial intelligence is a fascinating technology that many of us are still learning about. However, AI can also have a significant impact on the world. While artificial intelligence has been emerging for some time now, it is only recently gaining popularity, and many organizations are exploring how they can use AI to improve their operations.

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As someone who grew up in the 1980s with movies like Terminator and War Games, I understand the underlying fear that many of us have towards new technology, including artificial intelligence. In those movies, AI and robots are often portrayed as villains, which can create a negative perception of this technology. However, I want to shift the focus away from the perceived negativity of AI or its potential downsides. Instead, I want to talk about how AI might be able to save the world.

Better Work Experience

For many, artificial intelligence may be perceived as a threat that could jeopardize our jobs. In other words, if we can automate tasks that humans would typically perform, such as thinking and learning, it could be seen as a negative thing that might result in job loss. However, there is another way to look at this issue. Instead of causing job loss, AI could actually create new job opportunities.

What I mean is that if we can automate manual parts of our jobs or tasks that don't require much human thought or interaction, we could spend more of our time on strategic activities like thinking, planning, and decision-making. If you consider the organization you work for, there are probably a lot of manual tasks that are still being done with spreadsheets or on the shop floor. What if AI could take some of that work away, allowing us as humans to be more strategic and make better decisions? Could this lead to greater fulfillment and job satisfaction?

These are some things to consider as you contemplate how AI might improve the employee experience within organizations worldwide.

Better Customer Experience

Another way that AI may be able to change the world is by providing a better customer experience. In fact, we are already seeing this in many ways, and we may not even realize it. Artificial intelligence is being used by Amazon, Alibaba, Facebook, Instagram, and all these consumer brands and products that we interact with every day, in order to make our lives better. The same goes for the potential of other types of organizations. If AI can be used to better anticipate demand, match supply with demand, or match our product or service offering with what clients need, then all that stuff can make the world a better place for us as consumers and customers of other organizations.

This is an area where we are actually probably further along  than many of us realize, as so many organizations are already using AI. However, we have just scratched the surface in terms of adoption by organizations. As you start to look at all the different organizations throughout the world that are not yet using AI, you can just imagine how powerful it would be if more organizations did use AI to make their customer experience better.

Better Supply Chain Management

Taking this concept of customer experience one step further, we have the concept of supply chain management. In the 2020s, many of us as consumers are experiencing firsthand supply chain bottlenecks, shortages, and problems. Part of this is because organizations don't have the right data, visibility into their supply chains, and aren't fully maximizing the use of technology to better anticipate demand so that they can match supply to meet that demand. The way this helps us as consumers is that we have fewer material outages, fewer products that are missing from store shelves, and we're actually able to get products faster. We're not having to wait for new cars or wait 12 or 18 months as is the case with many auto manufacturers.

AI may not be able to solve all the problems of geopolitical issues and pandemic-related issues, but it can do a better job of helping us navigate these curve balls and uncertainties in the future. Look to AI to transform the way supply chains are running today into something that's more suitable for the future, that makes our lives better as consumers, and provides an upside to organizations in the way they manage their supply chains.

Better Healthcare

As we work our way up Maslow's hierarchy of needs, we move from employee and customer experience to healthcare and our own health. AI is already making inroads in the healthcare space. Healthcare, in general, is such a broad discipline that involves a lot of science and data that no one person will be able to learn on their own, and even collectively within a hospital or healthcare organization, there may be limited knowledge and blind spots that humans have. AI can pull together all the data and science that's being advanced every day throughout the world to provide better outcomes for people seeking better healthcare. It's also a way to potentially eliminate human error, where misdiagnosis or missing certain symptoms or certain root causes of the symptoms might get overlooked by humans. Today, AI might be a good way to help anticipate and predict problems and ultimately provide a more tailored plan to overcome those problems for better outcomes. Look to healthcare as a possibility for how AI can completely transform the world and make it a better place.

Fixing Climate Change

So, just as healthcare is a broad, complex, data-driven discipline, so too is the whole concept of climate change. Many of us in the world are concerned about climate change. We want to fix it, do our part, and better understand it. There is so much data, science, and interpretation that go into understanding climate change that it, too, is subject to human error, politics, biases, and all the different things that can undermine analysis and solutions.

AI could be a great way to take the massive amounts of data we have about the climate, the world around us, how humans are affecting climate, and what other things external to humans are affecting climate. It could really give us better visibility, understanding, and learning into what we can do to improve climate change. This is a pie-in-the-sky example of how AI could be used to make the world a better place. We are nowhere near using AI in this capacity, but it is an area that we might see AI transform in the future to make the world a better place.

I hope this has given you some things to think about: this new, emerging technology, AI, and how it might relate to the world in general and improving the state of the world. Hopefully, it takes away or mitigates some of those perceived negativities that some have as it relates to artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. I hope you have found this information useful.

If you are looking to strategize an upcoming transformation or are looking at selecting an ERP system, we would love to give you some insights. Please contact me for more information eric.kimberling@thirdstage-consulting.com

Be sure to download the newly released 2023 Digital Transformation Report to garner additional industry insight and project best practices. https://www.thirdstage-consulting.com/reports/2023-digital-transformation-report/

Kimberling Eric Blue Backgroundv2
Eric Kimberling

Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.

Eric Kimberling
Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.
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