Latest AI News: Amazon’s AI Illusion, AI Sidekicks, White House Orders – Forbes

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According to the latest data, 35% of global companies are currently using AI in their business. But over 50% of companies plan to incorporate AI technologies in 2024. The intent is there, but not always the action. You can see why. When there’s so much you could do, what should you do?

I used to subscribe to every AI newsletter and pretty soon felt overwhelmed. So much changed, and so quickly, I constantly felt like I was out of date and out of touch and couldn’t possibly keep up. And I write about AI. Imagine how everyone else feels. Consider these updates your fluff filter. If it’s not going to change your life or affect your business it won’t be in my article.

With that in mind, here are five new updates that entrepreneurs need to know.

What’s new in AI today? Key updates that affect your business.

Chief AI officers demanded by White House

“I’ll be surprised if we still have chief AI officers in 5-10 years,” said Rachel Woods, ex-Facebook data scientist and CEO of The AI Exchange, in response to news that the White House is ordering all federal agencies to “name chief artificial intelligence officers to oversee the federal government’s various approaches to AI and manage the risks that the rapidly evolving technologies might pose.” Woods believes that although it’s an “important catalyst role today,” she said, in the future, “internal AI operations will be owned by the COO. AI product work will be owned by the CTO/CPO.”

Why does this matter for you as someone running a business? Because the C-suite is getting shaken up. Whether chief AI officer is a standalone role or incorporated into the work of operations or technology seniors, their responsibilities will be vital for a business looking to move with the times and keep developing as their customers expect. What will you require your CTO to know and are they open to adapting?

Companies hopeful for AI productivity

Once again, economists and business people disagree when it comes to data, specifically the productivity benefits of AI. “The enthusiasm about large language models and ChatGPT has gone a bit overboard,” said Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon, in contrast to Erik Brynjolfsson at Stanford University, who bet Mr. Gordon $400 that “productivity will take off” this decade. Entrepreneurs responding to this LinkedIn post have been saving hours of time and tonnes of cash.

If you’re building a business, does it matter what academic folk are saying in interviews? Actually, yes. Because while they are arguing about whether or not AI will improve productivity, they are collating detailed case studies that we can study. Such as Ben & Jerry’s putting AI-powered cameras in its freezers to help alert the company when a location was running low on. Or Wendy’s, which might use AI to identify slower times of the day and discount the prices of menu items on its digital boards. Learn what larger companies are planning to think about how you apply AI in your business.

Business school launches degree in AI

The W. P. Carey School of Business is officially launching a new degree program, the Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence in Business, Arizona State University recently shared. Now accepting students for 2024 enrolment, the course promises to equip students to: “Analyze diverse business situations and apply AI to further business goals. Understand and effectively communicate the impact of AI transformations,” and “Practice mindful AI and pay attention to ethics, bias, welfare, privacy and trust,” among others.

But is a college degree required for a career in AI? When free courses and thought leaders are sharing information everywhere, when learning on the job is all the rage, and when things change so fast, will sinking cash into a certificate really make a difference in the long run? For entrepreneurs, this will be a decision they make when hiring for AI roles. Will you require someone to have a degree, or will you hire enthusiastic self-starters regardless of their graduate status? How will you know someone is good without knowledge of the field yourself?

AI tools are your superhero sidekick

“Foster a partnership between humans and generative AI, rather than a rivalry,” said CNET writer Lisa Lacy, in response to a 2023 Gallup poll that found nearly one-quarter of Americans were worried technology “will make their jobs obsolete as businesses start to integrate generative AI and tap into its potential.” Lacy said AI was mainly replacing jobs such as customer service and data entry, “which aren’t generally the most fulfilling for human workers.” It can be your superhero sidekick instead of a malicious rival, the article explains.Karin Kimbrough, chief economist at LinkedIn, said they are “not seeing a wholesale elimination of jobs.” But that doesn’t tell the whole story. While roles might not be replaced, they will change. There’s no way machines won’t replace manual work in some way, no matter what the industry. What does this mean for you? Don’t waste time searching for reassurance online. Spend that time equipping yourself with AI knowledge. Get started with learning before the news catches up.

Amazon’s AI is actually real people, reports Gizmodo

“So it turns out that Amazon’s stores, where you can walk out without paying, don’t depend on AI after all,” said Ian Harris of Agency Hackers in this popular post on LinkedIn. “Instead, they have 1,000 people in India watching camera footage to figure out whether you picked up a KitKat or a Twirl.” Gizmodo reports that Amazon’s Just Walk Out initiative, offered in Amazon’s Fresh stores, is powered by remote workers, a move that The Hindustan Times called “an illusion.’

Not everything in AI is as it seems and even tech giant Amazon isn’t immune to faking it until they make it. It’s very likely that a feature that calls itself AI is just automation and human processes. In Amazon’s case, perhaps they were testing the concept while developing the technology in the background. Either way, the field of AI is wide open for newcomers. Even the big guns aren’t that far ahead.

Don’t get left behind: stay ahead of AI news to keep growing

Not everything is as it seems, roles are changing, and people are delusional about the effect of AI on business and life. But the message is clear. Don’t focus on the fancy titles or the expensive certificates. Instead, go back to basics with AI. Start with the foundations and build up.

Think about the purpose of your work and company and find ways of doing it faster, better and cheaper. Figure out how to make more of an impact with everything that’s out there, rather than speculating about what may or may not be relevant at all. Less talk, more action. Less theory, more practice.

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