There’s a quote from several unknown sources that circulates just about every Father’s Day that says “not all things in life are forever. Thankfully there are some relationships that are here to stay.” It also appears to accurately describe the future of the ever-expanding presence of artificial intelligence (AI).
The world has now seen self-driving vehicles, robots that not only clean but also inspect and report areas that need cleaning, and virtual assistants that help keep our lives organized, so be prepared for more improvements and changes.
AI research is constantly seeking ways to better sense and perceive the world around us. In addition to consumer-related products, AI is changing industries like transportation. Expect to see the maturation and improvement of devices already serving us, but also things we may not yet have even thought about.
“ÁDAPT OR PERISH”
British author H.G. Wells coined that phrase early in the 20th century, and while cell phones and social media were absent from anyone’s thoughts then, Wells did write some futuristic books entitled “The Time Machine” and “The Invisible Man.” With AI moving so quickly, might those be things we also experience in our lifetime?
The term “early adopter” was first used in 1962 to describe customers who were among the first to try a new product. They had the advantage of being among the first to benefit from new inventions but also paid higher prices for the opportunity. They were also more prone to discovering bugs in some of their early purchases.
Companies that rolled out new innovations and products were also referred to as early adopters. Today, with customers seemingly more willing to try out new things, the market for early adopters appears to be a lot more promising. The advantage for a company to be an early adopter is that there’s a tremendous opportunity to capture large market share.
In an article last year, Lawrence Lee, Xerox Vice President of Incubation and Strategy wrote that all employees wish to see their organization grow through innovation. He went on to suggest that they all have ideas on how to do it as well. Here are some tips for companies interested in pursuing that path.
The primary thing is focus. Companies need to agree on a vision for the future where all their ideas and energy will flow. Getting buy-in from the board, to senior staff and all employees, is the first step. Regular communication, including welcomed feedback, should be close behind.
Is the company prepared to move forward more aggressively? A quick check at the company’s ability to change course, be agile, and adapt may also be necessary. If there are niggling problems, what can be done to alleviate or remove them? What might promote quicker learning and an environment that encourages testing, free and open communication, and experimenting? If necessary, look outside for help.
Besides looking internally for new opportunities, thought should also be given to looking externally. Lee wrote that Xerox discovered by looking “inside out” to uncover core opportunities in new adjacent markets, and “outside in” to detect new digital disruption prospects generated by new technologies, helped them grow tremendously. Companies also need to continue striving to personalize and tailor their communication – whether PR or influencer marketing – with customers whenever they can, while marketers should also rethink their strategy. The entry of AI pretty much removes the barrier between low cost and good quality so more attention should be given to fulfilling customer needs and promises made to them.