Getting to where you need to be with AI: Larking Gowen Summer 2024 Suffolk Business Breakfast

Artificial Intelligence is in the thoughts of most business leaders both for the opportunities it can provide and for potential dangers, and who better to give guidance than digital marketing guru Daniel Rowles at the Larking Gowen Summer Suffolk Business Breakfast at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall this week.

Daniel is an award-winning author, Programme Director for Imperial College Business School, CEO of Target Internet, host of a global top-ten business podcast, and one of the leading voices in explaining the benefits and pitfalls of AI.

Having written his master’s thesis on AI back in 2001, it has been in his thoughts for a number of years now. 13 years ago, he set up Target Internet, an advice and educational online hub for digital marketing. He’s also the voice of Digital Marketing Podcast, a worldwide top ten business podcast and his books have been translated into 12 languages.

By way of introduction into the pitfalls of AI, Daniel described how in 2016 Microsoft launched Tay, a chatbot that was designed to learn by interacting with human users. Within 16 hours it had to be taken down from Twitter for posting inflammatory material it had learnt from these interactions.

The launch of Chat GPT in November 2022 is credited with starting the current AI boom and it’s the fastest growing consumer app of all time.

“Chat GPT has created a huge level of noise. Just today alone for example you can see that so far it has been used to generate four million blog posts,” he said.

Daniel said that research has shown only about 30% of businesses had an AI policy, a statistic that was confirmed in part by a show of hands around the room.

“There are a lot of ethical and legal challenges where the questions haven’t been answered yet and therefore, as organisations we need to set a policy that says what we will and won’t do,” he said.

Plagiarism, breach of copyright and misrepresentation are all areas of concern. There are programmes that can replicate your voice after hearing just 10 seconds of you speaking, and fake video footage can also be created.

“There was a study at Imperial College looking into how much of what we do every day is going to be automated. Not as much as we thought. We looked at 80,000 jobs and found that 40% of these tasks will be gone in three years,” he said.

“Some of these jobs will be replaced, but most of the tasks we’re doing are going to change. It’s more about change than replacement. The question is what will we do with the time we free up. Is that to focus on those human aspects or does it mean more free time?”

Whatever the pitfalls, AI is here to stay so it’s as well to make use of the benefits it can bring.

Putting together some company guidelines on usage will put your mind at ease, help you avoid problems but also open you up to possibilities. Use AI to help you write. It’s good for getting started, suggesting headlines and planning the structure of your written work. Make use of tone of voice software, so you can always sound more like yourself. Above all, learn what you can about AI.

“You should learn to prompt effectively, when to use it and not to use it. But in the end, relationships and how we interact with each other will still be the important thing,” he said.

Larking Gowen Partner Becky Ames said: “This was a thought provoking presentation with plenty of practical tips about how you can approach AI, make it work for your business and also what to avoid. We’re very proud to be able to give a platform to speakers of this calibre who have so much useful knowledge to share with our guests. It’s also a great opportunity for our guests to network and swap insights. The event was booked out quickly, so for those who would like to attend our Autumn event we recommend getting your places as early as possible.”

Larking Gowen’s Suffolk Autumn Business Breakfast 2024 is on Tuesday 24 September from 7.15am to 10am, with guest speaker Laura Bielinski, Commercial Director of LOCALiQ with her presentation, Transform Your Digital Marketing.

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