What the impact of AI means for businesses with Katie Couric and James Manyika
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What the impact of AI means for businesses with Katie Couric and James ManyikaApril 2023
As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more present in our daily lives, its benefits, combined with human expertise, are transforming business productivity and increasing ROI. Are you wondering how your business should embrace this game-changing technology? Join the conversation as award-winning journalist Katie Couric and James Manyika, Google’s first SVP of technology and society, discuss how businesses can prepare for the impact of AI.
Discover other insightful conversations about future-looking topics on the Think with Google YouTube channel.
James Manyika: Businesses should be excited about artificial intelligence. The opportunities are tremendous both for people and society, but we have to get it right.
Katie Couric: This is Future Ready by Think with Google. I’m Katie Couric. I’m here with James Manyika, Google’s first-ever SVP of Technology and Society. Hi, James. Welcome.
Manyika: Well, thank you for having me, Katie.
Couric: I don’t really know what qualifies as artificial intelligence. So let’s start with the basics. Where would the average person encounter AI in their daily lives?
Manyika: Think about the extraordinary number of times when you’re using Google Translate or any translation systems. The ability to be able to translate from one language to another is an instance of AI.
In fact, today, Google, for example, now translates over 100 languages. So all of those conversations that are being translated, those are the things that everyday people will encounter with AI.
Couric: Talk to me about how businesses are embracing this kind of technology.
Manyika: Businesses should be excited about artificial intelligence. The ones that are embracing it are absolutely making use of it in a whole variety of operational areas.
So think about operations, quality assurance. AI, it turns out, is actually very good at predicting defects when things are coming off the assembly line, for example.
So think about forecasting, planning, decision support. But it’s very clear that those who are embracing it seem to be getting competitive advantages over their competitors.
Couric: So how can everyone, be they entrepreneurs or established businesses, keep up with such rapid change?
Manyika: It’s a question, in some ways, of leadership, and some leaders truly understand and embrace the fact that the world is changing, that these capabilities are not just something for the IT department to think about, but these are central to the business strategy of the company.
The other thing that helps is there’s been an incredible development of tools and access so that people don’t have to be doing the research, but they can use established tools to use this capability.
So I think a lot of those kinds of effects are almost, as it were, democratising the ability to capitalise on these.
Couric: What is the one change you would hope that CEOs and other business leaders would make in the next five years to prepare for the impact of AI?
Manyika: Just experiment with it. Compare what you can do with AI, versus not, in all your areas of operations. I would also say look at the leaders in your sector. They’re probably using AI.
Couric: What will an increasingly automated workforce look like, and how can businesses be prepared for what’s to come?
Manyika: One is there’ll be jobs lost. That is the case because there are some occupations where the majority of the tasks involved are easy to be done by AI or other forms of automation. So there’ll be some jobs lost or they’ll decline.
There’ll also be some jobs gained. And the jobs gained part of it comes from the fact that AI will make contributions to economic growth and productivity, which will include hiring. AI will also create new job categories.
But you’ve also got this jobs changed phenomena, because, in a lot of cases, what AI will do is complement tasks that you and I do, even though it doesn’t replace all of us.
Couric: And job changing requires job training. And that has been an issue. Retraining a lot of workers to adapt to a changing workforce and workforce skills can sometimes be really difficult.
Manyika: That’s why this point about jobs changing is really, really important. So what are the new skills and how do we adapt to working alongside these incredible capabilities?
So Google has, we call it Grow with Google, which is a massive initiative in this country and also in other places, to think about how do we help people build skills.
And there’s a set of kind of digital certificates that come with that, and training that we provide, and also collaborations we have with many others at the state and local level to help provide those skills.
Couric: James Manyika, it’s so interesting. It is sort of like future shock to someone like me, but we need to use it to its advantage and fix it where it’s needed to be fixed.
Manyika: Oh, I totally agree. I mean, if you ask me, I think the opportunities are tremendous both for people and society, but we have to get it right.
Couric: James, thanks again.
Manyika: Thank you.
Couric: For more conversations to help you and your business stay ready. Subscribe to Think with Google’s YouTube channel and watch the other Future Ready videos on Think with Google now.
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