Because of its vast capabilities, AI is most often viewed as a force that will allow some to dominate and others to become victims of domination. The true promise of AI, just like prior revolutionary automation innovations, is to actually allow everyone to benefit

Let’s step back in time for a moment and peek into the Ford Factory in 1913 when Henry Ford changed the game for car manufacturing. The introduction of assembly line automation at Ford revolutionized the auto industry, increasing accessibility and improving quality of life in America.

Similarly, evolving generative AI presents a strategic opportunity for modern businesses to better assume their organizations’ visions. It’s an innovation that can elevate both top and bottom lines, but it’s not the arcane sorcery it’s sometimes made out to be.

The Hesitancy Around AI

As AI becomes a dominant force in businesses around the globe, the narrative has been rife with panic, painting pictures of job losses and cyber risks. Most notably, Hollywood screenwriters highlighted this fear in the 148-day strike to establish guardrails against AI’s encroachment into scriptwriting. The resulting agreement creates a blueprint of a future state balance, where individuals’ creativity is supplemented by automation of routine tasks.

The Guild’s anxiety isn’t unfounded or unique. A survey of over 1,200 individuals revealed that 69% of college graduates harbor concerns over AI’s potential to make their jobs obsolete. With young professionals in a workforce fearful they won’t have a job in the coming years, how can they have the incentive to use AI to its fullest potential?

Moreover, known data breaches, such as the exposure of 2.6 million medical records by Cense AI, amplify these fears, underscoring the vulnerability inherent in AI systems. A Deloitte study echoes these concerns, with over 40% of executives and early AI adopters citing “cybersecurity vulnerabilities” as a significant risk.

Many organizations have figured out effective ways to use AI, resulting in better business protection, cost savings, new products or services, and improved experiences delivered to their customers. But when you listen to them talk about their success with AI, they treat it as a unique opportunity to undermine competitors, gain market share or make a ton of money. Such aggressive references make the rest of the public even more concerned for the security of their jobs and data.

AI As A Means To An End

A wide range of use cases, documented to date, are of AI serving as a way to optimize internal processes. But operational cost savings are just the beginning and a small component of what AI can offer an organization. By optimizing current operations, organizations can not only reduce prices but also channel their expanded capacity into development of new services and products.

For instance, a financial institution might reduce costs by deploying AI to streamline customer support. Yet, the true victory comes when the same institution uses AI to forge new products that benefit customers and allow employees to ditch monotonous tasks in favor of innovating.

In turn, innovation should not be confined to refining existing offerings. AI’s real promise lies in enabling new products and services that offer customers and employees powerful solutions to problems and frustrations, such as reducing fraud or improving patient outcomes. AI should be a tool for bettering the world and helping all stakeholders win, not just growing the bottom line or market share.

Joining Forces With AI In A Strategic Partnership

AI alone is not a target business model, unless you are one of a handful of companies, whose product is literally AI. Indeed, there has been staggering growth in startups that base their business on AI. But it looks like the window for competitive advantage is closing.

Strategic play with AI is in shifting focus from efficiency to expansion, proactive risk management, and partnerships—a wholistic approach, where all parties win. By striking this balance, leaders can continue inspiring and motivating, fostering an environment where technology and humanity coexist harmoniously.

Embracing AI is not about succumbing to the relentless march of technology; it’s about harnessing its potential responsibly to fuel strategic advancement that improves outcomes for all stakeholders. A “win-win-win” philosophy encapsulates the ethos of AI deployment: cost efficiency, process optimization, improved experiences and the creation of innovative, revenue-generating products and services for all stakeholders.

Similar to the Ford conveyer lines, AI’s strategic role is in building a better future state for organizations, individuals and the planet.