30 November 2023

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a topic discussed frequently in the business world and comes with a range of different opinions.

Hollywood’s portrayal of AI, as seen in movies like ‘The Terminator’ and ‘The Matrix,’ has contributed to some hesitation surrounding the technology. It’s worth noting that similar hesitations were once widespread when concepts like ‘the cloud’ emerged in the business landscape.

In this article we explore some of the common concerns and questions about AI that are relevant for businesses. Even if you cannot see your business having a technological overhaul to incorporate AI soon, most businesses, including Nexia, will be impacted by AI one way or another and it is helpful to have a simple understanding of the topic. You can also consider how rapid developments in this space are likely to affect your sector in the future and if there are any actions you need to take, such as establishing workplace policies or updating legal documentation.

The key to understanding AI

There are people who are sceptical or fearful of AI, but their concerns are often based on exaggerated depictions in movies – which is far from reality. In the real world, AI is a tool created and controlled by humans to assist us, not replace us. AI does not have consciousness, emotions, or intentions of its own. It functions based on the data and instructions it receives, with human oversight and control.

Responsible use of AI requires following ethical guidelines, being transparent, and holding accountable those who use AI. Governments, organisations, and experts are actively creating frameworks to ensure that AI is used safely and ethically.

It’s crucial to view AI as a tool that can bring significant benefits from automating repetitive tasks to providing valuable insights, rather than as a world-dominating force. By understanding the capabilities and limitations of AI, we can harness its potential while mitigating concerns and uncertainties.

How does the role of AI fit into our current business owner’s world?

AI has fast become an essential part of the modern business landscape, acting as a powerful ally to business owners. By automating tasks and streamlining operations, it enhances efficiency allowing business owners to focus on strategic priorities whilst also saving valuable time and money.

AI-based data analysis provides useful insights, enabling data-driven decision-making and fostering competitive advantages. With personalised customer engagement, cost reduction, and streamlined administrative tasks, AI empowers business owners to optimise their operations and deliver exceptional value to their clients. Ultimately, using AI can help businesses grow and succeed in a rapidly changing business world.

What can AI do to help business owners?

Essentially AI serves as a virtual personal assistant, helping with a wide range of tasks that can span across various roles. For instance, crafting emails or proofreading them – ensuring they convey the precise tone and message desired. It can assist with tackling challenging conversations while also reducing the time spent.

Other areas may include reading meeting notes, extensive articles or emails and extracting crucial ideas, themes or action items, along with its ability to efficiently assign tasks to the appropriate individuals. This is valuable for post-meeting tasks and overall efficiency in overall work processes.

With so much information about AI-powered tools – where can you start?

The key thing to note is that AI is here to help us achieve more of that work balance by providing much-needed efficiencies in our day-to-day business as well as personal lives.

For those curious about integrating AI into their lives, we suggest taking a deliberate and thoughtful approach. Begin by identifying the pain points in your daily routine, both in your business and personal life, where AI could provide valuable assistance.

Once you’ve pinpointed these areas, research the diverse range of AI-powered tools and services available to address your specific needs, whether it’s automating administrative tasks, managing data, or gaining insights.

Start small – implement AI in one area where you’ll experience immediate benefits, and gradually expand its use as you become more comfortable and confident in its capabilities. It’s important to stay informed about the latest AI developments and seek expert advice when needed.

Remember that AI is a supportive tool, designed to help you achieve a better work-life balance by handling repetitive and time-consuming tasks, ultimately allowing you to focus on other areas of your business. Check out resources available online, such as this directory of AI powered apps that will help give you a feel for the breadth of tools available, catering for a large range of industries.

Key takeaways

Consider AI as your versatile ally in the role of a personal assistant, a brainstorming partner, a skilled summariser, a thought collaborator, a diligent researcher, and a strategic business consultant.

AI-powered technology aims to help you efficiently navigate the demands of your business world, saving you time and enabling you to focus on what matters most.

  • Business Efficiency: AI enhances business efficiency by automating tasks, reducing administrative burdens, and streamlining operations.
  • Data-Driven Insights: It provides valuable data-driven insights, aiding in decision-making and fostering a competitive edge.
  • Virtual Personal Assistant: AI acts as a virtual personal assistant, allowing business owners to focus on strategic priorities and achieve a better work-life balance.
  • Curiosity and Exploration: Business owners are encouraged to explore AI’s potential, starting small and gradually expanding its use to optimise daily routines.

Talk to one of our trusted advisors

Nexia is one of New Zealand’s best accounting and business advisory firms with locations in AucklandHawke’s Bay and Christchurch. We are by no means experts on the topic of AI, however, feel free to connect with a Nexia Advisor to hear our thoughts on how your business could utilise the potential of AI for growth and highlight related factors that may need your attention and consideration. We can help provide the right advice to help navigate this evolving technology with confidence.

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